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Morning Brief: Trump at risk from Manafort conviction, Cohen's guilty plea

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

What to watch today

On the economic data side, the biggest highlight will be the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting, set for release at 2:00 p.m. ET. Following that meeting, the Fed kept interest rates on hold and upgraded its assessment of the U.S. economy, using the word “strong” three times to describe employment, business investment, and household spending. Wednesday’s release will almost certainly make no mention of recent commentary from President Trump about the Fed’s recent interest rate increases.

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Top news

 REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

Why the Manafort verdict should worry TrumpSpecial prosecutor Robert Mueller notched a prominent win on Tuesday with a guilty verdict on eight of 18 charges in the trial of Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager for five months during the 2016 presidential election. While the jury deadlocked on 10 counts, it found Manafort guilty of five tax-evasion charges, two bank-fraud charges, and one charge of failing to register a foreign bank account. Trump must wonder whether his business dealings could survive the type of forensic analysis Mueller’s team was able to perform on Manafort’s operation. [Yahoo Finance]

As Michael Cohen pleads guilty, here’s the risk for Trump: Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer prior to the 2016 presidential election, has pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges and is headed to jail. The guilty plea involves tax and bank fraud charges, along with the notorious hush-money payments Cohen made in the waning days of the 2016 election to two women Trump had affairs with. Cohen told the judge in the case that he acted “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” who is obviously Trump. [Yahoo Finance]

Exclusive: Wells Fargo pushed wealth advisors to use high-fee products, cross-sellIn mid-July, Yahoo Finance reported on increasing sales pressure in the wealth management sector of Wells Fargo’s Private Bank. Now, former advisors in the wealth management area of the Private Bank, which caters to high-net-worth investors, are shedding light on what some of those problems may be. [Yahoo Finance]

JPMorgan’s plan for free trades drives discount brokerages lowerJPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) is planning to roll out a mobile brokerage platform next week that includes free research and some free trading to its millions of retail customers. That comes after Fidelity Investments cut fees to zero on two new index funds earlier this month and Vanguard Group said in July it would offer almost 1,800 exchange-traded funds commission-free to online customers. [Bloomberg]

Uber hires CFO after lengthy search, paving way for IPO: Uber Technologies Inc. has hired a chief financial officer, the ride-services company said on Tuesday, filling a long-standing vacancy and clearing the way for a much-anticipated initial public offering next year. Uber said it had hired Nelson Chai, a financial services veteran with deep connections to the banks and deal-makers Uber must impress ahead of what is expected to be a large, complicated IPO. [Bloomberg]

Facebook uncovers new global misinformation operations: Facebook (FB) has identified and banned hundreds of accounts, groups and pages engaged in misleading political behavior. Its announcement highlights a far larger discovery than a similar effort it reported three weeks ago with great fanfare. [AP]

For more of the latest news, go to Yahoo Finance

A box of Nabisco Barnum’s Animals crackers on the shelf of a local grocery store in Des Moines, Iowa. Mondelez International says it has redesigned the packaging of its Barnum’s Animals crackers after relenting to pressure from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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