Monthly Archives: March 2016

NY state in tentative deal to raise minimum wage toward $15 an hour

Members of the audience cheer as they listen to speakers at a union rally for higher minimum wages in New YorkGovernor Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders reached a tentative deal on Thursday to raise New York state's minimum wage toward $15 per hour but fell short of a uniform state-wide increase, lawmakers said. The deal outlines a faster rise in New York City, but carves out a slow lane for small businesses and its surrounding counties. The minimum wage has been a sticking point in difficult budget negotiations that threaten to delay a spending plan past the start of the state's fiscal year on April 1.

China’s Anbang abandons bid to buy Starwood Hotels

A woman walks past the 'W London' hotel in Leicester Square in central LondonThe surprise withdrawal marks an anticlimactic end to a bidding war that had pitted Marriott's ambitions to create the world's largest lodging company, with about 5,700 hotels, against Anbang's drive to create a vast portfolio of U.S. real estate assets. "We were attracted to the opportunity presented by Starwood because of its high-quality, leading global hotel brands, which met many of our acquisition criteria, including the ability to generate consistent, long-term returns over time," Anbang said in a statement. Anbang did not offer Starwood a reason for not following through on its raised offer of March 26, according to people familiar with the matter.

California lawmakers approve hiking minimum wage to $15

Fast-food workers and their supporters join a nationwide protest for higher wages and union rights outside McDonald's in Los AngelesA plan to raise California's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022 passed both houses of the state legislature on Thursday, putting the state on track to become the first in the nation to commit to such a large pay hike for the working poor. The measure, incorporating a deal Governor Jerry Brown reached with labor leaders and progressive Democrats in the Legislature, was approved in the state Senate Thursday afternoon after winning approval earlier in the day in the Assembly, and now goes to Brown for his signature. "If you work full time, your family shouldn't live in poverty," Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, a Southern California Democrat, said in support of the bill to raise the state's minimum wage from its current level of $10 per hour.

GE Capital asks U.S. government to lift ‘too big to fail’ designation

A General Electric refrigerator is seen on sale at an appliance store in WestminsterLender GE Capital asked the U.S. government on Thursday to stop designating it as "too big to fail," saying it had shrunk to the point where it would not pose a major threat to the nation's financial stability if it experiences distress. Chief Executive Officer Keith Sherin said in a statement that the General Electric Co unit no longer met the criteria for a "systemically important financial institution," a label that can trigger requirements for stricter oversight and more capital. The application came the day after a federal judge struck down the designation of insurer MetLife Inc , but GE Capital said the two events were unrelated.

MetLife ruling bolsters other firms arguing systemic unimportance

The MetLife building is seen in New YorkBy Lauren Tara LaCapra NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal judge's ruling that MetLife Inc is not important enough to warrant special regulatory scrutiny has opened the door for other non-bank financial firms to try and unshackle themselves from the designation of "too big to fail." Those that stand to benefit from Wednesday's decision include insurers Prudential Financial Inc and American International Group Inc, as well as General Electric Co's GE Capital and asset managers like BlackRock Inc, Fidelity Investments and The Vanguard Group Inc. Metlife, Prudential, AIG and GE Capital are the only four non-banks that have been deemed systemically important financial institutions, or SIFIs, by the Financial Stability Oversight Council. BlackRock, Fidelity and Vanguard have not been assigned systemic importance, but analysts and regulatory experts say they are large enough to merit consideration.

Trump meets with Republican leadership after backing away from loyalty pledge

Trump waves to onlookers and reporters as he departs through a back door after meetings at Republican National Committee (RNC) headquarters in WashingtonBy Steve Holland and John Whitesides WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump made a surprise closed-door visit to the Republican National Committee on Thursday after a tumultuous two days on the campaign trail that included a reversal of his pledge to support the party's nominee. Trump, who also has sought to contain the fallout from his Wednesday comments supporting punishment for women who have an abortion, said on Twitter afterward he had a "nice meeting" with RNC Chairman Reince Preibus but divulged no details. "And it will happen!" An RNC spokeswoman described the meeting as "a productive conversation about the state of the race" and said it was part of Preibus's regular communications with the party's presidential candidates.

Tesla fans line up, camp out to sign up for new Model 3

People wait in line at a Tesla Motors dealership to place deposits on the electric car company's mid-priced Model 3 in La Jolla, CaliforniaFans of luxury electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc camped out overnight and stood in lines to put down deposits on its new more affordable model, due to be unveiled at an event on Thursday evening. In scenes reminiscent of the launch of Apple Inc products, would-be buyers of the Silicon Valley car maker's Model 3 pitched tents and set up camping chairs on the sidewalk outside Tesla stores, which began taking pre-orders for the vehicle. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk plans to unveil a Model 3 prototype in Los Angeles at 8:30 p.m. PDT (0330 GMT, Friday).

South Sudan tells UN ready for rebel leader’s return

South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar's arrival in Juba is a key step for the formation of a unity government that was agreed under a peace accord to end a brutal war which has killed tens of thousands of people over nearly 2.5 yearsSouth Sudan told the United Nations on Thursday that it expects hundreds of rebel troops to be airlifted to Juba this week, paving the way for the return of rebel leader Riek Machar. Machar's arrival in Juba is a key step for the formation of a unity government that was agreed under a peace accord to end a brutal war which has killed tens of thousands of people over nearly 2.5 years.