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) - U.S. President Donald Trump is on the brink of triggering a transatlantic trade war with his plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. That’s bad enough for the global economy. But by invoking a little-used national security loophole to justify his belligerence, he may be opening an even bigger can of worms.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - German politics has become Europe’s weak link. Though the country’s left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD) last week clinched a coalition deal with Chancellor Angela Merkel, the party is now putting the agreement to grassroot members. Infighting means this is no longer a rubber stamp. A rejection would make it harder to push through reforms to the euro zone.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Deciding whether to hold bonds or stocks these days is akin to choosing between the frying pan and the fire. Rising U.S. Treasury yields helped trigger an equity market decline that this week officially became a correction. Given that fiscal and monetary policies could hurt even the safest government debt, cash may become the most prized of all assets in the selloff.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - For all its independence, the Bank of England is at the mercy of politicians. The central bank’s boss, Mark Carney, said on Thursday that UK interest rates may rise sooner and by a bit more than previously anticipated. But that assumes Britain’s exit from the European Union is smooth. If Prime Minister Theresa May fails to secure a transition deal in the next few months, the governor will have to backtrack.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Marriages involve give and take. The one that German Chancellor Angela Merkel brokered with the Social Democrats (SPD) on Wednesday involves her handing over more than she originally intended to secure a fourth term in office. The resulting alliance may be better for the European Union than the political parties that are hooking up.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - It’s never good to bring a knife to a gunfight. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Thursday took a potshot at the United States for flouting an international agreement to avoid currency manipulation. But he has limited scope to resist a stronger euro. And European politicians who take up cudgels may escalate a brawl they will lose.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Financial markets have started doing European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s job for him. The euro hit three-year highs and government bond yields rose after euro zone rate-setters hinted they may change their tune on how long monetary policy will stay ultra-loose. These market moves amount to a tightening of monetary conditions. That buys Draghi some time to phase out negative rates that are increasingly at odds with accelerating growth.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Germany’s biggest trade union and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi share a common cause. The former wants a big pay rise for industrial workers in Europe’s largest economy. The latter wants euro zone wage growth to pick up so that he can stop worrying about inflation being too low. Teutonic workers have a strong hand but may still disappoint Draghi.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Stocks are proving they can rally on U.S. markets regardless of whether government bond yields rise or fall. But over the past 30 years, the two have never risen in tandem for more than four consecutive quarters. If that pattern holds, either equities or yields will slide within six months. It’s more likely to be equities.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - In some parts of the financial market, it’s as if the euro zone debt crisis never happened. The gap between benchmark French and German bond yields this week shrank to its smallest since 2009, before the countries that share the single currency were hit by financial shocks that threatened monetary union itself. Such indiscrimination is premature, and stores up fresh problems.