Trade: China deal still trapped in details
President Trump said this week that the first phase of a trade deal with China could be completed “soon,” but tariffs would be “raised very substantially” if no truce was reached, said James Politi in the Financial Times. The threat of a new escalation of the war between Washington and Beijing “highlights the trouble the U.S. administration is having in its efforts to strike an interim deal” after Trump announced the sides had reached a tentative agreement in October. Since then, officials have been “haggling over the details,” including the location where an agreement might be signed and whether existing levies would be rolled back.
Google: New scrutiny of data giant’s health effort
Regulators and lawmakers raised questions about Google’s work with the nation’s second-largest health system to gather and analyze records of millions of Americans, said Rob Copeland in The Wall Street Journal. The Project Nightingale initiative, revealed by the Journal this week, began in secret last year with Ascension, a chain of 2,600 hospitals and medical facilities. At least 150 Google employees “have access to much of the data,” including “lab results, doctor diagnoses, and hospitalization records” together with patient names. Federal regulators have asked Google for more information about the program, with at least one lawmaker, Sen. Mark Warner (D.-Va.), calling for it to be stopped.
Goldman Sachs: A sexist credit algorithm?
New York state regulators this week initiated an inquiry into Goldman Sachs over an algorithm used in its new credit-card venture with Apple, said Sridhar Natarajan and Shahien Nasiripour in Bloomberg.com. The investigation began after a prominent software developer, David Heinemeier Hansson, tweeted that the Apple Card gave him 20 times the credit limit of his wife, even though she has a higher credit score. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said that he and his wife had a similar experience. Hansson said he hoped his posts “would spark a conversation” about biases in the “black-box algorithms” used by lenders.
Football: Bezos is looking to buy a team
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos wants to add an NFL franchise to his gilded portfolio, said Jason La Canfora in CBSSports.com. The world’s richest man “has become close with several owners,” and “has strong support within the league to eventually join their ranks.” While there are no teams now on the market, Paul Allen, owner of the Seattle Seahawks in Amazon’s home city, died last year, and his team will be sold. The Carolina Panthers were sold for a record $2.2 billion in May 2018.