Edition:
United States

Martin Hutchinson

Breakingviews - Review: Citigroup’s 2008 bailout won’t be its last

Aug 24 2018

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - If history is any guide to the future, Citigroup will be in the middle of whatever financial crisis Wall Street manages to cook up next. Or so say James Freeman and Vern McKinley in “Borrowed Time: Two Centuries of Booms, Busts, and Bailouts at Citi,” a new book examining the $180 billion bank’s troubled past. The institution bailed out in 2008 has suffered repeated failures of over-aggression and lack of foresight, while Uncle Sam’s open wallet has blocked meaningful reform.

Current account is key Africa factor in 2015

Jan 02 2015

Rapid African growth is likely to continue. But too much spending and borrowing has led many countries into trade deficits. As lenders become more discriminating, the state of the balance of payments, along with freedom from Ebola, will become keys to continued growth.

Vienna offers a model for stable foreign policy

Dec 31 2014

The 1815 Congress of Vienna ended the Napoleonic Wars, and its participants worked together over the next decade to prevent destabilizing regime change. This principle could have reversed many bad intervention decisions over the last 40 years. Its lessons are worth studying.

Bad ideas catching up with Latin America in 2015

Dec 29 2014

For four years, the region has mostly lagged world economic growth. The IMF predicts another year of the same. While Pacific-oriented countries will shine, Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela will suffer. With a couple of exceptions, misguided policies are coming home to roost.

Bitcoin’s defects will hasten its demise in 2015

Dec 26 2014

The leading crypto-currency’s economies of scale in mining and its transaction system’s vulnerability to subversion by a dominant miner make it unsound. As seignorage declines it will become cost-uncompetitive for transactions. Flaws may cause its price to lose further altitude.

Breakingviews: Bitcoin's defects will hasten its demise in 2015

Dec 26 2014

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bitcoin's defects will hasten its demise in 2015. The leading crypto-currency's economies of scale in mining and its transaction system's vulnerability to subversion by a dominant miner make it unsound. As seignorage declines it will become cost-uncompetitive for transactions. These flaws will cause its price to lose further altitude.

Review: World needs agreed ground rules for peace

Oct 24 2014

Henry Kissinger’s “World Order” bemoans the lack of one, as the West’s prevailing approach of nation states with limited conflict isn’t reflected in non-Western traditions. However the Vienna Congress innovation allowing intervention only to protect stability might work better.

Ebola sets clock ticking on West African economy

Oct 01 2014

Growth may yet survive the deadly epidemic. The last four years’ 28 pct pace isn’t realistic, but controlling the outbreak soon should at least preserve investment. That won’t be easy, given the virus has now spread to the U.S. In saving lives and the economy, every day counts.

Tragedy may reshape Brazil economy, not just vote

Aug 27 2014

Marina Silva, set to be the opposition presidential candidate after Eduardo Campos’ plane-crash death, is a fresh threat to Dilma Rousseff. Silva has long fought special interests. If she wins October’s election, a plausible outcome, Brazil could gain from less state meddling.

S&P 500 at 2,000 invites “new normal” thinking

Aug 26 2014

A price-to-earnings ratio under 20 is only moderately above average, but U.S. earnings are at a peak relative to GDP. Adjust them to the long-term norm and the U.S. benchmark would be a third lower. Cheap money is still buoying stocks, but such new paradigms usually don’t last.

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