Financial Daily Dose 10.24.2019 | Top Story: Lawmakers Grill Zuckerberg on Libra and Political Ads

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We didn’t get flop sweat Zuck, but it was still a hot seat indeed for Facebook’s founder and CEO on the Hill yesterday, who fielded a wide range of questions from Libra to political freedom of expression on his platform – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Law360

In an effort to avoid threatened December tariffs from the White House, China has proposed a plan in which it will purchase at least $20 billion of U.S. ag products in a year—a level not seen since roughly 2017 (before the start of the trade war). Plenty of important details remain outstanding – Bloomberg

Google announced a “long-sought breakthrough” in quantum computing yesterday that could help usher in an era in which “new kinds of computers [could] do calculations at speeds that are inconceivable with today’s technology” – NYTimes and MarketWatch

All the better to spy on one’s workers with, perhaps? – Bloomberg

Boeing’s 737 Max crisis continues. In the face of new allegations suggest company management pressured a former Max test pilot to discourage expensive training measures and a day after its highest-ranking exec working on a fix, Kevin McAllister, was ousted, Boeing announced a staggering 43% drop in earnings from a year ago, with the company delivering just 62 planes last quarter – NYTimes and WSJ

Elon Musk’s cost-cutting measures in 2019 are apparently paying off for Tesla. The e-car maker posted its first profit in “almost a year” following 3 rounds of layoffs and a restructuring that dropped company operating expenses to their lowest level since Model 3 production began – Bloomberg and MarketWatch

The Times profiles Forever 21 and finds that the company’s from-scratch success and its current fall from grace (it entered bankruptcy in recent months and is shuttering some 30$ of its stores worldwide) all come back to the Chang family, who built [and are on their way of losing] virtually every aspect of the fast-fashion empire – NYTimes

Jeffrey Vinik, a billionaire and former Fidelity Investments star who started a “stock-picking hedge fund” just eight months ago, is shuttering the effort, the “latest sign of challenges facing the hedge-fund industry.” Vinik had originally announced plans to raise $3 billion in a matter of months, but he fell far short of his target, and he said he needed to manage “significantly more money for the ‘economics to make sense’” – WSJ

New Journal investigative reporting suggests that Amazon offers “a steady stream of clothing from dozens of Bangladeshi factories that most leading retailers have said are too dangerous to allow into their supply chains” – WSJ

Kellogg’s has “agreed to change its marketing and pay about $20 million to resolve consumer claims it falsely advertised several cereals as health when they’re loaded with sugar.” The agreement resolves a  class action suit against Kellogg’s filed in 2012 – Law360

A new opinion out from the Government Accountability Office could aid lawmakers seeking to roll back even more post-crisis financial regulations by finding that the Fed and other regulators “issued guidance to influence the behavior of banks in a way that is subject to congressional oversight” – NYTimes

Some timely, hard-hitting reporting from the folks at Marketplace on the seeming dearth of new candy in America – Marketplace

MDR

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