The greatest losers in Amazon’s search because of its second headquarters

Amazon . com chose 20 metropolitan areas just as one site because of its second headquarters. Watch these application videos to determine how hungry locales were for that place. (Amazon . com leader Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Publish.) (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Publish)

Amazon’s look for a second headquarters is sort of a reality show, best way geekier with way greater stakes. And in keeping with that format, dreams happen to be getting crushed. We’re feeling for you personally Minneapolis.

The internet store was quite obvious if this solicited proposals, lounging out criteria that applied for the most part to around 24 American urban centers. Nevertheless, more than 200 positive localities applied. Thursday, Amazon . com selected 20.

The picks stuck so carefully for their criteria an formula might have done a good job during the fall and saved countless towns, counties and metros a lot of work. But there have been a couple of glaring omissions.

To get rid of the winners and also the losers, let’s perform a quick experiment: Consider Amazon’s criteria, think about the actual features of the metropolitan areas which were selected, and appearance off in which the two intersect. It’s classic retrofitting, however we have the advantage of hindsight, why don’t you take full advantage of it?

Amazon . com chose 20 metropolitan areas just as one site because of its second headquarters. Watch these application videos to determine how hungry locales were for that place. (Amazon . com leader Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Publish.) (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Publish)

We’re using data in the Census Bureau’s 2012-2016 American Community Survey, because Amazon’s proposal causes it to be obvious it’s thinking in decades, and thus we’re searching for that longest-term, best data around.

Regrettably, additionally, it means we must omit Canada. Our 20 finalists will here be just 19. Sorry, Toronto!

For consistency and comparability, we based all measurements on Metropolitan Record Areas, even if bids originated from smaller sized jurisdictions within them. We’d to separate the 2 metros which are the place to find multiple finalists. Greater New You are able to is split up between New You are able to and Newark, as the D.C. metro’s metropolitan areas and counties are split between Montgomery County, Md., the District itself, and Northern Virginia. Begin to see the graphic for detailed information which county wound up where.

Before we attempt our listing, we are able to eliminate any metro area with less than 1 million people, in addition to San antonio, where Amazon . com already has a headquarters. (Amazon’s founder and leader, Jeffrey P. Bezos, may be the owner of  The Washington Publish).

After we read past all of the shows the type of corporate perks Amazon . com might welcome from the new host city, among the clearest criteria within the document is perfect for “locations using the possibility to attract and retain strong technical talent.”

It’s very easy to determine that potential. Consider the metropolitan areas that have already pulled that task out, and do a comparison to the peak 19 within the category. Nearly all Amazon’s 19 finalists will also be within the top 19 metropolitan areas using the largest population of youthful people (ages 25-39) who’ve engineering or science levels.

However that leaves nine Amazon . com finalists that do not have that specific talent pool. Why were they still attractive to the internet store?

For your, we glance to a different Amazon . com requirement: riding on the bus. Four from the metropolitan areas that weren’t packed with technical talent have been in the very best 19 for that greatest utilization of riding on the bus for commuting to operate. Including Pittsburgh, in addition to three areas within commuting distance of a few of the greatest American metropolitan areas: Newark and also the D.C. suburbs in Maryland and Virginia.

But to describe the inclusion of Austin Columbus, Ohio Nashville Indiana and Raleigh, N.C., on Amazon’s shortlist, we must take a look at another big item around the company’s wish list: the company atmosphere.

That’s just a little harder to evaluate, but apparently , an energetic (and most likely more youthful) labor pressure is a superb indicator. All of the remaining metropolitan areas are presents itself their email list with regards to labor-pressure participation, or even the number of the adult population that’s either working or searching for work.

Equipped with fast and dirty gauge of the items Amazon . com was searching for, we are able to now puzzle out which metropolitan areas got hosed. The other metro areas fit the models, either of the well-educated metropolis with relatively strong transit infrastructure (Boston, Atlanta, and lots of some of the best metropolitan areas out there), or perhaps a rust-belt city having a strong labor market (Columbus, Indiana)?

The obvious loser is Minneapolis. The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area performed well in each and every measure and, based on the Star Tribune, offered incentives which is between $3 million to $5 million, yet lost out even though many others with less strong resumes managed to move on.

Houston missed its bid to produce an “Innovation Corridor” moored by Amazon . com, even while two other Texas metropolitan areas managed to get in. Houston rated well in education and transit, and it missed the very best-ranking trifecta just by one place on labor-pressure participation.

Baltimore also were built with a rough go. It met two criteria (and it was top half within the other, labor-pressure participation) and posted an offer based on an agenda to redevelop South Baltimore’s Port Covingtonarea, but lost to no under four of their neighbors — Washington, Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, Md., in addition to Philadelphia

Another metropolitan areas that met two criteria yet didn’t advance are possibly simpler to describe. All three — Portland, Bay Area and San Jose — take presctiption free airline Coast which most likely isn’t appealing to a San antonio store searching to grow its American footprint.

Bay Area and San Jose happen to be the place to find probably the most intense industry for tech talent in the united states and might not have the area or stomach for the type of growth Amazon . com will need.

Macron rebuffs publish-Brexit City deal unless of course United kingdom pays into EU budget

French president rejects ‘differentiated financial services access’, states ‘choice can be UK’

French president Emmanuel Macron has rejected the thought of a tailored Brexit deal for that City, insisting Britain won’t be permitted full use of Eu markets, including financial services, unless of course its smart in to the EU budget and accepts its rules.

Macron delivered the challenging message in the finish of the joint press conference with Theresa May at Sandhurst military training college on Thursday. Each day-lengthy United kingdom-EU summit occured to underline the close relationship backward and forward countries after earlier news of the £45m British boost to border peace of mind in Calais.

Financial services is among the sectors by which France wishes to seize an elevated share from the EU market after Brexit. City firms are worried about new trade barriers, including losing so-known as “passporting” legal rights, that permit them to operate through the EU from headquarters working in london.

Quick guide

All that you should learn about Anglo-French trade

Which country is ‘on top’?

Roughly £71bn of products or services were traded backward and forward countries in 2016. France has got the upper hands: the United kingdom exported £33.8bn to France but imported £37.6bn. Exports to France have fallen by about 9% during the last decade, while imports are roughly flat. France is Britain’s third-largest export market.

What will get traded?

There’s an affection on sides from the Funnel for which each country does well: Britain may be the largest importer of champagne, while greater than 28m Harry Potter books go another way. France may be the second greatest European food exporter towards the United kingdom and makes up about 20% of dairy imports. There have been greater than 500 French restaurants in great britan in 2017, 54 of these within the Michelin Guide. Signs United kingdom exports are cars, chemicals and financial services. France is a huge exporter of aircraft, machinery and cars.

Living and dealing

About 150,000 British citizens reside in France, while 155,000 French nationals are moved in the United kingdom. Banking is easily the most everyday sort of employment for French individuals Britain, with most them residing in London and also the south-east you will find 15 accredited French schools within the United kingdom, 13 which have been in London. Roughly one fourth of British citizens in France reside in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in western France.

Tourism

In France They make about 4m visits annually towards the United kingdom, which makes them the main nationality of foreign visitors. About 11 million vacationers visit France each year in the United kingdom, greater than from the other country.

Business links

Greater than 1,000 subsidiaries of British companies were located in France in 2014, generating 195,000 jobs. French companies with major operations in great britan range from the energy giant EDF and also the utilities firm Veolia.

Angela Monaghan

Photograph: Andy Rain/Environmental protection agency

Requested whether France would aim to “punish” Britain, by insisting financial services shouldn’t be incorporated inside a United kingdom-EU trade deal after Brexit, Macron stated, “I’m not here to punish or reward”.

“The choice can be Britain: it isn’t my choice – however they might have no differentiated use of financial services,” he stated. “If you would like access for financial services, be my guest – however it means you need to lead towards the budget, and accept European jurisdiction. It’s a scenario that are available for Norway”.

The choice would be a Canada-style trade deal, he stated, that could include financial services, but wouldn’t include access “on exactly the same level” as existing EU people.

The city has consistently stressed that Britain won’t be permitted to “cherry-pick” sectors, but Brexit secretary David Davis has stated he’s seeking a “Canada plus plus plus” arrangement, in line with the EU-Canada trade agreement, however with additional access for services.

Britain hopes by using the very first stage of talks taken care of, it can capitalise on close buying and selling relationships with key EU allies to attain a bespoke deal – but Macron stated France would keep to the agreed script.

Emmanuel Macron listens to Theresa May speaking at the Victoria and Albert museum in London on Wednesday. Emmanuel Macron learns Theresa May speaking in the Victoria and Albert museum working in london on Wednesday. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Protecting the integrity from the single market resulted in if Britain chooses a Canada-style deal, it can’t be provided exactly the same accessibility single market that membership enables, in france they president added. “There should not be a hypocrisy in this way, or it wouldn’t work and we’d destroy the only market.”

The pm noticed that she’d stated in her own Lancaster House speech that Britain could leave the only market after Brexit but she wished to attain a “deep and special partnership” using the EU27.

May stated: “I don’t want to exclude any sector within the trade agreement in the future … But it doesn’t imply that the can get on allows is going to be equal to [being] part of the only market.”

Around the issue based in london, May stated it might continue being “a major global financial center,” insisting that might be to the advantage of the United kingdom, Europe and also the global economic climate.

Brexit wasn’t formally around the agenda in the summit, where ministers including foreign secretary Boris Manley and culture secretary Matt Hancock met their French counterparts to signal the breadth of cooperation backward and forward countries on issues from artificial intelligence to weapons construction.

Requested how he felt by what he known as “the Brexit” and whether he wished it might be reversed, Macron stated: “I greatly respect the option of the British people despite the fact that I be sorry.Inches

Calais, that the French president stated is needed to hurry up processing occasions for migrants, to 1 month for adults, and 25 days for unaccompanied children.

Macron stressed that the new “Sandhurst Treaty” signed in the summit will sit plus the existing Le Touquet agreement, and assist in improving the problem for migrants in Calais, that they visited the 2009 week. He stated migrants should be treated, “more humanely as well as in a far more efficient manner”.

The pm, requested whether she was getting little to acquire the pledge more cash, stated it might improve Britain’s border security. “It is within our interests,” she was adamant.

Both leaders frequently underlined the close relationship between your United kingdom and France, because they confirmed the Bayeux Tapestry can come to Britain on loan, in 2022.

“I am honoured in the loan of these a precious bit of our shared history which all over again underscores the closeness in our relationship,” May stated.

Macron stated with the plethora of bilateral contracts, across culture, security, art and trade, the brand new countries were, “making a brand new tapestry together”.

Earlier, the pm located a little working lunch with Macron in a gastropub, the Royal Oak, in her own constituency, before they travelled to Sandhurst to become welcomed having a military band as well as an RAF flypast.

The Secretary of state for Defence and also the French defence ministry issued some pot communique aiming a number of steps the 2 countries will require.

They’ll establish “a United kingdom-France defence ministerial council”, to do something like a “permanent and regular forum”, for that French and British defence secretaries to switch ideas and bear out joint planning.

The announcement came alongside confirmation the United kingdom will be sending three Chinook transport helicopters to assist France’s anti-terrorist operation in Mali.

Manley also tweeted the two countries had made the decision to determine some pot “panel of experts” to look at future projects – adding that possibly the Funnel Tunnel ought to be “just the very first step”.

Boris Manley (@BorisJohnson)

A lot important operate in #UKFRSummit outcomes, but I’m especially pleased we’re creating a panel of experts to check out major projects together. Our economic success depends upon good infrastructure and good connections. If the Funnel Tunnel be only a initial step?

The month of january 18, 2018

Brexit negotiations, despite reports that Britain hopes the £45m in funds it’ll offer peace of mind in Calais and also the area may help to win support from France for any generous trade deal.

Inside a major speech in September, Macron known as for any “profound transformation” from the EU after Brexit, which may visit a core of nations bind themselves together more carefully, with common defence, asylum and tax policies.

Also, he recommended other nations might choose less integration, within an EU where the United kingdom could “one day find its place again”.

A Maine Race track Didn’t Lure Amazon . com. Multiply That Disappointment by 218.

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Bay Area — There have been 218 communities whose proposals didn’t achieve the 2nd round in Amazon’s well-publicized look for its second headquarters. For individuals ambitious but unlucky folks, there have been no “thanks for entering” gourmet gift baskets or any consolation prizes.

Tom Hall, town manager of Scarborough, Me., had just came back from the meeting concerning the clam harvest as he heard unhealthy news from the reporter. He required it philosophically. The town’s proposal to transform a 500-acre harness racing track in the heart of Scarborough was, he understood, “the longest of lengthy shots.”

In Oklahoma, there have been more regrets.

“I’m certainly disappointed,” stated Scott Phillips, who ran an improvement team known as First Day that promoted an offer to construct a completely new 50-square-mile city for Amazon . com between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, equidistant from each.

“Amazon missed an chance to incorporate higher productivity-of-the-box thinking within their listing of finalists from proposals like ours,” he added.

For that metropolitan areas which were not just one of Amazon’s 20 finalists, that D-word stored approaching.

Jim Watson, the mayor of Ottawa, stated he was “disappointed” two times inside a brief interview, adding the whole process was “great publicity” for Amazon . com.

A Significant League Soccer stadium in Frisco, Tex., another city Amazon . com didn’t pick. “Second headquarters would be the factor for the future,” the mayor, Shaun Cheney, stated.CreditTony Gutierrez/Connected Press

“This news is unquestionably disappointing,” they that promoted Zoysia and Rochester stated inside a statement.

“Very disappointed,” stated the San Francisco Bay Area Council, which in fact had posted an offer with respect to Bay Area and 4 neighboring metropolitan areas.

Amazon’s obsessive need to please its customers has produced a terrifying retail juggernaut making its founder, Shaun Bezos, the wealthiest man on the planet. This feeling of disappointment in the organization, however transient it might prove, is one thing new.

Yet it had been possibly inevitable following the way Amazon . com switched its look for a second headquarters, so it announced inside a blaze of publicity in September, into this type of beauty contest. Despite unemployment low, the stock exchange booming and also the economy chugging along, the possibilities of landing as much as 50,000 high-having to pay jobs from Amazon . com turned on the thrill of politicians everywhere.

“When they folded this concept out, the narrow description they used only defined about 30 metropolitan areas,” stated Mr. Phillips of First Day, talking about how Amazon . com had stated it had been searching for any metropolitan area in The United States with a minimum of millions of people, among other criteria. “Maybe they really thought only 30 metropolitan areas would apply. The truth that 238 did most likely caught them off-guard.”

Scarborough, for example, was most likely this is not on Amazon’s radar. It’s around the Northeast coast, just south of Portland, population about 20,000. The simplicity the applying process, which involved answering nine questions, supplying data and touting the town, “encouraged us and many hundred other people who was without a practical chance to help make the most powerful possible argument why it ought to be us,” stated Mr. Hall, the city manager. “There’s value in thinking and articulating that.”

Boxcars in Rochester. “This news is unquestionably disappointing,” they that promoted Rochester and Zoysia stated inside a statement after Amazon . com passed on them.CreditLuke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Take into consideration playing: a feeling that Amazon . com was resolute to attain dominance, so why wouldn’t you sign up?

“This new headquarters is just an end on their own route to global conquest,” Mr. Hall stated. He noted that a lot of people in Scarborough received goodies from Amazon . com throughout the holidays that even today, within the third week of The month of january, the neighborhood recycling center was overwhelmed with card board packaging.

Mr. Hall stated he’d received “no word whatsoever” from Amazon . com concerning the fate of his application. An Amazon . com spokesman stated, “All the metropolitan areas received direct communication from Amazon . com, including many personal telephone calls.”

Most of the other also-rans didn’t wish to talk.

Jason Lary, the mayor of Stonecrest, Ga., who’d offered to produce a town named Amazon . com making Mr. Bezos “the mayor, C.E.O., king, whatever they would like to refer to it as,” didn’t return calls. A spokeswoman for Tucson, which in fact had also applied, stated, “We have been in an exciting-break-site meeting,” adding that they couldn’t be interviewed.

The letdown adopted a hurry of antics by metropolitan areas across The United States to lure the store with regulations and tax breaks and publicity stunts.

Business leaders in Tucson had attempted to mail Amazon . com a 21-feet cactus, which the organization declined. The mayor of Washington published a relevant video of herself asking her Amazon . com Alexa in which the headquarters is going. (The solution was obviously Washington.) Business school students in Philadelphia were built with a new homework assignment: Email Amazon . com asking it in the future. Mayors travelled to San antonio to wander the organization campus.

Scarborough, Me., had suggested converting a 500-acre harness racing track to woo Amazon . com. It had been “the longest of lengthy shots,” the city manager, Tom Hall, stated.CreditRobert F. Bukaty/Connected Press

The greatest champion in most this, obviously, was Amazon . com. Looking has brought to feel-good tales in local papers round the country, a coup for Amazon’s pr machine when most are cautious about Mr. Bezos’ growing wealth and power.

For Art Rolnick, an economist in the College of Minnesota, the choice process — that will go on for several weeks — is “reality show” theatrics and cannot be celebrated, he stated.

Amazon . com, he stated, “wants to obtain the greatest bid and greatest subsidy possible, now the 20 finalist metropolitan areas goes revise their bids.”

“From a nearby perspective, it appears as though job creation in your neighborhood,” Mr. Rolnick added. “From a nationwide perspective, it is not sensible.”

Some elected officials stated the truth-show spectacle was a noticable difference in route clients are usually done.

“It was like ‘The Apprentice,’” the show about hiring and firing that President Trump appeared in, stated Tulsa’s mayor, G. T. Bynum. “I loved the procedure. Amazon . com, for their credit, managed to get an open and transparent one. Nine from 10 occasions, whenever we have corporate moving interest, we must sign a lot of nondisclosure contracts we have no idea what clients are interested.”

Not every the applicants felt the procedure was transparent. Amazon . com released the entire quantity of proposals although not where these were from, which caused some latter-day confusion. Mr. Phillips of First Day stated he’d become an invoice from Federal Express for delivering his proposal in October rather than been told by Amazon . com next.

One possibility: the organization didn’t try taking some applications particularly seriously. An Amazon . com spokesman declined to explain this time.

However clumsy the procedure, Amazon . com may have unleashed something.

Apple, that has been belittled for doing the majority of its production in China, announced now it would open a brand new domestic campus. (Apple didn’t mention an area.) Benefiting from the brand new Republican tax plan, which enables a 1-time repatriation of money, Apple signaled it might restore the majority of the $252 billion in cash it held abroad and add 20,000 new jobs within the U . s . States.

“Second headquarters would be the factor for the future — the businesses are becoming too large for any single market,” stated Shaun Cheney, the mayor of Frisco, Tex., a town near Dallas which had a losing bid for Amazon’s second headquarters.

Beyond sense at all of disappointment one of the losers, then, was a sense of expectation.

“If Amazon . com isn’t prepared to swing for that fences in Oklahoma and make a town, maybe Alibaba” — china internet store — “is willing,” stated Mr. Phillips. His efforts to construct a company city, he stated, continues.

There’s, however, the issue from the name. “Day 1” is really a pet expression of Mr. Bezos, symbolizing how his company’s possibilities will always be at the front from it.

“We’ll most likely locate a better brand,” Mr. Phillips stated, after which reconsidered. “If someone wants to defend myself against Amazon . com, maybe ensure that is stays ‘Day 1’ will offer you the additional capability to wreck havoc on Bezos’ mind just a little.”

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Carpetright shares crash after huge profit warning

Carpetright shares have crashed by up to 50 % following the store issued a surprise profit warning and blamed a decrease in consumer confidence for sales cratering.

The flooring chain’s harsh update pulled its stock lower up to 45pc to 90p and knocked shares in other furniture and DIY groups lower as spooked investors fretted that customers might be delaying paying for big-ticket products.

Shares in B&Q owner Kingfisher fell 3.5pc to 331.3p, sofa store DFS lost 3.8pc to 198.2p, and smaller sized rival SCS dropped 4.9pc to 212p in mid-morning buying and selling.

Carpetright’s second profit warning in under two several weeks is especially painful for investors who’d recently been told in December to lessen their profit expectations.

Carpetright share cost

Analysts at Peel Search stated that although Carpetright had blamed the broader consumer outlook, the City has “seen solid sales elsewhere (Topps & Headlam) and you will find aspects of Carpetright-specific issues, most particularly the entire re-varying from the bed offer in front of peak [buying and selling]”.

The organization, that has 416 shops within the United kingdom and 136 in Europe, stated that there was a “sharp deterioration” in do business with sales in shops open at least a year slumping by 3.6pc within the 11 days to The month of january 13. Total sales dropped 4.5pc after it closed 10 stores.

The publish-Christmas period was “considerably behind expectations” with “lower customer footfall”, Carpetright stated. This had led to a “significant effect on profitability and our outlook for that indication of the season”.

Consequently Carpetright has slashed profit forecasts to between £2m and £6m, well below City expectations of £16.5m. The store includes a lengthy good reputation for profit warnings, issuing its first in 2003 and a minimum of nine more during the last fifteen years.

Wilf Walsh, leader, stated: “Despite an optimistic begin to our third quarter, we view a substantial degeneration in United kingdom buying and selling throughout the important publish-Christmas buying and selling period. While average transaction values were up every year, the amount of customer transactions since Christmas was dramatically lower, which we feel is suggestive of reduced consumer confidence.”

Like-for-like sales in the core flooring business, which in fact had formerly been performing well, sank 7.1pc within the publish Christmas period.

There is a rather better picture in the European business, where it’s shops within the Netherlands, Belgium and also the Republic of eire like-for-like sales for the reason that division rose 4.3pc throughout the third quarter.

Christmas buying and selling Retail winners & losers

In December Carpetright blamed “fragile” consumer confidence and “intensified competition” for any collapse in two-year profits, which fell 93pc to simply £300,000. At that time it blamed greater staff costs and discounting for that hit to the main point here. In October it cautioned that first-half buying and selling was “volatile”, with floor sales neglecting to offset declining interest in its beds.

“It’s the same kind of story just like other brands which have unsuccessful to adjust to altering consumer trends – lower footfall leaves transaction figures lower considerably from this past year,” stated Neil Wilson of ETX Capital. “We have to also consider less strong consumer sentiment for giant ticket products like a factor, in addition to tougher competition from the more diverse marketplace.”

Companies perform better whether they have greater ethnic and gender diversity, study reveals

A company will probably perform better financially if it is workforce is much more diverse, research from among the world’s most esteemed consultancies has revealed.

McKinsey & Co examined over 1,000 companies across 12 countries and located that firms within the top quartile for gender diversity are 21 percent more prone to enjoy above-average profitability than companies towards the bottom quartile.

Companies within the top quartile for ethnic diversity, meanwhile, are 33 percent more prone to see greater-than-average profits than companies within the cheapest quartile.

McKinsey’s research discovered that diversity has got the most apparent effect on financial performance when it’s present in executive teams and roles which are directly responsible for making money.

Minimal diverse companies, both in gender and ethnic terms, are 29 percent more prone to underperform when it comes to profitability, the consultancy stated.

McKinsey discovered that the correlation exists across all geographies. Nevertheless, ethnic minorities continue to be particularly underrepresented in executive teams globally.

By sector, technology, media and telecommunications companies have a tendency to stick out when it comes to achieving ethnic diversity, but they are generally within the cheapest quartile with regards to gender diversity.

Possibly because of shareholder pressure and intense scrutiny recently, the financial services sector – including banks, insurance providers and asset management companies – generally outperforms other sectors for gender diversity, the study demonstrated.

McKinsey’s United kingdom managing partner, Vivian Search, stated that by publishing the findings, the consultancy aims to “build a far more nuanced and holistic knowledge of the hyperlink between diversity and company profitability”.

It therefore aims to “provide some obvious, practical assistance with how companies may use diversity to assist achieve their key business objectives,” she stated.

​Late this past year, the United kingdom Government launched the Parker Review into ethnic diversity on boards across United kingdom companies. It put down targets for every FTSE 100 board to possess a minumum of one person of colour like a director by 2021, and every FTSE 250 board by 2024.

But McKinsey discovered that presently, males are still considerably overrepresented in executive roles in great britan, this will let you disproportionate share of executive jobs with revenue-generating responsibilities.

Additionally, it discovered that the correlation between ethnic diversity and financial performance is much more strongly pronounced for United kingdom companies than elsewhere.

In This summer 2017, a study conducted through the Chartered Management Institute – an expert management body – together with the British Academy of Management, demonstrated that less than a single in 10 management jobs within the United kingdom are held by black, Asian, and minority ethnic employees.

Additionally, it demonstrated that just 21 percent of FTSE 100 leaders publish their current diversity levels and just 54 percent are noticed to become positively championing greater diversity within their companies.

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Festive revellers spent less on food, going for a toll on restaurants

Britain’s pub and restaurant industry looks to possess endured a difficult Christmas as festive revellers curbed their paying for food.

Data in the Coffer Peach business tracker, which is viewed as a bellwether for that industry, has proven comparable sales were lower .1pc for that six-week Christmas period when compared to prior year.

Food made an appearance is the primary casualty, with like-for-like sales at restaurants lower 1pc over a small rise of .6pc at pubs. This trend will probably be behind chains for example hamburger restaurant Byron shutting down stores and seeking rent reduction from landlords.

The Coffer Peach tracker, which concentrates on branded restaurants and managed pubs (individuals operated by a pub company directly rather with a tenant) stated the information recommended everyone was “more prepared to visit drink than eat this festive season.

The tracker demonstrated drink sales were robust inside the managed pub sector, up 1.8pc, but food fell 1.4pc.

Coffer’s Mark Sheehan stated regardless of negative headlines concerning the sector, the eating and consuming out market “is not in freefall”.

“There isn’t any question the buying and selling atmosphere is competitive however these figures aren’t the vehicle crash that’s been broadly portrayed,” he stated.

Mr Sheehan stated that “2018 is a challenging year so we anticipate seeing bars and pubs buying and selling more robustly than restaurants”.

The tracker demonstrated stated the divergent fortunes between your restaurants and pubs was most stark working in london, where casual dining chains endured a couple.6pc stop by sales while pub turnover was up 1.5pc.

Total sales growth one of the 37 companies within the tracker, including Pizza Express, Frankie & Benny’s and Wagamama, was 3.4pc, when compared to festive period this past year, reflecting the ongoing, although more subdued, aftereffect of new openings.

Paul Newman of leisure consultancy RSM, which plays a role in the tracker, stated numerous high-profile brands had announced recent site closures which, considering that consumer confidence is waning, “we expect our restructuring teams to be stored busy within the several weeks ahead”.

Britain’s most effective companies have women in senior roles

Britain’s most successful companies generally have the great majority of ladies in senior management roles however the United kingdom lags behind the united states and Australia on diversity at the very top, new studies suggest.

Between 2011 and 2015, probably the most gender diverse quarter of companies were 20pc much more likely compared to least diverse to possess excellent financial performance, a study by management consultants McKinsey found.

Dame Vivian Search, who runs McKinsey’s United kingdom business, stated: “The correlation between diversity and financial performance is obvious across different sectors and geographies: more diverse teams equals significant financial outperformance.”

The proportion of ladies on FTSE boards has soared since 2011 among government and shareholder pressure to improve diversity at the very top. But while women now constitute around another of non-executive company directors, their representation among senior management teams is a lot lower.

The study demonstrated United kingdom firms are very well over the global average with around 15pc of executive roles held by women, however they drag behind their rivals in america, on 19pc, and Australia on 21pc. Despite the promotion of GKN’s Anne Stevens a week ago, just eight FTSE 100 companies presently have women chief executives, up from six in 2016.

From April, all United kingdom companies with a minimum of 250 staff will have to publish the space between the things they pay women and men in order to encourage firms to level the arena.

Lady Barbara Judge, the very first female chairman from the Institute of Company directors, told The Daily Telegraph a week ago: “The primary reason for the [pay] gap is less women progress in the work ladder than men. A lot more should be completed to ensure more women achieve the manager level.”

Gender gap for CEOs

The McKinsey research also found correlation between ethnic diversity and financial performance, especially in the United kingdom. Globally, individuals companies having a low proportion of both female and ethnic minority executives were 29pc more prone to financially underperform than their peers.

Financial services firms top the charts for gender diversity, while telecoms, media and technology companies were the very best for ethnic diversity, the report stated.

Dame Search stated: “Companies promote diversity for a lot of reasons. Our studies have shown that central of these ought to be the proven fact that diversity includes a demonstrable relationship to inclusive growth and longer-term value creation, particularly when it’s available at the manager level.”

Carillion collapse: Government creates taskforce to aid companies and workers

The Federal Government is establishing a national taskforce to aid companies and workers impacted by the collapse of construction and outsourcing giant Carillion the 2009 week.

Carillion, which employed 46,000 people worldwide, including 20,000 within the United kingdom, announced it had become entering liquidation on Monday, saddled with debt and liabilities close to £1.5bn along with a gaping pensions deficit.

The taskforce includes representatives from business, construction trade associations, trade unions, lenders and also the Government. The very first meeting was because of be chaired by Business Secretary Clark Gregg on Thursday.

A company department spokesperson stated the taskforce have been produced to “support and monitor the outcome on small companies and employees who’ve been impacted by Carillion’s insolvency”.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady welcomed this news.

“We are content the federal government has decided to union requires a nationwide taskforce to handle the collapse of Carillion,” Ms O’Grady stated.

“Time is important in working with this crisis. We want urgent action to safeguard jobs, pay and pensions. This can’t be a speaking shop,” she added.

The TUC stated it’s pressing for that change in private sector contracts, including pay and pensions, to alternative providers. It’s also demanding an extensive support package in the Government for at-risk workers, apprentices and small firms.

The TUC also stated it wanted Carillion’s public-service contracts to become introduced in-house, the federal government to do an urgent risk assessment on other large outsourcing firms, along with a moratorium to become introduced on future outsourcing.

Reuse content

Whitbread boss: Now isn’t the proper time to spin off Costa Coffee

The boss of Costa Coffee and Premier Inn owner Whitbread has hit back at calls from activist investor Sachem Mind to separate the organization up.

Alison Brittain said the organization was just in the middle of its transformation plan and splitting it up now, that could be achieved through the purchase of Costa, could be like selling real estate half-way via a renovation project.

“Should you consider our transformation plan like being in the center of renovating your home and in the middle of adding extra time, at that time over time a home is most likely less valuable as once the jobs are complete,” she stated.

The main executive didn’t confirm if she’d spoken directly with Sachem Mind, which purchased a 3.4pc stake in Whitbread recently, about its reported requires a rest-up. She stated the organization spoken regularly to any or all its shareholders and “that will not exclude [Sachem Mind]”.

Leader Alison Brittain has batted away suggestions a rest-up is sensible in the middle of its transformation programme

Whitbread is going to be talking with its major investors the following month included in a scheduled roadshow which is understood it’ll talk with the American activist then.

Ms Brittain stated the organization continually stress-tested its business to think about be it current structure continued to be fit for purpose. She stated the job it had been doing at Costa, including switching towards getting more sites at travel hubs and drive thrus, along with its efforts to develop in China, would “add great shareholder value”.

The comments be the leisure giant was knocked by falling high-street footfall, reporting single.5pc decline in like-for-like sales at Costa for that 13 days to November 30. The coffee chain’s Express division, whose machines feature in supermarkets, perked the figures as much as leave Costa’s total sales up greater than 7pc for that period.

whitbread shares

Ms Brittain acknowledged the “well-publicised weak retail footfall”, adding it had become likely to continue this season. UK high-street footfall fell 3.5pc in December, based on figures released through the British Retail Consortium and Springboard the 2009 week.

Elsewhere, the business’s restaurant business, including chains for example Beefeater, performed strongly with like-for-like sales within the quarter up 1.8pc.

Its Premier Inn hotel chain saw comparable sales rise just .5pc nevertheless its flurry of latest openings meant total sales for that quarter rose 5pc.

Shares in the organization rose greater than 3pc to £39.75.

President Trump is eager to claim credit for Apple’s moves, but it’s a bit more complicated.

THE TICKER

President Trump took a bold announcement by Apple on Wednesday and made an even bolder claim about it. 

The electronics giant touted a massive new investment in the U.S. economy, pledging to contribute $350 billion to it over the next five years, with $30 billion of that sum coming in the form of capital spending, including for a new campus. And the tech company said it will create 20,000 new jobs in the United States. The president seized on the news as validation of the Republican tax package:

The issue: It’s not clear how much the new tax regime contributed to Apple’s decision, if at all. 

In a 1,093-word statement detailing the move, the company noted it is handing the Treasury a $38 billion one-time payment. That meets a requirement under the new law that corporations pay previously deferred taxes on their foreign profits. The law set up that provision as a sort of compromise: Companies are being forced to fork over a portion of those overseas stashes to Uncle Sam, but they are being charged a deeply discounted rate (15.5 percent for cash and 8 percent for less liquid assets.) Apple says it is counting the $38 billion it’s paying toward the $350 billion total it advertised Wednesday.

The law gives companies the flexibility to spread what they owe under the levy over five years. But the payment is mandatory — and not, as Trump suggested in his tweet, itself a vote of confidence in the brightening business climate at home.

Beyond that, the company doesn’t chalk up anything else in its announcement to the tax law. The Wall Street Journal’s Tripp Mickle does a careful job parsing the company’s statement: 

The company previously said it planned $16 billion in capital expenditures world-wide in the fiscal year that ends this September, up from $14.9 billion the previous year. However, Apple doesn’t break out its spending in the U.S., making it difficult to gauge how much of the $30 billion over five years it announced Wednesday is new.

Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., said Apple’s plans are in line with Trump administration goals, but that it isn’t clear how much of the commitments are new. And he said the company could deliver on those commitments with existing cash flow — without needing to tap cash holdings.

“It’s a nice number and puts a foot forward in line with where the administration wants to go with adding jobs and building in the U.S.,” he said. But he added, “It’s not clear these investments were impacted in any way by tax reform.”

Separately, Bloomberg News’s Mark Gurman reported Wednesday, the company is awarding most of its employees worldwide a $2,500 bonus in stock grants in the months ahead. For that, beneficiaries can thank the tax cuts. 

But the announcement of Apple’s multibillion-dollar investments carried significantly more weight for Trump and other Republicans eager to find signs the tax package is supplying a big boost of momentum to broader economic growth. Another entrant in the parade of companies handing out bonuses may be nice. What the GOP would prefer, however, is evidence that corporate giants are plowing their windfalls into the kind of spending that will trickle down to workers. 

“Certainly higher wages and bonuses are good news,” Tax Foundation senior analyst Scott Greenberg says. “But if the tax bill is going to have a large economic effect, it’s likely going to take some time to show up, because will take some time for companies to respond to the incentives offered by the new tax provisions.” And, he cautioned, “it’s difficult to separate causality from companies looking for gestures of public goodwill.”

Apple isn’t likely to fact-check Trump’s claims.

The announcement appeared designed to win the company some good-citizen points, with Apple CEO Tim Cook declaring in a statement that his company “could only have happened in America, and we are proud to build on our long history of support for the US economy.”

Recall that the tech titan came in for special abuse from Trump during the 2016 campaign. The candidate promised to make Apple “start building their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries,” at one point urged a boycott of Apple products, and said he would “come down so hard” on Cook that “his head would be spinning all of the way back to Silicon Valley.”

But Apple isn’t the only corporate giant that has been coy about pledging to use its tax gains for investments and wage hikes rather than, say, stock buybacks and dividend payments.

A CNBC survey of the 100 biggest companies by market cap found only nine with “specific plans to use some of the money saved from the corporate tax cuts to boost worker pay or invest in facilities or charitable causes.”

In other news, the sun rose today. Can we say for sure it would have but for the corporate tax cut?

MARKET MOVERS

— DOW 26,000. CNBC’s Fred Imbert: “Stocks traded higher on Wednesday following the release of stronger-than-expected quarterly results from some of the biggest U.S. companies. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 322.79 points, closing above 26,000 for the first time. The index first broke above the milestone mark on Tuesday. The S&P 500 gained 0.9 percent to finish at 2,802.56, with staples and tech rising more than 1 percent. The index also posted a record close.Tech stocks got a boost from Apple, which erased losses after announcing plans to repatriate billions in overseas cash. The stock closed 1.7 percent higher. The Nasdaq composite rose 1 percent to finish at 7,298.28, a record.”

It broke the record in record time. CNN Money’s Matt Egan: “The latest rush to buy stocks left the average up almost 8,000 points since… Trump’s 2016 election.The rally on Wednesday gave the Dow its best percentage gain since November. And it showed that the upward trend remains intact despite a big reversal the day before… But the velocity of the rally is raising eyebrows. It took just seven trading days for the Dow to climb from 25,000 to 26,000. While that is just a 4% advance, it’s part of a broader surge that has carried the Dow 42% during the Trump era. And the market rise has come with virtually no breaks.”

U.S. Industrial Production Rose 0.9% in December

U.S. industrial production rose sharply in December, boosted by gains in utilities output as cold weather swept across the nation and increased demand for heating.

WSJ

MONEY ON THE HILL

Shutdown showdown. The Post’s Mike DeBonis, Ed O’Keefe, and Erica Werner: “Bitter divisions in both parties threatened Wednesday to derail Congress’s effort to keep the federal government fully operating past the end of the week. The shutdown threat emerged on two fronts: Republican defense hawks in the House said a short-term spending plan the party introduced late Tuesday did not devote enough money to the military. Meanwhile, Democrats, whose support would be critical for passage in the Senate, began lining up in opposition amid pressure from immigration activists to use the budget talks as leverage to legalize many young immigrants known as ‘dreamers.’ By Wednesday evening, the short-term bill was on the cusp of failure…

House Republicans unveiled a bill Tuesday that would extend funding for four weeks, allowing time for further negotiations toward deals on long-term spending and immigration. To entice Democrats, GOP leaders attached a six-year extension of the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, as well as the delay of two unpopular health-care taxes. But few, if any, Democrats have been swayed by the overture.”

Tax bill fails to crack majority. Politico’s Toby Eckert: “Support for the Republican tax plan has ticked up slightly since [Trump] signed it into law, but it still hasn’t drawn the backing of a majority of voters, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.

The GOP’s top selling point for the plan recently — a spate of employee bonuses and wage increases — was a wash in the poll. The tracking poll, conducted Jan. 11-16, found that a 45 percent plurality of voters backed the plan based on what they knew about it, up from 42 percent in a similar poll before the legislation was enacted on Dec. 22. Opposition in the new poll came in at 34 percent, down from 39 percent. Twenty percent of respondents were undecided, up from 18 percent. After respondents were told about the major provisions of the bill, support rose to 47 percent, opposition remained at 34 percent.”

ICI reverses itself on fund rules. Politico’s Zachary Warmbrodt: “A prominent investment industry group is lobbying to keep in place major money market mutual fund regulations that it resisted only a few years ago. The issue will come to a head this week as the House Financial Services Committee votes on bipartisan legislation that would roll back regulations intended to prevent the kind of investor runs on money market funds that exacerbated the 2008 financial crisis. The Investment Company Institute, which represents money managers, did not support many of the safeguards the SEC enacted in 2014 but told senior lawmakers in a letter Friday that it now opposes the House bill that would defang the rules.”

GOP Senator to Block Two Trump Nominees Over Trade Concerns

A GOP senator with concerns about President Trump’s trade policy said Wednesday he would block two of the president’s nominees, saying the Trump administration hasn’t been responsive to his concerns on the issue.

WSJ

TRUMP TRACKER

Trump threatens NAFTA. Reuters’s Jeff Mason and David Lawder: “Trump on Wednesday said that terminating the North American Free Trade Agreement would result in the ‘best deal’ to revamp the 24-year-old trade pact with Canada and Mexico in favor of U.S. interests. Lawmakers as well as agricultural and industrial groups have warned Trump not to quit NAFTA, but he said that may be the outcome.

‘We’re renegotiating NAFTA now. We’ll see what happens. I may terminate NAFTA,’ Trump said in an interview with Reuters. ‘A lot of people are going to be unhappy if I terminate NAFTA. A lot of people don’t realize how good it would be to terminate NAFTA because the way you’re going to make the best deal is to terminate NAFTA. But people would like to see me not do that,’ he said. Trump’s comments come less than a week before trade negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico meet in Montreal for the sixth of seven scheduled rounds of negotiations to update NAFTA.”

Considers big “fine” against China. More from Reuters: “Trump and his economic adviser Gary Cohn said China had forced U.S. companies to transfer their intellectual property to China as a cost of doing business there. The United States has started a trade investigation into the issue, and Cohn said the United States Trade Representative would be making recommendations about it soon. ‘We have a very big intellectual property potential fine going, which is going to come out soon,’ Trump said in the interview. While Trump did not specify what he meant by a ‘fine’ against China, the 1974 trade law that authorized an investigation into China’s alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property allows him to impose retaliatory tariffs on Chinese goods or other trade sanctions until China changes its policies.”

Fed overhaul hits snags. The Post’s Heather Long: “In less than three weeks, the Federal Reserve, which is widely credited with playing a major role in leading the United States out of the Great Recession, will be under new leadership. Current Fed chair Janet L. Yellen is leaving, and Jerome Powell is President Trump’s nominee to take her place. But Trump’s efforts to remake the Federal Reserve will soon face key tests. The first hurdle will be the Senate. All of Trump’s appointees to the Fed require Senate approval, which has been slow in coming. Trump nominated Powell on Nov. 2, but the Senate didn’t act on his appointment before the end of the year, forcing the president to renominate Powell in 2018… Trump has made his priorities clear for a Powell-led Fed: He wants the stock market to keep soaring and the economy to grow faster. To make that happen, Trump would like interest rates to stay low and fewer restrictions on Wall Street banks. But Powell has been clear to stress the Fed’s independence — from Congress and the White House — in public appearances since his nomination.”

Powell says he’ll hold Deutsche Banke accountable. Bloomberg’s Jesse Hamilton: “Donald Trump’s pick to run the Federal Reserve, responding to a key lawmaker’s concerns over the president’s ties to Deutsche Bank AG, said the agency will hold the German lender to the same standards as the rest of the industry. Fed Governor Jerome Powell answered a letter from Senate Banking Committee member Chris Van Hollen ahead of the panel’s vote on his nomination to become chairman, telling the Maryland Democrat that he’s committed to supervising banks “in an independent manner.” Powell’s nomination was advanced by the committee on Wednesday, with Van Hollen voting in favor.”

Replacing Dudley. Reuters’s Jonathan Spicer: “Unions and groups advocating for retirees, teachers, housing, and workers’ benefits are among those visiting the ornate conference rooms of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to lobby for a less conventional candidate to serve as its next president. New York Fed directors leading the search for a successor to chief William Dudley, seen as the second most influential policymaker at the U.S. central bank, invited the guests to last week’s meeting to seek their advice. According to attendees and others familiar with the search, the directors are close to a “long list” of candidates and appear set to begin formal interviews within weeks. Until then, directors Sara Horowitz and Glenn Hutchins are taking steps intended to head off any criticisms of opacity and lack of diversity that, in recent years, have stung presidential searches at other district Fed banks. The afternoon meeting with 11 advocacy groups last week marked what one attendee called an unprecedented gesture of public outreach.”

RUSSIA WATCH: 

Bannon agrees to Mueller interview. The Post’s Roz Helderman and Karoun Demirjian: “Former top White House adviser and Trump campaign strategist Stephen K. Bannon has agreed to an interview for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation likely to take place later this month, but his lawyer is pushing back against House investigators’ demands for an audience Thursday afternoon, arguing there is ‘no conceivable way’ Bannon will be ready for an interview on the panel’s terms. House Intelligence Committee members K. Michael Conaway (R-Tex.), who is leading the Russia investigation, and Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), the panel’s ranking member, sent a letter Wednesday to Bannon’s lawyer, William Burck, insisting that Bannon return to Capitol Hill on Thursday at 2 p.m. to comply with a subpoena they issued Tuesday after Bannon refused to answer questions, citing orders from the White House.”

Probe could collide with midterms. Politico’s Darren Sameulsohn: “Robert Mueller’s Russia probe isn’t ending any time soon, and that’s bad news for President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans already bracing for a possible 2018 Democratic midterm wave. While many Republicans insist the Trump-Russia saga is overblown, they worry headlines about federal indictments, high profile trials—and a potential blockbuster meeting between Mueller and Trump himself—could obscure their positive message ahead of November elections and threaten their House and Senate majorities. In an ominous development for Republicans, a federal judge overseeing the upcoming trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates rejected Mueller’s request to begin in May and instead outlined a scheduled start as soon as September or October — peak election season.”

Wonkblog

Eric Trump’s 401(k) is up by 35 percent, but half of American families don’t even have one

“I didn’t think retirement was possible, and now it is,” he told Hannity.

Christopher Ingraham

POCKET CHANGE

Goldman’s losing money. NYT’s Emily Flitter: “Goldman Sachs used to seem invincible. In the fourth quarter, it lost money. The Wall Street firm on Wednesday reported its first quarterly loss since 2011. It was the result of a one-time $4.4 billion charge stemming from the new tax law. But even ignoring that unusual event, Goldman’s weak core results showed how far the firm has fallen. The bank’s per-share earnings and revenue were both higher compared with a year earlier without the tax charge. But the results announced on Wednesday also revealed a decline in Goldman’s trading might, which has been drained by a potent combination of placid markets and quiet clients. Revenue in its business of buying and selling bonds, commodities and currencies — historically an engine of Goldman’s results — sank to $1 billion in the fourth quarter, half of what it was during the same period in 2016. For the year, net revenue in that business fell 30 percent. The drop sent Goldman’s shares down 3 percent on Wednesday.”

CRYPTO BITS: 

Treasury sees a threat. Bloomberg’s Saleha Mohsin: “The U.S. Treasury views virtual currencies such as Bitcoin as an “evolving threat” and is examining dealers to make sure they aren’t being used to finance illegal activities, the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence said. Treasury is working with the Internal Revenue Service examiners to review 100 registered digital currency providers as well as others that have not registered, Sigal Mandelker said in prepared testimony to the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday. The department is also working with the Justice Department to pursue money laundering cases.”

Bitcoin falls below $10,000. CNN Money’s Nathaniel Meyersohn: “Bitcoin keeps tumbling. The price of the volatile digital currency briefly dipped below $10,000 around 7 a.m. ET on Wednesday, its lowest level since late November, according to data from CoinDesk.com. Bitcoin has dropped nearly 30% this week and has lost almost half of its $19,343 peak value on December 16. Bitcoin approached its record as it launched on futures exchanges in the United States. But it has since fallen sharply. Other popular cryptocurrencies ethereum and ripple also have posted double-digit losses. One virtual currency exchange, Bitconnect, dived 93% late Monday. It’s unclear why bitcoin has had a rough week. Cryptocurrency is a murky market with frequent swings.”

Ripple founder loses $44 billion. CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng: “The digital currency plunge has wiped billions from the paper fortune of a cryptocurrency billionaire in just a few weeks. Ripple’s XRP coin has fallen 74 percent from an all-time high of $3.84 hit on Jan. 4, erasing $44 billion from the holdings of Chris Larsen, co-founder and executive chairman of Ripple. With XRP trading near $1 Wednesday, Larsen now holds the equivalent of just $15.8 billion, according to CNBC calculations using figures from Forbes. Citing sources at Ripple, Forbes said earlier this month that Larsen has 5.19 billion of XRP and a 17 percent stake in the start-up. Ripple holds 61.3 billion of the 100 billion XRP coins in existence. At XRP’s peak on Jan. 4, Larsen was worth $59.9 billion. That made him one of the five richest people in the U.S. and wealthier than Google’s founders, based on Forbes’ rich list.”

Stock market endangered? CNBC’s Stephanie Landsman: “A sustained sell-off in the cryptocurrency market will hit the stock market where it hurts, one major Wall Street firm warns. It’s a scenario investors are underestimating, according to Wells Fargo Securities’ Christopher Harvey. ‘We see a lot of froth in that market. If and when it comes out, it will spill over to equities,’ the firm’s head of equity strategy said Tuesday… ‘I don’t think people are really ready for that.'”

Goldman’s No. 2 Allegedly Swindled Out of $1.2 Million of Wine by Assistant

A former personal assistant to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Co-President David Solomon faces federal charges that he stole more than $1.2 million of rare wine from his boss.

Bloomberg

BlackRock Lets Its Hair Down by Offering Unlimited Time Off

BlackRock Inc., taking a page from Silicon Valley where ping-pong tables and on-site gyms are common perks, is offering unlimited time off.

Bloomberg

THE REGULATORS

Fannie, Freddie regulator: Take them private. Bloomberg’s Joe Light: “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator is throwing its voice into the debate about what to do with the two companies at the center of the U.S. mortgage system. In a proposal obtained by Bloomberg News, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt wrote that he and agency staff believe the mortgage market should be supported by shareholder-owned utilities with regulated rates of return and an explicit government guarantee of mortgage bonds. Watt sent the document, titled ‘Federal Housing Finance Agency Perspectives on Housing Finance Reform’ along with a letter dated Tuesday to Senate Banking Chairman Michael Crapo, an Idaho Republican, and Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the panel’s top Democrat. By sharing the perspectives now, ‘we seek to provide our views independently and transparently to those who have requested them while continuing to provide technical assistance to the committee and its members on other proposals that may be introduced,’ Watt wrote.”

Mulvaney moves to overhaul CFPB. LA Times’s Jim Puzzanghera: “On Wednesday, Mulvaney announced he was launching a review of the entire operation of the consumer watchdog agency created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The bureau has provided Americans with billions of dollars in refunds and debt relief, often at banks’ expense. Republicans and many financial firms have complained that it has been too aggressive… The bureau said it would formally request public input about whether it is ‘fulfilling its proper and appropriate functions to best protect consumers.’ It will seek comment on its enforcement of consumer protection laws, drafting of regulations, oversight of financial firms, monitoring of the marketplace and public education. The first function to be examined: how the bureau demands information from financial firms during investigations.”

Asks financial firms for complaints. The Hill’s Sylvan Lane: The CFPB “is asking the firms its regulates to submit complaints about the agency’s core actions. The CFPB announced Wednesday that the agency will ask ‘for evidence to ensure the bureau is fulfilling its proper and appropriate functions to best protect consumers.’ The request is the latest step forward in acting Director Mick Mulvaney’s effort to draw back the bureau’s aggressive regulatory and enforcement actions. Mulvaney said in a Wednesday statement that it’s ‘natural for the Bureau to critically examine its policies and practices to ensure they align with the Bureau’s statutory mandate.'”

Cordray blasts. More from The Hill: “The former director of the… CFPB blasted his successor in a series of tweets Wednesday for attempting to unwind the agency’s rule on payday lending. Richard Cordray, the bureau’s first director, panned the CFPB’s plans as ‘truly shameful action by the interim pseudo-leaders’ of the bureau.” … ‘Let’s see the case be made, with full debate, on whether the zealots and toadies can justify repealing a rule to protect consumers against extortionate payday loans,’ Cordray continued.”

Hoenig criticizes banking bill. Reuters’s Pete Schroeder: “A top official at a leading U.S. bank regulator is airing concerns about a Senate bill that would ease banking rules, saying parts of it could “significantly weaken” critical protections. Thomas Hoenig, the vice chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, warned lawmakers that efforts to ease new rules around leverage and proprietary trading could encourage banks to take on excessive amounts of risk, and put the stability of the financial system at risk. Hoenig said he was broadly supportive of the bill primarily aimed at easing rules for smaller banks, crafted by Republicans and moderate Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee, but has concerns about a pair of key sections. In particular, Hoenig warned Congress’s attempts to relax burdens around the Volcker Rule and the supplementary leverage ratio would do more harm than good.”

SCOTUS considers overtime rule. Washington Examiner’s Sean Higgins: “Looking under the hood and figuring out what is wrong is a popular cliche, but on Wednesday, the Supreme Court examined whether the workers who actually do that should be guaranteed overtime pay. The justices heard oral arguments in Encino Motorcars v. Navarro, a case involving whether the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime rules extend to “service advisers” at auto dealerships. It is the second time it has heard the case. Service advisers are the dealership employees who tell customers what repairs or other work their cars need. Congress exempted them from the overtime regulation in 1966, but in 2011, the Obama administration changed the rule and said service advisers should be able to claim overtime pay.”

New late trading method gets SEC ok. Bloomberg’s Annie Massa: “Cboe Global Markets Inc. got regulators’ permission to challenge its chief rivals in U.S. equities, the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market, during their crucial end-of-day auctions. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will let the company begin Cboe Market Close, which the company says is a lower-cost way to carry out certain closing trades that may otherwise be completed at markets owned by NYSE Group and Nasdaq Inc. NYSE and Nasdaq had argued against approval, saying Cboe’s offering could tarnish the critical role played by auctions that set closing levels for thousands of U.S. stocks. NYSE and Nasdaq both stand to lose volume from any mechanism threatening their closing auctions. Cboe countered that their concerns were overblown, since some brokers already provide a similar function for customers. The SEC came down in favor of Cboe, according to a filing Wednesday.”

CHART TOPPER

From Axios’s Chris Canipe and Steve LeVine: “Manufacturing jobs are up sharply from the recession:”

DAYBOOK

Today

  • The American Enterprise Institute holds an event on “New thinking about poverty and economic mobility.”
  • The Cato Institute Policy Perspectives 2018 hosts a discussion on “A Fiscal Rule to Tame Federal Debt?”

Coming Up

  • The SEC-NYU Dialogue on Securities Markets – Shareholder Engagement will be held in New York on Friday. 

THE FUNNIES

From The Post’s Tom Toles: 

BULL SESSION

Sen. Lindsey Graham tells lawmakers: “Stop the s-show and grow up:” 

Here’s an ongoing list of White House staff, Cabinet members, and federal appointees who quit or were fired under Trump:

Here’s how tech companies are using algorithms to prevent extremist content:

Stephen Colbert talks about how “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff got access to the White House: