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Comey Memo Deepens Trump's Turmoil

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Financial markets were not immune from the aftershock of the latest White House bombshell, with the Dow tumbling more than 370 points and almost $300 billion erased from U.S. shares Wednesday. Volatility gauges reflected growing anxiety about the political turmoil among equity investors.

President Trump is facing his deepest crisis yet after reports came out Tuesday evening about a memo written by fired FBI director James Comey, alleging Trump asked him to drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. House Speaker Paul Ryan weighed in, saying he still had full confidence in the president, but lawmakers must “follow the facts wherever they lead”. —Katie Robertson

How Trump’s Rust Belt voters have changed.  In the aftermath of the U.S. election, there was the sense in many East Coast circles that it wouldn’t take long for voters of Middle America to regret their decision to put Donald Trump in the White House. For six months, we’ve been tracking a group of Trump supporters from the four key Heartland states that helped swing the election—and have found few signs of remorse.

Anthony Scaramucci remains loyal to Trump, even without a White House job. The SkyBridge Capital founder pledged allegiance to the embattled president in his opening remarks at the SALT conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday. He implored the hedge fund industry to continue to support the administration’s economic mission.

Banks are tightening auto lending as more borrowers fall into defaultNew car loans for subprime borrowers fell in the first quarter to $25.9 billion, the lowest in two years, according to data from the New York Fed. While caution may be good for banks’ balance sheets, it doesn’t offer much relief for automakers. Ford said Wednesday it’s cutting 1,400 jobs in North America and Asia to improve profits.

Why did a Chinese peroxide company pay $1 billion for a talking cat app? There’s been a recent flurry of oddball pairings between Chinese industrial behemoths and Western video game studios. According to CODE Advisors, an investment bank that specializes in media and tech deals, 70 percent of all game company acquisitions since 2015 have been by Chinese buyers. The deal activity can best be understood as a consequence of quirks in the Chinese stock market.

Inside the offices where the music never stops and everyone is a DJ. The rise of open-floor-plan offices has exposed workers to many annoying habits that used to hide behind cubicle walls. Now, at least within an emerging vanguard of music-friendly offices, you can add coworkers’ musical preferences to that list.

America’s cars are all fast and furious these days. Bloomberg crunched four decades of data from the EPA’s emission tests to arrive at a simple conclusion: Today’s vehicles blow away even the baddest rides of the 1970s. Horsepower in the U.S. has almost doubled since then, with even boring commuter sedans posting power specifications that would have been unheard of during the Ford administration.

Can you guess how much this piece of art is worth? Auction houses don’t pluck prices for their sales out of nowhere. Estimates are assigned based on what previous, comparable artworks have sold for, but watching furious bidding push a price upwards by millions of dollars is all part of the thrill of an auction. With the spring sales in New York coming up, knowing the correct price for works is an asset.

 

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