The countdown until Brexit Day has begun, with only a year until the U.K. leaves the EU on March 29, 2019. European leaders have agreed to a transition deal, which extends Britain's de-facto membership until the end of 2020, but there are still several outstanding difficulties: including how the U.K. can leave the single market and customs union, but still maintain full economic access, frictionless trade, and no physical border in Ireland. (SA)
Creating a cross-border trading powerhouse, U.S. exchange operator CME Group has agreed to buy U.K.-based NEX for about £3.9B. The deal would be CME's largest since it bought Nymex for $11B in 2008, and would mark the first time the same company owned the dominant markets for fixed income, foreign exchange futures and their underlying securities. (FT)
As we near the end of tax time, good news for some out there: The percentage of individuals receiving tax audits declined for the sixth consecutive year in 2017 to reach the lowest level since 2002. The IRS, which has lost nearly one-third of its enforcement staffers since the 2010 peak, audited just 0.62% of individual returns in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, according to data released today. The audit of about 1 in 160 individual returns in 2017 is down from 1 in 90 in 2010, the peak year in the past decade. (WSJ)
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.