Business News at a Glance
Posted May 20, 2018 9:11 p.m. EDT
US Suspends Tariffs on China
The Trump administration has suspended its plan to impose tariffs on China as it presses forward with trade talks, a gesture that will temporarily ease tensions between the two nations but increase pressure on President Donald Trump to secure a tough deal that he has said is necessary to protect American workers. Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said Sunday that the countries had made progress as they concluded three days of trade negotiations in Washington last week. The planned tariffs on as much as $150 billion worth of Chinese goods are off the table while the talks proceed, he said.
Banks Adopt Military-Style Tactics to Fight Cybercrime
In a bunker in Missouri, monitors tracked incoming attacks as a dozen analysts stared at screens filled with computer code. Overseeing the stream of warnings was a former Delta Force soldier who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan before shifting to a new enemy: cyberthieves. “This is not that different from terrorists and drug cartels,” Matt Nyman, the command center’s creator, said as he surveyed his squadron of Mastercard employees. Cybercrime is one of the world’s fastest-growing and most lucrative industries. For banks and payment companies, the fight feels like a war — and they’re responding with an increasingly militarized approach.
As Disney Moves Forward With Fox, Comcast Continues Plotting
As empires hang in the balance, two commanders engage in tug-of-war on an epic scale. It could be the plot of a summer blockbuster. Instead, it may soon play out in real life, with Comcast trying to pry the bulk of 21st Century Fox away from Disney. The Walt Disney Co. struck a $52.4 billion deal in December to buy most of 21st Century Fox. Comcast had also pursued Fox, but the Justice Department had just filed a lawsuit to block AT&T’s offer for Time Warner. If AT&T wins its fight, Comcast intends to snatch Fox from Disney, sources say.
Deutsche Bank’s Problems Threaten a Star Banker
Ever since he was a Goldman Sachs executive helping to auction off bankrupt East German factories, Paul Achleitner has been known as a relentless modernizer shaking up Germany’s corporate world. Now Achleitner is being cast as the man responsible for the sorry state of one of Germany’s most important industries. Achleitner has been the chairman of Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board since 2012, overseeing the company’s top management and signing off on major business decisions. As the bank stumbles from crisis to crisis, investors blame him for the missteps that have brought the company to one of its most perilous moments.
A New Policy at Starbucks: People Can Sit Without Buying Anything
Last month, two black men who went to a Starbucks in Philadelphia and did not buy anything were denied use of the restroom and asked to leave. Then an employee called police and the men were arrested, prompting protests, boycotts and accusations of racism. Now, Starbucks has changed its policy. On Saturday the company announced that “any customer is welcome to use Starbucks spaces, including our restrooms, cafes and patios, regardless of whether they make a purchase.” It added that employees should follow established procedures for “addressing disruptive behaviors,” and call 911 in the case of “immediate danger or threat.”
Hot Wheels Hits the Road to Reach Its Fans
After 6 billion vehicles sold, Hot Wheels is looking for one more car to race down those plastic orange tracks. And it could be yours. Mattel, the toymaker that owns the Hot Wheels brand, is searching for the best custom car in the United States. The chosen vehicle will be made into a miniature die-cast car to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hot Wheels. The search, called the Legends Tour, is part of Mattel’s effort to stay connected with Hot Wheels fans at a time when children are gravitating more toward mobile devices and away from traditional toys.