Trump taps Ottingto oversee banks

President Trump announced late Monday that he had named Joseph Otting as comptroller of the currency, heading a Treasury Department agency that is the chief overseer for federally chartered banks.

If confirmed by the Senate, Otting will play a role in the Trump administration’s efforts to ease rules, written under the Dodd-Frank law, that stiffened financial regulation after the 2008-09 crisis.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency charters and supervises national banks and savings and loans.

The agency has hundreds of bank examiners, many working inside the nation’s largest financial institutions, who focus on lending practices.

From 2010 to 2015, Otting was chief executive of OneWest Bank, where he worked with then-chairman Steven Mnuchin, now the U.S. treasury secretary. Democrats have accused Mnuchin of running a “foreclosure machine” when he headed the big, California-based bank.

The bank foreclosed on thousands of homeowners in the aftermath of the housing crisis caused by high-risk mortgages.

— Associated Press

Job openings increased in April, but hiring fell

U.S. employers in April advertised the most job openings in 16 years, yet hiring fell and fewer people quit work. The figures suggest that businesses are struggling to find qualified workers as the jobless rate drops.

Job openings rose 4.5 percent in April to more than 6 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday. It was the most since December 2000, when the government began tracking the data. Meanwhile, hiring fell 4.8 percent to just over 5 million.

The report reflects an economy nearing or at “full employment,” when most of those who want a job have one and the unemployment rate mostly reflects the churn of people temporarily out of work.

When unemployment falls that low, companies are often forced to offer more pay, but that hasn’t yet happened.

Job openings posted by hotels and restaurants surged 18 percent in April from March, even as hiring in that sector fell.

Construction job openings jumped by about 25 percent, suggesting that firms in that sector are desperate for labor.

— Associated Press

Also in Business

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from energy sources are expected to hit a 25-year low in 2017 as the power sector burns less carbon-intensive coal and more low-cost natural gas, according to government data released Tuesday. In 2018, however, carbon dioxide emissions from transportation, power plants, homes and businesses should climb about 2.2 percent, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said, due to forecasts for a colder winter, higher economic growth and rising gas prices. Coal’s share of power generation would rise to 30.9 percent in 2017 and 31 percent in 2018 from 30.4 percent in 2016, the EIA said. Natural gas will take a 31.4 percent share in 2017, compared with 33.8 percent in 2016, before rising to 31.9 percent in 2018.

Kaspersky Lab has sent a formal complaint to European Union and German antitrust regulators, saying “hurdles” created by Microsoft limit consumer choice and drive up the cost of security software. Kaspersky asked the authorities to look into whether Microsoft hinders the ability to download third-party software, reducing users’ level of protection and giving vendors too little time to adapt to updates to Windows. Microsoft said it will answer regulators’ questions about the complaint.

General Motors shareholders on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected an activist shareholder’s plan to split the company’s stock into two classes. About 9 percent voted for the plan from David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital hedge fund in a preliminary vote count. Shareholders also reelected all 11 GM board members, rejecting the three candidates backed by Greenlight. GM determined that Greenlight’s proposal was risky because it would pit one class of shareholders against the other and could put GM’s investment-grade credit rating at risk.

Lyft, the ride-hailing company, said Tuesday it’s forming a research partnership with the self-driving vehicle startup nuTonomy. The companies will study how passengers book and route a self-driving car and how they interact with it. Boston-based nuTonomy has been testing self-driving taxis in Singapore and is testing self-driving cars in Boston. It plans to launch a self-driving ride-hailing service in Singapore next year.

— From news reports

Coming today

3 p.m.: Federal Reserve releases consumer credit data for April.