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
［ロンドン １５日 ロイター BREAKINGVIEWS］ - アフリカ南部ジンバブエは変化を必要としている。望ましいのは劇的な変化かもしれないが、突然の変化ではない。 | Video
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Zimbabwe is a country in need of change – dramatic perhaps, but not sudden. The takeover of the government by the army on Wednesday, shortly after President Robert Mugabe ousted his deputy, could be the beginning of a long journey towards solving the grave economic problems that blight the African nation. Too severe an upheaval could leave the country further adrift.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Blame for failed initial public offerings is spread widely and thinly. Two British companies pulled their planned London listings on Friday, following weak performances from other new stocks. At the same time, tycoon-controlled Russian energy group En+ priced its shares at the bottom of the offer range. The one thing still rising is the number of banks working on IPOs. That’s part of the problem.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Short-term activism can sometimes produce long-term good. That is the case with the $14 billion scrapped merger between Clariant and Huntsman, which would have combined two chemical makers with little overlap into what was effectively a conglomerate. Now that the merger is off, Clariant can consider other options. But there is a catch, in the form of the activist duo that killed the deal. Investors now need to know whether they are a catalyst, or an inhibitor.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Rio Tinto bought a coal mine in Mozambique in 2011 for too much money. U.S. and UK regulators now say it came clean about the real, diminished value of the mine too late. The second type of problem is less likely to recur. Rio has settled one case already and, in any event, the accounting rules for writing down badly priced acquisitions are relatively clear. If only there were similar safeguards against mining bosses getting carried away with deals in the first place.
NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Goldman Sachs pipped Morgan Stanley on style in the third quarter, but not on substance. Lloyd Blankfein’s firm cranked out $2 billion of earnings in the three months to the end of September, at an annualized return on equity of 10.9 percent. That bested the 9.6 percent showing of Goldman’s main Wall Street rival – the first time this year that it has come out ahead. Morgan Stanley boss James Gorman, though, has crafted a more attractive-looking business for the longer term.
NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Owners of Wall Street banks are being taken for a Washington ride. The S&P 500 Bank Index has surged 12 percent since Sept. 8. That is not justified by the trajectory of earnings, as JPMorgan and Citigroup showed on Thursday with results that were no better than steady. Tax cuts would support higher stocks, but they're at best some way off. In the meantime, banks have other concerns.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Goldman Sachs is trying to extricate itself from a box by thinking outside it. The Wall Street firm has set up a small team in what’s known internally as the Innovation Lab, to cook up supposedly clever ideas for big clients. The resulting acquisitions may end up destroying value for the shareholders of the companies involved, but Goldman’s own investors should be pleased the investment bank is trying new things.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Painkillers and pile cream: these are either the recipe for a terrible night in, or a potentially good corporate deal. Pfizer, the $215 billion U.S. drugmaker, has tasked investment banks with looking into a spinoff or sale of its consumer-goods division, which makes Advil and Preparation H. New GlaxoSmithKline boss Emma Walmsley would be well placed to offer a home.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - There’s no such thing as a founder who goes quietly. Weinstein Co, the film studio that ousted one of its two eponymous brothers amid sexual-harassment allegations, now joins other companies like Fox News and Uber that parted company with influential bosses who misbehaved, or stood idly by while others did. There’s dual risk, both from what the departing founder takes away and what they leave behind.