Business

European lawmakers criticize Zuckerberg for his lack of answers

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s meeting with European lawmakers in Brussels on Tuesday has been criticized by political representatives for being too short and providing “no answers.” Zuckerberg’s appearance in the European Parliament was facilitated by Antonio Tajani, the parliament’s president, and consisted of around an hour of questions and less than 10 minutes of answers. “I was really not satisfied with the hearing yesterday because Zuckerberg gave no answers whatsoever,” Ska Keller, co-head of the Greens-European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament, told CNBC in a phone interview Tuesday. “That was facilitated by the format, that there was no possibility to ask follow-up questions so that was definitely a very big...

Tesla hires a Snap exec as its engineering vice president

Electric carmaker Tesla said on Tuesday it had hired Snapchat maker Snap’s vice president of monetization engineering, Stuart Bowers, as vice president of engineering, to work on its Autopilot software and other projects. Tesla has seen the departure of several senior executives and also is flattening its management structure as it aims to improve efficiency and clear up production bottlenecks related to its new Model 3 sedan. Snap confirmed the move and said that Bowers had a passion for robotics and would be working on Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving program, Autopilot. Tesla said he would work on that and other projects as well. Bowers’ job at Snap, monetization engineering, involved the social media company’s advertising system. Website Cheddar first reported th...

Britain’s M&S says must accelerate change or die

Britain’s Marks & Spencer said on Wednesday it urgently had to modernize or risk fading away as it reported a second straight decline in annual profit and booked a 321 million pounds ($430 million) charge for a store closure programme. The 134-year-old M&S faces unrelenting competition from supermarkets, fashion chains like Zara, H&M and Primark, as well as online giant Amazon, while efforts to revitalize its business are being hampered by ongoing pressure on UK consumers’ spending power. M&S reset its strategy in November, two months after retail veteran Archie Norman joined as chairman, detailing a five-year programme of store closures and relocations, and moves to make its misfiring food business more competitive. On Tuesday M&S said it would close 100 UK...

Vegas casino workers vote to authorize strike that may hobble famed resorts

Las Vegas casinos could watch tens of thousands of employees walk off the job for the first time in more than three decades after union members voted Tuesday to authorize a strike at any time starting June 1, a move that could cripple the city’s world-famous resorts. About 25,000 members of the Culinary Union who work at 34 different casino-resorts across the tourist destination cast ballots in two sessions, showing the collective power of the largest labor organization in Nevada. The move hands union negotiators a huge bargaining chip as they work to solidify new five-year contracts. The union last voted for a strike in 2002 but reached a deal before employees walked out. The last strike, in 1984, spanned 67 days and cost the city and workers tens of millions of dollars. The latest ...

SoftBank is selling its entire Flipkart stake to Walmart

SoftBank Group said on Wednesday it is selling its roughly 20 percent stake in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart to Walmart. Walmart said earlier this month it will pay $16 billion for a roughly 77 percent stake in Flipkart, the U.S. retailer’s largest-ever deal. A SoftBank spokesman declined to give further details. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said earlier this month the $2.5 billion investment through its private equity fund in Flipkart made last year was worth $4 billion.

NYSE’s first female president points to gender diversity problem

The New York Stock Exchange has appointed a new leader — a woman. This Friday, Stacey Cunningham will become the exchange’s 67th president, the first female president in its 226-year history. “It’s a great day for her, but it’s an even greater day for the New York Stock Exchange, because she has learned that business from the ground up,” former NYSE CEO Dick Grasso told CNBC’s “Power Lunch” on Tuesday. In fact, Cunningham started at the exchange as a summer intern in 1994, shortly before Grasso became CEO and chairman in 1995. Cunningham landed her first full-time job on Wall Street in 1996 as a NYSE floor clerk with JJC Specialist, a division of Quick & Reilly. It was from there that she worked her way up to her current position as chief...

Morgan Stanley Recalls Quant From Bridgewater Internship/Spy Mission

The Morgan Stanley SWAT team extracts Court Crane from 1 Glendinning Place. By English: Lance Cpl. Kenneth K. Trotter Jr [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Three years ago, Morgan Stanley embedded a spy within Bridgewater Associates to learn its mysterious ways. Specifically, the mysterious and lucrative ways and means of its army of Principled robots. And with Ray Dalio and co. temporarily distracted by other matters, the bank decided it was the perfect time to safely extract him from Westport and get him to work putting other people at Morgan Stanley out of work. And maybe teach them to videotape all meetings and how best to deal with sexual misconduct allegations. Morgan Stanley has rehired a former electronic trading specialist as investment banks arm themselves for a future in whi...

Turkey Now Less Credit Worthy Than Senegal Amid Ongoing Currency Crisis … Is What A ‘Gulenist Tool’ Would Say

Listen, it is imperative that you understand something and that something is this: Turkish President, Kurd hunter extraordinaire and world-renowned rates strategist, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, knows what he’s doing, ok? Sure, there’s a lot of market speculation that maybe his theories about interest rates and FX and inflation are indicative of his generalized penchant for lunacy and yes, there are some folks out there who think it would be an absolutely terrible idea for him to go through with the promise he made last week when he told a shocked Bloomberg anchor that he’s going to basically name himself central bank head, but that’s all nonsense. It’s just jealous foreigners trying to sow doubt and confusion and otherwise sully his sterling reputation. Or worse, it’s evidence the firms that are...

Watch SpaceX go for its 10th rocket launch this year

[The stream is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. ET. Please refresh the page if you do not see a player above at that time.] SpaceX is set to launch Tuesday afternoon from California in its latest mission for NASA and satellite communications company Iridium. Elon Musk’s rocket company will livestream the 3:47 p.m. ET launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The mission will launch using a Falcon 9 rocket, which will not return to land on the SpaceX autonomous ship which the company has in the Pacific Ocean. @SpaceX: Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete—targeting May 22 launch of Iridium-6/GRACE-FO from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The company is expected to attempt to catch the fairing — the bulbous nose cone on top of the rocket. SpaceX has attempted to catch the fairing afte...

GE seeking to shed troubled insurance business

General Electric Co is working with investment bankers to find ways to shed its insurance business, which has caused it to book hefty charges while sparking shareholder lawsuits and an investigation by U.S. regulators, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The move comes after GE announced in January it would take a $6.2 billion after-tax charge and set aside a further $15 billion in reserves to help cover liabilities in insurance operations held by its GE Capital unit, mainly concerning long-term care (LTC) policies. Many providers of LTC insurance, including GE, underestimated the cost of servicing policies, meaning premiums have been unable to cover the spiraling costs of healthcare and longer life expectancy. While GE’s insurance operations has stopped generating new b...

Craig Carton Pleads Stupidity, And Who Are We To Argue?

Craig Carton’s intellectual deficiencies were readily apparent to anyone whose car radio was stuck on WFAN in New York on weekday mornings before his untimely arrest in September on charges of running a ticket-scalping Ponzi scheme at the expense of an allegedly well-run hedge fund. Presumably, his lawyers are preparing transcripts of some of his choicer takes on the Mets and Jets to fortify their argument that he should not be facing those charges on account of those intellectual deficiencies. “The Indictment is devoid of any allegations that Mr. Carton possessed ‘culpable intent’ at the time the Hedge Fund established the loan facility for approximately $4.6 million in the ticket resale business on December 8, 2016,” reads the court document. “The Government has failed to put forth any a...

America Doesn’t Have The Stomach For Trump’s Trade War

President Trump’s capitulation to the Chinese only surprising in that it was so complete. In exchange for lifting the threat of new tariffs on $150 billion worth of goods, the president received nothing besides vague assurances of increased purchases of American agriculture, something that rapidly rising demand would have necessitated anyway. One must give credit to Chinese negotiators, who wisely realize they have nothing to gain from taking Trump’s tariff threats seriously until the American electorate signals its support for the trade war over the course of at least another election cycle. And let’s also credit Donald Trump’s predecessors. It turns out that they’re probably not as stupid as the president thinks, and that lopsided terms of trade between China and the U.S. hasn’t resulted...