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Feb 13, 2015
via Breakingviews

Costco customers look like winners in Amex scrum

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By Rob Cox and Stephanie Rogan

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

True to form, Costco customers may come out ahead in a valuable commercial arrangement. That’s at least one way to read the market tea leaves from this week’s divorce between the U.S. warehouse retailer and American Express, its longtime exclusive payments partner. The news swiped some $8 billion from the card issuer’s value. Only part of that has accrued to rivals MasterCard and Visa. The shortfall reflects the benefits to millions of discount shoppers.

Feb 13, 2015
via Breakingviews

Costco customers look like winners in Amex scrum

Photo

By Rob Cox and Stephanie Rogan

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

True to form, Costco customers may come out ahead in a valuable commercial arrangement. That’s at least one way to read the market tea leaves from this week’s divorce between the U.S. warehouse retailer and American Express, its longtime exclusive payments partner. The news swiped some $8 billion from the card issuer’s value. Only part of that has accrued to rivals MasterCard and Visa. The shortfall reflects the benefits to millions of discount shoppers.

Feb 12, 2015
via Breakingviews

A fat and happy GM is a dangerous company

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By Rob Cox

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

About halfway through his account of the U.S. government’s rescue of the automotive industry, “Overhaul,” Steven Rattner describes a Eureka moment. As President Barack Obama’s former car czar tells it, a young financial whiz on his staff, Harry Wilson, bounded into his office in the bowels of the White House waving a sheaf of papers, saying: “We’ve been thinking about this the wrong way.”

Feb 12, 2015
via Breakingviews

A fat and happy GM is a dangerous company

Photo

By Rob Cox

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

About halfway through his account of the U.S. government’s rescue of the automotive industry, “Overhaul,” Steven Rattner describes a Eureka moment. As President Barack Obama’s former car czar tells it, a young financial whiz on his staff, Harry Wilson, bounded into his office in the bowels of the White House waving a sheaf of papers, saying: “We’ve been thinking about this the wrong way.”

Feb 5, 2015
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: When CEOs are worth more as former CEOs

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By Rob Cox

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

When it comes to creating value for shareholders, one move a chief executive officer can make is to quit. Shareholders applauded two high-profile CEO departures at big public companies this week: Ally Financial and Petrobras, Brazil’s state-controlled energy giant. Ousters at McDonald’s recently and Microsoft in 2013 earned similarly positive reactions. Though each case is unique, the common thread seems to be relief after a leader becomes entrenched and inflexible.

Feb 5, 2015
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: When CEOs are worth more as former CEOs

Photo

By Rob Cox

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

When it comes to creating value for shareholders, one move a chief executive officer can make is to quit. Shareholders applauded two high-profile CEO departures at big public companies this week: Ally Financial and Petrobras, Brazil’s state-controlled energy giant. Ousters at McDonald’s recently and Microsoft in 2013 earned similarly positive reactions. Though each case is unique, the common thread seems to be relief after a leader becomes entrenched and inflexible.

Jan 29, 2015
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Podemos can improve Spanish capitalism

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By Rob Cox

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

At the end of October, one of the most widely anticipated stock market debuts in Europe ground to a halt. The initial public offering of 49 percent of Spain’s Aena, the $9 billion operator of airports in Madrid, Barcelona and 40 other cities, was abruptly postponed.

Jan 23, 2015
via Breakingviews

Italy gets its mojo back – at least in Davos

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By Rob Cox

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

For the first time in recent memory, the World Economic Forum has a distinctly Italian accent. After keeping a lower profile of late as its economy – once larger than Britain’s – contracted, the actual sick man of Europe struck “la bella figura” at the annual gathering of plutocrats in Davos, Switzerland. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s disruptive style has put a spring in the step of Italy’s business leaders. Real reform, however, is only just beginning.

Jan 23, 2015
via Breakingviews

Italy gets its mojo back – at least in Davos

Photo

By Rob Cox

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

For the first time in recent memory, the World Economic Forum has a distinctly Italian accent. After keeping a lower profile of late as its economy – once larger than Britain’s – contracted, the actual sick man of Europe struck “la bella figura” at the annual gathering of plutocrats in Davos, Switzerland. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s disruptive style has put a spring in the step of Italy’s business leaders. Real reform, however, is only just beginning.

Jan 21, 2015
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Davos badly needs a Henry Ford moment

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By Rob Cox

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

It’s hard to know what Henry Ford would make of the World Economic Forum, the annual gathering of the Capital Class in Davos, Switzerland. He’d certainly not like the preponderance of Audis on the icy roads. But the Ford Motor Co founder would probably approve of two talking points that will course through conversations among this year’s assembly of plutocrats: paying employees more and taxing them less.

    • About Rob

      "Rob Cox helped establish Breakingviews in 2000 in London. From 2004 he spearheaded the firm's expansion in the United States and edited its American edition, including the daily Breakingviews columns in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Rob has worked as a financial journalist in London, Milan, New York, Washington, Chicago and Tokyo. Rob graduated from Columbia University’s Journalism School and the University of Vermont. Follow Rob on Twitter @rob1cox"
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