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) - Bitcoin action is now available without the bitcoin. CBOE Global Markets launched its futures on the crypto-currency late on Sunday. It opens fresh avenues for trading, but for now the new contracts have little utility beyond speculation.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Travis Kalanick has a lot to answer for at Uber Technologies. Sure, he founded the revolutionary ride-hailing service and built it into a global business. But the legacy of irresponsibility while he served as chief executive has cast a shadow over the company’s future.
NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Equifax has suffered a new intrusion: into its profitability. Costs relating to the $13 billion U.S. consumer-credit scorer’s recent massive cyber breach helped knock earnings down 27 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier. Revenue also took a big hit. And the likely biggest expenses – including a long list of unquantified legal exposures – are yet to rain down.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Chipmakers like Freescale Semiconductor and NXP Semiconductors took a high-profile role in the leveraged-buyout binge that preceded the financial crisis – and the distress that followed it. That makes Broadcom’s roughly $105 billion unsolicited offer for Qualcomm on Monday all the more edgy. The borrowing associated with a deal, if it happens, could be in record amounts and may send debt-to-EBITDA ratios uncomfortably high.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Oh the irony. Chicago University is getting a $125 million gift from hedge-fund founder Ken Griffin. The “Chicago School” of economics, as it’s called, leans heavily towards free and efficient markets. Citadel boss Griffin’s name and cash – earned in a business that depends on markets being inefficient – will now endow the university’s economics department.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Call it teething trouble with tezzies. One of the biggest so-called initial coin offerings to date, which raised some $230 million for a blockchain project called Tezos, has led to a spat between its architects and a Swiss foundation that controls the digital cash, according to a Reuters special report (http://reut.rs/2gncW1B). Even in the world of crypto-currencies, traditional financial motivations apply.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Here comes one more way to bet on green energy. En+ Group, a company owned by Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska which supplies electricity to and controls aluminium outfit Rusal, aims to raise $1.5 billion in a London and Moscow listing. It touts its clean, mostly Siberian hydropower, but new public investors will have little say. The cornerstone backer, a Singapore-based partner of the Chinese group that just bought into Rosneft, may see greater advantage.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - When Americans are hacked, they turn to three big consumer-credit agencies for help with identity theft. What happens when one of them, Equifax, is hit by hackers who steal sensitive personal information on 143 million people?
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - United Technologies isn't staying fully grounded in its quest for scale. The U.S. industrial conglomerate is paying $30 billion including debt for aerospace supplier Rockwell Collins. The strategy makes sense but, with a weak return on investment, United Technologies is paying up for the privilege of getting bigger.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Washington has infrastructure all wrong. There's a big funding gap, but cash isn't the problem. There's more than enough capital in search of long-term investments. What the federal government needs to do is remove hurdles to private financing, be willing to take good ideas from elsewhere and help change the mindset of states, localities and consumers.