Frontrunning: December 18

  • Bitcoin Takes Bigger Wall Street Stage With Smooth CME Debut (BBG)
  • Trump targets China and Russia on national security (Reuters)
  • Panthers owner to sell team amid misconduct allegations (Reuters)
  • Prosecutors Treat Opioid Overdoses as Homicides, Snagging Friends, Relatives (WSJ)
  • U.S. taxpayers rush to claim deductions under threat from tax bill (Reuters)
  • This One Weird Tax Trick Could Shrink the Trade Deficit (WSJ)
  • Sweeping Rewrite of Tax Code Sets Up Years of Challenges (Reuters)
  • Wall Street Bonus Pools Look Shallow in Unexciting Trading Year (BBG)
  • Police search Finnish reporter's home after security article (Reuters)
  • South Africa ANC vote too close to call, markets on edge (Reuters)
  • Canadian Billionaire, Wife Died of Neck Compression, Police Find (Bloomberg)
  • Mueller Probe Faces New Challenges (WSJ)
  • He Stole $100 Million From His Clients. Now He’s Living in Luxury on the Côte d’Azur (BBG)
  • Death of CSX CEO Harrison Renews Debate on Health Disclosures (BBG)
  • EU launches probe into Ikea tax arrangements (FT)
  • The Pessimist's Guide to 2028 (BBG)
  • Homicide team probes 'suspicious' deaths of rich Canadian couple (AFP)
  • It Took Five Decades to Build Steinhoff. It Cratered in Two Days (BBG)
  • Replacement Parts: Organs on Demand (WSJ)
  • Campbell Soup to buy snacks maker Snyder's-Lance for $4.87 billion (Reuters)
  • Hershey to buy SkinnyPop parent Amplify Snack for $1.6 billion (Reuters)
  • Humana in talks to buy Kindred Healthcare with equity firms (Reuters)
  • Solar Companies Go Door-to-Door in Battle With Tesla (BBG)
  • US companies set to be big winners from Trump’s tax reform (FT)

Overnight Media Digest


- CSX Corp CEO Hunter Harrison's sudden death raises questions about the board's decision to wager its future on the 73-year-old and an activist investor's high stakes campaign earlier this year to shake up the CSX board and bring in Harrison as chief executive. Two months ago, according to people familiar with the matter, the CSX board faced a gut check on its ailing CEO, who had been using a portable oxygen tank and mostly working from home.

- Oracle Corp has struck a $1.2 billion deal to buy an Australian project-management software provider Aconex Ltd , the latest leg in its push to take on Inc and others in selling cloud-computing services.

- Apotex Inc founder Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey, died from "ligature neck compression," a type of strangulation, and homicide detectives were taking over the investigation, Toronto police said.

- Electricity has been restored to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport late on Sunday, hours after an outage unleashed havoc on travelers around the country.

- The world's largest exchange company Chicago-based CME Group Inc launched bitcoin futures on Sunday, seeking to capitalize on the mania for the booming digital currency.



Polygon hedge fund, which owns less than 1 percent of Sky Plc, has contacted the Takeover Panel to argue that Walt Disney Co’s takeover of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc could cost minority shareholders in the UK satellite broadcaster a hefty premium unless the regulator intervenes.

Barclays Plc’s is closing in on the top spot in UK’s annual investment banking league tables for the first time since 2012, according to new data from Dealogic, suggesting that the bank’s unpopular bet on investment banking is paying off in UK.

British broadband companies have threatened to launch a judicial review if the government accepts BT Group Plc’s 600 million pounds offer to improve broadband speeds in sparsely populated areas.



- The eighth chapter in the "Star Wars" movie series, "The Last Jedi," made the jump to box office hyperspace over the weekend, selling $450 million in tickets worldwide and affirming Walt Disney Co's strategy for rebooting the franchise for a new generation of fans.

- A power failure at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Sunday disrupted operations at the busiest airport in the world, forcing the cancellation of more than 1,150 departing or arriving flights and stranding travelers on planes on the tarmac for hours.

-The sexual misconduct allegations against the former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and the confidential settlements arising from those accusations have prompted a provision in the final tax bill that aims to stem the use of nondisclosure agreements.




** Statistics Canada plans to experiment with online crowdsourcing to help figure out how much cannabis costs on Canada's street corners, which will aid Ottawa in reaching one of its core goals to undercut the drug's black market when legalization occurs next summer.

** Ottawa is pushing venture capitalists to help fix the gender gap in the Canadian startup scene, telling those who want to qualify for a C$400 million ($311 million) funding program they must "demonstrate how their strategies would advance these objectives."

** A Brazilian appeals court has upheld the suspension of a key license for Toronto-based Belo Sun Mining Corp, which hopes to build Brazil's largest open-pit gold mine in the Amazon forest.


** Toronto Police have released the cause of deaths of pharmaceuticals billionaire Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey. The couple, whose bodies were found on Friday, died from "ligature neck compression", the police said on Sunday.



The Times

The Commons work and pensions committee has criticised the Financial Conduct Authority over its "grossly inadequate" attempt to stop members of the British Steel pension scheme being taken advantage of by rogue advisers.

Concerns have been raised about budget retailer Poundland's ability to continue sourcing goods after credit insurers reduced their cover for the retailer.

The Guardian

Britain's banks have written to Theresa May and Philip Hammond warning that a Canada-style free trade agreement with the EU post-Brexit is not ambitious enough and that alignment with EU rules on finance is crucial.

The chairman of the London Stock Exchange Group Plc, Donald Brydon, is expected to survive an audacious attempt by an activist investor to bring about an abrupt end to his two and a half years at the helm of the group.

The Telegraph

Investment in commercial property in the City of London is nearing record highs this year, as overseas investors continue to dominate the market.

Efforts to stop bogus self-employment in the gig economy could hit the amount of overtime available for millions of squeezed earners, a major think-tank has warned.

Sky News

Thailand's Minor Hotel Group is buying a majority stake in Corbin & King, the company behind top London restaurants such as the Wolseley and the Delaunay, Sky News has learnt.

The Independent

Theresa May will insist on Monday that she will try to sign new free trade deals during UK's Brexit transition period, setting herself on a collision course with Brussels.