The daily business briefing: April 21, 2016

Samantha Rollins
Anti-slavery crusader Harriet Tubman
Library of Congress


Harriet Tubman to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced Wednesday that former President Andrew Jackson will soon be replaced by Harriet Tubman on the front of the $20 bill, though his image will remain on the back. Though the Treasury had initially planned to usurp Alexander Hamilton from his spot on the $10 bill in order to feature a woman on the currency, the Founding Father will also remain on the $10, while leaders of the women's right to vote movement will be featured on Hamilton's flip side. The $5 bill will also be updated to depict civil rights-era leaders. [NPR News, Politico ]


Volkswagen reportedly reaches buyback deal over emissions scandal

Volkswagen and U.S. officials have reportedly reached a framework deal to buy back nearly 500,000 diesel cars that used special software to evade emissions tests, Reuters reports. While the exact details of the deal have yet to be announced, Volkswagen has reportedly also agreed to a compensation fund for owners — though it is not yet clear how much money owners would receive — and it's also possible that the company would offer to repair polluting vehicles. The deal affects diesel versions of the Jetta sedan, the Golf compact, and the Audi A3; larger 3.0-liter diesel vehicles like Audi and Porche SUV models are not part of the buyback deal. [Reuters]


Canada aiming to legalize marijuana in 2017

Canadian Health Minister Jane Philpott announced Wednesday at a United Nations special session on drugs that Canada will introduce legislation in 2017 to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana. The government plans to form a task force that will design a marijuana regulation system after gathering insight from provincial and territorial governments, experts, and the public. "I believe that if we respect one another's perspectives and seek common ground, we can achieve our shared objective: protecting our citizens," Philpott said. "Better yet, we can improve their lives." [The Canadian Press]


Mitsubishi Motors shares hit record low on news of mileage cheating scandal

Mitsubishi Motors Corp's stock lost a third of its market value — $2.5 billion — in the two days after the company admitted it had tampered with test data to overstate the fuel economy of 625,000 vehicles. The loss marks a record low for the stock of Japan's 6th-largest automaker, and the government called the situation "extremely serious." A JPMorgan analyst estimated the scandal, which the automaker says only affects cars sold in Japan, could cost Mitsubishi more than $450 million. [Reuters]


Home sales up in heartening sign of recovery

Home sales surged in March, beating economists' expectations in a heartening sign that the housing market is recovering at the start of the spring selling season. According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales rose 5.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.33 million units last month. "It points to a very strong start to the crucial spring selling season, and initial anecdotal indications point to this positive momentum being sustained in coming months," Millan Mulraine, chief economist at TD Securities in New York, told NBC News. [NBC News]