LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - After the panic comes the bailout. And after the bailout comes the reckoning. In 2008, governments rescued banks and then embarked on a decade-long overhaul to ensure they would never need to do so again. This year’s pandemic-induced meltdown in financial markets, which prompted similarly unprecedented interventions, has sparked a comparable backlash.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain’s dilemma over Brexit will outlast its architect’s grip on power. Dominic Cummings, who masterminded the campaign to leave the European Union, will step down as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top adviser by the end of the year. Joe Biden’s election as U.S. president makes the prospect of exiting the EU without a trade deal look even more foolish than before. But with just a few weeks left to forge a compromise, that could still happen.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Jitse Groen and Matt Maloney were hungry and frustrated. It was 1999 and Groen couldn’t find a Chinese takeaway in his small Dutch town. Five years later in Chicago, Maloney wanted something to eat at work late one night. The lack of options spurred the entrepreneurs on either side of the Atlantic to independently cook up businesses to order food on the web.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - BC Partners is an alternative asset manager whose portfolio companies include PetSmart and Springer Nature. Partner Nikos Stathopoulos chats to Peter Thal Larsen about managing during Covid-19, new investment challenges, and why we need to get back to face-to-face meetings.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The spectre of a chaotic Brexit is back. Less than 11 months after Prime Minister Boris Johnson negotiated a withdrawal agreement with the European Union, his government may be preparing to undermine aspects of the deal. It could be a ploy to unblock stalled EU trade talks. But it again revives the possibility of a messy departure from the union.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - What went wrong? Many books have attempted to tackle that question since 2016, when the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential victory threatened to upend the global economic order. Replies tend to fall into two broad categories. One is hand-wringing by anxious liberals, who lament the unravelling of a system that has brought so much peace and prosperity. The other is hand-waving by more conservative writers, who welcome electoral revolts as an overdue reassertion of national sovereignty.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Electric bikes are giving the market for two-wheeled transport a big jolt. The pandemic that has boosted demand for bicycles also looks set to accelerate the shift to battery-assisted pedalling. As in the automobile market, though, the change is disruptive. Established players will have to make room for new upstarts.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - As companies grapple with the pandemic’s fallout, consulting firm AlixPartners has a close-up view inside boardrooms. CEO Simon Freakley discusses priorities for troubled businesses, the long-term impact of Covid-19 and what he has learned running a global business by video call.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Wirecard is giving Europe’s fintech industry a timely stress test. The German group on Thursday announced it was filing for insolvency, a week after revealing that 1.9 billion euros of its cash was missing. Its collapse will test whether fast-growing and lightly regulated payments firms can fail without damaging customers or dragging down other institutions. For regulators, it’s an overdue wakeup call.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Pearson is a textbook case for activist investment after the pandemic. The education group has been a long-term laggard under departing Chief Executive John Fallon. Though any turnaround is likely to be painstaking, a patient but persistent shareholder can speed the process along. The arrival of Cevian Capital, which on Thursday disclosed a 5.4% stake in the company, looks well timed.