Frontrunning: April 19

  • Oil Rallies to More Than Three-Year High as Supply Tightens (WSJ)
  • Metals Extend Stellar Gains, Bonds Slide (BBG)
  • Trump allies worry Cohen will flip (Politico)
  • Cohen Would Turn Against Trump if Charged, Adviser Warns (WSJ)
  • U.S.-Japan Announce Trade Talks, Don't Agree on What to Discuss (BBG)
  • Abe Gets Little From Trump to Douse Political Firestorm in Japan (BBG)
  • Trump and Kim May Meet in Sweden or Switzerland, Sources Say (BBG)
  • Trump Says He’ll Walk Out of Kim Meeting if It’s ‘Not Fruitful’ (WSJ)
  • China’s Big Bang (BBG)
  • U.S. weekly jobless claims dip in latest week (Reuters)
  • U.S ban on sales to ZTE triggers patriotism in China (Reuters)
  • Shire Turns Down $60 Billion Bid From Drug Rival Takeda (WSJ)
  • Rusal Discusses Deals in China to Ease Sanctions Crunch (BBG)
  • North seeks 'complete denuclearization', says Moon, as U.S. vows continued pressure (Reuters)
  • Hedge Funds Suffer First Back-to-Back Loss in Two Years (BBG)
  • Matt Zames Named President of Cerberus Capital Management (WSJ)
  • P&G to buy German Merck's consumer health unit for $4.2 billion (Reuters)
  • China Wary of Qualcomm’s $44 Billion NXP Deal Amid U.S. Tensions (WSJ)
  • P&G quarterly results surpass estimates (Reuters)
  • Blackstone Group’s Assets Jump 22% to Record $450 Billion (BBG)
  • Futures dip as chip stocks, Apple offset rising oil prices (Reuters)
  • Walmart Is Testing Out a New Dress Code for Workers (BBG)
  • Fed governor Brainard says 'premature' to revisit liquidity, capital rules (Reuters)


Overnight Media Digest


- More than 100 million people globally are now paying for Amazon Prime, a sign of how Inc has used the service to evolve from an online marketplace that struggled with profitability into an e-commerce powerhouse.

- Procter & Gamble Co agreed to acquire the consumer-health business from Germany's Merck KGaA, in a $4.2 billion deal that adds vitamins and food supplements to its lineup of over-the-counter medicines.

- Twenty-First Century Fox Inc rejected an acquisition offer for its entertainment assets from cable giant Comcast Corp largely over antitrust concerns, a regulatory filing said, even though the bid was 16 percent higher on a per-share basis than what Walt Disney Co ultimately agreed to pay.

- Qualcomm Inc began laying off employees, pursuing a promise to boost profit by shedding $1 billion in expenses, the company said.



- UK Prime Minister announced that the sale of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds will be banned to tackle plastic waste.

- British banknote printer De La Rue abandoned plans to appeal against the UK government’s decision to award its passport contract to Gemalto NV.

- UK inflation fell much more than expected to 2.5 percent in March from 2.7 percent in February raising questions whether Bank of England will a rate hike in May.

- UK’s media regulator Ofcom opened seven new investigations into whether the Russia-funded news channel RT has breached impartiality rules since the Salisbury nerve agent attack.



- Rupert Murdoch sold most of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc to Disney in December for $52.4 billion, spurning a proposal from Comcast Corp, that was 16 percent higher on a per-share basis, in part because Comcast refused to offer protections in the event of regulatory rejection.

- Time Warner Inc Chief Executive, Jeffrey Bewkes, vigorously defended his company's $85.4 billion merger with AT&T on Wednesday, saying the deal was necessary to confront "tectonic changes" in entertainment caused by internet competitors like Netflix Inc and Amazon.

- Advertisers are the lifeblood of Facebook Inc, and the vast, personal reach of the social network has been a marketer's dream. But now, some companies are taking a harder look at how they work with it and hunting for skeletons in their own data closets.

- U.S. President Donald Trump declared on Wednesday that he would scrap a planned summit meeting with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, or even walk out of the session while it was underway, if his diplomatic overture was not heading toward success.



** Bank of Canada kept its key rate unchanged at 1.25 percent on Wednesday, citing an economic slowdown early this year plus weakness in housing, trade and investment. (

** Ottawa is preparing to counter British Columbia's bid to control the flow of oil through the province with legislation that will enhance federal power to push through the Trans Mountain pipeline. (

** The board of directors of Hydro One Inc approved changes to the company's executive compensation policies last year, making it much costlier for the government to intervene in the utility. (

** With a strike deadline just days away, Keith Creel, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd's chief executive officer, said the company will not be "held hostage" in negotiations and is willing to experience the short-term pain of a strike in order to ensure long-term sustainability. (



The Times

- A top 20 shareholder in Hammerson Plc has said that the retail property company was right to walk away from a merger with its rival Intu Properties Plc "rather than face the embarrassment of failing to win shareholder support".

- The global economy is in more debt than it was before the financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund said as it urged countries to take immediate action to address the issue.

The Guardian

- UK inflation unexpectedly fell last month to its lowest level in a year, raising questions over whether the Bank of England will raise interest rates next month.

- London's skyline is to be transformed over the next decade with a record 510 tall towers, more than 20 storeys high, planned or under construction. The total is up from 455 towers in the pipeline in 2016, according to research from the industry forum New London Architecture and real estate consultancy GL Hearn.

The Telegraph

- German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to lend her backing to a eurozone bailout fund, modelled on the world's lender of last resort, the International Monetary Fund.

- Amazon.Com Inc revealed it has exceeded 100 million paid Prime subscribers, the first time the internet company has provided a figure for users of the service.

Sky News

- The energy retailer Utilita‎ is mounting a legal challenge to a UK Government decision to effectively axe the first generation of smart meters this year amid warnings that vulnerable customers risk being left in the dark.

- Internet companies failed to predict the data privacy issues that have rocked companies such as Facebook Inc, Microsoft Corp founder Bill Gates said in an interview.

The Independent

- UK firm De La Rue Plc has announced it will not appeal the government's decision to award the contract for producing British passports to an Amsterdam-based company. De La Rue initially asked the Home Office for an extension to the deadline for awarding the contract to make the post-Brexit blue passport after it emerged the frontrunner for the job was Gemalto NV, a Franco-Dutch firm.


Lumberjack Thu, 04/19/2018 - 09:24 Permalink

Yahoo/aol/verizon go the way of Goog/FB.

If you’ve been using Yahoo or AOL to avoid Google’s email scanning practices — or if you just plain use those services because you prefer them — there’s news from Oath, the parent company of both, that you’ll want to be aware of. A recent tweak to the company’s privacy policy gives it the right to scan all incoming and outgoing email, for the explicit purpose of delivering “content, advertising, and services.”

Oath also reserves the right to share data with its parent company, Verizon (we’ve discussed Verizon’s lack of privacy protection and user-hostile practices before) and notes that it also intends to analyze user interactions with financial institutions in order to provide “products and services of interest to our users.” And the company has extended its mutual arbitration clauses across the entire suite of Yahoo products, thereby ensuring that if you aren’t happy over something Oath does with your data, you won’t be suing them to stop it. While some of this scanning and analysis was already done, the company is expanding and extending various practices.


Lumberjack Lumberjack Thu, 04/19/2018 - 09:49 Permalink

Flashback: Oct. 2016


Exclusive: Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence - sources

(Reuters) - Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company complied with a classified U.S. government demand, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said three former employees and a fourth person apprised of the events.

In reply to by Lumberjack

Lumberjack Lumberjack Thu, 04/19/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

Read above then see this:

Yahoo Says 1 Billion User Accounts Were Hacked


Don’t talk to me about fucking Russian hacking...

I imagine the equifax fiasco was done by the same perps too.

In reply to by Lumberjack

Lumberjack Lumberjack Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:07 Permalink

The real perps blame you know who...

From 2 days ago...

Russian hackers are attacking home routers, ISPs and business firewalls to spy and steal data, warns US, UK

US Department of Homeland Security, FBI and the UK's National Cyber Security Centre issue warning on attacks.

In reply to by Lumberjack

dizzyfingers Thu, 04/19/2018 - 13:06 Permalink


Or if true, why so shy about letting us know before this?

The Fiscal Times

Why all the warnings about the unsustainable national debt could be wrong

By Michael Rainey, includes “Philip Barrett, an economist at the International Monetary Fund, notes that debt has been rising throughout much of the developed world over the last 35 years, but interest rates have been steadily falling. Does that mean that higher levels of debt are now safe and sustainable? … Barrett argues that growth rates have generally exceeded interest rates over the long run in the handful of advanced nations he examines, dating back to the 19th century. Under those conditions, a country can afford to service its debt indefinitely.”