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BANK 2023: Class Action Suit Filed Against Silicon Valley Bank Parent

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A class action lawsuit is being brought against the parent company of Silicon Valley Bank, its CEO, and its CFO on the grounds that they didn’t tell the public about the risks that rising interest rates would pose to their business.

A lawsuit was brought against SVB Financial Group, CEO Greg Becker, and CFO Daniel Beck in the Northern District of California. It requests that investors in SVB, between June 16, 2021, and March 10, 2023, get specific damages.

The Federal Reserve’s warnings about interest rate hikes needed to be adequately taken into account in some of SVB’s quarterly and yearly financial reports, according to the complaint brought by shareholders led by Chandra Vanipenta.

In particular, the lawsuit argued that annual reports for 2020 through 2022 “understated the dangers posed to the company by not reporting that likely interest rate hikes, as detailed by the Fed, had the potential to create permanent damage to the company,” the lawsuit stated.

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Just as the tech sector began to expand, venture investors opened accounts at Silicon Valley Bank.

Additionally, it asserts that the business “failed to disclose that it was particularly susceptible to a bank run if its investments were adversely affected by rising interest rates.”

Small businesses and people who had deposits at the financial institution are concerned after Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse, which has shaken the technology sector. Some people are relieved by the Biden administration’s decision to guarantee all Silicon Valley Bank deposits over the insured maximum of $250,000 per account.

Silicon Valley swiftly became known as the “go-to” location for venture capitalists seeking financial partners more receptive to novel business ideas than its larger, more established competitors who were still lagging in terms of technology.

Just as the tech sector began to expand, venture investors opened accounts at Silicon Valley Bank and recommended the entrepreneurs they were funding do the same.

Their friendly relationship ended when the bank revealed a $1.8 billion loss on low-yielding bonds bought before interest rates spiked last year. This alarming news sparked a disastrous run on deposits among its tech-savvy customer base.

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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U.K News

Bank of England Keeps Key Interest Rate at 5.25% Despite Inflation Falling

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Bank of England

The Bank of England maintained its main interest rate at a 16-year high of 5.25% on Thursday, despite inflation falling to its target of 2%, with several policymakers warning that a premature decrease may spark another wave of price increases.

Seven of the nine members of the bank’s ruling Monetary Policy Committee voted against a rate drop for the second week in a row, while two supported one. Interest rates have been constant since August, following a series of rises.

The statement accompanying the vote made it plain that there was disagreement on the forecast for inflation, with some expressing concern about continued significant price increases in the services sector, the key driver of the British economy.

“It’s good news that inflation has returned to our 2% target,” said Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey, who voted to maintain current policy. “We need to be sure that inflation will stay low and that’s why we’ve decided to hold rates at 5.25% for now.”

The decision will likely dismay the ruling Conservative Party ahead of the United Kingdom’s general election in two weeks. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak would have seen a cut as good economic news, especially if it came with a drop in mortgage rates.

Upcoming UK Election

The panel maintained that the upcoming election, which the main opposition Labour Party, led by Keir Starmer, is generally expected to win, did not influence its conclusion. It stated that the decision was, as always, based on meeting the 2% inflation objective “sustainably in the medium term.”

Economists anticipate a rate decrease is on the way, either at the bank’s next policy making meeting in August or the one following in September. They expect clear evidence by then that inflation will remain close to the target for the next year or two.

“We continue to believe that the MPC will ease restrictive policy beginning in the summer and deliver two rate cuts this year,” said Sanjay Raja, Deutsche Bank’s senior U.K. economist.

The reduction in the primary inflation measure to a near three-year low of 2% in the year to May does not imply that prices are falling; rather, they are rising at a slower rate than they have in recent years during a cost-of-living crisis that has resulted in reduced living standards for millions in Britain.

Central banks worldwide dramatically increased borrowing costs from the lows seen during the coronavirus pandemic, when prices began to rise, first due to supply chain issues accumulated during the pandemic and then due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which pushed up energy costs.

Bank of England unduly cautious

Higher interest rates, which cool the economy by making borrowing more expensive, have helped to reduce inflation, but they have also weighed on the British economy, which has hardly expanded since the pandemic’s recovery.

Critics of the Bank of England argue that it is unduly cautious about inflation and that keeping interest rates too high for too long will put undue strain on the economy. It is an accusation that has also been leveled at the United States Federal Reserve, which has held interest rates constant in recent months.

“Given that the U.K. has moved onto a milder inflationary trajectory, rate setters remain overly cautious about the likelihood of loosening policy, risking impeding the U.K.‘s growth prospects,” said Suren Thiru, economics director at The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Some central banks, like the European Central Bank, have begun to decrease interest rates as inflationary pressures have subsided. On Thursday, the Swiss National Bank cut its main interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 1.25%.

Source: The Associated Press

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Finance

Tesla Shareholders Overrule Judge and Approve Musks $56 Billion Pay Package

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk: Getty Images

Tesla shareholders approved CEO Elon Musk’s $56 billion pay package on Thursday, giving him a giant thumbs up and an incentive to stay focused on his primary source of income.

The approval shows Musk’s popularity among Tesla’s retail investors, many of whom are vociferous supporters of the erratic tycoon. Despite resistance from huge institutional investors and proxy firms, the proposal passed.

Musk portrayed himself as pathologically optimistic while speaking onstage at the annual shareholder meeting in Austin, Texas. “If I wasn’t optimistic, this factory wouldn’t exist,” Musk added, to applause. “But I do provide at the end. That is the crucial thing.”

He had hinted late on Wednesday that the plans were gaining widespread support.

The decision does not, however, resolve a challenge over the pay package in Delaware, which some legal experts believe might last months. In January, the judge nullified the salary package, calling it “unfathomable.”

Musk may possibly face more lawsuits over the gift, which would be the largest in US company history. Shareholders approved this package in 2018.

“This thing is not over,” said Brian Quinn, a professor at Boston College Law School. The Delaware judge will examine the vote and demand Tesla to demonstrate that Musk did not pressure or unduly influence the process, he added.

Judge criticised Tesla’s board

The judge criticised Tesla’s board as “beholden” to him, claiming that the plan was suggested by a biassed board with tight personal and financial links to its CEO.

On Thursday, shareholders accepted a plan to transfer the company’s legal headquarters from Delaware to Texas. They also supported other suggestions, including the re-election of two board members: Musk’s brother Kimbal Musk and James Murdoch, the son of media magnate Rupert Murdoch.

Despite board opposition, shareholders increased investor power by adopting plans to shorten board terms to one year and reduce voting requirements to a simple majority.

Tesla did not announce the voting results on Thursday, but they are anticipated to be released in the coming days. At least half a million people watched the meeting live on social media platform X, with another 40,000 watching on YouTube.

“First and foremost, this statement conveys that Tesla’s retail shareholders approve of what is going on. “It will be interesting to see the exact percentages of votes,” said Lindsey Stewart, a director at Morningstar Sustainalytics.

Shareholder acceptance of the compensation acts as both an affirmation of Musk’s term and an acknowledgement that investors do not want to jeopardise the company’s future.

“They are brushing aside essentially key man risks, where Tesla has become even more dependent on Musk going forward,” said Jason Schloetzer, a business professor at Georgetown University who specialises in corporate governance.

Musk’s focus has shifted

Musk vowed to develop AI and robotics products outside of Tesla in January if he fails to win sufficient voting power. He moved the company’s focus to robotaxis, abandoning cheaper mass-market electric vehicles, to the dismay of some investors who worried the autonomous technology would be difficult to master.

In an update on Tesla’s performance, Musk claimed on Thursday that the business just shipped a record 1,300 Cybertrucks in a week and that plans for volume production of Semi trucks were in place. He spoke extensively about plans for self-driving cars, but he provided no time period for their launch.

Tesla’s stock price has declined by nearly 55% since its 2021 top, as EV sales have slowed and Musk’s focus has shifted between Tesla and other businesses he owns. The stock closed up 2.9% on Thursday.

“Shareholders once again endorsed the terms of the contract, sending a strong signal that ‘a deal is a deal’ and Musk deserves to be rewarded for meeting the lofty thresholds of an entirely incentive-based contract,” said Garrett Nelson, an analyst with CFRA Research.

“The news lifts a major overhang on the shares, although we wouldn’t be surprised by a “sell the news” reaction on Friday following big gains over the past two trading sessions as the likely outcome became clearer.”

The board determined that Musk deserved the package since he met all of the lofty benchmarks for market value, revenue, and profitability. Large investors, including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, had labelled the pay package “excessive.”

“Elon Musk and Chair (Robyn) Denholm have made this about CEO loyalty and presented the votes as a decision on whether the company can keep Musk,” said Ivan Frishberg, Amalgamated Bank’s chief sustainability officer.

“That is a lot of pressure but it doesn’t change the fact that good governance is good for the bottom line of a company, and the Tesla board is consistently and clearly deficient on that front.”

While Musk is unquestionably Tesla’s driving force and is responsible for most of the company’s success, sales and profits have stalled. There are concerns that he is stretching himself too thin.

Source: Reuters

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Finance

Trudeau’s Policies Caused Surging Food Prices in Canada “Not Corporate Greed”

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Trudeau's Policies Caused Surging Food Prices in Canada
Trudeau bears primary responsibility for this tremendous inflation: Fiel Image

This week, new government data revealed that food costs in Canada are still rising as a result of Prime Minister Trudeau’s carbon tax. On April 1, 2024, Trudeau increased the carbon price by another 23 percent.

Trudeau’s carbon tax has forced Canadians to choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table; an average family of four will spend $700 more on groceries in 2024 than last year.

Though year-over-year consumer price inflation fell to 3.8% in September, food prices rose 5.8%, owing to increases in bakery items (up 8%), fresh vegetables (7.6%), pasta products (10.8%), and chicken (6.5%).

Canadians have long been dissatisfied with food prices. Even before 2023, figures showed that approximately 7 million Canadians, including 1.8 million children, lived in households trying to put food on the table. As inflation continued to drive food costs higher in 2023, customer discontent grew.

Last month, Trudeau threatened grocery chains with extra taxes if they did not find a way to reduce food prices.

“Large grocery chains are experiencing historic profits. “Those profits should not be made at the expense of people who are struggling to feed their families,” Trudeau stated.

By focusing on grocers and “record profits,” Trudeau is echoing the rhetoric of some US politicians who claim that inflation is fuelled by “corporate greed.”

The notion that firms suddenly became greedy in the aftermath of the epidemic did not pass the economic smell test, and it was recently refuted in a Federal Reserve report. “Corporate profit margins were not abnormally high in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to Jon Miltimore from Fee.Org.

Trudeau threatens more tax

However, politicians, particularly Trudeau, who less than a year ago attacked the concept of imposing a windfall tax on grocery stores to reduce food costs, have repeatedly claimed that greedy corporations are the main source of inflation.

However, Trudeau bears primary responsibility for this tremendous inflation.

Pierre Poilievre, the leader of Canada’s Conservative Party, hit the nail on the head when he stated that the Canadian government’s policies, as well as people who lead it, are responsible for inflation.

“[Justin Trudeau] prints $600 billion, grows our money supply by 32% in three years,” stated Poilievre. “That means the money is increasing eight times faster than the GDP. No wonder we’ve seen the worst inflation in four decades.”

Trudeau flooded the economy with printed money, devaluing the Canadian dollar.

Economics 101 explains that expanding the money supply faster than an economy can produce new products and services causes price inflation, which is exactly what has occurred in Canada.

Inflation is the increase in the supply of money and credit. Its main effect is rising costs,” Poilievre explains. “Therefore inflation — if we misuse the term to mean the rising prices themselves — is caused solely by printing more money.”

Trudeau’s nasty deception

Trudeau, of course, cannot say that their own policies and money printing are to blame for rising food costs. So they give speeches condemning grocery stores and food manufacturers for the inflation they generated and threatening them with new taxes.

It’s questionable whether Canadians will see through Trudeau’s nasty deception. What is evident is that Canadian merchants are not responsible for Canada’s increasing food prices. Justin Trudeau and the Bank of Canada are.

Meanwhile, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals continue to oppose the common-sense Conservative measure, C-234, which would save Canadian farmers billions of dollars in carbon taxes and bring relief to families at the grocery store.

Trudeau’s carbon price has caused Canadians to choose between heating their homes and feeding their families. However, it is evident that the carbon tax has done virtually nothing to combat climate change.

According to the Climate Change Performance Index, Canada now ranks 62 out of 67 countries, a four-place dip from last year. That is because the carbon tax is a tax strategy rather than an environmental one.

It is evident that Trudeau must reverse this ineffective tax increase on Canadians. Only common sense Conservatives would reduce prices by eliminating the tax on everything for everyone.

By Geoff Thomas

Canada’s Liberal Party Facing Political Oblivion Under Justin Trudeau

Canada’s Liberal Party Facing Political Oblivion Under Justin Trudeau

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