Tuesday, January 30

ByKevin Sheekey

Deal Watch: Blackstone is in talks to buy a huge chunk of Thomson Reuters’ financial and risk business for more than $17 billion. The unit, which contributes more than half of Thomson Reuters’ annual revenues, supplies financial data and news to banks and financial firms around the world. It is hoped the new partnership will be able to compete with private Bloomberg on more level ground, with stable, long-term money to dig in with. Blackstone talks with Thomson Reuters highlight cutthroat battle for financial data (The Globe and Mail)Blackstone Can Give Thomson Reuters Some Air Cover (Bloomberg Gadfly)


Tonight, President Donald Trump will deliver his first formal State of the Uniom…um, Union address before a join session of Congress. Things to expect: Immigration, Economy, Infrastructure, Foreign Policy… and lots of special guests in the audience. Rep. Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts (grandson of Robert F. Kennedy) will deliver the Democrats’ response. (The Hill/Politico)Trump claims he’s making the economy great again. Is he? (Bloomberg)


Bloomberg View has a new columnist: Former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King is out this morning with his first column: advice to the new U.S. Federal Reserve chairman. An Open Letter to Jerome Powell


President Trump’s frustrations with the Russia investigation boiled over on Air Force One last week when he learned that a top Justice Department official warned against releasing a memo that would undercut the probe. On Flight to Davos, Trump Erupted Over DOJ Role in Russia Probe (Bloomberg)


In a measure of how unpredictable global politics have become: Yes, Silvio Berlusconi is back. Again. This time, as Italy’s ‘Nonno’ (The New York Times)


The U.S. identified 96 of Russia’s richest people as “oligarchs,” which was a carbon copy of Forbes magazine’s Russian billionaires’ rankings. U.S. Releases Sweeping List of Russian Oligarchs and Officials (Bloomberg)


To prevent China from spying on US mobile communications, the Trump administration is reviewing the possibility of nationalizing 5G high-speed wireless networks, according to documents obtained by Axios. A White House source confirmed the report. The FCC Chairman and wireless industry lobbyists oppose the proposal, as do many in Congress. Representative Greg Walden (R-OR), chairman of the House Commerce Committee, said at a policy gathering in Washington, “We’re not Venezuela. Government taking it over, controlling it, is probably — clearly — not the way to go.” (Axios/Bloomberg)

Best of Late Night:

“President Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address tomorrow, so if you want to know how the country is doing: The State of the Union is being delivered by Donald Trump.” — Seth Meyers

“Tomorrow night, of course, is President Trump’s first State of the Union address. He’s not scheduled to appear in front of Congress again until the impeachment hearings.” — Stephen Colbert

“The State of the Union is the one day of the year presidents are supposed to brag about their accomplishments. So he’s been training for this, really, for his whole life.” — Jimmy Kimmel

“You can tell he’s serious about it because today he hopped on his computer and googled ‘how to do State of the Union address.’” — Jimmy Fallon

“White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said today that President Trump’s State of the Union address tomorrow is must-watch TV. Incidentally, ‘must watch TV’ is also the first thought that goes through Trump’s head when he wakes up in the morning.” — Seth Meyers

Tweets of the Day:

The Federal Reserve branches in Boston and Philadelphia battled with each other on Twitter about the Super Bowl:

@philadelphiafed: Yo, @BostonFed! Sending you some #Philly favorites. This is what victory tastes like. #flyeaglesfly #eagles #SuperBowlLII

The Boston Fed responded with a GIF of Tom Brady and his Super Bowl rings:

@BostonFed: Hey @philadelphiafed, thanks for offering the delicious treat. We have to be careful what we eat – we don’t want to get anything on the rings. Also, we’re in more of an avocado ice cream kinda mood right now. #NotDone


@realDonaldTrump: Our economy is better than it has been in many decades. Businesses are coming back to America like never before. Chrysler, as an example, is leaving Mexico and coming back to the USA. Unemployment is nearing record lows. We are on the right track!