London’s secret billion-pound guilds

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The companies do let out their halls, as the Goldsmith did for a speech by then-Foreign Secretary Lord Hague in 2010. But could they raise more? It’s the older institutions that Mr Ferris feels may not be pulling their weight. Many have investments in companies listed on the stock market. Some have large land holdings. Among the richest are the Mercers, which owns a number of blocks in Covent Garden. No public accounts In fact, the Mercers and Goldsmiths are the 55th and 73rd largest landlords in London respectively, according to Datscha, a commercial property data firm. Together, they are bigger landowners in the city than supermarket chain Sainsbury’s or the National Grid. But …

Ariana Grande breaks UK chart records

Grande also becomes only the second female artist to fill the top two spots at the same time. The last was Madonna, who was at number one and two simultaneously in August 1985 with Into The Groove and Holiday. ‘Peak popularity’ Thank U, Next’s pole position is no surprise. According to the Official Charts Company, it had been outselling the rest of the top five albums combined. Yet the success of Grande’s latest is particularly remarkable given how short the gap has been between her previous album and this one. Her last record, Sweetener, was released just six months ago, in August 2018. The intervening months have been turbulent for the 25-year-old. Her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller died after an accidental …

Huawei is crushing Apple in China, and the US is partly to blame

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Huawei smartphones are killing the iPhone in China. Huawei’s booming sales show how major parts of its business continue to thrive even as the United States tries to persuade other countries to shut Huawei products out of 5G wireless networks and pursues criminal charges against it. The company expects to overtake Samsung as the world’s biggest smartphone maker by next year. Huawei sold 30 million phones in China in the last three months of 2018, nearly three times as many as Apple (AAPL), according to data published this week by research firms Canalys and IDC. Apple’s sales plunged almost 20%. ‘Cult status’ Huawei’s success in China, the world’s largest smartphone market, is about more than geopolitics. Chinese …

May rejects customs union as Britain signs deal with Switzerland

London (CNN)British Prime Minister Theresa May has again rejected calls for the UK to remain in a customs union with the European Union after the country leaves the bloc — but said she remains open to further talks with the opposition Labour Party as the clock ticks toward a potential no-deal Brexit. But May said she would welcome further talks on what “alternative arrangements” should be sought to the backstop — an insurance policy designed to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland — which has stalled parliamentary support for her proposals so far. “One of the things I would like our teams to discuss is the exact nature of those alternative arrangements,” May wrote. …

Dow soars 372 points on shutdown deal and oil

New York (CNN Business)Wall Street on Tuesday cheered a reversal of two trends that had been weighing on investors: US politics and oil. Congressional negotiators said late Monday they reached an agreement in principle to avert a partial government shutdown at the end of this week. The deal will not be final until Congress passes it and President Donald Trump signs it — leaving a lot of room for a new development to scuttle the agreement. But Wall Street was optimistic that American lawmakers would avoid another crisis.

6 Books, Movies And Shows That Break Down Why Blackface Isn’t Just Offensive It’s Dangerous

In recent weeks alone, three prominent white male politicians from Virginia ― Gov. Ralph Northam (D), state Sen. Tommy Norment (R) and Attorney General Mark Herring (D) ― have been asked to answer for their use of or association with blackface in decades-old photos. And two major fashion houses, Gucci and Prada,  The deluge of controversy is a reminder that blackface isn’t just a historic offense relegated to the pages of yearbooks. It’s a modern reality with deeply misunderstood roots. Northam, whose 1984 medical school yearbook page shows  But that’s the thing about blackface in 2019: Conversations about the racist act still revolve around its inherent offensiveness and how mocking portrayals of black people date back to 19th century minstrel performances (we’ve written about that …

The case for why 2019 will be a bad year for markets and 2020 will be even worse

New York (CNN Business)Hedge fund manager Mark Yusko sees eerie similarities between today and the implosion of the dot-com bubble. US stocks, as measured by the S&P 500, plummeted nearly 20% between last fall and Christmas Eve. That’s just shy of what typically qualifies for a bear market. Vicious cycle? But Yusko doesn’t think that matters. He believes the stock market is way too expensive and it will ultimately plunge at least 40% to 50% from all-time highs. “Amazon is a bubble. The stock is wildly overvalued. Netflix is even worse,” he said. One crucial difference between now and the dot-com bubble is most of today’s popular tech stocks are profitable. Back then, many money-losing companies were trading on ill-defined …

FDA Vows To Strengthen Oversight Of Multibillion-Dollar Dietary Supplement Industry

Describing the move as “one of the most significant modernizations of dietary supplement regulation and oversight in more than 25 years,” the agency said this week that it’s rolling out a multi-prong plan aimed at protecting the public from potentially “unsafe and unlawful products.” with little federal supervision.  not authorized to review dietary supplements for safety and efficacy before they are marketed. The agency only has the authority to stop the sale of a supplement if it can prove the product is dangerous. But with tens of thousands of products on the market today, many of which are sold online, the agency has conceded just how challenging this task can be.  FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Monday, announcing the agency’s …

China’s back to business; US shutdown risk; Brexit bites

London (CNN Business)1. Back to business in China: Markets in mainland China zoomed higher Monday as investors returned from a week-long break for Lunar New Year. Trump has threatened to increase existing tariffs and enact a third wave of penalties on Chinese goods if the two sides can’t broker a permanent truce before the March 1 deadline. 2. US government shutdown (round 2): The United States is facing another possible government shutdown later this week. Budget talks between Democrats and Republicans ground to a halt over the weekend in a dispute over immigration policy. The disagreement appeared to dash hopes that a deal could be reached by Monday to allow each chamber of Congress plenty of time to pass legislation …

Nissan cuts profit forecast in its first report since ousting Carlos Ghosn

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Life after Carlos Ghosn is off to a rocky start for Nissan. Nissan’s new leaders have a tough job to turn things around. After an 8% drop in the first three quarters of its financial year, Nissan’s sales in the United States plunged 19% in January. The company is trying to “improve its brand value” and become more competitive in the United States, CEO Hiroto Saikawa said at a news conference Tuesday. Nissan blamed its lackluster performance in Europe, where sales nosedived 13% in the first nine months of its financial year, on uncertainty surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union and tighter regulations on diesel emissions. Earlier this month, the company said it had scrapped plans …

Trumps Tariffs Sent Solar Jobs Tumbling For The Second Year In A Row

In 2016, the solar industry created new jobs in the United States. A year later, that number for the first time in seven years as President data Green New Deal could dramatically increase demand for solar workers in the next few years. The problem, at least on the federal level, was mostly one of perception. Trump came into office in 2017 to gut incentives for solar and wind energy in an effort to bolster fossil fuels and cut federal spending. The Solar Foundation A chart from the report shows the 159 percent increase in solar employment since 2010.  Roughly three-quarters of Americans employed by the solar industry work in installment and wholesale, sectors bolstered by the availability of cheap panels …

The next round of bank mergers has finally arrived

New York (CNN Business)After a decade-long lull, flashy mergers between American banks are back. After the 2008 financial crisis, mergers and acquisitions in the banking sector stalled as regulation of the industry ramped up and the public remained wary of “too big to fail” institutions. Ten years later, another round of consolidation appears imminent, according to Alan McIntyre, Accenture’s senior managing director for banking. Tech hurdles and interest rates One factor encouraging bankmergers is the sheer amount of money that financial firms now need to invest in technology. It’s necessary so they can protect their systems and keep their digital presenceup-to-date. Internal systems can require a lot of upkeep, while customers have come to expect high quality service on their …

As Emiliano Sala’s family grieves his transfer provides glimpse into football’s ‘arms race’

(CNN)A Facebook photograph shows a black dog sitting in a house, looking toward a clump of trees as the sun starts to set. It’s a picture that leaves a sense of a dog waiting patiently for its owner to return. When asked by CNN if the demand for payment was true, Nantes said that this particular paragraph in a report published by French newspaper France Ouest, was accurate. They did not elaborate when asked by CNN. “FC Nantes indeed contacted Cardiff to know what their intentions were, suspecting the Welsh club to save time. Nantes asked two lawyers to study the possible legal recourses to force Cardiff to honor the payment of the Emiliano Sala transfer and it is also …

How bad is China’s economic slump? It’s impossible to tell

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Companies and executives around the world are desperately trying to gauge the severity of China’s economic slowdown. But getting a clear picture is very difficult. His firm gathers data from thousands of companies across different industries in China to come up with its own picture of what’s happening, drawing its name from the US Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report. Miller said the Chinese economy is “much, much weaker” at the moment than Chinese government figures suggest and things are unlikely to turn around anytime soon. Figuring out the likely length and depth of the slumpis important for businesses making decisions on investments and hiring, and for investors working out where to put their money. China is grappling …

IBM’s AI debate computer loses to human champion

San Francisco (CNN Business)People are great at arguing. But a project from IBM shows that computers are getting quite good at it, too. It followed traditional debate style. Each side gave a 4-minute opening speech, then they each came up with a 4-minute rebuttal to the other party. At the end, they gave a 2-minute closing argument. The audience was asked to vote for one side or the other at the start of the debate, and again at the end. “Greetings, Harish,” Project Debater began, speaking in a mainly monotonous, female voice. It argued, among other things, that subsidized preschool can help break the poverty cycle. It spoke in complete sentences, and drew from a range of studies (including by …

Wall Street hates a lot of big retail stocks

New York (CNN Business)It’s a good time to be a shopper because companies like Amazon (AMZN), Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT) are keeping prices low. Many companies tread water or even lose money for the first few months of the year and then make giant profits in the second half thanks to back-to-school and holiday shopping. But the rise of Amazon and digital shopping in general has made life even more difficult for prominent retailers. Fewer of those back-to-school and holiday shoppers are heading to a physical location. “Retail is being transformed. You’ve seen Sears go bankrupt,” said Kevin Miller, chief investment officer of the E-Valuator funds. “Many retailers and consumer products are having to play catchup online.” Companies like …