Soros Says China's Economy Resembles U.S. Before 2008 Financial Crisis (Bloomberg)
China’s March credit-growth figures should be viewed as a warning sign, Soros said at an Asia Society event in New York on Wednesday. The broadest measure of new credit in the world’s second-biggest economy was 2.34 trillion yuan ($362 billion) last month, far exceeding the median forecast of 1.4 trillion yuan in a Bloomberg survey and signaling the government is prioritizing growth over reining in debt.
Canada Does the Global Economy a Favor (WSJ)
Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals introduced a budget that sharply boosts spending on a raft of initiatives from infrastructure to social benefits. Because of that fiscal stimulus, the Bank of Canada has refrained from cutting interest rates, helping send the Canadian dollar sharply higher. The higher dollar will be a drag on Canada’s trade sector, diluting the budget’s stimulative impact. But Canada’s loss is the world’s gain. In fact, Canada is faithfully executing the formula that finance ministers and central bankers from the top 20 economies agreed to pursue at their just-concluded meetings in Washington: namely, rely less on monetary and more on fiscal policy to rejuvenate growth. The problem is that Canada is virtually alone in being both willing and able.
Loans for Weddings: Fintech Learns to Focus (WSJ)
While overall venture funding into lending startups is slowing, some platforms still are raising money by taking aim at narrower or less-traditional borrowing niches than the first generation of financial-technology firms. Faced with a glut of online lenders and cooling interest from investors in some loans, a newer crop of fintech startups is focusing on areas including loans for real-estate projects, people with poor credit ratings, car buyers and, at the extreme, people getting married.
Snapchat Is Criticized for Bob Marley Selfie ‘Lens’ (WSJ)
Snapchat Inc. on Wednesday offended some users of its messaging app with a photo “lens” that alters their likeness to that of reggae legend Bob Marley—including a skin-darkening tint some people equated to blackface. The company, which has more than 100 million users and is especially popular among teens, was marking the date, April 20, a counterculture holiday popular among marijuana fans. The Bob Marley lens also added cartoon dreadlocks and a Rastafarian beanie to the selfie. Many on Twitter criticized Snapchat for the move, calling it racist and the digital equivalent of blackface.
Cops Seek Dominatrix In Bar Beating (TSG)
A dominatrix allegedly punched a 50-year-old man in the face and then hit him over the head with a beer bottle during a confrontation in a Florida sports bar, according to police. As detailed in an incident report, victim Victor Biggs--who works for a welding company--was at the Papa Joes bar in Sarasota late Saturday when he struck up a conversation with “a female known to him through a mutual friend.” The woman, Biggs told cops, is a dominatrix. As the pair spoke, someone told the woman that Biggs “enjoyed rough sex.” Upon learning this, the dominatrix allegedly “punched [Biggs] in the face with a closed fist twice and hit him over the head with a beer bottle two times.” Biggs, who apparently did not consider the attack foreplay, then left the bar and called 911 upon reaching his Bradenton home.
Investors pull $15bn from hedge funds (FT)
Hedge funds have suffered their worst quarter in seven years after more than $15bn was pulled out by investors starting to fight back against the high fees being charged across the industry. The total amount invested in hedge funds fell to $2.86tn in the first three months of the year, marking the first time since 2009 that the sector has faced two consecutive quarters of net outflows, according to data from Hedge Fund Research.
SunEdison’s Failed Deals Could Bite Back (WSJ)
Potential legal damages stemming from deals SunEdison failed to close while its finances were deteriorating could total hundreds of millions of dollars, according to court filings and people familiar with the deals. Litigation over the failed deals could add to the company’s already lengthy list of creditors and possibly extend to its publicly traded subsidiaries.
Russia says it's ready to push output to record high (Reuters)
Russia said on Wednesday it was prepared to push oil production to historic highs, just days after a global deal to freeze output levels collapsed and Saudi Arabia threatened to flood markets with more crude.
Bag purporting to contain air from Kobe Bryant's last game listed for $4,599.99 (UPI)
A sandwich bag purporting to contain air from Kobe Bryant's last game as well as the NBA star's autograph was listed for nearly $4,600 on eBay. User cardemon_huskers2015 created an eBay listing Sunday for the bag of air and the listing ended just hours later "because the item is no longer available." It was unclear whether the bag sold for its $4,599.99 asking price.