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Aug 16, 2013

Ivory tower barbarian now pounds at the gate

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

By Richard Beales

NEW YORK, Aug 16 (Reuters Breakingviews) – There’s an ivory
tower barbarian at the gate. Lucian Bebchuk, a Harvard Law
School professor, is ratcheting up his battle against corporate
defenders like veteran lawyer Martin Lipton. Hedge fund bosses,
including Dan Loeb and Bill Ackman, expose real management
weaknesses. Even without their resources, though, academic
activists like Bebchuk can still be on target.

Jul 31, 2013
via Breakingviews

Facebook mobilizes back to square one

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

Facebook has at last mobilized back to square one. Its shares finally broke back above the $38 price set in the company’s messy initial public offering 14 months ago. That’s largely thanks to Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg making the social network’s platform work on smartphones and tablets even as his tech rivals mostly flounder at the task.

Jul 26, 2013
via Breakingviews

SAC charges challenge hedge fund model

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

Steven Cohen seems to have escaped criminal charges, but his billionaire and millionaire hedge fund peers shouldn’t rest easy. Not only does a U.S. government indictment threaten the existence of Cohen’s roughly $15 billion SAC Capital Advisors firm, but the 40-page rap sheet could change the rules of the game.

Jun 19, 2013
via Breakingviews

Google shareholders get modest future-proofing

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By Richard Beales 

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

Google shareholders are getting some modest future-proofing. A novel deal protects owners of the company’s non-voting stock against a discount – and from the day when founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin no longer wield full control. The convoluted legal settlement, however, only goes to show it’s better to avoid a shareholder caste system in the first place.

Jun 18, 2013

Breakingviews-Google shareholders get modest future-proofing

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

By Richard Beales

NEW YORK, June 18 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Google (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research)
shareholders are getting some modest future-proofing. A novel
deal protects owners of the company’s non-voting stock against a
discount – and from the day when founders Larry Page and Sergey
Brin no longer wield full control. The convoluted legal
settlement, however, only goes to show it’s better to avoid a
shareholder caste system in the first place.

Jun 11, 2013
via Breakingviews

Zuckerberg and Murdoch rock air-governance shows

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

Mark Zuckerberg and Rupert Murdoch breezed through their latest air-governance shows. Facebook on Tuesday held its first annual meeting as a public company while News Corp shareholders on the same day agreed to split the company. Both may have served the greater good this time, but when founders dominate the voting, as in these two cases, it’s not a given.

May 21, 2013

Breakingviews-Temasek’s $500 mln investment times Markit just so

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

By Richard Beales

NEW YORK, May 21 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Temasek’s
[TEM.UL] roughly $500 million investment in Markit looks timed
just so. Financial “Big Data” and the potential in the Asian
market aren’t necessarily new themes. But with Bloomberg on the
defensive, it’s a good moment to suggest there’s potential for
another competitor – perhaps, before too long, another publicly
traded one.

May 20, 2013

Loyalty even to Steven Cohen has its limits

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

By Richard Beales

NEW YORK, May 20 (Reuters Breakingviews) – SAC Capital
Advisors may have exhausted its reserves of investor loyalty.
The U.S. government’s intensifying legal onslaught at the $15
billion hedge fund firm probably will force the remaining
outside investors, responsible for about $6 billion of the
assets, to run. Even Cohen’s legendary 25 pct annual returns at
some point aren’t worth the risk.

May 16, 2013
via Breakingviews

Bernanke deserves art museum spot next to Pollock

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By Richard Beales

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

Ben Bernanke probably deserves a spot somewhere in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. A record $495 million sale at Christie’s on Wednesday evening set new highs for Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat and other contemporary artists. More collectors than ever have $20 million to spend on a single work. The buoyancy of the market paints a picture of an art world indebted to the Federal Reserve chairman and his alternative asset-friendly monetary policy.

May 1, 2013

Apple, Fed and IRS conspire to set debt records

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

By Richard Beales

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Apple(AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) is breaking new ground again – but this time in finance. The iPhone and iPad maker launched a giant bond issue on Tuesday and may borrow well over $15 billion, the most in one shot by any non-bank ever. The bonds could also carry record low pricing. Eager investors should be alert to the perfect storm behind the deal.

    • About Richard

      "Richard Beales joined Breakingviews.com in 2007 from the Financial Times, where he was US markets editor and a Lex columnist. Prior to the FT, he spent more than 10 years as an investment banker, based largely in Hong Kong. He was a director in Citigroup’s mergers team, and before that head of Schroders’ regional project finance group. He has also lived briefly in Sydney, Australia, and began his working life in London at Mars & Co, a management consultancy, in 1989. Richard holds a masters in business journalism from New York University and a degree in biochemistry from St John’s ..."
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