HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - When Chinese President Xi Jinping's top economic adviser, Liu He, visited Washington in early March, he made a reasonable request. Told that U.S. President Donald Trump was uninterested in resuming the duo’s “strategic and economic dialogue”, Liu asked for updated and specific demands.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Yi Gang has experience working in America. Once considered a liability, that background now may be one of his greatest assets. And the mainland is courting companies to list shares locally, while China’s version of Hulu plans an IPO - in New York.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Mark Zuckerberg’s slow defense reveals real weakness. The Facebook founder finally explained how users’ information was harvested - four days after the incident was revealed by press reports. But his promise to tighten controls rings hollow. The trouble is the social network is built on data. Truly securing it may blow up its business.
WASHINGTON (Reuters Breakingviews) - U.S. rate hikes risk causing a global fallout. Gulf states, Hong Kong and others that peg their currency to the dollar worry that that following the Federal Reserve’s tightening might endanger growth. But with five more hikes expected by the end of 2019, not doing so risks the ire of financial markets.
LONDON(Reuters Breakingviews) - China’s goal is to be “a global leader in terms of composite national strength and international influence”. Those are the words of Xi Jinping, who has just won approval to extend his term as president indefinitely. Xi wants the People’s Republic to supplant the United States as the world’s leading nation.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - In Goethe’s Faust, the protagonist makes a deal with the devil’s envoy by exchanging his soul for the fulfilment of earthly goals. Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, faced with decidedly unholy lowball returns on tangible equity, face a similar dilemma as they struggle to meet their cost of capital. Germany’s two biggest banks by assets should swallow their pride and hook up.
SINGAPORE (Reuters Breakingviews) - Australian billionaire James Packer has resigned from the board of his casino group once again, this time for health reasons. He leaves the $7 billion Crown Resorts still recovering from a Chinese crackdown that left staff in prison and prompted a costly retreat. The path forward is clearer without him.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Six years ago, when Facebook was going public, investors bent over backwards to grant Mark Zuckerberg near-totalitarian power over the social network he founded in his Harvard dorm room by letting him hold special super-voting stock. The reasoning was that the young chairman and chief executive needed "runway" to build Facebook, without the pesky distractions most public companies face from unwashed shareholder hordes.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Where should multinational tech companies pay income tax? Changing international rules devised a century ago will be difficult, but Europe is right that asset-light, data-hungry businesses like Google and Facebook merit fresh thinking.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China's regulatory mega-merger cries out for some significant synergies. A newly simplified organizational chart combines banking and insurance regulation while eliminating and consolidating the work of other ministries. It should reduce fees, red tape and corruption. The benefits will be limited, though, if headcounts aren't slashed, too. The country's 7 million bureaucrats have grown too fond of mindless crackdowns.
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.