Edition:
United States

Daniel Indiviglio

Icahn takes $150 mln of activism to political realm

Oct 22 2015

The investor wants to help U.S. companies bring back $2 trln of overseas cash in return for a reduced tax that will fund infrastructure. A massive so-called super PAC will back like-minded candidates in 2016 elections. The idea makes sense, but a longer-term fix would be better.

President Bernie Sanders would dig an $8 trillion hole

Oct 12 2015

The socialist U.S. candidate would shake up the economy with dramatically more government spending. But promises from free college tuition to a government health system would cost more than $12 trln over a decade – far short of additional revenue, like a Wall Street trading tax.

Hillary Clinton lands soft punches on Wall Street

Oct 08 2015

The White House hopeful has unveiled a slew of ideas for reining in financial excess. Initiatives like imposing risk fees on big banks and improving hedge fund reporting won’t win many friends in the industry. But they’re manageable blows that Wall Street could roll with.

New bank M&A powerhouse leaves rivals for dead

Aug 18 2015

Regional U.S. lender BB&T’s $1.8 bln swoop for National Penn is its fourth deal in a year. The acquisition makes financial sense and is more proof the Fed supports industry tie-ups. The longer other banks stay on the sidelines, the more it’ll look like they fear rejection.

Memo from 2020: Elizabeth Warren heads to Citi

Jun 19 2015

Barney Frank, whose name adorns the law that reshaped Wall Street, has followed former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair through the revolving door to a bank board. Only the crusading U.S. senator joining them would be more surprising. Breakingviews imagines how it might play out.

U.S. student loans could need $500 bln bailout

Feb 27 2015

Borrowing for education has soared over the past decade, ballooning to $1.2 trln and growing far faster than GDP. With serious delinquencies at 11 pct and Washington on the hook, there’s a mess in the making. A Breakingviews calculator shows how big Uncle Sam’s exposure could get.

RBC’s foray south a pricey bet that two’s a charm

Jan 22 2015

The Canadian bank is paying $5.4 bln for U.S. lender City National, a 26 pct premium that planned cost cuts don’t justify. The so-called banker to Hollywood stars is growing well. But RBC’s last venture into American retail banking was a mess. It needs to prove it can do better.

Breakingviews: Obama pulls a Warren to put a banker at Treasury

Jan 13 2015

(Reuters Breakingviews) - Barack Obama has turned the tables on Elizabeth Warren. The president bypassed the U.S. senator's opposition to Treasury nominee Antonio Weiss with a familiar trick: naming the Lazard banker to a similar post not requiring congressional approval. That's the same ploy that allowed Warren - Weiss' harshest critic - to help steer the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010. Even with a broken confirmation process, the White House gets the expertise it needs.

Breakingviews: Thiel bets regulators just blowing smoke on weed

Jan 12 2015

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Peter Thiel may reckon regulators are just blowing smoke on weed. The PayPal billionaire's Founders Fund is backing the marijuana business, investing in Seattle-based farming firm Privateer Holdings. Though the stake could run up against U.S. anti-drug laws, Thiel - like sharing-economy upstarts Airbnb and Uber - is wagering that the legal haze will clear. His reward could be sky-high returns.

U.S. housing demand is building

Dec 26 2014

The post-crisis rebound boosted home prices 25 pct even as sales and construction lagged. Increasing household formation, job creation and easing credit look set to give the market another leg up, despite rising interest rates and the headwind of sliding affordability.

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