Breakingviews - Guest view: Chinese oil can fuel North Korea talks

Nothing will concentrate the minds of North Korean leaders more than a Chinese oil embargo. Nearly 90 percent of the country's petroleum comes across the border, giving Beijing enormous  leverage. Cutting off these shipments would swiftly weaken the North's military capacity and help restart negotiations.

Breakingviews - Cox: Next Fed chair will need unusually thick skin

There are two things the next leader of the Federal Reserve must prepare for: a recession and a public beating. The first is a statistical likelihood. The second, however, is a bankable certainty. If there is anything predictable about President Donald Trump, it is his willingness to bully institutions with authority separate from his own. And the U.S. central bank's effectiveness relies on its independence.

Breakingviews - Netflix valuation outstrips burgeoning opportunity

Netflix's valuation outstrips its burgeoning opportunity. The $87 billion video-streaming service hit another all-time high on Monday, benefiting in part from Comcast and AT&T recently warning of a fall in subscribers. Pay-TV customers cutting the cord should mean more viewers for Netflix. But even that and a fee hike last month don’t justify it trading at a sky-high multiple.

Breakingviews - Nordstrom sale season may be long time coming

Retailers hoping to put themselves up for sale are in for a long winter. Take Nordstrom. With large insider stakes and growing revenue, the $6.7 billion department-store chain was a prime candidate for a buyout. Now it is shelving its sale until after the holidays. It may be hoping for a higher price. But the delay suggests even risk-tolerant buyers are cool on the sector.

Breakingviews - Microfinance goes mainstream in India

Microfinance in India is starting a new conventional life. IndusInd, a large private sector bank, has agreed to buy Bharat Financial Inclusion – the country’s poster child of niche lending – in an all-share deal for $2.4 billion. That works out as a premium of 11.4 percent over the last trading price, or more if calculating from earlier in the year, when deal rumours started circulating. Either way, the terms look fair given concerns over the sustainability of in

Breakingviews - Communist Party assault muddles Chinese capitalism

China's President Xi Jinping wants to regain the private sector's confidence even as he squeezes it more tightly. Aligning private investment with state priorities could grease the bureaucratic skids for some companies, but more official meddling in board rooms is unlikely to produce good business decisions. Opaque party politics will confuse outside investors and blur the line between some state and private companies.

Breakingviews - Warning signs flash at Samsung after big quarter

Warning signs are flashing after another big quarter at Samsung Electronics. The South Korean group's top executive, Kwon Oh-hyun, unexpectedly resigned on Friday following record-smashing forecasts for operating profit. An early lead in memory chips has fuelled blistering earnings growth at Samsung despite legal woes. But as rivals circle, a widening leadership vacuum looks worrying.

Breakingviews - Sky investors choose between profit and principles

Sky shareholders face a choice between principles and profit. Some investors are planning to oppose Chairman James Murdoch’s re-election because he is also chief executive of 39 percent owner Twenty-First Century Fox. But kicking up a stink might further jeopardise Fox’s offer for the European pay-TV group.

Viewsroom: Activists keep the fight alive

Nelson Peltz narrowly lost his acrimonious bid for a P&G board seat. Honeywell’s decision to spin off two small units was less than Dan Loeb lobbied for. These are temporary setbacks. Past experience and their financial firepower make shareholder activists a powerful force.

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Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. The company was founded in 1999 as Breakingviews.com and was acquired by Thomson Reuters in 2009, becoming the Reuters brand for financial commentary. Every day, we comment on the big financial stories as they break. Our expert analysis is provided by a global team of correspondents based in New York, Washington, Chicago, London, Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore. For the full commentary and analysis service from breakingviews.com, including regular emails containing the latest views, contact breakingviews.clientsupport@thomsonreuters.com. All opinions expressed are those of the authors.