Breakingviews Headlines

Breakingviews - Holding: Courts may toss investors a crypto-curve

Investors in crypto-currencies may be in for a surprise. To hear the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators tell it, many initial coin offerings – or ICOs – of digital tokens like bitcoin are actually securities, and subject to rigorous rules. That’s far from clear, though, judging from a handful of cases making their way through the courts. A ruling against the government could add to the confusion.

Breakingviews - Viewsroom: How long should a leader lead?

China’s President Xi Jinping can now stay in power for life. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein seems ready to retire after 12 years at the top. Yet five years may be the ideal length of service. Breakingviews columnists discuss the limitations to limitless rule.

Breakingviews - Li Ka-shing's exit ushers in new era for tycoons

Li Ka-shing's retirement is the end of a long era. The Hong Kong magnate built a property-to-telecoms empire. At 89, Li said on Friday he would step down in May. The move comes as the financial hub faces economic and political uncertainty, while protectionism globally is on the rise. That is a tough new reality for his eldest son and successor.

Breakingviews- Wesfarmers supermarket spinoff is a good start

Spinning off supermarkets is a good start for Wesfarmers. The A$50 billion Australian conglomerate plans to list Coles separately. Pushing out the slow-growth company should make the rest more appealing to investors. A broader carve-up also would make sense.

Breakingviews - Cox: Aramco and Amazon encourage bad behavior

Amazon and Aramco would seem to have little in common apart from their shared first letter. The Saudi giant sucks oil from Arabian sands and sells it to energy-thirsty nations, sending the proceeds back to its controlling monarchy. Amazon sells stuff online, ships it to customers rapidly and reinvests the profits to destroy the economics of every industry it enters.

Breakingviews - Trump goes from A-list to CNBC-list with econ pick

President Donald Trump is moving from the A-list to the CNBC-list with his new pick for top economic adviser. Larry Kudlow is a seasoned media communicator, and a mostly conventional supply-sider and free trader. But guiding policy for the world’s largest economy requires more than pontificating on television. It's another sign of this White House's increasingly shallow talent pool.

Breakingviews - UK’s best Russian riposte is hiding in plain sight

Theresa May is pushing back against Russia. The UK prime minister on Wednesday announced that Britain would expel 23 Russian diplomats in response to what she said was their state’s involvement in a March 4 nerve-agent attack in Salisbury, England. That won’t change much, but May has other powers that could make more of a difference.

Breakingviews - Blackstone’s Schwarzman schools CIC on art of deal

Stephen Schwarzman has schooled China Investment Corp on the art of the deal. China’s sovereign wealth fund has offloaded its stake in Blackstone, according to documents the $42 billion private equity firm filed with U.S. regulators on March 1. It bagged a so-so return over the decade or so of its investment, while the partnership helped the buyout behemoth open some lucrative doors in the world’s second-largest economy.

Breakingviews - Apple acquires goodwill of flag-waving publishers

Apple is acquiring the goodwill of flag-waving magazine publishers for less than pocket change. The $925 billion iPhone maker is buying Texture, a digital subscription service for titles like Rolling Stone. The pixelated newsstand was intended as an antidote to Apple’s onerous terms. With the print industry suffering, though, buying it makes the tech giant look like a white knight.