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Frontrunning: August 16

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

  • White House braces for fallout from Trump remarks (Reuters)
  • Trump Drags GOP Onto Dangerous Ground, This Time Over Race (BBG)
  • Trump Gives White Supremacists an Unequivocal Boost (NYT)
  • Trump orders faster permitting on infrastructure projects (Reuters)
  • Trump’s U.S. Senate Pick Advances in Alabama Republican Race (BBG)
  • Uber Shareholders Fight for Control as Leadership Vacuum Weighs (WSJ)
  • The Most Over-Hyped U.S. Trade Deal Is About to Get a Makeover (BBG)
  • CEOs Walk Trump Tightrope Into New Era of Corporate Politics (BBG)
  • Trump’s Loyal Sidekick on North Korea: Japan’s Shinzo Abe (WSJ)
  • House tax chairman confident on reform, others less so (Reuters)
  • Confederate Statues In Baltimore Taken Down Overnight (CBS)
  • UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley to step down (Reuters)
  • India, China soldiers involved in border altercation: Indian sources (Reuters)
  • Fired UBS Adviser Reignites Palm Beach Scandal Over Rich Widow (BBG)
  • Women Charge Past Men in U.S. Job Market (BBG)
  • Heroin-Era Antidotes Can’t Handle Overdoses in Age of Synthetics (BBG)
  • Amazon adds 'Instant Pickup' in U.S. brick-and-mortar push (Reuters)
  • U.S. confident of 'peaceable' Venezuelan solution: Pence (Reuters)
  • Cuban trade with Venezuela plunges over two years (Reuters)
  • Neo-Nazi group moves to 'Dark Web' (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest


- President Donald Trump, in a combative news conference, said "both sides" were to blame in violent weekend clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, a day after putting the responsibility squarely on white nationalists.

- Cohu Inc, which tests semiconductors, wants to persuade the United States Committee on Foreign Investment that the proposed sale of Xcerra Corp to a Chinese state-backed fund would threaten national security.

- President Donald Trump's response to the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, has sparked soul-searching in U.S. corporate boardrooms over whether they should keep working closely with the White House.

- Uber agreed to two decades of audits as part of a settlement with the federal government over allegations that the company didn't have sufficient data-privacy protections for its users.

- Premiums for middle-priced plans on Affordable Care Act's individual market would climb by 20 percent in 2018 if the government halted payments to insurers under the health law, the Congressional Budget Office estimated.

- Evangelical conservative Roy Moore was leading in a special Senate election Tuesday, out-polling Senator Luther Strange despite support for the incumbent from President Donald Trump and the GOP establishment in Washington.


- Britain has proposed that the Irish border remain free of physical customs posts and the proposal will raise questions about how Britain and European Union would control trade and immigration on either side of the 310-mile land border after the UK leaves the EU.

- The U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission has slapped KPMG with a fine of more than $6.2 million after it signed off the audit of the Tennessee-based oil and gas company, Miller Energy Resources, which had overvalued certain assets by more than 100 times.

- The UK's largest provider of adult learning and apprenticeships, Learndirect, will see its funding cut off by the Department for Education, following a damning report about the company's performance.

- Bank of England staff in a blog post wrote on Tuesday that even though UK car sales have faltered in recent months, they remain at historically high levels as car finance providers are taking ever more risks to attract consumers as import prices and falling vehicle sales take effect.


- The chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, criticized President Trump in front of his 1.5 million U.S. employees, widening a rift between the White House and the business community that has been growing since the weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

- U.S. President Trump announced on Tuesday that he had signed a sweeping executive order to eliminate and streamline some permitting regulations and to speed construction of roads, bridges and pipelines, declaring that the moves would fix a "badly broken" infrastructure system in United States and bring manufacturing jobs back to the country.

- Charlotte School of Law, an embattled for-profit law school, has shut down, state officials confirmed — making it the second accredited law school in U.S. to close its doors this year.

- Stephen Sanger will retire as chairman of the scandal-plagued bank Wells Fargo & Co and will be succeeded by Elizabeth Duke, a former Federal Reserve Board governor.

- A federal district court judge has ordered Costco Wholesale Corp to pay Tiffany & Co more than $19 million for selling generic diamond engagement rings that were marketed using Tiffany's name.

- Dozens of solar industry executives, government officials and foreign diplomats gathered in Washington on Tuesday to urge federal trade commissioners to reject a petition from two troubled domestic solar equipment manufacturers to impose steep tariffs and minimum price guarantees on similar imports.



Apple Inc has tapped the maple bond market for the first time, raising C$2.5 billion ($1.96 billion), the single biggest offering ever for this unique corner of the debt market. Apple said it plans to use the funds for general corporate purposes that may include share buybacks and acquisitions.

The Anishinabek Nation in Ontario has signed the largest self-governing education agreement with the federal government, giving it control over its classroom curriculum and school resources.

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says the federal government is focused on regulatory efficiency as it overhauls Ottawa's environmental assessment regime amid fears the liberals are burdening the resource sector with too much regulation.


The federal banking regulator is reviewing domestic retail sales practices at Canadas key banks, focusing on the inherent "reputational risks" and the potential impact on the institutions' financial stability.

Grocery retailer Metro Inc is battling industry pressures with an e-commerce push that includes extending online shopping to customers throughout Quebec and selling meal kits, its chief executive, Eric Fleche, said.


The Times

- Air Berlin Plc filed for insolvency on yesterday when Etihad, its main shareholder, pulled the plug on further financial support. The emergency government funding of 150 million euros ($176.07 million) to enable Air Berlin to keep its aircraft in the air for the next three months triggered a furious response from Ryanair Plc, which accused German Government of preparing for Lufthansa to take over Air Berlin in breach of German and European rules.

- One of Britain's biggest providers of maintenance for social housing Mears Group Plc has been forced to issue a profit warning and slash its revenue forecasts as clients delay new contracts after the Grenfell Tower disaster. Mears said that new orders were being put on hold.

The Guardian

- Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc is preparing to cut nearly 900 IT jobs, union officials have warned, as the bailed-out bank continues to trim costs in its battle to regain profitability.

- China's credit-fuelled economic strategy has been branded as dangerous by the International Monetary Fund in a strongly-worded statement warning that its approach risks financial turmoil. The IMF used its annual health check on the world's second biggest economy to stress that faster expansion in 2017 was coming at the cost of a jump in private sector debt and an increasing use of complex financial instruments.

The Telegraph

- Energy companies face a fresh public battle after new findings revealed that consumers have still been overcharged by an "unacceptable" 100 million pound ($128.63 million) as a result of billing blunders, even as complaint rates fall. The report, from energy switching site uSwitch, said consumers were typically overcharged by 79 pound ($101.62)each, at a total cost of 102 million pound ($131.20 million)to consumers.

- Company directors are increasingly being held personally accountable for excessive executive pay and other corporate governance failings, according to the City investors. Data from the Investment Association reveals that the rate of protest against individual board members at shareholder meetings has increased more than fivefold this year.

Sky News

- TPG Capital is preparing to open formal talks with Spotify over the terms of a $1 billion bond in the music service as it prepares to go public.

- Ministers hope to negotiate and complete trade deals with other countries during any Brexit transitional period, a British Government document has said. Brexit Secretary David Davis revealed future customs proposals, including an interim customs union with the EU aimed at avoiding a "cliff-edge" for manufacturers after Brexit.

The Independent

- Many rail fares in UK will rise by 3.6 percent from January 2018, as a result of the high rate of inflation in July this year – which has been attributed to the EU referendum vote leading to a slump in the value of the pound.

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