April 12, 2023
Musk says owning Twitter ‘painful’ but needed to be done
LONDON (AP) — Billionaire Elon Musk has told the BBC that running Twitter has been “quite painful” but that the social media company is now roughly breaking even after he acquired it late last year. In an interview also streamed live late Tuesday on Twitter Spaces, Musk discussed his ownership of the online platform, including layoffs, misinformation and his work style. He told the U.K. broadcaster at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters that owning Twitter “has not been boring” and has been “quite a rollercoaster.” It was a rare chance for a mainstream news outlet to interview Musk, who also owns Tesla and SpaceX.
EPA pollution limits aim to boost US electric vehicle sales
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is proposing strict new automobile pollution limits that would require as many as two-thirds of new vehicles sold in the U.S. to be electric by 2032. That’s a nearly tenfold increase over current electric vehicle sales. The proposed regulation was announced Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency. The regulation would set tailpipe emissions limits for the 2027 through 2032 model years that call for far more new EVs than the auto industry agreed to sell less than two years ago. If finalized next year, the plan would represent the strongest push yet toward a once almost unthinkable shift from gasoline-powered cars and trucks to battery-powered vehicles.
Credit Suisse rescue rebuked by half of Swiss parliament
GENEVA (AP) — Switzerland’s lower house of parliament has issued a searing — though symbolic — rebuke of an emergency plan spearheaded by the executive branch to prop up embattled Credit Suisse and shepherd it into a takeover by Swiss banking rival UBS. The National Council voted 102 to 71 early Wednesday to reject government guarantees authorized last month of 100 billion Swiss francs to help keep Credit Suisse afloat and 9 billion francs to help UBS mop up any losses it may incur in the takeover. The vote took place as part of a three-day special parliamentary session to scrutinize long-running troubles at Credit Suisse and the plan to save it from collapse.
Buffett says people shouldn’t worry about Berkshire, banks
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Billionaire Warren Buffett assured investors Wednesday that Berkshire Hathaway will be fine when he’s no longer around to lead the conglomerate because Vice Chairman Greg Abel will do a great job and the conglomerate’s basic model won’t change. Buffett and Abel appeared Wednesday on CNBC during a trip to Tokyo and fielded a variety of questions on different topics. Buffett said there will be more bank failures in the future but most people shouldn’t worry about it because their deposits are protected. Buffett and Abel also acknowledged that railroads have room to improve after recent high-profile derailments, but they defended the safety record of Berkshire’s BNSF and the other major freight railroads.
Companies skeptical about Egypt’s push to ease industry ties
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt is embarking on a privatization push to help its cash-strapped government after pressure from the International Monetary Fund. The new policy is supposed to be a serious departure for the Egyptian state, which has long maintained a tight grip over sectors of the economy. But local business owners and analysts have told The Associated Press that they fear the state will remain anti-competitive and enmeshed in key industries. Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly says the hope is the changes ‘’bring in strategic investors’’ and ‘’widen the participation of Egyptian citizenship in public ownership.’’ The reforms are required under IMF bailout needed to prop up the troubled Egyptian economy.
Stocks tick higher after inflation cools more than forecast
NEW YOR (AP) — Stocks are ticking higher, and Wall Street is relaxing a bit after a report showed inflation is cooling faster than expected. The S&P 500 was 0.2% higher in early trading Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq composite were also up modestly. A report showed prices at the consumer level rose only 5% last month from a year earlier. That’s still high, which kept a check on financial markets. But it was also below what economists expected and marked a continued slowdown from inflation’s peak last summer. Yields fell. The 10-year Treasury yield dropped to 3.39%.
White House moves to protect some abortion patients’ records
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has proposed a federal rule aiming to limit how law enforcement and state officials collect medical records from health providers and insurers if they pursue investigations into women who flee their home states to seek abortions elsewhere. The proposal was prompted by blows to abortion access across the country. A federal judge’s ruling Friday in Texas threatens to pull the commonly used abortion pill mifepristone off the market. The rule proposed Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would prohibit health care organizations from giving authorities personal medical records for investigations related to reproductive care in states where women legally obtained abortions.
IMF: Prolonged high inflation dims outlook for world economy
WASHINGTON (AP) — The outlook for the world economy this year has dimmed in the face of chronically high inflation, rising interest rates and uncertainties resulting from the collapse of two big American banks. That’s the view of the International Monetary Fund, which has downgraded its outlook for global economic growth. The IMF now envisions growth this year of 2.8%, down from 3.4% in 2022 and from the 2.9% estimate for 2023 it made in its previous forecast in January. The fund said the possibility of a “hard landing,” in which rising interest rates weaken growth so much as to cause a recession, has ”risen sharply,” especially in the world’s wealthiest countries.
Small business owners feel the credit crunch
NEW YORK (AP) — Small businesses are seeing the already-tough process of getting business loans get even tougher. Borrowing for small businesses was already constrained due to rising interest rates. Following the recent Silicon Valley Bank collapse, some banks – particularly the small and midsize banks that serve small businesses — may be forced to tighten credit further, since they’re seeing an outflow of deposits. And banks are being more cautious in general due to uncertainty about the economy. Small businesses say they’re getting rejected for loans or seeing more unfavorable terms, meaning some plans for expansion are being put on hold.