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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 - Bloomberg throws Wall Street under campaign bus

What Wall Street employee wouldn’t love to see Michael Bloomberg in the White House? The would-be Democratic nominee knows the industry better than any previous U.S. president, and his self-funding campaign isn’t going to cost them a penny in contributions. True, his plan to rein in the excesses of the financial sector, released on Tuesday, looks like throwing the clients of his financial-data business under the bus. But it’s necessary for Bloomberg to be taken

Breakingviews - HSBC investors are a step ahead of the interim CEO

Chief executives balance two risks when drafting profitability targets. Shoot for the moon, and jeopardise credibility. Go for something more realistic, and investors may just shrug. HSBC’s new strategy, unveiled on Tuesday by interim boss Noel Quinn, is closer to the second camp than the first. That also spells danger for the bank’s share price if his execution is anything but flawless.

Breakingviews - Apple jars investors into coronavirus realities

Apple could finally make investors as concerned as the wider population about the latest novel coronavirus. The iPhone maker warned on Monday that quarterly revenue would fall short of the $63 billion to $67 billion guidance it provided a few weeks ago because of supply and demand problems in China. The ripple effects from the outbreak may now become more apparent.

Breakingviews - Alstom’s M&A detour has lower chance of derailment

Alstom is taking a second-class route around China. After Brussels blocked its preferred coupling with the rail unit of Germany’s Siemens, the French locomotive maker is paying 7.5 billion euros for the rival business of Canada’s Bombardier. Given the dominance of China’s CRRC, staying single was not an option. And the chances of another red light from Europe’s antitrust controllers should be lower.

Breakingviews - SoftBank hedge fund would suit Son, not investors

SoftBank’s Vision Fund chief, Rajeev Misra, may have a cunning hedging strategy for the giant technology investor. He’s pushing to raise as much as $4 billion to make bets on listed companies, the Financial Times reported late on Sunday. The idea would probably work out better for Misra and his boss, Masayoshi Son, than it would for possible sponsors such as Abu Dhabi and Kazakhstan’s state funds.

Japan’s frail economy will struggle to fight virus

Japan’s economic immune system looks vulnerable to the coronavirus. The country’s GDP contracted by an annualised 6.3% last quarter, and that’s before any effects from the Wuhan outbreak. Monetary policy is overstretched, the yen vulnerable and demand is tepid. It will take creativity and courage to head off a prolonged downturn.

Breakingviews - Delta’s climate journey needs better flight plan

Another day, another major company unveils vague plans to reduce its carbon emissions. Days after BP set out goals to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, Delta Air Lines flew in on Valentine’s Day with its own green program. Chief Executive Ed Bastian is making all the right noises in his 10-year, $1 billion plan to make the airline carbon neutral. But its new ambitions are, for now, just grand pledges that lack important detail and accountability.

Breakingviews - Review: Politics is costly in Dolly Parton’s U.S.

Dolly Parton is a unifying force in a divided United States. That’s the central theme of the podcast series “Dolly Parton’s America”, released late last year by New York public radio. She made her fortune by becoming a multi-channel commodity, attaching her name and iconic image to theme parks, fashion and television, as well as music. The country star also explains the business benefits of being nonpartisan.

Breakingviews - Mark Carney’s green push needs disclosure stick

Mark Carney, the outgoing boss of the Bank of England, wants companies around the world to spell out how they plan to cut carbon emissions. More reliable and comparable information on climate-related financial risks facing each business would certainly help investors to hold chief executives to account, but right now such disclosure is decidedly optional. The question is whether Carney will use his forthcoming role as United Nations climate envoy – and the UK’s h

Breakingviews - Hong Kong bankers drop-kicked while they’re down

Hong Kong bankers are getting drop-kicked while they’re down. The marquee stop for the World Rugby Sevens Series, where corporate financiers typically schmooze and cut loose with clients, is being postponed for six months because of the coronavirus. Its absence in the April diary will be a grim reminder of a potentially tough year ahead.