Frontrunning: April 21

  • Attack overshadows last campaign day in France (Reuters)
  • Paris Gunman Was Questioned by Police in February (WSJ)
  • French PM knocks Le Pen, Fillon stance on security after Paris shooting (Reuters)
  • Battle zone scenes at Paris Champs Elysees (Reuters)
  • In ‘Buy American’ Push, Trump Is Starting in a Hole (WSJ)
  • Trump Steel Probe Adds Tinge of Economic Nationalism (WSJ)
  • Mnuchin’s Talk of Tax Plan ‘Soon’ Stirs Markets and Skeptics (BBG)
  • Trump, GOP Race to Revive Health Bill, Avoid Government Shutdown (WSJ)
  • Farmers Have a Beef With Trump and Big Meat (BBG)
  • Stock futures little changed as French election in focus (Reuters)
  • Euro-Area Recovery Broadens With Strongest Growth in Six Years (BBG)
  • Markets Send a Worrying Message About the Economy (WSJ)
  • OPEC cut doubts put oil on track for biggest weekly drop in a month (Reuters)
  • Trump’s Trade War Will Make Your Dentist Visits Even Costlier (BBG)
  • Gorsuch’s First Big High Court Vote Allows Arkansas Execution (BBG)
  • Exxon Faces Limited Options for Deal With Russian Firm (WSJ)
  • Exxon probe is unconstitutional, Republican prosecutors say (Reuters)
  • Caracas on Knife-Edge as Maduro Protesters Erect Barricades (BBG)
  • Desperate Malls Turn to Concerts and Food Trucks (BBG)
  • Ann Coulter rejects Berkeley’s bid to reschedule speech (Reuters)
  • Publishers Weigh Potential Google Ad-Blocking Feature (WSJ)
  • GE revenue falls 1 percent (Reuters)
  • Reckitt Benckiser Fails to Grow for First Time Since 1999 (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest


– White House officials said they are developing a sweeping plan to overhaul both corporate and individual taxes, dismissing concerns that a more modest proposal might be more viable in today’s political climate.

– Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk confirmed plans for his newest company, called Neuralink Corp, revealing he will be the chief executive of a startup that aims to merge computers with brains so humans could one day engage in “consensual telepathy”.

– President Donald Trump will sign three documents on Friday to advance his administration’s push to reduce tax and regulatory burdens, including a measure that could roll back Obama administration efforts to prevent U.S. companies from shifting operations overseas to avoid taxes, administration officials said late Thursday.

– Verizon Communications Inc is having to slash prices and offer more data to stem an unprecedented wave of customer losses, a maneuver that benefits consumers but hurts its bottom line.

– France’s unpredictable presidential election was plunged into still greater turmoil Thursday as candidates scrambled to respond to a suspected terror attack that left at least one police officer dead.

– Deutsche Bank AG has agreed to pay $157 million in penalties to the Federal Reserve over alleged rule violations.



* Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage said he will not be standing in Britain’s 2017 election, in an opinion piece for the Daily Telegraph.

* The director for communications at Bank of England, Jenny Scott, has left the bank according to an internal memo sent to the bank’s staff on Wednesday.

* A French policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in central Paris on Thursday night in an attack carried out days before presidential elections and quickly claimed by the Islamic State group.



– America’s largest automaker, General Motors Co said it had been forced to cease operations in Venezuela because of an “illegal judicial seizure of its assets” and would lay off its 2,700 workers there.

– Bill O’Reilly is receiving a payout of as much as $25 million from Fox News, equivalent to one year of his salary, two people familiar with the matter said Thursday. Some employees and critics outside the company said this sent a message that a powerful newsroom figure could profit even after multiple sexual harassment allegations had been made against him.

– Partners at the law firm Chadbourne & Parke – in an unusual public gesture – voted on Thursday to expel from its ranks a female partner, Kerrie Campbell, who filed a gender discrimination and pay inequity lawsuit against the firm last year.

– Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, met with Facebook Inc and other tech companies this week to seek feedback on his intention to unwind aspects of net neutrality, the rules that require broadband providers to make all internet content equally accessible for consumers.

– Federal and state regulators unleashed a fusillade of lawsuits and enforcement orders on Thursday against the Ocwen Financial Corporation, a large mortgage servicer, aimed at curbing what they said had been years of flagrant and repeated abuses, including illegal foreclosures, deceptive fees and extensive mishandling of customers’ home loan payments.

– The Internal Revenue Service is about to start using four private debt-collection companies to chase down overdue payments from hundreds of thousands of people who owe money to the federal government, a job it has handled in house for years.




** U.S. President Donald Trump is vowing to target Canada’s energy, lumber and dairy sectors in a renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement.

** Real Matters has filled out the underwriting syndicate for its initial public offering, a transaction the mortgage services technology company hopes will raise upwards of C$125-million ($93 million).


** The Ontario government announced 16 new measures including a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers and expanded rent control rules to rein in the housing market in and around its largest city.

** Rogers Communications Inc wouldn’t let Telus Corp broadcast its highest-definition sports channels until it was directed to do so by Canada’s broadcast umpire just in time for the Blue Jays’ home opener last week.



The Times

– Managing director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde has called on countries to pull together in the fight against a damaging retreat into protectionism amid mounting evidence that a global trade war is already under way.

– A U.S. crackdown on steel imports is looming after President Donald Trump ordered an investigation into unfair export practices, setting up a potential showdown with China.

The Guardian

– A consortium led by Macquarie Group Ltd agreed to buy the Green Investment Bank, which was established in 2012 by the coalition government to fund green infrastructure projects. The decision to sell Green Investment Bank for 2.3 billion pounds ($2.94 billion) has been attacked by critics including the Liberal Democrats and Greenpeace as “politically dubious” and a “disaster”.

– President of World Bank Jim Kim told Theresa May that cutting the United Kingdom’s aid budget could lead to an increase in conflict, terrorism and migration and would damage Britain’s international reputation.

The Telegraph

– British engineering firm WS Atkins Plc has agreed to a 2.1 billion pound ($2.7 billion) takeover by Canadian rival SNC-Lavalin. Atkins’ board last night agreed to a cash takeover at 20.80 pounds a share and the deal would see the company’s chief executive step aside.

– Sky Plc suffered a marked slowdown in its core UK pay-TV business, sparking renewed claims that increasingly cautious consumers are rejecting expensive packages in favour of cheaper entertainment options such as Netflix. Its takeover by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc was likely to be delayed by the General Election.

Sky News

– Marks and Spencer Group Plc has confirmed plans to close six stores in a move that will affect almost 400 employees.

– Debenhams Plc will consider closing up to 10 of its 176 stores under a review announced by its new chief executive, Sergio Bucher.

The Independent

– Inc has been accused of setting workers against each other to ensure they turn up for work even when they are sick and should be at home. The company gives its workers in Germany a monthly bonus of 6 percent to 10 percent of their salary, only if their co-workers have good enough attendance records.

– GMB union has accused the UK government of “gross betrayal” after drinks company Diageo Plc announced plans to cut more than 100 jobs across its Scottish operations because of concerns over Brexit.


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