U.S. Editor, Commentary
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Aug 29, 2013
via Breakingviews

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
via Breakingviews

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.

Jun 26, 2013
via Breakingviews

Wall Street finds itself in a 1994 state of mind

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

Wall Street is obsessing about 1994. But it’s not nostalgia for Ace of Base or “Seinfeld” that has the financial industry atwitter - it’s turmoil in the bond market.

Jun 21, 2013
via Breakingviews

Salotto Buono’s dismantling hopeful sign for Italy

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

There are many reasons to worry about Italy’s prospects, but Mediobanca is no longer one. After nearly seven decades of playing the puppet master of Italian capitalism, the merchant bank that Enrico Cuccia built has announced an official retreat. It is the end of an era. Though Mediobanca’s power was already much diminished since Cuccia’s death in 2000, the new three-year business plan, unveiled on Friday in Milan, is a clear sign that corporate Italy, if not the state, is reforming.

Jun 7, 2013
via Breakingviews

Review: Hollywood blinds itself to Google’s faults

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

Rarely has a cinematic depiction of a business delivered as wet a kiss as “The Internship,” a new buddy film. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play second fiddle to the real star: a silver screen version of Google’s corporate culture. The movie makes the Internet firm – unofficial motto: “Don’t be evil” – look less evil than is remotely plausible.

May 13, 2013
via Breakingviews

What Would Jamie Dimon Do?

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By Rob Cox

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

What Would Jamie Dimon Do? That’s a question investors need to answer before voting to split the chairman and chief executive roles at JPMorgan’s annual meeting next week. The risk is that shareholders score a corporate governance point but lose Dimon. As a general rule, cutting off your nose to spite your face is a bad investment strategy.

    • 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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