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Sep 24, 2013
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No quick fix for long-term bonus plans

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By Robert Cole

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

Fidelity Worldwide wants long-term bonus plans to be just that – “long term” as much as “bonus.” For the asset manager, that means forbidding executives from cashing in their awards for five years – even if share grants have vested earlier. It’s hard to argue with this. But the policy would have side effects and need careful implementation.

Sep 13, 2013
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Review: A blunt-edged hatchet job of free markets

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By Robert Cole

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

Bryan Gould’s new book is a closely argued critique of current trends in globalisation, monetary policy, and big business. Gould, a senior figure in the UK Labour Party in the 1980s has found some culpable targets. But his own answers are unconvincing.

Aug 13, 2013
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European CEOs should avoid starving capex for divis

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By Robert Cole

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

Corporate Europe is struggling to grow earnings as fast as it has been raising dividends. That could lead to a squeeze, and some tricky decisions about how companies use their cash.

Jul 4, 2013

Pension discount-rate relief is easy to overstate

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

By Robert Cole

LONDON, July 4 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Not everyone is
fretting about rising bond yields. While bondholders don’t like
lower capital values and borrowers worry about higher costs,
sponsors of defined-benefit (DB) pension plans are generally
very happy, even if the plans have big bond portfolios. They can
thank the accountants.

Jul 3, 2013
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EU bonus-cap vote puts fund managers in hot seat

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By Robert Cole
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are his own.

 

European fund managers can heave a sigh of relief. On Wednesday the European Parliament rejected the plan of Sven Giegold, the German MEP, to place strict limits on bonus payments and to outlaw some performance fees.

Apr 9, 2013
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It is time the UK buried Thatcher’s europhobia

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By Robert Cole

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

David Cameron’s wish to reform the EU has been met with barely-disguised derision in Berlin, Paris and Brussels. It is not that Europe thinks it is perfect: Merkel, Hollande, Draghi et al know they have mountains to climb. In principle and in practice, the euro project has big problems. But why on earth should the leaders of Europe make a complex job more difficult for themselves by pandering to the prejudices of its peripheral northern cousin?

Apr 4, 2013

shaped bonus cap might just fit fund managers

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

By Robert Cole

LONDON, April 4 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Fund managers make
too much money. Or so Sven Giegold, a German member of the
European parliament, seems to think. He is pushing proposals in
Brussels that would impose bonus caps on asset managers’ pay.
Borrowing from strictures about to be inflicted on EU bankers,
the Giegold initiative would stop fund managers receiving annual
bonuses worth more than 100 percent of base salary.

Mar 8, 2013
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UK would gain from homeowner tax switch

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By Robert Cole

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

George Osborne, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, will present his annual budget on March 20. To maintain credibility he needs to stick to his austerity agenda. To tackle debt he needs to protect tax revenue. To maximise revenue, and appease recession-restless voters, he needs to promote economic growth. He could do all three by stamping on the UK’s property transaction tax and closing a loophole: capital gains tax (CGT) is not currently levied on owner-occupied homes.

Feb 8, 2013
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Tokyo stocks: this time could really be different

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By Robert Cole

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

Once bitten, twice shy. In fact, investors in Japan have been bitten many times by the seductive notion that the land of the rising sun is emerging from its bear-market night. They would be forgiven for shying away this time.

Jan 11, 2013
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Review: Haiti’s unreconstructed disaster story

It is three years since a massive earthquake devastated Haiti. A new book by Jonathan Katz suggests that the ensuing international aid effort gave the stricken the Caribbean country all possible assistance, short of actual help. He suggests, indeed, that the outsiders did more harm than good.

Haiti’s crisis plucked at the world’s heart strings. Bill Clinton, Sean Penn and Angelina Jolie were among the famous names who stepped up as advocates for the dispossessed. Katz reports that $16.3 billion, much from the United States, was donated. But the effort fell woefully short. “The world came to save Haiti and left behind a disaster”, he writes.

    • 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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