The Education Department said Monday that it was creating a student-aid enforcement unit that will “respond more quickly and efficiently to allegations of illegal actions by higher education institutions.”
Critics have complained that the government didn’t move swiftly enough to take action against for-profit schools such as Corinthian Colleges, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year amid fraud allegations, closing schools and leaving thousands of students with hefty debt and frustrated efforts at earning degrees.
“When Americans invest their time, money and effort to gain new skills, they have a right to expect they’ll actually get an education that leads to a better life for them and their families,” said Acting Education Secretary John B. King Jr. “Schools looking to cheat students and taxpayers will be held accountable.”
The new unit will investigate potential abuse and fraud. It will be led by Robert Kaye, a former Federal Trade Commission enforcement attorney.
As part of his 2017 budget, President Obama is requesting more than $13 million in additional money to strengthen enforcement and oversight of the billions of dollars in student financial grants and loans the government provides.
— Associated Press
The French data protection authority on Monday gave Facebook three months to stop tracking non-users’ Web activity without their consent and ordered the social network to stop some transfers of personal data to the United States.
The French order comes after a European Union court ruling last year struck down an agreement that had been relied on by thousands of companies, including Facebook, to avoid cumbersome E.U. data transfer rules.
The transatlantic Safe Harbour pact was ruled illegal last year amid concerns over mass U.S. government snooping. E.U. data protection authorities said firms had three months to set up alternative legal arrangements for transferring data. That deadline expired last week.
Facebook has said it has set up alternative legal structures to continue its transfers in line with E.U. law.
“Protecting the privacy of the people who use Facebook is at the heart of everything we do. We . . . look forward to engaging with the CNIL to respond to their concerns,” a spokeswoman said.
● Volkswagen said its quality control chief is leaving the company. Frank Tuch, 48, is being replaced as the company deals with a scandal over diesel vehicles equipped to cheat on emissions testing. Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, 58, until now head of technical development at the company’s commercial vehicles brand, will succeed Tuch. A Volkswagen statement said Tuch is “leaving the company at his own request” and that the company “regrets Tuch’s decision and thanks him for his achievements.”
● Restaurant reviews site Yelp posted higher revenue but lower profits than expected while saying its chief financial officer will step down. The earnings release came out unexpectedly before the market close. The net loss in the fourth quarter through December came to $22.2 million, or 29 cents per share. The company said $20.3 million of the loss was due to an income tax expense. Revenue grew 40 percent to $153.7 million. The company said CFO Rob Krolik will step down. Yelp said it expects first-quarter revenue of $154 million to $157 million and full-year revenue of $685 million to $700 million.
● Chesapeake Energy, the natural gas driller that’s been slashing jobs and investor payouts to conserve dwindling cash flows, said it has no plans to pursue bankruptcy. Chesapeake’s counsel, Kirkland & Ellis, continues to advise the company as it seeks to further strengthen its balance sheet following its recent debt exchange, the company said in a statement. The company’s shares dropped a record 51 percent after Debtwire reported that Chesapeake had retained Kirkland & Ellis to help restructure a $9.8 billion debt load.
● American consumers’ expectations for inflation three years ahead fell last month to the lowest level going back to June 2013, according to a monthly Federal Reserve Bank of New York survey released Monday. The median respondent to the New York Fed’s January Survey of Consumer Expectations predicted annual consumer price inflation three years from now would be 2.5 percent, down from 2.8 percent in the December poll. Median expected inflation one year ahead fell to a record-low 2.4 percent. Consumers reduced expectations for inflation in the prices of gasoline, medical care and college tuition over the next year, but anticipated slightly faster inflation in the prices of food and rent.
— From news services
● 10 a.m.: Commerce Department releases wholesale trade inventories for December.
● 10 a.m.: Labor Department releases job openings and labor turnover survey for December.
● Earnings: Coca-Cola, CVS, Goodyear, Disney.