Sep 12, 2013 17:48 UTC

2008 retold: Lehman clawbacks should go further

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

Lehman as it might have been … The following  is part of a special feature package marking the fifth anniversary of the collapse of the Wall Street securities firm. Breakingviews writers imagine what might have happened if post-crisis reformers had acted pre-crisis. Herewith a column  from that alternative archive.

New York – Monday Sept 15, 2008

Sep 12, 2013 17:45 UTC

2008 retold: Lehman bail-in not one-size-fits-all

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By Daniel Indiviglio
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
Lehman as it might have been … The following  is part of a special feature package marking the fifth anniversary of the collapse of the Wall Street securities firm. Breakingviews writers imagine what might have happened if post-crisis reformers had acted pre-crisis. Herewith a column  from that alternative archive.
New York – Monday Sept 15, 2008

One size won’t fit all when it comes to fixing ailing U.S. banks. For Lehman Brothers, the novel use of a so-called “bail-in” mechanism was the best option. Some variation may also work for other very sick giants Merrill Lynch and AIG. But for smaller fry like Washington Mutual and Wachovia, an outright sale may be preferable. Regulators need to focus their energy on removing systemic risks.

Sep 11, 2013 18:12 UTC

Carlos Slim can pay more for KPN

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

Carlos Slim can pay more for KPN. Unless the two sides agree a friendly deal, a poison pill will probably stop the billionaire’s America Movil from buying the 70.2 percent of the Dutch telecoms outfit that it does not already own. Yet there are strategic and financial reasons for Slim to keep the deal alive. And since his current offer looks cheap, a sweetened bid could still stack up.

Sep 11, 2013 13:28 UTC

Big Oil’s growth addiction is counterproductive

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By Kevin Allison

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

Big Oil has a growth addiction. The industry pours billions of dollars into projects with marginal returns to keep production rising. But the oil majors’ huge size means even huge new fields barely move the needle. Petroleum bosses would do better to follow Royal Dutch Shell, and ditch output targets. The best option may be to plan for shrinkage.

Sep 11, 2013 02:13 UTC

Apple gives finger to the skeptics

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By Robert Cyran

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

Apple has given the finger to the skeptics. That’s not obvious from the stock price, which slid 2.2 percent – knocking some $10 billion off the company’s market capitalization – after Chief Executive Tim Cook and his colleagues unveiled two new iPhone models on Tuesday. But with this round of upgrades, Apple may have just started a mobile payments revolution.

Sep 10, 2013 19:13 UTC

Vodafone rightly defies hedge funds in cable tangle

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

Vodafone is right to defy the hedge funds over its $10 billion bid for Kabel Deutschland. The London-listed mobile giant says it won’t alter its agreed offer for the German cable company, even after Elliott Management and Davidson Kempner amassed possible blocking stakes of 10.9 percent and 3.4 percent. Vodafone’s resolve makes sense – a failed deal would hit everyone. But even if the offer succeeds, a fight looms over the remainder of Kabel Deutschland’s shares.

Sep 9, 2013 17:41 UTC

Carl Icahn won’t have the last tweet on Dell

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

Carl Icahn won’t get the last tweet on Dell. The uppity billionaire has conceded defeat in his effort to block Michael Dell’s $24 billion buyout of the eponymous PC maker. Icahn’s logic never computed. His recent Apple punt is a stronger advertisement for his self-promotional parting shot to Dell shareholders.

Sep 9, 2013 14:12 UTC

Brussels partly detoxifies Monte dei Paschi rescue

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By Neil Unmack

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

The world’s oldest bank is being dragged into the modern era. For some time, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena’s shareholder-friendly bailout has sat oddly with Brussels’ new burden-sharing regime. A tough stance from the European Commission now means the disparity is less glaring.

Sep 6, 2013 17:31 UTC

Review: A McKinsey-like assessment of McKinsey

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
Understanding McKinsey is no easy feat. The doyen of management consulting firms is at once ubiquitous and mysterious. Its advice is coveted yet often misguided. Dysfunction, typical of any organization, belies McKinsey’s well-cultivated prestige. “The Firm,” a new book by journalist Duff McDonald, goes a long way to unraveling some of these complexities in a highly readable history of the consigliere to the world.

Just how McKinsey managed over 80 years to gain access to so many executive suites and other corridors of power around the world is an impressive tale that starts, remarkably enough, in the corporate underbelly of accounting. James McKinsey transformed bookkeeping into budgeting and budgeting into strategy, laying the foundation for a new sort of practice that eventually would reshape industrial and government leadership.

Sep 6, 2013 13:57 UTC

Morgan Stanley M&A boutique factory keeps cranking

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

Morgan Stanley’s M&A boutique factory just keeps cranking. Paul Taubman, the bank’s former joint president, is the latest alumnus to ply his trade independently, helping Verizon on the $130 billion buyout of Verizon Wireless from Vodafone, announced this week. He follows Joe Perella, Bob Greenhill, Frank Quattrone, Michael Tory and others. It’s both a curse and a compliment that so many Morgan Stanley bankers hang out their own shingles.