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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 - Review: Salesforce’s activist CEO has solid pitch

Marc Benioff is spreading his activist CEO gospel. A new book by the Salesforce.Com boss argues that doing good is a business imperative. Though his call to action at times reads like an advertisement for the $128 billion company, he demonstrates how helping society can also boost the bottom line.

Breakingviews - Aramco’s latest IPO delay is a triple fail

Saudi Aramco’s interminable soap opera just commenced a new and problematic chapter. Early on Thursday, the kingdom finally appeared ready to launch the listing of a 5% stake in its oil giant. By the end of the day that was off again, with the latest delay set to last weeks or even months. It's a triple setback.

Breakingviews - China’s growth starts to slouch prematurely

China’s economic slowdown has reached a worrisome phase. Growth slipped to 6% in the third quarter and Beijing officials are talking down prospects. Some historical comparisons suggest the rate is getting too small for the country’s stage of development.

Breakingviews - Opioid crisis pile-on reaches legal critical mass

The pressures to settle opioid-related litigation against U.S. companies have reached critical mass. A combined $50 billion of proposed settlements is now on the table. Drugmakers and distributors prefer one-off payments, even large ones, rather than open-ended uncertainty. Meanwhile localities want cash as soon as possible. That’s a recipe for deals.

Breakingviews - Johnson’s poor Brexit deal avoids worse outcome

Boris Johnson’s poor Brexit deal avoids a worse outcome. The British prime minister on Thursday struck a last-gasp agreement to leave the European Union, hours before the start of a crucial summit of European leaders. Winning parliamentary approval for the economically costly plan will be hard. At least the chaotic exit that Johnson had threatened is off the table for now.

Breakingviews-Viewsroom: China-US trade deal is thin gruel

President Donald Trump is touting the latest Sino-American talks as a real win, especially for farmers. China agreed to buy more agricultural goods like soybeans, but big issues like intellectual-property theft are still up in the air. Plus: The pros and cons of direct listings.

Breakingviews - Ericsson’s upbeat 5G forecasts still too cautious

Given its importance to 5G, Ericsson has major self-confidence issues. The $30 billion Swedish firm has added 10% to its 2020 sales forecasts for the superfast mobile kit that will supposedly bring the ‘internet of things’ to life. With Chinese market leader Huawei weighed down by U.S. President Donald Trump, that looks overly cautious.

Breakingviews - Huawei's China strength hides rising vulnerability

Huawei’s good times could wind down soon. Stronger smartphone sales at home helped revenue jump a surprising 24% year-on-year in the first three quarters of the year. But the Chinese tech champion has yet to feel the full impact of U.S. restrictions, set to resume next month, and domestic demand could prove unreliable too.

Breakingviews - GM strike deal brings less relief than expected

New Buicks, Cadillacs and Chevys may soon start rolling out of factories across America again. On Wednesday, negotiators for the United Auto Workers and General Motors finally struck a deal aimed at ending their month-long dispute over the next four-year workers contract. Details may not emerge until Thursday, and the 48,000 or so union members who work at the $52 billion automaker have to vote on it. Either way, the resolution brings less relief than expected.

Breakingviews - Greed and gloom sink KKR’s Aussie lender IPO

Aussie backers are learning the hard way that greed and gloom don’t mix. U.S. private equity firm KKR and other investors have scrapped a second attempt to list Australian lender Latitude, after buyers rejected a $2.1 billion valuation. Even after a last-minute price cut, the discount to big banks was too modest. Debt-laden households, struggling with flat wages and precarious jobs, hardly helped.