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

Fed fundamentalists deserve fresh listen

Photo

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
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Can we Grand Bargain before going bust?

Photo

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
via Breakingviews

Heed New York Times governance risk headlines

Photo

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
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: ITT’s ghost hangs over Silicon Valley

Photo

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
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: The worry now is a brewing M&A bubble

Photo

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.

May 6, 2014
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Solving America’s homegrown Putin dilemma

Photo

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

As the eagle flies, it’s a long way from Bunkerville, Nevada to Slovyansk, Ukraine. Right now, though, the two places have something insidious in common: armed vigilantism. That parallel sadly seems to escape the many American policymakers who have accused President Barack Obama of adopting the logic of appeasement in his dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. They’re missing a big point. If the United States can’t uphold the rule of law at home, it can have no credibility abroad.

Apr 24, 2014
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Coke takes fizz out of shareholder spring

Photo

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

America’s shareholder spring hit a cold patch. Just when it seemed investors were finally breaking through entrenched boards’ barricades, the owners of Coca-Cola turned to jelly, led shockingly by Warren Buffett. The failure to challenge a transfer of vast shareholder treasure to the top 5 percent of Coke’s soda jerks shows the agency problem is still alive and well in American capitalism.

Apr 24, 2014
via Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Coke takes fizz out of shareholder spring

Photo

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

America’s shareholder spring hit a cold patch. Just when it seemed investors were finally breaking through entrenched boards’ barricades, the owners of Coca-Cola turned to jelly, led shockingly by Warren Buffett. The failure to challenge a transfer of vast shareholder treasure to the top 5 percent of Coke’s soda jerks shows the agency problem is still alive and well in American capitalism.

Apr 10, 2014
via Breakingviews

Jamie Dimon hits final stage of grief: acceptance

Photo

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

In coping with the tragedy of the financial crisis, no Wall Street executive has exhibited the five stages of grief like Jamie Dimon. The JPMorgan chief executive has passed through phases of denial, anger, bargaining and depression. His latest annual letter to shareholders finally shows a desire to accept what’s happened and move on.

    • 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