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The 10-Point: My Guide to the Day's Top News

The Wall Street Journal
Gerard Baker is away. Today’s 10-Point is by Deputy Editor in Chief Matt Murray. Follow him on Twitter @MurrayMatt.
Good morning,
Checkout Time
In a surprise move that caps off a three-week bidding war with Marriott International, China’s Anbang Insurance Group walked away from its $14 billion bid to buy Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. The abrupt withdrawal highlights the newfound muscle of Chinese companies in the high-stakes global business of mergers and acquisitions, and throws into question their ability to close such deals. So far this year, there have been $92 billion of foreign takeovers announced by Chinese companies. However, U.S. regulators are yet to sign off on many of them. That Anbang didn’t ultimately follow through after bidding aggressively for Starwood is bound to reinforce concerns among U.S. companies that Chinese counterparts still aren’t ready for the big leagues in M&A. Starwood will now stick with Marriott’s most recent offer. Shares of both companies fell after the news.
Dollar Dealing
The Obama administration is preparing to give Iran limited access to U.S. dollars as part of looser sanctions on Tehran. The proposed move comes amid rising Iranian criticism that the landmark nuclear agreement reached last year between global powers and Tehran hasn’t provided the country with sufficient economic benefits. Most major international trade—particularly in oil and gas—is conducted in dollars, but American law still prohibits U.S. and foreign banks from dealing in the currency with Iran. The U.S. Treasury is considering how to issue licenses to offshore dollar clearing houses for specific Iranian financial institutions, shielding the U.S. financial system from any direct contact with Iran. Members of Congress from both parties have criticized the idea, but action by the Treasury wouldn’t require congressional approval.
Mixed Signals
The U.S. stock market has taken off, but it has left behind an important passenger: the IPO. Major stock indexes have gained about 13% in the past seven weeks and are now in positive territory after a swoon early in the year. The market for initial public offerings, however, is in its slowest period since the first quarter of 2009. If the pace of IPOs doesn’t accelerate, it could be a warning sign for the rally. Meanwhile, gold prices notched their largest quarterly gain in three decades and emerging markets also bounced back in the first quarter after three years of torpor. Bond investors are bracing for a turbulent second quarter as they struggle to reconcile surging U.S. employment with some of the lowest bond yields in years. And as oil prices have tumbled, investors have shifted gears by rewarding the thriftiest oil-and-gas companies.
The Examined Life
Actress, producer and activist Charlize Theron graces the cover of the April edition of WSJ. Magazine. The Academy Award winner speaks candidly about choosing roles that explore her fear and vulnerability. “I’m not so interested in the things I’m strong at,” she says. “I’m more invested in things that scare me.” Elsewhere in the issue, Clare Waight Keller, the creative director of fashion brand Chloé, opens her well-appointed Paris apartment and discusses her meticulous design philosophy. And actor Hugh Laurie—who after playing a misanthropic doctor on the Fox medical drama “House” for eight years still wrestles with personal demons, despite a remarkable career—discusses his latest project, the AMC television adaptation of John Le Carré’s “The Night Manager.” The issue also explores art dealer Jack Shainman’s unorthodox approach, the insides of comedian Jenny Slate’s iPhone and the star-studded pool parties bon vivant Jean Pigozzi held at his villa in the South of France.
That Was Painless
Five of the biggest stars on the world-champion U.S. women’s national soccer team have accused the U.S. Soccer Federation of pay discrimination, despite the team’s superior on-field achievements and higher anticipated revenue compared to their male counterparts.

Hot Housing Markets Pinch Seniors

New York Poses Key Test for Bernie Sanders

Protest Called Off as Iraq’s Prime Minister Proposes Cabinet Shuffle

U.S., Allies Focus on North Korea at Nuclear Summit

Theranos Devices Often Failed Accuracy Requirements

Hospitals Brace for New Medicare Payment Rules

Deutsche Bank’s CEO Struggles With Overhaul

15,000 Layoffs? China’s Bust Is the West’s Suffering
The new hourly minimum wage passed by California lawmakers yesterday for large businesses by 2022 and all firms a year later. New York officials have struck a similar deal.
What that teaches you is, don’t tell anyone.
Kim Palmer on telling the pastor of her church that her son was addicted to heroin. Ms. Palmer eventually found a support network in the form of five other women also struggling with addicted children.
Going back to our story above, what are your thoughts on California and New York moving to become the first states to lift the minimum wage to $15 an hour? Send your comments, which we may edit before publication, to Please include your name and location.
—Compiled by Margaret Rawson
Responding to yesterday’s question on MetLife winning its bid to shed the “systemically important” (SIFI) label, Jay Davidson of Colorado wrote: “What evidence exists that any federal regulatory agency can save the economy from normal business cycles? Regulatory agencies inject imbalance into an economic system that can cause the next down-cycle to be more extreme...SIFI, like Dodd-Frank is a disaster.” Bob Lindsey of Florida commented: “I am happy to see some ‘common sense’ that has occurred with this ruling. The Dodd-Frank law is overreaching and does not accomplish what it intended. Throwing out a dragnet to all institutions that just creates more cost for the consumer and increased regulations is not the answer.” And Dan Goncharoff of New York weighed in: “It is hard to analyze a judge’s ruling that a government regulator is being non-transparent when the judge refuses to reveal her logic. How about transparency for all?”
This daily briefing is named "The 10-Point" after the nickname conferred by the editors of The Wall Street Journal on the lead column of the legendary "What's News" digest of top stories. Technically, "10-point" referred to the size of the typeface. The type is smaller now but the name lives on.
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