Business briefing

The daily business briefing: April 22, 2022

French prosecutors issue warrant for Ghosn's arrest, CNN shuts down CNN+ after one month, and more

1

French prosecutors issue international warrant for Ghosn's arrest

French prosecutors have issued an international arrest warrant for former Nissan and Renault chief Carlos Ghosn, who fled from Japan to Lebanon ahead of a trial on financial misconduct charges, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday evening. An investigating magistrate in France issued warrants for Ghosn and four current owners or former directors of Shuhail Bahwan Automobiles, an Omani vehicle distributor that allegedly help siphon off millions of dollars from Renault for his personal use, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. A Ghosn spokesperson declined to comment. The warrants aren't expected to have much immediate effect on Ghosn's situation, as he has Lebanese citizenship and Lebanon doesn't extradite its citizens.

2

CNN shutting down CNN+ after 1 month

CNN is shutting down its CNN+ streaming service at the end of April, one month after its launch. The company said CNN+ customers "will receive prorated refunds of subscription fees." The service launched March 29, shortly before CNN was taken over by Warner Bros. Discovery, which promptly indicated it considered CNN+ a bad idea. In a memo to employees, incoming CNN Chief Executive Chris Licht said consumers wanted "simplicity," not numerous stand-alone offerings. Discovery had previously indicated support for merging its streaming services, which include Discovery+ and HBO Max, into one app. Executives said CNN+'s inability to show live breaking news due to CNN's contracts with cable and satellite companies also was a critical problem.

3

Musk says he has lined up $46.5 billion to buy Twitter

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Thursday he had secured $46.5 billion in financing for his bid to take Twitter private. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Musk said Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and several other banks had agreed to lend $25.5 billion, backed partly by some of Musk's Tesla stock. Musk, the richest person in the world, said he would provide the remaining $21 billion from his own money, which is mostly held in his shares of Tesla and his private space-flight company, SpaceX. Twitter's board tried to thwart Musk's bid by adopting a limited duration shareholder rights plan, often called a "poison pill." Musk said he was considering pitching it directly to shareholders.

4

Fed chair signals half-point interest rate hike

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Thursday that taming high inflation was "absolutely essential," so a larger-than-usual half-percentage-point interest rate hike "will be on the table" when the central bank's policy makers meet in May. "It is appropriate, in my view, to be moving a little more quickly" to cool down the economy by raising borrowing costs, Powell said. The Fed had kept interest rates near zero to boost the economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. It approved a quarter-point increase to its benchmark short-term interest rate at its March meeting, its first rate hike in three years. Prices have been rising at the fastest rate in decades, as Russia's Ukraine invasion, and other factors, disrupt supply chains and push fuel prices higher.

5

U.S. stocks struggle after Thursday's losses

U.S. stock futures fell slightly early Friday after Thursday's big losses, as Wall Street tries to avoid another losing week. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq were down by just over 0.3 percent at 6:30 a.m. ET. All three of the main U.S. indexes dropped on Thursday as bond yields rose during a busy week of corporate first-quarter earnings reports. The Dow closed 1.1 percent lower. The S&P 500 fell 1.5 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 2.1 percent as rising bond yields dragged down growth stocks hit hardest by higher borrowing costs. The Dow and the S&P 500 were still positive for the week.

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