Month: February 2020

China cuts loan rate as it battles coronavirus impact

The five-year LPR — on which many lenders base their mortgage rates — was also lowered to 4.75 per cent from 4.8 per cent.

China on Thursday announced it would cut interest rates in a bid to boost the economy, as it battles the economic fallout of the new coronavirus outbreak.

The reduction in the loan prime rate (LPR) — one of the preferential rates commercial banks give to their best customers and which serves as a reference for other lending rates — is the latest measure to help companies struggling through the epidemic.

The one-year LPR was lowered to

Modi govt Ujjwala scheme: PMUY beneficiaries using dangerous fuel?

LPG price his has affected PMUY beneficiaries. Representational image

The increasing price of LPG cylinders is apparently forcing poor beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) back to use of unclean fuel. To check this trend, SBI Research has suggested a number of measures in its recent Ecowrap report. One of these suggestions include providing four free LPG cylinders every year to eligible beneficiaries. The report notes that even as the PMUY has solved the problem of availability of LPG cylinders across the country, the problem of affordability continues to exist. The rising prices of LPG cylinders has only added

When Modi went making a ‘Swatchh Bharat’, companies pulled away from sanitation

The Indian companies spent Rs 631 crore on sanitation-related issues in FY16, which less than halved to Rs 291 crore in FY18. (Bloomberg image)

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi was holding a broomstick in his hands to spread awareness about the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, companies in the country substantially cut expenditure on major issues such as sanitation. The Indian companies spent Rs 631 crore on sanitation-related issues in FY16, which less than halved to Rs 291 crore in FY18, according to the data provided by Anurag Singh Thakur, MoS for Finance and Corporate Affairs in a reply to a question

Boosting growth or checking inflation? RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das tells what is need of the hour

The economy also needs monetary stimulus, even as the inflation remains uncertain., according to the MPC minutes.

Since inflation is expected to come down, it’s prudent to continue with a focus on growth, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das said. The economy also needs monetary stimulus, even as the inflation remains uncertain, according to the minutes of the February Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting released Thursday. The sluggish growth can be revived by robust monetary transmission and bank credit flows, the minutes of the MPC meet also showed Shaktikanta Das as saying. “Monetary transmission and bank

Some Oracle Employees Stop Work in Protest of Larry Ellison’s Politics

(Bloomberg) — While a wave of employee activism marked by walk-outs and protests has rippled through Silicon Valley the past few years, Oracle Corp. glided along unscathed.

Now, a symbol of tech’s old guard is facing the stirrings of a worker uprising as well. People left their desks Thursday at Oracle offices around the world to protest Chairman Larry Ellison’s fundraiser a day earlier for President Donald Trump, according to people familiar with the matter. The protest, called No Ethics/No Work, involved about 300 employees walking out of their offices or stopping work at remote locations at noon local time

Energy Transfer Says CEO of Williams Secretly Undermined Takeover

(Bloomberg) — Energy Transfer LP claims Williams Cos.’s chief executive officer covertly undermined one of the pipeline industry’s biggest-ever takeovers and then sought to cover his tracks as the $33 billion deal imploded.

Williams CEO Alan Armstrong used a personal email account and private meetings to help a former employee mount a legal challenge to a merger publicly supported by Williams’ board, Energy Transfer said in a Delaware Court of Chancery filing. Armstrong’s efforts amounted to “overt steps to scuttle the merger,” according to the filing.

A Williams representative called the allegations “unfounded” and said they represent an attempt by

Fannie-Freddie May Be Freed With Treasury Backstop, Mnuchin Says

(Bloomberg) — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are expected to retain “limited and tailored government support” after they are freed from U.S. control, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a letter to lawmakers seeking information on the Trump administration’s plans for the mortgage giants.

Responding to questions posed by Senate Democrats, including Mark Warner and presidential contender Elizabeth Warren, Mnuchin and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria elaborated on their plans for ending the federal conservatorships that have been in place since the government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, were seized during the 2008 financial crisis.

In their letter, Mnuchin said

Wells Fargo close to settlements with DOJ, SEC over sales scandal

(Reuters) – Wells Fargo & Co is nearing a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department (DOJ) over previously disclosed probes into its sales practices, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

The settlements could be announced as soon as Friday, the report said, citing people who spoke on the condition of anonymity, wrapping up one of the last major probes looming over the bank.

Wells Fargo declined to comment on the report.

The San Francisco-based lender had set aside $3.9 billion for the quarter ended June 30 last year to deal with “a variety

This week in Trumponomics: Imploding Democrats

President Trump doesn’t know who to dig up dirt on next. His original target, Joe Biden, has bumbled into fourth place in the Democratic presidential race, and the other Dems are doing Trump’s work for him by destroying each other.

With the Democratic primary elections entering a decisive phase, intraparty warfare is turning Trump’s opposition into a circus. Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg claims to be the only candidate able to run a big enterprise, yet he withered under cross-examination by Elizabeth Warren during a two-hour debate on February 19. A Bloomberg surge in the polls is now

RBI MPC minutes: Economic activity remains weak

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, who heads the six-member panel, said “some green shoots are, however, visible”.

Economic activity remains weak and high frequency indicators do not point to “bottoming out” of the downturn, the RBI Monetary Policy Committee noted while keeping the key interest rate unchanged earlier this month.

According to the minutes of the MPC released by the central bank on Thursday, member and RBI Deputy Governor Michael Debabrata Patra observed that economic activity remains weak.

“… there are indications of the momentum of growth stabilising, with sector-specific upticks underlying this guarded optimism, but they are far from gaining