Oct 22, 2014 15:55 UTC

Amgen boss makes a prime breakup target

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By Robert Cyran

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

Amgen’s boss makes a prime breakup target for Dan Loeb. Former Morgan Stanley banker Robert Bradway has run the $109 billion biotech being eyed by the activist investor for the past two years. The idea of splitting such companies into a cash cow and a growth arm comes up often, but rarely happens. Amgen may be the exception.

Oct 21, 2014 15:08 UTC

Rob Cox: Fragility bigger worry than volatility

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By Rob Cox

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

It has been impossible to escape the V-word for the past week. Turn on the television, and it is easy to conclude that central bankers, corporate chiefs, investors and politicians think volatility is the biggest problem vexing global markets. The rollercoaster ride recently experienced by financial assets is nettlesome. But it’s merely a symptom of a bigger malady: the fragility of widely accepted assumptions about where the world is headed.

Oct 20, 2014 13:07 UTC

Spreadsheet bungles alive and well in high finance

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By Richard Beales

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

There’s no rule about Excel’s infallibility. Yet obvious spreadsheet errors still occur, even in the citadels of high finance. No less a practitioner than Goldman Sachs double-counted some of Tibco’s shares in calculating the business software company’s value in a sale worth $4.3 billion – oops, make that $4.2 billion. Both the firm and its client must have been distracted.

Oct 17, 2014 14:29 UTC

More is less for Credit Suisse’s three co-heads

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By Dominic Elliott

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

Three looks a crowd at the top of Credit Suisse’s investment bank. The Swiss firm has promoted Jim Amine and Tim O’Hara alongside existing co-chief Gael de Boissard, adding a new twist to the turf wars typical when big sections of lenders are run by co-heads. But the moves could prefigure a more significant succession – that of Chief Executive Brady Dougan.

Oct 16, 2014 18:41 UTC

Goldman pulls every lever to make machine run

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By Antony Currie

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

Goldman Sachs pulled every lever to ensure its machine ran properly over the summer. The bank earned $2.1 billion in the three months to September, blowing past Wall Street expectations. Its dealmakers and traders played their part, as did the firm’s own investments. The real fillip, however, to the bank’s annualized 11.8 percent return on equity came from socking away less for pay.

Oct 16, 2014 13:25 UTC

Netflix stock horror follows familiar script

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Netflix is sticking to the script. The film and TV streaming service lost $7 billion of market value in after-hours trading on Wednesday following news that it had signed up fewer new subscribers last quarter than originally forecast. Even for one of the most-shorted and volatile stocks, a 25 percent decline is notable. And yet investors have seen this movie before.

Oct 16, 2014 06:30 UTC

Real estate rescue may not help China’s developers

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By John Foley

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

If you cheapen it, they will come. China’s large real estate companies are going all-out to shift their properties, aided by recent reductions in mortgage rates and the relaxation of local restrictions on who can buy. When developers sell more for less, however, there is grief ahead.

Oct 15, 2014 20:31 UTC

Rampant market fear clarifies global divide

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By Richard Beales

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

Suddenly, fear has overwhelmed greed. Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds slumped below 1.9 percent at one stage on Wednesday, and the 2 percent slide in the S&P 500 Index erased what remained of this year’s gains, although the index ended the trading day down just under 1 percent. It all augurs poorly for the expected end next month of the Federal Reserve bond-buying program. Yet the domestic economy has been steadily improving. Slowing growth elsewhere presents the bigger worry.

COMMENT

Gee, Fischer pulled Israel out of a similar mess. Has anyone thought about giving him more say in the Fed’s decisions?

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Oct 14, 2014 18:54 UTC

Jamie Dimon returns to challenges old and new

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By Antony Currie

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

Jamie Dimon is back in the saddle after battling cancer – just in time for the JPMorgan boss to face challenges old and new. Overall results in the third quarter released on Tuesday missed estimates thanks to rising costs. The group’s investment bank is punching below its weight. Cybersecurity is a growing worry. Even the timing of the bank’s earnings was off.

Oct 13, 2014 14:13 UTC
Edward Hadas

Markets finally side with economy on bad news

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By Edward Hadas

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

Market historians could call the last five years the QE period. Quantitative easing, a polite term for money creation by central banks, has pushed free and ultra-cheap money into almost all financial markets, supporting or pushing up prices. The era is coming to a close. As investors overcome their monetary dependence, they have to look at the real economy. It’s not encouraging.