Tom joined Breakingviews’ New York office in 2016 from Institutional Investor, where he worked as international editor. Previously, he reported on European business and politics for the International Herald Tribune (now part of The New York Times) from London, Brussels and Paris. He has covered major stories from Europe, Asia and Latin America on economics, financial regulatory reform, trade, asset management and business strategy.
Berkshire Hathaway is making it easier for the Sage of Omaha to repurchase its stock. That sent shares up 4 pct. The change implies that Buffett can find neither acquisition targets big enough to move the earnings needle, nor other smart ways to deploy its $109 bln cash pile.
The manager of over $6 trln of assets saw inflows plunge 80 pct year-on-year in the second quarter as clients slashed stock holdings. Vanguard is also pulling in less money. Rivals have chafed at the duopoly’s dominance, but this weakness should send shivers up their spines, too.
Investors knocked 7 pct off $25 bln consumer-finance firm Synchrony on fears the giant retailer will move its card business to Capital One. That looks optimistic, given Amex’s experience with Costco. But loosening credit standards suggest industry-wide pain lies ahead.