Financial Daily Dose 12.12.2019 | Top Story: Fed Holds Rates Steady And Looks to Stay There

Building Demolition
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As expected, the Fed kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday while also signaling that “they would wait to see how the economy fared before making another move” – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Aramco shares surged upon hitting markets on Wednesday, but “the stock offering fell short of the royal family’s goal of luring huge amounts of global investment” [at least on Day 1] – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

The UK kicks off general elections today, with Brexit (and pretty much everything else in the island nation] hanging in the balance – Bloomberg and NYTimes

Members of the House on both sides of the aisle ripped into FAA chief Stephen Dickson over his agency’s certification of the Boeing 737 Max and its decision “not to ground the plane after a first deadly crash last year.” When pressed, Dickson refused for long periods to admit that the agency made mistakes in its handling of the Max-related crashes – NYTimes and WSJ

The Times is out with a story this week, staggering in its bluntness, about racism in the banking industry, complete with secret recordings from JPMorgan employees and customers alike – NYTimes

And while we’re talking exposes, the Journal and other outlets broke the news yesterday that the Vatican used funds collected as part of its Peter’s Pence main charitable appeal to Catholics around the globe not “to support the weak and suffering,” as stressed during appeal efforts, but “mostly to plug the budget deficit” of the Holy See. Indeed, in the past 5 years, just 10% of the money collected “has gone to the sort of charitable causes featured in advertising for the collection” – WSJ

FinCEN’s director told a banking and legal conference in D.C. this week that his agency’s seen “a significant uptick in the reporting of suspicious activity related to virtual currencies” since FinCEN issued guidance for the space this spring, with 2/3 of the 11,000 SARs coming directly from the crypto companies themselves – Law360

Nestle is selling its U.S. ice cream unit “to a joint venture” it’s forming with PE firm PAI Partners for $4 billion, “a deal the Haagen-Dazs maker hopes will reinvigorate the struggling business” that also includes Dreyer’s and Drumstick brands – WSJ

Early Disney+ numbers are looking very strong, with Big Mouse reporting more than 22 million downloads of its app to mobile devices and an average of 9.5 million daily active mobile users – MarketWatch

Law360 drops some expert analysis on us about the bipartisan House-passed Insider Trading Prohibition Act that codifies “and potentially broaden[s]” the prohibitions against insider trading in the U.S. – Law360

A potential Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) purchase of the bankrupt Dean Foods, the co-op’s biggest customer, is not only raising antitrust concerns but is worrying already-struggling dairy farmers who fear a further decline in milk profits – NYTimes

The Finns (and their brand-new 34-year-old PM) are a happy folk. Here’s a look at some of the ways they’ve got it figured out that we just don’t – Bloomberg

MDR

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