Breakingviews

Lyft mulls trip out of capital destruction

June 28, 2016

The $5.5 bln ride-hailing app has hired Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst – an adviser with a knack for selling tech firms at hefty premiums. With rivals Uber and Didi raising and burning billions in an attempt to gain control of markets, M&A discretion may prove wiser than valor.

Bank stress exams may test investor patience

June 28, 2016

Results are due this week from the Fed on how 33 financial institutions performed in a simulated bad economic downturn. Countercyclical factors included this year could mean even banks that ace the tests will be required to keep more profit rather than pay out bigger dividends.

Trump and UK’s Leave campaign are peas in a pod

By Rob Cox
June 27, 2016

Like the Brexiteers, the presidential nominee says things often disproven by facts. He makes promises without plans to enact them. When these prove unworkable, there’s regret and backtracking. By invoking NATO’s future, the stakes may be as high or higher for a Trump victory.

Cox: How about a referendum on ending referendums?

By Rob Cox
June 23, 2016

Rather than take hard decisions, politicians are putting issues like Brexit, constitutional reform and even peace treaties directly to the people. How democracy works best is an ancient debate, but plebiscites undermine the representative variety. They’re also bad for business.

Stars may finally align against buyout-baron taxes

June 23, 2016

A group of self-proclaimed “patriotic millionaires” wants to close a loophole that allows private-equity partners to pay lower taxes on investment profit. Clinton and Trump both back the idea, too. Though efforts in Congress have failed for years, fresh momentum is building.

Viacom boss may soon pull gilded ripcord

June 17, 2016

Media mogul Sumner Redstone says he has lost trust in Philippe Dauman, putting the CEO’s future at the MTV owner in doubt. If cut loose, he’d leave with an $80 mln exit package that rivals those of Michael Ovitz and Carly Fiorina. Corporate payouts for failure stubbornly linger.

Fantasy-sports merger would face harsh reality

June 15, 2016

There may be logic to uniting FanDuel and DraftKings for backers that include Fox, Google, Comcast and KKR. The legal-defense synergies alone sound promising, although a deal could ignite new antitrust concerns. State lawmakers also can curb one big site as easily as two.

Exchange podcast: Jeb Hensarling

By Rob Cox
June 15, 2016

Congressman Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, discusses his proposal to replace the sweeping Wall Street reforms of the Dodd Frank Act, which was passed after the 2008 crisis. The Texas Republican also discussed his recent meeting with Donald Trump, who might find Hensarling a good match for his cabinet should the Republican real-estate mogul become president.

Giving watchdog algorithm keys is slippery slope

June 14, 2016

The CFTC wants to inspect source codes of trading firms without a subpoena. The U.S. agency says it’s needed for records retention. Unclear is whether the regulator can safeguard such intellectual property, and it opens the door for other officials to request similar access.

Latest morbid gun-stocks rally may be irrational

By Rob Cox
June 13, 2016

Following the Orlando massacre, Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger shares jumped on the notion that Americans will rush to stockpile weapons before legislators crack down. The link between national security and lax firearms laws this time around makes the investment thesis riskier.