NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Ford Motor boss Jim Hackett says the self-driving joint venture he struck with Volkswagen’s Herbert Diess on Friday “instantaneously makes it the biggest platform” in the industry. Autonomous vehicles can potentially reduce congestion and traffic-related fatalities, improve carmaker margins and more. The trouble is that working out how to value these outfits is a quest in itself.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Chennai, the country’s Motor City, has run dry. Another 20 metropolises could follow by next year. The personal and economic toll is mounting. Plugging leaks, better crop choices and proper pricing can help. Often, as water problems elsewhere show, that requires good governance.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Elon Musk has relieved some of the pressure bearing down on his electric-car maker. Tesla has bounced back from a poor first quarter by posting record sales for the three months to the end of June. But the company’s drive back to growth is only half the ride.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Neither profit nor investor pressure explain U.S. firms lining up to mark 50 years of the LGBT-rights movement. They may simply be doing the right thing. But the nation still has a long way to go. Plus: how the UK prime minister race affects the Bank of England’s next boss.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - FedEx is feeling the squeeze from the U.S.-China trade war. The $41 billion parcel carrier made a virtue over the past few years of being a global operator – not least in touting its unique position as the only overseas package hauler which owned its domestic and international operations in the Middle Kingdom in full. The worsening spat between Washington and Beijing, though, has caught FedEx in a vise.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - A star economist at the Swiss bank sparked outrage on Chinese social media after his remarks about the country’s pigs were misconstrued. UBS’s decision to put him on leave seems overdone. And: Those weighing the benefit of a Facebook cryptocurrency must ask if “In Zuck we trust.”
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Raytheon and United Technologies’ planned $114 bln tie-up raises questions about strategy, cost cuts and executive overreach. It’s prompted their shares to tank and activist Bill Ackman to oppose it. And Fiat Chrysler and Renault’s mooted merger has crashed. Can they salvage it?
NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The hottest acronym in asset management is ESG. Funds that take account of environmental, social and governance factors when deploying capital have already sucked up more than $1 trillion to date. More of them are becoming activist investors, too. Last week alone, Amazon, JPMorgan and BP faced votes at their annual meetings about issues varying from gender diversity to climate risks to the use of artificial intelligence. Chevron and Exxon Mobil are due to face similar scrutiny this week.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Qualcomm lost a lawsuit brought by one DC overseer, even as the DOJ intervened, while $26 bln T-Mobile US-Sprint merger is getting yanked around by agencies with opposing views. Doing business is hard when agencies no longer act in unison. Plus: Is Luckin Coffee going cold?
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Washington and Beijing may yet find a way to end their escalating trade war soon. But for many businesses, the damage already inflicted will be hard to undo. Plus: CEO Mark Zuckerberg might not welcome more calls to break up Facebook, but shareholders could benefit.