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
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - Microfinance in India is starting a new conventional life. IndusInd, a large private sector bank, has agreed to buy Bharat Financial Inclusion – the country’s poster child of niche lending – in an all-share deal for $2.4 billion. That works out as a premium of 11.4 percent over the last trading price, or more if calculating from earlier in the year, when deal rumours started circulating. Either way, the terms look fair given concerns over the sustainability of independent pure-play lenders to the poor.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - Arundhati Bhattacharya broke the mould for India’s banks. Bad debts rose and the share price underperformed during her four years running the country’s largest lender. But State Bank of India’s straight-talking, 61-year-old chairwoman ensured it was the best of an ailing bunch of public-sector lenders and was unafraid to face up to errant tycoons.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - Narendra Modi is walking a tightrope with his fight against “black money”. India's prime minister has unleashed a wave of bold, and sometimes brazen, initiatives to root out income that has been illegally obtained or not declared to the taxman. But that has chilled the economy. Managing the short-term fallout is key to smoothing the path to his re-election.
NEW DELHI India could sell stakes in state-owned companies to fund a bank recapitalisation and revive growth without straying from the path of fiscal consolidation, the former head of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on Thursday.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - Rupert Murdoch knows better than anyone that content is king. The media mogul, through his unit Star India, this week agreed to pay $2.6 billion for the global rights to the Indian Premier League (IPL). The huge outlay highlights the brash sport’s rapid rise and a race between traditional television and new digital players to secure content.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - The future of the BRICS looks toxic. China and India stepped back from a border dispute just in time for a summit of the bloc of large emerging market countries. That helps Chinese President Xi Jinping keep up appearances ahead of a crucial political reshuffle. But the unusual tensions between the two Asian giants suggest the three-day gathering underway could be a last hurrah.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - Uber’s capacity to surprise has taken a turn for the better. On Sunday, the ride-hailing giant unexpectedly picked Expedia boss Dara Khosrowshahi to be its new chief executive, replacing ousted co-founder Travis Kalanick. He does not have the star power of General Electric Chairman Jeff Immelt, who pulled out of the running at the last minute. But he might be a superior choice.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - Infosys' founders are getting a second chance to leave behind a company that won't crash. Nandan Nilekani will return as non-executive chairman of the $32 billion Indian information technology firm he helped found. That is less than ideal given it was supposed to have shifted to professional management. Still, his appointment in place of two co-chairman streamlines the top ranks and is a fast way to calm investors after its first outside chief executive quit.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - For Infosys, a new chief executive is not the answer. Vishal Sikka delivered outsize returns in three years at the helm of India's second largest outsourcer by market value. No wonder that the resignation of the company's first professional CEO amid an ugly spat with founder shareholders prompted a roughly 9 percent plunge in the share price.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - Counting anything in a country of India's size is a mammoth exercise. Nine months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapped high-value banknotes in a clampdown on the “black economy”, there is no clarity on how much of the banned $240 billion individuals returned. Still, this has given real momentum to India’s anti-corruption campaign.