Last 50 business news - ziare.eclub.ro

Publicaţii pe locaţii

Centrale (48)
Diaspora (16)
Republica Moldova (8)
Bucureşti (74)
Alba (6)
Arad (8)
Argeş (13)
Bacău (4)
Bihor (8)
Bistriţa-Năsăud (7)
Botoşani (6)
Braşov (8)
Brăila (5)
Buzău (3)
Caraş-Severin (6)
Călăraşi (6)
Cluj (24)
Constanţa (16)
Covasna (2)
Dâmboviţa (9)
Dolj (8)
Galaţi (5)
Giurgiu (2)
Gorj (9)
Harghita (1)
Hunedoara (5)
Ialomiţa (2)
Iaşi (12)
Maramureş (8)
Mehedinţi (5)
Mureş (11)
Neamţ (4)
Olt (3)
Prahova (11)
Satu-Mare (4)
Sălaj (6)
Sibiu (10)
Suceava (7)
Teleorman (2)
Timiş (17)
Tulcea (3)
Vaslui (5)
Vâlcea (11)
Vrancea (6)

tricouri funny
NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks rose for the fourth day in a row Tuesday as they continued to recover the ground they lost last week. Major indexes approached record highs again....


DEARBORN, Michigan (AP) -- Ford's new CEO, Jim Hackett, revealed a little about his plans - and a lot about himself - when he talked to media after his appointment....


(Reuters) - Wall Street ended higher on Tuesday after the release of President Donald Trump's budget plan but gains were tempered by declines in consumer discretionary stocks amid weakness in auto-parts companies.


(Reuters) - Corporations are cheering a U.S. Supreme Court decision limiting where they can be sued for patent infringement, but some intellectual property lawyers say loopholes in the ruling likely mean lawsuits will continue to be filed in plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions.


VIENNA (Reuters) - OPEC is likely to extend production cuts for another nine months, ministers and delegates said on Tuesday as the oil producer group meets this week to debate how to tackle a global glut of crude.


Mooted deal would catapult Swiss trader into top tier of global grain merchants


bears sleeping

Stocks were little changed in trading on Tuesday after the White House rolled out their massive budget for the federal government.

All three major US stock indexes ticked up, but not by much.

We've got all the headlines, but first, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 20,939.11 +44.28, (+0.21%)
  • S&P 500: 2,398.26
    , +14.26, (+0.18%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,136.06, +2.41, (+0.04%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.285%, +0.031
  • WTI crude oil: $51.48, +0.35, +0.68%
  1. The White House released the fiscal year 2018 budget proposal. The proposal would slash funding for a wide range of domestic projects including farm subsidies, Medicaid, education programs, the Environmental Protection Agency, and more. Defense spending would increase if the budget were adopted.
  2. The budget proposal relied on very rosy ideas about US economic growth. The budget said that GDP growth would hit 3% in 2019 and maintain that level every year through 2027. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said that everything in the budget is "keyed to getting us back to 3%" growth. Economists do not think this level of growth is likely to be achieved.
  3. The owner of Corona reportedly offered to buy the owner of Jack Daniels but was turned down. Constellation Brands has approached Brown-Forman for an acquisition, according to a report by CNBC's Leslie Picker. Brown-Forman was not interested in selling itself, the report on Tuesday said.
  4. One of the world's largest commodities traders is reportedly in talks to make a big entry into America's agriculture market. Shares of the agriculture-trading giant Bunge jumped by as much as 16% on Tuesday following a report that the mining giant Glencore approached the company for a takeover.
  5. The US Labor Department will implement its fiduciary rule on June 9 with no further delaysThe department's rule, which requires brokers offering retirement investment advice to act in the best interests of their customers, has been heavily criticized by Republicans and Wall Street amid concerns it may make investment advice too costly. Consumer-protection groups have long advocated the rule, however.
  6. New-home sales plunge by a lot more than expected. Sales slumped by 11.4% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 569,000, the Census Bureau said in its monthly report. Economists had forecast that sales of new single-family homes fell by 1.8% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000, according to Bloomberg.

Additionally:

Big stock market shocks aren't scaring investors anymore

2,000 Wall Streeters just had a meeting in Las Vegas and they all kept making the same awkward noise

Trump's budget is facing massive blowback in Congress — and Republicans are some of the loudest complainers

Google's Waymo could eventually be a $70 billion company

Traders can make a killing chasing the 'smart money'

SEE ALSO: GOLDMAN SACHS: These are the 14 VIP stocks that matter most to hedge funds

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: China built a $350 million bridge that ends in a dirt field in North Korea



tim cook

Apple has filed an application to test next-generation wireless technologies, often called "5G," that could potentially radically increase the speed and bandwidth of a cellular connection.

An application for an experimental license to use new wireless technology, called millimeter wave, was signed on Tuesday by Apple and made public by the FCC. 

"Apple Inc. seeks to assess cellular link performance in direct path and multipath environments between base station transmitters and receivers using this spectrum," Apple wrote in its application.

"These assessments will provide engineering data relevant to the operation of devices on wireless carriers’ future 5G networks," it continued. 

Apple will test these technologies at two locations, according to the application: One in Milpitas, California, on Yosemite Drive, and one on Mariana Avenue that was originally Apple's first headquarters, and is adjacent to its current headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop. 

From the application: 

Apple intends to transmit from two fixed points located at Apple-controlled facilities in Cupertino and Milpitas, CA. These transmissions will be consistent with the parameters and equipment identified in Apple’s accompanying Form 442, and will include the use of a horn antenna with a half-power beamwidth of 20 degrees in the E-plane and H-plane and a downtilt between 20 - 25 degrees. Apple anticipates that it will conduct its experiments for a period not to exceed 12 months.

The Apple application specifically mentions the 28 and 39 GHz bands, which the FCC approved for commercial use for 5G applications last year. The experiments will use technology manufactured by Rohde & Schwarz, A.H. Systems, and Analog Devices.

The application lists Mark Neumann, a regulatory engineer, as its primary contact. 

One of the biggest promises of "5G" or millimeter wave technology is that when it is ubiquitous, latency will go down, allowing devices to access more bandwidth more reliably than is currently possible with cellular networks. 

However, it's unclear what Apple's intention for these two testing sites is, and Apple has not been publicly connected to 5G research or experimentation before. 

One of the bands that Apple intends to test, 28GHz, is allocated for earth-to-space transmissions, according to part of the application. Bloomberg reported last month that Apple formed a new hardware team filled with people who have experience with spacecraft and satellite design.  

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 16 keyboard shortcuts only Mac power users know about



polish lancers

The Polish Embassy in the US gave Jim Cramer a history lesson on Tuesday after the CNBC host compared the department store Macy's to the Polish Army in WWII.

In a tweeted statement, the Embassy quotes Cramer as drawing the following comparison: "Macy's is like the Polish Army in WWII — it tried to field cavalry against German tanks and it did not end well."

"This statement was unnecessary, inaccurate, and insensitive," the Embassy said, adding that historical facts do not support Cramer's comparison.

"[N]ot once in 1939 did the Polish Army deploy cavalry against German tanks. This is pure Nazi and Communist propaganda that continues to weave its way into Western media reports to this day," the statement continued.

"Here are the facts: in 1939 there were a number of recorded Polish cavalry charges against the invading Nazi German forces. These charges were directed against infantry, artillery, supplies, and at times as a means of breaking out of encirclement, but never against tanks."

The Polish army did maintain cavalry squadrons in 1939. However, the story that Polish cavalry charged at tanks was a myth spread by propagandists during the war. The story possibly originated from a skirmish at the Pomeranian village Krojanty on September 1, 1939, the first day of the German invasion, according to The Guardian's Julian Borger. As he explained:

"Polish lancers, whose units had still not been motorized, did indeed charge a Wehrmacht infantry battalion but were forced to retreat under heavy machine gun fire. By the time German and Italian war correspondents got there, some tanks had arrived and they joined the dots themselves."

This myth was used by Nazi and Soviet propaganda to portray Polish officers as "absurdly careless about the lives of their troops," Borger added. It also helped "fuel the myth of the noble-yet-backward Polish cavalry," according to The Atlantic.

The full statement from the embassy is below:

SEE ALSO: The rise, fall, and comeback of the Chinese economy over the past 800 years

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 15 things you didn't know your iPhone headphones could do



WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump wants lawmakers to cut $3.6 trillion in government spending over the next decade, taking aim in an austere budget unveiled on Tuesday at healthcare and food assistance programs for the poor while boosting the military.


SINGAPORE/VIENNA (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's proposal to sell half of the U.S. strategic oil reserve highlights a decline in the biggest oil user's reliance on imports - and a weaning off OPEC crude - as its domestic production soars.


jack danielsConstellation Brands has approached Brown-Forman for an acquisition, according to a report by CNBC's Leslie Picker

Brown-Forman was not interested in selling itself, the report on Tuesday said. The Brown family, which has passed down the company since its founding in 1870, controls more than two-thirds of the voting shares and previously indicated that it has no plans to sell.

Brown-Forman has a market cap of about $22.4 billion. Its shares fell by as much as 5% in the final hour of trading, while Constellation Brands dipped 1%. 

In its fiscal third quarter ended January 31, Brown-Forman reported a 4% drop in net income to $182 million from the prior year. The company worked through "a continued challenging global backdrop for consumer staples," it said, and lowered its full-year outlook. 

Screen Shot 2017 05 23 at 3.24.05 PM

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's what popular dog breeds looked like before and after 100 years of breeding



bellagio hotel las vegas dark

One distinct noise dominated the biggest Wall Street conference of 2017. It wasn't the "Wolf of Wall Street" types screaming at the craps table, or the plink-plink-plink of slot machines as dad-bros clinked scotch-filled glasses over market talk.

The noise was nervous laughter, and for what is supposed to be the biggest Wall Street party of the year, it was incredibly weird.

We're talking specifically about the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference, or SALT, an annual hedge fund meeting (and party) for the 1%.

If you've never been to a dayslong Wall Street conference in Las Vegas, let me explain to you what it's like. You, the attendee, sit in dark rooms while the sun is shining. You wear dark suits inside while all the happy civilians are wearing bathing suits and jumping in pools outside. While you are listening to lecture after lecture about credit conditions and opportunities in the stock market, the rest of the world is making slot machines ring and drinking off their hangovers.

This experience is best when the mood is light — when the market is strong and tailwinds are pushing you forward. In years like that, there's a seamless transition from a world leader's one-on-one interview to a bunch of hedge fund dad-bros crushing Champagne by the pool.

This year at SALT, though, the mood was not light.

It's true that the US market is near record highs, but there's a feeling across the world that the wind is turning. The millionaires and billionaires at SALT have been feeling it for weeks. And that's why the halls and auditoriums of the Bellagio were filled with one distinct sound.

Nervous laughter. 

Even the Masters of the Universe, the men at the highest heights of this country, are starting to worry about what it's like to fall. President Donald Trump, a man they thought they could level with, is starting to show that his critics were right to worry about his erratic behavior and inexperience. No one knows when a market slide will happen, or if it will happen at all.

They've been wrong before, and they hope they're wrong now.

A master of none

No one could get the nervous laughter going at SALT better than the chairman of the conference, Anthony Scaramucci. He has long been known on Wall Street as a man who sees opportunity and takes it, even if it means biting off more than he can chew.

And his opening remarks were about something like that. Last May, right before last year's conference, Scaramucci pledged his loyalty to Donald Trump and joined the President's campaign. Unfortunately for him, the position he thought he would receive in the White House has not materialized.

Instead of hiding from this, he dove into it head-on and explained his current position as he addressed a dark crowd of worried money men.

“If (Trump) wants me to serve, I’m ready to serve. If he doesn’t want me to serve that’s fine,” Scaramucci said. “I have no bitterness about it. It’s politics,” he said,

He also acknowledged that not a lot of the people in the room were Trump fans. At this time last year, Scaramucci was in Trump conversion mode, this year he was in Trump conciliation mode. 

anthony scaramucci

As part of his attempt to soften the crowd, Scaramucci told the story of what he found on the campaign trail with Trump. At a campaign stop in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the millionaire met hundredaires (at best). People holding down multiple jobs just to survive. He shook their hands and heard their stories. He related it to his own working-class upbringing as an Italian kid on Long Island. He found alongside the tragedy of America's wealth gap a feeling of connection to ordinary people.

"I spent 28 years of my life trying to join the global elite," he said with a hint of regret. "But it took a billionaire who lives on Fifth Avenue in a tower next to Tiffany's jewelry store to show me what I missed."

Nervous laughter.

The Chorus

Just after Scaramucci spoke on Wednesday, Ben Bernanke, the former chair of the Federal Reserve and formerly one of the most powerful men in the world, shared his thoughts. He said that Trump's lack of leadership was a "reasonable concern."

"I did not anticipate how these various issues, Russia and so on, would create uncertainty," he said.

Bernanke also said that what Wall Street called the "Trump trade" was "overdone."

As you know, after Trump was elected the market rallied sky-high — like a rocket off to Mars to meet Jesus.

The standard explanation for this glorious move was that Wall Street expected tax cuts for corporations and the rich. It expected infrastructure spending and a Congress that would ignore deficit reduction. It expected the rollback of regulations on our banking system, on our energy companies, of Obama-era measures meant to protect land and sea and sky. 

Bernanke gently pointed out, as one would tell a child there is no tooth fairy, that there is no Trump trade. The tax cuts, infrastructure spending, and deregulation are not coming. Bernanke told Wall Street: You will not have what you were dreaming of. Some people are not who they say they are.

This is where we are now. The money guys in the room have realized that Trump can and will do nothing for anyone other than himself, with the long-hoped for economic policies vanishing in the face of scandal — of Russian intrigue, of accusations of corruption and mendacity.

And so Trump has become another major stressor for an industry that's been worried about clients demanding lower fees and higher returns since 2015. At SALT the mood was darker and attendance was lower than in years past. Wall Street, just like the market, is starting to crack ever so slightly in the face of uncertainty.

That slow realization is what the nervous laughter is all about. 

Pointing out that things can get worse still, Erik Schatzker, the moderator of Bernanke's talk, asked him simply, "what if loyalty becomes the number one requirement for Fed Chairman?" 

Nervous laughter.

If the Fed Chair has no credibility, people won't believe in the markets, Bernanke responded gravely.

What, then, is there to believe in? This is all coming at a time when the industry has more than enough to worry about. Returns have been weak for years, fees are going lower and hedge funds are blowing up. Uncertainty in Washington is the last thing anyone needs.

Ben Bernanke

Louder and louder

Billionaire investor Jeff Gundlach of DoubleLine Capital, the man known as Wall Street's "bond god," spoke at the conference from a studio in Los Angeles, appearing as a hologram during lunch time. A year before, he predicted that Trump would win the election, but he didn't seem thrilled about it either then or now.

"Trump says inconsistent things from time to time, you may have noticed," he said.

Nervous laughter.

On the other side of the political spectrum, billionaire Chicago-based real estate investor Sam Zell defended Trump at the conference. 

"All of this is excessive," he said of Trump's Russia scandals. "Not much will come of this."

There was no laughter there, but Zell, notorious for decrying the danger of economic redistribution and his hatred of Barack Obama and liberals at large, did get a laugh later. While extolling the virtues of the deregulation of the coal industry he offered another story from China — one that seemed to illustrate the opposite point of what he was making.

The air quality in Beijing is so bad as a result of coal-burning power plants, Zell said excitedly, that after a trip there "my pilot told me we had to take the plane back to Chicago and clean it before we got to New York City or we'd lose the paint job."

Nervous laughter (with an audible groan).

The groan was so loud, in fact, that Zell's moderator, Fox News' Liz Clayman, took a jab — "God forbid you lose the paint job," she joked.

'Wake up'

The stand-out keynote speech of the conference was former Vice-President Joe Biden's address on Thursday evening. For quite a bit of his talk he had his head in his hands.

That's because Biden, as you probably already know, is not very good at hiding his emotions. This time he was showing clear disappointment.

"We need to think BIG!" Biden exclaimed to the silent crowd of mesmerized money men.

He explained that the America he sees now is an America that thinks little of itself. It's an America that pretends it can only take on small challenges, rather than energetically tackle big ones. It is a tired and small America, not an exhilarated America — or rather, the America Biden knows and would prefer.

It is an America where people behave selfishly and cling to what they know, rather than one where people work with their fellows to forge another rich and glorious American century.

Today that makes us weak, but we are only weak today because we are afraid.

Biden does not believe America is a country of sudden losers. He believes in facts. Yes, the future brings violent change along with it. But we are a country of solutions — of the "most nimble" venture capitalists, and more research universities than any other country in the world. We are blessed with arable land and a healthy population. We, according to a man who knows we desperately need to hear it, can do anything we put our minds to.

And so we should.

In that dark room of nervous suits, Biden explained the truth. If America invests in America, America will be nothing but great. And then he said something that makes money men uncomfortable. He said there is no proof that people keeping their tax money for themselves and for their children will enrich the economy. But education will. Investing in public goods will. Focusing on the future will.

"Raise your hand if you think 12 years of education is enough in this economy," he said to the crowd.

Nervous silence.

So we need $9 billion, Biden said. To Wall Street that's nothing. They know that for America it's nothing. But that $9 billion will pay for free community college for the people who want it, Biden said. That, in turn, will add two-tenths of a percent to GDP. 

"Wake up," he demanded. 

It was an order, but it will be hard to comply with. Trump has made Wall Street wonder whether the party in the market is over. And quietly in Las Vegas, they wondered if this would be the last SALT they would attend. You would think given the Wall Street image of testosterone charged traders and savvy bankers the business would face this challenge with energy. But that isn't the case — Wall Street has lost its nerve.

And so what we have here now is lethargy — lethargy and nervous laughter.

SEE ALSO: I went to the biggest Wall Street party of the year and everyone was miserable

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This animated map shows how religion spread across the world



Police raid Salman Abedi’s home in southern suburbs after attack that killed 22


donald trump frown

President Donald Trump's 2018 budget plan released Tuesday faced near-universal pushback in Congress, as even members of his own party expressed skepticism over its provisions.

Drastic cuts to programs, from agriculture to Medicaid, have drawn blowback from lawmakers in districts whose constituents would stand to be affected by the slashes.

The response could foreshadow a comparatively different budget approach from Congress as it deliberates government spending.

'Dead on arrival'

Perhaps the most damaging sign for Trump's budget is that many lawmakers in his own party have taken issue with all or parts of the plan.

Sen John Cornyn, the second highest-ranking Republican in the Senate, dismissed the importance of presidential budgets altogether, even though Trump's proposal represented the administration's first sense of its priorities.

"Almost every president's budget proposal is basically dead on arrival, including President Obama's," Cornyn told reporters, adding that Trump's may face a "similar fate."

Sen. John McCain had a similar assessment, specifically citing what he saw as inadequate increases in military funding.

"President Trump’s $603 billion defense budget request is inadequate to the challenges we face, illegal under current law, and part of an overall budget proposal that is dead on arrival in Congress," McCain said in a statement Tuesday.

Rep. Fred Upton said many of the provisions were "non-starters." He suggested to The Associated Press' Erica Werner that Mick Mulvaney, the Office of Management and Budget director who rolled out the plan, might not have voted for the budget if he was still a member of the House.

fred upton

Many Republican lawmakers took aim at proposed cuts to programs that would directly affect their constituents.

Rep. Hal Rogers, the Republican chair of the House Appropriations Committee, told The Washington Post that the $610 billion cut to Medicaid spending proposed in the budget, which is on top of a proposed $880 billion cut in the GOP healthcare bill, was a particular problem for his district.

"I've got one of the poorest districts in the country, with lots of Medicaid recipients as well as other programs. ... The cuts are draconian," Rogers said.

Sen. Pat Roberts, the head of the Senate Agriculture Committee, told the Wall Street Journal's Kristina Peterson that the proposed cuts in the budget to crop insurance funding were unacceptable.

"It’s just a lot of people who don’t know what the hell is going on in farm country," Roberts said.

Rep. Mark Meadows, chair of the hardline House Freedom Caucus that has railed against government spending, even said the administration's proposed to some programs were too much.

"Meals on Wheels, even for some of us who are considered to be fiscal hawks, may be a bridge too far," Meadows told The New York Times.

Republicans also questioned some of the economic growth statistics the White House used to sell the budget on Tuesday. The budget assumes that GDP growth will hit 3% in 2019 and remain there through 2027, which allowed the administration to say the budget would be balanced in 10 years.

"Three percent, I’m not seeing how you get there mathematically," Rep. Mark Sanford told The Associated Press.

"It makes for a make-believe debate that I find frustrating."

Overall, the tone from Republicans on the Trump budget was that the cuts in the plan were not good policy — and nearly impossible to sell politically.

"Like I want to go home after having voting against Meals on Wheels and say, 'Oh it's a bad program, keeping seniors alive?'" said Rep. Mike Simpson. "There's just some of the stuff in here that doesn't make any sense. Frankly, you can't pass these budgets on the floor."

'Comic-book villain bad'

Democrats, for their part, also took the opportunity to pile on the president's proposal.

"When you add it all up, Mr. President, the Trump budget is comic-book-villain bad; and just like comic books, it relies on a fantasy to make all the numbers work," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. "It’s the kind of budget you might expect from someone who is openly rooting for a government shutdown. Haven’t we heard the president say that?"

"This is a budget that is immoral and that will cause an enormous amount of pain for the most vulnerable people in our nation," Sen. Bernie Sanders said at a press conference Tuesday. "This is a budget that will be rejected by the American people and must not see the light of day here in Congress."

The bipartisan pushback likely means change will be in order as budget negotiations kick off in Congress.

Chris Krueger of the Cowen Washington Research Group said the policies in the Trump budget are "total non-starters on Capitol Hill."

"The 24 House Republicans who represent districts won by Hillary Clinton are likely to see political ads run in their districts having this budget around their necks like a millstone," Kruger said in a note to clients on Tuesday. "The public statements from Republican Congressman in Appalachia — the backbone of Trump's electoral support — have been particularly critical of the proposed domestic/social safety-net cuts."

Greg Valliere, chief investment strategist at Horizon Investments, expressed similar reservation about the prospects of the Trump plan gaining traction in a note on Monday, saying "it's difficult to envision Trump getting his way on his budget."

SEE ALSO: Trump's budget only works 'if you believe in tooth fairies'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 'OJ had me shook': A Georgetown professor reveals what it was like to talk to OJ Simpson after bashing him on national television



DETROIT (AP) -- The U.S. government is suing Fiat Chrysler, alleging that some of its diesel pickup trucks and Jeep SUVs cheat on emissions tests....


Brazil’s Odebrecht alleged to have paid $59m in bribes in Central American nation


Salman Abedi, a student at University of Salford, was born in UK to Libyan parents


The White House says it is a "taxpayer first" plan, but even hardline conservatives have qualms.


trump

President Trump's 2018 budget proposal details many federal programs he'd like to cut. 

But his budget figures don't jive with his policies because of something called "dynamic scoring." 

For example, Mr. Trump's treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, wants to reduce the US business tax rate from 35% to 15%, but the White House's budget projects tax receipts to increase every year from 2017 to 2027.

If businesses across the country are going to be paying less in taxes, how can the federal government collect more in taxes each year?

This discrepancy in budget projection figures is due to dynamic scoring, an accounting method that surprisingly has no standard methodology. Dynamic scoring is the practice of projecting the financial effects that a policy will have on the budget while taking into account different factors such as business and consumer behavior.

It can be used for relatively simple calculations, such as how raising the sales tax on a particular item will affect its sales. But it gets more complex when trying to project the cost of, say, cutting federal taxes.

On its face, cutting federal taxes leaves the government with less money in its pockets. But it's possible that if US businesses keep that money thanks to a lower tax burden, more Americans may end up with jobs. And if more Americans have jobs, the government's tax base grows, potentially making up for the lost revenue from the tax cut.

Dynamic scoring is the practice of projecting out those events and factoring them into budget analysis, which is also known as budget scoring.

Standards? What standards?

The Congressional Budget Office began using dynamic scoring in 2015, but some people think establishing a standard methodology is crucial for dynamic scoring to work.

Budget

"If 'dynamic scoring' means that Congress can use any macroeconomic model it wants, then we are thrown back 100 or 150 years in terms of the rigor of our thinking," writes Simon Johnson in a post for the Tax Policy Center.

Johnson formerly served on the CBO's panel of economic analysis but was not involved in budget scoring.

Having no standard methodology for this type of budget scoring also means that think tanks and other partisan groups can tinker with their projections until they are left with an outcome they want.

"There are too many models with a very wide variety of assumptions and implications," Johnson says. "It is not exactly true that you can find a model that will support any claims, but this is sometimes uncomfortably close to the truth."

For this reason, dynamic scoring has become another issue dividing Washington politicians along party lines. Congressional Republicans have voiced their approval for the practice, while Democrats generally oppose it.

Political dynamics

In his days as the House Budget Committee chairman, Paul Ryan was a proponent of dynamic scoring. "What we want to do is change our measurement," said Ryan. "People say it’s dynamic scoring. I really call it reality-based scoring."

Bernie Sanders

Many Democrats stand firmly against the practice, citing the possibilities for inaccuracy.

One major critic is Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. In 2015, he made clear his distaste for this type of budget scoring.

"The basic problem with what the right-wing economists call 'dynamic scoring' is that it requires the CBO to count hypothetical growth as additional revenue," Sanders said. "That means counting the chickens before they hatch."

Before dynamic scoring was invented, the standard was static scoring, which omits macroeconomic projections by assuming the GDP will remain unchanged by budgetary policy.

Though that assumption is undeniably flawed, static scoring offers greater simplicity and transparency, because if everyone is using the same methodology, no one can mess with the number to get a desired outcome.

SEE ALSO: One move almost always sets off chaos in the currency market

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: SCOTT GALLOWAY: WeWork is arguably the most overvalued company in the world



WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday accusing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV of illegally using software to bypass emission controls in 104,000 diesel vehicles sold since 2014.


(Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] said on Tuesday it underpaid its New York City drivers for the past two-and-a-half years, an error that could cost the ride-hailing company tens of millions of dollars.


A combine drives over stalks of soft red winter wheat during the harvest on a farm in Dixon, Illinois, July 16, 2013.    REUTERS/Jim Young

Shares of the agriculture-trading giant Bunge jumped by as much as 16% on Tuesday following a report that the mining giant Glencore approached the company for a takeover.

The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter, that Switzerland-based Glencore aims to gain a presence in the US agriculture market through a deal with Bunge. There's no assurance that talks will lead to a deal, the report noted.

After Bunge's stock-price move — the biggest intraday rise in eight years — its market cap was about $11.25 billion. Glencore, which trades on the London Stock Exchange, was worth approximately £42.3 billion ($55 billion.)

Glencore was squeezed two years ago when commodity prices plunged amid an economic slowdown in China. Investors also became concerned about Glencore's ability to pay its debt, and sent its shares down by as much as 90% from their initial public offering level.

A deal would signal that Glencore has recovered from the episode, the WSJ noted.

Bunge reported a net loss in the first quarter and earlier in May cut its profits outlook for the year. Screen Shot 2017 05 23 at 2.21.29 PM

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Yale history professor: Trump's path to tyranny is unfolding



WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration's budget plan for 2018 assumes that a mix of sharp spending and tax cuts can both shrink the deficit and fuel economic growth of 3 percent a year - a level it hasn't achieved in more than a dozen years....


NEW YORK (AP) -- The typical CEO at the biggest U.S. companies got an 8.5 percent raise last year, raking in $11.5 million in salary, stock and other compensation last year, according to a study by executive data firm Equilar for The Associated Press. That's the biggest raise in three years....


Here are the three CEOs who got the biggest pay raises last year, and the deepest pay cuts, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive data firm....


Ben Harknett

A San Francisco software startup founded by alumni of the world's largest hedge fund is expanding into London.

Domino Data Lab, a software company for data science teams, has hired Ben Harknett, who previously worked for Google, to lead the move. 

Harknett previously headed the Europe, Middle East and Asia division for Wildfire, a social media marketing company that Google bought in 2012 for $350 million and later wound down. Harknett later helped build out operations for cybersecurity firm Risk IQ.

At Domino, Harknett will build out operations and customer service for the company's European clients, with offices near London's Liverpool Street, he told Business Insider.

Domino Data Lab is riding the wave of interest from companies – from hedge funds to banks and travel companies – to parse through enormous amounts of data to make decisions.

The company styles itself as a software suite for data science teams, similar to how Adobe is used by creative professionals and Salesforce by marketers.

"Companies need a place to track and hold the research related to their modeling," Nick Elprin, Domino's CEO, said.

For investors parsing through data, tracking that research can help them make better investment decisions, he added.

Domino Data Lab was started by three alumni from Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund, including Elprin, who previously worked in technology at the fund.

Matthew Granade, who now oversees big data at Steve Cohen's family office Point72 Asset Management, cofounded Domino and remains on the board. Granade previously co-headed research at Bridgewater, according to a LinkedIn page. Domino's chief technology officer, Chris Yang, previously was a software developer at the fund, according to a LinkedIn profile.

Domino has also garnered the backing of several tech investors.

Hedge fund Coatue Management led a $27 million funding round for Domino, for instance. Other investors have included Sequoia Capital and In-Q-Tel, the Central Intelligence Agency-backed venture capital fund.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: SCOTT GALLOWAY: I believe every time Amazon reports a profit a manager gets yelled at



Italian-American carmaker avoids accusations it intentionally misled regulators


Tim Cook Auburn

If the upcoming iPhone 8 is as commercially successful as some predict, Apple may have 1 billion mobile users by the end of the decade.

The iPhone 8 release is set to "unleash pentup demand," with annual unit sales reaching 270 million in 2019, according to research analysts at Credit Suisse.

Reaching those sales figures would put global iPhone users in the neighborhood of 970 million by the end of 2019.

"We remain convinced that the iPhone product cycle will be significant in terms of driving multi-year unit growth," the Credit Suisse report noted. "Apple's installed base has seen robust growth over the past few years, which we believe has doubled since 2013, and now stands at just under 700mn users."

Credit Suisse expects iPhone 8 shipments to total 229 million in 2017 and 250 million in 2018. But those estimates may prove to be conservative if existing iPhone users upgrade at a similar rate as after the release of the iPhone 6. Returning to a higher upgrade rate would push iPhone sales roughly 9% above those estimated sales figures, according to Credit Suisse.

Apple already leads all of its competitors in customer loyalty, so an increase in upgrades may be within reach. 

Additionally, Oppenheimer's equity research department issued a report stating there is increased interest over the iPhone 8 in China, which has been a difficult market for Apple to gain traction.

"We do believe there is pent-up demand for iPhone 8, which is widely reported to make a few major design changes," noted the report. Oppenheimer also stated, "The key question, whether Apple can supply enough iPhone 8 without major bottlenecks in the supply chain, remains unanswered."

Screen Shot 2017 05 23 at 1.22.16 PM

SEE ALSO: APPLE EXPERT: 'Transportation is Apple's future' (AAPL)

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The Marine Corps is testing a machine gun-wielding robot controlled with just a tablet and a joystick



Document sees $3.6tn of cuts to sectors such as health and education but boosts defence


(Reuters) - Westinghouse Electric Co told a U.S. court on Tuesday the nuclear power company had reached a deal to borrow $800 million after allaying creditors' concerns that the money would be flowing to non-bankrupt affiliates overseas.


shock electricity David Blaine

Big stock market shocks don't scare investors anymore. In fact, swift declines are welcomed with open arms.

Traders have been taking advantage of share weakness to "buy the dip," or expand positions by purchasing shares at a discount. And that's helped the equity market recover from short-term selloffs faster than ever before.

The dynamic was on display just last week, when the S&P 500 fell 1.8% in a single day, which marked a five-standard-deviation move. The index recovered 85% of that loss over the following three days, the second-fastest retracement of a loss that big in S&P 500 history, according to data compiled by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Further, the last three times the benchmark has absorbed a decline of similar magnitude, it's taken no more than nine days for it to make up the vast majority of the loss, BAML data show.

"Market shocks have come to be viewed by investors as alpha opportunities rather than marking the onset of rising uncertainty," a group of equity analysts from BAML wrote in a client note. "Initially, a clearly visible and high strike Fed put taught the market to buy the dip. Now, however, this behaviour has simply become a learned response function."

BAML big SPX moves recovery

When assessing five-standard-deviation moves in US stocks, it's important to note that realized volatility has been subdued for the S&P 500 in recent months. Since that implies that historical price swings have been smaller, there's a lower threshold for fluctuations of that size.

As such, negative shocks have been happening with increased frequency. In the past 229 trading days, three separate five-standard-deviation declines have occurred, compared to just 15 such drawdowns over the prior 22,222 sessions, dating back to 1928.

BAML SPX shocks history

Still, it's a bullish signal that stock investors have been so quick to support the S&P 500 immediately following these patches of weakness. And they have plenty to be confident about — most notably corporate profit expansion, which has historically been the biggest driver of share price appreciation. 

As of right now, companies in the benchmark are on pace to see 14% earnings growth for the first quarter of 2017, the most since the third quarter of 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It marks the third straight period of earnings growth for the S&P 500, which comes after a five-quarter earnings contraction.

The future of dip buying is where it gets tricky. With the US stock market still in the throes of a more than eight-year rally, the following question must be asked: are investors so willing to buy the dip because we're in a bull market, or are we in a bull market because of dip buying?

SEE ALSO: Traders can make a killing chasing the 'smart money'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Yale history professor: Trump's path to tyranny is unfolding



FILE PHOTO: U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney (R) listens as U.S. President Donald Trump meets with members of the Republican Study Committee at the White House in Washington, U.S. on March 17, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

The president does not care about young people.

That message was made abundantly clear Tuesday, when the White House budget director, Mick Mulvaney, presented his budget to a gaggle of reporters in Washington. He told them the budget was a reflection of President Donald Trump's values and "speaks to" his "priorities."

And so if that is the case, millennials are certainly not a priority.

There are two ways this is expressed in the budget. First, the budget does not address millennials' needs, and, second, it doesn't reflect millennials' values.

Over and over again Mulvaney said the administration was going to ensure that the people getting benefits actually need them — but he never really specified how.

For example, the budget calls for massive cuts to the Department of Education that would dramatically affect student-loan programs. Mulvaney framed that by saying the budget would cut funding for students who say they are taking loans to go to school but aren't.

Reid Setzer, the director of government affairs at the millennial advocacy group Young Invincibles, disagreed.

"This proposal would place more obstacles in front of students by cutting federal financial aid, on-campus supports, and reducing opportunities to gain skills, thereby making completing a credential that much harder," Setzer said in a press release. "The president has claimed he wants to 'take steps to help students' address their student debt, but this budget would do the exact opposite."

Oh, and the budget would eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program — which was enacted by President George W. Bush as a way to encourage students to choose public-service professions like teaching or nonprofit work. The program forgives these workers' loans after 10 years of on-time payments. Trump's budget says the savings will "help put the nation on a more sustainable fiscal path."

Mulvaney explained cuts to Medicaid — which covers healthcare for poorer Americans — by saying the program was more "urban" and should be relegated to the states. Millennials tend to live in urban areas, and even if they're not on Medicaid, this kind of callous thinking will directly affect their communities.

That's where we get into values here. Mulvaney spoke as if he had a handle on what the American people would and would not want to pay for, but it's obvious younger voters were not taken into consideration.

For example, he made light of the fact that the National Science Foundation "used your taxpayer money to fund a climate-change musical."

One could very easily (and obviously) surmise that the musical was meant as a form of climate-change education. Millennials overwhelmingly believe in the dangers of climate change (92%). If it takes some singing and dancing to get people to believe that Miami shouldn't be flooded, so be it.

And of course, there's the wall. Only 20% of millennials support Trump's push to build a wall along the US border with Mexico — a wall that eats up $1.6 billion of Trump's proposed budget.

Coming from a place of wrong

It's worth pointing out, too, that this entire budget is built on a faulty premise that reflects a major difference in values between millennials and the Trump administration. It starts with what Mulvaney kept saying the budget was designed to do — get the US back to 3% economic growth.

That's all well and good, but getting there has nothing to do with cutting benefits and slicing spending. Gross domestic product grows when economies either become more productive or grow their population. Increasing productivity is harder to do and sometimes happenstance (being the country that invents the iPhone, for example).

Increasing our population, however, is something we can control through immigration, which is already driving the labor force, according to Pew Research.

"As the Baby Boom generation heads toward retirement, growth in the nation's working-age population (those ages 25 to 64) will be driven by immigrants and the U.S.-born children of immigrants, at least through 2035," it wrote in a report last month. "Without immigrants, there would be an estimated 18 million fewer working-age adults in the country in 2035 because of the dearth of U.S.-born children with U.S.-born parents."

Yet to this administration immigration is not a factor in growth. Instead, it's a danger.

The examples are everywhere — Trump signed a "Buy American, Hire American" executive order, and he has tossed around the idea of limiting H-1B visas that bring in top tech talent, sending a chill through Silicon Valley.

Millennials and Trump's administration really diverge on this issue too. Young Americans overwhelmingly agree that immigrants "strengthen our country." According to Pew, 76% of them believe that, as opposed to 48% of baby boomers (Trump's generation).

This should be important to Republicans if they want their party to exist in a few decades. Last year at the Republican National Convention, even the national chair of the 250,000-member College Republicans, Alexandra Smith, warned her party about it.

"For too long Republicans haven't been making their case to millennials," Smith said, her saccharine tone smoothing over the severity of the situation. "There's just too much old and not enough grand in the way we express our party's value to the next generation of voters."

She was right. But no one listened.

SEE ALSO: How baby boomers became the most selfish generation

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's what popular dog breeds looked like before and after 100 years of breeding



Isis claims responsibility but authorities have yet to link attacker to jihadis


Fraser McKenzie was among concertgoers who fled after bomb exploded


Money is flooding into autonomous car start-ups. For the sector’s evangelists, questions about business models miss the point


President accused of urging intelligence officials to downplay collusion allegations


WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump on Tuesday sent Congress a $4.1 trillion federal spending plan that promises faster economic growth and steep cuts to programs for the poor in a bid to balance the government's books over the next decade....


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New U.S. single-family home sales tumbled from near a 9-1/2-year high in April, but the housing recovery likely remains intact amid a tightening labor market.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Google already monitors your online shopping - but now it's also keeping an eye on what you're buying in physical stores to try to sell more digital advertising....


Welcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider's summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours.

Markets are taking a backseat today, as the tragic events in Manchester, England, dominate the news agenda. Back here in the US, Trump's budget proposal is the story of the day. Here's what you need to know:

In other news, new home sales in the US fell much more than expected in April.

Traders can make a killing chasing the "smart money." And these are the 14 VIP stocks that matter most to hedge funds, according to Goldman Sachs. 

A consumer-protection rule that had been delayed by Trump is set to go through.

Fidelity is allowing clients to see digital currencies on its website. The startup trying to bring blockchain to Wall Street has raised $107 million. And we got a look inside a vast Icelandic bitcoin mine.

The Fed's actions speak louder than its words, which is why bond buying is here to stay. And "duck and cover" is the new art of dealing with bond markets, according to Aberdeen Asset Management

Here are 200 Excel shortcuts that'll make your life a lot easier. And doing a great job is necessary to get ahead at work, but it's not enough, according to Morgan Stanley’s chief risk officer.

Mark Fields was ousted as CEO of Ford on Monday, not quite three years into his tenure. Here's the latest:

In related news, Google's Waymo could eventually be a $70 billion company.

Elsewhere, the chain hailed by Wall Street as a "retail treasure" runs the most disastrous store we've ever seen.

The ceiling of this new Airbus private jet is one giant screen. Boeing is taking extreme measures to make sure Bombardier does not become another Airbus.

The VC firm that made early bets on Uber and Snap is investing in a marijuana breathalyzer. Silicon Valley is getting interested in healthcare — here's why that could be a good thing. And here's how rich you would be if you invested $1,000 in Netflix when it first went public 15 years ago.

Lastly, this is the new best whiskey in the world, according to an international spirits competition.

SEE ALSO: The 27 most important finance books ever written

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Investing legend Ray Dalio shares the simple formula at the heart of his success



waymo google self-driving car

Waymo, Google's self-driving car project, recently announced a partnership with the ridesharing company Lyft, which could be its first step towards becoming a major contributor to Google's overall value.

If Waymo vehicles can account for roughly 1% of miles driven globally by 2030, Morgan Stanley equity analysts Brian Nowak and Adam Jonas believe it could be worth $70 billion, potentially more. That would add roughly 12% to Google's current enterprise value.

"We are encouraged by Waymo's new partnership with Lyft as it gives Waymo access to more miles driven – which," write Nowak and Jonas, "is important to building/optimizing the autonomous business and data set."

Waymo is also Google's most likely spin out from its "other bets," a group of investments the web company has made in different industries such as home automation and mobile hardware, according to Nowak and Jonas. Waymo —formerly called Google X — has already rebranded and carries significant room for growth, making it an enticing spin out candidate.

Additionally, Google may not want to bear the burden of legal action against the company stemming from accidents involving Waymo's vehicles.

"Even assuming Waymo’s cars are involved in 90% fewer crashes than the average human driven car would still involve 5 per year (roughly 1 every 10 weeks)," write Nowak and Jones. "One could argue that even in the event Waymo’s cars are an order of magnitude safer than today’s human driven cars GOOGL may not want to test the US court system for the precedent."

But if Waymo can find a way to improve on the Morgan Stanley's modeled revenue of $1.25 per mile and 1% of global miles driven, Nowak and Jonas see a scenario in which the company's value could increase to roughly $140 billion.

Screen Shot 2017 05 23 at 10.38.28 AM

SEE ALSO: Waymo started a war with Uber, and it could be Uber's downfall

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 9 phrases on your résumé that make hiring managers cringe



donald trump

President Donald Trump started rolling out his proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year on Monday, and the reviews are already pouring in.

Moving past the headlines —trillions in spending cuts, a massive reduction in the long term for social safety-net programs, and increased defense spending — many economists and political analysts say the most striking part of Trump's budget proposal is how many assumptions it makes.

A huge, sustained growth in gross domestic product, a double count of benefits from tax reform, and some rosy line items are just a few of the problems analysts see with the Trump administration's opening gambit in the budget debate.

Rosy economic growth

One of the biggest assumptions Trump's budget proposal makes is that US GDP growth will hit 3% — and stay there.

Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, told reporters Monday that such an assumption would not be out of reach, pointing to the long-term growth rate of the American economy since World War II.

Mulvaney said (emphasis added):

"That's what you can do with 3% economic growth. That's a dynamism that used to be normal in the American economy. And that's what we're trying to get back to, and that's what this budget is part and parcel of. It drives our tax-reform policy, our regulatory policy, trade, energy, welfare, infrastructure, and our government's spending priorities. Everything is keyed to getting us back to 3%."

But the sustained 3% projection is much higher than forecasts from the Congressional Budget Office, the Federal Reserve, the International Monetary Fund, and others. Many economists also shrugged off the idea.

In a Washington Post column on Tuesday, Larry Summers, the former treasury secretary, said the idea was a "logical error of the kind that would justify failing a student in an introductory economics course."

"Apparently, the budget forecasts that US economic growth will rise to 3.0 percent because of the administration's policies — largely its tax cuts and perhaps also its regulatory policies," Summer wrote. "Fair enough if you believe in tooth fairies and ludicrous supply-side economics."

Chris Krueger of the Cowen Washington Research Group similarly dismissed the assumption.

"There is some federal budgeting wizardry and economic tomfoolery in the projections included in the budget — which assumes the AHCA is law," Krueger wrote in a note to clients on Monday, referring to the American Health Care Act, House Republicans' healthcare bill. "It also assumes 3% GDP growth and that the budget will 'balance' over 10 years."

Mick Mulvaney

The last year US economic growth was above 3% was 2005. Mulvaney said annual GDP growth since 1948 was 3.2%, but the average has been 2.6% since 1980.

Other complications for the 3% assumption include the Fed hiking interest rates, labor productivity remaining low, and structural factors such as an aging population, which all amount to headwinds for economic growth.

Double-counting tax cuts

The Trump administration says the 3% GDP growth would also help to balance the federal budget over the next 10 years, but that conflicts with statements it has made about its plan for tax reform.

The Trump administration has said its tax-reform plan would be revenue-neutral because of the resulting economic growth and that the economic growth from tax cuts would help balance the budget.

Put another way, say all current taxes and outlays are set at a baseline of $0. Trump's proposed tax cuts, the administration says, would nominally decrease revenue and bring the deficit from the baseline to -$100. Based on the White House's statements after the tax plan was released, it would say the growth from the tax cuts would get the US back to $0.

The administration is saying the proposed tax cuts would not only pay for themselves but earn the country enough to make up the deficit. Essentially, what it billed as a revenue-neutral tax plan evidently would be revenue-positive.

As Summers put it, this math does not work "in a world of logic."

"This is a mistake no serious business person would make," Summers said. "It appears to be the most egregious accounting error in a presidential budget in the nearly 40 years I have been tracking them."

In a statement on Monday, Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, also took issue with the apparent double-counting.

"The budget also uses the entirety of the dynamic revenue from growth to pay down the debt — a move that we support but that is inconsistent with their past statements that economic growth would help pay for tax reform," MacGuineas said. "The same money cannot be used twice."

SEE ALSO: Trump's budget calls for staggering cuts to Medicaid, food stamps, and many other domestic programs

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: China built a $350 million bridge that ends in a dirt field in North Korea



Strategy seeks to tap into the distrust Saudi Arabia and Israel have for Tehran


18:00 Mark Carney duped by email prankster (Financial Times)
Bank of England governor exchanges messages with man pretending to be BoE chairman


Netflix marks its 15th anniversary as a publicly traded company on May 23, and, despite some twists and turns, it's turned out to be an enormously successful venture.

An investment of $1,000 at the stock's closing price on May 23, 2002, the day of the company's initial public offering, was worth about $131,900 as of 10:20 AM ET on May 23, 2017.

Of course, buying and holding Netflix for the last 15 years would have been a harrowing experience at times. The stock lost nearly 80% of its value between July and November 2011 in the wake of an unpopular subscription fee hike and an ill-fated plan to split up the company's DVD and streaming services.

Hindsight shows us that this was, in the end, only a temporary setback. The stock has exploded in recent years, powered by robust subscriber growth and a huge investment in original content.

Here's how the value of $1,000 invested on Netflix's IPO day would have changed in the last 15 years:

netflix price return

SEE ALSO: Here's how rich you'd be if you had bet $1,000 on Warren Buffett back in the day

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 9 phrases on your résumé that make hiring managers cringe



WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. sales of new homes last month registered the biggest drop in more than two years....


mark fields ford ceo

• Ford's stock declined by 40% under CEO Mark Fields.

• The company was perceived as being late to the game with self-driving tech.

• But no clear business models have developed around the tech industry's "disruption" of autos.

Mark Fields was ousted as CEO of Ford on Monday, not quite three years into his tenure.

He was replaced by Jim Hackett, the former CEO of Steelcase who had been running Ford's Smart Mobility initiative and who enjoyed a close relationship with Ford's chairman, Bill Ford.

Two main explanations arise for Fields' departure. First, Ford's stock price decreased by 40% from the time he took the job, even though US sales have boomed and Ford has posted record yearly profits.

Second, Ford is behind the curve on the Silicon Valley-led "disruption" of the traditional auto industry, a plight symbolized by Tesla's rally this year, which has pushed its market cap higher than Ford's and GM's. Hackett is seen as having an affinity with the tech world, and that presumably foretells collaborations rather than confrontation. During a round of press conferences on Monday, Bill Ford repeatedly noted that when Hackett goes to Silicon Valley, he gets a lot of hugs, and Ford as a company has been lauded for having him.

Explanation No. 1 would be the result of Wall Street's miscalculation of the durability of the recent US sales boom and skepticism about traditional automakers' ability to sustain profits in an infamously capital-intensive business.

Explanation No. 2 would be the result of a widespread assumption that Detroit is increasingly irrelevant and that in the future no one will own a car, with the market shifting to electric, self-driving vehicles.

Explanation No. 1 is sort of depressing because it flies in the face of business fundamentals and highlights the investment community's fecklessness. Tesla has rarely made money and is set to spend almost all of its cash this year to launch its all-electric, mass-market Model 3 vehicle at a time when consumer adoption of electric cars has been tepid (they make up only about 1% of global sales). Its stock is trading above $300.

Ford has solidified its core products — highly profitable trucks and SUVs — and posted quarter after quarter in the black. Its stock is trading at about $11.

Ford is a family business, and the family needs the stock to perform well during market surges. That didn't happen under Fields, and so a change had to come. That's the simplest explanation for why he's leaving Ford after almost 30 years — and the correct one.

The Silicon Valley bet is sexy but wrong

elon musk

The Silicon Valley explanation is sexier but wrong. Since Tesla's ascent as a wildly volatile investment opportunity began in 2013, we've repeatedly been told the auto industry is about to be rapidly remade by technology.

Initially, the action was all about electric cars, but they have largely been a bust. Tesla occupies a market of one.

Uber and its $60 billion to $70 billion valuation lent credence to the oft-debated notion that younger people would swear off driving and car ownership. But young people are now getting older and buying more cars. Uber is also in a state of near-continual crisis, and it has wasted an enormous amount of cash trying to be that thing Silicon Valley prizes above all else: an uncontested monopoly. Lyft, unfortunately, hasn't cooperated.

The third narrative pivot involved self-driving cars. This has been the latest gold rush, but if Fields lost his job because Ford couldn't figure out how to effectively communicate its efforts in this space, then we should really take a closer look at Silicon Valley's almost total inability to create any kind of logical business case around autonomy.

Google's self-driving podmobiles have been racking up miles, but as promising as the tech looks, its no closer to being widely commercialized than it was before Alphabet renamed its car business Waymo. Apple has ditched its car plans and now appears to be developing some kind of in-vehicle, self-driving interface. If there's a go-to-market, it's years off.

A lot of people think there's a business with this stuff, but, thus far, there just hasn't been.

Tesla Detroit sales vs market cap

Living in fear

That doesn't meant Detroit isn't living in fear. The US auto industry was traumatized by the financial crisis and the bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler. The plunge to 10 million in annual vehicle sales coupled with a spike in gas prices from 2008 to 2010 made matters worse. And for a decade, the story has been that the tech industry is coming to eat the car business, even as Tesla has lost billions and no one else has marketed the prophesized mobility revolution.

The bottom line is that Fields wasn't going to be able to get the stock price up; it's too late in the US sales cycle for Wall Street to change its tune. Ford looked at the Tesla phenomenon, in which a visionary CEO and a very big story became worth $50 billion, and the 100-plus-year-old carmaker decided that it wanted some of that action.

That's basically Hackett's entire job: to be a high-tech turnaround storyteller. Two experienced Ford executives, Joe Hinrichs and Jim Farley, will run the actual car business. CFO Bob Shanks is staying on to oversee the narrative of steady profits. Bill Ford will deal with President Donald Trump and the fallout from the inevitable layoffs that Ford will have to undertake as the cycle turns. Ford and Hackett will also join forces to push forward the more futuristic aspects of the Ford story, something Bill Ford has been doing for a while.

Jim Hackett Ford

Wall Street isn't going to buy this story anymore post-Fields than it did before. But for now, Ford is paying a 5.5% dividend, so the stock has value for conservative investors. And Ford may start to emulate GM and consider exiting markets where it is spending a lot to get a marginal return, though that strategy could intensify the company's dependence on the US market.

Ford could cozy up to Silicon Valley more than it already has, but the tech industry is quick to abandon whichever shiny new thing is its transformational preoccupation of the moment. The worrisome trend is that tech companies and startups keep attacking and abandoning transportation dreams. Cars are far too complicated to be the next iPhone. So tech companies have shifted away from building them to instead connecting vehicles so people are never offline.

It's possible that the long-anticipated auto-sales downturn could correct all this. Tech titans will see a contracted market and conclude that it doesn't want to play that game. Detroit will do what it does well, which is manage its business when sales weaken, preparing for a recovery and for the sequence to reset.

But a downturn doesn't really look imminent. So while Fields wasn't fired because he couldn't tell a good story, Hackett will get the chance to tell a better one. And he is a pretty good storyteller.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Business Insider.

SEE ALSO: Ford's new CEO will have to tell Wall Street a different story

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is what a $400K Ford looks like



Asset manager’s move on crypto currency is part of broader digital push


New-home sales in the US fell by much more than expected in April.

Sales slumped by 11.4% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 569,000, the Census Bureau said in its monthly report.

Economists had forecast that sales of new single-family homes fell by 1.8% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000, according to Bloomberg.

"The seasonally adjusted price of new homes nationwide fell, which is encouraging to budget-conscious buyers, but most of that drop was most likely driven by weakness in the West, where homes tend to skew toward the higher price points," Svenja Gudell, Zillow's chief economist, said in a note.

Sales in the West fell by 26.3%, the most since October 2010.

"Inventory of new homes was also up, which is great news, but the price must be right to cater to large numbers of millennial buyers entering the market to buy their first home."

Sales in March, which were revised higher, rose for a third straight month and lifted the pace at the start of the busy spring selling season toward the highs set in 2016.

Most of the sales, however, were not made in the affordable end of the market, or homes costing less than $200,000. Even though there's demand from buyers, a shortage of affordable homes, along with prices rising faster than wage growth, is keeping many would-be shoppers out of the market.

5 23 17 new houses sold COTD

SEE ALSO: Bank of America's CEO says a pre-crisis idea could make it easier for millennials to buy homes

Join the conversation about this story »



^ Top ^
Home page
Last news
Last politics news
Last economic news
Last science & technology news
Last health news
Last sports news






Copyright 2017 Pandora Impex SRL.