Business recap: GM finds ‘incompetence and neglect’ but no conspiracy, and other stories


GM says there was no conspiracy to hide its ignition switch defect, and the week’s other stories. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
June 7, 2014

A pattern of “incompetence and neglect” led to the long failure to recall millions of General Motors small cars over a deadly ignition switch defect, but there was no conspiracy to hide the problem, chief executive Mary T. Barra said. ¶ Fifteen employees deemed responsible for not vigorously tackling the problem have been forced out of the company, and five others have been disciplined. ¶ The internal probe revealed an ingrained corporate culture in which employees failed to take responsibility for the ignition-switch problem or treat it with urgency. ¶ Sales of GM vehicles soared 13 percent last month — its best in six years — offering evidence that the scandal has not diminished the popularity of its vehicles. ¶ Business was up across its four brands — GMC, Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac.

Business

The United States imposed new import duties of 35 percent on solar panels and other related products from China after the Commerce Department ruled they were produced using Chinese government subsidies.

More than 77,000 foreign banks, investment funds and other financial institutions have agreed to share information about U.S. account holders with the IRS as part of a crackdown on offshore tax evasion.

Apple’s latest operating system for its desktop and mobile devices received praise from developers but disappointed those hoping for a new device.

Deals

Sprint is reportedly closing in on an agreement to pay $40 a share to buy
T-Mobile US, drawing the two companies toward a deal to combine the country’s third- and fourth-largest telecom carriers.

Economy

A Federal Reserve survey shows the U.S. economy strengthening over the past two months in areas from manufacturing and construction to retail sales and bank lending. Seven of the Fed’s 12 regions — Boston, New York, Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas and San Francisco — reported “moderate” growth during the early spring, while the remaining five described growth as “modest,” according to the Beige Book survey.

Two Fed officials warned in speeches that raising U.S. interest rates to fend off bubbles and other troubling signs of financial market unrest could undercut the Fed’s efforts to put the U.S. economy on a sounder footing. San Francisco Fed President John Williams touted alternative ways to use monetary policy to shore up the financial system’s ability to withstand shocks. Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota counseled a measure of tolerance for increasing financial stability risks, painting those risks as an unwanted, but unavoidable, side effect of the low rates the economy will need for years to claw its way back to normal.

Russia’s $2 trillion economy has probably sunk into a recession, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Washington

Timothy Massad, a Treasury official who has promised to act aggressively against misconduct to ensure investors’ confidence, was approved as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The SEC said it would examine high-frequency trading and dark pools in an effort to cope with fast-changing technology.

Transitions

The Secret Service wants to buy software that can detect sarcasm and double meanings on social media posts.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it is considering giving permission to seven movie and television filming companies to use unmanned aircraft for aerial photography.

Cable rage is real. More than half of Americans would abandon their cable provider if they felt they could, according to a survey of customers of the nation’s biggest cable providers: 53 percent of respondents said they’d leave their current cable company — if they had a choice. But as many as 70 percent feel stuck because their options are too limited.

— From news services and staff reports

6.3%
U.S. jobless rate

The U.S. labor market grew in May as businesses created 217,000 net new jobs and the economy shook off winter doldrums. The strong report marks the fourth consecutive month that the country has added more than 200,000 jobs — a key benchmark for a healthy economy. The jobless rate held steady at 6.3 percent. With the gains, the country has recouped all jobs lost during the recession.

Continue reading 10 minutes left
Comments
Show Comments

business

Most Read Business