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Back at it for a holiday-shortened week . . .

As retailers do all they can to fight the e-commerce wave, some bricks-and-mortar shops are experimenting with a rather counterintuitive strategy: smaller spaces and a showroom-style approach – NYTimes

Word from Boston is that John Flannery’s efforts to streamline the General Electric giant won’t be limited to business lines but will extend to the board itself. The Journal reports that half of the 18-member board will be shown the door and 3 new members appointed to create a smaller 12-member board that more closely aligns with Mr. Flannery’s plans for the future – WSJ

With Silicon Valley’s craziness showing no signs of abating, some tech investors are looking to branch out into largely uncharted territory in search of the next big thing: [gulp] flyover country – NYTimes

A few weeks ago we cautioned against an over reliance on Morningstar’s 5-star rating system. Now, it seems, there’s even more cause to do some double-checking when you see ads for funds touting their four or five-star status – WSJ

Here’s a worth-your-time piece from the Peterson Institute arguing that there’s no “inflation puzzle” after all but rather a mass misunderstanding of the Phillips curve – PIIE

Bubble be damned, apparently, because bitcoin just went past $8000 – Bloomberg

Further shakeups at Wells Fargo, where the embattled bank has fired the head of its consumer lending unit for “acting in a manner that was contrary to the company’s policies and expectations of its senior leaders” – Charlotte Observer

The Journal traces the fall from grace of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group which went from doing $40 billion in 80 deals over 2 years to finding itself on the outs with lenders and potential partners – WSJ

Late last week the Treasury Department unveiled new recommendations for the SIFI designation process that will, among other things, make it harder for the FSOC to deem nonbank entities systemically important – WSJ and Law360

It’s awfully early in our Minnesota winter to be dreaming of warm places, but still, one could be forgiven for letting Cap Ferret take hold for a few passing moments – NYTimes

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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