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Mar 15, 2018

The Washington Post | The 10-Point Gerald Baker.

The 10-Point.
Gerard Baker
Editor in Chief
The Wall Street Journal

Good morning,
Drawing Blood
Elizabeth Holmes, widely hailed as Silicon Valley’s first female billionaire startup founder, has agreed to a settlement with regulators that strips her of voting control of Theranos, bans her from being an officer or director of any public company for 10 years and levies a $500,000 penalty. The deal was announced by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which filed civil securities-fraud charges against Ms. Holmes, Theranos and a former president of the company. Regulators alleged they raised more than $700 million from investors while deceiving them about the company’s technology. Ms. Holmes and Theranos, which also settled the charges, neither admitted nor denied any wrongdoing. The SEC began investigating Theranos after the Journal reported in October 2015 that the lab instrument developed as the linchpin of the blood-testing company’s strategy handled only a fraction of the tests sold to consumers. Some employees also were leery about the machine’s accuracy, the Journal reported. Theranos was valued at more than $9 billion at the time, and Ms. Holmes’s majority stake at more than half that.
So Last Decade
Ten years after the Bear Stearns bailout, Congress moved a step closer to relaxing the crisis-era restrictions placed on the banking industry, with Senate approval of a bipartisan plan to ease rules for small and midsize banks. Approved on a 67-31 vote, the bill—which has a good chance of becoming law—seeks to cut red tape and relieve lenders from some of the most onerous rules put in place after the financial crisis, including restrictions meant to limit the damage firms could cause to the economy. Supporters say the bill will spur more lending and boost the economy, but opponents argue it will bring back unnecessary risks to the U.S. financial system and harm consumers. The Journal’s Greg Ip writes that even though a big financial-firm collapse in the near future is exceedingly unlikely, another crisis isn’t.
A conservative economic commentator whose career included jobs in the Reagan White House, on Wall Street, and in radio and business television, will become one of President Trump’s top economic advisers as director of the National Economic Council. Lawrence Kudlow’s appointment comes after the departure of Gary Cohn following a dispute over Mr. Trump’s planned tariffs on steel and aluminum—which Mr. Kudlow has also spoken out against. Mr. Kudlow said he was offered the job after a series of recent phone conversations with the president in which the two discussed differences of opinion about trade, among other things. He was a strong supporter of tax cuts and deregulation championed by Mr. Trump. Mr. Kudlow’s appointment suggests Mr. Trump will continue to hear conflicting voices in the White House. The president has said he likes fielding competing views.
Shop ‘til You Fly
In the age of online shopping, retailers are finding that airports can take some of the sting out of declining mall traffic. These days, you don’t have to hold an international ticket to buy at many duty-free shops—and it actually can be a pretty good deal. The Journal’s Scott McCartney writes that major airports around the world, from Singapore to Dubai, London to Beijing, have essentially become shopping malls with gates. And the U.S. is finally starting to catch up. Just as they have upgraded restaurants and basic amenities, U.S. airports are finding they need to improve duty-free stores, which have become a necessity for many travelers who routinely stock up on perfume, cosmetics, alcohol and chocolate coming home from trips. Airports like duty-free shops because they get a cut of the revenue; luxury-goods makers like the chance to interact in person with shoppers; and customers like the convenience, savings and opportunity for capricious purchases.
Remembering Stephen Hawking
That Was Painless
Stephen Hawking, whose seminal theories shaped scientists’ thinking on black holes and the beginning of the universe, has died at the age of 76. The physicist was an iconic figure in academia and popular culture.

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