Your Evening Briefing
The “phase one” deal signed Wednesday—aimed at rolling back hostilities in President Donald Trump’s trade war with China—brings with it a level of socialist-style central planning that may have been anathema to previous U.S. administrations. While American trade pacts traditionally leave the particulars of commerce to markets, this one includes a classified annex detailing $200 billion in Chinese purchases. More broadly, China experts see the deal’s failure to address foundational issues such as industrial subsidies (perhaps leaving those for a “phase two” deal) as a sign that the economic pain inflicted by the war may not be worth any benefit yielded by this accord.
Here are today’s top stories
The impeachment trial of Trump may begin in a matter of days, but new evidence has emerged about how his aides looked to besmirch former-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and undermine the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday who will prosecute the impeachment case as the chamber voted to send the articles to the Senate.
Russia President Vladimir Putin may be moving to consolidate power and extend his rule beyond the end of his term in 2024.
Twitter, perpetually under fire for how it polices—or fails to police—speech on its platform, has one person in charge of enforcing its rules.
Bankers attending a JPMorgan conference in San Francisco, where hotel rooms go for $2,000 a night and swank parties feature moneyed executives sipping champagne, are complaining about homeless people.
When Erik Prince, founder of the infamous security firm Blackwater, traveled to Caracas for secret talks with Venezuela’s vice president, he wasn’t the central figure orchestrating the meetings. That role was reserved for a former JPMorgan banker.
Democratic-leaning states punished by the 2017 Republican tax overhaul’s limits on state and local tax deductions are losing wealth to low-tax states such as Florida and Texas, new data show.
What’s Joe Weisenthal thinking about? The Bloomberg news director is mulling the importance of Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency’s footprint remains tiny: the total value is less than $160 billion. That said, Joe notes that it’s begun to play an important role in unexpected ways. One example came out in a recent Bloomberg interview of Maciej Wojtal, a London-based fund manager who invests in the Tehran Stock Exchange. He noted the rising use of cryptocurrencies in Iran as a means of circumventing sanctions.
What you’ll need to know tomorrow
- U.S. military policy dominated the Democratic debate Tuesday night.
- Tesla is looking to buy Glencore Cobalt for its Shanghai plant.
- How Putin got played by a Libyan general.
- Goldman had a great quarter—except for that whole 1MDB scandal.
- The U.K. vows to keep Huawei out of key security infrastructure.
- Businessweek: Microsoft finds cash can’t fix a Seattle housing crisis.
- A billionaire built a treehouse atop a London office tower.
What you’ll want to read in Climate Changed
It may seem untoward to discuss winter sports while an entire continent burns and news breaks that the 2010s were the warmest decade in recorded history, but the financial damage being wrought by global warming can’t be understated in places like the Alps. Ski tourism is the region’s bread-and-butter, and its days may be numbered.
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