VW tests U.S. enforcers’ fairness to foreign firms

September 28, 2015

The German carmaker skidded into a legal system that extracts bigger fines and more guilty pleas from overseas companies than American peers. Differences in the cases may explain the discrepancy. But any prosecutor bias may get as much scrutiny as Volkswagen’s emissions tricks.

Hostile bid makes best TV in U.S. broadcast fight

September 28, 2015

Nexstar wants to buy Media General for $4.1 bln, breaking up the latter’s agreed merger with Meredith. The new offer makes financial sense for Media General owners and would create a local TV player minus the baggage of magazines. The mystery is why Nexstar wasn’t first choice.

Review: A human face for the foreclosure fiasco

By Guest Contributor
September 25, 2015

Seven years on and the financial crisis blame game is still alive and well. In his new film, “99 Homes,” Ramin Bahrani crafts a dramatic narrative that does the best job yet of capturing the complexity of assigning accountability to the collective U.S. housing delusion.

Altice keeps powder dry in $18 bln Cablevision bid

September 17, 2015

Patrick Drahi’s telecoms group is buying its second U.S. cable operator to become the fourth-largest player. The valuation looks high but savings will help. Importantly, Altice isn’t contributing much cash. Possible co-investment with private equity could reduce costs further.

Rob Cox: The pope, Bernie, Jeremy walk into a bar

September 15, 2015

… only to find they have far too much in common to make a joke of their fictional congregation. On economics, the Vermont senator surging in Democratic polls and the new UK Labour leader owe more to the bishop of Rome’s encyclical than prevailing capitalist orthodoxy.

Freeport-McMoRan leaves Carl Icahn lots of targets

August 28, 2015

Big cuts in spending and staff sent the struggling miner’s stock soaring – just before the activist revealed an 8.5 pct stake. The pre-emptive strike won’t be enough to satisfy the feisty billionaire. High debt and low commodity prices suggest he has asset sales in his crosshairs.

Tech’s real China syndrome victims are yet to fall

August 24, 2015

Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft lost nearly $200 bln of value in a week. China’s woes sparked the rout, but the problem was investors’ giddy faith in growth. Public tech stocks may recover. Fantasy valuations of private firms like Uber, though, will take the bigger hit.

Symantec’s Veritas sale tells truth about tech M&A

August 11, 2015

Offloading the data storage business for $8 bln to Carlyle and Singapore’s GIC ends a decade-long disaster of a deal. Like HP, eBay, Microsoft and others, Symantec discovered it’s often harder to buy than build. Trouble is, breakups and writedowns tend to perpetuate the problem.

China’s yuan: a guide for the perplexed

September 10, 2010

More international use of the yuan might increase China's trade clout, unseat the mighty U.S. dollar and make a lot of financiers very rich in the process. But it can be hard to separate the facts from the fable. Here are some questions answered.