Financial Daily Dose 1.31.2020 | Top Story: IBM CEO Ginni Rometty is Out After Eight Years at the Helm

workers' desk packed up

In a week that’s already seen plenty of C-suite shakeups, we’ve learned that Ginni Rometty is stepping down from her role as CEO at IBM. The company’s cloud computing chief, Arvind Krishna, will take over for her, though Rometty will stay on as executive board chair until the end of the year – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

The World Health Organization has quickly reversed course and is now dubbing the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak a “global health emergency”—an acknowledgment that the disease now represents a risk beyond China, where it emerged last month. The news prompted investors to pull back from commodities and emerging markets “dependent on Chinese consumption” – WSJ and Bloomberg

The Fed and other banking agencies issued their long-awaited proposal this week to overhaul Dodd-Frank’s Volcker Rule, which restricts banks from “making risky bets with customer deposits and generally prevents firms from sponsoring or investing in private equity or hedge funds.” The changes would, with some restrictions, “loosen some of those restrictions” and allow banks to “invest heavily in or even sponsor venture capital funds” – NYTimes and Law360

Struggling German lender Deutsche Bank posted a nearly $6 billion loss in 2019, though its higher-than-expected capital levels helped allay concerns that it would have to “sell shares to fund its restructuring.” The news is yet another obstacle for COE Christian Sewing and his bank, which has been in reinvention mode for years now while a rash of legal troubles continues seemingly unabated – WSJ and NYTimes

Amazon, on the other hand, had a mammoth Q4, with quarterly sales climbing 21% and blowing Wall Street expectations for the holiday season out of the water – Bloomberg and MarketWatch and NYTimes and WSJ

New GDP numbers out this week show that despite a decent Q4 performance, the US economy “turned in a weaker annual performance last year than in 2018, held back by developments that set the stage for slower growth to come.” 2019’s 2.3% growth rate was “solid,” but it’s a far cry from the 3+% rate seen in the aftermath of the tax cuts that took effect in 2018, and it appears to reflect a “maturing labor market” and “slower domestic activity” – NYTimes and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

A California judge has awarded consumers $344 million in civil penalties following a bench trial against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon Inc. over alleged false advertising that masked the “true risks of its pelvic mesh products” – Law360 and NYTimes

An insightful and cautionary account of how private equity spelled the end for the Payless shoe chain – NYTimes

The latest installment in an ongoing “the robots and AI are coming for your jobs” series. Today’s takeaway? They won’t get everything, but better to start prepping now – NYTimes

UBS won a $1 billion judgment against a pair of affiliates of the bankrupt Highland Capital Mgmt, a big win after 10 years of fighting over the bank’s “agreement to ‘warehouse’ certain securities that were tanked by the 2008 financial crisis” – Law360

Congrats on (almost) making it through another week.  Wine, anyone? Here are some thoughts on your best affordable reds (while the deals and current trade landscape last). Come on. You’ve earned it – NYTimes

Have a great weekend. Enjoy the big game, and we’ll see you back here next week.


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