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
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.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - It's hard to take pity on Remington, the firm that manufactured the assault-style rifle used to murder 20 first-graders and six of their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. But the gunmaker's bankruptcy is undeniably pitiful. Having massacred some $700 million of creditors' wealth, Remington finds itself with a group of reluctant lenders and accidental shareholders who just want out in a hurry.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Six years ago, when Facebook was going public, investors bent over backwards to grant Mark Zuckerberg near-totalitarian power over the social network he founded in his Harvard dorm room by letting him hold special super-voting stock. The reasoning was that the young chairman and chief executive needed "runway" to build Facebook, without the pesky distractions most public companies face from unwashed shareholder hordes.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Amazon and Aramco would seem to have little in common apart from their shared first letter. The Saudi giant sucks oil from Arabian sands and sells it to energy-thirsty nations, sending the proceeds back to its controlling monarchy. Amazon sells stuff online, ships it to customers rapidly and reinvests the profits to destroy the economics of every industry it enters.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The world's largest fund manager has put those who make or sell America’s preferred weapon of mass murder in its crosshairs. On Friday BlackRock, which oversees more than $6 trillion, outlined steps to ensure the three publicly traded arms manufacturers in which it owns stock make "a positive contribution to society." It won't solve America's gun-violence epidemic, but by engaging with gunmakers and distributors rather than divesting, BlackRock provides a blueprint for how shareholders can bring about social change and safeguard their investments.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The day after the massacre of 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High on Feb. 14, Breakingviews published a column highlighting Wall Street's role in supporting the companies that produce what has become the preferred weapon of American mass murderers.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Which gunmaker will be the first to stop manufacturing the preferred weapon of American mass murderers? With the decision by Dick's Sporting Goods to take assault weapons off its shelves, it's a matter of time before one of the big producers of consumer firearms gets out of tactical weapons and reverts to its self-defense and hunting roots. Aside from the message that would send to future customers, it would probably be good business.