The daily business briefing: October 9, 2017
Harvey Weinstein's company fires him over sexual harassment allegations, Dove apologizes for Facebook ad critics call racially insensitive, and more
Harvey Weinstein's company fires him over sexual harassment scandal
Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has been forced out of his own independent film company as sexual harassment allegations against him expand. The Weinstein Company's board voted to remove him and transfer control of the studio to his brother, Bob Weinstein, and chief operating officer David Glasser, the company's board said Sunday. "In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company — Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg, and Tarak Ben Ammar — have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately," the board said. The scandal erupted with a New York Times report on legal settlements of sexual harassment complaints spanning decades.
Dove apologizes for Facebook ad critics call racially insensitive
Dove on Sunday apologized for a Facebook ad that was supposed to celebrate diversity but critics called racially insensitive. In a brief video clip displayed on the Unilever-owned personal care brand's Facebook page, a black woman removed a brown shirt, revealing in the next image a white woman wearing a white shirt. Dove removed the ad and said the marketing campaign "missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully." "We apologize deeply and sincerely for the offense that it has caused," the company said. Social media users said the ad was just one in a series of racially insensitive soap ads the company has released. In 2011, it faced criticism for an ad showing two women of color and a white woman in front of "before" and "after" signs.
American Richard Thaler wins Nobel in Economics
The University of Chicago's Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize in Economics on Monday for his pioneering work on behavioral economics. The award committee said Thaler, co-author of a bestseller on behavioral economics called Nudge, was being recognized for incorporating psychologically realistic assumptions into analyses of economic decision-making. The committee said Thaler showed how three traits — limited rationality, social preferences, and lack of self-control — affect individual decision making. The Nobel Prize tweeted that Thaler "demonstrated how nudging — a term he coined — may help people exercise better self-control e.g. when saving for a pension." It also said "his insights help us recognize marketing tricks and avoid bad economic decisions." Thaler said he would try to spend the prize money "as irrationally as possible."
Anti-secession protesters in Barcelona say 'Catalonia is Spain'
Thousands of people rallied in Barcelona on Sunday against the regional Catalan government's push for independence from Spain. "Don't be fooled, Catalonia is Spain," demonstrators chanted. It was the largest pro-unity rally since Catalan leaders defied efforts by the Spanish government to block a referendum last week in which 90 percent of voters in Catalonia voted in favor of secession. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has vowed not to allow Catalonia to break away. Several large businesses, including Catalonia's top two banks, have said they planned to relocate to other cities in Spain to avoid being excluded from the European Union and its common market if Catalonia breaks away.
Global markets and U.S. futures start week with light gains
Global markets made gains on Monday despite tensions over Catalonia's push for independence from Spain, and North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. Key indexes in Germany and France rose by 0.2 percent, and the Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.8 percent. U.S. stock futures edged higher, pointing to opening gains. Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 futures were up by 0.1 percent ahead of the open. U.S. stocks hit records last week, although the Dow and S&P 500 on Friday fell by 0.1 percent from record highs. The shift came after the Labor Department reported that the economy lost 33,000 jobs last month as hiring dropped temporarily due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma, although the unemployment rate fell to a 16-year low.