Breakingviews

Private equity could regret scaling Capitol Hill

September 9, 2016

Buyout firms have successfully promoted legislation to roll back disclosures required under Dodd-Frank even as they settle cases over misleading investors. If the bill passes, however, there's a risk of repercussions. Washington critics may redouble efforts against the industry.

Drugmakers get their $2.3 bln worth in Washington

September 1, 2016

U.S. lawmakers are prodding Mylan about EpiPen in the latest probe into rising prescription prices. Dozens of legislative proposals to rein them in have stalled over the last decade. No industry spends more than pharma lobbying Congress. The investment now faces its biggest test.

Global worker mobility at risk in U.S. border row

August 16, 2016

Donald Trump proposes "extreme vetting" for would-be immigrants. D.C. lawmakers want tougher limits on the hiring of overseas workers. Multinational firms should worry about something else, too: a threat to their ability to transfer valuable employees to the United States.

The Exchange podcast: The Trace’s editor

By Rob Cox
June 22, 2016

James Burnett, editor of The Trace, an independent, non-profit media organization dedicated to expanding coverage of guns in the United States, swings by Times Square to discuss legislative responses to the horrific killing of 49 people at an Orlando nightclub, and the role firearms regulation will play generally in the upcoming presidential election.

Icahn takes $150 mln of activism to political realm

October 22, 2015

The investor wants to help U.S. companies bring back $2 trln of overseas cash in return for a reduced tax that will fund infrastructure. A massive so-called super PAC will back like-minded candidates in 2016 elections. The idea makes sense, but a longer-term fix would be better.

Twitter free-speech chirps carry overtone of risk

October 9, 2014

After its UK super-injunction tiff, the microblog is fighting to reveal secret U.S. demands for data. The two cases show that firms have power to resist being muzzled – or forced to speak. That’s a check on judicial and government overreach, but it could undermine regulation.

Review: Paul Ryan changes delivery but not direction

August 22, 2014

“The Way Forward,” by the U.S. congressman and former VP candidate, is more campaign manifesto than memoir. Ryan’s rhetoric has softened but his harsh policy proposals haven’t. The title is accurate in at least one way. His austerity ideas probably will guide Republican strategy.

JPMorgan hits Washington’s reset button

May 22, 2012

U.S. senators who oversee the banking sector slammed regulators on Tuesday for apparent lapses related to JPMorgan’s trading losses. Other Dodd-Frank tweaks that had been moving along are grinding to a halt. Glimmers of hope for clear bank rules look all but squashed for now.

Jamie Dimon should come out swinging in Senate

By Rob Cox
June 12, 2012

JPMorgan’s dumb trades exposed its risk management as fallible. But it’s an issue primarily for shareholders, not politicians. The notion that rules and watchdogs should prevent banks from losing money engenders the false sense of security that girds too-big-to-fail thinking.

Pandora’s income stream on congressional playlist

October 1, 2012

The online radio company is shackled by music royalties that lock up about half its revenue. Newly proposed U.S. legislation would cut those costs to as low as the 8 pct paid by rival Sirius XM. A Breakingviews calculator shows just how much value that would release for Pandora.