Economics And Business
The Economics and Business Section of IR Insider publishes breaking news reports and analysis regarding developments relating to the U.S. Economy. Topics covered in the Economics and Business Section may include the U.S. national debt, changes in policies affecting interest rates, inflation, and unemployment rates. Updates on U.S. foreign trade, international trade, transnational trade deals, and ratification of economic treaties and sanctions may be further addressed. Additionally, news and data on world financial markets and leading banking institutions will be discussed. Our writers Shraman Sen, Angie Lin, Audrey Ren produce weekly. Our section editor is Ritika Pathak.
On Thursday, Starbucks announced that it would begin offering delivery services at around 2,000 of its roughly 8,000 stores in the United States in early 2019. The coffee chain began testing its new program in Miami over the summer and will partner with Uber Eats to deliver drinks to customers’ doors.
On Thursday, Lyft Inc. announced that it had filed confidential paperwork for an initial public offering, keeping the company on track in its agenda to reach the public market by March or April of 2019, although the timing is “subject to market and other conditions.” The underwriters for the IPO are said to be JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse and Jefferies, while the number of shares and price range is still unknown.
Qatar citizens have the highest per capita income of any country thanks to its status as the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, but the country’s decision to end its nearly 60-year-old membership in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) caught many observers by surprise earlier this week.
On Friday, Marriott International Inc. disclosed a data breach in its Starwood reservation database that could expose the personal information of up to 500 million guests. Marriott was alerted to a potential breach on Sept. 8, and after investigating, the company found that the hack into the system has allowed unauthorized access since 2014. Marriott found that the hacker had copied and encrypted the information, but wasn’t able to identify the exact information accessed until Nov. 19.
Deutsche Bank is Germany’s leading bank founded in 1870, with a strong position in Europe and a significant presence in the Americas and the Asia Pacific. Although the Bank was once known for its aggressive efforts to compete with Wall Street institutions, it has shrunk after years of losses as a result of problems including a bloated investment bank and trading desk and costly legal settlements tied to the sale of toxic mortgage securities. As a matter of fact, despite the bank’s valued company value in integrity, discipline, and client-centricity, earlier this Thursday, its headquarter in Frankfurt and five more offices were searched by one hundred seventy officers under a money-laundering investigation involving hundreds of millions of euros.
The United Kingdom is potentially standing at the brink of recession. The warning couldn’t have been any clearer from the Bank of England. A no-deal Brexit can send the British pound on a long downward spiral, resulting in a recession that could potentially prove to be worse than the 2008 financial crisis. The devastating effects can potentially shrink the UK economy by eight percent.
On Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that her cabinet supported the Brexit deal with the European Union. The resignation of important UK government ministers such as Boris Johnson and David Davis, however, highlighted the difficulty of getting a divided parliament to approve the deal. If Parliament does not approve, there are greater chances of a no-deal Brexit, meaning that there would be no agreement on the exit.
A potential Southeast Asian-centered trade deal fell short of being finalized for 2018. This year, the annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations was held in Singapore, where Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong confirmed that the final verdict was to postpone any such plans of a free- trade initiative to the subsequent year.
Tuesday’s midterm election results have shown that Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010, while the Senate will maintain a Republican majority. What could this combination of a Republican President and a split Congress mean for the economy? Main areas of reconsideration include infrastructure, healthcare, the minimum wage, and tax cuts.
President Trump signed the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" into law on Dec. 22., 2017, bringing sweeping changes to the tax code. Generous incentives in the Trump tax are meant to persuade people to work through business challenges, but financial advisers now have a new way to deliver impact investing to wealthy clients — one that comes with substantial tax benefits — according to the fledgling federal tax law.
On Friday, chain store retailer Five Below Inc. opened its newest location in Manhattan. Its first outpost in New York City spans 11,000 square feet and is located on Fifth Avenue, between 44th and 45th Streets. Five Below has opened 67 new stores in 2018 so far and plans to reach 750 by the end of the year, almost quadrupling the number of stores since its initial public offering in 2012.
Goldman Sachs forecasts the yuan reaching 7.1 against the dollar in the next six months, breaching the psychologically important barrier of 7. MK Tang, a senior China economist at Goldman in Hong Kong, said that "we see good economic reasons arguing for a weaker yuan, especially in the coming months," Tang said. "It’s only a matter of time for the yuan to hit 7."
On Tuesday, Italy’s 2019 fiscal budget was rejected by the European Union Commission. The European Union Commission’s vice president, Valdis Dombrovskis, stated that rejecting the budget plan was the only viable option they had. The budget goes against the requirements of the Stability and Growth Pact, which is essentially a set of rules and regulations established to ensure countries part of the European Union are making financially safe decisions and are properly coordinating their respective fiscal policies.
Automotive company Tesla Inc. reported its surprising third-quarter earnings of $311.5 million, its first profit in two years and its third quarterly profit ever. The automaker earned $22 million in the third quarter of 2016 and $11.2 million in the first quarter of 2013 and has yet to report an annual profit.
The European Union has sent the Italian budget back to Rome with a failing grade, the first time such a request will have been made of an EU member state. The Commission is worried about the impact of higher spending on already high levels of debt in Italy, the eurozone's third-biggest economy and Italy will have to back down or face fines.
Despite the uproar which followed the demise of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the investment conference (named the Future Investment Initiative) at Saudi Arabia still took place and was attended by international leaders. Prime Minister Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf, was one of the invited speakers. Khan did not shy away from delineating grave economic crises which the country has encountered.
Walmart Inc. has reached an agreement with Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in which MGM will create original video shorts to stream on Vudu, an on-demand streaming service that Walmart bought in 2010. This deal is an attempt by Walmart to push its way into the online entertainment industry and to compete with rivals such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and Hulu.
Last Thursday, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 — two barometers for how well the US stock market is doing — dropped by more than 2 percent. The US share market, indeed, has begun its worryingly decline that the Dow dropped more than 800 points in one of the worst sell-offs since Feb. as investors worried that sharply rising interest rates would constrain the nation’s historic economic expansion.
President Donald Trump’s distaste for China’s economic schema is not recent news. Ever since his presidential campaign in 2016, President Trump did not shy away from criticizing the Asian country’s economy. However, the situation is becoming more grave as the economic ties between the US and China seem to have encountered a dead end.
In a joint press conference in Tokyo on Thursday, Toyota Motor Corp. and SoftBank Group Corp. announced a venture in which the two companies will work together to develop self-driving technology. The $17.5 million joint venture is expected to be formed by the end of March, with 50.25% owned by SoftBank and 49.75% owned by Toyota. The new company Monet Technologies Corp., short for “mobility network,” will use driverless-car technology to offer services such as ride-hailing, meal delivery with food prepared en-route, hospital shuttles with on-board medical examination services, mobile offices, and mobile convenience stores by the late 2020s.
Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS), one of India’s significant non-banking financial institutions, has recently defaulted on its assets worth almost $13 billion sparking concerns over India’s financial market.
A 109-year-old corporation operating in 150 countries, L’Oréal is the world’s largest cosmetics company with €4.68 billion operating profit in 2017. The company’s leading diverse product portfolio has ensured its continued growth in the €200 billion worldwide cosmetics market. Since it was founded over a century ago, global acquisitions and subsidiaries are a fundamental part of L’Oréal’s strategy, allowing it to reach horizontal and vertical integration to increase market shares, product offerings, and distribution channels.
The United States Federal Reserve recently evinced contractionary monetary policy, by increasing the target interest rate by 25 basis points. The revised range for the target interest rate is now 2 percent-2.25 percent. There are two sides to the argument on whether the Fed should persist with such a contractionary move, which is likely to be repeated prior to the conclusion of this year. While the Chair of the Fed supports this move, others are worried about the potential decline in investment.
The month of Aug. has witnessed a tremendous depreciation of Turkey’s currency, the lira. To be precise, the lira has lost more than 34 percent of its value against the dollar. In an effort to combat this downward spiral, Turkey’s central bank bolstered interest rates to a staggering 24 percent. Economic theory proves that high-interest rates lure foreign investment which in turn increases the demand and value of the domestic currency. The gain in value, however, was minimal as the lira is still 38 percent down percent down against the dollar.
About ten years ago, due to rising fuel costs, U.S. airlines began charging passengers to check baggage in. Since then, airlines have also started charging fees for seat selection, early boarding, flight changes and cancellations, among other services.
This past Wednesday Apple held its annual product showcase at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, CA. New products discussed at the showcase included three new iPhones - the iPhone XR, the iPhone XS, and the iPhone XS Max - as well as an updated version of the Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Series 4.
Once spreading across the globe with command-and-conquer rapaciousness, Uber, in recent years, is on the journey of executing broad retrenchment in Asia’s major ride-hailing markets. After being bailed out in Russia in 2017 and selling off its operations in China in 2016, the ride-hailing startup announced that it has sold its business in eight countries across Southeast Asia to Grab, a rival based in Singapore.
In just two years, Noticias Aguila (News Eagle) has accumulated over 20 million users and in 2017 rose to the top of Google Play’s Mexico store. The founder, Tang Xin, simply watched the success from afar with his development team based in Shenzen, China.
Whether the eggs handed out this past Easter Sunday were tri-coloured, deviled, hard-boiled or plastic, they signified the big bucks paid each year to maintain the tradition of backyard Easter egg hunts.