Tag Archives: News event

TBN

Talking Biz News Today — April 4, 2014

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Friday’s top business news stories:

The Wall Street Journal

Airbus orders hurt by cancellations, by Robert Wall
Discounts are piled on as Americans buy fewer basics, by Serena Ng

The New York Times

Nest Labs stops selling its smoke detector, by Nick Wingfield
G.M. turns to experienced crisis experts, by Bill Vlasic and Hilary Stout

The Associated Press

Feds reach $5.15B settlement over mining cleanup, by Felecia Fonseca, Eric Tucker and Dina Cappiello
Milwaukee group wants to buy Pabst Blue Ribbon, by Carrie Antlfinger

Bloomberg

Brooklyn’s hipster economy challenges Manhattan supremacy, by Henry Goldman

Forbes

David Letterman retiring from TV, by Dorothy Pomerantz

Today in business journalism

South Florida Biz Journal refocuses its beats
WSJ’s Baker: We’re a better paper under Murdoch

Biz journalist Haj hired by American Lawyer

This date in business journalism history

2011: Engadget staff to launch new site
2013: Bloomberg adds Twitter to service

TBN

Talking Biz News Today — April 3, 2014

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Thursday’s top business news stories:

The New York Times

Out of work, out of benefits, and running out of options, by Annie Lowrey
Fake meats, finally, taste like chicken, by Stephanie Strom

The Wall Street Journal

Senators challenge GM’s Barra, push for faster change, by Siobhan Hughes and Jeff Bennett
Yelp reviews brew a fight over free speech vs. fairness, by Angus Loten

The Associated Press

Growing demand for US apartments pushing up rents, by Alexa Veiga

Bloomberg

Fed governor Stein resigns to return to teaching at Harvard, by Craig Torres and Jeff Kearns

CNNMoney

Mozilla CEO resigns over anti-same-sex-marriage controversy, by Heather Kelly

And in local news:

Triangle Business Journal

Alcohol board forces Mellow Mushroom to end beer club, by Dawn Kurry

Today in business journalism

ACBJ launching BizWomen.com on Monday
American Lawyer parent is on the market
Bloomberg hires new airlines reporter
Adding high-quality stores at International Business Times
Citigroup’s troubles in Mexico

Citi

Citigroup’s troubles In Mexico

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Well, the good times at Citigroup didn’t last long. The bank had yet another public relations blow when it reported fraud was discovered in its Banamex Mexico unit.

Ben Protess and Michael Corkery reported in the New York Times that now the government is getting involved:

Just as Citigroup was putting a troubled past of taxpayer bailouts and risky investments behind it, the bank now finds itself in the government’s cross hairs again.

Federal authorities have opened a criminal investigation into a recent $400 million fraud involving Citigroup’s Mexican unit, according to people briefed on the matter, one of a handful of government inquiries looming over the giant bank.

The investigation, overseen by the F.B.I. and prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan, is focusing in part on whether holes in the bank’s internal controls contributed to the fraud in Mexico. The question for investigators is whether Citigroup — as other banks have been accused of doing in the context of money laundering — ignored warning signs.

The bank, which also faces a parallel civil investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement unit, hired the law firm Shearman & Sterling to lead an internal inquiry into the fraud, said the people briefed on the matter, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. At a meeting last month, the bank’s lawyers presented their initial findings to the government.

The bloom of activity stems from Citigroup’s disclosure in February that its Mexican unit, Banamex, uncovered an apparent fraud involving an oil services company.

Apparently, at least two people have lost their jobs due to the digressions, Dakin Campbell reported for Bloomberg:

Citi terminated two traders in 2013 for violating our code of conduct,” Danielle Romero-Apsilos, a spokeswoman for the New York-based bank, said today in an e-mailed statement. “We escalated this issue to regulators and took immediate action against these individuals.”

The fixed-income traders engaged in unauthorized transactions that may have resulted in losses of as much as “tens of millions of dollars,” Reuters reported earlier today, citing two sources close to the matter.

Banamex, which Citigroup acquired in 2001, is the biggest unit in the bank’s Latin America operations, which account for about 20 percent of total revenue. Citigroup reported Feb. 28 that fraud on loans made by the unit to a Mexican oil-services firm would cut last year’s profit by $235 million.

Elinor Comlay and David Henrys story for Reuters had much of the background on the situation, including troubles with the firm’s top executive in Mexico.

Mexico’s bank and securities regulator, the National Bank and Securities Commission, is aware of the matter, which was investigated internally by the bank, a spokesman for the regulator said.

The trading loss, even if realized, would be small in the scheme of Citigroup’s $13.7 billion of earnings for 2013. The Mexican unit, which has in the past enjoyed a good deal of autonomy, has suffered much bigger losses from bad loans to homebuilders and oil services company Oceanografia.

Some Citigroup officials are asking whether the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision last week to veto its plan to boost dividends and buy back more shares was linked to its Mexico troubles.

Citigroup has cut the compensation for Manuel Medina-Mora, who has run Banamex for many years and is also co-president of Citigroup – a role in which he oversees global consumer banking.

Medina-Mora was paid $9.5 million in total compensation for 2013, according to a proxy statement filed by Citigroup on March 12. That was down from the $11 million he received for 2012.

The filing said a factor in his pay was control issues at Banamex USA, a unit of Banamex, which the U.S. government has faulted for not doing enough to stop money laundering by customers. Citigroup last year consented to an order from the Federal Reserve to take corrective steps.

The Times story also pointed out the most recent troubles for the firm.

The case represents another setback for the bank, which has also come under fire from regulators in Washington. Last week, the Federal Reserve rejected Citigroup’s plan to increase its dividend. The rebuke embarrassed the bank and raised questions about the reliability of its financial projections.

The scrutiny coincides with Citigroup’s recent announcement that it faces a separate, and perhaps more threatening, investigation from federal prosecutors in Massachusetts. The prosecutors, who have sent subpoenas to Citigroup, are examining whether the bank lacked proper safeguards against clients laundering money. Citigroup, the people briefed on the matter said, has hired the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to handle that case, which stems from the prosecutors’ suspicion that drug money was flowing through an account at the bank.

Together, the developments threaten to complicate Citigroup’s relationships with government authorities, who had previously lost faith in the bank after it required two bailouts and came to epitomize Wall Street’s role in the financial crisis. While Citigroup’s chief executive, Michael L. Corbat, has repaired ties to regulators using a blend of contrition and self-accountability, the latest investigations could test those improvements.

Corbat just can’t seem to catch a break. Ever since taking over the bank, he’s had to continually put out crises and handle inquires. It’s hard to imagine business as usual or clients being thrilled about the latest news.

TBN

Talking Biz News Today — April 2, 2014

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Wednesday’s top business stories:

Reuters

Chrysler to recall nearly 870,000 SUVs for brake problem, by Mridhula Raghavan

The New York Times

G.M. hires lawyer specializing in disaster payouts, by Bill Vlasic and Matthew L. Wald
As strike begins, Lufthansa cancels 900 flights, by Nicola Clark and Jack Ewing

The Wall Street Journal

Southwest Airlines, once a brassy upstart, is showing its age, by Jack Nicas and Susan Carey

Bloomberg

ADP says companies in U.S. added 191,000 workers in March, by Lorraine Woellert

The Associated Press

US factory orders rebound 1.6 percent in February, by Martin Crutsinger

Fortune

BMW bets big on South Carolina, by Doron Levin

And in local news:

After more than 40 years, Roses discount retailer closing in Chapel Hill, by Jesse Burkhart

Today in business journalism

WSJ Office Network is sold
Bartiromo’s show opens to strong ratings
Reuters names new Korea bureau chief
Bartiromo returns to CNBC – in a commercial
Goldman may sell floor trading

This date in business journalism history

2009: Seattle-area biz paper prints last issue, changes name to cover new area
2013: WSJ launches Turkish language site

Business journalism birthdays

April 2: Emily Steel of the Financial Times

April 2: Julia LaRoche of Business Insider

April 2: Matthew Flamm of Crain’s New York Business

 

Market frenzy

Goldman may sell floor trading

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In a week where much of Wall Street has been talking about Michael Lewis’ new book and high-frequency trading, on Tuesday, the news broke that Goldman Sachs might sell its New York Stock Exchange floor-trading unit.

Justin Baer and Bradley Hope had this story in the Wall Street Journal:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is close to selling a once-iconic trading business based on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for a fraction of what it paid less than 15 years ago, according to people familiar with the matter.

Goldman is in talks to sell the business, once part of Spear, Leeds & Kellogg LP, to Dutch firm IMC Financial Markets, the people said.

Goldman paid $6.5 billion in 2000 for the business, which included a division that puts buyers and sellers together on the floor of the NYSE. A final deal isn’t imminent, though the companies are discussing a price of as much as $30 million, the people said, a reflection of the dramatic changes that have transformed U.S. markets since Goldman made the initial deal.

Remco Lenterman, chief executive of IMC Financial Markets, said the company doesn’t “comment on rumors or speculation.”

Bloomberg pointed out in a story by Sam Mamudi, Zeke Faux and Michael J. Moore that the NYSE’s floor traders have been shrinking and they may be purchased by IMC, a high-frequency trading firm:

The NYSE’s huddles of traders have been shrinking for years as more transactions are handled electronically, making humans less integral. Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange Group Inc. pledged to preserve the trading floor in lower Manhattan when it agreed to buy the exchange in 2012.

“The business has evolved away from humans on the exchange,” said Devin Ryan, an analyst at JMP Group Inc. “Only a fraction is being done on the floor with humans versus how much is being done electronically.”

IMC, which stands for International Marketmakers Combination, is a high-frequency trading firm and asset manager founded in Amsterdam in 1989. It has offices in Chicago and New York, and conducts transactions on more than 90 exchanges around the world, according to its website. Remco Lenterman, an IMC managing director, and Tiffany Galvin of New York-based Goldman Sachs said their companies don’t comment on speculation.

Selling the floor-trading business wouldn’t mean Goldman Sachs would stop making markets. The firm reaps the most revenue from equities trading among banks globally. It runs its own trading venue called Sigma X and holds a stake in exchange operator Bats Global Markets Inc.

The NYSE has long relied on traders known as designated market markers to facilitate buying and selling. The firms help run opening and closing auctions of NYSE-listed stocks. Traders wearing vented jackets labeled with their names and numbers gather around a market maker for that stock, who calls out prices. Some eat peanuts, tossing the shells on the ground.

MarketWatch’s blog was one of many writing about the debate over the new world of trading highlighted by Lewis’ new book:

Twitter reaction has been fast and furious to the accusation by the author of the new book “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt” that high-frequency traders have an edge over the average stock-market investor.

“High frequency traders have found ways to use their speed to gain an advantage that few understand,” said Michael Lewis, who has written a number of best-sellers about Wall Street, in an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday.

In the interview, Lewis alleges that high-frequency traders, who use complex computer algorithms, are able to “front run” orders, buying a block of stocks fractions of a second before another buyer and then selling those same shares to that buyer, because they pay for fiber-optic lines that are faster than other lines. He singled out BATS Global Markets, one of the biggest U.S. exchanges, for its role in the market.

Not surprisingly, then, the most vocal defender of HFTs on Twitter Monday was the president of BATS, William O’Brien, who uses the handle @obrienedge, tweeted: “Michael Lewis could not be more wrong when he says the stock market is not a fair or safe place for investors #FlashBoys

The BATs president acknowledged that there are ways to improve the markets, but that it’s “unjust to accuse people simply for using technology & providing competition.”

The news comes after the Federal Bureau of Investigation is joining other regulators into looking into high frequency trading. The New York Post had this story by James Covert:

The FBI has joined state and regulatory probes of high-frequency traders to see if the firms are guilty of insider trading.

Agents, who started the probe about a year ago, are looking to see if the HFTs used information to trade ahead of large institutional orders, an FBI spokesman told a number of media outlets on Monday when news of the investigation first surfaced.

In one possible scenario, agents would look to see if a high-speed trading firm profited by jumping ahead of a huge buy order, and then quickly exited after the giant order pushed the stock higher.

One thing’s for certain, traders have never been scrutinized – by the press, the public and regulators. Many millions have been made on milliseconds and it seems that Goldman is betting that’s the way the world will go.

federal-reserve-400

Yellen works to reassure markets

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After her debut to mixed results, Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen worked to clarify her earlier comments on how long the Fed would continue its easy money policy.

Bloomberg had this story by Jeff Kearns and Craig Torres:

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, easing investor concern that interest rates may rise earlier than previously forecast, said the world’s biggest economy will need Fed stimulus for “some time.”

Yellen said today the Fed hasn’t done enough to combat unemployment even after holding interest rates near zero for more than five years and pumping up its balance sheet to $4.23 trillion with bond purchases.

“This extraordinary commitment is still needed and will be for some time, and I believe that view is widely shared by my fellow policy makers,” Yellen said at a community development conference in Chicago. “The scars from the Great Recession remain, and reaching our goals will take time.”

Yellen spotlighted as evidence “real people behind the statistics,” describing how one person, Vicki Lira, lost two jobs, endured homelessness and now serves food samples part-time at a grocery store.

The Washington Post story by Ylan Q. Mui focused on Yellen’s comments about Main Street and her examples of unemployed workers, something that is out of the ordinary for a Fed:

The address amounted to an impassioned argument for continuing the Fed’s unprecedented support of the American economy in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Yellen described in detail the challenges facing unemployed workers, from exhausted savings to strained marriages. She even recounted the stories of three people by name: Dorine Poole, who was discriminated against because she is unemployed; Jermaine Brownlee, who took a job making less money than he did before he was unemployed; and Vicki Lira, who is working part-time but wants more hours.

“They are a reminder that there are real people behind the statistics, struggling to get by and eager for the opportunity to build better lives,” Yellen said. Though the Fed works through financial markets, “our goal is to help Main Street, not Wall Street.”

Yellen’s speech seemed tailored to help the Fed shed the cloistered reputation it earned in the decades leading up to the financial crisis. The central bank’s top officials have made transparency and communication with the public a priority since the Great Recession, and nearly every aspect of Yellen’s event was steeped in the real economy. She delivered her speech at the conference for community organizers and developers hosted by the Chicago Federal Reserve. She toured a manufacturing program at a community college in the city’s rough South Side.

“It shows that the Fed has a concrete, on-the-ground feeling for what is happening,” said Randall Kroszner, a professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a former Fed governor.

Writing for The New York Times, Binyamin Appelbaum’s story added the context that Yellen’s speech was designed to counter arguments from some who feel the economy is recovering:

The speech offered a rebuttal to economists, including some Fed officials, who see evidence that the central bank is approaching the limits of its ability to improve labor market conditions. It also leaned against recent indications that Fed officials might be considering a faster retreat from their economic stimulus campaign.

Ms. Yellen said that even now, almost five years after the official end of the Great Recession, it remains harder for Americans to find jobs than in the midst of a typical downturn. For those who are working, wages are rising more slowly than usual.

“There remains no doubt that the economy and the job market are not back to normal health,” Ms. Yellen said. “The recovery still feels like a recession to many Americans and it also looks that way in some economic statistics.”

She said the Fed’s commitment to economic stimulus remained “strong.”

Ms. Yellen’s predecessors, Ben S. Bernanke and Alan Greenspan, opened their Fed tenures by seeking to reassure financial markets that they were determined to minimize inflation. Mr. Bernanke made inflation the subject of his first speech as chairman in 2006. Now inflation is actually slower than the Fed would like, and Ms. Yellen mentioned it only briefly.

The Wall Street Journal story by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa and Jon Hilsenrath pointed out that investors liked her comments:

Ms. Yellen’s comments Monday helped underpin a rally in the stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 134.60 points, or 0.8%, to 16467.66, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 14.72 points, or 0.8%, to 1872.33. Those gains contrasted with a selloff spurred by her press-conference remarks.

“She doesn’t want to get the market overly concerned that she’s going to tighten anytime soon, because she’s not,” said Doug Cote, chief market strategist at ING Investment Management. “She said she has an extraordinary commitment to boost the economy in a still-struggling labor market. I think it put the market at ease.”

While Ms. Yellen’s underlying message on Fed policy was unchanged, her delivery was striking. Central bankers tend to speak in terms of economic theory and statistics, in jargon better understood by investors and other economists than the broader public. Ms. Yellen instead exhibited a personal touch Monday by coloring her comments with experiences of three people who had struggled to gain full-time work.

What is certainly true about Yellen is that she is making her own path as head of the Fed. Invoking “real” stories and concrete examples hints of politics and a much different presentation strategy than past chairs. While she may not have made a slight gaffe during her first speech, she’s making up for it now with a much different tactic.

TBN

Talking Biz News Today — April 1, 2014

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Tuesday’s top stories:

The New York Times

Fault runs deep in ultrafast trading, by Andrew Ross Sorkin
Senate report says Caterpillar used Swiss subsidiary to reduce taxes, by Mary Williams Walsh

The Wall Street Journal

The diet soda business is in freefall, by Mike Esterl
GM recalls 1.5 million more vehicles, by Siobhan Hughes and Jeff Bennett

The Associated Press

Facebook CEO reaps $3.3B gain from stock options
Airlines call for more security, passenger checks, by Eileen Ng

Fortune

How a secret iOS feature could change the Internet, by Ryan Bradley

Today in business journalism

Sticking to the mission: Providing readers with important biz news
FT’s Brittan retiring after almost 50 years
Quartz hires new website developer
WSJ economics team adds two reporters
CNBC’s Tyler Mathisen is always learning

This date in business journalism history

2008: Ex-Boeing employee admits to being source
2013: Denver Biz Journal starts energy newsletter

Birthdays

April 1: Patrick Scott of The New York Times

April 1: Roben Farzad of Bloomberg Businessweek

TBN

Talking Biz News Today — March 31, 2014

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Business news headlines for Monday:

The New York Times

U.S. agency knew about G.M. flaw but did not act, by Matthew L. Wald
In new health care era, blessings and hurdles, by Abby Goodnough

The Wall Street Journal

Google is central to latest Apple-Samsung case, by Daisuke Wakabayashi

Bloomberg

Euro inflation at lowest in over 4 years misses estimates, by Ian Wishart and Jennifer Ryan
Millennials mired in worth gap as older Americans recoup wealth, by Jeanna Smialek

The Associated Press

Health care website stumbles on last day, by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
J&J accepts $4B Carlyle offer for diagnostics unit

Businessweek

Climate report warns of death, flooding and economic loss, by Dune Lawrence

Today in business journalism

CNBC’s Tyler Mathisen is always learning
North of Boston Business magazine launches
Forbes extends brand to airport newsstands
WSJ names new Chesapeake reporter
How the growing GM recall is being covered

This date in business journalism history

2006: Success magazine is returning
2009: Forbes lays off another 50

Business journalism birthdays

March 29: Matt Townsend of Bloomberg, Matthew Kish of Portland Business Journal
March 30: Jeanna Smialek of Bloomberg
March 31: Jane Wells of CNBC

GM

How the growing GM recall is being covered

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General Motors Co. announced yet another recall, adding to the totals this year as new Chief Executive Mary Barra works to stem the bad press from the company’s handling of problems. The move comes before Barra testifies in front of Congress this week, giving lawmakers even more ammunition in questioning her.

Jeff Bennett had this story in the Wall Street Journal:

General Motors Co. recalled another 1.6 million vehicles Friday, expanding an earlier ignition-switch recall and disclosing other problems with newer cars and recently launched pickup trucks and sport utilities.

GM has now recalled about 4.8 million vehicles world-wide since early February, when it announced the first recall of 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalts and several related small cars to fix an ignition-switch defect linked to 13 deaths.

GM’s latest recalls came just days before the auto maker’s chief executive, Mary Barra, is set to be grilled by lawmakers over the company’s handling of safety defects. House and Senate subcommittees have hearings scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday for their investigations into why GM waited nearly a decade after its engineers discovered the ignition-switch defect to order repairs for vehicles on the road. Lawmakers say they also want to know why the federal agency that regulates auto safety didn’t act more quickly on the problem.

The New York Times story by Christopher Jensen pointed out that the number of vehicles being recalled in such a short period is derailing the good will that marked the beginning of the year for GM:

Having so many recalls, particularly in such a short period of time, is a problem for General Motors, which is still trying rebuild its reputation and is more vulnerable than an automaker like Toyota, said Kevin Lane Keller, a professor of marketing at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.

“One of the advantages of having a strong brand is that it helps you weather a crisis more easily,” he said.

G.M. has recalled about 2.5 million of its small cars, including 2.2 million in the United States. The automaker has acknowledged that it knew about the defective ignition switches for more than a decade but did not recall the vehicles. That has prompted governmental investigations, including a congressional inquiry that will start on Tuesday with Ms. Barra scheduled to testify.

On Friday, the automaker also said it was aware of a 13th death related to the faulty ignition switches. It said the crash involved a 2007 Cobalt and occurred in Quebec, Canada.

G.M. recalled about 758,000 vehicles in the United States in 2013, ninth among automakers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Toyota was first, with about 5.3 million vehicles, followed by Chrysler with 4.7 million and Honda with almost 2.8 million.

Writing for Automotive News, Mike Colias and Nick Bunkley reported earlier this week that some of GM’s problems were caused by not giving a new part number to a redesigned switch, something one of their sources called a “cardinal sin”:

Stung by rising warranty costs, General Motors decided in the mid-1990s to pull design work for ignition and turn-signal switches from suppliers and put its own employees in charge. One of the first projects for the in-house team was the ignition switch for the Saturn Ion and Chevrolet Cobalt.

“We wanted to have control over the design,” Ray DeGiorgio, the lead design engineer for the Ion and Cobalt ignition switch, said in an April 2013 deposition obtained by Automotive News. “So we brought them in-house.”

That part has now been linked to at least 34 crashes and 12 deaths over the past decade. It’s also at the center of a deepening mystery in the wake of GM’s recall of 1.6 million 2003-07 vehicles fitted with the defective ignition switch:

Why did GM authorize a redesign of the part in 2006, eight years before the recall? And why was the change made so discreetly — without a new part number — that employees investigating complaints of Ions and Cobalts stalling didn’t know about it until late last year?

These questions, among many that will be posed by lawmakers and federal safety regulators looking into GM’s handling of the recall, have confounded some former GM engineers, who say the company’s reports to regulators describe a sequence of events that was fundamentally at odds with standard operating procedure.

Not assigning the new part number would have been highly unusual, according to three people who worked as high-level GM engineers at the time. None of the engineers was involved in the handling of the ignition switch; all asked that their names not be used because of the sensitivity of the matter.

“Changing the fit, form or function of a part without making a part number change is a cardinal sin,” said one of the engineers. “It would have been an extraordinary violation of internal processes.”

That raises some difficult questions for Barra as she gets ready to speak to Congress. Ben Klayman and Richard Cowan had this in a story for Reuters:

GM built a system to deliberately keep senior executives out of the recall process. Instead, two small groups of employees in the vast GM bureaucracy were tasked with making recall decisions, a system GM says was meant to bring objective decisions.

It means that lawmakers may also focus on asking who is responsible for a system that failed so badly that there weren’t red flags raised for those higher up the food chain.

“In this day and age, to think that stuff like this can be kept quiet or forgotten is ridiculous,” independent auto analyst and author Maryann Keller said. “The right question to ask is who knew, when did they know and why was this not brought forth to be dealt with. Did they hope that it was just going to go away?”

The company has recalled 1.6 million cars for a problem first noted in 2001, spurring the congressional enquiries as well as investigations by federal safety regulators, who will also testify, the Justice Department, and GM itself.

GM has said Barra and other top executives did not learn of the defective switches until January 31, explaining that smaller groups of lower-level company executives are responsible for leading a recall. Some executives who might use this argument include former CEO Rick Wagoner and his immediate successor Fritz Henderson, who have not discussed the matter publicly.

The more people dig into the internal processes behind the recalls, the worse it seems. Not alerting top executives makes it harder to gain traction for spending money to fix problems. It also shows a lack of oversight, which is alarming, particularly when you think about how many of these vehicles are produced. The questions continue to mount and how Barra handles them will be a true test of her ability.

TBN

Talking Biz News Today — March 28, 2014

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Today’s top stories in business journalism:

Reuters

GM expands ignition switch recall to 2.6 million cars, by Paul Lienert
NHTSA says finds no ‘defect trend’ in Tesla Model S sedans, by Sagarika Jaisinghani

The New York Times

Potential crackdown on Russia risks also punishing Western oil companies, by Clifford Krauss
White House unveils plans to cut methane emissions, by Coral Davenport

The Wall Street Journal

BlackBerry still losing money, doubling down on hardware, by Will Connors
How autism can help you land a job, by Shirley S. Wang

CNNMoney

McDonald’s fights back with free coffee, by Parija Kavilanz

Re/code

Send in the drones: Facebook’s plans to beam internet to the world, by Mike Isaac

Today in business journalism

2007: Defamation lawsuit against Las Vegas biz editor dismissed
2008: E-mails disclosed between reporters and Boeing employee

Birthdays

March 28: Dave Kansas of American Public Media Group

March 28: Katy Smith of Columbus Business First

March 28: Suzanne Woolley of Bloomberg Businessweek