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Oct 28, 2014
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Rob Cox: Zuckerberg’s Chinese lessons are scalable

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By Rob Cox

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

Mark Zuckerberg whipped up a media frenzy last week. It wasn’t quite as big a deal as inventing Facebook. But journalists, bloggers and the Twitterati went gaga after the social network’s founder conducted a question-and-answer session with students at Beijing’s elite Tsinghua University entirely in Mandarin.

Oct 21, 2014
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Rob Cox: Fragility bigger worry than volatility

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By Rob Cox

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

It has been impossible to escape the V-word for the past week. Turn on the television, and it is easy to conclude that central bankers, corporate chiefs, investors and politicians think volatility is the biggest problem vexing global markets. The rollercoaster ride recently experienced by financial assets is nettlesome. But it’s merely a symptom of a bigger malady: the fragility of widely accepted assumptions about where the world is headed.

Oct 7, 2014
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Free spirit (and marketing power) of Lollapalooza doesn’t come cheap

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By Rob Cox

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

Cable cowboy John Malone and Jane’s Addiction front man Perry Farrell rarely come up in the same context. It turns out, however, that there are far fewer than six degrees of separation between the 73-year-old Liberty Media billionaire and the singer of “Been Caught Stealing.”

Oct 6, 2014
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Meg Whitman at last splits Hewlett from Packard

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By Rob Cox

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

Hewlett and Packard are finally going their separate ways. Not literally, of course, as the founders of the Silicon Valley technology conglomerate that bears their names have long shuffled off this mortal coil. But the company now led by Meg Whitman is breaking in two.

Sep 30, 2014
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Rob Cox: Flurry of ski M&A aims to control weather

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By Rob Cox

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

The ski business is amid a flurry – not of snow, but of deals. At the center of the action is Vail Resorts, a $3 billion publicly traded operator in an industry traditionally dominated by family and local owners. The company is upending winter-sports convention in a variety of ways. Chief among them is trying to prove that it can control the weather with some corporate finance.

Sep 26, 2014
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Bill Gross and Janus Capital made for each other

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By Rob Cox

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

The old saw about past performance not necessarily being indicative of future results just found a new poster child: bond king Bill Gross sitting on his Janus Capital throne.

Sep 26, 2014
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Apple CEO Tim Cook gets $25 billion warning shot

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By Rob Cox

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

Shareholders have given Apple boss Tim Cook about 25 billion reasons to worry. That’s how many dollars they have wiped off the company’s stock-market value in the past two days after a botched system update and reports its new iPhones can be bent. It’s a small hit for a $600-billion-odd company. But the 2012 Apple Maps fiasco is a reminder that one-off snafus can presage prolonged pain.

Sep 23, 2014
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Is “stranded costs” a euphemism for fat?

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By Rob Cox

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

In the electric utility industry, the term “stranded costs” refers to past investments used to build infrastructure that, as a result of deregulation, may become redundant and of no value. The jargon has surfaced lately in a different, but no less electrifying, context: uppity investor Nelson Peltz’s siege of one of America’s most venerable corporations, DuPont.

Sep 16, 2014
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Applying corporate finance to nations

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By Rob Cox

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

It is generally accepted on Wall Street that breaking up bloated and unwieldy companies is a good thing. Division makes them easier to manage, more accountable and allows them to deliver greater value to their many constituents. On the eve of Scotland’s historic vote on independence, it’s worth considering whether the same logic might also be applied to nations.

Sep 11, 2014
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Ecuador economic “miracle” meets maturity

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By Rob Cox

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

Turn on state television here, and within an hour or so a public service message will appear extolling the “Ecuadorean miracle” of President Rafael Correa. The advertisements highlight big new infrastructure projects and endorsements by experts, even an American or two.

    • 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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