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Nov 26, 2012

Ben Bernanke is no holiday price Grinch

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

By Richard Beales

NEW YORK, Nov 26 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Easy money isn’t
making this year’s holiday festivities too pricey. The cost of
the “Twelve Days of Christmas” gifts, excluding swans, is up a
below-average 2.6 percent. A Thanksgiving meal was under 1
percent more expensive in 2012, against a modest 2.2 percent
rise in U.S. consumer prices in the year to October. Federal
Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s policies aren’t bringing
inflation that could dim the spirit of the season.

Nov 22, 2012
via Breakingviews

A Hewlett-Packard primer on how not to do a deal

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By Richard Beales and Robert Cyran

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

If it weren’t so tragic for a once-revered technology pioneer, the story of Hewlett-Packard’s purchase of Autonomy would be a comedy of errors. If nothing else, it’s a case study of what to avoid when tempted to contemplate a big takeover.

Nov 19, 2012

If Apple becomes Microsoft, investors should cheer

(The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions
expressed are their own.)

By Robert Cyran and Richard Beales

NEW YORK, Nov 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – If Apple (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research)
becomes Microsoft (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research), investors should cheer. At least,
that is, for their wallets. Middle age for technology stocks can
hurt as shareholders looking for rapid growth lose interest and
value-oriented owners await stability. But Apple has already
made the transition – before its growth has slowed much. Even if
its next decade echoes Microsoft’s last, the company is worth
over $1 trillion.

Nov 15, 2012
via Breakingviews

Goldman grail gets holier – but less rewarding

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

Goldman Sachs’ holy grail is becoming harder to reach – but less rewarding. The Wall Street firm named 70 new partners on Wednesday, the smallest biannual class since it went public in 1999. Fewer of the old guard are moving on and Goldman’s total headcount is shrinking. While a partnership is still a ticket to riches, lower profitability means it’s tougher to achieve and less of a bonanza.

Nov 8, 2012
via Breakingviews

Obama continuity is good for China-U.S. ties

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

The United States and China couldn’t have more different political systems. But with Barack Obama re-elected on Tuesday as U.S. president and China’s new leaders taking over next week, there is reason to hope they can see eye to eye. If Obama builds on America’s recent prudent diplomacy, the two superpowers’ rivalry can be constructive.

Oct 16, 2012
via Breakingviews

Breakingviews e-book: The U.S. election

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


America is divided. That at least is the message from the two parties in the run up to Nov. 6 U.S. presidential and congressional votes. With Barack Obama and Mitt Romney neck-and-neck in polls, our latest e-book examines how we got here, and the main fiscal and economic challenges facing the next American president.
Download the e-book

Oct 11, 2012

Wall Street, City pay still must fall by a third

(The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions
expressed are their own.)

By Antony Currie and Richard Beales

NEW YORK, Oct 11 (Reuters Breakingviews) – James Gorman is
right that investment banking is overstaffed and underpaid, as
he told the Financial Times last week. But neither the Morgan
Stanley (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) boss nor his global peers have proven adept at
taking action. Last year, total wages at securities firms that
are members of the New York Stock Exchange and the average pay
per employee in New York increased even as industry profit fell,
according to a report this week from the state’s comptroller.

Oct 4, 2012

New U.S. stress test needed: higher interest rates

(The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions
expressed are their own.)

By Agnes T. Crane and Richard Beales

NEW YORK, Oct 4 (Reuters Breakingviews) – “Don’t fight the
Fed,” the saying goes. The U.S. Federal Reserve is promising
ultra-low interest rates into 2015. Yet the buildup of
low-yielding debt on financial firms’ balance sheets means they
may suffer badly if rates jump. The central bank aside, prudent
bosses – and their watchdogs – need to ensure they are avoiding
fights with history, too.

Sep 28, 2012
via Breakingviews

Apple’s Maps snafu nothing new – just bigger

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


Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has apologized for leaving customers frustrated – and lost. The problem is a new mapping application, rife with both errors and omissions. Launch problems aren’t new. Steve Jobs flubbed pricing of the original iPhone, went too early with a flawed MobileMe cloud service, and had to deal with the iPhone 4’s imperfect antenna. But Apple’s increased size and rising competition make avoiding slip-ups increasingly important.

Sep 18, 2012
via Breakingviews

Leap off fiscal cliff is bad option, but not worst

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

Leaping off the so-called fiscal cliff is a bad option for the United States. But it might not be the worst. If U.S. politicians can’t wrangle a deal first, January will bring tax increases and spending cuts. The economic shock could bring another recession. But it could also improve the political chances of a real fix.

    • 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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