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Dec 22, 2011
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The poorly performing, must-have 2012 investment

By Richard Beales and Neil Unmack
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.The improbable must-have holding of 2012 is hedge funds. The typical fund has lost 4 percent this year through November, according to Hedge Fund Research. But that poor performance isn’t deterring institutional investors.

Eleven months into 2011, even the S&P 500 had managed a 1 percent gain including dividends. HFR’s chosen bond index returned nearly 8 percent. The average hedge fund is a loser by comparison.

Dec 21, 2011
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Oracle’s rare stumble triggers double concern

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

Oracle has fallen short of its usually reliable earnings foresight. The technology group lost some $20 billion, or 14 percent, of its market value after a subpar report for the quarter to Nov. 30. The sell-off could be overdone: Larry Ellison’s firm may soon regain ground, as its bosses expect. But the rare stumble could signal a shareholder double whammy: a weak tech environment and a hiccup in Oracle’s own trajectory.

Dec 7, 2011
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Michael Kors IPO cut from same cloth as Prada’s

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

The company behind U.S. fashion designer Michael Kors is seeking a luxury price tag. The planned initial public offering would value the company at up to $3.6 billion. The metrics are in line with Prada, which listed earlier this year. But Michael Kors Holdings may struggle to sustain the growth needed to stay in style with investors.

Nov 21, 2011
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Ted Forstmann: a financier the 99 pct could admire

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

Ted Forstmann was a hard-nosed financier. But the buyout pioneer, who has died at 71, re-engineered companies, not just their balance sheets. He was also an industry contrarian when it came to junk bonds. And while Forstmann featured in the society pages, he gave away much of his fortune. These contrasts are what made him stand apart.

Nov 14, 2011
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Insider trading another reason to Occupy Congress

By Richard Beales and Reynolds Holding
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Occupy Congress has garnered far less attention than the global protest movement that started as Occupy Wall Street in lower Manhattan. But politicians helped create the financial crisis. Fresh news of U.S. lawmakers trading on inside information is further reason for mistrust.

Oct 6, 2011

Jobs, no ordinary CEO, leaves no ordinary company

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

By Robert Cyran and Richard Beales

NEW YORK, Oct 5 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Steve Jobs has
died at 56. He was no ordinary chief executive, and he leaves
no ordinary company. The force behind the iPod, iPhone and iPad
not only co-founded and then rescued Apple (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), building
it into the most valuable tech company on the planet, worth
some $350 billion. He also changed the way people live. It’s a
rare entrepreneur who leaves that legacy — and a company that
can thrive without him.

Oct 6, 2011

Breakingviews-Jobs, no ordinary CEO, leaves no ordinary company

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

By Robert Cyran and Richard Beales

NEW YORK, Oct 5 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Steve Jobs has
died at 56. He was no ordinary chief executive, and he leaves
no ordinary company. The force behind the iPod, iPhone and iPad
not only co-founded and then rescued Apple (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research), building
it into the most valuable tech company on the planet, worth
some $350 billion. He also changed the way people live. It’s a
rare entrepreneur who leaves that legacy — and a company that
can thrive without him.

Oct 5, 2011
via Breakingviews

A manifesto for Occupy Wall Street

By Richard Beales and Edward Hadas
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

For public relations professionals, the wannabe protesters in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan must inspire mixed feelings. The location works and the crowd makes for good TV, but crunchy soundbites are hard to find. The movement’s anti-corporate rant lumps together complaints ranging from mortgage foreclosure wrongs to torture. And the idea of “a feeling of mass injustice” is much less compelling than the Tea Party’s clear “taxed enough already.” Breakingviews offers a four-point program — a practical and sharper, if partial, manifesto for Occupy Wall Street.

Aug 30, 2011
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Spin-off trend isn’t just for investment bankers

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

Conglomerates, even relatively focused ones, are out of favor. Hence companies from Hewlett-Packard to Kraft Foods to ConocoPhillips have in recent weeks decided to split into pieces. It’s tempting to think only Wall Street’s bankers, who helped stitch these hulking groups together in the first place, benefit most from this trend. But a couple of big examples — Marathon Oil and Motorola — suggest investors do well too.

Aug 29, 2011
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Bernanke’s inaction, even if temporary, is welcome

By Richard Beales
The opinions expressed are his own.

Stock investors may have been briefly underwhelmed, but Ben Bernanke was right not to promise new easing in his speech in Jackson Hole on Friday. Aside from its likely ineffectiveness at juicing the U.S. economy and its stubbornly weak job creation, the Federal Reserve chairman faces dissent at the Federal Open Market Committee. That’ll make the now extended September meeting a new focus for markets.

Markets had rallied a bit on hopes that Bernanke would announce more Fed bond-buying, as he did at the same event last year. But most analysts felt, rightly as it turned out, that his options are more limited now. The last round of quantitative easing, known as QE2, was marginal even in the minds of some of its supporters at the Fed, and inconclusive at best in its impact. And the FOMC’s Aug. 9 promise — that it would keep interest rates ultra-low well into 2013, with only the mildest of caveats — already attracted dissent from three of the 10 committee members who voted.

    • 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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