Financial Daily Dose 8.17.2020 | Top Story: White House Sets 90-day Deadline for TikTok Owner to Divest in U.S.

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The White House has “doubled down” on its recent actions against TikTok by “formally giving ByteDance, the Chinese owner of the popular video-sharing app, 90 days to divest from its American assets and any data that TikTok had gathered in the United States” – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Law360 and Mashable

Digging beneath the surface of last week’s Apple/Epic Games dustup reveals Apple’s 30% App Store cut at the heart of the dispute—a policy that’s made Apple billions but “has created some of Apple’s biggest headaches, drawing antitrust scrutiny, fury from app makers and lawsuits from consumers and partners” – NYTimes

And your companion behind-the-scenes look at Epic Games’ founder Tim Sweeney and the Apple/Google war for which he’s been preparing for years – WSJ

The pandemic has pushed Japan’s economy to its worst decline on record—a contraction of 7.8% in Q2 – NYTimes

America’s states and local governments are careening toward a Covid-induced economic reckoning. While many economists, the Fed, and some lawmakers are calling for federal money to help bail them out and keep the economy on a path to recovery, there’s little support from the White House for such action  – NYTimes

Rough go of it for Citi last week, which—thanks to a “clerical error”—“wired $900 million, seemingly on behalf of Revlon Inc., to lenders of the troubled cosmetics giant controlled by billionaire Ron Perelman.” The “wayward transfer” appears to be “one of the biggest screw-ups on Wall Street in ages,” and it’s turning into a massive headache for Citi – Bloomberg

U.S. officials have opened a criminal probe into “whether a senior NASA official improperly told a high-ranking Boeing Co. executive about the status of a lunar-lander contract, spurring the company to revise its bid.” The D.C. U.S. Attorney is leading the charge – WSJ

The Privacy Collective—a Europe-based nonprofit—has sued Oracle and Salesforce in England and the Netherlands for up to nearly $12 billion under the GDPR for alleged misuse of consumers’ “personal information for advertising purposes” – Law360

Streetwise on the “weird things under way with gold since the coronavirus crisis began,” a timely installment after a “particularly odd” week for investing in the precious metal – WSJ

I’ll admit it—I was one of the apparent thousands who threw a wrench in Home Depot’s Covid lockdown plans. You’re welcome (and same with you, Menard’s) – WSJ

America’s retail sales inched up 1.2% from a month before, “reflecting a rare bright spot in the battered economy.” With the $600 unemployment assistance benefit expiring last month, though, don’t bet on a banner August – NYTimes

Lasers.  The surface of the moon. Reflective prisms. And experiments with spacecraft moving at thousands of miles an hour. Turns out the stuff of my little kid dreams is just your average day at NASA – NYTimes

Stay safe,
MDR

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