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Exchange Podcast: Duff McDonald

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Harvard Business School has trained world leaders, billionaire entrepreneurs and convicted felons. Duff McDonald, author of “The Golden Passport,” discusses the seamier side of Harvard's teachings with Rob Cox. Listen to the podcast: https://soundcloud.com/reuters/the-exchange-duff-mcdonald

Jimmy Choo buyout could blister the brand

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Is it wise to run in Jimmy Choos? Michael Kors is going to try. The U.S. brand’s $1.2 billion bid for the UK-listed luxury shoemaker will require it to supercharge sales, elevate margins and find synergies. The buyer’s track record shows that is achievable, but at risk of taking the brand downmarket.

HNA shines dim light on ownership

HONG KONG HNA Group’s web still looks tangled. A restructuring of the Chinese conglomerate’s shareholding structure only goes so far in allaying concerns about opacity.

Alphabet opacity hinders Google's antitrust fight

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Alphabet’s opacity is hindering Google's antitrust fight. Despite huge efforts outside its core online search business, the $685 billion juggernaut still looks like a one-trick pony with nearly 90 percent of revenue coming from ad sales. Shedding more light on its autonomous vehicle, YouTube, biotech and other promising ventures might comfort investors about the looming risks of antitrust regulation. It could also help them look past short-term hiccups, like th

Fintech faithful put payments on a pedestal

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Fintech's faithful are putting payments on a pedestal. Square and PayPal shares are near all-time highs – as are those of venerable outfits like Visa, MasterCard and First Data. They’re each chasing what could be a $2.3 trillion revenue business by 2019, according to McKinsey. But they can’t all be winners.

WebMD gets second opinion on rollup strategy

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - WebMD's rollup strategy finally got a second opinion. Back in 1999, the online healthcare-information publisher united with another fledging rival in a deal that was backed by Microsoft, Intel and others. KKR is now buying the dot-com survivor for $2.8 billion, far less than the internet-frenzied stock-swap valuation. This fresh merger with Internet Brands may work out better.

Carmakers need more collaboration, not less

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Are Germany’s carmakers embroiled in a cartel bigger than the supersized Audi Q7 SUV? That’s the suggestion from a report in Der Spiegel magazine, suggesting that Audi, VW, Porsche, Daimler and BMW colluded to slow down innovation and limit the effectiveness of emission cleaning technology. The reality may prove more prosaic. On one level, carmakers are in need of more collaboration, not less.

Abe's weakness puts Japan reform momentum at risk

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Japan’s reform momentum is under threat. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s approval ratings have crashed, ending a period of unusual political stability. The response is more likely to be populist spending than making further painful, but necessary, structural changes to the world’s third-largest economy.

Puppy love keeps IPO investors on the leash

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - A case of puppy love just swept over the stock market. After Snap, Blue Apron and YogaWorks appeared to spell doom for initial public offerings of trendy, fast-growing businesses, shares of PetIQ jumped by a third in their Friday debut after having priced at the top of the range. A more sensible valuation helped the maker of canine treats and medicine, but it also may have wagged the dog.

Buyout firms bet $3.7 bln on fintech’s dicier side

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Private equity groups are rushing to bet on financial technology. Permira, Advent and Bain have all recently announced acquisitions of payment processors in the hope of capitalising on the cashless zeitgeist. Blackstone and CVC, which just offered $3.7 billion for UK-listed Paysafe, are placing a double wager.

About Breakingviews

Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time. Sign up for a free trial of our full service at http://www.breakingviews.com/trial and follow us on Twitter @Breakingviews and at www.breakingviews.com. All opinions expressed are those of the authors.

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