Financial News

“Danny” Edward Holt
March 9, 2023
AP Sports
March 9, 2023
Financial News

WASHINGTON (AP) — At a time when political gridlock is putting the government at risk of defaulting, President Joe Biden is set to make an opening offer with his new budget plan being released Thursday. It would cut deficits by $2.9 trillion over the next decade, but Republicans already intend to reject the proposal. The Biden blueprint is part of a broader attempt by the president to call out House Republicans who are demanding severe spending cuts in return for increasing the government’s legal borrowing authority. So far, the GOP has no counteroffer, other than a flat “no” to a Biden blueprint with tax increases on the wealthy. The proposal could form the policy backbone of Biden’s yet-to-be-declared campaign for reelection in 2024.

Business backlash pushing GOP to weaken anti-ESG proposals

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Conservative Republicans who want to thwart socially and environmentally conscious investing are now being pushed to water down their proposals by backlash from powerful business groups and fears that state pension systems could see huge losses. In both Kansas and Indiana bankers associations and state chambers of commerce criticized the strongest versions of anti-ESG legislation before each state’s Republican-controlled legislature as anti-free market. ESG stands for environmental, social and governance. In Kansas, opposition from business groups prompted a Senate committee’s chair to drop the toughest version of the bill before hearings began this week. In Indiana, supporters rewrote a House bill before the chamber passed it.

Norfolk Southern brings apology, aid to derailment hearing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Norfolk Southern’s CEO is apologizing to Congress and pledging millions of dollars to help East Palestine, Ohio, recover from last month’s fiery train derailment. Senators are investigating railway safety and the Biden administration’s response to the disaster. In remarks prepared for Thursday’s hearing, CEO Alan Shaw says he is “deeply sorry” for the impact of the derailment. He says the railroad will “do the right thing” and commit $20 million to the response and voluntary safety upgrades. But a bipartisan group of senators wants to impose new regulations on railroads.

GM offers buyouts to most US salaried workers to trim costs

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is offering buyouts to most of its U.S. salaried workforce and some global executives in an effort to trim costs as it makes the transition to electric vehicles. The Detroit automaker wouldn’t say how many workers it is targeting, but confirmed that the move is aimed at accelerating attrition to meet a previously announced goal of $2 billion in cost cuts by the end of next year. GM has about 58,000 salaried workers in the U.S. The company says the offers also are designed to avoid any possible firings at a later date. Offers will go to white-collar workers with at least five years of service, and global executives with who have been with the company at least two years.

Applications for US jobless aid rise by most in 5 months

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week jumped by the most in five months, but layoffs remain historically low as the labor market continues to be largely unaffected by the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes. The Labor Department said Thursday that applications for jobless claims in the U.S. for the week ending March 4 rose by 21,000 to 211,000 from 190,000 the previous week. It’s the first time in eight weeks that claims came in above 200,000. The four-week moving average of claims rose by 4,000 to 197,000, Applications for unemployment benefits are considered a proxy for layoffs.

JPMorgan sues former exec over ties to Epstein sex abuse

NEW YORK (AP) — JPMorgan Chase has sued its former executive Jes Staley, alleging that he aided in hiding Jeffrey Epstein’s yearslong sex abuse and trafficking in order to keep the financier as a client. The bank seeks to hold Staley personally liable for any financial penalties that JPMorgan may have to pay in two related cases. It is also seeking to force Staley to pay back any wages he earned during the time he allegedly was aware of Epstein’s abuse. A lawyer for Staley did not immediately reply for a request for comment.

Russian missile barrage slams into cities across Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia launched a massive barrage of missiles and drones that hit residential buildings and critical infrastructure across Ukraine. The attacks Thursday killed six people, left hundreds of thousands without heat or electricity, and knocked a nuclear plant off the power grid for hours. It was the largest such attack in three weeks. Air raid sirens wailed through the night, as the attacks targeted a wide swath of the country. The Russian Defense Ministry said the strikes were in retaliation for a recent incursion into the Bryansk region of western Russia by what Moscow claimed were Ukrainian saboteurs. Ukraine denied the claim and warned that Moscow could use the allegations to justify stepping up its own assaults.

NATO chief in new drive to bring Finland, Sweden in

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is spearheading a new drive to see Finland and Sweden join the alliance’s ranks soon. It’s hoped that they will become members of the world’s biggest military organization by the time U.S. President Joe Biden and his counterparts meet for their next summit in July. The Nordic neighbors abandoned their military nonalignment last year to seek protection under NATO’s security umbrella after Russia invaded Ukraine. But Turkey and Hungary want extra guarantees and assurances from the two. NATO must agree unanimously for them to join. Thursday’s talks at NATO involving Turkey and the Nordic pair is a fresh start. Stoltenberg says their membership “is a top priority.”

China criticizes Dutch plan to curb access to chip tools

BEIJING (AP) — China has criticized the Netherlands for joining Washington in expanding curbs on Chinese access to technology to make processor chips that Western governments say might be used in weapons or to commit human rights abuses. Processor chips and the technology to make them are increasingly sensitive as Beijing steps up efforts to develop its own chip industry and high-tech weapons. Washington in October blocked Chinese access to U.S. tools to make the most advanced chips and is lobbying European and Asian allies to tighten their own controls. The Dutch trade minister told legislators national security requires controls to be tightened on exports of chip-making technology in which the Netherlands is a global leader.

Australia to buy nuclear-powered submarines made in the US

WASHINGTON (AP) — Australia will purchase U.S.-manufactured, nuclear-powered attack submarines to modernize its fleet. That’s according to a European official and a person familiar with the matter on Thursday. The purchase agreement comes amid growing concerns about China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region. The agreement will be announced Monday when President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meet in San Diego for talks on the 18-month-old nuclear partnership known by the acronym AUKUS. The submarines cost $3 billion each and are built at shipbuilding plants in Virginia and Connecticut. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter ahead of the announcement.