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) - The Steinhoff controversy could be a chance for the European Central Bank to rethink its bond-buying programme. The institution is facing a possible loss after acquiring the South African retailer’s debt as part of its so-called quantitative easing. The ECB could reduce the chances of a repeat.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain is playing a weak hand badly in the Brexit poker game. The country has reportedly bowed to European Union demands that it pay up to 100 billion euros when it leaves the bloc. The outcome of months of haggling shows the UK has a lot less leverage than it pretends.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain’s post-Brexit industrial plan is short of ambition. The government has promised to boost research spending, improve teaching of mathematics, and upgrade infrastructure. Even if the country was not breaking from its largest partner, however, the goals would lack oomph.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The British government’s Royal Bank of Scotland sale looks priced for a messy Brexit. Chancellor Philip Hammond intends to raise 15 billion pounds to meet fiscal targets by selling the state’s holding in the UK lender. He could achieve that even if RBS shares tumble 30 percent, Breakingviews calculates.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - An accounting malfunction has thrown a wrench into hopes for GKN’s re-engineering. Chief executive-designate Kevin Cummings is leaving the UK-based car parts and aerospace group with immediate effect after it unearthed more audit problems in the aerospace unit he ran. The mess reinforces the case for breaking the company into two, but also delays any retooling.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Italy’s failure to qualify for soccer’s World Cup may be a national humiliation, but the country has other reasons to celebrate. Europe’s fourth-largest economy is growing at a rate not seen since before the sovereign debt crisis. The data confirms the euro zone recovery is getting stronger and broader.
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.
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