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Jan 18, 2013
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JPMorgan flaws should ring alarms everywhere

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By Richard Beales and Martin Hutchinson
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

JPMorgan was supposed to be among the best managers of bank risk in the world. This week it published an internal report into the failings which led to $6.2 billion of trading losses at its chief investment office in 2012. If the mix revealed – conflicting mandates, discredited theory, inadequate checks and primitive technology – is really as good as it gets, financial watchdogs and investors everywhere should worry. There are plenty of lessons for regulators and bank executives who want things done right.

Dec 28, 2012

Draft obit for 2020: 2-and-20 fee structures

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

By Neil Unmack and Richard Beales

LONDON/NEW YORK, Dec 28 (Reuters Breakingviews) -

( Anticipated publication around 2020.)

The most surprising thing about the demise of two-and-20
hedge fund fees is how long it took. Neither losses in the 2008
credit crunch nor the feeble returns during the ensuing
seven-year euro zone crisis did much to bring down the
archetypal fee structure: 2 percent management fee and 20
percent of gains. Now, though, it can finally be
said: two-and-20 is dead.

Dec 17, 2012
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Central bank independence at risk in 2013

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By Richard Beales

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

The Federal Reserve will celebrate its centennial in 2013. Though independence for the U.S. lender of last resort and its peers elsewhere has historically come and gone, in recent decades it has become an article of faith. But these days, faith in central banking is far from rock solid.

Dec 12, 2012
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SolarCity IPO valuation approaches earth

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

SolarCity’s underwriters have come down closer to earth. The U.S. solar panel installer slashed its expected initial public offering price by more than 40 percent at the last moment to $8 a share. The old price of $14 at the middle of the range, equating to some six times expected 2012 revenue, always looked starry-eyed. The new price merely requires optimism.

Nov 28, 2012
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SAC investors set to stew alongside founder Cohen

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

SAC Capital investors are set to stew alongside Steve Cohen. The Securities and Exchange Commission may take civil action against the $14 billion hedge fund firm that bears Cohen’s initials. Those with money at SAC need to weigh the risk. The law moves slowly, but so does the redemption process – it would take investors months to withdraw cash.

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
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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
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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
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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.

    • 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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