Dec 31, 2013 12:05 UTC

Markets face a year as tough as 1994

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By Ian Campbell

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

It’s all priced in, the optimists say, referring to the likely tapering of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s money-printing. But tapering is just the beginning of the end of ever looser monetary policy and the long road towards normalisation.

Dec 31, 2013 01:53 UTC

Merck woes show animal drugs are no panacea

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By Kevin Allison

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

Animal medicine, whether for livestock or pets, is a booming business. Pfizer’s recent spin-off, Zoetis, trades at a fat valuation premium to traditional drug makers. But the recent controversy over Zilmax, Merck’s feed additive, shows that an increasingly complicated global food chain carries its own investment risks.

Dec 30, 2013 19:36 UTC

Time for Larry and Sergey to invest in journalism?

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By Rob Cox and Richard Beales
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Is it time for Google billionaires Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt to invest in journalism? In 2013, Amazon architect Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post for $250 million and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar announced a new investigative reporting venture. Yet strictly by the numbers, few have made their money at the expense of the old-school pillars of the fourth estate quite as obviously as the Google guys.

Dec 26, 2013 17:14 UTC

Casting Blofeld: Wall Street’s pitchfork mob needs new villain

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By Richard Beales

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

Wall Street critics need a new villain. Goldman Sachs has implemented a successful charm offensive since lawmakers hauled Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein up to Capitol Hill and regulators extracted a $550 million settlement from the bank a few years ago. The case against JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon is struggling to take hold. Steve Cohen, the hedge fund Wizard of Oz, is nursing legal wounds. The culture of greed in finance won’t disappoint for long, though.

Dec 24, 2013 12:25 UTC

Buzzword visionaries will rightsize the lexicon

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By Quentin Webb

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

Do executive thought leaders need best-in-class jargon? Can only visionary C-suiters move the needle at the investor day or the Davos interactive panel? It appears embedded in the corporate DNA, but is a laser-like focus on buzzwords mission critical? Join Breakingviews, your end-to-end provider of financial commentary solutions, on a deep dive.

Dec 20, 2013 15:37 UTC

Wells will knock louder on bulge bracket’s door

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

Wells Fargo will start knocking more loudly on the bulge bracket’s door. The California lender is already one of the top 10 global investment banks by fees, according to data from Thomson Reuters. Much of that comes courtesy of middle-market clients. But if the bank run by John Stumpf starts going after bigger fish, it could put Wall Street’s bigwigs on the defensive.

Dec 19, 2013 05:40 UTC

Li Ka-shing IPOs could be HSBC’s breakout moment

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By Una Galani

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

Li Ka-shing may have given HSBC a breakout moment in investment banking. The Hong Kong tycoon looks to have handed the bank two juicy mandates to run initial public offerings. That’s significant. HSBC has never quite managed to turn its formidable Asian banking relationships into deal fees. Things might finally be coming together.

Dec 18, 2013 22:15 UTC

Can General Electric keep the activists at bay?

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By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opini0ns expressed are his own.

Can General Electric keep activist investors at bay? If the gates at Apple, Microsoft and Procter & Gamble can be rattled, complacency just isn’t an option for any company, even and maybe especially a $270 billion conglomerate. While GE’s broad strategy looks more coherent than ever, the Connecticut giant still has two potential vulnerabilities: its finance arm and its longtime leader Jeffrey Immelt.

Dec 17, 2013 17:11 UTC

McClendon IPO plan is echo of bad old Chesapeake

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

Aubrey McClendon’s new public offering plan is an echo of the bad old Chesapeake Energy. He lost his job as chief executive of the energy firm over excessive spending and conflicts of interest. A new $2 billion venture would allow him to cherry-pick assets ahead of his investors and reward him generously. Despite McClendon’s knack for buying oil and gas properties, investor skepticism is in order.

Dec 16, 2013 19:42 UTC

Silver Lake takes a second juicy bite of Avago

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By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviwes columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Silver Lake is taking a second juicy bite of Avago Technologies. The U.S. private equity firm just about quintupled its money on the initial carve-out of the chip company from HP. Now it’s back, underwriting Avago’s $6.6 billion purchase of rival LSI. The market’s warm embrace of the deal means Silver Lake’s $1 billion convertible loan is already in the money.