U.S. Editor, Commentary
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Jul 1, 2014
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Solving the second-class stock conundrum

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By Rob Cox

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

Over dinner in San Francisco recently, an activist investor and an internet entrepreneur got into a heated discussion. The two men, with a gap of about two decades between them, were debating the practice of many young, growth businesses in the technology world – though it happens elsewhere too – to issue multiple classes of stock, generally one for hoi polloi investors in public offerings and another for founders and other insiders with super-charged voting powers.

Jun 24, 2014
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Hollywood’s hopes in China rest on Youku

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By Rob Cox

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

Look around the subway in Beijing or Shanghai and maybe nine of 10 passengers are watching videos on their mobile devices. Chances are most of them are watching content delivered to them by Youku Tudou. The country’s leading internet television operator streams 400 million videos a day. In that sense, Youku is Netflix and YouTube – plus Comcast and Liberty Media – stuffed into one dumpling. It is also the nexus for Hollywood’s high hopes in the Middle Kingdom.

Jun 17, 2014
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China Macau tolerance won’t last forever

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By Rob Cox

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

Spreadsheets with astonishing forecasts can only tell so much about China’s economic miracle. The sole path to believing, or at least comprehending, the scale of the country’s development is to see it. And so it is with any attempt to grasp Macau’s transformation from a Portuguese trading outpost to the Middle Kingdom’s gambling and entertainment hub.

Jun 10, 2014
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Investors cheer for Brazil World Cup rout

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By Rob Cox

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

At the opening of the Confederations Cup in Brasilia a year ago, President Dilma Rousseff was booed by thousands of soccer fans for all of Brazil to see. It’s easy to understand then why she isn’t planning to speak at Thursday’s opening ceremony of the World Cup. An embarrassing turn as host of Earth’s biggest sporting event – or crushing repeat of the 1950 Maracanaço – may be the greatest obstacle to her clinching a second term.

Jun 5, 2014

Governors Ball aims to put New York on music festival map

NEW YORK (Reuters) – After gale-force winds and rain marred last year’s event, New York will host the fourth Governors Ball on Friday, which could be its answer to Lollapalooza and Coachella and the city’s most successful attempt yet to establish a homegrown music festival.

Grammy-winning rock group Kings of Leon were forced to run for shelter last year as the festival grounds on Randall’s Island in New York’s East River were transformed into a morass of stinky, sticky mud.

Jun 3, 2014
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Fed fundamentalists deserve fresh listen

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By Rob Cox

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

A portrait of Milton Friedman hangs at the entrance to the Stauffer Auditorium at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. It carries no identification, and doesn’t need any. All who enter here can be counted on to recognize the patron saint of contemporary free-market economics. And so it was two days last week, when the leaders of what might be dubbed monetary fundamentalism gathered under Friedman’s watchful gaze.

May 29, 2014
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Rob Cox: Can we Grand Bargain before going bust?

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

It is Kumbaya time in Detroit. The Motor City’s bankers, labor leaders and politicians are breaking into hugs and high-fiving each other for coming together on a deal that will allow the city to emerge from bankruptcy. It’s good news, of course. But it raises a worrying question about America’s political culture: Can we ever get a grand bargain before going bust?

May 21, 2014
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Heed New York Times governance risk headlines

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

As investors surrender rights to founders of today’s internet darlings, they may want to consider the imbroglio at the New York Times Co. It’s an excellent lesson of what can happen when once-entrusted competent leaders are gone and their successors become entrenched.

May 20, 2014
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Rob Cox: ITT’s ghost hangs over Silicon Valley

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

The number of entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley familiar with the work of Harold Geneen would hardly fill a 140-character tweet. After all, Geneen wasn’t a technologist, the inventor of a new computing language or the founder of a seminal startup. He was the original M&A machine – the man whose deal-making 50 years ago turned ITT into a multibillion-dollar conglomerate.

May 13, 2014
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Rob Cox: The worry now is a brewing M&A bubble

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

Stop worrying about the tech bubble – there may be an even bigger one inflating beyond the confines of Silicon Valley. The corporate urge to merge has gone into global hyper-drive this year. Deal activity has surged as investors egg companies on and bid up the shares of acquirers well beyond mathematical explication, or prudence. As new metrics from interested parties are trotted out to justify the irrational, it’s time to exercise caution.

    • 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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