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Apr 24, 2012
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Murdochs’ UK political friendships backfire on all

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By Chris Hughes 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The Murdochs’ UK political friendships are backfiring on all concerned. Fresh revelations about the media moguls’ relationships have created new uncertainty over News Corp’s part ownership of UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB. They also have the potential to throw the UK’s coalition government into a full-blown crisis.

Apr 16, 2012
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EU bonus assault would lead banks astray

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By Chris Hughes

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Europe’s urge to set a bonus-to-salary ratio has always looked misguided. Yet Brussels’ position is hardening. The latest thinking seems to be that bonuses should never be more than 100 percent of base pay. There’s no doubt that investment banking still has a problem with the way it rewards staff. But fixing bonuses in this way is clearly the wrong solution.

Apr 3, 2012
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Corporate cash surplus will be easy to misspend

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By Chris Hughes

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Everyone knows that companies worldwide are sitting on cash, generating cash, and have the capacity to borrow yet more. But where will it go? The optimistic answer would be into the real economy. The reality is probably into M&A and buybacks.

Mar 27, 2012
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Donor row saps UK government’s austerity authority

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By Chris Hughes

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The UK government is suddenly struggling with the politics of austerity. Its moral authority to force through painful spending cuts, already undermined by a poorly-presented budget, has now been rocked by a political funding scandal.

Mar 23, 2012
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BT gets better side of deal with its pension fund

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By Chris Hughes

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

BT is finally regaining the initiative in the battle over its gargantuan pension deficit. The UK telecoms group has reported a sharply reduced shortfall in the scheme’s funding position, and cut a favourable deal with members to close the remaining gap. It’s not hard to see why BT shares gained 6 percent, adding 1 billion pounds to the group’s market value. But it would be wrong to assume that the pension deficit is now a dead issue.

Mar 7, 2012
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Peugeot’s $1.3 bln cash call inspires confidence

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By Chris Hughes

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

PSA Peugeot Citroën has squared two circles with the 1 billion euro ($1.3 billion) cash call backing its alliance with U.S. peer General Motors. The French carmaker has welcomed a major new shareholder without taking control away from the founding Peugeot family. Plus it has got a firm commitment to fund capital spending on a speculative venture in a challenged industry.

Dec 15, 2011
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Two more black marks for James Murdoch

By Chris Hughes
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Email at the weekends can be a bothersome distraction for busy executives trying to live a full life. For James Murdoch, a message sent to him by the editor of The News of the World tabloid one Saturday more than three years ago is proving very troublesome for his work-life balance.

Nov 10, 2011

James Murdoch weaker after UK phone-hack grilling

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

By Chris Hughes

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – James Murdoch got slapped around in his latest scrape in the UK phone-hacking scandal. A grilling by lawmakers failed to land a knock-out blow on the News Corp scion, who was inappropriately likened to a Mafia boss. But the hearings still left him weakened, and make it harder for him to be effective in his role as BSkyB chairman.

Oct 13, 2011

Breakingviews-Back to first principles for BSkyB chairman

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own)

By Chris Hughes

LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The penny is
dropping for BSkyB (BSY.L: Quote, Profile, Research) shareholders. They’d be better off
with a chairman who is independent of News Corporation (NWSA.O: Quote, Profile, Research),
the UK satellite broadcaster’s founding shareholder. That would
mean a demotion for current chairman and scion of the News Corp
empire, James Murdoch.

Sep 6, 2011
via Breakingviews

James Murdoch stuck in limbo

By Chris Hughes
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The challenge to James Murdoch’s credibility remains serious.

Two former senior staff have repeated assertions that News Corporation’s European boss was made aware, in 2008, of evidence that phone hacking at his UK newspapers involved more than just a single rogue reporter. Murdoch has strongly rejected that claim. The truth of the matter remains unclear.

    • About Chris

      "Chris Hughes is EMEA Editor of Reuters Breakingviews. Chris started his career as a researcher in BBC Television’s documentaries department and then became a financial journalist. He was previously Investment Banking Correspondent and Senior Corporate Reporter at the Financial Times, Financial Editor of The Independent and a companies writer at the Investors Chronicle. Chris has also worked at communications consultancy Financial Dynamics (now FTI), as an Associate Partner."
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