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DATAS OF THE DAY


BREXIT: Parliament seizes control

Hard Brexiteers dream is dying

As this phase of the Brexit process grinds towards its excruciating conclusion, mercifully, we might finally be about to learn what can command a majority among lawmakers in the House of Commons. And, in bad news for hard Brexiteers, it looks like their dream is dying.

On Monday night, Members of Parliament indicated to Theresa May that they want to wrestle Brexit out of the government’s hands and take control of the process.

This means indicative votes on Wednesday, in which the Commons will likely coalesce around a softer version of Brexit. If the diehard Brexiteers didn’t like May’s deal, they’re going to hate what could be about to come.

We already know that the majority of the Commons opposes a no-deal Brexit – something the Brexiteers see as a preferable alternative to May’s deal. These indicative votes will likely show us that a majority of MPs also favor closer ties to Europe as a way forward.

https://www.cnn.com/

Revoke Article 50 petition calling for Brexit to be cancelled hits 5 million signatures

One million people marched through London demanding a second referendum on Brexit.

An online petition calling on the government to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit has attracted more than 5 million signatures. The petition, started in late February, became the most popular petition ever submitted to the parliament website after it hit over 4 million signatures on Saturday. The record-breaking number came as an estimated one million people marched through London demanding a second referendum on Brexit.

The parliament website has crashed numerous time since the petition leapt in popularity on Wednesday following Theresa May’s appeal to the British people to support her as she demanded MPs back her deal. But Ms May rejected the message of the petition on Thursday, when a No 10 spokesperson said failing to deliver Brexit would cause “potentially irreparable damage to public trust”.

https://www.independant.co.uk/

Uber IPO Could Be One of Five Biggest NYSE Listings in History

Uber chooses the New York Stock Exchange

Uber Technologies has selected the New York Stock Exchange for its imminent initial public offering, handing the trading floor what could be one of the five biggest listings of all time, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the details aren’t public.

The ride-hailing giant is expected to publicly file for its offering in April, kicking off a listing that could value the company at as much as $120 billion and is likely to be the biggest of the year, people familiar with the plans have said previously. At that valuation, Uber would only have to float about 16% of its shares to make the top five, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

https://www.fortune.com/

Disney Closes $71 Billion 21st Century Fox Deal

Birth of a preeminent global entertainment company

Before the end of the East Coast airing of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”, Disney has formally sealed the deal on its $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

“This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us — one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders,” Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon. “Combining Disney’s and 21st Century Fox’s wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the preeminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era.”

Disney took possession of 21st Century Fox at 12:02 a.m. ET. Assets changing hands in the deal include: Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Family, and Fox Animation; Fox’s television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions, and Fox21; FX Networks; National Geographic Partners; Fox Networks Group International; Star India; and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Tata Sky, and Endemol Shine Group.

https://www.variety.com/

Solid majority against Brexit in UK

At least 6% difference  in favor of the ‘Remain’ choice according to different polls

The general public supports holding a second referendum on the decision to leave the European Union if the UK government attempts to Brexit without a deal, according to YouGov.

When the question is whether UK voters favour a referendum if the choice is between leaving with no deal or remaining in the EU, the split is:

  • Support: 50%
  • Oppose: 36%

https://www.businessinsider.com/

MPs overwhelmingly back Brexit delay

The short delay could last until June 30

British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to seek a delay in Britain’s exit from the European Union, setting the stage for Prime Minister Theresa May to renew efforts to get her divorce deal approved by parliament next week. Lawmakers approved by 412 votes to 202 a motion setting out the option to ask the EU for a short delay if parliament can agree on a Brexit deal by March 20 — or a longer delay if no deal can be agreed in time.

The vote makes it likely that the March 29 departure date set down in law, which May has repeatedly emphasised, is likely to be missed, although it is unclear by how long.

The short delay envisaged in the motion could last until June 30, but the longer extension is not currently time-limited. Either would require unanimous approval from the other 27 EU members, whose leaders meet in a summit next Thursday.

http://www.reuters.com

No deal Brexit ruled out by MPs in all circumstances

Chaos deepens

Theresa May will attempt one final desperate roll of the dice on her Brexit deal, issuing a stark warning to mutinous Brexiters that they must approve her offer by next week or face a long article 50 extension.

The prime minister was humiliated yet again amid chaotic scenes on Wednesday night in parliament, as her cabinet ruptured three ways and MPs inflicted two more defeats on the government to demand no deal should be taken off the table permanently.

In an unprecedented night of Tory splits, four cabinet ministers, Amber Rudd, David Mundell, David Gauke and Greg Clark, defied their party’s last-minute whip and refused to vote against the government’s own motion, after it was amended to rule out any prospect of no-deal Brexit.

http://www.theguardian.com

No-Deal Brexit: the UK will scrap 87% of tariffs

UK will not set up Irish border checks under a no-deal Brexit

The UK would refuse to introduce any Irish border checks and scrap 87% of tariffs on imported goods to the UK if it leaves the EU without a deal, officials have confirmed.

Theresa May’s government published explosive details of the tariff cuts and its Irish border plans after Theresa May’s Brexit deal was defeated heavily in parliament on Tuesday, significantly increasing the likelihood of no deal.

Downing Street would take unilateral measures to maintain an open Irish border by not introducing any new checks or controls on goods moving from Ireland to Northern Ireland, including no customs declarations for normal goods.

http://www.businessinsider.com

Corporate America, not banks, could cause the next recession

The next debt crisis: There’s a $6.3 trillion elephant in the room

The last downturn was triggered by Wall Street and Americans accumulating too much debt — particularly in the sizzling housing market. A decade later, it’s Corporate America borrowing with gusto. Egged on by extremely low rates, US companies have piled on a record-setting $6.3 trillion of debt, according to S&P Global Ratings. All that debt is easy to ignore right now. Default rates are minuscule. Companies are sitting on tons of cash, and their coffers are growing thanks to the soaring US economy and corporate tax cuts.
But eventually, both the economy and corporate profits will slow, leaving companies less firepower to pay down debt. And it won’t be as easy to roll over the debt that’s due. Debt-laden companies would be vulnerable to rising borrowing costs caused by the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes. If companies are stuck in a credit crunch, they will have to pull back on hiring and investment. That could be a recipe for a recession.

http://www.cnn.com

Brexit could be stopped by the end of the week, warns Jeremy Hunt

Europhile MPs could be two thirds of the way to win

Europhile MPs could be two thirds of the way to stopping Brexit by the end of this week, Jeremy Hunt has warned. The Foreign Secretary said there was now “wind in the sails” of Remain-backing MPs as he issued a direct plea to Tory Eurosceptics to vote for Theresa May’s deal on Tuesday.

He said Leave voters would ultimately hold the Conservative Party responsible for failing to deliver on the 2016 EU referendum result and the electoral consequences would be “devastating”. Mr Hunt’s intervention came as the UK and EU remained locked in a Brexit stalemate with no immediate prospect of a solution being agreed on the crunch issue of the backstop.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

ECB move sends stocks lower

Dollar climbs

A gauge of global stock markets stumbled on Thursday while the U.S. dollar rose, as the European Central Bank postponed interest rate hikes to 2020 and launched a new round of cheap loans to banks in an effort to spark the euro zone economy. Equities had drifted lower over the past several sessions before the session’s sharp drop, sparked by the ECB’s change of direction just months after it wound down its massive quantitative easing program.

The ECB’s move puts it in sync with other central banks around the world that have been taking a dovish tack, including the Bank of Canada earlier this week. The ECB also cut its growth and inflation estimates for 2019 as well as those for 2020 and 2021, raising alarm bells for investors once again over global growth.

http://www.reuters.com/

Haven, or how to tackle rising health-care costs

The joint health-care venture between Amazon, J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway finally has a name

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett last January announced they were teaming up to tackle rising health-care costs. They formed a nonprofit company and named renowned surgeon, author and speaker Dr. Atul Gawande as CEO in June.
“We want to change the way people experience health care so that it is simpler, better, and lower cost,” Gawande said in a statement on Wednesday. “We’ll start small, learn from the experience of patients, and continue to expand to meet their needs.”

http://www.cnbc.com/

FDA Approves Johnson & Johnson’s Ketamine-Derived Drug For Treatment-Resistant Depression

Insurance companies would not pay for an unapproved treatment

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration Tuesday approved Johnson & Johnson’s ketamine-derived nasal spray Spravato for treatment-resistant depression. The green light means ketamine—an anesthetic abused as a party drug but promoted by some doctors without FDA approval as a necessary treatment for the most severely depressed patients—has spawned the first materially new depression treatment in decades.

Following early research by the National Institutes of Health, specialized clinics have offered intravenous ketamine treatments for depression on an off-label basis for many years. But since insurance companies would not pay for an unapproved treatment and psychiatrists are not accustomed to giving patients IV infusions in their offices, Johnson & Johnson began developing and running clinical trials on a related molecule, esketamine, that could receive a new FDA approval and be given to patients more conveniently.

https://www.forbes.com/