Richard Beales joined Breakingviews in 2007 from the Financial Times, where he was U.S. markets editor and a Lex columnist. Prior to the FT, he spent more than 10 years as an investment banker at Schroders and Citigroup, based largely in Hong Kong and working on project finance, mergers and acquisitions. He has also lived in Sydney, Australia, and began his working life in London at Mars & Co, a management consultancy. Richard holds a masters in business journalism from New York University and a degree in biochemistry from St John’s College, Cambridge. Follow Richard on Twitter @richardbeales1
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Data breaches at the likes of Target, Home Depot and Sony have put once-complacent managers on notice. But the small impact on the stock of the $37 bln No. 2 U.S. healthcare group after up to 80 mln records were compromised suggests shareholders are still not alert to the danger.
The credit rater isn’t admitting to any illegality, but at more than half of 2013 revenue the settlement is painful. If Uncle Sam really thinks S&P defrauded bondholders, it’s crazy to regulate raters more tightly - investors are more likely to be taken in by any shenanigans.
Alibaba’s boss, like the U.S. group’s Jeff Bezos, has built online retail dominance. But there are downsides. Unpredictable earnings are Exhibit A. The Chinese group also has fickle regulators. It may not be the last time investors suffer nearly $40 bln of losses in two days.
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