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
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The chipmaker’s hostile tilt at Qualcomm is a rare aggressive move in the sector. Qualcomm has its own issues, awaiting approval for its NXP deal and fighting Apple in court. It all suggests the tech sector is too frothy. Plus: Is Hong Kong losing its moxie as a financial center?
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has a $500 bln plan to attract new business to the oil-dependent kingdom: build a utopian society on the Red Sea free of many of Saudi’s legal and cultural constraints. Plus: why tech and finance execs won’t be joining President Trump in Asia.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The bustling metropolis of Dubai should not, by rights, exist. The most populous of the seven absolute monarchies that constitute the United Arab Emirates has only modest oil reserves. To generate electricity it relies on importing natural gas - especially from Qatar, with which it severed diplomatic ties in June. And it has virtually no natural fresh water. Yet Dubai and its population of 2.7 million people now boast GDP of around $40,000 a head, according to the government of Dubai’s Statistics Center. | Video
NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Goldman Sachs pipped Morgan Stanley on style in the third quarter, but not on substance. Lloyd Blankfein’s firm cranked out $2 billion of earnings in the three months to the end of September, at an annualized return on equity of 10.9 percent. That bested the 9.6 percent showing of Goldman’s main Wall Street rival – the first time this year that it has come out ahead. Morgan Stanley boss James Gorman, though, has crafted a more attractive-looking business for the longer term.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Nelson Peltz narrowly lost his acrimonious bid for a P&G board seat. Honeywell’s decision to spin off two small units was less than Dan Loeb lobbied for. These are temporary setbacks. Past experience and their financial firepower make shareholder activists a powerful force.
NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Owners of Wall Street banks are being taken for a Washington ride. The S&P 500 Bank Index has surged 12 percent since Sept. 8. That is not justified by the trajectory of earnings, as JPMorgan and Citigroup showed on Thursday with results that were no better than steady. Tax cuts would support higher stocks, but they're at best some way off. In the meantime, banks have other concerns.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Ford boss Jim Hackett’s plan to catch up with rival GM on electric and self-driving vehicles starts with $14 bln of cost cuts. China may be in pole position as it considers banning gasoline cars entirely. But plenty of factors could delay mass adoption of new technology.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Everything old is new again in finance. Navient, which services debt, is buying startup student-loan refinancer Earnest for less than half its 2015 valuation. Even then, it’ll eat into the new owner’s earnings and share buybacks. Worse, Navient faces a fresh lawsuit over dodgy practices.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - One of the chief strengths of crypto-currencies is becoming their weakness. Freedom from regulation was the big draw of bitcoin, ether and their proliferating kind. But the exchanges set up to trade them often lack basic controls over identity, fraud, technology and even volume, a Reuters investigation shows. Without fixes, that will consign digital currencies to the financial fringe.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Add BHP Billiton and vacuum-cleaner maker Dyson to the list of converts to the electric-vehicle revolution. Arnoud Balhuizen, chief commercial officer at the world’s largest miner, told Reuters on Tuesday that battery-powered cars will reach a tipping point this year. On the same day, James Dyson revealed that his firm has had some 400 engineers building one for more than two years and expects to have a model in production by 2020. With Tesla, Volvo, General Motors, Volkswagen and others all launching or announcing new electric vehicles, it may sound like the internal combustion engine is heading straight for the scrap yard.