China Tackles Inflation
China is stepping up its efforts to combat inflation, the BBC reports. Rising prices, especially in food, fuel, and housing, are being blamed for the cooling of China's "red-hot economy." Headline inflation eased to 5.3 percent in April, down from March's 5.4 percent, a three-year high. Last month, tension caused by higher prices sparked three days of protests in Shanghai. Beijing has responded to rising prices by tightening its monetary policy. China's central bank has raised the cost of borrowing four times since October, and asked banks to hold more money instead of lending it out, the BBC said.
Recession Hard to Swallow for Wendy's/Arby's
Rising prices of beef, bacon, and cooking oil are being blamed for the unappetizing prospect of passing along higher costs to consumers. The Wendy's/Arby's Group Inc. reported it lost $1.4 million in the first quarter and lowered its earnings estimate for the year, the Associated Press reported. The fast food giant has lost money for seven of the 10 quarters since the two chains combined in 2008. In addition to selling Arby's, Wendy's is planning on revamping its menu with new salads, new fries, a new flavor of Frosty, makeovers for its burgers and chicken sandwiches, and getting in on the lucrative breakfast market.
News of Leaks Won't Win Facebook New Friends
Facebook users' personal information could have been accidentally leaked to third parties, security software maker Symantec Corp said in its official blog, Reuters reports. These parties would have had access to personal information such as profiles, photographs and chat. "We estimate that as of April 2011, close to 100,000 applications were enabling this leakage," the blog post said. Facebook responded in a statement, "Unfortunately, their (Symantec's) resulting report has a few inaccuracies. Specifically, we have conducted a thorough investigation which revealed no evidence of this issue resulting in a user's private information being shared with unauthorized third parties."
Google Sets Aside $500 Million for Scrutiny of its Advertising Practices
A one-line statement in Google's quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that Google has set aside $500 million to settle a US investigation into its advertising practices, Financial Times reports. The charge, which has been applied retrospectively to the first quarter, left its net income for the period at $1.8 billion, down from nearly $2 billions the year before. U.S. regulators have been concerned over Google's failure to adequately police the use of its advertising system, FT said. Recently, the US Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration have raised concerns about the use of search advertising to promote overseas drug sales.
Toyota Quarterly Profits Fall
Toyota posted a worse than expected drop in quarterly profits after Japan's earthquake and tsunami impacted output, Reuters reports. The world's biggest automaker makes 38 percent of its cars in Japan. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake that rocked northeastern Japan on March 11 forced Toyota to reduce output at home and abroad as it struggled to secure vital parts. With energy and production costs expected to rise, analysts say that Toyota may need to rethink their global production strategy.
Better opportunities at home, strict immigration laws and California's steep cost of living are being cited as the reasons why immigrant entrepreneurs are leaving Silicon Valley to start their own companies abroad, according to USA Today. Foreign-born executives, engineers and scientists are reportedly returning to India and China in the tens of thousands annually, competing with the companies they once worked for in the United States.
The Final Frontier for Business?
Global warming may be bad for the environment but good for business. The Associated Press reports that the Arctic could become the next great international battleground for resources with melting ice caps opening new shipping routes, fishing grounds, and unexplored oil and gas deposits. The United States, Russia and other nations near the North Pole are expected to sign this week the first international treaty covering the Arctic Sea.