Jeffrey's Feed
Nov 21, 2012
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Disney chief’s unlikely fairy godfather: Murdoch

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

Rupert Murdoch makes an unlikely fairy godfather. The News Corp boss is more often portrayed as a cartoonish evil villain, especially inside rivals like Disney. But by paying a punchy price for a big piece of the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network, Murdoch is implying an even richer valuation for ESPN than is already attached to the coveted Disney sports brand. That in turn makes the whole Magic Kingdom look worth more.

Nov 9, 2012
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Election reveals clear calculus: 47 pct > 1 pct

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

This U.S. election provided a valuable math lesson for those worried about the consequences of income inequality: the 47 percent of the population dismissed by Mitt Romney during his campaign can wield greater power than the richest 1 percent.

Oct 23, 2012
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Last U.S. debate neglects foreign policy realities

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

The last U.S. presidential debate was an oratorical rendition of Saul Steinberg’s 1976 illustration of the myopic world view from New York. Listening to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spar on Monday night, it would have been easy to forget Europe exists and imagine the Middle East is as big as the African continent and Asia combined. Free trade got short shrift and the global coordination of finance nary a mention. Worse, politically facile China-bashing suggests both men may miss a big opportunity.

Oct 9, 2012
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Buyout risks laid bare by old strippers

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

Naked facts about leveraged buyouts have been laid bare by some old strippers. Cerberus and Sun Capital are part of a bigger group that has agreed to pay $166 million to settle creditor claims that they pillaged and ruined Mervyn’s, a retailer they acquired from Target in 2004 for $1.25 billion. It’s a reminder of the buyout industry’s asset-stripping reputation and shows why investors can’t afford to let their guards down.

Oct 4, 2012
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FT sale would defy today’s financial times

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

A sale of the FT would surely defy the financial times the newspaper documents. The impending departure of Marjorie Scardino as chief executive of Pearson, parent company of the Financial Times, makes a change of ownership more likely. Her replacement said on Wednesday the publication is a “highly valued” asset. But the paper’s status could make it more valuable to someone else.

Sep 27, 2012
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Warner Music echoes some off-key EMI chords

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

The music industry is littered with copycat acts. Warner Music is looking like one of them, unintentionally echoing off-key chords sounded by the old EMI. The deep pockets of billionaire owner Len Blavatnik don’t mean the music will play out any sweeter for Warner.

Sep 18, 2012

The letter Carlyle’s Bill Conway didn’t write

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

By Jeffrey Goldfarb

NEW YORK, Sept 18 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Bill Conway’s
annual missive has gone missing. The January letters from the
Carlyle Group (CG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) co-founder are eagerly anticipated,
especially after the 2007 edition foresaw a credit crisis. With
the buyout firm on something of a buying binge, Breakingviews
has drafted this year’s edition for him.
TO: All Investment Professionals, Carlyle Group
FROM: William E. Conway, Jr.
DATE: Sept. 18, 2012
You normally hear from me in January each year, but preparations
for our initial public offering in May and our accelerating deal
flow left me busier than usual. Though I conveyed some of my
views to you orally this spring, let me catch you up in writing
on the current market environment and what to expect.

Sep 5, 2012
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Murdoch’s reformation stops with governance

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

The reformation of Rupert Murdoch looks to have reached its limit. The 81-year-old media mogul has moved to sensibly deploy capital and break up News Corp as part of a big turnaround since a British phone-hacking scandal rocked his empire. But two new board nominees look like the old Murdoch at work. Investors shouldn’t be so quick to forget the havoc an unconstrained emperor can wreak.
Poor corporate governance contributed to the misconduct at the now-shuttered News of the World tabloid newspaper. Systems and controls across News Corp were exposed to be lacking, ultimately costing the company its desired acquisition of the entirety of its BSkyB satellite business and upending top management around the world. The Murdoch discount deepened, as News Corp shares traded well below the sum of the group’s parts.

Aug 2, 2012
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Man Utd counts on investors behaving like fanatics

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


Manchester United is counting on investors to behave like soccer fanatics. The English club’s committed supporters expect nothing short of greatness, an ethos that carries through to Man Utd’s initial public offering. Though devotees of the Red Devils are rarely disappointed, buyers of the stock at the mooted price probably will be.

Jul 30, 2012
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Vivendi may be out of pocket on EMI by salving EU

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


Things are going from bad to worse at Vivendi. The embattled French company’s Universal Music arm on Friday offered to sell over a quarter of EMI Music’s business to appease European trustbusters scrutinizing the $1.9 billion transaction. That could wind up more expensive than if the EU just blocked the acquisition outright.