U.S. Editor, Commentary
Rob's Feed
Sep 10, 2012
via Breakingviews

Santander can teach Citi the art of breaking up

Photo

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

With Spain’s banking system in full-blown crisis, it’s hard to imagine any of the world’s biggest financial institutions taking lessons from their Iberian cousins. Yet Banco Santander’s methodical spin-offs of various operating subsidiaries around the world, the latest due soon in Mexico, present a reasonable model for an undervalued colossus like Citigroup to consider.

Sep 10, 2012

Breakingviews-Santander can teach Citi the art of breaking up

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

By Rob Cox

NEW YORK, Sept 10 (Reuters Breakingviews) – With Spain’s
banking system in full-blown crisis, it’s hard to imagine any of
the world’s biggest financial institutions taking lessons from
their Iberian cousins. Yet Banco Santander’s (SAN.MC: Quote, Profile, Research) methodical
spin-offs of various operating subsidiaries around the world,
the latest due soon in Mexico, present a reasonable model for an
undervalued colossus like Citigroup (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research) to consider.

Aug 24, 2012
via Breakingviews

Review: Why Uncle Sam fails to fix his finances

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

To understand the current state of the U.S. federal budget – and the policies the next president will be forced to pursue from day one – there are two pieces of required reading. The first is a two-year old wonky white paper entitled “The Moment of Truth,” by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The second is “Red Ink,” David Wessel’s handy new guide to understanding the politics of the federal budget.

Aug 11, 2012
via Breakingviews

It’s the budget, not the economy, stupid

Photo

By Rob Cox 

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

It’s the budget, not the economy, stupid. That variation of the 1992 slogan that propelled Bill Clinton into the Oval Office may now apply to Mitt Romney’s candidacy. The Republican presidential wannabe’s choice of conservative House budget chief Paul Ryan as his running mate has the power to transform a heretofore mealy campaign into something substantive: a referendum on fixing the American balance sheet.

Aug 9, 2012
via Breakingviews

Exclusive: StanChart threat rings Fed alarm bells

Photo

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


New York state financial watchdog Benjamin Lawsky has put the Federal Reserve in an uncomfortable twist. His threat on Monday to revoke Standard Chartered’s Wall Street license over allegedly illegal Iranian money transfers clanged some alarm bells inside the central bank. The worry is that his surprise risks unsettling customers and depositors.

Aug 7, 2012
via Breakingviews

Facebook’s market meltdown is far from over

Photo

By Rob Cox
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. The following column appears in the August 6 issue of Newsweek magazine.

It would be all too easy to wager that Facebook’s market meltdown could be coming to an end. After all, the social network led by Mark Zuckerberg in just a couple of months incinerated as much as $50 billion of shareholders’ wealth. To put that in context, even after a recent rebound, Facebook since its Nasdaq debut in May has lost value nearly equal to the current market capitalizations of Yahoo, AOL, Zynga, Yelp, Pandora, OpenTable, Groupon, LinkedIn and Angie’s List combined, plus that of the bulk of the publicly traded newspaper industry.

Aug 3, 2012
via Breakingviews

What hedge funds share with rock’n'roll festivals

Photo

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

At first sight, hedge funds don’t share a lot with rock music festivals. But both are subject to the law of large numbers. Festivals like Pickathon, a three-day concert taking place outside Portland this weekend, are limiting entry to make the experience less mundane. And the likes of Moore Capital Management’s Louis Bacon are seeking better-than-average returns by shrinking, too.

Jul 30, 2012

Pepsi owners face the Indra Nooyi challenge

(The following column appears in the July 30 edition of Newsweek magazine. The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

By Rob Cox

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) – Whenever a big new job opens up just about anywhere in the world, Indra Nooyi’s name enters the frame. Last year, scuttlebutt in Mumbai had the PepsiCo (PEP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) chief executive returning to India to run the powerful Tata group. Earlier this year, Nooyi was floated as a candidate to run the World Bank. Her recent recruitment of a former White House official even had some pegging her for a big job in Washington.

Jul 24, 2012
via Breakingviews

China Inc not letting politics get in way of M&A

Photo

By Rob Cox

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

China Inc isn’t letting politics get in the way of M&A. The upcoming conclave of China’s Communist Party, a once-a-decade changing of the guard, was supposed to hold back the global ambitions of state enterprises, at least temporarily. But CNOOC’s $15.1 billion bid for Canada’s Nexen suggests that’s not happening.

Jul 23, 2012
via Breakingviews

Can Citic avoid the investment bank buyer’s curse?

Photo

By Rob Cox and Wei Gu

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

Can Citic avoid the investment bank buyers’ curse? The Chinese securities firm is paying $1.3 billion for Credit Agricole’s CLSA broker business. Avoiding another Dresdner/Wasserstein, Nomura/Lehman or Credit Suisse/DLJ would be hard for any bank – much less one controlled by the Beijing government. Arm’s length management alone is unlikely to make this deal different.

    • 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"
    • Follow Rob