Business News at a Glance
Posted July 17, 2018 8:57 p.m. EDT
MGM Resorts Sues 1,000 Victims of Las Vegas Shooting
Faced with potential lawsuits from hundreds of victims of last year’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, MGM Resorts International is trying an untested strategy: Suing the victims first. MGM is not suing for money, but the company wants a federal court to rule that it cannot be held liable for the shooting. The company said it named only people who have already sued or given notice that they intend to do so. MGM owns the Mandalay Bay hotel, where Stephen Paddock shot and killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 others attending a country music concert below.
Goldman Sachs Names David Solomon CEO as Blankfein Plans Exit
Goldman Sachs on Tuesday named David M. Solomon as its next chief executive officer, putting a veteran investment banker in charge of a Wall Street giant that faces mounting challenges. Solomon’s appointment will end the tenure of Lloyd C. Blankfein, the 63-year-old former gold salesman who has run the firm since 2006 and steered it through the financial crisis. Blankfein will hand over the chief executive role on Oct. 1 and remain chairman until the end of the year. Solomon, 56 and currently the bank’s president, will add the chairman title at the beginning of 2019.
Papa John’s Founder Will Not Go Quietly
Papa John’s has spent the past week distancing itself from John Schnatter, its founder and pitchman, after it was reported he used a racial slur in a comment about black people. Schnatter apologized and resigned as chairman of the company last Wednesday. But Schnatter and his lawyer sent letters to the board over the weekend suggesting he was pressured to resign without any investigation into the circumstances, which he also described as an extortion attempt. Schnatter’s lawyer, Patricia Glaser, said the Papa John’s board should conduct an investigation into the claims that led to Schnatter’s removal as chairman.
As Tensions With U.S. Worsen, Europe Courts New Partners
President Donald Trump is inciting a trade war and painting Europe as a foe. It’s no wonder that the European Union is looking elsewhere for friends. On Tuesday, it signed its largest trade deal, a pact with Japan that will slash customs duties on products like European wine and cheese, while gradually reducing tariffs on cars. The agreement will cover a quarter of the global economy — by some measures the largest free trade area in the world — and is the latest in a string of efforts with countries like Australia, Vietnam and China.
Senators Push Fed Chairman for Answers on Slow Wage Growth
The chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome H. Powell, told a Senate panel Tuesday that the economy is humming and the financial system is safe, but cautioned that trade policy has cast an uncertain shadow over the United States. Powell fielded questions from lawmakers about why inflation-adjusted wages continue to grow slowly despite a tight labor market. Powell acknowledged the disparity between low unemployment and weak wage gains but offered no quick fix, telling the Banking Committee that while wage growth has increased slightly, it continues to lag the gains Americans enjoyed in the years before the financial crisis.
When Wives Earn More Than Husbands, Neither Partner Likes to Admit It
The share of women who earn more than their husbands, while still relatively small, is growing. When women do earn more, both husbands and wives seem uncomfortable — to the point of lying about it. That’s the finding of a new paper from the Census Bureau, which compared what respondents told census surveyors about their earnings with what their employers told the IRS in tax filings. In opposite-sex marriages in which women earned more, women said, on average, that they earned 1.5 percentage points less than they actually did. Their husbands said they earned 2.9 percentage points more than they did.
Australian Housing Costs Rival New York’s, but Boom May Be Ending
Sydney and Melbourne are among the world’s least affordable for housing, according to one survey, worse than famously pricey places like New York and London. A real estate bacchanalia in recent years in Sydney and Melbourne turned some homeowners into millionaires and left many millennials believing they would never be able to afford homes. Now the market’s party is taking a pause. Nobody is predicting a U.S.-style housing crisis just yet. In fact, many economists predict that housing prices will soon rebound. But a sustained slump could crimp consumer spending and pressure homeowners who borrowed too much.
Texas Instruments Chief Executive Resigns; Conduct Violations Are Cited
The newly appointed chief executive of Texas Instruments stepped down Tuesday over what the company said were “violations of the company’s code of conduct." The executive, Brian Crutcher, also resigned from the company’s board. He had taken the helm at the chipmaker in June after 22 years at the company, most recently as chief operating officer. In a news release late Tuesday, the company said the violations were “related to personal behavior that is not consistent with our ethics and core values, but not related to company strategy, operations or financial reporting.” Crutcher will be replaced by Rich Templeton.