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) - Unilever’s struggle gives hope to predators. The consumer giant that fended off a bid from Kraft Heinz earlier this year reported weak third-quarter sales on Thursday. Chief Executive Paul Polman is sprucing up brands, but the more pedestrian Unilever’s performance, the more vulnerable it becomes.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Europe is poorly placed to deal with Austria’s rightward drift. The far-right Freedom Party scored well in the country’s election and may enter government. Though it has been in power before, the challenges facing Europe are potentially more serious now.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Painkillers and pile cream: these are either the recipe for a terrible night in, or a potentially good corporate deal. Pfizer, the $215 billion U.S. drugmaker, has tasked investment banks with looking into a spinoff or sale of its consumer-goods division, which makes Advil and Preparation H. New GlaxoSmithKline boss Emma Walmsley would be well placed to offer a home.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The Catalonia crisis is a painful distraction for Spain. Sunday’s acrimonious independence referendum in the region is unlikely to trigger a break-up of the country. Nevertheless, investors may have to attach a bigger political discount to its recovering economy.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The campaign for a euro zone budget is a distraction. French President Emmanuel Macron is among those pushing for a fund, financed by taxpayers, to help counter economic shocks. But comments from European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday show the idea is a stretch. Other less dramatic – and less expensive – reforms might achieve the same result.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bain Capital and Cinven are getting the Elliott shakedown. The private equity firms have bought a majority stake in German drugmaker Stada for 4.1 billion euros, but now the U.S. hedge fund wants a big premium in return for selling its minority shareholding. It’s a form of ransom – but the buyers can afford to pay it.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The bailout of Otkritie, one of Russia’s biggest lenders, shows the perils of aggressive expansion and an incomplete system for winding up financial giants. It also rekindles anxiety over what it means for a bank to be too big to fail.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Spain’s model bank bail-in is leaving lasting scars. The resolution of Banco Popular used new European rules to ensure that creditors, not taxpayers, picked up the bill. Investors have responded by dumping debt issued by other small peers.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - A cross-Channel tug-of-war over derivatives regulation demonstrates the limits of Brexit. The European Commission has backed away from forcing trading in euro derivatives to leave London. But its alternative solution will require UK-based clearing houses to follow EU rules – or lose out.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain’s warring political parties can all gain if they share the Brexit pain. The Conservative party’s loss of a majority in last week’s general election weakens its hand in talks with the European Union. Bringing Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour into talks could strengthen it, and cut the chance of a chaotic exit. If, that is, Corbyn can be persuaded to collaborate.