PARIS (Reuters Breakingviews) - It’s getting increasingly crowded at the bar for shareholder activists in Europe, but it’s still possible to get a good drink. Elliott Advisors, the U.S. hedge fund manager, has found another decent tipple in the form of Pernod Ricard, the French purveyor of booze like Absolut vodka and Chivas Regal whisky.
PARIS (Reuters Breakingviews) - France knows a thing or two about meddling investors. The government regularly sticks its nose in private industry’s affairs. Moguls like Vincent Bolloré have long thrown their weight around public boardrooms at home and abroad. But few large French companies have undergone the cage rattling that regularly rocks their American cousins. Pernod Ricard, the booze group, got a taste of that when Elliott Advisors turned up with a 2.5 percent stake on Wednesday. More is coming.
PARIS (Reuters Breakingviews) - After four successive Saturday protests that saw sustained rioting in the streets of Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron learned a lesson that crushed the hopes of his recent predecessors: it is no easier to govern than to reform. That revelation has come very late for the youthful former banker, who believed he’d been given a clearer mandate to do more than simply avoid conflict or hustle France through another few years of listlessness.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - It’s hard to imagine a company embodying as many of the challenges and opportunities of 21st century capitalism as Siemens. The German conglomerate’s CEO swings by Times Square to discuss trade, breakups, power, automation, labor, Saudi Arabia and lots in between with Rob Cox.
PARIS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Soon after relocating to Paris I met an entrepreneur with an extraordinary ambition to challenge the technological dominance of Microsoft and Google by creating an alternative digital operating system. I also encountered an angry protester in a yellow vest, or “gilet jaune”, who wanted to overthrow the government. Welcome to the two faces of the global centre of the resistance.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - George H. W. Bush presided over the fall of Soviet communism and led an international effort to foil Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. But the dividends from these historic successes during his one term mostly bypassed the 41st U.S. president, who died at 94 in his Houston home on Friday, and accrued to his successors, including son George W. Bush.
LONDON/PARIS (Reuters Breakingviews) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s Thanksgiving-week absolution of Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents has undermined any claims to global moral leadership by the U.S. administration. But America’s reputational loss today may benefit the Gulf in 2019.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Donald Trump is kindling a trade war with China. Yet in parts of the country’s private sector, there is surprising, if discreet, support for the U.S. president.
PARIS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Few people have dedicated their careers to expanding international trade and globalism like Lamy, the former head of the WTO and EU commissioner. But rising rhetoric and increased tariffs between the U.S. and China have him worried, as he tells Rob Cox and Liam Proud in Paris.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Americans go to the polls next week. But in one California town, the fiercest debate isn’t whether Republicans or Democrats triumph in midterm elections, but over the legacy of a long-dead president, William McKinley. Citizens will vote on Tuesday on whether to remove a century-old statue from their town square of the “Napoleon of Protection”, who was assassinated in 1901.