Barclays is fined for manipulating gold prices and Facebook changes its privacy settings again. More news for the busy investor.
More Hewlett-Packard Job Cuts
Saying the company’s turnaround “remains on track,” Hewlett-Packard Co. announced Thursday that it will cut another 11,000 to 16,000 jobs, above a target of 34,000 the company outlined in a multi-year restructuring plan two years ago. HP said it had 317,500 workers at the end of October, when it was partway into its restructuring, The Associated Press reports. The company also reported Thursday that revenue fell 1 percent to $27.31 billion, below the $27.43 billion analysts expected.
Buckle Up for More GM Recalls
A day after the Associated Press learned that General Motors CEO Mary Barra told members of Congress that the company cannot keep pace with the demand for ignition switches in its recall of 2.6 million small cars, the company is now telling Wall Street that the recalls may last until mid-summer. The company continues to deal with unresolved safety issues. GM’s safety review has resulted in 29 U.S. recalls so far this year covering a total of 13.8 million vehicles, more than five times the number of cars and trucks the company sold in the U.S. last year. The ignition switch problem has been linked to at least 13 deaths in crashes involving Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions. Congress and the Justice Department are investigating why GM knew about the switch problem for at least a decade but only started recalling the cars this February.
T-Mobile: We’re No. 3!
T-Mobile replaced Sprint Corp as the No. 3 smartphone purchaser in the United States in the first quarter, according to a report by analyst Neil Shah of Counterpoint Technology Market Research. T-Mobile bought six million smartphones in the first quarter, compared with Spirit’s five million. The company’s aggressive discounting helped it to add more new subscribers than any other U.S. wireless operator. While smartphones comprise almost 90 percent of total handsets in the U.S. growth has become stagnate and companies are relying on such promotions to lure subscribers. T-Mobile still trails Sprint in total subscribers.
Barclays Faces Another Heavy Fine
The British bank Barclays was fined $43.8 million this week for the failure to exhibit proper control over its setting of gold prices. The fine came one day after Barclays was fined $450 million for rigging Labor interest rates. Barclays became the first bank to be fined over trying to manipulate the gold market. According to one source, the incident was a one-time matter and not requiring a long-term investigation into greater malfeasance. The Financial Conduct Authority of Britain said the control failings occurred from 2004 to 2013, but that the key event took place in June of 2012.
Facebook Alters Privacy Settings Again
Just before its annual shareholders meeting Thursday, Facebook announced that posts from new users will only be shared with “friends’’ unless that user changes the default setting and chooses “public.” The settings were reversed before the new change, and the old settings caused privacy concerns because new users were sometimes unclear that “public’’ meant that people outside of their social circle could see their status updates and photos. “While some people want to post to everyone, others have told us they are more comfortable sharing with a smaller group, like just their friends,’’ the company said in a statement. “We recognize that it is much worse for someone to accidentally share with everyone when they actually meant to share just with friends, compared with the reverse.”
Visa, MasterCard to Remain in Russia
Following a decision by the Russian parliament to impose a hefty security deposit upon foreign credit card companies to work in Russia, both Visa and MasterCard said they would continue to operate in the country. The new rules were imposed after the West imposed sanctions on a number of individuals and companies in response to the crisis in Ukraine. But Visa and MasterCard officials said the new financial obligations would not cause them to cease operations in Russia. “In any situation, we will stay in Russia,’’ said MasterCard’s Russian general director Ilya Ryaby. Visa’s director of operations in Russia, Andrew Torre, said “We are willing to work in Russia and after this meeting we hope that a compromise solution will be found.” Visa and MasterCard stopped serving Russia after the annexation of Crimea in March.