Your Daily Dose of Financial News

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The Fed wrapped its January meetings yesterday with the expected news that it would leave the benchmark interest rate unchanged and the less-guaranteed report that it was hitting the pause button on future rate hikes (aka, it’s taking a “patient stance” on rates) – WSJ and Bloomberg and NYTimes and MarketWatch

The latest on the US/China obstacles that provide the backdrop for the latest trade talks between the two economic powerhouses that kicked off yesterday in D.C. – NYTimes

Deutsche Bank’s continued inability to turn its troubled ship around means that it’s increasingly likely to find itself in a German-government-arranged marriage with Commerzbank AG by as early as mid-year – Bloomberg and WSJ

Apple blamed at least some of its slower holiday earnings on a softer-than-expected China market, a reality that’s prompting some to call for a radical approach from Apple, especially for markets like China and India: differentiation – WSJ and Marketplace

A survey of US economists shows that US GDP has dropped back below 3% and is likely settling back into a 2.6% figure for Q4 2018 and an estimated 2.3% for the past 9 months. They point to a “dimming global outlook, market tremors and sluggish business investment” as reasons for the slowing – WSJ

The EU has rejected Britain’s latest bid to “reopen talks on the withdrawal agreement, adding to the confusion surrounding Britain’s expected departure on March 29” – Law360

Facebook’s latest headaches include new accusations of “secretly paying people to install a ‘Facebook Research’ VPN that lets the company suck in all of a user’s phone and web activity” [Forbes and TechCrunch] and understating (or, at minimum, failing to understand) the number of fake accounts on its platform – NYTimes

And yet, its Q4 sales beat expectations, making the Street very happy – Bloomberg and WSJ

How KPMG’s recent auditing woes could spell even bigger trouble for its clients, especially those in already-dicey corporate scenarios like General Electric – WSJ

Google shareholders and workers have called on Alphabet’s board to engage in a series of reforms to address racial and gender diversity and “asking the board to [tie] these metrics to executive bonuses.” In a letter to the board, the shareholder resolution argues that the “tech diversity crisis threatens worker safety, talent retention, product development, and customer service” – Bloomberg

Paul Singer and his Elliott Management fund empire are reportedly in the midst of a shift beyond mere activist investing and into the business of “outright takeover of companies” – WSJ

With Netflix and Hulu dropping competing Fyre Festival documentaries in recent weeks, this Times piece on today’s “never-ending ‘scam season’” and the millennial grifters behind it—from Fyre’s Billy McFarland to Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes—is worth a read – NYTimes

MDR

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