5 Most Important Things in Business Today

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China’s ZTE set a new deal to get back in business with U.S. cooperation. According to Reuters:

The chairman of ZTE Corp apologized to staff and customers on Friday after the Chinese technology firm agreed to pay a $1 billion fine to the United States to end a ban that has crippled key businesses, including smartphones.

The ban, which traces back to a breach of the U.S. embargo on trade with Iran, had prevented China’s second largest telecoms equipment maker by revenue from buying the U.S. components it relies on to make phones and other devices.

The International Monetary Fund will give Argentina $50 billion in aid. According to The Wall Street Journal:

The International Monetary Fund and Argentina reached an agreement for a $50 billion credit line to stem a drop in the value of the Argentine peso and shore up the government of President Mauricio Macri, as he accelerates plans to reduce fiscal deficits.

Mr. Macri sought the IMF’s help four weeks ago, after the peso’s slide threatened Argentina’s ability to pay its debt, much of which was denominated in U.S. dollars. The peso is down more than 25% this year against the dollar.


McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) will be hit by a major round of layoffs. According to The Wall Street Journal:

McDonald’s Corp., battered by price wars and struggling to revive its U.S. burger business, said it will cut layers of managers as part of a half-billion-dollar plan to shrink administrative expenses by the end of next year.

The latest reorganization comes as the fast-food chain has been working to turn around its crucial U.S. division for more than three years.

The fast-food market has become increasingly competitive as rivals have come out with aggressive deals to attract customers. McDonald’s has been losing market share to other chains and has lost the loyalty of some of its most cost-conscious guests, according to analysts.

Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google won’t help the military with artificial intelligence. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Google won’t allow its artificial-intelligence products to be used in military weapons, the company said Thursday, as it tries to balance its “Don’t Be Evil” mantra with the wide-ranging applications of its technology.

In a new 8,000-word set of ethical principles and guidelines, Google outlined how it plans to manage—and in some cases limit—the application of artificial intelligence, a powerful and emerging set of technologies that Google views as key to its growth

Monsanto and its name are gone. According to CNBC:

German conglomerate Bayer on Thursday closed its $63 billion merger with Monsanto after getting the required nod from U.S. and EU regulators.

The closing sets the stage for the 117-year-old agribusiness brand name “Monsanto” to be dropped by Bayer. Monsanto’s efforts to promote genetically modified crops have been the subject of much controversy from anti-GMO activists, and the U.S. company has spent millions of dollars over the years on brand and corporate ad campaigns to improve its overall image.