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Controversy over the firing of a senior D.E. Shaw executive

D.E. Shaw said yesterday that it had fired Daniel Michalow, a longtime executive at the hedge fund, for what it said were “gross violations of our standards and values.” An unnamed source told Bloomberg that he faced accusations of mistreating women.

Mr. Michalow responded in a letter to David Shaw, D.E. Shaw’s founder, saying the firm had told him he hadn’t been accused of sexual misconduct. He admitted “an abrasive and intolerant management style,” but denied sexually mistreating anyone.

From what Mr. Michalow tweeted was “the letter D.E. Shaw spent all day trying to make sure you couldn’t read”:

The firm’s bullying and threats against me over the last week, however, have revealed that the firm is so concerned with creating the appearance of supporting women that it is willing to cast false aspersions on me (and perpetuate false aspersions cast by others) and make me a scapegoat with a proverbial hanging in the town square.


Rupert Murdoch Credit Jewel Samad/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Will Murdoch turn down a sweetened Comcast bid?

If Comcast goes through with a higher bid for the 21st Century Fox assets that Disney has agreed to buy for $52.4 billion, as Reuters and the WSJ report, would Rupert Murdoch be swayed? Two reasons he might not be:

• Mr. Murdoch already spurned a Comcast offer 16 percent higher than what Disney’s, saying regulators were more likely to block it. (Comcast would move again only if AT&T gets its Time Warner deal.)

• He prefers receiving stock, as he would from Disney, because that’s a tax-free transaction.

The context: Comcast is also making life difficult for Mr. Murdoch and Disney by challenging Fox’s bid for full ownership of Sky, the British satellite broadcaster.

The political flyaround

• President Trump’s expected withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal is likely raise oil prices, already at $70 a barrel.

• Tokyo is becoming closer politically to Beijing, partly because it fears a U.S.-China trade war. (Axios)

• Mr. Trump is asking Congress to withdraw $15 billion in agreed spending, primarily from the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Affordable Care Act. (WaPo)

• Qatar has reportedly expressed interest in investing in Newsmax, a publisher that supports Mr. Trump. (Politico)

• Mick Mulvaney has made his biggest mark in Washington not in the federal budget but at the C.F.P.B. (NYT)

• Don Blankenship, the former Massey Energy C.E.O. seeking a Senate seat in West Virginia, shrugged off Mr. Trump’s opposition to him ahead of a primary today. (Politico)


Credit Principles

Ray Dalio gets animated

He’s had a cartoon mini-series made from his book “Principles.” Here’s what the billionaire Bridgewater founder told friends in a note:

“A number of people also requested that I distill it down to its essential concepts in a 30-minute animation, like I did with my Economic Principles in How the Economic Machine Works. So I’ve done that in an 8 episode ultra mini-series adventure called ‘Principles for Success,’ which I’m releasing today”


Credit Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

The deals flyaround

• Shire’s board formally accepted a $62 billion takeover bid by Takeda Pharmaceuticals of Japan, one of the biggest ever in the drug industry. (FT)

• Walmart’s deal to buy control of Flipkart of India for nearly $15 billion could be announced as soon as this week. (WSJ)

• Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason said that they would consider any bid for Xerox worth at least $40 a share, as they continued to try and oust the company’s C.E.O., Jeff Jacobson. Separately, Mr. Icahn appears to have scaled back his A.I.G. investment.

• Elliott Management offered to buy Athenahealth for $6.5 billion. Citigroup’s shares rose in postmarket trading after the WSJ reported that ValueAct has a $1.2 billion stake in it.

• Within T-Mobile and Sprint, their $26.5 billion deal was code-named “Lakes,” with T-Mobile being “Tahoe” and Sprint “Salt.” (Bloomberg)

• The European payments start-up iZettle plans to go public. (iZettle)


Elon Musk at the Met Gala with the musician Grimes. Credit Angela Weiss/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

More on Buffett, Musk and moats

The business world has chortled over an unlikely spat: Warren Buffett and Elon Musk trading barbs over the candy industry and business moats. But there’s a legitimate concern in there, Andrew writes in his latest column: Moats still exist, and it remains hard for upstarts to break into banking, tech or, yes, automobiles.

More from Andrew:

Whether they have been dug by a company’s experienced hand, the good will of its customers or the heavy machinery of governmental regulation, moats remain a formidable form of protection, even from the most willing of raiders.

Critics’ corner: Investors are already choosing sides in the fight, John Foley of Breakingviews writes.

More on Mr. Musk: Tesla’s 10-Q raises more questions he might find “boring.” A rare glimpse inside Tesla’s Model 3 factory.

More on Mr. Buffett: Why Berkshire shareholders love going to “the meeting.”


An Uber self-driving car. Credit Eric Risberg/Associated Press

The tech flyaround

• The Uber self-driving car involved in a fatal accident in March reportedly detected the pedestrian it hit, and decided she was a false positive. Egyptian lawmakers want ride-hailing companies to turn over passenger data if asked., an autonomous cab service, plans to open in Dallas.

• The parent company of the N.Y.S.E. has been working on an online Bitcoin trading platform. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates still aren’t into cryptocurrencies. Researchers at the San Francisco Fed blamed Bitcoin’s price drop on futures trading.

• Microsoft wants to position itself as the tech industry’s conscience. (NYT)

• Piazza Technologies, computer science students’ favorite social network, wants to be Silicon Valley’s new recruiting service. (Bloomberg)

Revolving door

• Snap has hired Tim Stone, a vice president of finance at Amazon, as its C.F.O. (Recode)

• Uber has hired Christopher Hart, the former head of the National Transportation Safety Board, as an adviser. (Bloomberg)

• Abernathy MacGregor, the P.R. firm, named Carina Davidson as its president. (Abernathy MacGregor)

The speed read

• Unions have rejected a pay offer at Air France-KLM, testing Emmanuel Macron’s labor policies. (NYT)

• California now has the world’s fifth largest economy. (NYT)

• Ant Financial’s sprawling business interests could increase its exposure to new regulations in China. (Bloomberg)

• Bank of America is preparing a critical loan for Remington Outdoor just weeks after it said it would stop financing “military-style” firearms for civilians. (Reuters)

• Deliveroo will spend $13 million on free medical insurance for 35,000 food delivery drivers worldwide, but stopped short of further benefits to avoid the risk of having to treat them as employees. (CNBC)

• Private placements are a fast-growing type of investment, but frequently involve brokers with red flags in their records. (WSJ)

• Samsung Securities said it intended to file a criminal lawsuit against employees who sold shares the company mistakenly issued during a “fat finger” incident last month. (WSJ)

• Britain’s oldest bank has made a 32-year-old member of the controlling family a partner, hoping for what it called “millennial thinking.” (FT)

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