DealBook Briefing: Jay-Z Has 99 Problems. The S.E.C. Is One.

May the Fourth be with you. On the calendar: Tomorrow is Buffettpalooza, also known as Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting. (Livestream it here.) It’s also the Kentucky Derby, and Michael’s pick is Good Magic. Some links require subscriptions.

Federal judge to Jay-Z: Can I get a court appearance?

The man born Shawn Carter hasn’t responded to subpoenas from the S.E.C. tied to its investigation of Iconix Brand Group. Iconix bought Rocawear, which he co-founded, for $200 million.

Why the S.E.C. is interested, according to its statement:

The S.E.C. said Mr. Carter wasn’t suspected of wrongdoing. A spokeswoman said he had nothing to do with the case and shouldn’t have to appear.


Today’s DealBook Briefing was written by Andrew Ross Sorkin in New York, and Michael J. de la Merced and Amie Tsang in London.


Xerox just undumped its C.E.O.

It’s becoming one of corporate America’s strangest sagas: Xerox said last night that, contrary to the terms of the settlement it reached on Tuesday with the activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, its C.E.O. and board are staying put. Some explanation:

• Xerox says the settlement expired last night, after Mr. Deason missed a deadline to withdraw a lawsuit.

• Mr. Icahn and Mr. Deason say the board had demanded “unprecedented” legal protections.

What’s next: Fujifilm will want Xerox to continue pursuing their deal. Mr. Icahn and Mr. Deason will keep fighting the board — and also Fujifilm, as “an aider and abettor” of what they argue to be breaches of fiduciary duty.

What have the Beijing trade talks achieved so far?

Not much in terms of solid plans. The U.S. delegation reiterated demands like a $200 billion cut in the trade deficit with China, which Beijing deemed “unfair.”

We’ve written before about the splits in the U.S. delegation between free-traders like Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and hard-liners like the U.S. trade representative, Robert Lighthizer. But China’s negotiators face their own problem: They’re superqualified on economics, less so on trade law.

A sign that relations haven’t completely frozen over: Beijing approved Qualcomm’s plans for a Chinese joint venture on smartphone chips. (Still no word on the NXP takeover.) And UBS is seeking control of its Chinese joint venture.

Elsewhere in trade: A congressional race in Boeing’s home district is suddenly a tossup. How tariffs are reshaping the solar industry, including by spurring M.&A.

The political flyaround

• Rudy Giuliani’s disclosures might have been aimed at solving a legal problem for President Trump, but they may have created several others. (More explanation here.) Mr. Giuliani also contradicted some of the president’s accounts of James Comey’s firing. White House staffers were blindsided.

• How Fox News, normally a safe space for Mr. Trump, became a source of problems for him. (NYT)

• Scott Pruitt didn’t just buy an Oklahoma house from a lobbyist; he bought it in partnership with another lobbyist. (NYT)

• The Justice Department updated its sexual harassment guidelines. Critics worry about how they’ll be applied. (NYT)

• There has been an uptick in scam PACs ostensibly supporting causes like police and cancer victims. (Politico)

Is #MeToo finally changing Wall Street?

After 13 years and dozens of lawyers, a lawsuit alleging gender discrimination at Goldman Sachs has won class action status. One of the plaintiffs, Cristina Chen-Oster, spoke to Bloomberg Businessweek:

Elsewhere in banking: How James Gorman’s take-it-or-leave-it approach helped Morgan Stanley. A judge upheld a conviction against a former Goldman Sachs programmer for stealing its high-frequency trading code. HSBC’s C.E.O. is preparing a new strategy as the firm plans a $2 billion stock buyback. Why it’s hard to show when a trading strategy turns criminal.

Why Lyft has never caught up to Uber

When its bigger rival kept hitting problems last year, Lyft wasn’t fast or aggressive enough to blow up the Death Star of its industry. “We couldn’t get out of our own way from a product and engineering perspective,” a former Lyft manager told The Information. Travis Kalanick once deemed one of Lyft’s C.E.O.s “lame sauce.”

An example, from Amir Efrati of The Information:

Elsewhere in tech: Facebook has fired several employees for abusing access to user data. Its staffers get a “Sauron alert” when their profiles a viewed by a colleague, something not available to the public. The tale of the Great Bitcoin Heist. Twitter urged users to change their passwords after a glitch caused some to be stored in an unencrypted format. Lawmakers want the tech industry to move faster on improving employee diversity.

The deals flyaround

• Berkshire Hathaway bought 75 million shares in Apple — “an unbelievable company,” in Warren Buffett’s estimation — in the first quarter. (CNBC)

• Jim Stewart asks if Amazon and Netflix should change how antitrust regulators look at the Time Warner deal and other mergers. Jennifer Saba of Breakingviews thinks T-Mobile’s justification for its Sprint acquisition, building out a 5G network, makes sense.

• Xiaomi’s forthcoming Hong Kong I.P.O. shows Chinese companies choosing to list closer to home. (NYT)

• BP has reportedly hired Morgan Stanley to consider buying some of BHP Billiton’s assets. (Bloomberg)

• Bayer sold its remaining stake in Covestro, a maker of polymers, for $2.6 billion to help pay for its Monsanto deal. (Bloomberg)

How crime (sometimes) pays

In this weekend’s NYT Magazine, read up on true financial crime tales:

• How hackers tried to steal nearly $1 billion from Bangladesh’s central bank using the financial world’s wire transfer system.

• The opioid maker Insys said its doctor payments were part of a speakers’ program; prosecutors called them kickbacks.

• Why thieves love baby formula.

Revolving door

• Silver Lake has hired A.J. Murphy, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s head of global capital markets — a rare arrival from outside at the managing director level, the firm told Michael.

• Thomas Piquemal, Deutsche Bank’s global head of M.&A., has gone to Fimalac, the investment vehicle for the French mogul Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, as deputy C.E.O. (FT)

• Société Générale has extended the contract of its C.E.O., Frédéric Oudéa, and named four deputy C.E.O.s: Séverin Cabannes, Diony Lebot, Philippe Aymerich and Philippe Heim. (FT)

• JPMorgan Chase has hired Manuela Veloso, head of Carnegie Mellon’s machine-learning department, as its first head of A.I. research. (WSJ)

The speed read

• The former Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn was charged with conspiracy over the diesel emissions scandal. (NYT)

• Is Warren Buffett a job creator? It depends where you look. (Bloomberg)

• Prominent Theranos investors including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have disclosed losses of $600 million in a lawsuit. (WSJ)

• Nike’s C.E.O., Mark Parker, apologized to employees after recent turmoil over misconduct, unnamed sources said. (WSJ)

• The fast-food industry has a problem: not enough teenagers. (NYT)

• Chuck Plunkett, the Denver Post editorial page editor who called the paper’s owners “vulture capitalists,” resigned. (NYT)

• The family dispute behind a lawsuit to prevent Sotheby’s auctioning a piece by Jean-Michel Basquiat. (NYT)

• Remington Outdoor said that a bankruptcy judge had approved its reorganization plan, which will transfer ownership to creditors including JPMorgan Chase. (NYT)

• James Avery, a self-taught jeweler who built a Southern empire, died on Monday. (NYT)

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