6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) chief has sued the Trump administration over who would run the agency. According to The Wall Street Journal:

An Obama-era official at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued the Trump administration on Sunday night to block budget director Mick Mulvaney from taking control of the agency.

Leandra English, a career staffer appointed Friday to lead the CFPB by its former director Richard Cordray, filed the lawsuit in federal court the night before the bureau was set to reopen with dueling temporary leaders vying to take it over. In doing so, she touched off a legal fight that will trigger court interpretations on how different statutes regarding succession apply to the unusual struggle over control of a federal agency.

Time Inc. (NYSE: TIME) was sold to Meredith Corp. (NYSE: MDP) for $1.85 billion, or $18.50 a share. The deal had the backing of the Koch brothers, who agreed to invest $600 million in the combined company. The deal effectively ends the independence of a company founded it 1921.

“Coco” led the box office last weekend. According to Box Office Mojo. It brought in $71 million:

With a strong, five-day debut Disney and Pixar’s Coco joined the ranks of the many successful films Disney has launched over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Receiving high marks from critics and audiences alike, the film finished atop the weekend box office and is looking at solid returns throughout the holiday season

According to Reuters, the holiday battle between Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has become more aggressive:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc is within striking distance of matching Amazon.com Inc’s online prices for the first time, a key milestone in its effort to regain the “low price leader” title.

Wal-Mart has aggressively invested in making its prices more competitive against brick-and-mortar rivals since the start of the year.

Now, the shrinking gap is also becoming noticeable across a broad range of product categories online, according to a price study conducted for Reuters, as well as interviews with pricing experts, retail consultants, vendors and company sources.

The price of bitcoin surged toward $10,000. According to Bloomberg:

Bitcoin is showing no signs of slowing down, blowing past $9,000 less than a week after topping $8,000 and now quickly closing in on five big figures.

The price of the largest cryptocurrency by market value is soaring as it gains greater mainstream attention despite warnings of a bubble in what not everyone agrees is an asset. From Wall Street executives to venture capitalists, observers have been weighing in, with some more skeptical than others. Bitcoin has risen more than 40 percent over the past two weeks. By comparison, the S&P 500 Index has a total return of about 18 percent for 2017.

Debt levels in China continue to rise. According to Reuters:

For years China’s top officials have touted their ambitious policy priority to wean the world’s second-largest economy off high levels of debt, but there is not much to show for it.

On the contrary, a Reuters analysis shows the debt pile at Chinese firms has been climbing in that time, with levels at the end of September growing at the fastest pace in four years.

The build-up has continued even as policymakers roll out a series of measures to end the explosive growth of debt, including persuading state firms and local governments to prune borrowing and tighter rules and monitoring of banks’ short-term borrowing.