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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 - Cost cuts can help UBS ride market ructions

UBS has sounded the end of an era on a bum note. A quarterly pre-tax loss at the lender’s investment bank coincided with the sudden departure of chief rainmaker Andrea Orcel, while market declines saw wealth management profit fall sharply. Still, as long as Chef Executive Sergio Ermotti can stick to his cost-cutting targets the group should be able to manage volatile conditions better than peers.

Breakingviews - Fewer Chinese babies intensify an old story

Fewer Chinese babies are really an old story. The country’s birth rate fell below 11 for every 1,000 people last year, the lowest level since the People’s Republic started in 1949. It’s a reminder of how pressing it is to redesign a weak pension system.

Breakingviews - Cox: Davos becomes a liability in the populist era

What do Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, Narendra Modi and Theresa May have in common? Besides leading the United States, Canada, France, India and United Kingdom, not much – except that all of them are skipping the World Economic Forum in Davos this week. Each of the leaders came to the Swiss Alps last year to deliver their takes on globalisation - or at least flog their nations as the world’s optimal destinations for capital.

Breakingviews - Bold Chinese stimulus will have to wait

Bold Chinese stimulus will have to wait. The country’s gross domestic product grew 6.4 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, down from 6.5 percent in the third. Growth is cooling faster than Beijing wants, but not fast enough to warrant the aggressive monetary and fiscal steps some bureaucrats, and many investors, would like to see.

Breakingviews - The Exchange: Flint Mayor Karen Weaver

Before its tainted-water scandal hit in 2014, the Michigan city was already infamous for high crime and poverty rates after a prolonged economic slump. Weaver discusses the fallout from the water crisis – and explains how the birthplace of General Motors is undergoing a revival.

Breakingviews - Fortnite outplays media titans in a battle royale

Fortnite is battling media titans into a corner. The smash-hit video game may have raked in as much as $2.4 billion in 2018 sales, industry tracker SuperData estimates, more than any Hollywood blockbuster last year. Netflix said this week that it is threatened too, in the fight for viewers’ attention. Success comes from the mass appeal: young and older gamers are hooked. Both traditional movie outfits and streaming giants are right to be alarmed.

Breakingviews - Jack Bogle defined value in more ways than one

John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard who died on Wednesday, defined value in more ways than one. He turned the once-heretical idea of tracking the broad stock market into the dominant form of investing. Instead of pursuing personal riches, he spread the ethos of low-cost fund management, saving investors untold billions and building the mutually owned firm into a $5 trillion juggernaut.

Breakingviews - Viewsroom: China’s slowdown is not created equal

People in the Middle Kingdom are buying fewer iPhones and cars, but Nike and others are chugging away nicely. Meanwhile, India’s struggling rural farmers are a force too big to ignore in this year’s general election. Plus: The Detroit auto show reflects the industry’s gloom.