Business News at a Glance
Posted November 29, 2018 9:43 p.m. EST
Deutsche Bank Offices Are Searched in Money Laundering Investigation
Deutsche Bank’s efforts to escape a history of scandal, wrongdoing and mismanagement suffered a serious setback Thursday after the German police raided its headquarters in Frankfurt as part of an investigation into whether the lender helped criminals launder money through offshore tax havens. Arriving in a fleet of blue-and-white police vans, 170 prosecutors, federal agents, police officers and tax authorities searched the headquarters and five other sites in the area, prosecutors in Frankfurt said. The officers seized paper documents and electronic records related to the case, which involved hundreds of millions of euros, and were still at the bank late Thursday.
As Oil Hovers at $50 a Barrel, Trump Tries to Push the Price Lower
Oil prices have plunged by 25 percent in the past month while the cost of gasoline has tumbled to as little as $2 a gallon in several states. President Donald Trump is pushing for even lower prices, calling it “a big Tax Cut for America and the World.” But Trump is playing a tricky game. The United States became the world’s largest oil producer this year, and a collapse in prices could hurt scores of businesses and hundreds of thousands of workers in the energy and manufacturing industries. The damage would be particularly severe in Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota.
Britain and U.S. Reach Post-Brexit Aviation Agreement
The United States and Britain have reached an agreement that will allow flights between the two countries to continue as usual. Those flights are governed by the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement, which will no longer apply to Britain when Brexit is completed next year. The announcement “provides much-needed certainty that when the U.K. exits the European Union, there will be no disruption to air service for the traveling and shipping public,” said Nicholas E. Calio, president of Airlines for America, a trade group for airlines in the United States.
GM’s President Will Take Over Its Self-Driving Effort
A top General Motors official is taking on a new role that underlines the auto industry’s intense push to develop and commercialize self-driving cars. Dan Ammann will give up the job of GM president and become chief executive of Cruise, the division working on autonomous vehicles, the company said Thursday. The move gives Cruise increased management heft as it prepares to start a driverless-ride service by the end of 2019. GM expects the service and other related businesses to expand rapidly, and Ammann said it could involve “trillions” of self-driving cars in the future.
Interest Rates Likely to Rise in December, Recap of Fed Meeting Shows
The Federal Reserve is poised to raise interest rates at its next policymaking meeting in mid-December and to continue raising rates next year, according to the minutes of the central bank’s last meeting published Thursday. The minutes said most Fed officials were confident about the economy when they met in early November. Some Fed officials at the meeting said they were less certain about the economic outlook and about the Fed’s policy plans. But the account of the meeting provided no indication that the central bank is preparing to pause, notwithstanding the hopes of investors and frequent attacks by President Donald Trump.
Mic, a News Site for Millennials, Lays Off Most of Its Staff
Mic, an online publication that started seven years ago with ambitions of becoming a top source of news for and by millennials, laid off most of its staff Thursday before being sold to Bustle Digital Group, a publisher that caters to millennial women. Mic’s co-founder, Chris Altchek, announced the layoffs at a 10 a.m. all-hands meeting, according to two staff members who declined to speak publicly. The company had employed more than 100 people. The Mic employees said that the company had come to rely too heavily on a partnership with Facebook, which provided funding for a Mic-produced show on the social network’s Facebook Watch video platform.
A ‘Crucial Voice’ for Corporate Responsibility Steps Down as Unilever CEO
When Paul Polman was made chief executive of Unilever in 2009, he was regarded as a safe choice to lead the maker of Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. But Polman, who announced Thursday that he would step down at the end of the year, quickly set about making dramatic changes. He stopped issuing quarterly guidance, signaling to Wall Street that he was not going to make decisions to improve the short-term stock price. He rolled out a long-term strategy to make Unilever a better steward of the environment and a more socially responsible business, known as the Sustainable Living Plan.