Business News at a Glance
Posted October 31, 2018 9:53 p.m. EDT
Hundreds at Google Plan Walkout to Protest Handling of Sexual Harassment
Google is struggling to contain a growing internal backlash over its handling of sexual harassment and its workplace culture. The anger arose after The New York Times revealed that Google had paid millions of dollars in exit packages to male executives accused of harassment and stayed silent about their transgressions. Google later said it had fired 48 people for sexual harassment over the past two years. But employees’ dissatisfaction has not subsided. On Thursday, more than 1,500 — most women — plan to walk out of almost two dozen offices around the world to protest the treatment, organizers said.
SoftBank Hires a Veteran Corporate Image-Maker
SoftBank plans to announce Wednesday that it has hired Gary Ginsberg, a former top adviser to Rupert Murdoch, as its global head of communications. He will be based in New York and report to Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s founder and chief executive, and Marcelo Claure, its chief operating officer. Ginsberg’s hiring is SoftBank’s latest effort to address obstacles far beyond the business of technology. Ginsberg’s most recent job was at Time Warner, where he was in the middle of the fight to defend its sale to AT&T.
Market Soared On Tech’s Back, Then It Soured All on Its Own
The world’s largest technology companies drove the stock market to record highs earlier this year. As stocks have tumbled, though, it is more like they are just along for the ride. Unlike the rally, the rout that started in late September and dominated trading in October was a broad-based affair. That suggests that investors are less concerned that the tech giants’ shares rose too far too fast, and are instead worried about the fundamentals of the U.S. economy and the continuing profitability of companies of all kinds.
The Fed Is Relaxing Banking Rules
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday proposed loosening rules for 16 financial institutions, an important move forward in the Trump administration’s effort to roll back bank regulation. The Fed’s proposals would affect banks with $100 billion to $700 billion in assets, including U.S. Bancorp, Capital One and American Express. The changes would not apply to the nation’s eight largest banks, like Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, which have more loans and securities on their balance sheets. The move was prompted by a law Congress passed in May which pares back some regulations introduced after the financial crisis of 2008.
In Oscar Bid, Netflix Will Release 3 Movies in Theaters First
Netflix softened its long-standing view on movie distribution, saying late Wednesday that it would release three prestige movies in a way that it had repeatedly said was a nonstarter — in cinemas first, and on the streaming service later. A limited number of theaters in the United States and overseas will receive an exclusive period of one to three weeks to play the films, which include Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” a black-and-white drama hailed as a masterpiece by critics who have seen it at festivals. The move is designed to make the films eligible for Oscar consideration.