Your Daily Dose of Financial News

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Federal prosecutors are reportedly weighing the allegations that Amazon chief Jeff Bezos has levied against Enquirer-parent American Media Inc., which, if found to have broken any law, “would be in violation of a deal with federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York” related to hush money payments it made during the 2016 presidential race – NYTimes and WSJ

Wells Fargo’s can thank a shutdown at one of its main data centers for its latest headline-grabbing problem, an outage that “left many customers unable to access their accounts online or on mobile applications” – WSJ and MarketWatch

A small group of hedge funds are reaping outsized rewards for “backing an $18 billion restructuring of Puerto Rico’s sales-tax debt,” even as other investors are “saddled” with losses. More details here – WSJ

Amazon’s New York side of its HQ2 vision is becoming increasingly cloudy, as Governor Andrew Cuomo squares off with “political opponents of [the] deal” over the proposed plans to bring a massive new corporate development to Queens. Amazon’s definitely taking note – NYTimes and WSJ and Mashable

A tough, looming side effect of the recently announced BB&T and SunTrust merger is Atlanta’s loss of a major player’s (SunTrust) HQ in its business (and cultural) community – WSJ

The Times surveys the Silicon Valley scene and finds that the up-and-coming unicorn-wanna-bes look “very different” from the first wave of unicorns [think Uber and Airbnb], which “all benefited from the spread of smartphones and cheap cloud computing.” The new class “largely focus on software for specific industries like farms, banks and life sciences companies” – NYTimes

SDNY Judge Alvin Hellerstein has sentenced Norman Seabrook, a “former labor boss” convicted of “accepting bribes in exchange for moving $20 million of union capital into a hedge fund that later went belly-up,” to 58 months in prison and ordered him to help repay $19 million of the total to the union – Law360

Former Optum exec David William Smith has asked a Massachusetts federal judge to allow him to keep working for the health care startup joint venture from Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan while the First Circuit considers his motion to compel arbitration in the lawsuit “accusing him of stealing trade secrets and bringing them to his new job” – Law360

The shuttering of Toys R Us last year has had an outsized impact on toymakers Hasbro and Mattel, both of which reported a decline in sales in Q4 2018, despite the holiday season.  The entire US toy industry sales fell a collective 2% in 2018 – WSJ

San Francisco Fed Chief Mary Daly, speaking to reporters on Friday, suggested that the Fed could use its balance sheet (in the form of QE [think bond-buying programs]) as “a routine part of how it guides the economy” and not “just as a last-ditch measure to deploy in emergencies.”  Her comments come as the Fed is “in the process of shrinking its balance sheet” – Bloomberg

The Times gives us this interesting piece on the aboriginal Martu people of Australia, who recent study suggests present a new model for humans’ impact on the wilderness—stewardship, not degradation – NYTimes

MDR

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