US President Barrack Obama has finally disclosed the 2017 US budget details. Never to shy away from what he deems right, even in the last year of presidency, he has included his long-term liberal plans that have been widely criticized by the Congress. The highlighted ones are his global climate change initiative, fee levied on crude oil, and enhanced medical care for cancer patients and drug addicts.
As per the federal agreement, HSBC has agreed to pay $470 million to provide relief to abused mortgage loan borrowers. The payment will be directed towards mainly Virginia, along with 48 other states. The bank, accused of malpractices like robosigning and bad loan designs, will now be monitored by an independent body to ensure it adheres to the revised banking standards and settlement terms.
The leading steel company, ArcelorMittal, has no option but to raise money to pay off its huge debts. The company has resorted to issuing shares and selling off its minority stake in Gestamp, the Spanish auto-parts manufacturing company. The decision should fetch Lakshmi Mittal almost $4 billion - $3 billion from share issue and $1 billion from Gestamp - and reduce the debt burden to some extent.
President Barrack Obama seeks an additional $1.1 billion in the face of increasing death rates due to overdoses of heroin and opioids. The Obama administration has already split the amount and categorized them to focus on different aspects like increasing medical-assisted facilities, prescriptions of antidotes, plans for overdose prevention, etc. These facilities are to be rolled out to the rural areas as well.
The US federal contracts are somehow still not won by the women-owned small companies in this day and age. Senator Jeanne Shaheen has openly expressed her disappointment regarding this sobering fact. But she is still optimistic that the changing laws would rectify the situation and empower women with the experience to bid for larger and more competitive federal contracts in the future.
The Koch Brothers' super-PAC reached $14.8 million, with $11 million being added in the second half of 2015. The latter amount was raised by only 20 contributors, comprising founder Charles Koch himself and some billionaire stalwarts. The PAC is incurring minimum expenses and hoarding most of the fund to support the Republicans in 2016 elections.
Hershey, the leading chocolate maker, has shifted gear in 2016 and plans to focus more on its newly acquired meat brand, Krave Pure Foods Inc. With changing food habits, the market is now ready to accept snacks that are more rich in protein and less in sugars, and with this move, the sweet maker is all set to tap this niche market.
California becomes the pioneer state with new LED standards in place. The new regulation replaces the old traditional directional bulbs with the more expensive but energy-efficient LED ones. While more expensive, California Energy Commission promises huge benefits in terms of a bulb's longevity and, more importantly, electric bills.
Wendy's, the famous fast-food chain is the latest victim of credit card data breach. The company's banking sources detected unusual patterns on customer credit cards right after they were used at a Wendy's outlet, and informed the company right-away. It immediately hired a cybersecurity firm to investigate the fraudulent activities that seem to have been tracked to Midwest and, lately, the East Coast. The investigation is currently ongoing and Wendy's did not provide any clear information on the findings.
Under a supposed repatriation program, Germany is bringing back its gold reserves from the vaults of Paris and New York. Germany had stored all its bullion overseas fearing a Soviet Union attack during the Cold War. Till date, the Deutsche Bundesbank has managed to get around 366 tons to Frankfurt, which is almost half of the total reserve of 674 tons that it plans to repatriate by 2020.
President Obama has rolled out a new set of regulations that lifts the Cuban trade embargo to a certain extent. The relaxed rules allow easy facilitation of trade, travel and finance between the two governments, a move taken to end the age-old cold war between them. While the embargo cannot be lifted completely unless Congress gives their consent, the Obama administration is convinced that this is a step in the right direction for improving the condition of the island.
Toyota Motor is seriously contemplating a buyout of Daihatsu Motor Co., which would give the company direct access to Daihatsu’s 660 cc mini vehicles. This investment would fetch Toyota great returns in the emerging markets and also enable leveraging of the low-cost production model that has long been Daihatsu’s competitive advantage.
JPMorgan Chase is all set to revolutionize the concept of ATM cash withdrawals. The bank will introduce the new system in the form of e-ATMs which will basically render bank cards redundant. The machines will dispense cash via a simple mobile app, in different denominations like $1, $5, $20, and $100 bills. At the same time, Chase has increased the withdrawal limit by three times, at $3000.
New Mexico has become the first US state to sue the German automaker, Volkswagen, for breaching the Clean Air Act with huge levels of emissions as well as for trade malpractices. The allegation is the company sold as many as 4000-10000 faulty models whose nitrogen-oxide emissions exceeded the limits by 40%, which could cost VW almost $20 billion in fines.
Ford Motor has announced on Monday that they would be exiting the Japanese and Indonesian markets by the end of this year as the governments are running a very "closed" market, protecting domestic sales over the international ones. The automaker has been unable to increase their sales or sustain profits under such circumstances. They said that the employees have already been informed and they would be providing detailed explanations regarding post-sale services like servicing and providing new car parts to its customers very soon.