Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.
Twitter handle: @jeffmason1
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Lloyds Banking Group has hit peak Antonio Horta-Osorio. The UK lender’s recovery under its current chief executive has been impressive, however one slices it. But from here, his efforts become relatively less important in driving Lloyds’ returns than what happens to the British economy.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The code names bankers and companies attach to their mergers and acquisitions can reveal much about their own hubris. Last year, according to a study by data company IntraLinks, the most popular secret deal names included Project Diamond and Project Falcon – even though most mergers fall short of their potential. Breakingviews has taken some actual code names from the past year, and applied them to deals that seem particularly fitting.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Investors, regulators, customers – everyone wants a piece of Tesco. The UK supermarket chain has come under fire from two big shareholders over what they see as a distracting, expensive takeover of wholesaler Booker Group. A financial regulator has used Tesco to experiment with compensating victims of market abuse. And customers just want ever-lower prices, as always. This last challenge is the one that could really knock things off course.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Mistakes happen. It’s what happens next that counts. Sunday's Academy Awards gaffe that saw the wrong film named as best picture may leave the ceremony’s accounting partner with a sense of déjà vu. PricewaterhouseCoopers flubbed its job of handing closely guarded voting results to presenters, resulting in "La La Land" being mistakenly awarded the Oscar until the error and the real winner, "Moonlight", were finally announced in the middle of the third "La La Land" acceptance speech.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse really hope their merger of equals will go ahead. So do some of their investment bank customers. Many politicians in Germany and the United Kingdom, though, hope it fails, and shareholders don’t really mind either way. A probable objection from the European Commission’s antitrust police is therefore no disaster.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Nestle's new boss is tweaking the Swiss consumer goods group's recipe, but the taste so far remains the same. Ulf Mark Schneider used his first outing as chief executive on Thursday to back away from a long-held goal of growing sales 5 to 6 percent. That's hardly daring: Nestle has fallen short four years running. Schneider has scope to shake things up much more - if he has a free hand.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Who benefits if Greece defaults on its debts? Neither its creditors nor its obstreperous government. That is the best reason to hope that tense talks on whether the country deserves the next slice of an 86 billion euro bailout will end amicably before around 6 billion euros of debt comes due for repayment in July. If rationality prevails Greece will still be in a mess, but not at the brink.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Retail is like a game of tug-of-war. Customers, stores and suppliers all want to capture a bigger share of the spoils. Tesco's near-20 billion pound merger with wholesale food supplier Booker is a way for Britain's dominant supermarket group to get a tighter grip on the rope, at least for a while.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Theresa May’s encounter with Donald Trump on Friday is a moment of truth for post-Brexit UK. If UK and U.S. leaders agree to open up $203 billion of annual trade it would be a positive - for their economies and for Britain's divorce proceedings with the European Union. The cost is modest nose-holding, and a willingness to settle for fast and flaunt-worthy, rather than deep and comprehensive.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Industrial strategy, like polio, basically disappeared from Britain in the 1980s. Prime Minister Theresa May is bringing it back, with a plan to boost British industries set to be announced on Monday. Such a programme could be helpful, if the government focuses on the big picture. Otherwise, the squeakiest wheels might get the grease.