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) - Doing the right thing is its own – and sometimes only – reward. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s hints that policy interest rates may soon rise can be justified by higher inflation. But he is in a no-win situation. The central banker will be criticised for hurting a slow-growing economy if he hikes and accused of playing fast and loose if he delays.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - British Prime Theresa May’s energy plan has few political merits and even fewer economic ones. Her government said on Thursday it will cap the most commonly used energy prices until 2020 to ensure consumers pay less. The intention is laudable, but the biggest intervention since Britain privatised its energy industry three decades ago may do more harm than good.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - On paper, Catalonia looks viable as an independent state. The region which accounts for around a fifth of Spain’s economy has gross domestic product roughly comparable to Finland’s. Its residents are on average richer and more likely to have a job than other Spaniards. Nevertheless, the economic odds are stacked against the secessionists.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Sometime between fighting the global financial crisis and averting the breakup of the euro zone, central bankers began to be viewed as superheroes. They are in danger of becoming victims of their own success.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain’s wage mystery is deepening. The unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest in more than four decades, yet wage growth is still tepid. There are some homegrown reasons why pay is not rising faster as joblessness falls, but at least one explanation is non-British in its origin.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Reports of the death of the London Interbank Offered Rate are premature. It’s true that Andrew Bailey, the head of Britain’s financial watchdog, gave banks, investors, and businesses notice on July 27 that they could not count on the discredited benchmark surviving indefinitely in its current form. But killing off Libor will be a long and messy business. Especially since those who issued its death sentence are keen to keep the rate alive for several years to avoid market and economic disruption.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Even strong athletes can be hobbled by unexpected twinges of pain. All the more so European banks, which are still on the path to recovery. Société Générale and Commerzbank on Wednesday became the latest to say that they had been hurt by difficult trading conditions in the second quarter. The volatility of revenues from this business risks masking banks’ improving fitness.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Primary dealers are an odd choice for Europe’s next financial land-grab. Officials in the EU may force banks who buy sovereign debt directly to move some jobs out of London after Brexit to retain the privilege, Reuters reported on Wednesday. This could make a business whose appeal is dwindling even less attractive.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Traders push the euro up at their own peril. The single currency’s recent broad-based strength risks depressing import prices when inflation is still too low. Any hint that a stronger exchange rate could prompt European Central Bank President Mario Draghi to leave monetary policy loose for longer will force the euro back down again.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Central banking increasingly looks like an act of faith. The president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, and his Bank of Japan counterpart Haruhiko Kuroda have spent trillions of euros and yen without generating as much inflation as they want. Yet they have little choice but to insist their policies will eventually work.
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