Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
Pfizer’s Tax Gambit. Bloomberg’s Jesse Drucker and Zach Mider report that if Pfizer successfully acquires AstraZeneca, they would join “a wave of U.S. companies using mergers as ways to slash income tax bills by shifting their head office overseas — often on paper only. ‘This is basically an opportunity to go outside the U.S. and still sell in the U.S. and strip the tax base,’ said H. David Rosenbloom, an attorney at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington and director of the international tax program at New York University’s school of law.
Energy Future Bankruptcy. The subject of the largest-ever private-equity buyout filed for creditor protection. Energy Future, once known as TXU, serves over a million customers in Texas. It could not fight through plummeting natural gas prices. “This is not the ending that the Wall Street private equity firms, including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, TPG Capital and the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs, envisioned in 2007, when they acquired the TXU Corporation in a colossal $US45 billion deal,” the New York Times said. “Their investments are expected to be all but be wiped out in the bankruptcy.”
Deutsche Bank Slowdown. The firm’s net income dropped by a third in Q1 on low interest rates and slow client activity. “Deutsche is one of the least well capitalised banks among its peers and has faced pressure to raise equity amid concerns over its capital strength,” the FT said. “Eurozone-wide bank stress tests by the European Banking Authority this summer could see Deutsche ordered to raise more equity, with executives at the bank said to be bracing for the possibility.”
MtGox May Not Be Dead Yet. A group of American investors are hoping to preempt the Bitcoin’s exchange’s liquidation, and last night announced they’d come to terms with two sets of class action plaintiffs on its behalf. “The company negotiated the settlement as part of its effort to take over the bankrupt exchange before a court-ordered liquidation,” Sunlot’s statement said. William Quigley, one of the Sunlot investors, added that,”Liquidation would have adverse consequences for Mt Gox customers and the entire Bitcoin community. Millions of dollars worth of lost bitcoins would never be recovered and most of Mt Gox’s assets would go to paying bankruptcy lawyers and others involved in the process rather than customers.”
Fed Vacancy Votes. The Senate will vote on three nominees — including Stanley Fischer at vice chair — for vacant Federal Reserve board positions today.
Samsung Earnings. Earnings fell for the second-consecutive quarter but the company hit its forecast for Galaxy sales thanks to developing market demand. Operating profit fell 3.3% YOY, but sales increased 1.5%.
Case-Shiller. At 9 a.m. we get the Case-Shiller home price index for February. Expecations are for a seasonally-adjusted increase of 0.7% from January, down a bit from the prior 0.8% gain.
Consumer Confidence. At 10 a.m. we get the Conference Board’s consumer confidence reading for April. Analysts forecast it will come in at 83.0 from 82.3 prior.
Earnings. Twitter, ebay, and Sprint announce earnings today. Herbalife’s earnings conference call begins at 11 a.m.
Markets. U.S. futures are up. Stocks are higher around the world, led by Germany’s DAX at 1.26%.