Jeffrey's Feed
Mar 1, 2011
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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
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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
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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
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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.

Jan 26, 2011
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Nielsen clover no sure sign of more mega-LBO green

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

Nielsen may be the market leader in gauging consumer behavior but shouldn’t be relied on as a bellwether of investor sentiment. The U.S. TV ratings giant overcame last year’s muted IPO market to pull off the first big successful sale of new stock in 2011. Private equity firms, and their investors, will be delighted with the $1.6 billion deal and hope it is a sign of things to come. But other similar-vintage mega-LBOs are far less appealing.

Jan 21, 2011
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Music mogul life looks decidedly less rock ‘n roll

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

Music moguldom is looking considerably more Susan Boyle than Keith Richards. With Warner Music up for sale again, and vultures circling its British rival EMI, the industry seems suddenly hot again. But the glamorous aspect of discovering and creating rock stars has singed Warner’s public shareholders and buyout baron Guy Hands, who’s hanging onto EMI with his fingernails. This time around, would-be investors need to focus more sharply on the unsexy publishing end of the business.

Dec 27, 2010
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Winter wonderland provides warming reminder

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

NEW YORK — The winter wonderland blanketing the U.S. Northeast provides a welcome and warming reminder about work. The more than two feet of snow that bombarded parts of the region brought out the usual grinches bemoaning the economic consequences. Some companies will be hit hard, of course. But the energizing psychological — and even productivity — benefits for a weary labor force shouldn’t be overlooked.

Dec 21, 2010
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PE investors should swap new cash for lower fees

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

NEW YORK — The buyout industry should slowly emerge from its fundraising drought in 2011. After having more capital returned to them in 2010, investors will be more inclined to put money into private equity. But it’s still a buyer’s market, and the time is ripe for investors to push hard to overhaul the fees they pay.