Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Morning business news headlines: Nov. 28, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

The worst-performing major economy also faces a budget crisis. Germany’s leader vows fixes, but how?

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has vowed that his government will work “as fast as possible” to solve a budget crisis. But in a speech to parliament Tuesday, he offered few details on how he would achieve his goals of promoting clean energy and modernizing the struggling economy after a court decision struck down billions in planned spending. Scholz and his governing coalition must decide what to cut next year after Germany’s top court ruled that some 60 billion euros in spending violated debt limits set out in the constitution. The budget slashing could further slow down what is already the world’s worst-performing major economy.

Stock market today: Wall Street quiet ahead of US consumer confidence survey, inflation report

Premarket trading was muted on Wall Street ahead of an inflation report and a survey of how American consumers are feeling about the economy. Futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were essentially flat before the bell Tuesday. The Conference Board was due Tuesday to issue an update on consumer confidence, which has declined for three straight months. Economists polled by FactSet expect the the survey to show that Americans’ confidence in the economy fell again in November, potentially bad news for businesses with the holiday shopping season in full swing.

High stakes and glitz mark the vote in Paris for the 2030 World Expo host

ISSY-LES-MOULINEAUX, France (AP) — Rome, Busan, and Riyadh are the top contenders to host the next World Expo in 2030. The organizing body will select a winner on Tuesday. The stakes are high and each city has escalated its campaign efforts. Rome has enlisted actor Russell Crowe and has included plans for the world’s largest urban solar park in its bid. South Korean port city Busan brought in K-pop heavyweights like BTS while the Saudis have received support from French President Emmanuel Macron. The first World Expo was held in 1851 and they have been the launchpad for innovations including the light bulb and the Ferris wheel.

Kenya court strikes out key clauses of a finance law as economic woes deepen from rising public debt

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Kenyan High Court has struck out key clauses of a contentious finance law that has been blamed for significantly raising taxes and the cost of living in East Africa’s largest economy. A trio of high court judges said Tuesday that parts of the Finance Act 2023 that touched on a mandatory housing levy were unconstitutional and couldn’t be enforced. The law has been backed by the International Monetary Fund. It’s part of the government’s efforts to increase revenue collection to pay for a ballooning foreign debt that now stands at $70 billion. Some of it is due next year.

New Google geothermal electricity project could be a milestone for clean energy

Google announced Tuesday that an advanced geothermal project has begun pumping carbon-free electricity onto the Nevada electric grid to feed Google data centers there. Google and Houston-based Fervo Energy partnered to develop next-generation geothermal power that runs 24 hours a day. Fervo says getting electrons onto the grid for the first time is a milestone many new energy companies never reach. The International Energy Agency has long projected geothermal could be a serious solution to climate change but its potential has been mostly unrealized until now. Today’s announcement could mark a turning point. Fervo is using a first pilot project in Nevada to launch others, including one in Utah that will deliver far more carbon-free electricity to the grid.

Supporting nonprofits on GivingTuesday this year could have a bigger impact than usual

Supporting nonprofits on GivingTuesday this year could have a bigger impact than usual. That’s because nonprofits and industry groups say donations so far are down compared with previous years. Many organizations will be looking to make up the difference on GivingTuesday, which is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Some run matching campaigns, meaning a supporter has pledged to double or sometimes triple the donation of other, smaller donors. A large amount of charitable giving happens at the end of the calendar year, so it’s still too soon to tell if this year will follow the trend in 2022, when overall donations dropped for only the fourth time in 40 years.

Elon Musk visits Israel to meet top leaders as accusations of antisemitism on X grow

JERUSALEM (AP) — Elon Musk has visited Israel, where he toured a kibbutz attacked by Hamas militants. The billionaire also met Monday with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who scolded him over content on his social media platform X. Musk has been under fire for endorsing an antisemitic conspiracy theory and for wider accusations of hatred flourishing on the platform previously known as Twitter. Musk joined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a tour of a rural village that Hamas militants stormed on Oct. 7 in a deadly assault that launched the war. Musk says “it was jarring” to see the where the attack took place and that it had been a “difficult day emotionally.”

Ukraine has a new way to get its grain to the world despite Russia’s threat in the Black Sea

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Increasing numbers of ships are streaming toward Ukraine’s Black Sea ports and heading out loaded with grain, metals and other cargo despite the threat of attack and explosive mines. It’s happening under a fledgling shipping corridor launched after Russia pulled out of a U.N.-brokered agreement this summer that allowed food to flow safely from Ukraine during the war. The exports are giving a boost to Ukraine’s agriculture-dependent economy and bringing back a key source of affordable food products for developing nations where food insecurity is growing. The head of one of Ukraine’s biggest agricultural producers and exporters says he’s feeling positive about the future because two months ago “it was “completely unclear how to survive.”

New incentives could boost satisfaction with in-person work, but few employers are making changes

NEW YORK (AP) — The COVID-19 pandemic upended the work habits of people around the world, with millions working from home, at least for part of their week. Workers have returned in waves back to the office on some days, but navigating that transition is a significant hurdle for employers and workers alike. And many simply don’t want to restore the pre-COVID status quo. Top factors behind this resistance include a sense of losing flexibility or throwing off a better work-life balance, as well as often lengthy and costly commutes. Two surveys conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago give a glimpse into the challenges and tensions that arrive with return to office plans.

Argentina’s right-wing president-elect to meet with a top Biden adviser

WASHINGTON (AP) — Argentine President-elect Javier Milei is getting a meeting with a top Biden aide. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby says Milei will sit down with White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Tuesday in Washington. President Joe Biden will be traveling to Georgia and Colorado on Tuesday and will not meet with Milei while he’s in Washington. The right-wing populist president-elect has been compared to former President Donald Trump. Milei has spoken favorably about Trump and said Trump called him last week to offer his congratulations. Milei’s economic policy advisers are also scheduled to meet with U.S. Treasury Department officials.

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