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The 10-Point: WSJ Editor in Chief Gerard Baker's Guide to the Day's Top News

7 May 2018 10:53 am
By Gerard Baker 

Good morning,

Ticking Clock

For special counsel Robert Mueller, time is of the essence. President Trump's legal team is striking a more combative tone with Mr. Mueller's prosecutors, a stance likely to further delay the outcome of a probe already facing a time crunch because of the approaching midterm election. Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who recently joined the president's defense team, said Sunday he was reluctant to have Mr. Trump agree to an interview with the prosecutors or testify before a grand jury for fear that what he called a "trap" could lead the president to commit perjury under oath. A decision not to comply with a grand jury subpoena would likely set off a legal battle that would be decided by the Supreme Court.

In the Money

An expanding U.S. economy is giving a boost to state budgets. Officials from Utah to Connecticut are reporting improved tax revenue and say their fiscal outlook has brightened. The effects of the new federal tax law also increased revenue figures, but analysts caution that the lift will be temporary for many states. In general, the law limited some tax breaks but couldn't touch state tax rates. As a result, in many cases existing state taxes on personal and corporate income are applying to a broader tax base and yielding more money. Some of those revenue increases are temporary, and some states have moved to give back at least some of that revenue to their residents.

Treading Water

When it comes to stocks and bonds, investors aren't piling in--nor are they bailing. U.S. stocks and bonds appear deadlocked despite a positive response to April's "Goldilocks" jobs report, reflecting the conflicting impulses of a strong economy against rising interest rates and creeping inflation fears. And other recent events, which would likely have jolted markets last year--such as the unemployment rate hitting its lowest level in nearly two decades and Apple's announcement of an additional $100 billion in share buybacks--have failed to spark a sustained rally. That has some investors saying they expect to see more volatility and weakness in the weeks ahead.

Privacy Paradox

Privacy is a problem that must be dealt with collectively or not at all: Welcome to the era of "group privacy," Journal technology columnist Christopher Mims writes. If technology can't keep personal information out of the hands of the industry's titans, the seemingly paradoxical alternative is to collect it all in one place so that a central authority can handle it. Such an authority could be granted to one of the tech giants such as Facebook, Google, Apple or Amazon. Giving Facebook or Google even more of our data might seem as though it would be the opposite of protecting it. But both companies already have the start of the infrastructure required to support such a massive undertaking. This could be an opening for Apple, Amazon or some new entrant to become a personal-data custodian.

--Compiled by Jessica Menton

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 07, 2018 06:53 ET (10:53 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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