New Zealand introduced a law that will require banks, insurers and investment managers to report the impacts of climate change on their business. The law governs banks, insurers with total assets / assets under management of more than NZ$1 billion, and all equity and debt issuers listed on the stock exchange. Disclosures will be required for financial years beginning next year.
The United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics said Britain’s economy grew slightly by 0.4% in February. Covid curbs were imposed in varying degrees across all four nations of the UK during January and February. The February rebound followed a fall of 42% in January. However, the ONS said the economy was still 7.8% smaller than a year earlier, when the pandemic didn’t impact the GDP.
The 3 billion euro project led by Total and the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) provides for the management of oilfields in the Lake Albert region in Uganda’s west, and proposes pumping the crude to the coast across Tanzania via the East African Crude Oil Pipe Line (EACOP). The two leaders, Total and CNOOC say that a shareholding agreement had been reached.
Chinese regulators hit Alibaba with a $2.8B fine in its anti-monopoly investigation, saying the company abused its market dominance. The investigation that opened in December was focused around a practice by the tech giant that forces merchants to choose one of two platforms, rather than being able to work with both. In addition to the fine, Alibaba will have to file compliance reports.
Tech investor Peter Thiel believes China can use Bitcoin as a ’financial weapon’ against the US. ’Even though I’m sort of a pro-crypto, pro-Bitcoin maximalist person, I do wonder whether at this point Bitcoin should also be thought in part of as a Chinese financial weapon against the US,’ Thiel said. Bitcoin, Thiel added, ’threatens fiat money, but it especially threatens the US dollar.’
With nearly half the ballots counted Thursday, 1,100 warehouse workers at Amazon had rejected the union while 463 voted in favor of it. The count will resume Friday morning in Birmingham, Alabama. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which is organizing the Amazon workers in Bessemer, said that 3,215 votes were sent in.
Restaurants in the US are facing a shortage of tomato ketchup. This comes amid a surge in demand for sachets of sauce, ’driven by... accelerated delivery and take-out trends,’ as noted by Heinz, the most widely sold brand of ketchup. The company, recently, announced ’a 25% increase in production, totaling 12 billion ketchup packets...a year.’
According to the latest Forbes’ annual rich list, Beijing is home to more billionaires than any other city in the world. Beijing added 33 billionaires last year and now hosts 100. New York came in a close second with 99 billionaires. However, the combined net worth of NYC’s billionaires remained $80B greater than that of their counterparts in Beijing.
The US Labor Department said the number of American workers applying for unemployment benefits rose to 744,000 for the week ending April 3. It is an increase of 16,000 from 728,000 a week earlier. This reflects the slow recovery of Covid-hit job market. Applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for self-employed and gig workers totaled 151,752 last week, a decrease from the previous week.
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos said he backs a hike in corporate tax rate as part of an infrastructure upgrade. This comes after Bezos faced criticism from President Joe Biden, Congress and the public. Biden had said Amazon was one of those top companies that ’use various loopholes where they pay not a single solitary penny in federal income tax,’ whereas middle-class families pay over 20% in tax rates.
The Group of 20 major industrial countries issued a joint statement that also announced that agreed on a proposal to boost the resources of the International Monetary Fund by $650 billion. This is aimed at providing support to poorer nations who have been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the proposal still needs approval from the IMF’s board and then contributions from member countries.
The US commerce secretary, Gina Raimondo, said President Joe Biden is willing to negotiate on his push to raise the corporate tax rate to 28% to pay for the $2.25 trillion ’American Jobs Plan.’ While briefing reporters, Raimondo said, ’There is room for compromise. That is clear.’ She also asked American corporations not to walk away if they didn’t like a 28% hike. She termed it as ’unacceptable.’
Larry Connor, real estate firm The Connor Group’s managing partner will reportedly team up with deep sea specialist EYOS Expeditions as he looks to explore both the Challenger Deep and the Sirena Deep of the Mariana Trench next week. He is also gearing up to be the pilot for Axiom Space’s 10-day AX-1 mission to the ISS, flying on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, in January 2022.
Patreon has tripled its valuation to $4 billion in a $155 million funding round led by Tiger Global. The platform received new attention amid the COVID-19 pandemic as creators were forced to push more of their work online. Patreon reported that more than 30,000 creators signed up for the service in the first weeks of March 2020. Patreon makes money by taking a 5-12% fee from creators.
The value of the cryptocurrency market went past $2 trillion for the first time on Monday. The recent rally has been fueled by Ethereum, the second-largest digital coin. At the current price of $2114, Ethereum has returned over 180% since the beginning of the year. The overall crypto market has doubled in just over two months, as retail and institutional investors pile into the space.
40-year-old Kim Kardashian has been named a billionaire by Forbes. She is 2674th on the list of Forbes Billionaires, and her net worth has increased from $780million to $1billion since October. Billionaires fared better than ever over the last 12 months, despite the coronavirus pandemic wrecking havoc on global economy. Currently, the list of billionaires is the longest it has ever been.
US Senate GOP Leader McConnell lashed out at the corporate sector on Monday, warning CEOs to stay out of the debate over a new voting law in Georgia. ’Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order,’ McConnell said. Major Georgia employers Coca-Cola, Delta Air have spoken out against the law.
The International Monetary Fund predicted that global economic growth will accelerate to a record high this year in a powerful rebound from the pandemic recession, on the back of the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and vast sums of government aid. The IMF expects the world economy to expand 6% in 2021, up from the 5.5% it had forecast in January.
General Motors plans to produce an all-electric Chevrolet Silverado pickup at its new flagship assembly plant for EVs that’s under construction in Detroit. The new pickup is part of a $2.2 billion investment to produce an array of its next-generation EVs beginning later this year with an all-electric GMC Hummer pickup.