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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.

Breakingviews-Icahn and Trump both look bad in biofuels fight

Neither Carl Icahn nor Donald Trump is looking good in a fight over biofuels regulations. The billionaire investor wanted rules changed to help CVR Energy, a refiner he controls. Icahn resigned on Friday as the president’s adviser on deregulation just ahead of a New Yorker story detailing these alleged conflicts of interest. The picture gets even murkier because the White House now seems to be saying there was no job for Icahn to quit.

Holding: The law rides shotgun on Uber obfuscation

With the law riding shotgun, Uber is on an open road to obfuscation. Whether the ride-hailing service illegally fixed prices, for example, may now remain a secret after a court last week ordered the issue resolved in arbitration. It’s the same deal with whether drivers were stiffed on expenses; sexual-harassment claims against the company are also subject to confidential proceedings. Making the $68 billion firm fess up is mighty tough when the courts and others

China's M&A controls trap firms in a warped market

Beijing has officially put its foot down on foreign takeovers of hotels, sports clubs and other sectors it deems "irrational". Some argue this was prompted by worries about bad debts resulting from silly deals. Perhaps, but the crackdown misses the root issue: domestic distortions that encourage companies to offset low profit margins at home with racier investments abroad.

Economic nationalists still linger in White House

Economic nationalists still linger in the White House. The departure of Steve Bannon, the chief strategist who advocated protectionist, "America first" policies, represents a plus for the global economy. But other foes of open trade and immigration will continue to try to influence Donald Trump. The centrists’ economic fight waged by National Economic Council director Gary Cohn and others will get easier but it’s not over.

Merkel matters less than her next coalition allies

Winning brings its own problems. Chancellor Angela Merkel is likely to land a fourth term in German elections on Sept. 24 yet may be forced to govern with a small majority in partnership with the Free Democrats (FDP).  That would be bad news for Germany and the European Union.

Founders’ coup leaves a void at Infosys

For Infosys, a new chief executive is not the answer. Vishal Sikka delivered outsize returns in three years at the helm of India's second largest outsourcer by market value. No wonder that the resignation of the company's first professional CEO amid an ugly spat with founder shareholders prompted a roughly 9 percent plunge in the share price.

Gary Cohn faces worst career investment dilemma

Gary Cohn is facing the most difficult investment dilemma of his career. The former Goldman Sachs president helped steer the bank to safety during the financial crisis. Now he’s under pressure to abandon President Donald Trump, whom he serves as chief economic advisor. Remaining could hurt his reputation, but he’s been a moderating influence on trade and he’s also a point man on tax reform. Losing his Wall Street savvy would further damage the White House - a

Britain tries Trojan Horse trade tactic in Ireland

The UK government is trying to send a trade Trojan Horse to Ireland. The European Union wants Northern Ireland’s knotty border issue resolved before Britain’s wider exit terms from the bloc can be agreed. New proposals from London deftly advance the government’s trade agenda, couched in concern for the region’s peace process. It may not work, but it’s smart, because having Dublin onside raises the chances of Britain getting what it wants.

China takes misplaced pride in stock meddling

The China Securities Regulatory Commission hasn't learned its lesson. This week the agency posted a self-congratulatory statement crediting its crackdown on financial risk for producing a stock market rally, smoothing out volatility and getting price-to-earnings ratios into line. As a result it said it has fully removed curbs on index futures trading in place since the brutal 2015 crash. Unfortunately, this suggests the CSRC has learned worrying little about m