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
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Activist investors deployed a record $62 billion campaigning for corporate change in 2017, according to Lazard – more than double the amount a year earlier. They’ll still be at it this year, and among possible targets could be Wells Fargo and Under Armour, according to two informal Breakingviews polls on Tuesday.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Jack Ma made early friends with Donald Trump. He visited the U.S. president-elect almost a year ago to tout how his e-commerce giant, Alibaba, could help small American businesses create 1 million new jobs. Now, though, Ma’s Ant Financial offshoot has failed to secure approval for its $1.2 billion purchase of cash-transfer outfit MoneyGram International.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - What will cause the next market downturn? It takes a catalyst to trigger one, and other reagents to sustain it. Breakingviews runs through a few more and less obvious elements to watch.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Every week is infrastructure week, the wags in Washington say. But the effort promised by President Donald Trump to revitalize everything from airports to schools to toll roads keeps being pushed back. It will still be up in the air in 2018.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bitcoin action is now available without the bitcoin. CBOE Global Markets launched its futures on the crypto-currency late on Sunday. It opens fresh avenues for trading, but for now the new contracts have little utility beyond speculation.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Travis Kalanick has a lot to answer for at Uber Technologies. Sure, he founded the revolutionary ride-hailing service and built it into a global business. But the legacy of irresponsibility while he served as chief executive has cast a shadow over the company’s future.
NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Equifax has suffered a new intrusion: into its profitability. Costs relating to the $13 billion U.S. consumer-credit scorer’s recent massive cyber breach helped knock earnings down 27 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier. Revenue also took a big hit. And the likely biggest expenses – including a long list of unquantified legal exposures – are yet to rain down.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Chipmakers like Freescale Semiconductor and NXP Semiconductors took a high-profile role in the leveraged-buyout binge that preceded the financial crisis – and the distress that followed it. That makes Broadcom’s roughly $105 billion unsolicited offer for Qualcomm on Monday all the more edgy. The borrowing associated with a deal, if it happens, could be in record amounts and may send debt-to-EBITDA ratios uncomfortably high.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Oh the irony. Chicago University is getting a $125 million gift from hedge-fund founder Ken Griffin. The “Chicago School” of economics, as it’s called, leans heavily towards free and efficient markets. Citadel boss Griffin’s name and cash – earned in a business that depends on markets being inefficient – will now endow the university’s economics department.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Call it teething trouble with tezzies. One of the biggest so-called initial coin offerings to date, which raised some $230 million for a blockchain project called Tezos, has led to a spat between its architects and a Swiss foundation that controls the digital cash, according to a Reuters special report (http://reut.rs/2gncW1B). Even in the world of crypto-currencies, traditional financial motivations apply.
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