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) - Obfuscation offers the only hope of a breakthrough in deadlocked Brexit talks. A plan for Northern Ireland to comply with some European Union rules after the United Kingdom leaves the bloc has met with opposition in Belfast and demands for similar treatment elsewhere. Prime Minister Theresa May’s best hope is to fudge tough decisions, and use the threat of a chaotic exit – or another election – to quash dissent.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Over-the-counter drugs could pose health risks for investors in consumer groups. Germany’s Merck has invited bids for its Seven Seas vitamins unit, while Pfizer is selling its more consumer-focused business. Nestlé and rivals see opportunities to apply their sharper marketing skills. But pumped-up valuations suggest the health drive will be expensive.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Robert Mugabe will cast a long shadow over Zimbabwe. The 93-year-old ruler, who is refusing to step down after the military seized power five days ago, is likely to be impeached after nearly four decades in power. He bequeaths an economy in dire need of reforms. The most important – luring back foreign investment and restoring trust in a dysfunctional currency system – will happen over years, not weeks.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Northern Ireland has become Brexit’s Gordian knot. Avoiding a hard border in the region is an aim of all sides in negotiations over Britain's withdrawal from the European Union. The least-worst fix is for Europe to treat Northern Ireland the way it does Norway. That’s only possible if pro-UK politicians in Belfast can be made to see the economic necessity.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Burberry’s new boss is taking a big gamble on delayed gratification. Chief Executive Marco Gobbetti’s plans to take the British brand upmarket will mean no sales or operating margin growth for more than two years. Disappointed investors who lopped almost 1 billion pounds off Burberry’s market value on Thursday will now be unforgiving. Only flawless results and the right new designer will prevent a further slide in the share price.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - First everyday socks lost their charm, now it’s melt-in-the-middle chocolate puddings. British retailer Marks & Spencer will speed up closures of its clothing stores, aiming to move sales online. But the usually reliable food business is looking a bit off, too.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Associated British Foods will pay for its sweet tooth. A company that sells everything from sugar beet to cheap party dresses has so far made the most of this somewhat odd mix. But its exposure to sugar prices means its valuation is too rich.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Northern Ireland’s political crisis risks both its economy and the UK’s unity. The British government will be forced to pass the region’s budget after talks to form a government failed. A return to direct rule from London may follow; an outcome that could see growth weaken and heighten sectarian tensions.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Burberry can take off the kid gloves as it waves goodbye to Christopher Bailey. The design chief will leave the British fashion brand next year. It has taken the company three years to unpick the deferential decision to hand him the chief executive role. His exit gives new boss Marco Gobbetti a freer hand to implement the group’s much-needed turnaround plans.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Twin tailwinds are helping Ryanair to weather its pilot crisis. The 20 billion euro no-frills airline will meet its full-year profit goal, despite a rostering mess that led to the cancellation of thousands of flights. Passenger numbers were up 11 percent to 72.1 million in the six months to Sept. 30, according to Tuesday’s half-year report from the company. Ryanair’s fare cuts helped, but it also got lucky with rivals’ bankruptcies.
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