President Of Uber Quits The Firm Adding To The Worries

Jeff Jones, the President of Uber has announced that he is quitting the firm. He joined Uber less than a year ago. He is a No.2 executive in the company and his resignation is an indication that Uber is not far from controversies. Previously, Travis Kalanick had announced that he is looking for a COO to ensure that Uber tackles controversies in a better manner. Jeff has mentioned in his statement that the values he cherishes are not consistent with his experience at Uber. He even made it public before making it official at Uber.

While some assume that Jones made his decision to quit because of a new COO, reliable industry sources reveal that Jones didn’t sign up for so many controversies. The situation at Uber was problematic than he realized. He had joined just six months ago from Target. Jones served as a reputable CMO at Target and he was hired to set the tainted image of Uber right. He was appointed as the president of the ride-sharing business of Uber. He was always considered as someone who doesn’t like a lot of controversies.

Jones was interested in reaching out to the drivers of Uber to improve the ride-sharing business. In February, Jones received several distraught comments and complaints when he started a question and answer session. A former female engineer of Uber published a blog post telling about a dysfunctional management and it went viral.

Uber has been constantly mixed up in numerous controversies. The engineering head of Uber was accused of sexual harassment and was fired later. The head of product was also fired due to objectionable sexual behavior at a company event. Kalanick’s fight with the Uber driver also created controversies for which he issued an apology later.

Uber had been losing its top leaders in the past few months. The Vice President of Maps and Business Platform had announced that he will quit Uber to explore politics. The VP of Product and Growth also left the company in March. A security researcher also quit the company in the same month.

These leaders decided to quit Uber at the same time the Greyball controversy surfaced. With Greyball, Uber was successfully thwarting authorities from taking the cab in areas where Uber’s actions were monitored. Following the huge controversy, Uber declared that it will no longer use Greyball.

Uber is facing a turmoil with numerous scandals attacking the company from various ends. The sexual harassment allegations came to spotlight when the former woman engineer blogged about institutional sexism. The leadership practices were challenged and the viral video of Kalanick hurling abuses at the driver didn’t help. The #DeleteUber boycott was also popular on social media for Uber’s cheap tactics amidst immigration ban chaos.

Industry sources comment that more people will leave Uber sooner rather than later as bonuses were issued based on employee reviews. Uber’s search for a new COO is more important than ever because the company had been receiving bad publicity from the start of the year.


Trump Shifts His Focus To Mexican And Canadian Trade Deals

During the election campaign, Donald Trump had promised that he would make serious changes to the NAFTA deal when he becomes the president. One after another, Trump has started issuing executive orders for the promises made during his campaigns. His order to build a wall across the US-Mexico border and ban on Muslim immigrants from seven countries has raised serious concerns among the lawmakers and public. Now, Donald Trump has commented that the existing NAFTA deal is a catastrophe to Americans. He said that he wants to speed up the talks to replace or renegotiate the deal.

Trump discussed with the Democrats and Republicans of the Finance and House Ways and means committees about the need to rework the NAFTA deal that was drafted in the 1990s. He claimed that the deal encourages various companies to leave America and take the jobs out of the country. He wanted to even rename the NAFTA deal with an extra F meaning that the deal should be fair and free. He reiterated his opinion that the NAFTA deal is not fair for the American companies and American workers.

Senator Orrin Hatch agreed with Donald Trump that the NAFTA deal must be updated as it is two decades old. He commented that the deal should be modified meeting the demands of the global economy in the 21st century. The White House must consult with the Congress on changing major policies as the US Constitution bestows Congress with the authority over tariffs. Mexico has also announced that it has started the 90-day clock to discuss NAFTA trade deal.

Trump’s attitude towards Mexico has not been amicable ever since he became the president. He wanted Mexico to pay for a highly expensive border wall. He said that the bad hombres of Mexico will be dealt with US troops. The Mexican president canceled his meeting with Trump recently as he said that the meeting won’t be fruitful anyway. Mexico has also refused to pay for the wall.

Wilbur Ross is the President’s nominee to head the Commerce department. Trump has remarked that Ross is one of the great people of the Wall Street. When his nomination is confirmed, Ross will represent the country during the trade negotiations. According to the US Law, the Congress will take 90 days to review NAFTA trade deal before it is officially signed.

Trump is also hinting that he wants to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This move can immediately make the 12-nation deal invalid. Experts argue that Trump encourages Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to start a bilateral deal replacing NAFTA and excluding Mexico from the deal. Recently, Trump has cleared construction of Keystone XL oil pipeline that connects Alberta oil sands and the United States. This was one of the oil patch approvals that Canada was waiting for a long time. The pipeline would ensure that Canada remains unaffected with respect to oil even if there is a trade dispute with the USA. Canadian Prime Minister is also criticized by his people regarding his position on oil sands and carbon-pricing plan.


Forecasts For Caterpillar Become A Disappointment

The revenue forecasts for Caterpillar for the year 2017 are not as good as expected. Despite the recovery in the energy and mining industry throughout the world, the yellow machines of Caterpillar are yet to enjoy a rebound in sales. For the year 2017, revenue will be in the range of $36 to $39 billion with the midpoint being $37.5 billion. This is much less than the estimated $38.1 billion. It means that Caterpillar has to face a decline in the annual revenue for the fifth year consecutively. Analysts estimated that earnings will be $3.08 per share, but the actual earnings deducting the restructuring cost will come to around $2.90 per share.

Caterpillar announced that used construction equipment in stock will heavily affect the sales in the upcoming year. Miners are not expected to spend more on infrastructure anytime soon. By the end of 2016, Caterpillar had warned that analysts overestimate the earnings as several markets are facing weakness. Donald Trump has promised infrastructure improvement. However, increase in sales can be expected only in 2018 if the President actually meets his promises on fiscal spending and tax reforms. Several analysts have agreed that recovery is not happening at a pace that was anticipated earlier.

Not surprisingly, the shares of Caterpillar lost 1.2% reaching $97 before New York regular trading. However, Caterpillar shares are appreciated for their performance in the past 12 months on Dow Jones Industrial Average index. To cope up with the reduction in demand from energy and mining companies, Caterpillar proactively reduced operational costs. The CEO of Caterpillar, Jim Umpleby said that the company strives to thrive in extremely challenging economic conditions by improving shareholder returns, operating margins and overall profitability. There is some positivity in the key markets for Caterpillar, but the economic conditions throughout the country have not improved greatly.

In the October of 2016, the sales forecast was reduced and there were warnings that the market won’t be much better. The customers of Caterpillar continue to experience sluggish growth. As a result, Caterpillar’s annual revenue fell from $47 billion in 2015 to $38.5 billion in 2016. The company faced the lowest annual revenue in 2009 during the global economic recession.

The commodities bounced back in 2016, offering some hope for the market. Bloomberg commodities index increased in 2016 since 2010. This is an indication of the improvement in the US economy. The mining-related sales are expected to increase as the higher prices of commodity will influence better sales of parts. The former CEO Doug Oberhelman invested $20 billion in capital spending, research and development and various deals as the commodities market continued to grow. Previously, several factories were shut down to cope up with the falling revenue.

However, Caterpillar wants to retain jobs in the US as President Trump has promised tax cuts and reforms to improve the US job market. Caterpillar is also facing internal issues as the new management is taking the office. Analysts want to wait and watch the efficiency with which the new management is going to deal with the hurdles.


Millennials More Likely to Take Out Payday Loans Than Baby Boomers

With today’s era of cheap credit and record-low interest rates, financial experts scoff at the notion of taking out payday loans or applying for auto title loans. According to the money managers of the world, why would you ever take out a payday loan when you can get credit at historically low rates?

As a new report suggests, not everyone can gain access to cheap credit and low rates of interest.

Millennials – those born between 1980 and 2000 – are more likely to take out small loans or pay higher rates on traditional loans and credit cards than those born before, says a new study by Toynbee Hall, SalaryFinance and the London Guardian. And this is a troubling trend for millennials as they get older.

Researchers found that millennials were twice as likely to take out short-term, high-interest loans than Baby Boomers. They also discovered that millennials used companies that offer guaranteed or instant access to cash twice as often; older Baby Boomers had take out on average four payday loans, while millennials took out more than seven.

Why exactly are millennials not taking advantage of the credit boom and easy money in today’s economy? It’s simple: they have poor credit records compared to their older counterparts. The poor credit records are due to the fact that millennials lack a track record of payments or perhaps due to the fact that payday loans tend to drag down their overall credit scores.

Overall, millennial consumers are finding it hard to access traditional financial and banking options. If the trend continues then they can’t benefit from a guaranteed $20,000 personal loan with just three percent interest.

“With few choices, and the pressures of low-wage jobs and increased insecurity, borrowing money out of necessity can only be done through alternative finance like payday lenders or friends and family, and not everyone has the luxury of the latter,” said Carl Packman, Toynbee Hall research manager, in a statement.

“Not only are the borrowing costs of a payday loan much more expensive than with mainstream finance, we can now demonstrate very strong evidence that it is having a detrimental effect on people’s credit scores and therefore their ability to build up that score and access cheaper forms of finance in the future.”

Lenders examine a wide variety of factors to determine a consumer’s creditworthiness, says Andrew Hagger, a personal finance expert at MoneyComms. Many of the attributes that credit providers value tend to go against millennial borrowers – employment history, payment record, etc. – and this tends to serve as a “catch-22″ for the younger generation.

For millennials, the question is: how can you get a credit record if you cannot get access to finance.

Meanwhile, Asesh Sarkar, CEO of SalaryFinance, alluded to the fact that millennials now make up the majority of the workforce. With this statistic in mind, Sarkar says, employers need to get involved and help out millennial professional when it comes to mainstream finance.

“The government’s identification of the problems of the just about managing (Jams), who have less than a months worth of savings in the bank, support our urgent calls for better financial support systems for people in work but struggling,” Sarkar said.

These findings come one week after it was reported that students tend to turn to payday loans to help cover the costs of attending post-secondary institutions. It is decisions like these that can do more harm millennials’ credit scores than good.


Theresa May Clarifies Britain’s Plan For A Clean Exit

The speech by the Britain Prime Minister Theresa May was long awaited. On Tuesday, she gave a speech sharing the outline of the Brexit deal without divulging the details. According to her speech, Britain is geared for a clean break as she expressed her hope that the division and discord come to an end once and for all. The Brexit negotiation is complex and time-consuming. There was no clarification on the plan of the British government and it led to major fall of Sterling. The Prime Minister assured that her job is to get the right deal for the Britain as the country leaves the European Union.

The Brexit deal is difficult to negotiate because Britain was tightly integrated with the European Union adopting many of its laws in the past forty years. The new movement by Britain will greatly influence the political and trade relationships with other neighboring countries. Britain is pinning its hopes on the deal that would help the country to gain control of Brexit while rejecting the supremacy of the European Court of Justice. Theresa May clarified that her proposal would not allow Britain to remain in the single market.

In her speech, the Prime Minister said that she is hoping to wrap up the final deal with the European Union before March 2019. Both the houses of the parliament would be allowed to vote on the deal. However, there is no clarification on what would happen if the deal is rejected by the parliament. In that case, it would result in chaos leading to a cliff edge breakup. This can cause a lot of instability in the economy, which the Prime Minister is hoping to avoid. She also added that she is open for discussions on a partnership with continental Europe without incurring a major cost for the British government.

May clarified that Britain is only interested in equal partnership between the autonomous Britain and EU allies. She stated that she is not interested in any sort of membership with the European Union as a part of the deal. Many people in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have started refighting the referendum and the Prime Minister appealed to them to support the government. The Liberal democrats are understandably bitter about the speech. They commented that May’s proposal to leave the single market will cause damage to the economy of the country.

The speech has however helped the Sterling to recover in the foreign exchange market as its value increased by 1% against the dollar. The supporters of Brexit are happy to know that various other countries in the bloc will suffer more damages if they don’t have access to the financial sector of London. Businesses in Britain are however concerned about the complete rupture. Hard Brexit eventually means that there are very limited options to maintain barrier free trading relationships with countries in the EU. The European nations are not interested in allowing single market access, but their policies may bend in the future according to experts.


Treasury Nominee Of Donald Trump Defends His Business Decisions

Steven T. Mnuchin is the nominee of Donald Trump as the Treasury secretary. Mnuchin is a highly successful wall street investor who has no experience in serving the government. After completing his studies in Economics at the Yale university, he started working at Goldman Sachs. Later, he started his own investment company Dune Capital management. Mnuchin became a popular Hollywood financier, financing big films like Avatar. He was accused of hiding his business assets in the disclosure statement of his nomination paperwork. He was also questioned on his business intentions when he purchased a controversial bank. The confirmation hearing was scheduled for Thursday and Mnuchin defended his actions before the Senate Finance committee.

The democratic committee staff members created a memo as Mnuchin failed to disclose his corporations in the Cayman Islands (Update) and Anguilla in his paperwork for the nomination. He updated the disclosures later. Defending his actions, Mnuchin said that those offshore entities were not set up to benefit him personally. Rather, they are entirely used to serve pensions and nonprofits. Some of these entities are worth more than $100 million and this raised concerns. In his defending statement, Mnuchin said that he didn’t use the offshore entities to evade the taxes and he has paid all the required taxes.

In 2009 Mnuchin purchased IndyMac from the federal government as the lender was facing a hard time during the economic crisis. He renamed the bank as OneWest and he ran it successfully for 6 years. This is a controversial and profitable investment for Mnuchin as other investors didn’t want to get involved in the housing bust. Mnuchin said during his defense argument that he took up the controversial project because he found a way to save the bank. He said that he set out to correct the mess he had inherited by purchasing the bank.

At the time of purchase, IndyMac came with 178,000 home foreclosures. He argued that OneWest wasn’t capable of deviating from the guidelines of the government regarding foreclosure. He even went on to sue HSBC regarding control of trusts. Mnuchin said that while everyone called him a foreclosure machine, he was actually a loan modification machine who tried to offer various loan modifications to stop home foreclosures. The Democratic committee staffers also went on to question numerous business interests of Mnuchin. He was clearly uncomfortable during his testimony as he answered one question after another shot at him.

Wyden said that Mnuchin used various loopholes in the taxation system of international countries to evade millions of dollars in taxes. He questioned Mnuchin’s ability to create a taxation system when he is popular to take advantage of the various tax shelters.

Mnuchin played a major role in crafting the campaign proposal of Donald Trump in which he pledged to overhaul the tax code and enforce the trade policies. Mnuchin said that he is keen on bringing up tax reform as he hoped that Donald’s policy will help to boost the economy of the country by 3-4%.