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
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain has taken the plunge. UK energy regulator Ofgem on Thursday outlined how it intends to cap energy consumers’ bills, after both main political parties advocated upper limits on what households pay. The whiff of interventionism warrants nervousness in domestic banks’ boardrooms.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain is trying on its Brexit crash helmet. The UK government will on Aug. 23 reveal the first batch of contingency plans covering what happens if the country exits the European Union next March without a deal. The papers are unlikely to assuage many people’s concerns. What the government won’t say, however, is that it has a trump card.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Investors in oil majors have a problem. The need to curb carbon emissions means that sometime in the next few decades demand for fossil fuels could peak, raising the risk that prices collapse and reserves lose their value. Shareholders need to decide whether to ask tougher questions, or carry on as normal.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - As poisoned chalices go, being president of Zimbabwe takes some beating. ZANU-PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner of the first presidential elections to be held since Robert Mugabe’s removal in a coup. He will find it harder to prevail over the country’s litany of economic problems.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Mohammed bin Salman’s financial engineers are earning their fees. Plans for the Saudi crown prince to spearhead a triumphant listing of domestic oil titan Aramco are on ice, but his advisers have a workaround - Aramco may now create the cash itself by borrowing money and buying a stake in chemicals group SABIC. It’s a clever idea, but no substitute for plan A.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - BP is bucking the trend. Oil investors nowadays are sceptical of pricey deals that double down on hydrocarbons. The UK oil major’s $10.5 billion acquisition of BHP’s U.S. shale assets, announced on Friday, superficially ticks those problematic boxes, but is still worthwhile.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain has joined the security party. The UK government on Tuesday outlined how it proposes to screen foreign investment in domestic companies to better fend off security threats. While most of the proposed changes seem reasonable, they increase scope for political meddling.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - For oil market watchers, Donald Trump’s bark may be worse than his bite. The U.S. president on Monday responded to robust words from Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani by threatening “consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before”. Those threats, however, may not extend to Iran’s oil exports.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to the UK will include a dinner at Blenheim Palace on Thursday with business leaders. Corporate bosses stateside have achieved mixed results – from public praise to Twitter blowback – after public appearances with Trump. Breakingviews offers some advice to the bosses of BP, Shell, Barclays and other domestic peers invited to attend the event.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The fog surrounding Anil Agarwal’s intentions with Anglo American is only slightly thinner. The Indian billionaire is mulling a merger of his resources group Vedanta with the global miner’s South African operations, Indian newspaper Mint reported on Wednesday. He faces an uphill struggle.