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Apple to lay off about 200 people at Beats: Bloomberg

A pedestrian walks past a Beats brand display in the subway system of New York (Reuters) - Apple Inc intends to lay off about 200 people at Beats Electronics LLC following its $3 billion acquisition of the headphone and music streaming services company, Bloomberg cited a person with knowledge of the restructuring as saying. The job cuts will mainly hit human resources, finance and other departments with significant overlap between the two, the news agency reported. ...


Samsung Electronics' 2Q profits down 20 percent

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday that its second-quarter profit dropped 20 percent as smartphone and tablet sales fell.

Exclusive: Cuomo intervened in BNP deal to get $1 billion more for NY state fund

BNP Paribas logo is pictured on the building of the bank in Geneva Only days before U.S. authorities reached a landmark $8.97 billion settlement with BNP Paribas over the bank’s dealings with countries subject to U.S. sanctions, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo intervened to ensure the state government got a much bigger share of the proceeds, according to three people familiar with the situation.     One of these people said Cuomo called Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan District Attorney, on June 27 to seek a big chunk of the $2.2 billion that was going to be available to Vance to tap for law enforcement projects.     Vance eventually agreed that $1.05 billion of the $2.2 billion would go into the state’s coffers because otherwise the whole deal could be jeopardized, this person said. The settlement was announced on Monday, June 30, after last-minute negotiations over the preceding weekend.     The state’s general fund was already set to receive $2.24 billion from a state regulator’s piece of the settlement, and the eleventh-hour deal pushed the state’s take up to $3.29 billion. That change was contained in a side agreement signed by Vance on June 29, and a lawyer for Cuomo on June 30.     The years-long negotiations with BNP – and the tussle over the proceeds – were complex.


Argentina heads into default as debt talks end

Axel Kicillof, Argentina's economy minister, addresses member of the news media after a negotiation session Wednesday July 30, 2014, at the Argentinean Consulate in New York Argentina officials and U.S. bondholders met for the first time in hopes of preventing an Argentine default. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) NEW YORK (AP) — Talks aimed at averting Argentina's second default in 13 years ended with bitter recriminations Wednesday as the South American country said it could not accept a deal with U.S. hedge fund creditors it dismisses as "vultures."


Argentina fails to reach debt agreement, default looms

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez arrives at a Mercosur summit in Caracas By Richard Lough, Eliana Raszewski and Daniel Bases BUENOS AIRES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Argentina failed to strike a deal to avert its second default in more than 12 years after talks with holdout creditors ended without a settlement on Wednesday. The country's economy minister, Axel Kicillof, speaking at a news conference at the Argentine consulate in New York, repeatedly referred to the holdout hedge funds as "vultures" after two days of talks failed to produce an agreement. "Unfortunately, no agreement was reached and the Republic of Argentina will imminently be in default," Daniel Pollack, the court-appointed mediator in the case, said in a statement on Wednesday evening. Kicillof said Argentina offered the holdouts similar terms as other creditors who recently negotiated with the country as it attempts to regain the good graces of international capital markets that it has been frozen out of since its default.


Judge says Crystal CEO should testify in lawsuit

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — American Crystal Sugar Co. CEO David Berg should testify in a federal lawsuit pitting the refined sugar manufacturers against the corn syrup industry, a federal judge ruled Wednesday after presiding over a hearing in the case.

How Getting Hit With a Ton of Brick Helped Me Find My Passion

How Getting Hit With a Ton of Brick Helped Me Find My Passion Funny thing about the mind is that thoughts are constantly and randomly generated. Dr. Bruce Davis says we have 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day which equates between 35-48 thoughts per minute per person. We are probably having thoughts now about how many thoughts we have a day which well, you see where this is going. Most of our thoughts are...


Mind Your Manners Tips for Effective Cross-Cultural Communications

Mind Your Manners Tips for Effective Cross-Cultural Communications Communicating across cultures in the business world can often be confusing and uncertain, but it doesn't need to be. With a little bit of homework and open-mindedness you can avoid some of the barriers, pitfalls and potential faux pas when communicating cross culturally. As the founder of Get Konnected -- a cross-cultural business networking...


5 True Story Tips for Starting Your Own Small Business

5 True Story Tips for Starting Your Own Small Business (even, no, ESPECIALLY, when you have NO idea what you're doing)."I'm always doing that, which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." -- PicassoJuly is almost over, the end of the summer is in sight, which means that fall is, ugh, right around the corner. Fall, for both kids and adults, is that time of year when we're seemingly...


Yum says China food safety scare hurting KFC, Pizza Hut sales

A man walks out of the entrance of Husi Food factory in Shanghai (Reuters) - Yum Brands Inc on Wednesday said a television expose showing improper meat handling by one of its Chinese suppliers caused "significant, negative" damage to sales at its KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants over the past 10 days. "If the significant sales impact is sustained, it will have a material effect on full-year earnings per share," Yum said in a regulatory filing. Shares in Yum, which counts China as its No. 1 market, tumbled 6.1 percent in extended trading, down $4.45 to $68.55. The latest food safety scandal to rock China came as Yum's restaurant sales there had just begun recovering from a slide last year due to an avian food outbreak and a food safety scare.


S&P 500, Nasdaq end up as Fed in no rush to raise rates

The Twitter symbol is displayed at the post where the stock is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended higher on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve gave a rosier assessment of the U.S. economy while reaffirming that it is in no hurry to raise interest rates. Among the biggest positives were bank shares, with the S&P financial index up 0.4 percent, helping to support the S&P 500. Biotechnology stocks boosted the Nasdaq for a second straight day. The Nasdaq biotech index was up 1 percent after Amgen Inc posted better-than-expected earnings and raised its outlook, sending its shares up 5.4 percent to $130.01.


Fed nods to firmer prices yet still focused on labor weakness

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Yellen testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington By Michael Flaherty and Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve on Wednesday reaffirmed it was in no rush to raise interest rates, even as it upgraded its assessment of the U.S. economy and expressed some comfort that inflation was moving up toward its target. After a two-day meeting, Fed policymakers took note of both faster economic growth and a decline in the unemployment rate, but expressed concern about remaining slack in the labor market. "Labor market conditions improved, with the unemployment rate declining further," the Fed said in a statement. "However, a range of labor market indicators suggests that there remains significant underutilization of labor resources." The reference confirmed that the central bank believes there is still a ways to go before benchmark borrowing costs need to move higher despite an improving outlook for jobs and prices.


Bank scandal tarnishes powerful Portuguese family

In this July 24, 2014 photo, Francisco Proenca de Carvalho, lawyer for Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo's former chief executive Ricardo Salgado, leaves a Lisbon court after Salgado was questioned about money-laundering, fraud and forgery. The Espirito Santo family business survived wars, dictatorship, revolution and family feuds for almost 150 years. Now, one of Europe's last banking dynasties is being stripped of its wealth and influence amid accounting irregularities, huge unreported debts, and a police investigation. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco) LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal's Espirito Santo family business survived wars, dictatorship, revolution and family feuds for almost 150 years. Now, one of Europe's last banking dynasties is being stripped of its wealth and influence amid accounting irregularities, huge unreported debts, record losses at the family bank and a police investigation.


Terror threats at chemical plants underestimated

This April 18, 2013 file photo shows an aerial view of the remains of a fertilizer plant and an apartment complex to the left, destroyed by an explosion in West, Texas. The government has failed to inspect virtually all of the chemical facilities that it considers to be at high risk for a terror attack, numbering in the thousands, and has underestimated the threat to densely populated cities, congressional investigators say. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File) WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is underestimating the threat of a chemical attack on America's densely populated cities and has failed to inspect virtually all of the chemical facilities that it considers particularly vulnerable to terrorists, congressional investigators say.


Stocks flatten out after Fed delivers no surprises

Trader James Dresch, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, June 30, 2014. European stocks were lower Wednesday July 30, 2014 ahead of U.S. economic data while cheery earnings from major Japanese companies such as Honda Motor Co. boosted Asian markets.(AP Photo/Richard Drew) NEW YORK (AP) — A cheerful report on the U.S. economy, rising profits and no surprises from the Federal Reserve left the stock market nearly where it started on Wednesday.


Bank of America ordered to pay $1.27 billion for 'Hustle' fraud

A Bank of America Merrill Lynch sign is seen on a building that houses its offices in Singapore By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Bank of America Corp to pay a $1.27 billion penalty for fraud over shoddy mortgages sold by the former Countrywide Financial Corp. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan ruled after a jury last October found the second-largest U.S. bank liable for the sale by Countrywide of defective loans to government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Rakoff also ordered former mid-level Countrywide executive Rebecca Mairone, who was also found liable and was the only individual charged, to pay $1 million, citing her "leading role" in the fraud and calling some of her testimony "implausible." While the bank's penalty was below the $2.1 billion sought by the U.S. Department of Justice, it marks another legal defeat for Bank of America over its disastrous July 2008 purchase of Countrywide, which has cost tens of billions of dollars in litigation, loan buybacks and writedowns. Bank of America has also held talks on another, potentially multi-billion-dollar settlement to resolve separate government probes into mortgage securities, including from Countrywide and its Merrill Lynch unit.


Chrysler recalls Fiat 500L on knee air bag issue

The new Fiat 500L car is seen during its official presentation in downtown Turin Chrysler Group LLC will recall about 29,500 Fiat 500L compact cars because knee air bags may not work properly if a driver is not wearing a seat belt, the company said on Wednesday. Testing by Chrysler and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that the driver's knee air bag may not deploy in the proper position to protect fully the knees of an unbelted driver, a company spokesman said. Chrysler, a unit of Fiat SpA , said it is not aware of any injuries related to the issue. The recall will affect Fiat 500L cars from the 2014 and 2015 model years.


U.S. economy back on track with strong second-quarter rebound

A carpenter works on a new home at a residential construction site in the west side of the Las Vegas Valley in Las Vegas By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy rebounded sharply in the second quarter as consumers stepped up spending and businesses restocked, putting it on course to close out the year on solid footing. Gross domestic product expanded at a 4.0 percent annual rate after shrinking at a revised 2.1 percent pace in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.


GOP blocks tax hike on firms moving overseas

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican senators blocked an election-year bill Wednesday to limit tax breaks for U.S. companies that move operations overseas.

Sanctions will damage Russia if not lifted quickly

Russian President Vladimir Putin heads the Cabinet meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. The meeting focused on measures to encourage Russian companies to pull their assets back from offshores. The United States and the European Union on Tuesday announced a raft of new sanctions against Russian companies and banks over Moscow’s support for separatists in Ukraine. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service) MOSCOW (AP) — U.S. and European sanctions against Russia's energy and finance sectors are strong enough to cause deep, long-lasting damage within months unless Moscow persuades the West to repeal them by withdrawing support for Ukrainian insurgents.


European regulators training sights on Google's mobile software

File photo of Google Chairman Eric Schmidt speaking at a Motorola phone launch event in New York By Foo Yun Chee and Alexei Oreskovic BRUSSELS/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - European regulators are preparing what could be a stern challenge to Google Inc's mobile software business in the coming months after a nearly four-year investigation into the company's Web search practices left rivals and European politicians dissatisfied. Two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said that with a new antitrust chief taking over in November, European regulators are laying the groundwork for a case centered on whether Google abuses the 80 percent market share of its Android mobile operating system to promote services from maps to search. The Commission has stepped up inquiries just in recent weeks, sending companies questionnaires that seek far more details than previous queries on the matter in 2011 and 2013. In one questionnaire seen by Reuters, respondents were asked whether there was a requirement set by Google, written or unwritten, that they not pre-install apps, products or services on mobile devices that compete with Google software like its search engine, app store and maps.


Argentines shrug off risk of default

In this Friday, July 25, 2014 photo, pedestrians walk past a branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, a target for anti-capitalist agitation ever since a 1927 anarchist bombing of what was then a Bank of Boston, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2001, this neo-colonial bank building from Argentina's golden age was ground zero for the country's financial earthquake. Mobs of protesters stared down riot police to demand the return of their savings confiscated by the government in a last-ditch, and ultimately failed, attempt to stay current on its debt. Thirteen years later, a July 30th midnight deadline approaches to avert another default. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko) BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — In 2001, it was ground zero for Argentina's financial earthquake. A neo-colonial architectural gem built long ago by the Bank of Boston, it became the focal point for angry mobs of protesters who stared down riot police to demand the return of their savings, which the government confiscated in a last-ditch, and ultimately failed, attempt to stay current on its debt.


A more vigorous US economy appears to be emerging

In this July 17, 2014 photo, construction workers build a commercial complex in Springfield, Ill. The government issues its first of three estimates of how fast the U.S. economy grew in the April-June quarter on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman) WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy has rebounded with vigor from a grim start to 2014 and should show renewed strength into next year.


Rule-of-Law and Property-Rights Crisis in Houston?

Rule-of-Law and Property-Rights Crisis in Houston? Houston has developed a reputation as the entrepreneurial capital of Texas, if not the United States. It is the fourth-largest city in the nation and is poised to supplant Chicago as number three by next year. It is a magnet for enterprises ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. It is, in fact, second only to New York when it comes to...


Strategic Higher Education CIOs Invest In Technology To Improve Student Success

Strategic Higher Education CIOs Invest In Technology To Improve Student Success Today's college students are mobile. Whether in class, relaxing in their living group, exercising in the gym, studying in the library, shopping in town, traveling to sporting events, or even sleeping in their dorms, they are always connected. This represents both an opportunity and a challenge. The challenge is to provide an always-on...


Top 10 YouTube Channels for Leaders

Top 10 YouTube Channels for Leaders With over 6 billion hours of video and thousands of channels, YouTube has something for everyone -- even for those of us who want to become better leaders.Over the last year I've subscribed to a number of YouTube channels that have consistently helped me identify new trends, understand best practices, and spot high-impact opportunities.Here is...


The Agility Factor

The Agility Factor The Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band changed the way people think about music; it is regarded as one of the most pivotal music releases of all time. Pop star Phil Collins said that it opened a door and showed people a new room.But the door had already been opened for the Beatles. Paul McCartney said that the single biggest...


It's Time to Quit

It's Time to Quit I know. Reading the title of this post makes you uncomfortable, right? It made me uncomfortable to write it. In the business world we are constantly told to keep going, keep pushing, don't quit. It's like a mantra now, "Never surrender, never give up!" And you know what? They're right... until they're wrong. Wait. What?I've been in the...


Develop an Acute Ability to Listen

Develop an Acute Ability to Listen What if your point of difference was an acute ability to listen?What would that look like?It always amazes me how many people cut me off mid-sentence, and don't even let me get my answer out, after they ask me a direct question.Yes, I recognize listening alone may not set you apart from the competition. From my experience, you may win more...


The Conspiracy of Empathy: Why Some Organizations Thrive When Others Don't

It is inevitable that every company, industry and even government will meet a crisis at some stage in their life cycle. For those organizations that succeed, is there a common thread for thriving beyond the crisis? Why do some organizations entrench themselves until there is no way out? What is the difference?There is one persistent theme in...
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