6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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One of America’s largest hedge funds has laid off staff. According to Reuters:

Billionaire hedge fund manager William Ackman, whose investment assets have shrunk by more than half in the last three years, has made a second round of staff cuts and laid off three investor relations team members, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The prominent manager cut one investor relations executive and two investor services executives at his New York-based Pershing Square Capital Management hedge fund last week, the sources said. These layoffs come after Ackman cut his staff by 10 people in January, shrinking the firm to 46 employees from 56.

More restructuring made General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) a much smaller company. According to The Wall Street Journal:

General Electric Co. unveiled plans Tuesday to shed two big business units, the culmination of a drastic effort to revitalize what once was one of the U.S.’s largest and most-valuable companies.

Chief Executive John Flannery, whose first year on the job saw a sharp decline in GE’s stock price, said the company would spin off its health-care division and sell its ownership stake in oil-services company Baker Hughes. The two businesses, coupled with its railroad locomotive unit that is being sold, accounted for a third of GE’s $122 billion in revenue last year.

An investigation showed Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) had another problem with one of its cars. According to The Wall Street Journal:

The battery in a Tesla Inc. Model S car involved in a fatal crash in Florida last month reignited twice after firefighters extinguished the initial blaze that consumed the vehicle on impact, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

The report, released Tuesday, is part of the federal agency’s examination of the fire in the electric car’s lithium-ion battery and the emergency response to it. According to the report, the Tesla vehicle was traveling at 116 miles an hour seconds before it lost control near a sharp turn where the speed limit was 30 mph and the advised speed was speed was 25 mph. Roadside warning signs include a flashing beacon.

Cryptocurrencies have a malware problem. According to security firm McAfee:

McAfee, the device-to-cloud cybersecurity company, today released its McAfee Labs Threats Report: June 2018, examining the growth and trends of new malware, ransomware, and other threats in Q1 2018. McAfee Labs saw on average five new threat samples every second, including growth in cryptojacking and other cryptocurrency mining malware, and notable campaigns demonstrating a deliberate drive to technically improve upon the most sophisticate established attacks of 2017.

A state-supported Chinese paper suggested how local business handle tariffs. The Global Times’ editors wrote:

Trade frictions between China and the US continue to escalate. Now, it’s time for China to take further self-defense measures including offering fair subsidies for the companies and industries that may suffer great losses due to unfair actions taken by the US.

The ongoing trade tensions are now spilling over into the technology sector as media reports said US President Donald Trump plans to bar Chinese companies from investing in key technologies in the US. Although Peter Navarro, one of Trump’s top trade advisors, was quoted by US business channel CNBC as saying that there “were no plans to impose investment restrictions,” we cannot rule out the possibility that Chinese technology companies may still be treated unfairly and thus become the victims of Trump’s trade war.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has killed its drone program. According to CNNMoney:

Facebook has abandoned an ambitious plan to design and produce its own drones.

The Aquila program was part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s goal to “connect the whole world.” The plan was to build drones that would fly above remote areas and beam internet down to people below. Facebook successfully built a drone in 2015, and conducted full-scale test flights — with mixed results.