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/

China’s government sets growth target of at least 6%

China will slash taxes and boost lending

China will cut billions of dollars in taxes and fees, increase infrastructure investment, and step up lending to small firms, Premier Li Keqiang said Tuesday, as the world’s second-largest economy looks set to slow further this year.

The government aims to expand its economy by 6.0 to 6.5 percent in 2019, Li said at the opening of the annual meeting of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, less than the gross domestic product growth of 6.6 percent reported last year.

Sources said earlier this year that China would cut its 2019 growth target to 6.0 to 6.5 percent from the 2018 target of 6.5 percent amid growing economic headwinds.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp

U.S. and China said to appear close to deal to roll back tariffs

Formal trade deal could be sealed at a summit around March 27

The United States and China appear close to a deal that would roll back U.S. tariffs on at least $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, as Beijing makes pledges on structural economic changes and eliminates retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, a source briefed on negotiations said on Sunday.acebook would have various options to go to after the currency has been launched.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could seal a formal trade deal at a summit around March 27 given progress in talks between the two countries, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

https://www.reuters.com/

Facebook stablecoin for WhatsApp is set to hit the market soon

‘Facebook Coin’ Reportedly Coming in First Half of 2019

The social media giant has been in discussion with various exchanges for the launch of its new stable-coin that would allow cryptocurrency transactions between WhatsApp users. Facebook had recently acquired a high profile blockchain team to gear up the process for the same. As many as five different sources have reportedly confirmed that Facebook is going to launch the currency within the first half of the current year, i.e., 2019.

It is also being stated that the currency is in its testing phases with a small pilot group being involved. The coin when launched is expected to be one of the most rapidly growing digital assets since the social media network has an over two and a half billion global user base on the instant messaging application WhatsApp. Experts also believe that Facebook would have various options to go to after the currency has been launched.

https://www.cryptopolitan.com/

TikTok, Facebook rival

Watch out, Facebook.

The social video app TikTok just hit a major milestone as it sets its sights on global teen domination. TikTok has just crossed the 1 billion mark for worldwide installs on the App Store and Google Play, according to data from Sensor Tower, an analyst group that focuses on the mobile market.

“Approximately 663 million of these installs occurred in 2018,” Sensor Tower’s founder Oliver Yeh said in a statement. “To put this into perspective, the Facebook app was installed an estimated 711 million times last year and Instagram saw about 444 million new downloads.”

The 1 billion download figure is also only part of the story, as it does not include the number of downloads the app has received on Android in China, according to Sensor Tower, which also reported that TikTok was the No. 1 non-game app in the U.S. in January.

https://www.usatoday.com/

 

Walmart’s e-commerce sales rose 43 percent during the fourth quarter.

Amazon’s worst nightmare

Walmart is set to assert “worldwide dominance” and become one of “Amazon’s worst nightmares,” according to one analyst. On Tuesday, the U.S. retail giant beat consensus expectations for its fourth quarter on same-store sales, revenue and earnings per share.

Walmart’s e-commerce sales rose 43 percent during the period and for 2019 it’s calling for internet sales to be up another 35 percent. In comments made prior to Walmart’s stellar beat, Burt Flickinger, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, said Walmart was set to, “expand their worldwide dominance in online retail and start in these next two years to become one of Amazon’s worst nightmares.”

https://www.cnbc.com/

 

Labour will back call for second Brexit referendum

Labour would also back an amendment that would compel Theresa May to delay Brexit

Campaigners for a second referendum on Brexit received a major boost on Monday night when Jeremy Corbyn said Labour will back another public vote on leaving the European Union.

Mr Corbyn told Labour MPs that the party would also back an amendment this week that would compel Theresa May to delay Brexit rather than leave the EU without a deal on March 29th.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

BREXIT: ‘Remain’ would win a second referendum by 9 points

20,000 people were questioned in a Survation poll

Remain would win a new Brexit poll by eight points with 54 per cent voting to stay in the EU and 46 per cent opting to leave, according to analysis of one of the largest surveys carried out on the issue. Some 20,000 people were questioned in a Survation poll for Channel 4 which estimated 105 local authority areas that voted Leave in 2016 would now be carried by the Remain side.

Channel 4 said a multi-level modelling technique, which successfully predicted the 2017 general election result, had been used in the exercise.

https://www.independent.co.uk/

Pinterest confidentially files for IPO

Valuation of at least $12 billion

Online image search site Pinterest Inc has confidentially filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company and its underwriters, led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co are planning for a late-June listing and is seeking a valuation of at least $12 billion, the newspaper reported.

http://www.reuters.com

UK: Cabinet ministers back new centre-ground movement, claim Tory defectors

Home secretary Amber Rudd has threatened to resign  in the event of a no-deal Brexit

The new centre-ground Independent Group made up of former Labour and Tory MPs enjoys backing within Theresa May’s cabinet, it was claimed today. Heidi Allen MP said the grouping have the support of “ministers at all levels” after she and two other Conservative colleagues quit their party to join up.

Ms Allen’s claim comes after home secretary Amber Rudd, who has threatened to resign in the event of a no-deal Brexit, made sympathetic statements about the MPs who had left her party. In comments likely to enrage other former Tory colleagues, Ms Allen also indicated the new group could not only bring down the government, but aimed to see the destruction of the Conservative Party.

http://www.independant.uk.co

Oil falls after record U.S. shale output forecast

Shale production alone will hit a record 8.4 million barrels per day next month

Oil fell on Wednesday after the U.S. government said shale output would rise to a record next month, denting a rally that sent prices to their highest this year. Brent futures eased by 53 cents to trade at $65.92 a barrel by 1312 GMT, still within sight of Monday’s high for the year of $66.83. U.S. futures were at $55.77 a barrel, down 31 cents, having touched a 2019 peak of $56.39 earlier.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report on Tuesday shale production alone will hit a record 8.4 million barrels per day next month, suggesting little chance of a near-term slowdown in overall U.S. crude output.

http://www.reuters.com

Huawei founder says Huawei CFO arrest was politically motivated

Huawei equipment could be used to spy on Americans

The U.S. Justice Department denied the charges were politically motivated. “The Justice Department’s criminal case against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is based solely on the evidence and the law. The Department pursues cases free of any political interference and follows the evidence and rule of law in pursuing criminal charges,” spokeswoman Nicole Navas said in an email to Reuters.
Huawei, along with another Chinese network equipment company, ZTE Corp, has been accused by the United States of working at the behest of the Chinese government. The United States has said their equipment could be used to spy on Americans. Huawei has repeatedly denied the claims.

http://www.reuters.com

Apple’s stock fell again

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway trimmed its Apple’s stake

Berkshire Hathaway decreased its stake in Apple by nearly 3 million shares, to 249.5 million, in the fourth quarter, but Warren Buffettreportedly had nothing to do with the selling.

“One of the managers other than Warren had a position in Apple and sold part of it in order to make an unrelated purchase,” Buffett’s assistant Debbie Bosanek said in an email to Reuters. “None of the shares under Warren’s direction have ever been sold.”

Bosanek didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. Berkshire didn’t return CNBC’s call seeking comment.

http://www.cnbc.com

Amazon Will Pay a Whopping $0 in Federal Taxes This Year

Amazon has registered $11.2 Billion Profits

Those wondering how many zeros Amazon, which is valued at nearly $800 billion, has to pay in federal taxes might be surprised to learn that its check to the IRS will read exactly $0.00. According to a report published by the Institute on Taxation and Economic (ITEP) policy Wednesday, the e-tail/retail/tech/entertainment/everything giant won’t have to pay a cent in federal taxes for the second year in a row.

This tax-free break comes even though Amazon almost doubled its U.S. profits from $5.6 billion to $11.2 billion between 2017 and 2018. To top it off, Amazon actually reported a $129 million 2018 federal income tax rebate—making its tax rate -1%.

http://www.fortune.com