U.S. Editor, Commentary
Rob's Feed
Oct 16, 2012

Citi’s CEO Pandit exits abruptly after board clash

By Carrick Mollenkamp and Jed Horowitz and Rob Cox

(Reuters) – Citigroup Inc’s Vikram Pandit quit as chief executive on Tuesday after months of simmering tensions with the board – an abrupt change that surprised investors and employees of the third-largest U.S. bank.

The bank’s board of directors named Michael Corbat as Citigroup’s new CEO. Pandit told Reuters the decision to leave was his own and that he had been contemplating the move for some time.

Oct 16, 2012
via Breakingviews

Pandit succumbs to “three strikes you’re out” rule

Photo

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

Vikram Pandit succumbed to the most basic rule of thumb: three strikes and you’re out. A trio of Citigroup misfortunes, not all of the chief executive’s making – the bank’s dividend policy, his own compensation and the sale of Smith Barney – eroded the confidence of shareholders, regulators and the board. And they couldn’t have been much fun for Pandit to endure, especially after successfully navigating Citi to stability.

Oct 2, 2012
via Breakingviews

Forming ECON Team 4 is next president’s top task

Photo

By Rob Cox and Daniel Indiviglio
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Mitt Romney says the first day of his presidency would be exceptionally busy. The former Massachusetts governor has promised to overturn two of his predecessor’s landmark legislative achievements, the Affordable Healthcare Act and the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill; he would approve the Keystone energy pipeline from Canada, introduce sweeping tax cuts and brand China a currency manipulator.

Oct 1, 2012
via Breakingviews

Vietnam is a bad example to newly emerging markets

Photo

By Rob Cox

This column appears in the Oct. 1 edition of Newsweek magazine. The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Almost exactly two years ago this week, Christine Gregoire, the governor of the U.S. state of Washington, was in Vietnam handing out French fries made from potatoes grown in her state at a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Ho Chi Minh City. Gregoire, accompanied by representatives of more than 50 companies from home, was in Vietnam trying to drum up business with America’s former military adversary. But the most important stop on Gregoire’s itinerary may have been a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new deepwater shipping terminal at Cai Mep.

Sep 30, 2012

Guitarist Jack White stalks off N.Y. concert stage after 45 minutes

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Jack White didn’t quite repeat the rock star meltdown by Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, but he did enrage fans by stalking off the stage just 45 minutes into his Saturday night concert at New York City’s famed Radio City Music Hall.

The critically acclaimed guitarist behind the White Stripes and The Raconteurs – and now touring behind his solo record “Blunderbuss” – pulled the plug after 12 songs lasting just 45 minutes.

Sep 25, 2012
via Breakingviews

Who will run Murdoch’s grand newspaper spinoff?

Photo

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

With a key British regulatory judgment concerning News Corp’s satellite broadcaster BSkyB cleared last week, Rupert Murdoch can focus on cleaving his newspaper empire. Critically for investors, that means it’s time to pick a leader. Wall Street Journal boss Robert Thomson appears in pole position, though his appointment would spark an editorial chain reaction of its own.

Sep 24, 2012
via Breakingviews

Percentage-mania builds confidence in 50-50 world

Photo

By Rob Cox and Edward Hadas
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

The latest is 14.1. But Mitt Romney’s tax rate is only one of many touchstone percentages doing the rounds. The U.S. presidential hopeful has also contributed 47, the percentage of Americans he says are dependent on government handouts. Both those numbers have irritated a lot of people. The challenger would prefer that the focus shift to a number which embarrasses President Barack Obama. A good candidate is 8.1 – the percentage of the labor force which is unemployed.

Sep 12, 2012
via Breakingviews

Facebook’s stock slump could be self-reinforcing

Photo

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

Mark Zuckerberg has now acknowledged that the disastrous halving of the social network’s market value since going public “doesn’t help” employee morale. But it may be more problematic than that. The decline – and the company’s eventual response – may be a self-reinforcing problem for the multi-billionaire Harvard dropout.

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.

    • 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