6 Most Important Things in Business Today
China says it did not make a huge trade offer mentioned in the press. According to Reuters:
China denied on Friday that it had offered a package to slash the U.S. trade deficit by up to $200 billion, hours after it dropped an anti-dumping probe into U.S. sorghum imports in a conciliatory gesture as top officials meet in Washington.
U.S. officials had said in Washington on Thursday that China was proposing trade concessions and increased purchases of American goods aimed at cutting the U.S. trade deficit with China by up to $200 billion a year.
“This rumor is not true. This I can confirm to you,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular news briefing
Cambridge Analytica, which was part of the Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) data use scandal, has gone bankrupt. According to Reuters:
Cambridge Analytica, the firm at the center of this year’s Facebook privacy row, filed for voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy in a New York court late on Thursday.
Cambridge Analytica LLC listed assets in the range of $100,001 to $500,000 and liabilities in the range of $1 million to $10 million.
The fight between CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) and the controlling owner Redstone family has escalated. According to The Wall Street Journal:
CBS Corp. and its controlling shareholder National Amusements Inc. are so entrenched in a power struggle that they can’t even agree on the outcome of a board vote.
On Thursday, CBS said its board voted to strip National Amusements President Shari Redstone and her family of their voting control over the media company.
CBS said the 11 of the 14 board members not affiliated with National Amusements supported the proposal.
But that tally fell short of the threshold the Redstones believe is required for approval after they moved to amend the company’s rules on Wednesday.
Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) is making a move into online shopping. According to The Wall Street Journal:
Kroger Co. has struck a deal with a British grocer known for its use of warehouse robots, as the biggest U.S. grocery chain aims to supercharge its online delivery business in the face of competition from Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc.
Kroger has agreed to raise its stake in Ocado Group PLC to more than 6%, and to license technology from the British company to run automated warehouses and process online orders. The companies said they will identify locations for three new warehouses this year and a total of 20 warehouses in three years.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) was hit by another scandal. According to The Wall Street Journal:
Some employees in a Wells Fargo & Co. unit that handles business banking improperly altered information on documents related to corporate customers, according to people familiar with the matter.
The behavior again raises questions about Wells Fargo’s risk-management practices and controls. The bank has been sanctioned in recent months by federal regulators for problems in these areas and as a result can’t grow its balance sheet.
Asia has more billionaires than North America. According to CNBC:
Asia is now home to more billionaires than North America, according to the latest study from ultra high net worth research firm Wealth-X.
The region’s billionaire population shot up by almost a third last year (29.2 percent) to 784 individuals, Wealth-X’s Billionaire Census 2018 found. North America, meanwhile, experienced more modest gains of 11.2 percent, taking the number of billionaires who reside there to 727.
The uptick marks the first time Asia’s billionaire population has exceeded that of North America.