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
Right now the European Union is united on one thing above all: to get Britain to pay as big a divorce bill as possible when it exits the EU. But while money will unite leaders at this week’s European summit, it will divide them after Brexit.
［１９日 ロイター］ - 先の読めない緊張感が漂っていた今年のオランダ、フランス、英国における総選挙とはまったく対照的に、２４日に控えたドイツ連邦議会（下院）選挙は際立って退屈な展開となっている。
Unlike the nerve-jangling elections earlier this year in the Netherlands, France and Britain, Germany’s has been notably dull. The country that invented “Sturm und Drang” is showing a distinct lack of storm and stress as Angela Merkel heads towards a fourth term as chancellor.
Watching the slow-motion crash of Britain’s exit negotiations with the European Union is a disconcerting experience. A state that once ran a global empire is looking second-rate as the government’s implausible expectations about what it may be able to achieve in the talks are dashed. The British lack of realism, especially about vital future trading arrangements with the EU, reflects divisions within a government weakened after Prime Minister Theresa May lost her Conservative majority at the general election in June. But it also shows the government’s dismaying lack of historical and strategic understanding about how Britain lost its clout outside the European club more than half a century ago.
Once again Britain’s general election has been disrupted by a deadly attack on civilians. This weekend’s assault by jihadists at London Bridge and the Borough Market area will keep security issues at the fore in the final days of campaigning before the June 8 vote.
The world’s two main central banks are heading in different directions. The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates at its meeting this week, with further increases to come later this year. By contrast, the European Central Bank (ECB) will keep euro zone interest rates as low as possible while continuing its now two-year-long program of quantitative easing (QE), in which it creates new money to buy bonds.
British Prime Minister Theresa May was the first foreign leader to meet Donald Trump at the White House, but the one who counts in Europe is German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Her response to Trump’s apparent readiness to overturn seven decades of American support for NATO and the European Union will be crucial in determining the future of Germany and the EU.
When business leaders meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, they will be looking ahead to some crunch days for Europe in 2017. Crucial elections will be held in the Netherlands, France and Germany. Italians may go to the polls too. Any one of these ballots could bring a populist upset and further destabilize an already crisis-stricken European Union. But in a year of great political risks, investors should also pay attention to two momentous anniversaries and their implications for the EU’s future.
Rogue One, the latest in the Star Wars franchise, has had mixed reviews but features one undisputed star: K-2SO, a gangly robot with the best lines. Movies of the distant future always tap into current anxieties, and the latest alarm is that the robots are coming. Droids may not conquer the world, but they will take over its work – white-collar as well as blue-collar. Could these filmmakers know something we don’t?
After ingesting the Trump agenda and spitting out its market implications, investors and traders can get back to their usual pastime: trying to work out what central bankers are plotting.