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Breakingviews - Big U.S. banks keep their powder a bit too dry

Big U.S. banks are awash with capital, trading like it’s the end of days, and raising abundant capital for their clients. Employees’ pay has held up, and shareholders will soon be the happy recipients of sizeable stock buybacks. But there’s something missing: the lenders aren’t lending.

Breakingviews - Biden’s $2 trln rescue tests his art of the deal

The next U.S. president has a chance to test his own art of the deal. Joe Biden on Thursday announced an ambitious stimulus plan, including additional $1,400 payments for individuals. It also includes liberal causes like boosting the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. With the slimmest Democratic control of a 50-50 Senate, Biden will have to compromise.

Breakingviews - UniCredit CEO race is deceptively crowded

The wacky race to replace ousted boss Jean Pierre Mustier at $21 billion UniCredit is in full swing. Headhunters are sounding out high-level executives such as former UBS investment banking head Andrea Orcel and ex-Credit Suisse boss Tidjane Thiam, as well as a raft of Italy-based bankers. The list of genuinely credibly candidates is somewhat shorter.    

Breakingviews - Chinese investors can soothe Xiaomi’s U.S. pains

It's good to be able to turn to friends for support. Chinese phone maker Xiaomi lost some $10 billion in market value following its addition to a U.S. blacklist of companies deemed to have military ties. Others already tagged, including China Mobile, have recently seen local buying ease the pain of U.S. selling. Xiaomi, a market darling, can expect something similar.

Breakingviews - Billionaire donors outrank companies in Washington

Billionaire donors hold more sway than companies in the increasingly expensive business of Washington elections. Firms from JPMorgan to AT&T are rethinking political donations after last week's Capitol violence. But it’s people like the late Sheldon Adelson and Mike Bloomberg who have far deeper pockets.

Breakingviews - Shared scooters jump into a profitable future

Electric scooters are not kids’ toys anymore. The pandemic has helped turn two-wheeled transportation into an essential part of urban traffic. More cities are also allowing them on the street. That has given startups which offer shared scooters in Europe a new lease of life.

Breakingviews - France’s Carrefour defence targets wrong enemy

“An army marches on its stomach”, Napoleon reputedly said. Nearly 160 years later the French government is using a similar argument to protect its largest grocer Carrefour from a possible 16 billion euro takeover by Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard. Yet while concerns over jobs and supply chains have been given new prominence by the pandemic, a foreign owner is unlikely to threaten either.

Breakingviews - Taiwan's tech edge will cushion U.S. policy tumult

Taiwan's technology know-how should provide a diplomatic edge. TSMC, the $560 billion chipmaking powerhouse, showcases the island's clout in international supply chains and beyond. That bodes well for bilateral trade and investment flows, even as geopolitical uncertainties mount.

Breakingviews - Biden’s SEC pick is ominous sign for Wall St

He’s back. Former banker-turned-industry critic Gary Gensler is in the running as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, Reuters has reported. That will rankle the finance industry, which is still smarting from Gensler’s years at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under Barack Obama. If he takes the helm at the SEC, tougher enforcement is likely.

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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