Frontrunning: August 25

  • Trump to push for tax reform passage by year’s end, says Cohn (FT)
  • Bond Routs, Stock Surges: Jackson Hole Can Be Messy for Markets (BBG)
  • Hurricane Harvey intensifies (Reuters)
  • GOP Plan to Kill Estate Tax Sets Up Conflict Over Charitable Giving (BBG)
  • ECB Is Set to Buy More Bonds (WSJ)
  • U.S. Plans to Unveil New Round of Sanctions on Venezuela, Sources Say (BBG)
  • U.S. Navy recovers second body in search for sailors missing after collision (Reuters)
  • Britain will not pay 'a penny more' than it thinks right to leave EU: Boris Johnson (Reuters)
  • Amazon Clobbers Grocers With Price Cuts at Whole Foods (WSJ)
  • Samsung Heir Gets 5 Years for Scandal That Toppled a President (BBG)
  • Auto Dealers Dogged by ‘Boys Club’ Showrooms Costing Them Sales (BBG)
  • U.S. state election officials still in the dark on Russian hacking (Reuters)
  • Band of Brothers Plotted Barcelona Terror (WSJ)
  • U.S. fighter pilots in Afghanistan prepare for more air strikes (Reuters)
  • China’s Aviation Push Lifts Aircraft Manufacturers (WSJ)
  • Thailand's ousted PM Yingluck has fled abroad: sources (Reuters)
  • Centuries-Old Stolen Copy of Christopher Columbus Letter Recovered in U.S. (WSJ)
  • San Francisco latest city to brace for protests (Reuters)
  • Why Florida Farmers Want to Kill Nafta (BBG)
  • Ford to Look Beyond Credit Scores in Sales Push (WSJ)
  • No One Knows How Much to Pay in Bitcoin Cash Taxes (WSJ)
  • Without insurance, some vendors balk at stocking Sears’ shelves (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest


- Inc said it will begin slashing prices on grocery staples at Whole Foods Market Inc, the first of several changes the e-commerce giant plans to make at its latest and biggest acquisition, sending stocks of traditional grocers into a fresh tailspin.

- SoftBank Group Corp has finalized a $4.4 billion investment in office-sharing company WeWork Cos, a massive deal that demonstrates the outsize ambition of the Japanese conglomerate to wield influence in startups around the world.

- Early signs of concern about the federal debt ceiling are creeping into the financial markets, as President Donald Trump pressured lawmakers over how to proceed on the issue.

- Elon Musk built a company that’s more valuable than General Motors Co or Ford Motor Co. Now, his ambitious goals for Tesla Inc’s Autopilot technology are being tested by resignations and disquiet in the engineering ranks.

- Big internet firms are seeking to get liability protections they enjoy in the U.S. inserted into a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement, adding fuel to a fight over the legal shield that some lawmakers say has facilitated online sex trafficking.



UK Prime Minister Theresa May will put more pressure on boardroom pay next week by forcing listed companies to publish the ratio between the total remuneration of the chief executive and their average UK worker.

Business investment in the UK continued to stagnate in the year since the EU referendum, according to official figures published by the Office National Statistics.

The number of people leaving Britain has revealed that only 4,600 international students overstayed their visas last year, overturning previous estimates that the number was closer to 100,000, according to official figures.

U.S. authorities charged two managers at French bank Societe Generale with taking part in a scheme to manipulate the global U.S. dollar Libor benchmark interest rate.



- The era of Whole Paycheck, the derisive nickname for Whole Foods Market Inc, may be drawing to a close. Inc, which takes control of the upscale grocer on Monday, intends to slash prices the same day.

- Questions about the ownership and corporate structure of the HNA Group, one of China’s biggest and most acquisitive companies, are mounting, prompting scrutiny by regulators in the United States and Europe and leading at least one Wall Street bank to step away from it.

- The Service Employees International Union, one of the largest and wealthiest unions in the United States with roughly 2 million members, will fund an extensive campaign over the next 14 months to elect politicians with labor-friendly stands on the minimum wage, unions and health care.

- Uber Technologies Inc, the embattled global ride-hailing business whose chief executive was forced to resign amid allegations of a workplace culture that fostered discrimination and sexual harassment, is taking to the sea in one of several experiments with new services. UberBOAT began in late June in the luminous archipelago of Croatia’s tourist-choked islands.

- The U.S. Justice Department on Monday charged a 36-year-old Chinese national, Yu Pingan, with conspiring with two other Chinese nationals to hack the computer networks of three unnamed companies in the United States.



The Times

- Reports that German prosecutors are investigating executives at South African retail group Steinhoff over allegations of accounting fraud sent its shares tumbling by as much as 14 per cent yesterday.

- The Department for Communities and Local Government said that 164,960 new homes were started in the year to June 2017, up 13 per cent on the previous year, and the highest rolling annual total since 2008.

The Guardian

- Bell Pottinger will be given a “disciplinary sanction” by the UK’s public relations trade body over allegations that the leading PR firm ran a secret campaign to stir up racial tension in South Africa on behalf of its billionaire clients.

- More than 2 million people in the UK are either problem gamblers or at risk of addiction, according to the industry regulator, which warned that the government and industry were not doing enough to tackle the problem.

The Telegraph

- Inc’s assault on Britain’s supermarkets will begin sooner than expected after its 10.7 billion pound ($13.70 billion) takeover of upmarket food retailer Whole Foods Market Inc cleared without a hitch this week.

- Ayman Asfari, the long-time boss of Petrofac Ltd, has been fined 300,000 euros ($354,060.00) and banned from holding an administrative role in any Italian company for 12 months by the Italian National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange (Consob), amid allegations of insider trading.

Sky News

- A new public register that will name and shame listed companies whose investors revolt over boardroom pay will be proposed next week as ministers seek to rebut criticism that they have watered down the tough approach promised by Theresa May.

- SHB Realisations -- the name used by BHS in liquidation -- has dropped a legal claim filed at the High Court earlier this month against the tycoon’s Arcadia Group.

The Independent

- The UK economy grew at half the rate of the eurozone's during the second quarter of the year, as a Brexit-fuelled jump in inflation dealt a sharp blow to consumer spending. A second reading of official figures from the Office for National Statistics showed on Thursday that the UK economy expanded by 0.3 per cent in the three months to the end of June.

- Shares in Dixons Carphone plummeted on Thursday after the company slashed its full-year profit forecast blaming tough market conditions.