• Tue. Feb 20th, 2024

Business Model

If You've Got The Time, We've Got The Business Model

Business Highlights: Silicon Valley Bank; Kia, Hyundai


Deal to buy Silicon Valley Bank calms bank fears, for now

NEW YORK — First Citizens will acquire much of Silicon Valley Bank, the tech-focused financial institution whose lightning-quick failure this month set off a chain reaction that rattled faith in banks around the world. The sale underscores that Silicon Valley Bank’s assets do have value and helps to rebuild some faith. Stocks of several beaten down banks rose in a show of strength after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announced the deal. But investors and experts caution the sale doesn’t by itself provide an immediate all-clear for other banks following the second- and third-largest U.S. failures in history. That will likely take more time.

Fed official: SVB itself was main cause of bank’s failure

WASHINGTON — The nation’s top financial regulator is asserting that Silicon Valley Bank’s own management was largely to blame for the bank’s failure earlier this month and says the Federal Reserve will review whether a 2018 law that weakened stricter bank rules also contributed to its collapse. “SVB’s failure is a textbook case of mismanagement,” Michael Barr, the Fed’s vice chair for supervision, said in written testimony that will be delivered Tuesday at a Senate hearing. Barr pointed to the bank’s “concentrated business model,” in which its customers were overwhelmingly venture capital and high-tech firms in Silicon Valley. He also contends that the bank failed to manage the risks of its bond holdings.

St. Louis sues Kia, Hyundai over rash of car thefts

ST. LOUIS — A federal lawsuit accuses automakers Kia and Hyundai of failing to install industry-standard anti-theft technology, resulting in thousands of thefts of vehicles in St. Louis. The Missouri city filed the lawsuit Monday seeking damages in excess of $75,000 plus punitive damages. Several other cities that have filed similar lawsuits, including Cleveland, Milwaukee, San Diego, Columbus, Ohio, and Seattle. Kias and Hyundais have been targeted since a TikTok social media challenge put a spotlight on their lack of an immobilizer, showing viewers how to hot-wire cars with a USB cord and a screwdriver. The thefts have reportedly resulted in eight fatalities across the U.S.

Twitter celebs balk at paying Elon Musk for blue check mark

William Shatner, Monica Lewinsky and other prolific Twitter commentators — some household names, others little-known journalists — could soon be losing the blue check marks that helped verify their identity on the social media platform. They could get the marks back by paying up to $11 a month. But some longtime users, including Star Trek legend Shatner, have balked at buying the premium service championed by Twitter’s billionaire owner and chief executive Elon Musk. After months of delay, Musk is gleefully promising that Saturday is the deadline for celebrities, journalists and others who’d been verified for free to pony up or lose their legacy status. That’s raised concerns about how easy it could be to impersonate high-profile users and spread misinformation in their names.

What can Google’s AI-powered Bard do? We tested it for you

To use, or not to use, Bard? That is the Shakespearean question an Associated Press reporter sought to answer while testing out the artificially intelligent chatbot that Google has started to roll out. It’s the company’s attempt to catch up with the trendy ChatGPT tool that Microsoft has been melding into its Bing search engine and other software. During several hours of interaction, the AP learned Bard is quite forthcoming about its unreliability and other shortcomings, including its potential for mischief in next year’s U.S. presidential election. Even as it occasionally warned of the problems it could unleash, Bard repeatedly emphasized its belief that it will blossom into a force for good.

Strike over pay paralyzes rail, air travel in Germany

BERLIN — Trains, planes and public transit systems are standing still across much of Germany as labor unions called a major one-day strike over salaries in an effort to win inflation-busting raises for their members. The 24-hour walkout on Monday also affected cargo transport by rail and ship as workers at the country’s ports and waterways joined the strike. Many commuters opted to drive. That caused delays on the roads. Those who could worked from home. Unions are seeking a pay increase of at least 10.5% and have dismissed offers from employers of 5% in two stages plus one-off payments. Labor strikes are a regular occurence in Germany and normally end in a compromise deal between unions and employers.

Wind industry predicts bounceback and rapid growth in 2023

The wind power industry expects rapidly accelerating growth this year after a challenging 2022. The Global Wind Energy Council in Brussels said in its annual wind report Monday that incentives and policy changes in key changes should help overcome factors that slowed the industry last year. The international trade association also said growth will be fueled by concern about climate change and the security of energy supplies due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The council is projecting 680 gigawatts of new onshore and offshore capacity by 2027 — enough to power about 657 million homes annually. It blamed last year’s slower growth on inflation, higher logistics costs and bottlenecks in permitting.

More relatives of Colorado shooting victims sue Sturm Ruger

STAMFORD, Conn. — More relatives of people shot to death at a Colorado supermarket in 2021 are suing gun-maker Sturm, Ruger & Co. over how it marketed the firearm used in the massacre. A lawyer for relatives of five of the 10 people killed at the Boulder store said Monday that the new lawsuit has been served on the company and will be filed this week in Connecticut, where Sturm, Ruger is based in Fairfield. The son of a sixth victim filed a similar lawsuit earlier this month over the marketing of the Ruger AR-556 pistol, which looks like a rifle. Both suits seek undisclosed damages. Company representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Binance and founder Changpeng Zhao sued by CFTC

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is suing Binance and its founder Changpeng Zhao, claiming numerous violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations. Binance’s former chief compliance officer, Samuel Lim, was also charged with aiding and abetting Binance’s violations. In its complaint, the CFTC claimed that cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance “allegedly chose to knowingly disregard applicable provisions of the CEA while engaging in a calculated strategy of regulatory arbitrage to their commercial benefit.”

The S&P 500 rose 6.54 points, or 0.2%, to 3,977.53. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 194.55 points, or 0.6%, to 32,432.08. The Nasdaq composite fell 55.12 points, or 0.5% to 11,768.84. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 18.75 points, or 1.1%, to 1,753.67.


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