Business News at a Glance
Posted May 2, 2018 9:50 p.m. EDT
Trump Trade Officials Will Present a Hard Line in China, but Internally They Are Divided
Top Trump administration officials are arriving in China this week armed with tough talk about Beijing’s need to change its trade practices. But within the U.S. delegation there is little consensus about what concessions the United States should try to extract — or the best approach to getting the Chinese to agree. Instead of a single point person with a clear set of demands, the White House is sending six trade and economic officials with differing ideas on how to approach China. What unites the group is a view that China’s trade practices are unacceptable and that Washington will now call the shots.
Scandal Sinks Consulting Firm That Mined Facebook for Trump
Embattled political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica announced Wednesday that it would cease most operations and file for bankruptcy amid growing legal and political scrutiny of its business practices and work for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. The decision was made less than two months after Cambridge Analytica and Facebook became embroiled in a data-harvesting scandal that compromised the personal information of up to 87 million people. Revelations about the misuse of data, published in March by The New York Times and The Observer of London, plunged Facebook into crisis and prompted regulators and lawmakers to open investigations into Cambridge Analytica.
Goldman Sachs to Open a Bitcoin Trading Operation
Most big banks have tried to stay far away from the virtual currency bitcoin. But Goldman Sachs is bucking the risks and moving ahead with plans to set up what appears to be the first bitcoin trading operation at a Wall Street bank. In a step that is likely to lend legitimacy to virtual currencies — and create new concerns for Goldman — the bank is about to begin using its own money to trade with clients in contracts linked to the price of bitcoin. While Goldman will not initially be buying and selling actual bitcoins, a team at the bank is looking at going in that direction if it can get regulatory approval.
Fed Holds Rates Steady and Stays on Track for June Increase
The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting Wednesday and acknowledged rising inflation, but it gave little indication that officials are worried about a sudden, rapid escalation in prices or an abrupt slowdown in economic growth that could alter its gradual pace of rate increases. The Federal Open Market Committee’s unanimous decision not to raise rates so quickly after a March increase had been widely expected. Most notably, Fed officials acknowledged that “on a 12-month basis, both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy have moved close to 2 percent,” which is the central bank’s stated target.
2 Black Men Settle With Starbucks and Philadelphia Over Arrest
The two black men who were arrested while waiting in a Starbucks last month have reached an agreement with Philadelphia: The city will spend $200,000 to help young entrepreneurs. And the men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, both 23, will each be given $1. That is what they asked for when they approached city officials and agreed not to file a lawsuit against Philadelphia or its employees after they were arrested in an episode that ignited widespread criticism of Starbucks and the city’s police. "I am pleased to have resolved the potential claims against the city in this productive manner,” Mayor Jim Kenney of Philadelphia said in a statement.
Tesla Reports Another Loss as It Struggles With Model 3
The electric-car maker Tesla continued to burn through cash as it posted a loss for the sixth quarter in a row, the company said Wednesday. Yet Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, once again said the company was on the verge of a decisive upturn. Musk asserted that Tesla would make money in the second half of this year — if it could meet its latest production goals for the Model 3, its first mass-market offering. Less than a year ago, he hoped to make 20,000 Model 3s a month by the end of 2017. So far, Tesla has not come close to that.