NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Of the five boroughs that make up New York City, Staten Island was the one that voted most enthusiastically to join back in 1894. Times have changed. Some local politicians now want to carve the island – once home to the world’s biggest landfill, cinematic mafioso Vito Corleone and pop star Christina Aguilera – away from the Big Apple. Their goal is far-fetched, but their efforts hold important lessons for other fragmenting democracies.
NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Steve Schwarzman has one big regret. In 1994 the Blackstone boss sold a stake in some funds that later became BlackRock, the $7 trillion asset manager run by Larry Fink. Schwarzman describes the sale as “a heroic mistake.” It’s not too late to fix it.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - This year’s Nobel economists showed that people often do the opposite of what theory predicts – whether they’re in a Kenyan schoolroom or a dying U.S. factory town. Here, two of the winning trio explain their method, and what happens when researchers leave intuition at the door.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Uber Technologies' revenue grew by 30% in the most recent quarter. Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi even expects a profit in 2021, he said on Monday. But which revenue, and which profit? Investors in the $53 billion ride-share company have a dizzying array of financial metrics to choose from – and a new split into five reporting divisions has added a few more.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The fitness industry strives to find new ways to do a very old, very simple thing. Peloton Interactive, which sells high-priced treadmills and exercise bikes with live-streamed group classes, showed on Thursday why that makes for a risky investment opportunity. The company’s stock priced at a valuation of $8.1 billion on Wednesday evening and promptly sagged more than 10% on its first day of trading.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Responsibility for reining in America’s epidemic of gun violence is widely spread. Politicians, gun owners, retailers, banks and investors all have a role to play, and even modest commitments can make a difference. After a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas became the scene of a multiple shooting on Saturday, the $312 billion U.S. retailer could put that principle into practice.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - When Blackstone bought a majority stake in Thomson Reuters’ financial data business last year, it found two ways to minimise its risk. First, it used debt financing so that its consortium of investors only needed to put up a small amount of equity – just under one-third of the total $20 billion price. It also added an insurance policy of sorts that would reduce its downside if things didn’t go well. If the London Stock Exchange’s takeover of Refinitiv goes ahead, that bet will pay off – but not in Blackstone’s favour.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - SoftBank’s new megafund, officially unveiled on Friday, is a fuzzier affair than its predecessor. Vision Fund 2 aspires to bring $108 billion of capital to disruptive and potentially market-reshaping technologies like artificial intelligence. If the first Vision Fund is a guide, it could alter competitive landscapes across a variety of sectors and create huge wealth for backers. It will also test SoftBank leader Masayoshi Son’s ability to stay focused.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Are there any companies that aren’t proud to be allied with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities? Judging by the rainbow designs plastered across billboards, store fronts and email signatures as cities like New York prepare for their Pride festivities, it’s tempting to believe the answer is no. It’s easy to be cynical, but short-term profit doesn’t explain the outbreak of conspicuous support sweeping corporate America. With so much still to do, such backing matters more than its motivation.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The first Democrat to bid for 2020’s presidential election has a pitch rarely heard in today’s political slugfest: that Democrats and Republicans can get along. Despite being a peacemaker, the former Maryland congressman has some punchy views on China, Big Tech and drug prices.