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) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market is joining the big time. Index provider MSCI on June 20 added the kingdom to its emerging markets benchmark. The elevation is well deserved, but a more important catalyst for internationalising its capital market would be listing national oil champion Aramco.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain has unearthed a small nugget of Brexit-related good news. Cabinet ministers on Thursday managed to stop squabbling long enough to agree on how to avoid a hard border in Ireland when the UK leaves the European Union. The bad news is that the backstop position is itself confusing, and could well soon be shot down by European negotiators anyway.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - OPEC is changing course. For the past year-and-a-half, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and producers like Russia have diligently stuck to agreed oil supply cuts. Now Russia and Saudi Arabia are discussing opening the taps by an extra 1 million barrels per day, Reuters reported on Friday. It’s more of a reset than a rethink.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - European politicians have ways of coping with U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Their options are, however, not very good ones. The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – signed between Tehran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United States and the European Union in 2015 – made it possible for European firms to work in Iran without getting sanctioned by the United States. Trump’s blunt action reverses this in a way that will be hard to face down.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Donald Trump just unloaded multiple bullets targeted at America’s foot. The U.S. president said on May 8 he was rescinding support for the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and re-imposing tough sanctions on Iran lifted as part of the 2015 deal with France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia. It’s a heavy and self-defeating price to pay for sticking to an election pledge.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - BP’s quest to rejuvenate itself following its 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster has been a marathon – even after $66 billion in pre-tax charges, the UK oil major is likely to have to pay $3 billion in 2018. But a combination of self-help and higher prices could turn the recovery’s latter stages into a sprint.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The American rethink on Russian sanctions should be more reassuring than it is. The U.S. Treasury said on April 23 that it would give customers more time to comply with tough recent curbs on Rusal, and also offered the group the chance to disentangle itself from owner Oleg Deripaska. That’s good for commodities markets, but only up to a point.
LONDON/SINGAPORE (Reuters Breakingviews) - China’s game of pass-the-parcel with Rosneft just took a fresh twist. The investigation of state asset manager Huarong’s chairman on graft allegations marks the second time in as many months that an entity interested in acquiring a stake in the Russian oil company has fallen foul of Beijing’s anti-corruption drive. But it’s less problematic for diplomatic relations than it looks.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Russia is limbering up to use its banks as a lifebelt – again. Finance minister Anton Siluanov said on April 11 that domestic lender Promsvyazbank could lend emergency funds to United Company Rusal, whose shares have been smashed by U.S. sanctions announced on April 6. If Rusal heralds the start of a wider assault, Moscow can deploy some familiar airbags.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Spare a thought for investors in EN+. The Russian power and aluminium group only listed on the London market five months ago, only for its depositary receipts to fall below the $14 debut price. Following Friday’s news that the energy group was being added to the U.S. sanctions list, its shares dropped another 20 percent.
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