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Breakingviews - South African blackouts mask $30 bln power problem

As rolling power blackouts hit South Africa this week, an old gag resurfaced. “What did South Africans use for lighting before candles?” Answer: “Electricity.” The problems at state-owned Eskom are no laughing matter, though. Energy rationing is not even the most serious issue: the utility is broke and its debt pile is too much for the government to handle.

Breakingviews - Huawei settles into eye of geopolitical storm

Huawei has now firmly settled into the eye of a geopolitical storm. Canadian officials arrested Meng Wanzhou, the Chinese telecom equipment maker’s chief financial officer, for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions. The case arises just as more countries put the squeeze on Huawei. Suppliers will be rattled, too. It may be a microcosm of a broader containment effort.

Breakingviews - AT&T fails to grasp the true value of “Friends”

What’s the value of having friends? For AT&T, the answer seems to be about $100 million. That’s how much the telecoms group may charge streaming service Netflix to show the hit TV show of that name for another year. Given AT&T’s plans to launch its own video service, depriving a rival of a blockbuster might have been smarter.

Breakingviews - The Exchange: Erika Karp talks climate change

As world leaders meet in Poland to beef up the Paris accords, Cornerstone Capital’s founder explains why the economics of battling global warming trump naysaying politicians. She also lays out how to spot green washing and says investors who ignore ESG factors should go to jail.

Breakingviews - Hadas: Conglomerates will never die

Markets can be a costly business. Ronald Coase won a Nobel prize in economics in 1991 for pointing that out. He said that companies are created to save on transaction costs, and according to one interpretation, the savings are often large enough to justify pulling together quite diverse businesses. Problems at General Electric and the break-up of United Technologies show why that analysis is only partly right.

Breakingviews - China hangs corruption sword over tech giants

Beijing is hanging a blade over the country's technology titans. The arrest of a senior Alibaba executive, the head of its video-streaming unit, suggests China's anti-graft crackdown will not spare its web titans. Companies’ poor disclosure, though, is adding to the problem.

Breakingviews - U.S. bond yields turn from green light to red

The U.S. bond market’s flashing light has turned from green to red. Treasury yields plunged to a three-month low on Tuesday and gave out a potential recession signal. While low rates have supported the economy and stock market during the recovery, the latest moves suggest troubling weakness.

Breakingviews - Cox: Why I’m relocating to Paris in the year ahead

Soon after relocating to Paris I met an entrepreneur with an extraordinary ambition to challenge the technological dominance of Microsoft and Google by creating an alternative digital operating system. I also encountered an angry protester in a yellow vest, or “gilet jaune”, who wanted to overthrow the government. Welcome to the two faces of the global centre of the resistance.

Breakingviews - Cox: Why I’m relocating to Paris in the year ahead

Soon after relocating to Paris I met an entrepreneur with an extraordinary ambition to challenge the technological dominance of Microsoft and Google by creating an alternative digital operating system. I also encountered an angry protester in a yellow vest, or “gilet jaune”, who wanted to overthrow the government. Welcome to the two faces of the global centre of the resistance.

Breakingviews - Tencent Music strains to hit Spotify's high notes

Tencent Music Entertainment will strain to hit Spotify's high notes. China's social media and gaming titan is floating its music-streaming arm at a valuation of up to $24.5 billion. Sales are up, and the unit has a novel, profitable business model. Still, the company's huge premium to Spotify is hard to justify.

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