Jeffrey's Feed
Mar 25, 2011

M&A league table folly put on full display

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

By Jeffrey Goldfarb

NEW YORK, March 25 (Reuters Breakingviews) – One of Wall
Street’s favorite spectator sports will produce howls from the
grandstand this quarter. Listen for the collective gasp at the
slump by all-star Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) from the top spot in the
U.S. merger rankings this time last year to an all-time low of
tenth place. And rounds of applause will resonate at the
dramatic rise of the underdog boutiques, led by Evercore
(EVR.N: Quote, Profile, Research). But take note: appearances are deceptive in this
financial arena.

Mar 16, 2011
via Breakingviews

Can Time Warner afford not to buy Netflix?

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

Netflix is looking less like Web TV and more like HBO. The $11.5 billion DVD rental and online video service’s plans to branch out into original content encroaches on the territory staked out by the pioneering Time Warner cable network. Given this turn of events, wouldn’t Time Warner be better off acquiring its emerging rival?

Mar 14, 2011
via Breakingviews

NFL quarterbacks don’t do teachers any favors

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

American football’s quarterbacks aren’t doing the nation’s teachers any favors. Public sector unions, like those representing educators, are under fire from state governors and taxpayers. At the same time, professional football players are embroiled in their own peculiar labor battle. There’s not much common ground, but the popularity of the gridiron millionaires creates an odd contrast.

Mar 10, 2011
via Breakingviews

NPR needs new funding model

By Jeffrey Goldfarb and James Ledbetter, Breakingviews columnists

Impolitic remarks and political pressure have landed U.S. public radio in trouble. Vivian Schiller, the chief executive of National Public Radio, resigned over comments by an underling. Meanwhile, House Republicans passed a budget eliminating federal cash for the vehicle that helps fund the broadcaster. The government should support the arts, especially relatively inexpensive and popular ones like NPR. All things considered, though, it may be time for a new approach.

The sting video that caught NPR’s chief fundraiser criticizing Tea Party activists would never have led to the ouster of the CEO of a commercial media organization. But NPR is held to an almost unattainable standard of objectivity and must appeal regularly to a coterie of legislators whose animosity toward it is deep. Nevertheless, its audience for news shows including “Morning Edition” is well over 20 million a week, larger than that of any cable TV program and all but a handful of hit network shows.

Mar 1, 2011
via Breakingviews

Insider trading scandal rattles trust at the top

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

By Jeffrey Goldfarb

The insider trading scandal that began in the dark underbelly of the hedge fund world just burst through the doors of blue-chip America. The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Rajat Gupta, whose résumé stood out even in a crowd of financial luminaries, of passing along confidential information he gained as a non-executive director at Goldman Sachs.

Feb 28, 2011
via Breakingviews

Imagine Berkshire Hathaway as a hedge fund

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

By Jeffrey Goldfarb

Warren Buffett is finding it ever more difficult to beat the market, while recruiting potential successors isn’t getting any easier. It might be heresy to suggest a hedge-fund-like fee structure at the company the 80-year old billionaire runs, Berkshire Hathaway. But it could be the best way to secure future returns.

Feb 23, 2011

Apple shareholders get restless but not rowdy

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

By Jeffrey Goldfarb

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Apple’s shareholders got restless but not rowdy. At Wednesday’s annual meeting, they backed a plan giving themselves more say on non-executive director appointments. But they couldn’t muster enough votes to force the company to disclose succession plans despite its guarded approach to the health of guru boss Steve Jobs. Apple investors are still a little too fat and happy.

Feb 16, 2011

Bob Diamond’s M&A drive hits a nasty road bump

– The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The
– The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The
opinions expressed are their own –

By Lisa Lee and Jeffrey Goldfarb

NEW YORK, Feb 15 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Bob Diamond’s
M&A drive just hit a nasty road bump. The Barclays (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
boss, who built and expanded the investment bank before taking
over as group CEO last year, put his firm in the deal advice
game with impressive speed. Now his bankers have been spanked
by a U.S. judge for how they “secretly and selfishly
manipulated” the $5.3 billion leveraged buyout of food company
Del Monte (DLM.N: Quote, Profile, Research). The episode suggests processes and controls
took a back seat to league tables.

Feb 15, 2011
via Breakingviews

Mets owner could find financial solution in stands

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

The biggest moment in New York Mets history involves a baseball squirting through the legs of an opposing player. Now the home team looks in danger of letting one slip away. Mets owner Fred Wilpon probably will struggle to find a buyer of a 25 percent stake in the team to ease his financial burden. But a solution may be no further than the Citi Field bleachers: a Mets IPO.

Feb 4, 2011
via Breakingviews

Only advertisements live up to Super Bowl hype

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

By Jeffrey Goldfarb
Believe the Super Bowl hype — at least when it comes to the advertising. The National Football League’s championship game rarely makes for exciting television: In the 44 preceding Super Bowls, the average margin of victory is more than two touchdowns. The commercials between plays make a far more compelling proposition.