Frontrunning: September 20

  • Fed Poised to Set Portfolio Reduction Plan in Motion (WSJ)
  • Dollar close to 2015 lows as conflicted Fed prepares policy update (WSJ)
  • The Risk of a New Economic Non-Order (El-Erian)
  • A last, last chance: Republicans strain for Obamacare repeal (AP)
  • McConnell Won’t Promise Obamacare Repeal Vote as Foes Mobilize (BBG)
  • Jimmy Kimmel Rips Into GOP Health Bill for Failing ‘Kimmel Test’ (BBG)
  • Stress at UN Not Shared on Wall Street as Stocks Set Records (BBG)
  • Trump’s North Korea threat leaves Asia struggling to explain (AP)
  • China offers support for strife-torn Venezuela at United Nations (Reuters)
  • States Need $645 Billion to Pay Full Health-Care Costs (WSJ)
  • Trump Aides Caught in Russia Probe Face Legal Bills and Paranoia (BBG)
  • Police arrest high-ranking Catalan officials in raids (Reuters)
  • Opioids on the Job Are Overwhelming American Employers (BBG)
  • Russia's B&N Bank seeks bailout: central bank (Reuters)
  • Toys ‘R’ Us Will Live Because Mattel and Hasbro Can’t Let It Die (BBG)
  • From Russia with fuel - North Korean ships may be undermining sanctions (Reuters)
  • Two Big Words Show Why U.S. Oil May Finally Be Turning a Corner (BBG)
  • How $5 billion of debt caught up with Toys 'R' Us (Reuters)
  • Why This Hurricane Season Is So Intense (WSJ)
  • Buffett calls pessimists about United States 'out of their mind' (Reuters)
  • Uber reviews Asia business amid U.S. bribery probe (Reuters)
  • Amazon Is a Lifeline for Retail Workers. (If They Live in the Right City.) (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest


- Central Mexico was rocked by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that collapsed scores of buildings in Mexico City, killing at least 149 people in a toll that was rising by the hour on Tuesday night.

- Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc received regulatory approval to acquire nearly 2,000 stores from Rite Aid Corp , but only after the number of stores to be purchased in the deal was again trimmed to allay antitrust concerns.

- Post Holdings Inc said it plans to buy breakfast-sausage maker Bob Evans Farms Inc for a deal valued at $1.5 billion.

- Ford Motor Co said on Tuesday it will temporarily idle production lines at five North American plants, including three in the U.S.

- Creditors of Australia's Ten Network Holdings Ltd accepted an increased offer for the broadcaster from CBS Corp , rejecting a rival proposal from media moguls Bruce Gordon and Lachlan Murdoch.

- Hurricane Maria, with sustained winds near 160 miles per hour, thrashed the eastern Caribbean on Tuesday, killing at least one person on Guadeloupe and devastating the tiny island nation of Dominica, now heads for the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

- U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to annihilate North Korea if the United States has to defend itself or its allies against the Pyongyang regime, delivering the dire warning on Tuesday during his first address to the United Nations General Assembly.

- Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi said her government would investigate all allegations of human rights abuses in her country, and said Myanmar would allow Rohingya who could prove they had lived in the country to return.



At least three audit contracts were lost by KPMG in South Africa as it faces widespread client reviews after it got involved in a high-profile political scandal involving South Africa’s billionaire Gupta family.

In an attempt to prove that a technologically enabled urban environment can improve quality of life, Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc is working on a plan to build a city from the ground up, the executive in charge of its urban innovation business said on Tuesday.

The activist investor fighting Clariant AG has increased its stake to 15.1 percent in the Swiss chemicals group and repeated that it demands to drop the $20 billion planned tie-up with Huntsman Corp of the United States.

The British government has told German Chancellor Angela Merkel to expect Theresa May to offer this week to fill a post-Brexit European Union budget hole of at least 20 billion euros ($23.98 billion), this week.



- In his first address to the U.N. General Assembly, U.S. President Donald Trump brought his confrontational style of leadership to the platform. While his tough words were cheered by Israel and Republican lawmakers, leaders of France, the European Union and the United Nations were sharply critical of his tone.

- Eleven governors, including five Republicans, urged the U.S. Senate on Tuesday to reject a new push to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

- Senate Republicans agreed on Tuesday to move forward on a budget that would add to the federal deficit in order to pave the way for a $1.5 trillion tax cut over the next 10 years.

- In contrast to soaring health insurance premiums in many Affordable Care Act marketplaces, the cost of coverage for vast numbers of people who get insurance through their jobs rose relatively little this year, according to a national survey released Tuesday.

- Hurricane Maria is expected to produce more than 12 inches of rainfall, which will cause "life-threatening flash floods and mudslides" in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the National Hurricane Center said.




** Swiss advocacy group, the Bruno Manser Fund pursuing allegations of financial crimes against Ottawa real estate company Sakto Corp, is turning to Ontario's courts to obtain sensitive financial records from three Canadian banks and a major accounting firm.

** The future of Alimentation Couche Tard Inc remains clouded after its chairman expressed doubts that he and the company's three other founders will be able to maintain control of the retailer as the clock starts ticking on the expiry of their special stock rights.

** The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development raised its projection for growth in Canada this year by 0.4 of a percent point from its earlier forecast, to 3.2 percent.


** The solvent Canadian subsidiary of Toys R Us Inc (IPO-TOYS.N) was granted court-appointed relief on Tuesday to continue operating through the holidays as it disentangles aspects of its business from that of its struggling U.S. parent company.

** Investigators for Ontario's Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change raided the headquarters of Volkswagen Canada on Tuesday morning, executing a search warrant as part of the massive international investigation into "cheat devices" meant to evade emissions regulations.



The Times

BHP Billiton is rethinking its membership of Australia's leading mining organisation over differences on climate change. The company committed on Tuesday to publishing a review of its membership of trade associations and explicitly disclosing where there were "material differences" in their positions. (

The head of the Treasury select committee has demanded a "full explanation" from the accounting watchdog for its decision to drop an investigation into KPMG's role as auditor of HBOS. (

The Guardian

Yoko Ono Lennon has stepped in to rescue the name of her husband from fizzy pop reinvention, taking legal action to halt the sale of a lemonade called John Lemon. The Polish company which sells the beverage has agreed to change its name to On Lemon after legal letters were sent by Ono Lennon's lawyers to the parent company and its distributors across Europe. (

One of Lloyd's of London's largest insurance syndicates is to move its European headquarters to Dublin because of Brexit, Ireland's prime minister has announced. XL Group Ltd, which operates the XL Catlin brand, chose the Irish capital as its preferred location for its principal EU insurance company subject to regulatory approval, said the Irish Industrial Development Authority. (

The Telegraph

German dairy business Müller is defying worries about Brexit's impact by revealing plans for 100 million pounds ($135.15 million) of investment in its UK business. (

French oil company Total SA is in talks with Alphabet's Google Inc and Microsoft Corp to help develop bespoke artificial intelligence in the energy sector's race to tap digital technologies. (

Sky News

Chinese insurer Ping An Insurance and consulting firm Oliver Wyman are buying stakes in 10X Future Technologies, the financial technology start-up founded by former Barclays chief Antony Jenkins. (

Wyevale Garden Centres, which is owned by Guy Hands' Terra Firma Capital Partners has struck a 100 million pound debt deal with Hayfin, a specialist lender. (