Deutsche Bank investors scorn merger talk; US senators urge AML probe | US-Chinese trade row is economists' biggest 2019 concern | Congress doing nothing to avert US government shutdown
December 14, 2018
PLI SmartBrief
Legal News in Brief
Corporate Spotlight
Deutsche Bank investors scorn merger talk; US senators urge AML probe
Investors have poured cold water on reports that the German Finance Ministry is trying to broker a merger between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, saying they see little point in a tie-up. Meanwhile, two US senators want an investigation into Deutsche Bank's compliance with anti-money-laundering and bank-secrecy laws.
Reuters (12/13),  Reuters (12/13) 
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US-Chinese trade row is economists' biggest 2019 concern
Almost half of economists in a recent poll for The Wall Street Journal said the risk of a trade war between the US and China was their biggest concern for the US economy in 2019. Other concerns were disruption to financial markets, business-investment slowdown and fallout risk from an increase in interest rates.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12/13) 
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National News
Congress doing nothing to avert US government shutdown
Congress took a break for the holidays without a plan for heading off a partial shutdown of the US government next week. Talks on keeping the government running haven't progressed since President Donald Trump said he is willing to take the blame for a shutdown if he doesn't get funding to build a wall along the border with Mexico.
Politico (12/13) 
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Financial and Tax Update
IRS relaxes tax rule for offshore banks
The IRS is giving foreign banks that do business in the US broad flexibility in the way they calculate what they owe under the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax, which was designed to prevent companies from shifting profits to offshore jurisdictions. The BEAT tax will apply only to a portion of foreign banks' profits.
BloombergQuint (India) (12/14),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12/13) 
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Employment Focus
Amazon employees on Staten Island want to unionize
Amazon employees on Staten Island want to unionize
(Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Employees at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island have started a unionization campaign, citing safety concerns, poor pay, long shifts without proper breaks and extreme hourly quotas. Brian Huseman, head of public policy at Amazon, says that employees have a right to join a union and that the company respects that right.
Bloomberg (tiered subscription model) (12/12) 
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Supreme Court and Federal Court Watch
ICE should refrain from making arrests at courthouses, judges say
Dozens of former state and federal judges have written a letter asking Immigration and Customs Enforcement to stop arresting people at courthouses because the justice system "cannot function effectively" if people are afraid of being detained while they seek justice in court.
National Public Radio (12/13) 
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Other Legal News
Clemency for Cyntoia Brown under consideration, Tenn. governor says
The case of Cyntoia Brown, who was convicted of killing a man she said solicited her for sex when she was 16, is under review by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to determine whether Brown should receive clemency. Brown appeared for a clemency hearing before the Tennessee Board of Parole and Probation in May, but the board failed to reach a consensus.
ABC News (12/12) 
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Professional and Business Development
The team's needs come first
Leaders who prioritize themselves over their teams can't be surprised when their employees fail to excel, writes team development specialist Simon Mac Rory. "It also means that as a leader you must recognize that the team is comprised of individuals and that each has separate, unique needs and operate at differing levels of ability and confidence," he writes.
Great Leadership (12/11) 
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PLI News
What Every Lawyer Should Know About Trade Secrets
PLI's Trade Secrets 2018, now available On-Demand, is geared to those who are responsible for assisting clients in protecting and sharing intellectual property, structuring business transactions, and litigating and resolving business disputes. Whether you work at or counsel a technology company or any other company that creates or works with trade secrets -- which means any company -- expert faculty will teach you what you need to know now.
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New Program from PLI: Applying ERISA Fiduciary Rules to Health Plans, Services and Products 2019
ERISA applies to health and welfare plans as well as to retirement plans. This program will provide an overall review of the range of ERISA considerations (and Code provisions) applicable to this health plan, from documentary compliance through health plan operations issues.
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Lawyer Life
Mekong River cruises spotlight area's wildlife
There are a variety of cruises animal lovers can take along Southeast Asia's Mekong River. Travelers can watch Irrawaddy dolphins on Pandaw's Classic Mekong cruise and visit the monkey-filled ruins of Angkor Wat on National Geographic Expeditions' Vietnam and Cambodia tour.
The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (12/11) 
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Hybrid grapes producing wines that deserve to be tasted
Hybrid grapes aren't always considered high-bred enough to make really good wines, but that theory is being tested by some quality offerings, Marissa Ross writes. Hybrids are showing up in robust wines, such as those from Vermont winemaker La Garagista, that really are worth tasting, she writes.
Bon Appetit online (12/12) 
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You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.
Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette,
writer and actress
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