PARIS (Reuters Breakingviews) - One way to understand the economics of rock and roll would be to comb through the Breakingviews archive, reading stories on the buyouts of record companies, the rise and fall of file-sharing service Napster, industrial experiments by artists like Radiohead and Taylor Swift, the boom in festivals and the emergence of streaming services. Or you could just read “Rockonomics: A Backstage Tour of What the Music Industry Can Teach Us about Economics and Life” by the late economist, Alan Krueger.
PARIS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bruno Le Maire is either the greatest investment banker roaming the earth, or a living transfiguration of Charles de Gaulle’s industrial policy. The French finance minister on Wednesday night single-handedly blew up the $35 billion merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Renault, a deal that ticked nearly every box imaginable for shareholders and would have created the world’s third-largest carmaker.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Is there a better way to signal the hydrocarbon era’s end than by flipping a 1,000-foot oil tanker vertically from the sea to create the world’s largest sculpture? Not according to the artist behind “The Bridge,” who discussed his project with Rob Cox at his Brooklyn studio.
PARIS (Reuters Breakingviews) - When two lovers announce plans to marry, to have and to hold and share their lives in equality and mutual respect, it’s normally cause for festive celebration. In business, where a so-called merger of equals binds two parties to communal goals and interests, it’s much the same.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Fiat Chrysler spurned Peugeot by offering to merge with France’s Renault, which is itself joined to Nissan. How will the pairings play out, and what does it mean for the automotive sector? Plus: Why fossil-fuel giants like BP are painting themselves a pale shade of green.
MILAN, PARIS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ marriage proposal to Renault lovingly delivers gifts to everyone in the wedding party. The Italian-American group’s planned tie-up with its European rival should keep partner Nissan Motor warm, give the French state a graceful exit and give the Agnelli family and other Fiat shareholders a chunk of cash. It also promises to unleash a 5 billion euro bonanza of cost savings that will put industry rivals on notice.
PARIS/MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - Less than a year after his untimely death, Sergio Marchionne’s dream is coming true. The former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles boss, whose 2015 palimpsest on the need for consolidation shook the car industry, must be blessing from above the automaker’s talks with European rival Renault. Faced with a future where technology - perhaps more than brand power or engineering prowess - may determine whose wheels dominate the roads, second string operators like Renault and Fiat must lock arms.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Facebook can make reasonable arguments about why the $530 billion internet company shouldn’t be broken up, either through regulatory pressure, legislative fiat or shareholder desire. The least persuasive of them is that the social network’s Chinese digital rivals won’t ever face the same fate.
PARIS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Imagine an oil supertanker. Not where it’s usually visible, on the watery horizons of the world’s great harbor cities, but instead standing up vertically from the sea. The longest of these would reach some 1,000 feet into the sky – higher than the Eiffel Tower and nearly level with the Empire State Building. It would be unmissable.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The economist and leading proponent of a rules-based strategy for monetary policy recently convened a powwow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution at which top policymakers brought diverse views on the Fed’s conduct to the fore. He fillets some of the choicest bits with Rob Cox.