The daily business briefing: December 21, 2022
Musk says he'll resign as Twitter CEO after finding a successor, a federal regulator fines Wells Fargo $1.7 billion, and more
Musk says he will resign as Twitter CEO once he finds a replacement
Elon Musk said Tuesday he will step down as Twitter CEO as soon as he finds a successor, "someone foolish enough to take the job." The announcement came two days after he conducted a poll on the social media site asking his 122 million Twitter followers to vote on whether he should resign. Fifty-seven percent responded "yes." Musk completed his $44 billion purchase of Twitter in October, promising to make it a haven for absolute free speech. Since then, he has faced a backlash over unpopular content moderation policies, including brief suspensions of several high-profile journalists. In announcing his plan to find a new CEO, he tweeted that after he resigns he "will just run the software & servers teams."
Regulator fines Wells Fargo $1.7 billion
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Tuesday fined Wells Fargo a record $1.7 billion for "widespread mismanagement" that hurt the holders of more than 16 million consumer accounts over several years. The regulator said the bank misapplied loan payments, illegally repossessed vehicles, foreclosed on homes when it shouldn't have, and charged unexpected overdraft fees, among other "illegal activity." The CFPB also ordered Wells Fargo provide more than $2 billion in compensation to affected customers. "Wells Fargo's rinse-repeat cycle of violating the law has harmed millions of American families," CFPB director Rohit Chopra said in a statement.
Sam Bankman-Fried signs forms ahead of extradition to U.S. on fraud charges
Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried on Tuesday signed legal papers setting the stage for his extradition from the Bahamas to the United States to face fraud charges related to the implosion of his cryptocurrency exchange, Bahamian jails chief Doan Clear told Reuters. A court will hold a hearing on the case Wednesday. Bankman-Fried, 30, has admitted to management failures at FTX, but denied any criminal acts. He was arrested last week in the Bahamas, where FTX is based, after a New York grand jury indicted him on allegations of stealing customer funds to cover losses at his crypto hedge fund, Alameda Research.
Stock futures gain after Wall Street breaks 4-day losing streak
U.S. stock futures rose early Wednesday, putting Wall Street on track to extend its gains after snapping a four-day losing streak on Tuesday. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up 0.7 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively, at 6:30 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were up 0.4 percent. Nike shares jumped 12 percent after the athletic shoe and apparel maker reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat expectations. FedEx shares were up 4.7 percent after the package delivery company exceeded consensus per-share earnings estimates. The Dow and the S&P 500 gained 0.3 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively, on Tuesday after the Bank of Japan raised its cap on Japanese government bond yields. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was flat.
USPS switching to electric mail trucks
The U.S. Postal Service will buy 66,000 electric mail-delivery vehicles by 2028, Biden administration officials and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced Tuesday. Under the plan, all new USPS vehicles will be electric starting in 2026. USPS currently operates the federal government's largest — and oldest — fleet of vehicles. Most mail trucks are 30 years old, lack air conditioning and airbags, and get a gas-guzzling 8.2 miles per gallon. DeJoy, a GOP donor appointed during the Trump administration, faced criticism from the Biden administration after unveiling a plan in 2021 to replace the Postal Service's 217,000 aging vehicles with 90 percent gas-powered trucks. President Biden has pushed to transition the federal government to all-electric vehicles by 2035 to reduce climate emissions.