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Business / Business Education / Finance / Money / Personal Finance

Opening Bell: 1.25.18

Opening Bell: 1.25.18

Trump Says He Is Willing to Speak Under Oath to Mueller [NYT]
President Trump said on Wednesday that he was willing and eager to be interviewed by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, insisting that he has done nothing wrong.
“I’m looking forward to it, actually,” Mr. Trump said of talking to Mr. Mueller, answering months of speculation over whether he was willing to submit to questions from the special counsel, who is also believed to be looking into whether the Trump campaign aided Moscow’s effort and whether the president sought to thwart the inquiry itself.

Dollar Steadies After Selloff but Weighs on Global Stocks [WSJ]
European stocks and U.S. futures inched higher Thursday shortly ahead of a European Central Bank meeting, while the dollar stabilized after falling to its lowest level since late 2014.
The Stoxx Europe 600 edged up 0.1%—a day after its biggest daily loss of the year—and futures pointed to a 0.2% opening rise for the S&P 500. Asian stocks closed sharply lower, however, catching up with Wednesday’s drop in the dollar, which accelerated after local markets closed.
The ICE U.S. dollar index edged down 0.1% Thursday after falling to its lowest level since late 2014 on Wednesday.The dollar’s monthslong drop deepened Wednesday after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a weaker dollar was good for trade.

Mnuchin says not seeking trade war [Reuters]
At a news conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mnuchin played down his comments on Wednesday that a weaker dollar was “good for us as it relates to trade and opportunities”, saying they had been “balanced and consistent”.
The remarks were seen by markets as a departure from traditional U.S. currency policy and a sign that U.S. President Donald Trump is stepping up his attack on China and other big trading partners as part of his “America First” agenda.
“I thought my comment on the dollar was actually quite clear yesterday,” Mnuchin told reporters. “I thought it was actually balanced and consistent with what I’ve said before, which is, we are not concerned with where the dollar is in the short term.”

Britain’s ‘Most Un-P.C.’ Charity Will Shut Down [NYT]
The British establishment’s reaction to the scandal was severe and immediate, a reflection of the reckoning for many powerful men around the world following revelations of sexual misconduct by the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Career-ending revelations of sexual harassment and abuse have become regular occurrences, but The Financial Times’s report, published Tuesday, was nonetheless remarkable. The newspaper sent two female journalists under cover to work as “hostesses” for the Presidents Club dinner and auction last Thursday at the Dorchester hotel in London.

Barclays CEO says new US tax policy is a ‘very big deal’ for his company [CNBC]
“The USA has clearly embarked on a strategy to be very business friendly as a regulatory matter and now as a tax matter,” Staley said Thursday. “And the question is, how is the rest of the world going to respond?”
“45 percent of our business is in the U.S., now 45 percent of our business is in the lowest tax jurisdiction in the world … for Barclays, it’s a very big deal.”

Meg Whitman to Lead Mobile-Video Startup NewTV [WSJ]
Meg Whitman, the former head of eBay Inc. and the departing chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. , is joining Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo LLC as the first CEO in the media and tech venture’s planned portfolio of companies.
Ms. Whitman will run WndrCo’s NewTV, a mobile-video company that Mr. Katzenberg has been building for the past year, the company announced Wednesday. NewTV is the startup’s working name.

Rapper 50 Cent Is Now a Bitcoin Millionaire [Coindesk]
Rapper 50 Cent’s move to accept bitcoin for his 2014 “Animal Ambition” album has resulted in a multi-million dollar windfall.
On Tuesday, celebrity gossip site TMZ reported that 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, had garnered about 700 BTC after moving to accept the cryptocurrency for the album. At the time, the rapper was accepting payments through processor startup BitPay. At the time, that amount was worth about $400k, and by the publication’s estimation, his holdings are now worth somewhere between $7 million and $9 million.

Smartphone Battery Explodes After Man Inexplicably Bites Into It [HuffPo]
Security camera footage captured Jan. 19 at a store in Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, shows the unidentified man biting into the iPhone battery, presumedly to check its authenticity.
The move quickly proves to be a mistake, as the battery explodes. Amazingly, the man wasn’t seriously hurt in the blast.

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