The week in business: Elon Musk's new venture

What’s new? (April 3-9) A stake in Twitter and a seat on its board of directors Twitter announced last week that Elon Musk join its bo...


Twitter announced last week that Elon Musk join its board after buying a 9.2% stake in the company, making him his main shareholder. Mr. Musk had contacted Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal before buying the company’s shares to tell Mr. Agrawal that he wanted to discuss improvements to Twitter, people familiar with the talks said. Mr. Musk’s board seat expires in 2024 and he has agreed not to buy more than 14.9% of Twitter shares. But unlike some other Twitter board members, he has not signed an agreement prohibiting him from influencing company policies. Mr Musk, who got into trouble for his own tweets, publicly criticized Twitter for its content moderation policies and advocated open-source algorithms on the platform. He asked his more than 80 million followers last month if they wanted to be able to edit tweets.

European Union leaders on Thursday announced a fifth round of sanctions against Russia, targeting the country’s energy for the first time. The new measures would be cut russian coal over four months, i.e. one month more than initially planned. The extended deadline for the withdrawal – as well as the delay in the bloc’s decision, which was expected on Wednesday – revealed something about the difficulty of reaching an agreement between the 27 member countries and the compromises that may have been necessary for the countries. like Germany which are more dependent on Russia for coal. And many have warned European leaders that the ban could hurt Europe more than Russia, driving up energy prices and hurting industry: Russia supplies nearly half of the bloc’s coal. Even so, coal is perhaps the easiest energy source to replace, with the United States, Colombia and South Africa potentially in a position to help fill supply shortages.

Roger Ng, a former Goldman Sachs banker, was convicted of corruption and money laundering Friday. He is most likely the only person to stand trial in the United States in connection with a scheme to loot more than $4 billion from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad. During the two-month trial, Mr. Ng’s lawyers tried to cast key government witness Tim Leissner as a liar. Mr. Leissner is another former Goldman banker who has pleaded guilty to charges related to his role in the scheme. And Mr. Leissner himself admitted during questioning that he had “lied a lotabout his personal life and to his colleagues as well as to the investigators. But the jury on Friday found Mr. Ng guilty on all counts, which together carry a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. The project’s architect, Jho Low, is a fugitive and is believed to be living in China.

The March consumer price index, due out on Tuesday, could show that inflation – which is already climbing at its fastest pace in 40 years – is moving even faster. The prices were raised 7.9% until February, mainly due to rising food prices and rents. Since the March report will capture the skyrocketing gasoline prices that shocked drivers at the pump, inflation is expected to rise even further, to over 8%. This figure is bad news for the Federal Reserve, which is likely to move more aggressively to curb inflation, and for President Biden, whose popularity has been dented by high prices.

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Newsrust - US Top News: The week in business: Elon Musk's new venture
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