Business This Week | The Economist
Enjoy more audio and podcasts on ios or Android.
Gary Gensler, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, called for more protections for investors in the cryptocurrency markets, which he described as a Wild West rife with frauds and crooks. Mr Gensler wants federal securities laws to apply to digital currencies and more powers for the SECOND to monitor the market. Otherwise, he fears that “a lot of people will be hurt” by bad investments.
Another challenge for traditional banking is emerging from ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL), which allows buyers to stagger their payments for goods, sometimes without interest or credit checks, but late payment fees. Square, a payments company run by Jack Dorsey, offered to buy After payment, based in Melbourne and a global pioneer in BNPL, for 29 billion dollars, the largest takeover ever by Australia. Regulators have expressed concern about BNPLlax lending rules. The industry has exploded during the pandemic. Apple would like to enter the market.
The Memes Machine
Robinhood the share was a roller coaster ride after the company went public. The stock trading app had a terrible Initial Public Offering, with its share price closing down 8%. A few days later, the multitude of small investors who favor the app, especially to buy and sell “meme” stocks, rushed to buy stock options. The frenzied trading pushed the stock up 85% from the offer price.
General Motors reported second quarter net profit of $ 2.8 billion and raised its profit forecast for the year. The automaker has been boosted by its credit activity. DG Finance benefited from the acceleration in demand for used cars as production of new vehicles stagnated amid a global semiconductor shortage. DG maintained production of its best-selling models by diverting chip supplies from its less popular models, but warned that the shortage could affect future profits.
The plan to buy back 40 billion Arm, a UK-based chip designer, by Nvidia, America’s most valuable semiconductor maker, is said to be in trouble. The UK government is said to be worried about the national security implications, although no decision to cancel the deal has been made.
the of the euro zone GDP rose 2% in the second quarter compared to the previous three months, a better performance than America and China, which rose 1.6% and 1.3% on this measure. The German economy grew by 1.5% and that of France by 0.9%.
Big energy companies reported bumper quarterly profits, boosted by the rising price of oil, which remains their main source of income despite the industry’s shift to cleaner fuels. ExxonMobil, which posted a loss every quarter last year, made a net profit of $ 4.7 billion.
PepsiCo has agreed to sell a controlling stake in its Tropicana and Naked fruit juice brands to a private equity firm for $ 3.3 billion. Although they are rich in vitamins, fruit juices are also high in sugar; Pepsi wants to focus on calorie-free, healthier energy drinks.
Tame the dragon
Tencent was forced to introduce new restrictions on how long children can play its video games following a backlash from Chinese state media. The Chinese internet conglomerate said authorities had asked game companies to fulfill their social responsibilities, adding further pressure on tech companies in China as the government grappled with the growing weight of the industry. Tencent’s share price fell sharply. A measure of Chinese technology stocks listed in New York, the Golden Dragon Index, had its worst month since the global financial crisis of 2007-09.
An early target of China’s regulatory crackdown, Ali Baba, recorded a 34% increase in sales in the second quarter, year-on-year. Profit was down, however, as the group spent money revamping its various digital platforms. Like others in the Chinese tech industry, Alibaba is also adjusting to new government decrees. He will “respond positively with actions,” said Daniel Zhang, the managing director.
More and more US companies have announced that they will require staff to be vaccinated against covid-19, a policy that was first adopted by the big banks but is spreading in all sectors. Following similar actions recently taken by Google and Facebook, Microsoft will now require all employees and guests to show proof of a jab (and will not fully reopen its offices until October), as will Walmart, Disney and Tyson Foods. , a meat supplier. . Netflix wants the actors and the crew of its film sets to be vaccinated.
Zoom has reportedly agreed to pay $ 85 million to settle a class action lawsuit accusing it of sharing customer data with third parties, including Facebook and Google. Part of the regulation requires the video conferencing company to take additional measures to prevent Zoombombing, where hackers block a meeting to post pornography, racist images and other material that is certainly not to the order of the public. day.
This article appeared in the The World This Week section of the print edition under the headline “Business This Week”