Monday, May 27, 2024

AP morning business news brief – March 24, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

Deutsche Bank shares drop amid global jitters over banks

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Shares in Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest lender, have fallen sharply and dragged down major European banks as fears about the global financial system send fresh shudders through the markets. Deutsche Bank shares were off 14% in Friday midday trading in Frankfurt. The drop follows a steep rise in the cost of financial derivatives, known as credit default swaps, that insure bondholders against the bank defaulting on its debts. Rising costs on insuring debt were also a prelude to a government-backed takeover of Swiss lender Credit Suisse by its rival UBS. The selloff of the German lender comes despite it having capital reserves well in excess of regulatory requirements and five straight quarters of profits.

Debt, expenses stress lower income households: AP-NORC poll

NEW YORK (AP) — A new AP-NORC poll shows that personal finances are a major source of stress for about half of the lower income households in the U.S.. The results illustrate the toll of high inflation and economic uncertainty on those who can least afford it. About half of U.S. adults in households earning less than $60,000 annually and about 4 in 10 of those in households earning $60,000 to $100,000 say they’re stressed by their personal finances. That compares with only about a quarter of those in higher income households. About three-quarters of adults across income groups say their household expenses are higher now than they were a year ago.

Much of drought-plagued West Coast faces salmon fishing ban

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Federal officials are expected to prohibit king salmon fishing this season along much of the West Coast, which many predict could stretch into 2024 season as the drought and other factors take their toll on the iconic Chinook fish. In early April, the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the regulatory group, will consider three proposals that all call for the closure of the 2023 season for commercial and recreational salmon fishing in California and most of Oregon. Biologists say the Chinook salmon population has declined dramatically after years of drought. Many in the fishing industry say Trump-era rules that allowed more water to be diverted from the Sacramento River Basin to agriculture caused even more harm.

Radioactive water leaks at Minn. nuclear plant for 2nd time

MONTICELLO, Minn. (AP) — Water containing a radioactive material has leaked for a second time from a nuclear plant near Minneapolis and the plant will be shut down, but there is no danger to the public. Xcel Energy says a leak of what was believed to be hundreds of gallons of water containing tritium was discovered this week from a temporary fix at the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant, where 400,000 gallons of water with tritium also leaked in November. The plant about 38 miles northwest of Minneapolis is scheduled to power down Friday so permanent repairs can begin. A monthslong delay in announcing the initial leak has raised questions about public safety and transparency, but industry experts say there was never a public health threat.

Officials: Safety device, human error derailed Wash. train

ANACORTES, Wash. (AP) — The Federal Railroad Administration says a safety device meant to keep trains from tipping into Puget Sound knocked a train off the tracks last week, spilling 3,100 gallons of diesel fuel in Washington state. The BNSF Railway train was approaching a swinging bridge Thursday after leaving an oil refinery in Anacortes when it derailed. KUOW reports “derailers” on both sides of the bridge force trains off the tracks if the bridge is open. The bridge was not open that morning, but the train hit a derailer that remained in operation. Federal Railroad Administration spokesperson Warren Flatau says there was a miscommunication between the train crew and the bridge tender. BNSF Railway spokesperson Lena Kent has declined to comment.

Corruption, deep disparity mark Iraq’s oil legacy post-2003

NAHRAN OMAR, Iraq (AP) — Basra province boasts most of Iraq’s oil reserves and is symbolic of the deep disparities that have endured since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that remade the country’s political order. Rich in resources, the province ranks among the poorest and most underdeveloped in Iraq, which baffles experts. Local officials and residents blame widespread corruption in the government. Oil exports are double what they were before the invasion, and Iraq’s state budgets are almost entirely funded by oil revenues. Still, the government fails to provide many basic services, including electricity and water. In an entrenched political system, sectarian-based parties claim lucrative ministry portfolios, appoint loyalists in key positions and dole out public jobs to ensure support

EU leaders play down bank risks as economy weakens

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders are playing down the risk of a banking crisis developing from recent global financial turmoil and hitting an already weak economy. The deliberations Friday by EU government heads in Brussels follow U.S. regulators shutting down two U.S. banks and a Swiss-orchestrated takeover of troubled lender Credit Suisse by rival UBS. The emergency actions on both sides of the Atlantic revived memories of the 2008 global financial meltdown and the ensuing EU sovereign debt crisis, which almost broke apart the euro currency now shared by 20 European countries. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says “the banking system is stable in Europe.” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says “I think we are in good shape.”

TikTok CEO grilled by skeptical lawmakers on safety, content

WASHINGTON (AP) — A nearly six-hour grilling of TikTok’s CEO by lawmakers brought the platform’s 150 million U.S. users no closer to an answer as to whether the app will be wiped from their devices. Shou Zi Chew’s testimony Thursday came at a crucial time for the company, which has 150 million American users but is under increasing pressure from U.S. officials concerned about data security and user safety. TikTok and its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, have been swept up in a wider geopolitical battle between Beijing and Washington over trade and technology. Chew, a 40-year-old Singapore native, made a rare public appearance to counter the volley of allegations that TikTok has been facing.

Why TikTok’s security risks keep raising fears

The battle between the U.S. and China over TikTok came into full view when the social media platform’s CEO testified before Congressional lawmakers. Shou Zi Chew’s hearing is happening at what he’s called a “pivotal moment” for the hugely popular short video sharing app. TikTok is owned by parent company ByteDance, which has offices in Beijing. The platform has 150 million American users but it’s been dogged by persistent claims that it threatens national security and user privacy, or could be used to promote pro-Beijing propaganda and misinformation. Chew attempted to persuade lawmakers not to pursue a ban on the app or force its sale to new owners.

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