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) - A staggered exit from quantitative easing is the most Mario Draghi can do. The European Central Bank said on Thursday it expected to stop adding to its bond portfolio via purchases of sovereign and corporate debt. But the exit is qualified by caveats, and a pledge to keep rates low. Trade wars and a weak euro zone mean the ECB president has little choice but to keep his options open.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Spain can survive its Frankenstein government. A no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has replaced his weak minority administration with one stitched together from a hodgepodge of disparate parties. At least the economy is growing and fresh elections could produce a more stable outcome.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain’s costly royal wedding is worth every penny. The marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on Saturday could leave taxpayers out of pocket by as much as 30 million pounds. But if the transatlantic union lures even a small number of extra American tourists to the United Kingdom, the expense can be easily recouped.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Takeda Pharmaceutical is swallowing a big dose of risk to buy Shire. The Japanese drugmaker finally struck a deal to take control of its Irish peer, for $62 billion. It can just about make the math work, but requires big spending cuts and a load of debt.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Buying stuff is not the standard prescription for companies under pressure from activist investors. Procter & Gamble’s 3.4 billion euro splurge on Merck KGaA’s consumer unit, the maker of Seven Seas vitamin pills, will need a booster shot to earn the support of newly appointed board member Nelson Peltz.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Jeremy Corbyn is playing hardball with a soft Brexit. The Labour Party leader says Britain should stay in a customs union when it leaves the European Union. Though his vision is fuzzy, it may appeal to voters and galvanise a parliamentary challenge to embattled Prime Minister Theresa May. UK political instability looks set to step up a gear.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Should Jeremy Corbyn win Britain’s next election, his Labour Party has said it will end private sector ownership of natural monopolies like water companies. The received wisdom is that returning utilities to the public sector will be exorbitantly expensive. But that depends how it’s done.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The UK government’s latest leak will nudge the country towards a softer Brexit. State papers reportedly show the country will lose in every scenario after it leaves the European Union. Sadly for anti-Brexiteers, the upshot looks like a less abrupt schism than a wholesale U-turn.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Europe’s market big bang offers clear pain for a fuzzy gain. The overhaul of financial rules bundled in the European Union’s MiFID II directive is designed to make finance fairer and safer. But that laudable aim comes at a heavy cost, with an unrealistic deadline, and may open up new regulatory loopholes.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Catalonia’s local elections on Thursday delivered no Christmas joy. Parties seeking to break with Spain won a majority of seats in the Catalan parliament. Their support didn’t strengthen, but it didn’t really weaken either. That suggests a fraught new year too.