Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.
Twitter handle: @jeffmason1
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Should Jeremy Corbyn win Britain’s next election, his Labour Party has said it will end private sector ownership of natural monopolies like water companies. The received wisdom is that returning utilities to the public sector will be exorbitantly expensive. But that depends how it’s done.
South Africa wants to move forward, but Jacob Zuma is applying the brakes. That’s been the story ever since the scandal-hit president was elected in 2009. While Zuma is still clinging to power, the ruling African National Congress party’s decision on Tuesday to remove him marks a turning point.
South Africa’s good vibes are undergoing a stress test. The rand has appreciated nearly 14 percent against the U.S. dollar since mid-December and 10-year government bond yields have fallen more than 80 basis points because of growing optimism that Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as president of the ruling African National Congress would usher in brighter economic prospects. But a furore around a state of the nation speech gives investors reason to temper their enthusiasm.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Has Saudi Aramco landed on a cunning plan to boost its future stock-market valuation? Certainly, the $2 trillion valuation desired by the kingdom’s crown prince in the oil producer’s forthcoming initial public offering is hard to square with reality. A new partnership with the owner of Google may provoke some outside-the-box thinking.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Shell is entering a sweet spot. The Anglo-Dutch oil giant is starting to generate a large amount of cash after a couple of lean years. Just as well, given the crossroads at which the biggest energy companies stand.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The Presidents Club scandal increasingly looks like a tipping point. The 30-year-old charity has been forced to close because of fallout from a men-only event attended by businessmen at which female hostesses were groped and harassed. The furore will eventually subside, but justified public outrage should catalyse boardroom reform.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Carillion’s demise isn’t good for many people, but it will likely help Jeremy Corbyn. Since his election in 2015, the leader of the UK opposition Labour party has long called for state investment in public infrastructure. The Carillion mess and ongoing work from the National Audit Office will give him momentum.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The global market for oil enters 2018 susceptible to price-hiking geopolitical shocks. Unrest in Iran, which now looks to be dissipating, was an early contender. The next event – U.S. President Donald Trump’s potential rethinking of a 2015 agreement to relax sanctions on the Islamic Republic – is more likely to cause waves.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain’s credit boom is a cause for concern. Not for the obvious reasons: rates are low and the banking sector is sturdy. The issue lies with another big UK industry - cars.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Theresa May has left herself some Brexit wiggle room. Unveiling the Conservative Party manifesto for Britain’s June 8 election, the prime minister made some aggressive-sounding noises on immigration and her willingness to leave the European Union without a deal. She also left herself space to negotiate a less damaging departure. Adherents of both a “hard” and a “soft” exit from the European Union will hear what they want – but only one will get it.