Economy | Corax



178-year-old holiday firm Thomas Cook collapses, over 150 000 British holidaymakers to be repatriated by the government who will also cover any extra accommodation cost, a total of 600 000 customers could be affected

Germany's GDP falls by 0.1% compared with previous quarter, takes annual growth rate down to 0.4%

Jyske Bank in Denmark offering customers 10-year mortgages at -0.5% interest rate, Nordea already offers 20-year mortgage with 0% interest, reflects the uncertainty in world economy and investors' fear of a crash in the near future which is why they rather take a small loss in the long run

US Department of the Treasury designates China as currency manipulator, Secretary Steven Mnuchin to engage with the International Monetary Fund to eliminate the unfair competitive advantage created by China’s latest actions

US Federal Reserve lowers interest rates by 0.25% to 2.00% and signals readiness for further cuts, first rate cut since 2008

Iran's government approves plan to remove four zeroes from currency and rename it "toman" to simplify transactions, current rial trades at around 42,000 to the USD officially and 120,000 on the street, parliament to give final approval

Boeing takes USD 4.9 billion hit to compensate its customers for 737 Max aircraft schedule disruptions and aircraft delivery delays, says it hopes aircraft will return to service in fourth quarter of 2019, FAA says it follows a process, rather than a prescribed timeline, still Boeing's share price rose 4%

Donald Trump orders investigation into France's planned tax targeting companies based abroad offering digital services in the country, US say the 3% tax based on revenue generated in the country is clearly protectionist and unfairly targets American companies, effects companies with revenue over EUR 750 million of which EUR 25 million generated in France

Democracies on track to lose global economic dominance, within five years autocratic countries will account for more than half of global income after learning to combine autocratic rule with market-friendly institutions, according to political scientists Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk

Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Dell and HP plan moving production from China to other Asian countries, according to Nikkei Asian Review sources, follows US-China trade war with increased tariffs on Chinese imports to US

Adidas unable to trademark three parallel equidistant stripes of identical width according to ruling in the General Court of the EU, the company could only prove the symbol's distinctive character in five EU countries [pdf]

Cars with advanced driver-assistance systems which reduce risk of crashes does not reduce cost of car insurance, instead it often drives premiums up as repairs are more expensive, this could change in the future when insurers have collected more data

Families in Japan needs savings of JPY 20 million (USD 184,000) in addition to pension benefits to cover living expenses after retirement, government agency FSA report says, Finance Minister Taro Aso says he won't accept the report as it differs from LDP policy position and could cause trouble to party candidates in upcoming elections

AT&T to accept online payments in cryptocurrency using the BitPay service, not immediately clear which cryptocurrencies are accepted

Softbank reportedly planning IPO for its USD 100 billion investment fund, is also said to be mulling launching second fund of at least same size, aims to further increase investment in startups developing cutting-edge technologies

Investors Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger says partnership between Coca-Cola Opens and the legal cannabis industry would be a serious problem, as Coca-Cola has a wholesome image and cannabis doesn’t, the soft drink manuafacturer says it has no plans partnering with cannabis companies although its competitors explore drinks infused with cannabidiol

Amazon's automated tracking and termination process fired hundreds of employees at single facility between August of 2017 and September 2018 for failing to meet productivity quotas, leaked documents suggest, assuming a steady rate, Amazon fires 10 percent of its staff annually, solely for productivity reasons

Amazon in discussions with music rights holders regarding licensing deals for high-resolution streaming of their tracks, goal to secure enough music to launch new service by end of 2019 at a cost of USD 15 per month, similar services available at USD 20 per month

Private landlords in England will no longer be able to evict tenants after their fixed-term tenancy period ends, government says it wants to protect renters from unethical landlords and an organisation representing tenants calls it a vital first step to ending profiteering from housing

Alibaba owned online healthcare platform Xiang Hu Bao provides basic health plan where participants share each other's medical expenses, costs capped at USD 28 per month, covers 100 illnesses and has reached 50 million users since its launch in October, anyone with Alipay app credit score of 600 can join

Donald Trump calls on Federal Reserve to open monetary floodgates to turn world’s largest economy into "rocket ship", says they should drop interest rates and asks for quantitative easing

Jean-Claude Juncker says he is slightly worried about state of Italian economy, urges government to do more to boost growth, compromise deal from 2018 allows Italy to borrow more than initially envisaged, based on 2019 growth projection of one percent which now is overly optimistic, Juncker adds

Swedish Economic Crime Authority raids Swedbank's Stockholm headquarters, search in relation to ongoing investigation into whether the bank breached insider trading regulations, no individual yet served with a suspicion of a crime

McDonald’s will no longer lobby against minimum wage hikes, believes that all industries should be treated the same way, the company and its franchisees have an average starting wage exceeding USD 10 per hour, could boost House Democrats and their efforts to raise the minimum wage to USD 15 per hour

Uber confirms acquisition of Middle East ride-hailing service Careem for USD 3.1 billion, Dubai-based Careem claims more than 30 million users and 1 million drivers spread across 14 markets, following similar growth model as Uber, using underlying transport network infrastructure to expand into related services, including food and pharmaceutical deliveries

American Airlines extends Boeing 737 MAX flight cancellations through April 24, Boeing Co expected to disclose planned upgrade to its anti-stall system to the FAA in the near future

BMW and Mercedes-Benz lower their prices in China as government reduces VAT, tax in manufacturing sector set to drop from 16% to 13% and in transport sector from 10% to 9%, China's car market shrank 5.8% in 2018

American Federal Aviation Administration will not ground the Boeing 737 Max aircraft, says a review showed "no systemic performance issues" with the aircraft, Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren among politicians who believes it would be prudent for the US to temporarily ground the airliner

EU aviation authority suspends all flight operations of Boeing 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 in Europe, joining many other countries in response to two fatal aircraft accidents involving the 737 Max 8 in less than five months

US backs French push for minimum corporate tax rate for developed countries worldwide to avoid "chase to the bottom on taxation", does not agree with digital tax proposal as scope needs to be "broader than just digital" to minimize tax avoidance, according to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

Warren Buffett still believes in long-term success due to "American tailwind" in letter to shareholders, predicts continued high stock prices in 2019 [pdf]

Russia's black market equal to 20% of 2018 GDP, value up from RUB 18.9 to 20.7 trillion equivalent to USD 316 billion, 15 million Russians works off the books according to the Rosfinmonitoring state financial watchdog

Payless ShoeSource plans to close all 2,300 stores when filing for bankruptcy, large effects on Montgomery County where the company employs hundreds at a Brookville distribution center, a string of bankruptcies have already claimed thousands of US retailers this year

Airbus cancels A380 superjumbo program and announces final delivery in 2021, key customer Emirates Airlines opted for order of smaller A350 and A330neo aircraft after fleet review, raises speculation of the end of 4-engine commercial aircraft in favor of lighter 2-engine long-haul aircraft

US central bankers debate whether it should confine its controversial tool of bond buying to purely emergency situations or if it should turn to that tool more regularly

Tesla terminated 150 of 230 people on product delivery team in January, the company has repeatedly missed forecasts for sales of its low-priced Model 3, former workers question the true customer demand for the product in North America even before a large tax credit expired at year’s end

Spotify acquires podcast producer and network Gimlet Media for USD 230 million and startup Anchor, which makes it easier to record and distribute podcasts, expects to spend up to USD 500 million total on acquisitions this year in strategy to move into the content creation business

Video game giant Electronic Arts reports disappointing sales on Battlefield franchise, shares fall 18% after the company reported 1 million fewer unit sales than forecast, executives blamed the game's lack of a battle-royale mode and single-player focus in a competitive environment marked by free-to-play cooperative models

Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX loses access to USD 190 million of customer funds, founder Gerald Cotten died of Crohn's Disease in India in December 2018 and was the only team member with password access

World Gold Council reports 74% increase in YoY 2018 central bank gold purchases, 651.6 ton increase largest globally since 1971 and led by Russian "de-dollarization"

Report published by PlainSite claims Facebook has regularly been lying about company's user metrics, fake accounts could exceed 50% of its network resulting in customers’ advertisements not reaching real users

Union membership among American workers continues to shrink in all demographic groups, ongoing trend since the 1980s, total participation down to 10.5 percent, 6.4 percent in private-sector, education services, manufacturing and entertainment see reverse trend

EU fines Mastercard EUR 570 million for limiting competition by preventing retailers from looking for better card payment terms, amount reduced by 10 percent due to the company's cooperation

British Pound rises as parliament voted to reject Theresa May's Brexit deal, some investors see chances of a delay in Article 50, a second referendum or no Brexit at all, have all increased

University of Cambridge economic study shows gamblers predicted Brexit hour before financial markets, the results support the belief that "prediction markets" are better forecasters of future events than investor actions, suggests a valuable arbitrage opportunity exists between prediction market outcomes and financial markets

Elon Musk breaks ground on USD 5 billion "Gigafactory" near Shanghai, seeks to avoid tariffs on Chinese sales of Model 3 and Model Y vehicles

Iranian central bank renews plan to reduce currency denominations after 60% collapse in rial value, US sanctions and oil price fluctuations caused havoc in Iranian economy in 2018

Chinese central bank increases gold reserves 0.5% in 2018, total reserves now listed at 59.56 million ounces after 2-year purchasing hiatus

Russia considers doubling imports of Turkish tomatoes to 100,000 tons per year

Universal basic income suffers setbacks in 2018, programs in Finland and Ontario shuts down while experiment by tech incubator Y Combinator is delayed, high costs, potential to shrink the labor force and causing the poorest in society to lose out cited concerns

Apple begins assembling its top-end iPhones in India through the local unit of Taiwanese Foxconn in 2019, widening assembly beyond China is critical to Apple to mitigate the risks of the Sino-U.S. trade war, will boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship drive to make India a manufacturing hub

Federal Reserve Bank announces 0.25% increase in benchmark interest rate to 2.5%, the move represents a continuation of the rate increase trend begun in December 2015

British fintech start-up Revolut has secured a European banking licence, enables them to launch current account and consumer lending operation across the continent next year, company valued over USD 2 billion and claims to be signing up 8,000 customers daily

US-China tariff dispute creates soybean middleman opportunity in Argentina, one of the world's largest soybean exporter is selling to China while importing US soybeans for its massive crushing industry

Frankfurt HQ of Germany's largest bank raided in money laundering investigation, Deutsch Bank has been under suspicion since 2016 revelations in "Panama Papers" leak

The Euro needs a budget according to Mario Draghi, envisions a system similar to the US, where federal spending can continue unimpeded also during times of local state-budget cuts, emphasizes that the system should be designed to not encourage frivolous behavior among member states

Carlos Goshn investigation widens, loss of 15 million USD from private investments transferred to Nissan

Bitcoin hits 13-month price low at USD 5,173.23, ethereum and XRP also joined BTC in an ongoing fall in price

Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn arrested in Tokyo for financial misconduct, the Frenchman who helped turn around the ailing Japanese manufacturer in 1999 is alleged to have underreported his income

French government detains Ryanair 737-800 with list price of USD 90 million over USD 973,000 in disputed state aid repayments, the aircraft had 149 passengers on board and was due to fly to London when it was seized in Bordeaux

Robyn Denholm new Chairman of Tesla after Elon Musk was forced to resign in September, is currently CFO of Australian telecommunications operator Telstra

Kimberley-Clark's Kleenex changes name of most popular tissue brand after popular outrage claims sexism, "Mansize" tissues to be referred to as "Extra Large" after 60 year market run

United States takes top prize in World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index, score of 85.6% positions US as "the closest economy to the frontier, the ideal state", leads Singapore, Germany, Switzerland and Japan in top 5

Former head of US Commodity Futures Trading Commission calls for inclusion of cryptocurrency in existing regulatory frameworks, Gary Gensler states "has a real chance to be a catalyst for change in the world of finance"

Effects of 2009 financial crisis linger as apartment buyers in Adelaide told to expect losses, study shows that apartments purchased at market peak in 2009 sold at steep losses 10 years later

Polish central bank reports increased gold holdings of 4.4 tonnes in September according to IMF, highest gold holdings in balance sheets for last 35 years

Hungarian Central Bank increases physical gold holdings 1000%, gold reserves have been repatriated after 28.4 ton purchase increased reserves to levels previously seen 70 years ago

Popular web speculation about M2 money supply ratios of national GDP fuels fears of Chinese Yuan devaluation, the theory speculates that the real exchange rate between USD and RMB should be 1:19.77 rather than official 1:6.9

America's "first Amazon" Sears Holdings Corp files Chapter 11 for bankruptcy protection, plans to shutter 142 of 700 retail stores by end of year, the company once owned the world's tallest building and was purchased by hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert in 2005 for USD 11 billion

Sir Richard Branson halts USD 1 billion investment discussion talks with Saudi government, claims disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi changes ability to do business in the country

Denmark's largest bank facing widened investigation into money laundering after requests for information from US DOJ, Danske Bank's Estonia branch handled EUR 200 billion in transactions between 2007 and 2015, majority of 6,200 customers investigated now deemed suspicious

Fund manager David Einhorn claims behavior of Tesla CEO indicates imminent collapse, draws comparison to advance warning he gave on 2008 failure of Lehman Brothers

60-year-old bottle of Macallan Scotch breaks world record price after GBP 848,750 auction, the whisky was distilled in 1926 and bottled in 1986 and reportedly sold to a bidder from the Far East

General Electric replaces CEO John Flannery with former Danahers executive Larry Culp after less than 1 year, cites major profit warning and plan for USD 23 billion impairment charge to its core GE Power division

US, Mexico and Canada substantially preserve 1994 NAFTA trade deal in last-minute trade negotiations, US President Trump takes credit for convincing Canada to open its dairy market to US farmers, new agreement also restricts types of vehicle components that can be produced in areas with wage rates lower than USD 16 per hour

Dutch government settles for EUR 775 million with ING after money laundering charges, claims that bank did not conduct proper due diligence from 2010 to 2016 and allowed obvious criminal activity to take place

Saudi Crown Prince backs down from plans to list 5% of Saudi Aramco via IPO, the plan was part of the Vision 2030 policy scheme designed to diversify Saudi wealth out of the oil sector, the decision has raised doubts about Saudi leadership and commitment to an open economy

Australian government bans Chinese telecom firms Huawei and ZTE from participating in 5G infrastructure buildout, Australian, UK and US governments have ongoing concerns about the role Chinese intelligence plays in telecom firms

PepsiCo purchases Israel-based SodaStream for USD 3,2 billion, the company faces declining sales in legacy softdrink products due to the rise of health-conscious consumers, SodaStream markets itself as a way for home consumers to create their own fizzy health drinks

EU formally ends European Stability Mechanism support in Greece following EUR 96 billion loan package from Germany, top EU bureaucrats claim the program was a success and represents solidarity despite repayment deadlines being postponed, important Greek infrastructure was privatized during the crisis by German, Italian and Chinese groups

Elon Musk claims Tesla is working with Goldman Sachs and others on going private deal, the tech chief is in hot water after claiming the company was going private at USD 420 per share and "funding secured" on Twitter, the Tesla board states it was unaware of the decision as Saudi sovereign wealth fund emerges as potential secret suitor

Turkish lira down 17% in one day after Erdoğan's refusal to meet US demands, currency down 42% against USD since January, experts warn crisis could spread to banks and bond markets

Apple becomes first US company to reach USD 1 trillion market cap, PetroChina briefly hit same value in 2007 before oil prices dropped, Amazon, Alphabet and Microsoft not far behind with market caps over USD 800 billion

Huawei passes Apple to become world's second largest smartphone seller last quarter, increases sales by 40% to 54 million units sold, cheap phones in Asia Pacific region important part of success, Samsung still on top with over 70 million units sold despite losing 10% of sales

UBS not required to submit customer data to France in case where French authorites demanded five years data on thousands of bank accounts, after verdict in Swiss federal Administrative Court, more specific and well-founded suspicion required (German)

Martti 'Sirius' Malmi working with team of developers to launch cryptocurrency named ‘AXE’, worked alongside Satoshi Nakamoto and Gavin Andersen with early Bitcoin development and is said to have admin access to

EU fines Google EUR 4.3 billion for requiring android phone manufacturers to preinstall Chrome and the Google search app to give phones access to the Play Store

Global sand shortage results in black-market gangs stealing large amounts from rivers and beaches, 51.7 billion tons to be used for construction in 2019 – China has used more sand in recent years than US did throughout 20th century, India's market taken over by organized crime where the Sand Mafia employs 75,000 people to dive for sand

Citibank fined USD 100 million in 42 US States for manipulating benchmark interest rate Libor, third bank to settle with state attorneys after Barclays and Deutsche Bank with USD 420 million in total fines

Turkey invests EUR 3.2 billion in first indigenous car, facility to have 200,000 electric cars per year capacity and produce five models to be at least 5% cheaper than peers, prototype to be ready in 2019 and enter market in 2021

Verizon names 52-year-old Swede Hans Vestberg new CEO, Vestberg CTO in company for a year after being fired from Ericsson CEO position after six years in 2016

Venezuela central bank repays 172 million USD to Citibank and repatriates gold used as security, national gold reserves down 50% in four years

Chinese aluminium company Chinalco invests 1.3 billion USD in Peruvian copper mines, Peru president Martin Vizcara welcomes investment

World's largest hedge fund Bridgewater turns bearish, thinks 2019 will be dangerous year with end of stimulus and less room for Fed to maneuver as US government debt grows

US House of Representatives passes bill to loosen federal regulations on banking sector, changes Dodd-Frank law by raising threshold for closer Fed oversight from USD 50 billion to USD 250 billion in assets

Paypal buys Swedish startup iZettle for USD 2.2 billion

Japan's economy shrank by 0.6 percent on annualized basis during first quarter after eight straight quarters of economic expansion

Kellogg closes operations in Venezuela citing country's economic and social deterioration, Nicolás Maduro says company has been handed to workers and that it will continue to operate in hands of working class

US clothing retailer Gap apologises for selling T-shirt with map of China not comprising Tibet and Taiwan, will implement rigorous reviews to prevent repeat of mistake

Barclays CEO Jes Staley fined GBP 642,000 and has GBP 500,000 paycut imposed for trying to identify whistleblower who sent letters criticizing an employee of the bank