DealBook Briefing: The Supreme Court Is Open for Business

DealBook Briefing: The Supreme Court Is Open for Business

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Photo Credit Mirko Ilic
The DealBook guide to blockchain

You’ve probably heard that blockchain is a technology that is going to change the world — it is the backbone of Bitcoin, the now infamous cryptocurrency. You might even have heard someone trying to explain it by describing it as a “trusted distributed ledger.”

You might or might not have found that helpful.

Don’t worry: DealBook has a comprehensive guide that aims to demystify the technology. Some highlights:

• Andrew explains why blockchain is important — even if it flops at first.

• Everything you need to know about how it works. (Plus a graphic guide.)

• A who’s who of blockchain.

• The biggest obstacles it faces.

• How it’s transforming industry, investment, and money management.

• And finally, a glossary of cryptoslang.

Photo Credit Eduardo Munoz/Reuters
Comcast’s Fox bid is headed for the rocks

Walt Disney gained a serious advantage in its effort to buy most of 21st Century Fox yesterday when the Justice Department approved its $71.3 billion deal. The only sale that regulators demanded was of Fox’s 22 regional sports television networks, which compete with Disney’s ESPN.

That the Justice Department says Disney can to close its deal quickly strikes a serious blow against Comcast. As a regulatory filing earlier this week made clear, Fox is convinced that the cable giant’s $65 billion bid will face more antitrust scrutiny.

How can Comcast hit back? Only by offering way more money. But with its shareholders fretting over the debt it would take on to finance a deal, it would need partners to provide the extra cash, probably by buying some Fox assets. The WSJ reports such talks are in progress. They’ll have to move fast.

Continue reading the main story Why Wall Street stocks are getting pummeled

The S.&P. 500 Financials Index has fallen for 13 days straight. But weren’t rising interest rates and strong stress test results supposed to show that banks are in rude health? As it turns out, they could be weighing bank stocks down. Here’s how:

• A flattening yield curve. Long-term interest rates are normally higher than short-term ones, but the two are converging. That makes it less profitable to borrow short and lend long.

• Stress about the stress tests. The Fed publishes the final results today. All 35 banks in the test passed the first round. But some could fail today.

Photo President Trump with Terry Gou, right, the C.E.O. of Foxconn, and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Credit Alex Brandon/Associated Press
How Trump is trying to rewrite the globalization rule book

For years, companies have built factories around the globe, to make things in the cheapest places they could. President Trump’s trade fight may unsettle that.

Mr. Trump, as Greg Ip of the WSJ explains, is trying to copy something that China and others have done: Forcing multinationals to build their products where they sell them. That could bring benefits to the economy. But it may also have unintended consequences.

Meanwhile, the president is in Wisconsin today to celebrate the Taiwanese company Foxconn building a factory there. (It happens to be up the road from Harley-Davidson, the motorcycle maker that Mr. Trump has attacked for shifting some production overseas to avoid new tariffs that he provoked.) He is touting the 13,000 jobs that Foxconn’s factory could bring to the state. But critics say the project could cost Wisconsin taxpayers dearly.

The bottom line: Trump’s trade policies are turning the rules of globalization on their head. The long-term effects remain to be seen.

Elsewhere in trade news: Senator Jeff Flake, Arizona’s outgoingRepublican, is holding up judicial appointments to fight the Trump tariffs. The looming global trade war is pushing China and India closer. What Trump’s new, tighter national security reviews of investments into the U.S. will look like. And the trade fight with China has turned America into Europe’s biggest supplier of soybeans.

Photo Credit Stephen Lam/Reuters
What a decade of smartphone patent wars achieved

Apple and Samsung have fought in courts over smartphones patents for seven years. That feud ended yesterday, when the two companies announced that they were settling for an undisclosed amount. (In May, a jury said Samsung should pay Apple $539 million for patent infringement.)

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So what did all the countersuits, trials and appeals achieve? More from Jack Nicas of the NYT:

“If I had to characterize it, it didn’t really accomplish anything,” said Brian J. Love, a Santa Clara University law professor who tracked the case. “Close to a decade of litigation, hundreds of millions of dollars spent on lawyers, and at the end of the day, no products went off the market.”

Photo Bill Shine Credit Mark Lennihan/Associated Press
Revolving door

Bill Shine, the former Fox News executive who was ousted over his handling of sexual harassment accusations there, is expected to become the White House communications chief. (NYT)

Qualcomm named Mark Fields, former C.E.O. of Ford Motor, and Neil Smit, a vice chairman of Comcast, to its board. (Qualcomm)

The speed read


• Global M.&A. volumes reached $2.5 trillion in the first half of the year, a record, lifted by flurry of giant deals. (FT)

• Lyft raised a $600 million round that prices the ride-hailing company at $15.1 billion, doubling its valuation in just a year. (Lyft)

• The Greek yogurt maker Chobani has struck a deal to buy out TPG’s stake in it, regaining control after turning to the investment firm for a financial lifeline years ago. (NYT)

Politics and policy

• The House rejected another immigration bill after Republicans split again. (WaPo)

• The White House’s nominee to lead the I.R.S. didn’t disclose ownership stakes in units at a Trump resort. (Bloomberg)

• Political activists’ latest battleground? Yelp. (Axios)


• Facebook’s inquiry into data misuse, prompted by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, has hit snags: Some developers won’t cooperate, and others have disappeared. (WSJ)

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• Amazon will start leasing vans to small delivery companies, for deliveries that it says FedEx, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service can’t handle. (Reuters)

• A close look at how Elon Musk is trying to increase production of Tesla’s Model 3. (WSJ)

• Apple is reportedly considering offering a single subscription for TV, music and news. (Information)

• We’ve hit Peak Screen. What now? (NYT)

Best of the rest

• U.S. companies hold a record $6.3 trillion of debt. (CNBC)

• The space race between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos is hurting airlines. (Bloomberg)

• From the FT: “The ship tycoon, the €100m scam and an epic battle for justice.”

• How technology became geopolitics. (Axios)

You can find live updates throughout the day at

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