U.S. Editor, Commentary
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Sep 13, 2013
via Breakingviews

Review: “Money for Nothing” sets crisis-film high

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

The press literature for “Money for Nothing,” a new documentary about the Federal Reserve, says director Jim Bruce partly funded the movie by betting against financial stocks during the crisis of 2008. That’s clever marketing. Judging by the film’s astute analysis of the past century of U.S. monetary policy, it’s also believable.

Sep 6, 2013
via The Great Debate

Debating the Constitution in Newtown

The first sign of their presence was the smell of cigarette smoke. There were about a dozen of them, dressed in black T-shirts with yellow lettering reading “Save Our Constitution.” They were holding flags — mostly Stars and Stripes, but also some Gadsden standards with coiled rattlesnakes, “Don’t Tread on Me” emblazoned in black.

Mixed between the high school marching band, the children and the ponies, these were the Oath Keepers. They had come to Newtown, Connecticut to march in the first Labor Day parade held since 20 children and six educators were massacred with a tactical assault weapon in their classrooms. Like the armed attention-seekers who descended on the local Starbucks a few weeks back, the Oath Keepers wanted to make their presence known.

Sep 6, 2013
via Breakingviews

Morgan Stanley M&A boutique factory keeps cranking

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

Morgan Stanley’s M&A boutique factory just keeps cranking. Paul Taubman, the bank’s former joint president, is the latest alumnus to ply his trade independently, helping Verizon on the $130 billion buyout of Verizon Wireless from Vodafone, announced this week. He follows Joe Perella, Bob Greenhill, Frank Quattrone, Michael Tory and others. It’s both a curse and a compliment that so many Morgan Stanley bankers hang out their own shingles.

Sep 5, 2013
via Breakingviews

Amgen investors gain from investment banker CEO

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

 

An investment banker as CEO may have some merits – at least Amgen shareholders should think so. The $84 billion biotech led by former Morgan Stanley merger specialist Bob Bradway last week made mincemeat out of the value arguments put up by its quarry, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, and its advisers at Centerview Partners.

Aug 29, 2013
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Fracking may change U.S. foreign policy for good

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By Rob Cox and Christopher Swann
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

 

Fracking may be changing U.S. foreign policy. The abundant supply of hydrocarbons made accessible by hydraulic fracturing has nudged the United States the closest it’s been to energy independence in a generation and also creates a buffer for the global oil price. While all of this is relatively recent, the shift may give Uncle Sam new latitude in handling knotty affairs in Syria and throughout the Middle East.

Aug 9, 2013
via The Great Debate

Starbucks’ customer appreciation day may backfire

For most companies, the prospect of thousands of customers thronging its stores to celebrate its corporate policies would be regarded as ambrosia from the retail gods. But it’s hard to imagine that Starbucks sees this week’s spontaneous “Customer Appreciation Day” by gun-toting Second Amendment absolutists as quite such a blessing.

The Seattle-based caffeine chain has been the target of gun safety advocates for some time over its refusal to adopt a corporate policy that would ban patrons from carrying loaded guns into its stores. That’s why gun rights groups exhorted their supporters to holster up and pop into their local Starbucks on Friday to order frappuccinos.

Aug 6, 2013
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Wash Post shows NY Times way to trophy status

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By Rob Cox

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

Jeff Bezos has confirmed what investors long ago concluded. Newspapers in the United States and other developed markets have ceased to be attractive businesses – they are toys for today’s plutocrats. The Amazon founder’s $250 million purchase of the famed Washington Post offers a template for the last few holdouts in the industry, chief among them the New York Times Co’s Sulzberger family.

Jul 25, 2013
via Breakingviews

Music raves better off in clubs than Wall Street

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By Rob Cox and Pierce Crosby
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

 

Robert F.X. Sillerman wants to throw Wall Street’s biggest dance party. The entrepreneur who rolled up the rock concert business is trying to do the same for electronic dance music with a planned $175 million public offering of SFX Entertainment. Though Sillerman’s track record is good and he’s targeting a hot slice of the music industry, this bash promises to be more fun for partygoers than investors.

Jul 19, 2013

Breakingviews-Google shows hints of life like a newspaper

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.) (Refiles July 18 item to add dropped
word in Context News and harmonize style.)

By Rob Cox

NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Google (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research)
knows a thing or two about rapid shifts in technology usage.
After all, the search giant has built its $300 billion market
cap by effectively gutting the print world of its advertising
dollars over the past decade. So it is somewhat surprising – and
a potential source of Schadenfreude for those whose livelihoods
were Googled – to see the group led by Larry Page fumbling with
a market transition of its own.

Jul 9, 2013
via Breakingviews

“Made in Italy, Owned Elsewhere” will have to do

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By Rob Cox

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

Italian manufacturers have forever been proud to stamp a “Made in Italy” badge on their products. As much as a sign of quality, the boast stood as a mark of cultural and economic independence. But with Italy in the direst shape since World War II, “Made in Italy, Owned Elsewhere” will have to do for many of the nation’s industrialists.

    • 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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