Your Daily Dose of Financial News

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Mr. Buffett and his Berkshire crew just dropped nearly a billion on its own stock, a likely sign, according to analysts, of a “dearth of appealing investment options” for the company’s “large cash pile” – WSJ and Bloomberg

A Times weekend long-read reveals that giant banks and corporations have welcomed a “sharp decline in financial penalties” in the years since President Obama left office, including a 62% drop in SEC penalties and disgorgement and 72% decline in corporate penalties from DOJ criminal prosecutions as compared to the final 20 months of the Obama administration – NYTimes

Fun fact for your Monday: “Steamboat Willie” premiered in 1928, which means that Mickey Mouse (and his empire) turns 90 this year.  Disney’s not being subtle about the celebration – NYTimes

Lawyers for Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam are urging the 2d Circuit to overturn the $92.8 million civil penalty for insider trading he received in 2011, arguing that SDNY trial Judge Jed Rakoff “failed to properly take into account the severe criminal penalties he incurred” – Law360

A look at the numbers from last Friday’s jobs numbers, including a better-than-expected 250k additional jobs and the best pay growth since 2009 – Marketplace

Speaking of, here’s MarketWatch on why the banner report doesn’t mean that Americans are universally killing it. In fact, a new Center for Financial Services Innovation study recently found that just 28% of Americans are considered “financially healthy” – MarketWatch

The latest round of European big-bank stress tests from the European Banking Authority delivered a bit of a surprise, showing that major UK banks—including Barclays and Lloyds—were among the bottom of the barrel in terms common equity Tier 1 capital ratios – Law360

The Journal reports that years of scandals and toxic work environments are leading some companies to hire “Mr. Rogers CEOs.” It’s far from thrilled with the trend – WSJ

The Washington Post dropped an Amazon bomb the other day, reporting that Bezos & Co. are in advanced talks with Crystal City, VA officials about HQ2, and Amazon execs were NOT HAPPY about the leak – Bloomberg and MarketWatch

True, he skipped Davos in the Desert, but Masayoshi Son confirmed early today in Tokyo that he and his SoftBank empire aren’t pulling out of Saudi Arabia any time soon, despite the disappearance and murder of Jamal Khashoggi at what most believe were the kingdom’s hands – NYTimes

If you’re Big Beverage and on the wrong side of nutritional history, how do you fight a potentially devastating movement to tax sugary drinks? Why, you make it about a war on affordable groceries, of course – NYTimes

Bloomberg gives us this fascinating look at the rise of “master-planned cities”—the city planner’s dream-made-reality of building at entire city from scratch.  Of course, we’re talking humans and not sims, so the results of these efforts are rarely (if ever) true to the blueprints – Bloomberg

MDR

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