The daily business briefing: May 2, 2017
Fox News co-president Bill Shine resigns, Hollywood writers and producers reach deal to avert strike, and more
Fox News co-president Bill Shine leaving in management shakeup
Fox News co-president Bill Shine stepped down on Monday as a high-level shakeup continued at the ratings-leading cable news channel. "Sadly, Bill Shine resigned today," wrote Rupert Murdoch in a letter to employees. "I know Bill was respected and liked by everybody ... We will all miss him." Murdoch added that Suzanne Scott is now the president of programming and Jay Wallace president of news. Shine served as a longtime lieutenant of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who was forced out last summer after facing sexual harassment allegations. Shine's departure came just weeks after more sexual harassment claims resulted in the departure of the channel's biggest money maker, host Bill O'Reilly. The departure of Shine, a well-liked veteran journalist, was seen as a sign that the company is feeling internal pressure to change its corporate culture.
Hollywood writers and producers reach deal averting strike
Just after a midnight deadline, the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced a tentative deal on a three-year contract, averting a potentially damaging strike set to begin Tuesday morning. Negotiations had been ongoing since March 13, and last week 96 percent of WGA members authorized a strike, threatening an immediate halt to late-night TV shows and soap operas and more gradual stops to films and scripted TV shows. In the new contract, subject to WGA member ratification, the writers got increased pay for the shorter seasons that are more common on streaming platforms, higher health contributions, and protected parental leave, among other concessions by Hollywood producers.
Trump says he's looking into breaking up Wall Street banks
President Trump said on Monday that he was considering breaking up the nation's biggest banks. Trump noted that some Wall Street critics are calling for bringing back a Depression-era law separating consumer and investment banks. "There's some people that want to go back to the old system, right?" Trump said in an Oval Office interview with Bloomberg News. "So we're looking into that." Trump also said he would weigh whether to hike the federal gas tax to pay for infrastructure projects, an idea unpopular with the Republican establishment.
Fed starts meeting with economists expecting no interest rate hike
Federal Reserve policy makers start a two-day meeting on Tuesday, and economists expect them to announce on Wednesday that they will hold interest rates steady. Expectations are rising that improving employment and inflation data will keep the U.S. central bank on track for two more interest rate increases this year. Fed officials could hint in their Wednesday statement that they are on track for the next rate hike in June. "The bar to disrupting the Fed's plans is higher now than it was in previous years," said Michael Gapen, chief economist at Barclays in New York in a note to clients.
Greece and creditors reach deal on emergency funds
Greece and its international creditors have reached a preliminary deal on $7.6 billion in crucial bailout payments in exchange for promises from Athens to raise taxes and make more cuts to social spending and government workers' pensions. Greece also agreed to creditors' demands for increased labor-market competition making it easier for businesses to fire workers. The agreement came after months of negotiations as tensions in Europe rise ahead of elections in France, Britain, and Germany. The agreement still must be approved by euro zone finance ministers and Greek lawmakers.