Business

JPMorgan is building a fintech campus in Silicon Valley

JPMorgan is building a fintech campus in Silicon Valley

NEW YORK (CNN Business) - JPMorgan Chase is building a campus in Silicon Valley as it redoubles its focus on tech --- and looks to compete more aggressively for top talent.The bank said Friday that ... Continue Reading
Patagonia CEO gets political, endorsing two Democratic Senate candidates

Patagonia CEO gets political, endorsing two Democratic Senate candidates

NEW YORK (CNN Business) - Patagonia is taking a political stand. The outdoor goods and apparel store threw its weight behind two Democratic candidates: Jacky Rosen, who is running for Senate in Nev ... Continue Reading
Tom Barrack, CEO and Trump friend, drops out of Saudi conference

Tom Barrack, CEO and Trump friend, drops out of Saudi conference

NEW YORK (CNN Business) - Tom Barrack, CEO of Colony Capital and a close friend of President Donald Trump, has dropped out of next week's Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia.

Barrack told CNN that his session at the summit was canceled because he was scheduled to speak with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who pulled out of the event on Thursday.

"As a consequence, I postponed my visit," said Barrack, who chaired the president's inaugural committee.

Barrack, a real estate investor, has known Trump for 40 years. He's previously helped raise money to support Trump's political ambitions and has publicly defended the president.

A wave of top executives withdrew from the high-profile investment conference this week amid growing controversy over dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance and apparent killing.

JPMorgan (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon, BlackRock (BLK) CEO Larry Fink and Blackstone (BX) CEO Stephen Schwarzman said earlier this week that they will not attend.

Mnuchin announced his decision shortly after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefed Trump on his visit earlier this week to Riyadh to discuss the Khashoggi case.

Pompeo urged patience with the Saudi investigation, telling reporters that he advised the President to give the Saudis "a few more days" --- but Mnuchin followed up shortly afterward with a tweet saying he would not go to Riyadh, reversing the position he's taken over the past week.

"Just met with @realDonaldTrump and @SecPompeo and we have decided, I will not be participating in the Future Investment Initiative summit in Saudi Arabia," Mnuchin tweeted Thursday.

Walmart's strategy to solve the Amazon puzzle is working

Walmart's strategy to solve the Amazon puzzle is working

NEW YORK (CNN Business) - Walmart is in the biggest fight of its 68-year history.To stave off Amazon and remain the world's biggest retailer, Walmart is stepping up its grocery game and buying tren ... Continue Reading
Elizabeth Warren wants Wells Fargo to fire its CEO. She wants the Fed's help

Elizabeth Warren wants Wells Fargo to fire its CEO. She wants the Fed's help

NEW YORK (CNN Business) - Senator Elizabeth Warren wants regulators to keep Wells Fargo in the penalty box until the bank replaces CEO Tim Sloan.In a letter to the Federal Reserve on Thursday, Warr ... Continue Reading
When should I sell my mutual funds?

When should I sell my mutual funds?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - When is the best time to get out of a mutual fund?After a recent stock market dip, Ian Bloom, a financial planner in North Carolina got a panicked call from a VIP client: his ... Continue Reading
These business A-listers are skipping Saudi Arabia's big conference

These business A-listers are skipping Saudi Arabia's big conference

(CNN Business) - Most of the big names who were due to attend Saudi Arabia's investment conference next week have bailed out following the disappearance and apparent killing of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Thursday he would not attend the conference. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde dropped out on Wednesday, closely followed by the heads of two of France's biggest banks.

Wall Street's biggest names withdrew earlier this week, as did some of Europe's top executives in finance.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, hasn't been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Turkish officials have told CNN he was killed inside the consulate. Saudi authorities have so far maintained that Khashoggi left the consulate the same day, but they have provided no evidence to support the claim.

The Saudi conference, known as "Davos in the desert," is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's plan to transform the oil-dependent economy.

These are the high-profile participants who have already pulled out:

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon

Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi

Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman

Blackrock CEO Larry Fink

MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish

HSBC CEO John Flint

Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam

BNP Paribas Chairman Jean Lemierre

Societe Generale CEO Frédéric Oudéa

Standard Chartered CEO William Winters

London Stock Exchange CEO David Schwimmer

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde

Glencore Chairman Tony Hayward

Thrive CEO Ariana Huffington

Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene

Sinovation Ventures CEO Kai-Fu Lee

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim

Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong

Economist Editor-in-Chief Zanny Minton Beddoes

New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin

UK trade minister Liam Fox

The chief executives of a handful of prominent Asian and European companies --- some of whom have benefited from hefty Saudi investments --- are still planning to attend, or are refusing to talk about their plans.

Here's a list of big names who are still planning to participate:

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser

EDF CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy

Thales CEO Patrice Caine

These executives have not yet commented on whether they still plan to attend:

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son

Accor CEO Sébastien Bazin

Why Eddie Lampert stuck with Sears

Why Eddie Lampert stuck with Sears

NEW YORK (CNN Business) - Eddie Lampert was heralded as a financial genius when he bought Sears in 2005 through a merger with Kmart. BusinessWeek ran his picture on the cover with the headline "The Ne ... Continue Reading
Treasury again skips labeling China a currency manipulator

Treasury again skips labeling China a currency manipulator

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Trump administration on Wednesday decided not to label China a currency manipulator despite the recent drop in the value of the yuan, once again deferring on a core 2016 campaign promise by President Donald Trump.

In the past six months, the yuan has dropped more than 9% against the US dollar. And there are growing signs that the country's currency may fall further to 7 yuan to the greenback --- a threshold not crossed since before the 2008 financial crisis.

The yuan weakened following the US announcement. In morning trading Thursday in Asia, it hit its lowest level against the dollar since January 2017.

The yuan's sharp depreciation comes amid a trade war between Washington and Beijing and accusations from Trump that China is deliberately devaluing its currency --- claims Beijing has repeatedly rejected.

Yet the Treasury Department in its twice-a-year report on foreign exchange found "limited" signs the People's Bank of China was actively devaluing its currency.

China's lack of transparency over its currency and recent weakness in the yuan are of "particular concern" for the United States, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement, noting the two issues "pose major challenges to achieving fairer and more balanced trade."

Mnuchin said the US government would continue to monitor China's currency and continue ongoing discussions with the Asian nation's central bank.

In its report, the US government noted that the recent depreciation of the yuan would "likely exacerbate" China's already large bilateral trade surplus of $390 billion with the United States over the past four quarters through June 2018.

"It is in China's interest to implement measures that would reduce the bilateral trade imbalance," the report warned.

The Trump administration has made currency issues part of its on-off trade negotiations with Beijing.

"We want to make sure that we don't have gains on trade issues only to be offset on currency issues," Mnuchin said in an interview with CNN on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund's annual meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

The currency has been falling partly because of fears that the trade war will hurt the Chinese economy. A weaker yuan helps to offset the impact of tariffs by making Chinese exports cheaper.

The Trump administration has slapped new tariffs on Chinese goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars. It is seeking to gain an edge by upping pressure on China as it struggles with slowing economic growth and sharp declines in the country's stock markets.

China has retaliated with tariffs on a much smaller range of American products because it buys far less from the United States than it sells to it.

The United States also put five other trading partners on watch: Japan, Korea, Germany, Switzerland and India.

Presidents have often used the semiannual currency report as a diplomatic tool while engaging with countries that are seen as having exchange rate policies that harm US jobs and economic growth.

The United States hasn't labeled a country a currency manipulator since it tagged China in the early 1990s, under President Bill Clinton. Designating a country doesn't immediately trigger penalties, but is seen by other governments as a provocation.

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CEO of Corona maker Constellation Brands steps down

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NEW YORK (CNN Business) - Rob Sands, the CEO of Corona maker Constellation Brands, is stepping down. He will hand over the reins to the company's president and chief operating officer, Bill Newlands, ... Continue Reading
Fed appears committed to gradual tightening despite Trump criticism

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How high will oil go? Iran is the biggest X factor

How high will oil go? Iran is the biggest X factor

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Trump administration moves to stop subsidizing Chinese mail

Trump administration moves to stop subsidizing Chinese mail

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Elizabeth Warren wants Toys 'R' Us owners to take care of its 30,000 laid off workers

Elizabeth Warren wants Toys 'R' Us owners to take care of its 30,000 laid off workers

NEW YORK (CNN Business) - Senator Elizabeth Warren is urging the companies responsible for the demise of Toys "R" Us to take care of its former employees. Warren, who has said she's considering a r ... Continue Reading
The head of the IMF is skipping Saudi Arabia's investment conference

The head of the IMF is skipping Saudi Arabia's investment conference

HONG KONG (CNN Business) - Saudi Arabia's big investment conference is losing more high-profile guests as the international crisis over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi intensifies.

The latest to drop out are the managing director of the International Monetary Fund and the heads of two major French banks.

The Saudi event, known as "Davos in the desert," has suffered an exodus of global business leaders, including the CEOs of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Uber, in the past week as questions have mounted over the fate of Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Saudi government.

The IMF said in a statement late Tuesday that Managing Director Christine Lagarde's trip to the Middle East for the conference next week "is being deferred."

It's an abrupt change of position from Lagarde, who said as recently as Saturday that she still planned to speak at the event in Riyadh despite being horrified by reports about Khashoggi's disappearance.

BNP Paribas (BNPQY), France's largest bank by assets, said Wednesday that Chairman Jean Lemierre will no longer attend. Société Générale (SCGLY) CEO Fréderic Oudéa also dropped out Wednesday.

They were joined later on Wednesday by Glencore Chairman Tony Hayward. All four had previously been listed as speakers by conference organizers.

Khashoggi, a former Saudi royal court insider who contributed to The Washington Post, hasn't been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Turkish officials have told CNN he was killed inside the consulate. Saudi authorities have so far maintained that Khashoggi left the consulate the same day he went in, but they have provided no evidence to support the claim.

Lagarde said Saturday that her job is "to conduct the business of the IMF in all corners of the world, and with many governments." But she added that she would "be very attentive to the information that is coming out" in the next few days.

The IMF didn't immediately respond late Tuesday to a request for further comment about her change of plans.

The Saudi conference, officially titled the Future Investment Initiative, is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's ambitious plan to revamp the country's oil-dependent economy.

Earlier Tuesday, the CEOs of top European banks HSBC (HSBC), Credit Suisse (CS) and Standard Chartered (SCBFF) all pulled out of the event, as did the head of the London Stock Exchange (LNSTY).

Most of the event's international media partners, including CNN, withdrew their support last week.

Will Mnuchin and others still go?

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is among the high-profile figures who have said they still expect to attend the Saudi conference.

But President Donald Trump on Monday opened the door to the possibility that Mnuchin may withdraw, telling reporters that "we haven't made a decision about going yet." He said a final call would be made by Friday.

On Wednesday, foreign ministers from the G7 nations, including the United States, issued a statement saying they "remain very troubled by the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi."

"Those bearing responsibility for the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi must be held to account," the statement said. "We encourage Turkish-Saudi collaboration and look forward to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia conducting a thorough, credible, transparent, and prompt investigation."

Business leaders who have said they still plan to go to the Saudi conference include Joe Kaeser, the CEO of German engineering conglomerate Siemens (SIEGY), and Jean-Bernard Lévy, the CEO of French energy company EDF.

Japanese tech group SoftBank (SFTBF) has failed to respond to repeated requests for comment about the attendance of several of its senior executives, including CEO and founder, Masayoshi Son. The company has become one of the world's most powerful tech investors, thanks to Saudi money.

SoftBank Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure said Tuesday at a tech event in California that the company is "anxiously looking at what is happening" in relation to Khashoggi's disappearance, according to Reuters.

"We, like most parties in the world, are watching events unfold," said Claure, who is one of the SoftBank executives scheduled to speak at the Saudi conference. "We are just monitoring."

Welch's says grape juice is for men now

Welch's says grape juice is for men now

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Business is boycotting Saudi Arabia's big conference. Here's who's still going

Business is boycotting Saudi Arabia's big conference. Here's who's still going

(CNN Business) - Some of the biggest names in global business and finance have canceled plans to attend an investment conference in Saudi Arabia next week because of the unexplained disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Washington Post columnist hasn't been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Sources told CNN on Monday that Saudi Arabia is preparing to acknowledge that Khashoggi was killed during an interrogation that went wrong. Saudi authorities have so far maintained that Khashoggi left the consulate the same day of his visit, but have provided no evidence to support the claim.

The Saudi conference, known as "Davos in the desert," is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's plan to transform the oil-dependent economy.

JP Morgan (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon and the heads of America's top investment firms --- Blackrock (BLK) and Blackstone --- are among the leading figures who have decided to stay away. Top executives at Ford (F) and MasterCard (MA) have also pulled out, and Google (GOOGL) said Tuesday that the head of its cloud computing business wouldn't participate in the event either.

Three of Europe's top bankers --- the CEOs of HSBC (HSBC), Credit Suisse (CS) and Standard Chartered (SCBFF) --- pulled out on Tuesday. The heads of the International Monetary Fund and the London Stock Exchange (LNSTY) also decided not to go. They were joined Wednesday by the chairman of BNP Paribas (BNPQY), France's biggest bank.

The chief executives of several prominent Asian and European companies --- some of whom have benefited from hefty Saudi investments --- are still planning to attend, or are refusing to talk about their plans.

Here's a list of big names who are still planning to participate:

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser

EDF CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy

Thales CEO Patrice Caine

These executives have not yet commented on whether they still plan to attend:

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son

Glencore Chairman Tony Hayward

Societe Generale CEO Fréderic Oudéa

Accor CEO Sébastien Bazin

These are the high-profile participants who have pulled out of the Saudi conference:

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon

Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi

Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman

Blackrock CEO Larry Fink

MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish

HSBC CEO John Flint

Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam

BNP Paribas Chairman Jean Lemierre

Standard Chartered CEO William Winters

London Stock Exchange CEO David Schwimmer

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde

Thrive CEO Ariana Huffington

Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene

Sinovation Ventures CEO Kai-Fu Lee

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim

Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong

Economist Editor-in-Chief Zanny Minton Beddoes

New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin

Sears hires a bankruptcy expert

Sears hires a bankruptcy expert

NEW YORK (CNN Business) - If Sears wants to avoid bankruptcy, it'll practically have to pull a rabbit out of a hat. The company thinks it found a director who can help do the trick.Sears (SHLD) ann ... Continue Reading
China is buying fewer cars. GM and VW are feeling the pain

China is buying fewer cars. GM and VW are feeling the pain

HONG KONG (CNN Business) - Sales in the world's biggest auto market are falling, causing big problems for top global brands that have come to rely on it for much of their growth.China has been a so ... Continue Reading

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