Frontrunning: December 29

  • Russia’s Putin says Syrian government, opposition sign ceasefire deal (Reuters)
  • Snap’s IPO Pitch to Tout Service as ‘the Next Facebook’ (WSJ)
  • What History Has to Say About the Economy Trump Will Inherit (BBG) – zero mentions of the word “debt”
  • Trump tax reforms could depend on little-known ‘scoring’ panel (Reuters)
  • Debbie Reynolds Dies a Day After Daughter Carrie Fisher (BBG)
  • Inside the 37-Year Standoff Over Iran’s Frozen U.S. Dollars (WSJ)
  • China Would Outlast U.S. in Trade War, Billion-Dollar Fund Says  (BBG)
  • U.S. appeals court rejects SEC’s use of administrative law judges (Reuters)
  • U.S. set to announce response to Russian election hacking: sources (Reuters)
  • GOP Readies Swift Obamacare Repeal With No Replacement in Place (BBG)
  • China warns U.S. against allowing stopover for Taiwan’s Tsai (Reuters)
  • Not Everyone Wants to Shop on Amazon (WSJ)
  • London House-Price Growth Lags Behind U.K. for First Time Since 2008 (BBG)
  • Fortune Teller of Mosul Falls Silent, Wary of Islamic State (WSJ)
  • Cord-Cutters Dropping Cable Force Networks to Make Hard Choices (BBG)
  • New York Times surpasses 100 million views on Facebook Live (Reuters)
  • China Turns to $ 503 Billion Rail Expansion to Boost Growth  (BBG)
  • Duterte says once threw man from helicopter, would do it again (Reuters)
  • No Expiration Date on 9-Year S&P 500 Bull Run  (BBG)
  • Singapore Defaults Seen as Bellwether for 2017 Asia Distress (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest


– President-elect Donald Trump said Sprint Corp will move thousands of jobs back to the U.S. – a development he suggested was triggered by the “spirit and the hope” surrounding his election.

– Takata Corp is nearing a settlement with federal prosecutors to resolve allegations of criminal wrongdoing in the Japanese automotive supplier’s handling of rupture-prone air bags linked to numerous deaths and injuries, said people familiar with the discussions, with an agreement expected early next year.

– Ford Motor Co’s dealer group emailed an advertisement Tuesday to prospective buyers in the U.S. urging them to purchase a work truck, large sport-utility vehicle or van before the end of the year to take advantage of potentially substantial tax breaks. Citing the Internal Revenue Service’s Section 179 deduction, which was recently retooled and made permanent, Ford suggests customers “could get a big tax break for your business.”

– Surging online orders and last-minute shoppers helped retailers make up for a slow start to the holiday-shopping season, fueling hopes that higher wages, the rising stock market, and lower food and gas prices prompted Americans to spend more.

– High-end handbag and apparel maker Kate Spade & Co is exploring a sale of the company, according to people familiar with the matter, after coming under pressure from an activist shareholder.

– Brazilian state-run oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA said it agreed to sell certain noncore business assets for $ 587 million, amid its efforts to raise cash and reduce debts.

– Health-care diagnostics company Alere Inc is taking steps to get Medicare billing privileges reinstated for its Arriva Medical LLC diabetes unit, challenging the actions of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.



Former Bundesbank president and one of the architects of the European single currency, Hans Tietmeyer, died at the age of 85. President of the Bundesbank from 1993 to 1999, Tietmeyer had a critical role in preparations for European monetary union and the establishment of the European Central Bank.

European industrial equipment supplier Loxam SAS raised its offer for Britain’s Lavendon Group Plc on Wednesday to 442 million pounds ($ 540.57 million), or 260 pence per Lavendon share.

British online clothes retailer Plc said it would buy certain intellectual property assets from Nasty Gal Inc, a U.S.-based retailer that filed for bankruptcy last month, for $ 20 million.

Lloyds Banking Group Plc is planning to set up a subsidiary in Germany or the Netherlands if the UK leaves EU without retaining access to its single market, according to two people familiar with the matter.



– U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel on Wednesday of thwarting peace in the Middle East.

– Even before Kerry issued his scathing critique of Israeli policies on Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump essentially told Netanyahu to ignore it.

– Actress Debbie Reynolds died Wednesday aged 84, a day after the death of her daughter, the actress Carrie Fisher.

– With threats like cord cutting and declining television viewership, 2016 was not a lucrative year for cable television giants like TBS, Discovery, Univision and ESPN.

– In a move that promises to raise new questions about electronic privacy, detectives investigating a murder in Arkansas are seeking access to audio that may have been recorded on an Amazon Echo electronic personal assistant.

– Hans Tietmeyer, the central banker who led Germany’s transition from the deutsche mark to the euro despite reservations about a single European currency, died on Tuesday aged 85.

– The president and chief executive of Dentsu, one of the world’s largest advertising firms, said he would resign to take responsibility for the death of an employee, as well as the larger problem of dangerously long work hours at the agency that has been laid bare in its wake. Matsuri Takahashi, a young employee at Dentsu told friends on Twitter of enduring harassment and grueling long hours on the job, in the months before she jumped to her death from a company dormitory last Christmas.




** Pacific NorthWest LNG is looking at lower-cost options as it mulls whether to spend billions of dollars to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in British Columbia amid a global glut of LNG.

** Little more than a month before the Super Bowl, Bell Media is launching an appeal of new rules to allow U.S. television commercials to run on Canadian airwaves during the big game, adding a fresh legal challenge to a recent chorus of lobbying and public relations efforts to change the policy.

** British Columbians are deeply concerned about the overdose crisis and want to see improved access to addiction treatment – but, faced with an unprecedented number of drug deaths in the province, they’re also willing to consider more radical options such as the legalization of hard drugs.


** Aboriginal leaders in northwestern British Columbia cautiously welcomed reports that Malaysia’s state-owned oil company Petronas is considering changes to its $ 27 billion Pacific Northwest LNG project near Prince Rupert to alleviate environmental concerns.

** A tiny Vancouver-based mining company, MGX Minerals Inc , is betting Alberta’s energy sector could benefit from the rise of electric vehicles by harvesting its oilfield wastewater for lithium carbonate, which is used to make batteries for electric vehicles.

** British Columbia Member of Parliament Peter Julian is registered as the first and only contestant in the New Democratic Party leadership race, but even he hasn’t committed to run. Julian registered on Dec. 21, according to Elections Canada’s website, and is accepting donations from supporters.



The Times

* Ministers are preparing to tackle overpriced electric car charging amid fears that it can cost as much to run a green vehicle as a conventional diesel. Rules will be introduced early next year to make roadside pricing for electricity more “consistent and transparent”, so that motorists are not driven away from buying environmentally friendly cars.

* Whitehall is investigating the nuclear regulator after the Times revealed that several serious accidents had been dismissed as posing no safety risk.

The Guardian

* 36 child asylum seekers who previously lived in the Calais refugee camp have issued a legal challenge to the home secretary. They claim Amber Rudd acted unlawfully in the way she handled their applications. Of the 36, 28 have had their applications refused, while another eight are awaiting decisions from the Home Office.

* Online fashion retailer Plc is lining up to buy the rights to the Nasty Gal fashion label after the U.S. internet business fell into bankruptcy last month.

The Telegraph

* The bid battle for cherry-picker supplier Lavendon Group Plc stepped up again on Wednesday with European industrial equipment supplier Loxam SAS raising its offer for the UK business.

* Prime Minister Theresa May will put plans to pull out of the European Court of Human Rights at the heart of her campaign for the 2020 general election campaign, after ministers conceded that reform plans have been delayed by Brexit.

Sky News

* Britain’s ambassador to the United States, Kim Darroch, has attempted to mend fences with Donald Trump after the President-elect backed Nigel Farage for the job.

* New research reveals the government has misled the public by claiming it provided “new money” for social care, according to Labour’s Andy Burnham. The former health secretary, who is now Labour candidate for mayor of Greater Manchester, claims one in three councils is facing cuts in government funding next year.

The Independent

* Former cabinet minister Michael Gove has stoked Brexit anger after arguing that the discredited claim that leaving the European Union would mean 350 million pounds-a-week ($ 428 million-a-week) more for the NHS is still trustworthy.

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