U.S. Editor, Commentary
Rob's Feed
Apr 10, 2015
via Breakingviews

GE finally exorcises Jack Welch’s financial demons

Photo

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

At long last, General Electric is on its way to exorcising the financial demons of Jack Welch. It took 14 years, a near-death experience and a flat-lined stock price, but Welch’s successor Jeff Immelt is now getting out of the banking business and returning GE to its industrial roots. It may have taken too long, but the timing works now on many levels.

Apr 7, 2015
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Race to bottom of global subprime begins

Photo

 

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

During the go-go years of America’s housing boom, borrowers had it made. As property prices zoomed upwards, even the most unworthy credits among them saw lenders throwing money at them. Banks reduced their demands for collateral, ignored the need for documentation of income and generally let down their guard. It didn’t work out so well.

Mar 31, 2015
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Eat or be eaten is real Kraft calculus

Photo

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

Kraft shareholders must be a pretty satiated bunch. They awoke last Wednesday to discover they’d become partners with billionaire Warren Buffett and renowned Brazilian corporate fixers 3G, while merging with the world’s leading condiments maker, Heinz.

Mar 31, 2015
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Eat or be eaten is real Kraft calculus

Photo

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

Kraft shareholders must be a pretty satiated bunch. They awoke last Wednesday to discover they’d become partners with billionaire Warren Buffett and renowned Brazilian corporate fixers 3G, while merging with the world’s leading condiments maker, Heinz.

Mar 26, 2015
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Pirelli flirts with joke version of hell

Photo

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

In the old joke about a European version of hell, the cooks are British, the lovers Swiss and the mechanics French. With the $7.7 billion reshuffle of its ownership unveiled this week, Pirelli risks becoming the corporate equivalent: the management is Italian (as in the joke), its new owner will be a Chinese state enterprise, and other key partners are Russian. Minority investors won’t be laughing.

Mar 25, 2015
via The Great Debate

No, the college your kids go to won’t decide their destiny

Photo

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, himself a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, thinks it’s time to take much of the anxiety out of the college admittance process. His new book, Where You Go Is Not Who You Will Be, gives some pretty good reasons to relax – at least a little.

Right now, letters from colleges are flooding into kitchens across America, crashing hopes and buoying dreams, but Bruni points out that of the 10 biggest U.S. companies, only one is led by an Ivy League graduate. Even looking at past presidents, Bruni argues, what people see is deceiving. Did Yale prepare the Bushes for the White House, or was Yale merely a stop on the way to destiny? He points out that George H.W. Bush’s father, Prescott, had already served in the Senate.

Mar 17, 2015
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: If only GE had an activist who cared

Photo

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

Almost nothing General Electric does registers with its stockholders. A big asset sale? Shares hardly budge. A mega-billion-dollar acquisition? Yawn. Aggressive shrinkage of its irritating financial business? Crickets. It seems investors no longer give a damn about the $254 billion company run by Jeff Immelt. If only GE had an activist who cared.

Mar 17, 2015
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: If only GE had an activist who cared

Photo

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

Almost nothing General Electric does registers with its stockholders. A big asset sale? Shares hardly budge. A mega-billion-dollar acquisition? Yawn. Aggressive shrinkage of its irritating financial business? Crickets. It seems investors no longer give a damn about the $254 billion company run by Jeff Immelt. If only GE had an activist who cared.

Mar 12, 2015
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Banks can now prep for even tougher exam

Photo

By Rob Cox

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

After an arduous couple weeks of putting their institutions through a series of stringent stress tests, America’s top bankers might want to kick back and earn some money, perhaps even whistling to the possibility of higher interest rates. If only it were so easy. The only suitable tune would be Led Zeppelin’s bluesy stomp, “When the Levee Breaks.”

Mar 3, 2015
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Silicon Valley’s boom-boom room moment

Photo

By Rob Cox

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

The entrée hadn’t even arrived when the youngest person present at a dinner in San Francisco a few years ago got up abruptly to go see a startup he wanted to fund. That was a bit odd. So was his nervous tic.

    • 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