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Breakingviews - J&J’s talc crisis will linger for years

Johnson & Johnson's talc crisis will linger for years. Investors erased $40 billion of its market value on Friday, after Reuters revealed the U.S. healthcare giant knew for decades its baby power was sometimes tainted by asbestos. The company says the story is an “absurd conspiracy theory” as “every method available to test J&J’s talc for asbestos has been used by J&J, regulators, or independent experts, and all of these methods have all found that our cosmetic

Breakingviews - Review: The attack of the killer fridges has begun

The world is ever more connected via the internet, from cars and power grids to home appliances and toys. That means ever more things are dangerously hackable, security expert Bruce Schneier writes in “Click Here to Kill Everybody.” The title is hyperbolic, but not by much. In some ways, the attack of the killer fridges has already begun.

Breakingviews - Trump can get what he wants from Saudi in 2019

Even by his own standards, Donald Trump has been contradictory on oil. The U.S. president spent much of 2018 berating the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries for keeping crude prices high by undersupplying the market. At the same time, he exacerbated the problem by reinstating export sanctions on Iran. An early December cut by OPEC and fellow producers including Russia is an irritant, but relatively low prices still look attainable.

Breakingviews - China’s social credit poses rising risk to CEOs

China’s “social credit” system is a another worry for executives, as tensions spike over the arrest of a Huawei executive at U.S. behest. The government's plan to blacklist people and companies for misbehaviour is widely misunderstood. But its implications for business should raise eyebrows. By holding executives accountable for their company's misdeeds, it blurs the already fuzzy Chinese line between corporate and personal interests.

Breakingviews - Italy saves EU budget battle for another day

Spooked by hostile markets, Rome’s anti-austerity government is offering to trim its 2019 budget deficit goal by 0.4 percent of GDP. The U-turn may help Italy escape damaging European Union fines. Investors will be pleased, but the government may just be saving its battle for another day.

Breakingviews - Viewsroom: French misery gives Italy some company

President Macron hopes a 10 bln euro splurge from state coffers will mollify rioters calling him the “president of the rich.” But it’ll worsen the country’s deficit, risking an EU rebuke. It may, though, offer cover for Italy, whose debt load is causing friction with Brussels.

Breakingviews - China’s murky moves hand Trump more ammo

China’s latest decisions could be handing U.S. President Donald Trump more ammunition in the trade war. Canadian officials say they have lost contact with one of their citizens after Beijing detained one of the country’s ex-diplomats. It will make a lasting economic peace harder.

Breakingviews - Challenge to Theresa May clarifies Brexit endgames

It turns out there is one ballot that Theresa May cannot postpone. Two days after pulling a parliamentary vote that was about to reject her plan for leaving the European Union, the British prime minister faces a motion of no confidence from her own party. The outcome will help clarify Britain’s Brexit endgames.

About Breakingviews

Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time. Sign up for a free trial of our full service at http://www.breakingviews.com/trial and follow us on Twitter @Breakingviews and at www.breakingviews.com. All opinions expressed are those of the authors.

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