Edition:
United States

Rob Cox

Mar 16 2017

Cox: Please don't let the Fed become the new SEC

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - For the first time since self-professed, easy-money real-estate developer Donald Trump became president, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate. All hell has not broken loose. That may be of some comfort to Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. central bank, and her colleagues, who reasonably might have feared a backlash from a White House promising economic sparks.

Mar 09 2017

Cox: Kalanick gives future Uber investors a lift

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Travis Kalanick is doing Uber investors of the future a potentially massive favor by remaining at the helm of the ride-sharing service. If Uber was a normal company, one exposed to a modicum of market discipline, it is hard to imagine a board of directors would let so impulsive an executive remain at the wheel.

Mar 02 2017

Cox: Snap IPO marks moment investors donned sweats

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Investors have effectively just done what no self-respecting person ever should: wear sweatpants in public. With Snap's $3.4 billion initial public offering they have simply given up giving a damn. They handed their money over to an immature company and in the process abrogated their rights to fair treatment, good governance and reasonable valuations. If the $24 billion self-styled "camera company" run by a 26-year-old fails to achieve its ambitions, shareholders have only their capitulated selves to blame.

Mar 02 2017

Cox: Snap IPO marks moment investors donned sweats

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Investors have effectively just done what no self-respecting person ever should: wear sweatpants in public. With Snap's $3.4 billion initial public offering they have simply given up giving a damn. They handed their money over to an immature company and in the process abrogated their rights to fair treatment, good governance and reasonable valuations. If the $24 billion self-styled "camera company" run by a 26-year-old fails to achieve its ambitions, shareholders have only their capitulated selves to blame.

Feb 19 2017

Kraft Heinz has to settle for marinating Unilever

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Almost nothing made by Kraft Heinz or Unilever has an expiration date of just two days – except, that is, for their $143 billion merger. Kraft, the American ketchup-and-cheese concern controlled by Brazilian investment firm 3G, withdrew an offer to acquire its Anglo-Dutch counterpart on Sunday after an inopportune leak put the knickers of British politicians and unions in a twist. But the idea of pairing 3G's ruthless cost management with Unilever's innovative bent won't easily fade from shareholders' minds.

Feb 17 2017

Kraft Heinz may have to pass hat to buy Unilever

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The world's wiliest takeover artists have found their biggest target yet. Kraft Heinz, the Kool-Aid-to-Velveeta conglomerate, has offered $143 billion for Unilever, its Anglo-Dutch rival. Even for 3G Capital, the private investment firm behind Kraft Heinz, beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev and Burger King owner Restaurant Brands International, it's an audacious move. To land Unilever, which rejected the offer, Kraft Heinz may need to pass the hat around to shareholders like Warren Buffett.

Feb 16 2017

Cox: Swamp is another name for checks and balances

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - After exhortations to build a wall and lock up Hillary Clinton, the most popular rallying cry during Donald Trump's campaign for the U.S. presidency was "drain the swamp." The phrase, which first surfaced as an anti-capitalist slogan a century ago, refers to the practice of drying up wetlands to stop mosquitoes from breeding. Since taking office less than a month ago it has become evident that Trump had a different definition in mind.

Feb 10 2017

The $22 bln Trump wall is a bad investment choice

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - It's what Donald Trump might call a "classy" problem: How to spend $21.6 billion. That's the amount the U.S. Department of Homeland Security says the president's promised wall on the border with Mexico will cost, according to an internal report seen by Reuters. Even without the overruns that would probably jack the price up, it's a bad investment choice.

Feb 08 2017

Nordstrom handed a presidential gift certificate

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - There are many reasons for dismay at U.S. President Donald Trump's latest Twitter tantrum against a private capitalistic enterprise. Nordstrom, the retailer founded by a Swedish immigrant who arrived in America in 1887 at age 16 with just $5, is the latest target. The Seattle-based chain decided to stop selling first daughter Ivanka Trump's line of clothing and accessories due to lackluster sales. During a moment when the president was thought to be attending a security briefing on Wednesday, he chastised Nordstrom for her being "so unfairly treated."

Feb 07 2017

Cox: Politics biggest enemy of Paris Brexit hopes

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - There is no more cliché pairing than a Hermes tie with an investment banker in a tailored suit. So it is only fitting that Paris – where the luxury goods firm began in a small workshop 180 years ago – would emerge as a frontrunner over Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other European cities to pick up many of the financial industry castaways who will be sent packing by Brexit.

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