Frontrunning: January 234

  • Trump Team at Davos Backs Weaker Dollar, Sharpens Trade War Talk (BBG)
  • Dollar skids to three-year low as Mnuchin welcomes currency weakness (Reuters)
  • State Tax Workarounds Could Mean $154 Billion Lost to Treasury (BBG)
  • Truck Shortage Forces Firms to Cut Shipments or Pay Up (WSJ)
  • Dalio Warns That Rise in Yields Could Spark Bond Crash (BBG)
  • Great Ormond Street to return donations from men-only dinner (FT)
  • Amazon agrees to turn over third-party seller data (CNBC)
  • This Is Why the Pentagon Isn’t Happy With the F-35 (BBG
  • Founder and Protégé Clash, Pushing Och-Ziff Into Crisis (WSJ)
  • GE posts $10 billion loss as quarterly revenue drops 5 percent (Reuters)
  • Beleaguered GE Sticks to Full-Year Profit Forecast (BBG)
  • Comcast tops profit estimates even as it sheds video subscribers (Reuters)
  • Carles Puigdemont has right to lead local government: Catalan parliament speaker (Reuters)
  • Mexico’s drug cartels, now hooked on fuel, cripple nation’s refineries (Reuters)
  • Trump’s Wall May Not Be a Big Obstacle in Immigration Debate (BBG)
  • Brazil braces for ruling that could bar Lula from 2018 race (Reuters)
  • New Life for Kushners’ Troubled N.J. Towers After Meeting With Mayor (BBG)
  • If You Drink Coffee in California, Be Warned: It May Cause Cancer (WSJ)
  • Toys "R" Us says to shut a fifth of its U.S. stores (Reuters)


Overnight Media Digest


- The emerging fault lines in the global trading system were laid bare Tuesday, as 11 Pacific Rim nations agreed to forge a new commercial bloc that excludes the U.S., while President Donald Trump signed orders to curb cheap Asian imports he said had unfairly harmed American manufacturers.

- Och-Ziff Capital Management Group Llc faces turmoil as founder Daniel Och upends plan for James Levin to succeed him as head of the U.S.'s largest publicly traded hedge fund. Behind the rift: money and control.

- The Senate confirmed Jerome Powell to become the 16th chairman of the Federal Reserve, clearing the way for a new leader likely to continue raising interest rates to keep the economic expansion on track.

- A top FBI agent last spring expressed skepticism about the burgeoning investigation into Trump associates' ties to Russian electoral meddling, according to a newly released text message, a few months before his texts critical of the president cost him his role in the special counsel's probe.

- CSX Corp will require the railroad's chief executive to submit to an annual physical exam that will be reviewed by the board, adopting an unusually aggressive approach to a delicate issue just weeks after the death of its previous CEO.

- Walt Disney Co is the latest major company to give its employees $1,000 bonuses following the federal cut in corporate taxes.

- Twitter Inc operating chief Anthony Noto is leaving to become head of online lender Social Finance Inc, dealing a blow to Twitter's strategy for growth and raising questions about who will run day-to-day operations at the company.



- U.S. shale oil producer SandRidge Energy Inc rejected demands from activist investor Carl Icahn on Tuesday to replace two of its board members and amend its bylaws, saying any changes should be approved by a majority of shareholders.

- The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell as the next head of the central bank, succeeding Janet Yellen in a move likely to provide continuity in U.S. monetary policy as an aging economic recovery marches on.

- British Prime Minister Theresa May slapped down her foreign minister, Boris Johnson, on Tuesday after he demanded more funding for Britain’s public health service, telling him any discussion of money saved from Brexit should be kept private.

- U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned last week by the special counsel’s office investigating potential collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday.



- Tesla Inc's Chief Executive Elon Musk will be paid only if he reaches a series of jaw-dropping milestones based on the company's market value and operations. Otherwise, he will be paid nothing.

- Kimberly-Clark Corp, the maker of Huggies and Kleenex, is laying off about 13 percent of its work force and shedding factories worldwide, amid declining birthrates that are affecting diaper sales and a retail price war that is weighing on profits.

- Rupert Murdoch's years-long effort to secure an even larger presence in the international media market suffered a new setback on Tuesday, when a British regulator provisionally rejected Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's bid to acquire full control of Sky Plc.

- Online lender Social Finance Inc has hired Twitter Inc's chief operating officer, Anthony Noto, as its new chief executive.



** Aurora Cannabis Inc is closing in on a deal to buy CanniMed Therapeutics Inc for more than $1 billion, the largest acquisition to date in Canada's marijuana industry.

** Corporate documents show the China's authoritarian Communist Party has an ownership stake in little-known Shanghai Energy Corp, giving China's powerful political apparatus a growing financial interest in a key Canadian industrial sector.

** Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook took in a demonstration of Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify Inc's augmented reality capabilities during a visit to Toronto, while touting his company's investment in the emerging technology.

** Some representatives of the Canadian auto industry slammed Canada's decision to sign a revised Trans-Pacific Partnership, calling the deal harmful to the auto sector and warning that it undermines Canada's position in NAFTA negotiations.



The Times

- The independent accountant chosen by Barclays Plc to rule on its controversial ringfencing plan and the effect on 200,000 pension fund members previously had been in charge of the team advising the disgraced businessman Dominic Chappell on buying BHS for 1 pound ($1.40).

- The proposed takeover of Sky Plc by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc edged closer yesterday after a watchdog said that the deal raised concerns about media plurality but outlined how they could be assuaged.

The Guardian

- Seniors doctors from overseas who have been appointed to fill key roles in hospitals around the UK are being blocked from taking up their jobs by the Home Office because their NHS salaries are too low under immigration rules.

- Groceries wholesaler Palmer & Harvey had debts of more than 700 million pounds when it collapsed in November, according to an administrators' report published on Tuesday.

The Telegraph

- Taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc is ditching the London headquarters from which disgraced former boss Fred Goodwin ran his bloated banking empire prior to the financial crisis.

- Thousands of J Sainsbury Plc's shop staff have been put at risk following an overhaul of its store management roles in the latest cost-cutting drive by the company.

Sky News

- Tesco Plc has poached the boss of one of Ireland's biggest lenders to run its financial services arm, a move that will deal a blow to the state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.

- The manufacturer of Huggies nappies, Andrex toilet paper and Kleenex tissues, Kimberly-Clark Corp has refused to rule out job losses among its UK workforce as it seeks to cut up to 5,500 roles worldwide.

The Independent

- The European Union has taken eight countries off its tax haven blacklist after they apparently took measures to "remedy" EU concerns about their approaches to tax dodging.

- Travellers to the Lake District and south-west Scotland will get a new option from the summer when Carlisle airport re-opens for scheduled passenger traffic.