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United States

Pete Sweeney

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

May 17 2018

Breakingviews - China's airlines are set for a long-haul price war

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Chinese airlines are ready to rumble. Having freed local carriers to hike fees at home, Beijing will now let them compete on long-hauls to overseas destinations. A price war to serve popular destinations is in the offing, as the Big Three - China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Air China - fight it out. That will come at foreign rivals' expense.

Apr 25 2018

Breakingviews- Viewsroom: America puts ZTE in the sin bin

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - The Trump administration’s decision to ban U.S. companies from selling to the Chinese telecom giant is seriously hurting the company's business. And there’s no easy plan B for ZTE. Also: China has a new way to measure unemployment. Should investors take it seriously?

Apr 20 2018

Breakingviews - Review: How to deprogram economic xenophobia

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Renowned social scientist Robert Putnam was so horrified by his research results that he almost binned them. His vast, meticulous survey, which ended in 2000, found that Americans living in ethnically diverse communities became less trustful than their peers in homogenous neighbourhoods. They not only became sceptical of people from other races, but of their own ethnic group too. Placed in proximity with those from different backgrounds, humans did not become more tolerant, but voted less, volunteered less, distrusted their neighbours and suspected their leaders. The survey contradicted a core assumption of multiculturalism: that integration delivers social cohesion.

Apr 17 2018

Breakingviews - China's two-track money policy hangs over economy

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China’s campaign to cut bad debt is at risk of losing resolve. GDP growth in the first quarter held steady at 6.8 percent, but more substantive indicators like industrial activity and inflation suggest some cooling. The central bank’s hard line on sloppy lending already shows signs of softening.

Apr 10 2018

Breakingviews - Viewsroom: The biggest loser, China or the U.S.?

Hong Kong (Reuters Breakingviews) - A volley of words threatens a trade war between PRC leader Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump. Developing China has much at risk in fighting with the world’s largest economy. But American businesses are vulnerable too. Plus: Meituan goes all-in with local services.

Apr 11 2018

Breakingviews - China’s financial market door only opens inward

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China's latest financial opening promises go in one direction. Central bank governor Yi Gang on Wednesday pledged to lower ownership barriers for foreign financiers by the end of the year, and added that a stock trading link with London could open in the same timeframe. Meanwhile China’s securities regulator quadrupled the daily stock trading quota with Hong Kong, clearing the way for foreign funds to buy more mainland equities. In keeping with long-standing Chinese practice, the reforms will enable more foreign money to flow into China, but not the other way around.

Apr 10 2018

Breakingviews - HSBC donates top banker to China’s soft power push

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - HSBC is catering to China's soft power push, creating a job title sure to charm Beijing: Head of Belt and Road Initiative. The Asia-focused lender has staffed the role with senior banker Mukhtar Hussain, currently chief of HSBC Malaysia. Putting a heavy hitter in charge of coordinating efforts to tap the $1 trillion overseas infrastructure programme makes sense; rivals have employees playing similar roles without so exalted a title. Don't be surprised to see other global banks copy HSBC.

Mar 28 2018

Breakingviews - Kim Jong Un's change of heart might be for real

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - North Korean despot Kim Jong Un is suddenly playing nice. Having thawed relations with Seoul during the winter Olympics, this week he kowtowed to Chinese President Xi Jinping. He's open to reopening negotiations with the United States and talking “de-nuclearization”. This could be a cheap ploy to get sanctions lifted, after which Kim will go straight back to extortion. But the young leader might actually be ready to start putting his country on a more normal development path.

Mar 27 2018

Breakingviews - Chinese banks healthy enough for stronger medicine

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Chinese banks look healthy enough to handle more debt medicine. Stable real estate and solid corporate profits helped boost big lenders’ earnings and margins in 2017, while manic asset growth slowed and risk buffers thickened. That clears space for newly empowered regulators to force more defaults, and address flaws in China’s debt-for-equity swap programme.

Mar 22 2018

Breakingviews - Viewsroom: China’s new central banker

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Yi Gang has experience working in America. Once considered a liability, that background now may be one of his greatest assets. And the mainland is courting companies to list shares locally, while China’s version of Hulu plans an IPO - in New York.

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