Frontrunning: April 20

  • White House to risk shutdown as Trump searches for “win” (Politico)
  • Saudi Minister Wants OPEC Oil-Production Deal Extended, Perhaps for Less Than 6 Months (WSJ)
  • Russia denies Reuters report think tank drew up plan to sway U.S. election (Reuters)
  • Fed’s Kaplan: Three rate rises this year ‘still a good baseline’ (Reuters)
  • Ex-Arconic CEO Sent Vague Threat to Hedge-Fund Boss (WSJ)
  • Can, kicked: IMF may fund Greek bailout with small amount, for one year (Reuters)
  • Hard Dose of Reality Hits Anti-Brexit Campaigners (BBG)
  • Egypt says air strikes kill Islamic State leaders in Sinai (Reuters)
  • Bose headphones spy on listeners: lawsuit (Reuters)
  • French Industrial Decline Fuels Le Pen’s Rise (WSJ)
  • China’s Stocks Refuse to Drop More Than 1% (BBG)
  • China Shakes Up Regulators in Scramble for Stability (WSJ)
  • China sees higher risk of mass unemployment, pledges more support (Reuters)
  • A Quarter of Millennials Who Live at Home Don’t Work — or Study (BBG)
  • Man Group’s Assets Rise to Record on Largest Inflows Since 2011 (BBG)
  • Putin Quietly Detaches Ukraine’s Rebel Zones as U.S. Waffles (BBG)
  • House Speaker Ryan sees long battle over tax reform (Reuters)
  • Western Digital, Japan Investors in Toshiba Unit Sale Talks (BBG)
  • The Most Closed-Off Nordic Nation Is Yearning for Immigrants (BBG)
  • Housing Crunch Threatens Reno’s Tech Boom (WSJ)
  • White House sidewalk to be closed to public permanently (Reuters)
  • Macquarie to Boost U.K. Green Bank After $3 Billion Purchase (BBG)
  • The Biggest Time Suck at the Office Might Be Your Computer  (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest


– The Trump administration worked Wednesday to quell an international furor and calm questions over its credibility after misstating by thousands of miles the location of a U.S. aircraft carrier officials had warned could be used to strike North Korea.

– Officials at the University of California at Berkeley canceled a scheduled appearance by Ann Coulter, the conservative commentator and Donald Trump supporter, citing safety concerns.

– U.S. Bancorp plans on May 1 to launch a premium card geared toward high spenders and millennials. This adds to the threats facing American Express Co in a card category where it was until recently unrivaled.

– The letter that cost Klaus Kleinfeld his job as chief executive of aerospace-parts maker Arconic Inc on Monday contained a vague threat toward the billionaire whose hedge fund had been campaigning for Mr. Kleinfeld’s ouster.

– New Jersey Democratic U.S. Senator Cory Booker and Republican Governor Chris Christie again joined political forces on Wednesday to call for federal investment in the region’s troubled transit system.



– British groups are starting to be systematically shut out by Brussels from multibillion-euro contracts. European Commission’s top officials have told staff to avoid “unnecessary additional complications” with Britain before 2019, according to an internal memo.

– The owner of channels including Dave and Gold, UKTV said that Theresa May’s decision for a snap general election could led to the television advertising market further deteriorating.

– Theresa May’s call for a snap general election on June 8 won overwhelming backing from MPs. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would try to overturn daunting electoral odds by picking some of the themes adopted by Donald Trump in the US presidential election last year.

– The biggest star at Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel Bill O’Reilly is leaving the network after an investigation into claims that he sexually harassed many women. His departure was triggered by a New York Times investigation revealing that he and Fox News paid a combined $13 million to silence women who had complained of sexual harassment.



– Chinese authorities plan to question Apple Inc about video streaming services available over its app store within the country, in their latest move to intensify pressure on the American technology giant over the content it provides in the vast and crucial market.

– Exxon Mobil is pursuing a waiver from Treasury Department sanctions on Russia to drill in the Black Sea in a venture with Rosneft, the Russian state oil company, a former State Department official said on Wednesday.

– The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Wednesday admitted that its oversight of Wells Fargo & Co was “untimely and ineffective.” The report said the agency failed to spot clues that would have allowed it to connect the dots in one of the most brazen banking scandals of the recent past.

– Bill O’Reilly’s reign as the top-rated host in cable news came to an abrupt and embarrassing end on Wednesday as Fox News forced him out after the disclosure of a series of sexual harassment allegations against him and an internal investigation that turned up even more.




** China’s envoy to Canada is calling for a rapid conclusion of exploratory free-trade talks so negotiators can quickly get down to work on a far-ranging trade agreement with “win-win results” for both countries.

** Home Capital Group Inc and three of its current or former executives are being accused of making false and misleading statements to the public about the reasons the alternative mortgage lender had begun to extend fewer loans.


** Ontario is poised to announce sweeping measures to deal with its overheated Toronto housing market, with sources close to the situation saying a 15 per cent tax on non-residents buying in the region is at the top of the list.

** The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled in favour of Bombardier Inc in its dispute with Metrolinx.

** Joe Natale wants to create a culture that prioritizes customer service in his new role as chief executive officer of Rogers Communications Inc.



The Times

The head of High Speed Two told MPs that he and his executives had done no checks and had not monitored a former HS2 chief of staff at the centre of a conflict of interest fiasco with its key contractor on the 55 billion pound ($70.26 billion)London-Birmingham rail line.

The Guardian

The government will not delay tackling rising electricity and gas bills that are hurting consumers because of Theresa May’s decision to call a surprise general election for June 8, business secretary Greg Clark said.

The government has agreed a 2.3 billion pound sale of the Green Investment Bank to the Australian bank Macquarie, according to sources close to the process. The privatisation of the bank was expected in January but signoff was delayed in the face of stiff political opposition and wrangling over the final price.

The Telegraph

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has downplayed concerns that foreign investors are buying up swathes of London property as he promised government reforms to the housing market would continue despite the upcoming general election.

Warehouse property developer Segro Plc has so far this year signed new leasing deals worth twice as much as the same time last year, showing the demand for industrial property continues to hold up.

Sky News

A former owner of Boots the Chemist is weighing a $6 billion takeover bid for the U.S.-based parent company of Holland & Barrett, the high street health foods chain. KKR & Co is among a small number of potential bidders for NBTY – a vitamins and nutritional supplements manufacturer previously known as Nature’s Bounty.

Workers at three BMW plants in the United Kingdom have started a 24-hour strike over proposed changes to pensions.

The Independent

Tesco Plc has announced that it is selling its optician business to Vision Express, as it continues to slim down and focus on core operations in its home market.


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