Frontrunning: May 4

  • Trump Gambit Over Disclosing Porn-Star Payment Stuns Staff (WSJ)
  • U.S. Wants $200 Billion Cut in China Trade Imbalance by End of 2020 (WSJ)
  • Here's What the U.S., China Demanded of Each Other on Trade (BBG)
  • Small manufacturers tap the brakes as tariffs bite (Reuters)
  • Democrats target union workers who regret Trump vote (Reuters)
  • Trump not seeking to curb US forces in South Korea: U.S. national security adviser (Reuters)
  • U.S. jobs growth expected to regain momentum in April (Reuters)
  • Ex-Volkswagen CEO Winterkorn charged in U.S. over diesel scandal (Reuters)
  • In Birthplace of Junk, Investors See Risks After Decade of Debt (BBG)
  • A Haircut Costs 5 Bananas and 2 Eggs in Venezuela (BBG)
  • How to Look Like a Pro at Buffettpalooza This Weekend (WSJ)
  • Palestinian leader Abbas offers apology for remarks on Jews (Reuters)
  • Should Supply and Demand Determine the Price for a Fast Commute? (WSJ)
  • Walmart Beats Amazon in $15 Billion Flipkart Battle (BBG)
  • 5 Questions for Buffett Ahead of the Annual Meeting (WSJ)
  • Buffett’s Berkshire Braces for ‘Wild’ Swings From New Accounting (BBG)
  • What to Do Now the Deduction for Investment Fees Is Dead (WSJ)
  • Altria Group and Nikon Quietly Stay Away From the NRA’s Big Show (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest


- JPMorgan Chase & Co is investing further in artificial intelligence. The largest U.S. bank by assets said Carnegie Mellon University's head of machine learning will join JPMorgan in a new role, head of artificial-intelligence research.

- Private-equity firm KKR & Co said it would convert to a corporation from a partnership, a significant shift to its structure that signifies how the new tax code is changing the contours of business in the U.S.

- Xerox Corp said its existing board and management would stay in place after an agreement with two of its biggest shareholders to oust the company's chief executive and shuffle the board expired.

- Nike Inc Chief Executive Mark Parker apologized to employees for allowing a corporate culture that excluded some staff and failed to take seriously complaints about workplace issues.



BT Group Plc is set to reveal plans to cut thousands more jobs as Britain’s biggest telecommunications company battles to win back investors still spooked by an accounting scandal in Italy last year.

EDF has bought a large offshore wind project near the coast of Scotland for more than 500 million euros ($599.40 million) from developer Mainstream Renewable Power that marks the largest UK wind deal this year.

Barclays Africa Group Ltd, one of the continent’s largest banks, has fired KPMG as its auditor over the firm’s work linked to the Gupta business family and a high-profile bank failure.

Societe Generale SA said on Thursday that chief executive Frederic Oudea has been given another four years at the head of the bank, after deputy chief executive Didier Valet’s departure over the Libor rate rigging scandal.



- Volkswagen AG emissions scandal reached the highest echelons of the company on Thursday after its former chief executive was charged with conspiracy in the company's rigging of diesel vehicles to feign compliance with federal pollution standards.

- Denver Post Editor Chuck Plunkett, who wrote an editorial last month that called the newspaper's hedge fund owners "vulture capitalists", said he resigned after another critical editorial he wrote was not allowed to run.

- Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk's contentious conference call with analysts after earnings announcement on Wednesday sent shares of the electric-car maker sharply lower. Tesla's stock price fell 5.6 percent on Thursday, after Musk butted heads with analysts on the call who wanted updates on the company's continuing production issues and high cash-burn rate.



The Times

Customers of TSB Bank are likely to face months of disruption before the bank is able to fully fix the computer problems that have left many unable to access their accounts and struggling to perform basic services such as paying in cheques, financial regulators believe.

Philip Clarke, the former chief executive of Tesco Plc , has been accused of carrying out "an extraordinary act of corporate vandalism" during his troubled period at the helm of Britain's largest grocer.

The Guardian

House of Fraser's rescue restructuring faces a significant hurdle after it emerged that the department store chain may have to fund a multimillion-pound injection into its pension scheme.

An activist investor has criticised the management of Gloo Networks – the listed vehicle that aimed to buy digitally focused media companies valued up to 1 billion pounds ($1.36 billion) but is shutting up shop – for pocketing millions in salaries and bonus payouts despite failing to strike a single deal in three years.

The Telegraph

EDF, the energy firm behind the UK's nuclear revival, will deepen its offshore wind ambitions with a major deal to buy a controversial Scottish wind project.

Ophir Energy Plc will double its oil production with a $205 million (150 million pounds) deal to snap up a package of oil fields in southeast Asia from Australian oil group Santos.

Sky News

A thousand more high street jobs are at risk as Calvetron Brands, the womenswear group behind the Jacques Vert and Precis brands, prepares to call in administrators less than a year after its last rescue deal.

The Information Commissioner's Office, which has been looking into Cambridge Analytica's handling of data harvested from millions of Facebook Inc users, and raided its offices in March, said the inquiry would continue.

The Independent

Virgin Media is closing its Swansea call centre and slashing almost 800 jobs. The telecoms firm said 552 staff positions and 220 subcontractors would go before the site completely shuts down next year.