Jun 7, 2014 12:13 UTC

Future financiers condemned to repeat sins of past

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Future financiers are condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past. Nearly 150,000 wannabe investment advisers, bankers, risk managers and analysts around the world will sit for the CFA exam this weekend. Success hinges on their understanding of the capital asset pricing model and return on equity. Knowledge of disasters like the South Sea Bubble and the Great Crash, though, are not required. Widespread ignorance of financial history is an overlooked systemic risk.

Jun 6, 2014 16:13 UTC

Facebook is near-universal buyer in virtual world

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By Richard Beales

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

In a virtual world, Facebook could justify buying not just WhatsApp but almost every other social networking and chat app on the planet. The company’s $160 billion market cap values its 1.3 billion monthly active users at nearly $130 each. Most of its peers look much cheaper. Clamp on an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset – the product of another company just bought by Facebook – and there’s a case for Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg gobbling them all up.

Jun 6, 2014 07:24 UTC

Jack Ma soccer buy does Alibaba investors a favour

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By Peter Thal Larsen 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Jack Ma’s decision to buy half of China’s most popular soccer club has done prospective investors in Alibaba a favour. The $192 million investment in Guangzhou Evergrande which the internet giant’s founder hatched over a drinking session this week won’t affect Alibaba’s value when it goes public later this year. But it offers a priceless insight into how the company works.

Jun 5, 2014 13:48 UTC

Reality yet to cut into ASOS valuation

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By Quentin Webb

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Reality has yet to cut into ASOS’s valuation. A profit warning on June 5 sent shares in the British online fashion retailer down nearly a third. But the company continues to totter on an uncomfortably high earnings multiple. That deserves to come down too.

Jun 4, 2014 18:26 UTC

Voracious buyers find the meat on Sara Lee’s bones

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Voracious buyers are finding the meat on Sara Lee’s bones. The old consumer conglomerate broke itself up into meat-focused Hillshire Brands and coffee-roaster D.E Master Blenders 1753 in 2012 after spurning takeover offers worth about $12 billion, according to press reports at the time. It looked like a raw deal – until now.

Jun 4, 2014 13:20 UTC

Central banks abet the complacency they fret about

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By Swaha Pattanaik

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

It is commonplace for central bankers to protest against violent price swings, but these days they are concerned that markets are too placid. New York Fed President William Dudley, European Central Bank Governing Council member Ignazio Visco, and Bank of England Deputy Governor Charlie Bean have all recently expressed disquiet about very low volatility. They are right to worry, but in casting blame, policymakers need to look in the mirror.

COMMENT

OK, Let me get this straight:

First the Fed creates a stable economy with slow growth (as opposed to no growth or negative growth).
Then, Traders and some investors get greedy and reach for yield via high risk investments.

Then, when those investments crash – which they invariable do — it is Fed’s fault???

That’s TeaParty logic if I ever heard it! Whenever bad things happen, it is ALWAYS the fault of government. Get rid of government! It’s no good!!!

ROFL…

Posted by GeorgeBMac | Report as abusive
Jun 3, 2014 16:31 UTC

Kellogg might make Heinz-style Buffett target

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Kellogg looks like someone wants to eat it for breakfast. Takeover speculation has helped the U.S. company’s shares rise more than 8 percent since April, bestowing it with a $25 billion market value. Kellogg may be too big for a Hillshire-like takeover battle, and carries too much debt to make a traditional leveraged buyout palatable. But a deal like the one Warren Buffett and a group of Brazilian financiers struck for ketchup-maker Heinz last year might work.

Jun 2, 2014 18:47 UTC

Valeant urges $54 bln deal with carrot, two sticks

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By Robert Cyran

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Valeant is pushing its $54 billion deal with the help of a carrot and two sticks. The pharmaceutical group raised its offer for Allergan again on Friday, on the condition that the board of its target cooperates. Meanwhile hedge fund boss Bill Ackman on Monday threatened to unseat six directors – and Valeant could yet decide to go fully hostile. But questions over Valeant’s own stock remain its biggest weakness.

Jun 2, 2014 15:03 UTC

Bank of Cyprus is bank of choice for EU über-bulls

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By George Hay

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

2014 has been a good year so far for incurable euro zone optimists. Even though the euro zone crisis is fresh in the memory, and deflation remains a risk, Greece’s five-year bond yields are below 5 percent. Greek banks have easily attracted foreign capital, helped by global funds flowing back into Europe after the U.S. Federal Reserve started its “tapering” policy. Still, foreign investment into Bank of Cyprus would represent a new bullish peak.

May 30, 2014 14:46 UTC

Henry Kravis cultivates private equity perennials

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Henry Kravis is sowing the seeds of private equity perennials. U.S. buyout shops like his are selling companies to each other at a breakneck pace. It’s easy to be skeptical about these so-called secondaries. But KKR’s $1.6 billion acquisition of landscaper Brickman Group may turn out to be an example of how such deals can flourish.