Breakingviews

Cox: Scope out the bank in U.S. retail camouflage

By Rob Cox
February 16, 2016

The business model of Cabela’s, which is up for sale, resembles a $3.2 bln chain of taxidermy museums issuing unsecured debt to assault-rifle buyers. Most of the profit at the “World’s Foremost Outfitter” comes from a loan book ballooning in ways that should give suitors pause.

Cox: How gun control is like zero interest rates

By Rob Cox
January 5, 2016

A White House order to require more dealers selling their wares at gun shows to conduct background checks has kicked off the third firearms bubble of Obama’s presidency. As in previous booms, bringing forward future demand stores up trouble down the road for the weapons trade.

Cox: Capitalism can help solve the gun problem

By Rob Cox
December 14, 2015

Squabbling U.S. Republican presidential contenders can’t seem to agree on much, but they all say they want to end crony capitalism. By repealing a law that uniquely shields gunsmiths from the disciplining force of liability lawsuits, they could let the free market save lives.

Rob Cox: Why Remington’s investors shouldn’t sell

By Rob Cox
May 19, 2015

Gun safety groups and Snoop Dogg pressured Cerberus to cleave the maker of a notorious assault rifle from its funds. Now Cerberus can get back to work raising money. Social activists need to behave more like their shareholder brethren to have any hope of changing this business.

Rob Cox: Good news for guns is bad for gunmakers

By Rob Cox
November 18, 2014

A Republican U.S. Senate puts a bullet in new federal firearms controls. Yet Colt, maker of the gun that won the West, is short of cash, Moody’s downgraded Remington and shares of Ruger and Smith & Wesson have been clobbered. The industry does better with guns in a corner.

Gun bubble reloads on Obama re-election fears

April 3, 2012

The president’s 2008 victory triggered massive growth in firearms sales. Purchasers thought strict gun control legislation was coming. It never arrived, and weapon sales tumbled. Yet the prospect of a second Obama term is boosting sales - and shares of gun-makers - once again.

Congress should push for mandatory gun insurance

December 17, 2012

Firearm ownership is a U.S. constitutional right. But it comes at a cost. Requiring liability coverage could pass legal muster while helping to compensate victims. The market might also do a better job than politicians at keeping the most dangerous weapons from unstable hands.

Market signals turning point in U.S. gun debate

December 18, 2012

Private equity isn’t known for squeamishness - or for dumping promising investments. So it’s significant that Cerberus is selling firearms maker Freedom Group following the Newtown school atrocity. Gunmakers’ shares are plunging, too: big money is betting on tougher restrictions.

Gunsmith finds cold shoulders on Wall Street

April 17, 2013

Financiers typically turn away fees as willingly as dogs give up steaks. But major banks are leery of financing bids for Freedom Group for fear of damaging their reputations. Making assault rifles has joined pornography on the list of activities with risks that money can’t hide.

Fading reform hopes take gun shares with them

December 11, 2013

As the chances of new firearms legislation dissipate a year after the Sandy Hook school shooting, so too should the anxieties that propelled gun sales and the stocks of Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger. Short sellers already have their sights set on a downturn.