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Apr 4, 2014
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Review: Zero margin call

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By Robert Cole

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

Seismic shifts in the organisation of human civilisation have occurred only twice in the last 10,000 years. Or so says Jeremy Rifkin in his new book, “The Zero Marginal Cost Society.” We are, he writes, in the throes of a third transition. It is one that will bring the death of capitalism and the onset of the “Collaborative Commons.”

Apr 4, 2014
via Breakingviews

Review: Zero margin call

Photo

By Robert Cole

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

Seismic shifts in the organisation of human civilisation have occurred only twice in the last 10,000 years. Or so says Jeremy Rifkin in his new book, “The Zero Marginal Cost Society.” We are, he writes, in the throes of a third transition. It is one that will bring the death of capitalism and the onset of the “Collaborative Commons.”

Apr 1, 2014
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How to avoid another second-class UK privatisation

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By Robert Cole

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

Britain has ways to avoid another second-class privatisation. Royal Mail’s IPO looks awfully cheap in hindsight: shares leapt 38 percent on day one and trade at a 70 percent premium six months later. So an official post-mortem from the National Audit Office embarrasses politicians and bankers alike. Still, there are lessons for future selloffs. Sell down slowly, be more flexible in book-building, and handle retail offers carefully.

Apr 1, 2014
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How to avoid another second-class UK privatisation

Photo

By Robert Cole

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

Britain has ways to avoid another second-class privatisation. Royal Mail’s IPO looks awfully cheap in hindsight: shares leapt 38 percent on day one and trade at a 70 percent premium six months later. So an official post-mortem from the National Audit Office embarrasses politicians and bankers alike. Still, there are lessons for future selloffs. Sell down slowly, be more flexible in book-building, and handle retail offers carefully.

Feb 26, 2014
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AB InBev deserves premium-strength rating

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By Robert Cole

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

AB InBev seems to pump as much cash as beer out of its business. It is the world’s biggest brewer, responsible for the Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona brands, and even with a 2 percent annual decline in volume it poured 426 million hectolitres of grog in 2013. That’s enough to fill 17,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Feb 26, 2014
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AB InBev deserves premium-strength rating

Photo

By Robert Cole

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

AB InBev seems to pump as much cash as beer out of its business. It is the world’s biggest brewer, responsible for the Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona brands, and even with a 2 percent annual decline in volume it poured 426 million hectolitres of grog in 2013. That’s enough to fill 17,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Jan 21, 2014
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Unilever washes off emerging-market uncertainties

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By Robert Cole

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

Emerging-market uncertainties are washing off Unilever. Currencies are working against it: groupwide earnings were knocked by 7 percent thanks to exchange-rate swings across the globe. But forex aside, the trends in developing economies remain firmly positive. The declines in developed markets’ revenues and profits are more worrying.

Dec 20, 2013
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Germany will lift the soccer World Cup

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By Robert Cole

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

Germany is going to win the soccer World Cup. The football-mad Brazilian hosts have won five times, more than any other country. But using a Breakingviews calculator based on the hard numbers – the players’ transfer value, population, participation and public engagement – Teutonic power will squash the romantic dream of a sixth win for Brazil.

Dec 4, 2013
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Tesco’s mediocre plan may be as good as it gets

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By Robert Cole

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

Investors’ patience with Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket operator, is justifiably wearing thin. Shares in the group rose in early trading on Dec. 4, as the company published third quarter sales figures. But that was probably because the numbers were no worse than expected. The stock price slipped back later in the day. Over the last two years Tesco shares have fallen 16 percent while the FTSE 100 has risen 17 percent.

Nov 27, 2013
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Royal Mail risks are as real as ever

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By Robert Cole

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

Royal Mail has cleared its first hurdle as a public company. But deep-seated challenges remain, and the UK postal firm’s current market value looks too rich.

    • About Robert

      "Robert is Assistant Editor of Reuters Breakingviews, based in London. He has a special focus on investment, writing about it on a global basis. Robert worked for The Times, in London, in a variety of writing and editing capacities from 1998 to 2010. For nearly 10 years he edited the newspaper’s daily Tempus investment column. He was also deputy business editor, acting business editor, a leader writer, the chief obituaries writer and a news editor in the home affairs department. Prior to joining The Times, Robert worked on The Independent and the London Evening Standard. His most recent book is ..."
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