Modest-income buyers being priced out of new-vehicle market
DETROIT (AP) — Two years after the pandemic tore through the economy, America’s auto market looks something like this: Prices are drastically up. Supply is drastically down. And gasoline costs drastically more. The result? A widening disparity between the richest buyers and everyone else. The most affluent buyers keep plunking down big money for new vehicles, including the least fuel-efficient among them — trucks, SUVS, large...
Modest-income buyers being priced out of new-vehicle market
DETROIT (AP) — Two years after the pandemic tore through the economy, America’s auto market looks something like this: Prices are drastically up. Supply is drastically down. And gasoline costs drastically more. The result? A widening disparity between the richest buyers and everyone else. The most affluent buyers keep plunking down big money for new vehicles, including the least fuel-efficient among them — trucks, SUVS, large sedans. As for the rest of America, millions are feeling increasingly priced out of the new-vehicle market. They are competing instead for a shrunken supply of used autos, especially smaller, less expensive ones that consume less fuel.
Twitter adopts ‘poison pill’ defense in Musk takeover bid
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Twitter said Friday that its board of directors has unanimously adopted a “poison pill” defense in response to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s proposal to buy the company and take it private. The move would allow existing Twitter shareholders — except for Musk — to buy additional shares at a discount, thereby diluting Musk’s stake in the company and making it harder for him to corral a majority of shareholder votes in favor of the acquisition. Twitter’s plan would take effect if Musk’s roughly 9% stake grows to 15% or more.
Macron, Le Pen decry ‘shocking’ Stellantis CEO pay
PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron and his far-right challenger in the French presidential vote, Marine Le Pen, have decried as “shocking” the multimillion euro payout to the CEO of carmaker Stellantis. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares’ remuneration package of 19.15 million euros in 2021 became an issue during Macron and Le Pen’s campaigning Friday ahead of the April 24 runoff vote. Polls show purchasing power and inflation are a top voter concern. Stellantis, which was formed last year through the merger of PSA Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, continued to back the package despite its being rejected by shareholders Wednesday. The French government is the company’s third-largest shareholder with a 6.15% stake.
Putin’s Pollock: US seafood imports fuel Russian war machine
MIAMI (AP) — A U.S. ban on seafood imports from Russia over its invasion of Ukraine was supposed to sap billions of dollars from Vladimir Putin’s war machine. But shortcomings in import regulations mean that Russian-caught pollock, salmon and crab are likely to enter the U.S. anyway, by way of the country vital to seafood supply chains across the world: China. Like the U.S. seafood industry, Russian companies rely heavily on China to process their catch, which then can be re-exported to the U.S. as a “product of China.” The result: Nearly a third of the wild-caught fish imported from China was caught in Russian waters.
Bidens paid 24.6% taxes on $610,702 earnings, returns show
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, earned $610,702 during their first year in the White House and paid $150,439 in federal income taxes. That’s a tax rate of 24.6% for 2021, well over the federal income average rate of around 14%. Those totals, released on Friday, tax day, were similar to the Bidens’ 2020 returns, when they reported earning $607,336. They reported 25.9% of their income going to federal taxes then. Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, also released their 2021 tax filings, which showed them earning $1,655,563 in 2021 and paying $523,371 — a federal income tax rate of 31.6%.
Asian shares fall, trading muted with Good Friday, holidays
TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares have fallen in muted trading as most world markets were closed for Good Friday and other holidays. Energy trading was also closed for the day. Shutdowns in major Chinese cities due to coronavirus outbreaks and the war in Ukraine were weighing on sentiment. After markets closed, China’s central bank freed up extra money for lending by lowering the amount of reserves commercial banks are required to hold. On Thursday, the head of the International Monetary Fund warned that Russia’s war against Ukraine was darkening the outlook for most countries and reaffirmed the danger high inflation presents to the global economy.
Biden picks Michael Barr for Fed’s bank regulation post
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden says he plans to nominate Michael Barr to be the Federal Reserve’s vice chairman of supervision. Barr’s selection comes after Biden’s first choice for the Fed post, Sarah Bloom Raskin, withdrew her nomination a month ago in the face of opposition from Republicans and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia for her views on climate change. Biden notes the importance of politics in a Friday statement saying his nominee had previously cleared the Senate on a bipartisan basis. Barr is the dean of the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Barr was an assistant Treasury secretary for financial institutions during the Obama administration.
Nepal running low on foreign exchange, discourages imports
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal is running low on foreign currency reserves needed to import medicines, oil products, cars and a range of other items, and officials say they will run out in seven months if things don’t improve. The central bank says it has increased interest rates to discourage people from buying imports and help extend the foreign reserves. It says there already are signs that the situation is getting better with the slowing of the pandemic. More tourists have begun to arrive and increasing numbers of Nepalese are going abroad to earn foreign currency and send it back home. Nepal has few exports and imports almost everything from abroad.
New Mexico adopts stiffer pollution rules for oil and gas
ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (AP) — New Mexico regulators have approved more rules aimed at cracking down on pollution from the state’s big oil and natural gas industry. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration on Thursday praised the rules and called them among the toughest in the nation. The rules set by the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board come amid a rekindled debate over domestic U.S. production amid growing concerns about global energy market instability. Lujan Grisham is a Democrat running for reelection and has pushed for more regulations during her first term. She says the latest rules represent a big step toward her goal of lowering emissions and improving air quality.