Financial Daily Dose 1.6.2020 | Top Story: Oil Futures Jump as Concerns Deepen Over Mideast Volatility

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And we’re back at it in 2020. Let’s get caught up . . .

Oil jumped for a second straight day, with futures near $70/barrel as fallout from the U.S.’s drone-strike assassination of Iran’s Qassem Soleimani continues to raise “the prospect of disruptions in the world’s most important oil-producing region” – Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Marketplace

Carlos Ghosn’s cloak-and-dagger escape from Japan to Lebanon has prompted Japan to rethink its immigration and surveillance measures while defending its justice system. The former Nissan chief accused of financial wrongdoing has repeatedly questioned his ability to receive a “fair and open trial” in Japan – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke weighs in on the current low-rate environment and suggests that a falling neutral interest rate could push the Fed to increase its inflation target or take more active measures to ensure economic stability – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Though the London Stock Exchange is blaming August’s trading outage on a software glitch, British authorities acknowledged recently that they’re investigating whether a cyberattack “aimed at disrupting markets” was the real source of the incident – WSJ

We’ll be keeping a close eye on more cyberattacks in the coming weeks, too – Bloomberg

Dallas-based Borden dairy has filed for bankruptcy protection, following in the footsteps of rival Dean Foods’ filing just months ago as “rising milk prices and other challenges make its debt load unsustainable” – Bloomberg

SoftBank’s toxic culture: India edition. A look inside Oyo, a start-up offering budget hotel rooms, that’s grown into “one of India’s most valuable private companies” in part thanks to questionable business practices and financial accounting – NYTimes

The CFTC is heading back to court against Kraft and Mondelez “in a case that could reveal the extent of the government’s power to go after market manipulation.” The Commission reached a $16 million settlement with the food giants just last summer that featured a gag order on both sides, and after Kraft accused the CFTC of violating the order, a judge “scuttled the settlement,” and everyone’s prepping for trial – WSJ

Turns out the Commission’s not the only one with Kraft in its commodities-market-rigging sights – Law360

The White House’s love affair with tariffs has contributed to yet another month of shrinking manufacturing activity according to new data released late last week. U.S. manufacturing in December hit its lowest level since June 2009 in December – NYTimes

Meanwhile, the Journal has gone deep into the effects of the 2017 tax cuts, finding that while they “contributed to economic growth,” they didn’t do so “enough to pay for themselves as many backers promised. And even some of the intended beneficiaries say the gains haven’t been dramatic” – WSJ

Because when you think “stunning, innovative architecture,” you immediately think Antarctica, right? [You should} – NYTimes

MDR

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