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.

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.

Financial reform hits double deep freeze

February 10, 2010

Even before the U.S. capital was buried under three feet of snow in a matter of days, Washington was frozen solid.

Obama’s new sanctions aim to expose crony Putinism

March 21, 2014

The punitive steps against Russia are ostensibly just an escalated response to the Crimea annexation. But they allege a link between the Kremlin boss and Swiss oil trader Gunvor. Washington seems determined to reveal how Putin and his comrades amassed fortunes at public expense.

Washington needs to quit housing business

September 25, 2009

There are, to be sure, lots of villains to blame for America's financial crisis: regulators, Wall Street executives, credit ratings agencies, Alan Greenspan. But the one baddie Washington doesn't want to touch is, well, Washington. Its crime: pushing federal policies that favored ever-increasing home ownership, thus helping spawn the housing bubble at the center of the devastating meltdown.