DealBook Briefing: Mark Zuckerberg Spoke. Did He Say Enough?


• On why it took so long for him to respond, compared with other tech C.E.O.s: “I know that there was a lot of pressure to speak sooner, but my assessment was that it was more important that what we said was fully accurate.”

• On #DeleteFacebook: “I don’t think we’ve seen a meaningful number of people act on that, but, you know, it’s not good.”

Peter Eavis’s take: Missing from his response was a full explanation of why Facebook took so long to disclose the Cambridge Analytica misuse of data. The company found out in 2015. Why wasn’t the abuse disclosed then?

Elsewhere in the Facebook orbit: A guide to deleting your account; idealistic reasons not to. Why former employees feel emboldened to criticize. And Cambridge Analytica is being accused of receiving a foreign leader’s private emails, perhaps from Israeli hackers. (It says it didn’t.)

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Chandan Khanna/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Is the U.S. starting a trade fight with China?

The White House will announce some $50 billion worth of tariffs and other penalties on Chinese goods and services today. Capitol Hill is expected to like them more than the forthcoming tariffs on imported metals, as are some businesses. But some Republicans and other companies are fearful. (See below.)

Beijing’s Foreign Ministry said in response, “China will certainly take all necessary measures to resolutely defend its legitimate rights and interests.”

More on the White House’s trade policies from Peter Goodman of the NYT:

They potentially diminish the place of the United States in the world by alienating allies, undermining the potential for collective action among countries nursing shared grievances with China.

Some U.S. companies vulnerable to Chinese retaliation: Boeing, tech giants like Apple, and soybean growers.

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Photographs by Erin Schaff for The New York Times

Will this spending deal pass Congress (and Trump)?

It’s here. A $1.3 trillion, 2,232-page pact between Republicans and Democrats that needs to be signed into law by midnight Friday to avoid another government shutdown. But can Congress pass the bill — and will President Trump support it?

What’s in there:

A patch for the “grain glitch” in the recent tax overhaul that hurt corporate farms and helped farming co-ops

• A pathway to funding for the New York Gateway project, something Mr. Trump has opposed

• $1.6 billion, with strings attached, for a border wall with Mexico

• Nothing to protect Dreamers or to shore up the Affordable Care Act

Republicans like the senators Rand Paul and John Kennedy are unhappy. So too is the president, who wanted far more for his wall. (He’s on board for now.)

The politics flyaround

• How George Nader, now a cooperating witness in Robert Mueller’s investigation, sought to influence a top Republican fund-raiser on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. (NYT)

• Among the companies lined up to meet the Saudi delegation in the U.S.: Boeing, JPMorgan Chase, and Apple. (Bloomberg)

• The F.B.I. investigated Jeff Sessions for perjury last year. Andrew McCabe, now fired, authorized it. (NYT)

• Reince Priebus, Don McGahn and Ivanka Trump supported a White House push for nondisclosure agreements, some while knowing they would be unenforceable. (NYT)

• John Kelly was furious over leaks about Mr. Trump’s briefing materials for his call after President Vladimir Putin’s election victory, which included the admonition “DO NOT CONGRATULATE.” (Politico)

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Erin Schaff for The New York Times

The Fed raised rates again. The harder bit’s coming up.

Adding a quarter of a percentage point to the benchmark interest rate, as expected, Jay Powell said, “There is no sense in the data that we’re on the cusp of an acceleration of inflation.”

The Fed is now expected to raise rates three times this year, three times next year and twice in 2020. But there’s a bigger issue, as Neil Irwin of The Upshot points out:

Those economic projections signal that Mr. Powell and his colleagues believe they can keep running the economy a little hot with mainly good results. But they seem to believe that a more aggressive shift toward higher interest rates will be needed to keep that benign future intact.

Critics’ corner: Justin Lahart of Heard on the Street writes about inflation, “The Fed’s view doesn’t jibe with the recent hopes and dreams of some investors.” And Tom Buerkle of Breakingviews writes, “The big questions are yet to come. Powell is smart to want maximum flexibility to address them.”

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Video of the Uber self-driving fatality has emerged

It shows the vehicle in Tempe, Ariz. didn’t try to swerve from a woman walking her bike across the street, the WSJ says. And the human behind the wheel was looking down for about 5 seconds before it hit her.

More from Greg Bensinger and Tim Higgins of the WSJ:

“This video is damning for Uber,” said Todd Humphreys, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin whose research area is robot-perception systems. “This appears to have been a serious failure of the Uber perception system.”

The stakes for Uber remain high, as Goldman Sachs analysts recently pointed out, since self-driving cars were part of its route to profits. And car insurers are watching closely, too.

Elsewhere in Uber: The company withdrew an offer to make Assaf Ronen its new product head, after discovering he had left Amazon earlier than he said. Wall Street is fighting to get into Uber’s big debt deal.

Elsewhere in tech: Tesla shareholders approved a $2.6 billion stock options grant to Elon Musk. The Senate passed a sex-trafficking bill opposed by some tech companies. And Dropbox raised its I.P.O. price range.

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Centrum multivitamins

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Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

Pfizer’s consumer division is Glaxo’s to lose

The winning bid in the auction for the unit could amount to as much as $20 billion. Gaining brands such as Advil and Centrum multivitamins would be a big success for GlaxoSmithKline’s C.E.O. of nearly a year, Emma Walmlsey, who has favored a diverse product lineup.

Reckitt Benckiser withdrew from the fray yesterday, with its C.E.O. saying, “An acquisition for the whole Pfizer consumer health business did not fit our acquisition criteria.”

The deals flyaround

• Meredith plans to sell Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money. (NYT)

• Steve Wynn intends to sell some or all of his 12 percent stake in Wynn Resorts. (WSJ)

• Matillion, a cloud data software maker, has raised $20 million in a new round from investors like Sapphire Ventures and Scale Venture Partners, the company tells us.

• Elliott Management is reportedly considering backing a spinoff of Telecom Italia’s fixed-line network. (Bloomberg)

• As others have fled, Sycamore Partners has dived profitably into traditional retail. (WSJ)

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Glenn Harvey

Taxes on cryptocurrency: ‘I’ve lost sleep over it’

Newly minted virtual currency moguls are worried about the I.R.S. as the April 17 tax deadline looms. Many are libertarians who don’t like having a central government, let alone paying taxes to one. Others are simply newbies who didn’t realize that you have to pay taxes on capital gains, even on digital money.

More from Kevin Roose’s latest column:

Ms. Walter said she had seen clients with cryptocurrency gains as large as $400,000 who did not withhold taxes during the year and subsequently lost money trading. “Now they’re stuck with these huge tax bills, and they don’t have the capital to pay it.”

Elsewhere in crypto: Bitcoin is at $8,999. Some blockchains are better than others. And Britain has formed a task force to study cryptocurrencies.

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Jimmy Iovine, right, with his fellow Beats founder Dr. Dre.

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Joe Pugliese/August, via HBO

Revolving door

Jimmy Iovine is formally stepping down as the head of Apple’s music division. (WSJ)

• Twitter’s chief information security officer, Michael Coates, is leaving. (The Verge)

• The Noble Group’s founder and chairman, Richard Elman, is retiring, leaving the commodity trader with a battered stock price and high amounts of debt. (WSJ)

The speed read

• Swiss prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into the taxes of the French luxury group Kering, part of a case that started in Italy. (NYT)

• Abu Dhabi is consolidating two of its leading sovereign wealth funds into a $200 billion vehicle. (FT)

• What Bill Voge disclosed before his sudden departure as chair of Latham & Watkins: sexually explicit messages to a woman he approached on behalf of a Christian men’s group, and threats to her husband to have her thrown in jail. (Law360)

• Gary Barber was fired from MGM after a disagreement over how to compete with Netflix, unnamed sources said. (WSJ)

• Jamie Dimon earned 364 times as much as the median JPMorgan employee last year. (WSJ)

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