LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain’s Labour party has come up with a superficially appealing plan to transfer wealth from companies to the people, but really to the government. The opposition party on Monday spelled out proposals to force firms to hand a tenth of their shares to workers. It sounds like a benign form of socialism. Really, it’s a tax hike in disguise.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Comcast has overreached in its pursuit of Sky. The U.S. cable giant prevailed over Twenty-First Century Fox on Saturday, winning a dramatic one-day auction with an offer that values the UK broadcaster at 30.6 billion pounds ($40 billion). For Chief Executive Brian Roberts, it’s a huge bet on overseas growth for a company that cannot get much larger at home.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Banks were the first institutions to fall in a decade of lost trust. The crisis that reached its climax with the failure of Lehman Brothers a decade ago swept away the notion that financial leaders could be relied upon to safely run their firms. Since then central bankers, politicians and the media have also faced growing public scepticism. The malaise shows no sign of lifting.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - In the first of our “Ten Years After” series, Peter Thal Larsen talks to Adam Tooze. The Columbia University history professor joins the dots from the 2008 crash to Brexit and U.S. elections, noting a declining faith in U.S. willingness to be the global lender of last resort.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - In September it will be a decade since Lehman Brothers collapsed. While many recall the Wall Street firm’s dramatic failure - and the global crisis it unleashed - few know how it began. A dazzling new production of “The Lehman Trilogy” examines that story through the eyes of its founding siblings and the dynasty they created. It’s America’s economic history distilled into a family drama.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Saudi Aramco has a new way to keep corporate financiers busy. The state-owned oil giant has spent more than two years weighing up what would be the world’s largest ever initial public offering. Now it might buy a stake in petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries Corporation. Though it’s not unusual for oil producers to diversify into making oil-based products, the deal would do little to help Saudi Arabia achieve a couple of key objectives.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Theresa May is belatedly having to confront the contradictions of her Brexit policy. The prime minister’s long-awaited plan for leaving the European Union involves Britain sticking to the bloc’s rules for goods in return for symbolic but uncertain benefits on immigration and trade. Even if Brussels accepts the convoluted arrangement, UK parliamentarians may not.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Theresa May’s Brexit plan faces a battle on three fronts. The resignation of cabinet minister David Davis on Sunday night will embolden hardliners in her party who say the Prime Minister’s proposal to quit the European Union is too soft. But opposition parties still think it’s too hard, and Brussels is bound to want more concessions. With less than nine months to go until Britain leaves the bloc, it’s getting harder to envisage a compromise.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Economic reality is intruding on the political debate over Brexit. Two years after Britain voted to quit the European Union – and nine months before it is formally due to leave the bloc – the terms of its departure remain undecided. Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest plan, which she is due to debate with her cabinet on Friday, will not give companies the clarity they seek. It’s even harder to see how Britain’s financial sector benefits from a supposed “Brexit dividend”.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Soccer is a simple game, the England striker Gary Lineker once remarked. “Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end the Germans win.” The quip was on the mark four years ago, when Germany beat Argentina to lift the World Cup in Brazil. If hard numbers have any predictive power, it will once again prove correct when the battle for the sport’s ultimate trophy reaches its climax in Russia this summer.