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
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Carlo Cottarelli talks about how he nearly led a caretaker government after President Sergio Mattarella last month rejected a euroskeptic finance minister put forward by the parties that won March elections. The former IMF economist has some advice for Italy’s new bosses.
AMSTERDAM (Reuters Breakingviews) - The marriage of politics and finance in Italy regularly produces strange offspring. But a suggestion, floated over the weekend in the country’s most-respected newspaper, of a James Bond-style plot by some big investors to sink Italian financial markets added a new twist. More curious was the theory’s abrupt disappearance by Monday. The episode highlights the degree to which Europe’s most chaos-resilient economy has entered a risky new paradigm with the arrival of the most populist government since the Italian Republic’s founding in 1946.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - Italy’s new government says it’s not quitting the euro. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, speaking to the parliament that gave him the nod earlier this week, said his administration had no plans to leave the single currency: “We have to reiterate it, leaving the euro has never been considered and it is not being considered.” Not everyone is taking Conte at his word.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - It has been years since a daily email from Gawker graced my inbox. Sometimes I feel my days could be brightened by one of the now-defunct website’s absurd stories, like “How Did a Juggalette End Up Twerking on This Guy's Enormous Belly?” A potential buyer of the brand might revive it out of bankruptcy to focus on positive news. But mostly, the world is a better place without Gawker reporting on the sex lives of public figures, like wrestler Hulk Hogan, and private citizens alike.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Ever since 1633 when Galileo was found guilty of heresy for arguing the earth rotates around the sun, the Catholic Church has gotten a bad rap over its approach to science. So it’s somewhat surprising to see a group of nuns and church officials leading a campaign to harness technology and science to help resolve America’s tragically exceptional level of gun violence.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Three years ago, Vista Outdoor was brought to life in that manner by which corporations reproduce: a tax-free spinoff to shareholders. Alliant Techsystems, a defense business, set Vista free to be “a standalone, publicly traded outdoor sports and recreation company.” That was a euphemistic way to say Vista sells guns like the AR-15 semi-automatic assault-style rifles used in the mass-shootings that have become all too common in the United States.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - In a conference room overlooking Victoria Harbour, a senior banker smacked a mahogany table in mock theatricality and caused the tea cup on it to rattle around. Informed that rival HSBC had just anointed a senior executive in Asia with the newly minted role of "Head of Belt and Road Initiative," the financier exclaimed: "Damn, I wish we had thought of that first."
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Every Thanksgiving, we descendants of William Bradford – the Mayflower voyager who became governor of the Plymouth Colony and broke bread with the locals during that first hard year on American soil – recall the story of how he and his fellow pilgrims fled their native land so they could freely practice their religious beliefs. Never in my half-century at the turkey table has the discussion acknowledged the possibility that Bradford and his cohorts were really just economic migrants.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - BlackRock may have found a disarmingly simple solution to its gun dilemma. The fund manager led by Larry Fink will offer an arsenal of new products allowing individuals and institutions to invest in market indexes without putting money into manufacturers and retailers of firearms. Coupled with a plan to engage public gunmakers and sellers directly, it moves Fink closer to fulfilling a promise that BlackRock’s business benefit society alongside the bottom line.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Sinclair Broadcast Group has taken upon itself the noble ambition of teaching Americans about democracy. Through an editorial edict, the company mandated anchors at its 193 local TV stations to tell viewers that sharing biased and false news has become commonplace and that some members of the media use their own platforms to push their personal bias. "This is extremely dangerous to our democracy," its presenters bleated in unison.