NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Elon Musk has lost his touch, at least that’s one way to read investor reaction to the Tesla boss’s big reveal on Tuesday. His plan to ramp up sales at the $395 billion company by slashing battery costs prompted shareholders to put the stock into a 12% decline during and after regular trading hours. Usually, Musk’s pitches prompt a surge. But both he and shareholders are sharing a rare dose of realism.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Citigroup’s decision to choose Jane Fraser as its next chief executive shows that it is becoming the U.S. banking industry’s ESG leader. Granted, that’s a relatively low bar on environmental, social and governance criteria alike. But the $109 billion lender stands out from the crowd. Cementing that advantage will be one of Fraser’s tasks – but so will boosting the lender’s long-term earnings drag.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Another report on the risks of climate change ought to be unnecessary as wildfires rage across America's Pacific states. But that’s what appeared on Wednesday at the behest of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The document's main strength is its obviousness.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The CEOs of Big Tech companies faced off against U.S. lawmakers during an antitrust hearing that raised new evidence about past acquisitions. Meanwhile, Japan’s Ootoya and Colowide engage in a food M&A fight. And: SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son’s next steps.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Tesla investors have put the hopes for a world of electric vehicles almost exclusively on Elon Musk’s shoulders. His Palo Alto, California-based car company, which reported a $104 million second-quarter profit on Wednesday afternoon, is close to topping $300 billion in market capitalization, leaving the company accounting for around a third of the entire industry’s stock-market value. As wacky as that is, it does have a link to reality.
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Joe Biden has whipped up a generous spread of proposals to make America cleaner and more sustainable. The presidential hopeful’s four-year, $2 trillion energy and infrastructure plan, unveiled on Tuesday, borrows ingredients from sources including progressive Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. It even takes a leaf out of President Donald Trump’s playbook in stressing American jobs and products. But Biden’s climate smorgasbord lacks some key dishes. | Video
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Tesla’s electrifying rise claimed its biggest victim yet. During morning trading on Wednesday, shares in the Silicon Valley upstart rose some 5% to briefly hit a market value of $210 billion, overtaking Toyota Motor as the world’s largest carmaker by market worth. Undeserved as that may be, it shifts Chief Executive Elon Musk’s performance bonus into overdrive. | Video
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Elon Musk is making Tesla’s board more sustainable. On Thursday the electric-car maker unveiled Hiromichi Mizuno as its newest director. Until last month he was the investment chief of Japan’s $1.5 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s largest. That experience alone will be valuable to Tesla. But it’s the clout that Mizuno developed and wielded in environmental, social and governance issues during his five-year stint at GPIF that will serve the manufacturer and its shareholders best.
NEW YORK/HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Breakingviews columnists check in from home in New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong to discuss disappearing Silicon Valley perks like free meals and booze, office activism at tech firms, the mystery of China’s 20 million lost mobile-phone subscribers and an ascendant TikTok.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Elon Musk has a chance to prove to skeptics that he has finally wrapped his head around the basics of running a carmaker. Tesla’s boss seems to have ironed out most of the production problems that have plagued the electric-car maker for much of the past three years, if first-quarter sales numbers unveiled on Thursday are anything to go by. He has also amassed a decent stash of cash, which should be enough for Tesla to go almost a year without revenue before running out of juice. That’s better than either Ford or General Motors can manage. But Musk can only pull that off if he has finally mastered how to keep costs under control.