Your Daily Dose of Financial News

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As many expected, the US economy slowed in Q4 2018, growing at a 2.6% annual rate in the final three months of last year. That figure was better than some forecasters thought, but it still marks a “significant slowdown” from midyear numbers that “briefly pushed growth above 4 percent” – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

More PG&E news this morning, as the company admitted that “its equipment probably caused the Camp Fire, the catastrophic November blaze that destroyed thousands of homes in Paradise, Calif., and killed at least 86 people.” The utility also took $11.5 billion in fire-related charges for 2017 and 2018 – NYTimes and WSJ

The Journal introduces us to Greg Lindberg, the North Carolina entrepreneur that “snapped up life-insurance companies” in recent years and then used the assets of those companies to plow $2 billion into his own private businesses – WSJ

It was some good with the bad from Tesla yesterday, with CEO Elon Musk announcing that, contrary to past predictions, the electronic automaker would not post a profit in Q1 2019 but that it would deliver on his promise of a $35k Model 3 – Bloomberg and NYTimes

New economic figures show that the costs of the White House’s trade war with China are the equivalent of about $40 billion in lost exports/year, thanks in large part to China’s counter-tariffs on a range of nearly 900 categories of targeted US products – Bloomberg

An update from the DOJ’s trial against fraud trial against a former KPMG partner and an ex0PCAOB employee over claims that the two collaborated to prepare for audit inspections – Law360

Even as the upstart crypto companies continue to face questions about their legitimacy, some of the world’s biggest messaging companies [think Facebook, Telegram, and Signal] are looking to jump into the digital currency field themselves – NYTimes

Struggling retailer Gap Inc. drew praise after revealing plans to spin off Old Navy, the “best part of its business,” though many analysts believe the company should’ve made the move “long ago” – Bloomberg and WSJ

Another looming concern for UK-based companies thanks to the ongoing Brexit mess: a serious risk of ratings downgrades – WSJ

A group of prominent New Yorkers (with the governor in the background) has decided that the dreams of an Amazon HQ2 in Queens are only mostly deadBloomberg and NYTimes

New reporting out of Europe from Ireland’s Data Protection Commission shows that Facebook and its affiliates have been the target of a full 2/3 of all GDPR-related inquiries since the law took effect last May – Law360

And, just in time for the weekend, news that Smartmouth Brewing Co.’s going all in on that IPA + sugar cereal collaboration [that’s in apparent demand?] with its new Saturday Morning All Day release – Mashable

MDR

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