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) - European politicians have ways of coping with U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Their options are, however, not very good ones. The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – signed between Tehran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United States and the European Union in 2015 – made it possible for European firms to work in Iran without getting sanctioned by the United States. Trump’s blunt action reverses this in a way that will be hard to face down.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Donald Trump just unloaded multiple bullets targeted at America’s foot. The U.S. president said on May 8 he was rescinding support for the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and re-imposing tough sanctions on Iran lifted as part of the 2015 deal with France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia. It’s a heavy and self-defeating price to pay for sticking to an election pledge.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - BP’s quest to rejuvenate itself following its 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster has been a marathon – even after $66 billion in pre-tax charges, the UK oil major is likely to have to pay $3 billion in 2018. But a combination of self-help and higher prices could turn the recovery’s latter stages into a sprint.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The American rethink on Russian sanctions should be more reassuring than it is. The U.S. Treasury said on April 23 that it would give customers more time to comply with tough recent curbs on Rusal, and also offered the group the chance to disentangle itself from owner Oleg Deripaska. That’s good for commodities markets, but only up to a point.
LONDON/SINGAPORE (Reuters Breakingviews) - China’s game of pass-the-parcel with Rosneft just took a fresh twist. The investigation of state asset manager Huarong’s chairman on graft allegations marks the second time in as many months that an entity interested in acquiring a stake in the Russian oil company has fallen foul of Beijing’s anti-corruption drive. But it’s less problematic for diplomatic relations than it looks.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Russia is limbering up to use its banks as a lifebelt – again. Finance minister Anton Siluanov said on April 11 that domestic lender Promsvyazbank could lend emergency funds to United Company Rusal, whose shares have been smashed by U.S. sanctions announced on April 6. If Rusal heralds the start of a wider assault, Moscow can deploy some familiar airbags.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Spare a thought for investors in EN+. The Russian power and aluminium group only listed on the London market five months ago, only for its depositary receipts to fall below the $14 debut price. Following Friday’s news that the energy group was being added to the U.S. sanctions list, its shares dropped another 20 percent.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - 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.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain and Saudi Arabia are having a trade love-in. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received the red carpet treatment in London this week, meeting both Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth. While warm words have been backed up by a pledge for 65 billion pounds of new trade and investment, the two are starting from a low base.
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.