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Boeing 737 Crashes: A Brief Guide to What’s Happened

[img] Boeing 737 Crashes: A Brief Guide to What’s Happened Boeing has come under intense scrutiny after its best-selling 737 Max jet was involved in two deadly crashes in five months. In a tacit acknowledgment that the initial design was flawed, Boeing unveiled a software update this week that would make the system rely on both sensors, instead of just one. If the two sensors disagree by a certain amount, MCAS will not engage. Boeing said it could not comment on the black box findings until investigators release their official report, per international aviation agreements. A United Technologies spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The sensors, which are effectively wind vanes on the jet’s nose, have malfunctioned in the past, for a variety of reasons, including bird strikes, according to the former engineers at Boeing and Rosemount. They have also been broken by jetways that attach to the plane for passengers to board and exit the plane. The sensors can also malfunction if water pools around them and then freezes when the plane reaches a certain altitude, the engineers said. The sensors have built-in heaters to prevent freezing at such high altitudes, but they sometimes do not work quickly enough or can fail outright, the Rosemount engineer said. Investigators in Indonesia, who have produced a preliminary report and released some of the information from the box, saw that one sensor produced a reading that was at least 20 degrees different from the other as the plane took off and began its ascent. With the bad data, MCAS was activated, erroneously pushing the nose of the plane down. The pilots on the Indonesian flight tried repeatedly to override the system. But after about 12 minutes, they lost their battle and the plane crashed. None of the people briefed said whether the black box data indicated how or whether the Ethiopian pilots tried to counteract the system. But the same bouncing, bobbing trajectory of the plane seen in the Indonesian flight as the pilots tried to save the plane is apparent in publicly available flight data for the Ethiopian plane. Air traffic controllers in Ethiopia also said they saw the oscillating trajectory before the plane crashed. The pilot radioed back that he was having trouble controlling the aircraft, but did not give details on what systems were causing problems. source  habaritoday

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2019-04-01

Wells Fargo C.E.O. Could Be Banking’s Worst Job. It’s Open.

[img] For months, the bad headlines ricocheted through Wells Fargo. Lawmakers lashed out at the bank for improperly foreclosing on hundreds of customers, then it was deluged with complaints from customers locked out of their accounts. Regulators grew increasingly frustrated with the pace of Wells Fargo’s progress in fixing the internal systems that led to a series of customer abuses. By the time the company’s chief executive, Tim Sloan, appeared before a hostile House committee earlier this month, some banking industry executives were beginning to wonder how much more the bank — and Sloan — could take. Still, Sloan’s abrupt announcement late Thursday that he would be stepping down caught many by surprise. Wells Fargo’s largest shareholder, Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway, told CNBC hours before the announcement he had “100 percent” confidence in Sloan. Wells Fargo’s board began a quest to replace Sloan, 58, on Friday, focused on finding an outsider to lead one of the country’s largest banks. Sloan, who has spent more than 31 years at Wells Fargo, replaced another company veteran, John Stumpf, in 2016. Stumpf had led the company for nearly 10 years and had spent more than 30 years at the bank. C. Allen Parker, the bank’s general counsel, is serving as interim CEO and president. Leading Wells Fargo should be one of the most coveted positions in the banking world. The bank, the fourth-largest in the country, reported a profit of more than $20 billion last year and has more than 70 million customers. Its national footprint and iconic stagecoach would automatically make Wells Fargo’s new CEO one of the most influential people in the banking world. But Sloan’s replacement will face a herculean task. That executive must not only master running a large organization but also quickly develop a relationship with some of the bank’s harshest critics on Capitol Hill. That would include Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a high-profile 2020 presidential contender who led the congressional pressure to have Sloan fired. The bank’s critics in Congress say they will continue scrutiny of its actions. “I will … ensure that the bank is held fully accountable for its wrongdoing, including by continuing to press regulators to utilize all the enforcement tools at their disposal," Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), chair of the House Financial Services Committee, said in a statement. Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), a new member of the Financial Services Committee, was among those who gave Sloan a chilly reception earlier this month. “Instead of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, maybe try a new boat,” she tweeted Friday in response to Sloan’s departure. Wells Fargo escaped many of the worst headlines after the global financial crisis, only to face a series of self-inflicted wounds over the past two years. The bank’s struggles began with its admission in 2016 that it had opened millions of accounts that customers didn’t want, and its problems have ballooned as regulators have identified a pattern of consumer abuses. The bank had improperly repossessed thousands of cars and mistakenly foreclosed on hundreds of other customers, the company recently acknowledged. “The problem is that they need to stay out of the news and they haven’t been able to do it,” said Isaac Boltansky, a Washington policy analyst for the investment firm Compass Point Research & Trading. One of most difficult tasks facing the company’s new leader will be repairing the bank’s relationship with its regulators. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, led by a former banker and Trump appointee, recently said it was “disappointed” in the bank’s efforts to address its problems. “It was clear Tim Sloan and Wells Fargo has no friends in D.C.,” said Ed Mills, Washington policy analyst and managing director at Raymond James. “If banks have a friend in D.C. these days it’s the OCC. For even the Trump regulatory team to [levy] unsolicited criticism" is a troubling sign for Wells Fargo, Mills said. The bank’s relationship with the Federal Reserve, another important regulator, is also frayed. The Fed levied an unprecedented penalty against the bank last year, ordering it not to grow larger than its $1.95 trillion in assets until it addressed its problems. Wells Fargo initially said it expected the cap on its growth to be lifted this year but has since pushed that back to 2020. Aside from reassuring lawmakers and regulators, Wells Fargo must also repair its image with skeptical customers. Stanley Owens, 45, of Orlando said he closed his Wells Fargo checking and savings accounts late last year after growing frustrated with efforts to get answers about fee

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2019-04-01

Huawei Shrugs Off U.S. Clampdown With a $100 Billion Year

[img] A evaluation led via Britain’s best cybersecurity company, launched on Thursday, discovered “underlying defects” in Huawei’s tool engineering and safety processes, even if it stopped wanting calling for a ban at the corporate’s merchandise. The leader govt of Vodafone, the British provider, has warned that a complete Huawei ban would lengthen the development of 5G networks. Few business observers imagine, alternatively, that carriers who’re blocked from the use of Huawei’s 5G tools could be put at a main technological downside as they roll out new knowledge services and products. “We’re talking about an industry with standards, meaning that by and large, everybody’s equipment operates in a similar way,” stated Richard Kramer, a founding father of the generation analysis company Arete. “I think it’s an overstatement to say that the rest of the world won’t be able to build 5G networks without Huawei.” The different giant unknown on Huawei’s horizon is whether or not Washington will take additional measures to undermine the corporate. The Justice Department has already filed legal fees in opposition to Huawei and Ms. Meng. But different federal businesses may do extra, akin to minimize the corporate off from American portions and generation. The American chip corporations Broadcom and Xilinx, either one of which rely Huawei as a buyer, have not too long ago advised traders that they’re tracking the location carefully. The immense energy that Washington wields over Chinese tech corporations used to be on shiny show remaining 12 months, when the Commerce Department just about drove a smaller telecom apparatus maker, ZTE, into chapter 11 via denying it get entry to to American elements. Commerce officers made up our minds that the corporate had illegally exported American-sourced generation to Iran. source newseverytime

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2019-04-01

JPMorgan’s Role in Nigerian Oil Deal Has Come Back to Haunt It

[img] LONDON (Capital Markets in Africa) – Under the rule of the Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha more than 20 years ago, a handful of high-ranking government officials looted billions of dollars from the country’s coffers. Now the Nigerian government is demanding some of its money back — from JPMorgan Chase. In a British court, lawyers for the country are suing a subsidiary of the largest United States bank, charging that it enabled corrupt former officials to extract nearly $900 million between 2011 and 2013 from a government bank account in London. JPMorgan says it was following instructions it received from senior Nigerian government officials. The country’s attorney general himself wrote a letter attesting to the legitimacy of the instructions. But the bank has been unable to persuade a British judge to throw out the case, in part because of the unusual circumstances surrounding the money transfers — including the fact that two banks to which JPMorgan wired the money rejected the transfers because of concerns that they might violate money-laundering laws. At the heart of the case is whether JPMorgan did enough to safeguard Nigeria’s money. Under British law, banks are required to act in their customers’ best interests, even if someone connected to a customer tries to get them to do otherwise. Even as it tried to send money to various recipients, JPMorgan reported to regulators its concerns that it might be transferring funds to a convicted money launderer. It made the transfers anyway. It is the latest example of a major American bank getting caught up in a foreign corruption scandal. In Malaysia, Goldman Sachs and some former executives have been accused of participating in a multibillion-dollar fraud involving a government investment fund. Unlike those executives, however, no JPMorgan employees have been accused of wrongdoing. In the London lawsuit, the Nigerian government is seeking damages from JPMorgan of nearly $900 million. The bank’s decision to do business with Nigeria — a country that is ranked 144th out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s corruption list — involved a calculation of risk. “A head of state known or alleged to be corrupt is the riskiest type of client, both because of potential civil and criminal liability and because of reputational damage should details of the relationship come out, as they often do when there is a change in power in the relevant country,” said Joshua Kirschenbaum, a former director at the Treasury Department’s anti-money-laundering agency, FinCEN. A JPMorgan spokesman said it would fight Nigeria’s legal claim, which “is completely without merit.” The bank has argued in court filings that its agreement with the Nigerian government specified, at the time it was signed, that JPMorgan would follow whatever instructions it received, even if it had reason to believe that the instructions were “not in the best interests” of the account holder. It also claims that Nigeria has failed to identify specific things it could have done differently, since it reported each suspicious set of instructions to its British regulator. Aside from the London lawsuit, JPMorgan has not been accused of wrongdoing in connection with the Nigerian affair. Court papers from the London lawsuit and a related criminal trial underway in Italy provide a detailed record of the alleged scheme. (JPMorgan is not a subject of the criminal trial.) It began when Mr. Abacha, the president at the time, awarded a license to drill oil near the Niger River Delta to Dan Etete, Nigeria’s oil minister. Mr. Etete paid just $2 million for the license, which was expected to generate billions of dollars in revenue. Mr. Abacha’s successors accused Mr. Etete of corruption and tried to revoke the license. They were unsuccessful. Mr. Etete has denied wrongdoing. add this New York Times Source: New York Times

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2019-04-01

Travelers Stranded after Icelandic Budget Airline WOW Air Suspends Service

Icelandic budget airline WOW Air collapsed under its financial problems on Thursday, leading it to ground planes and leave passengers stranded across two continents. The airline, a small carrier that specialized in ultra-cheap travel between the United States and Europe, told passengers there would be no further flights and advised them to check with other airlines for ways to reach their destinations. The airline flew to cities including Washington, New York, Paris, London and its Reykjavik hub. Its bankruptcy, which highlights how difficult it is for airlines to make money from budget flights across the Atlantic, comes after six months of turbulent negotiations to sell its loss-making business. WOW saw deals fall through to sell to its main rival, the national flag-ship carrier Icelandair, and later to Indigo Partners, an American company operating the airline Wizz. WOW grounded at least six planes in North America that were set to leave late Wednesday from Montreal, Toronto, Boston, Detroit, New York and Baltimore. In Europe, Reykjavik-bound planes from seven cities — Amsterdam, Dublin, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Frankfurt and Copenhagen — did not take off Thursday. One airplane from WOW was grounded as collateral by Iceland's airport operator, which reportedly has a $16 million claim for unpaid landing fees against the airline. American Sean Tinschert and his partner had rushed to the Reykjavik airport after learning the airline had gone under. "We are trying to figure out how to get home," he told The Associated Press. "We live in Boston, Massachusetts. We've got to work tomorrow morning — so don't really think that is going to happen." In Berlin, Mary Sapp, a 30-year-old tattoo artist from Portland, Oregon, said she found out her WOW flight from Schoenefeld Airport to Reykjavik was canceled when she arrived at the airport Thursday morning. "I feel frantic, and my shoulders are tight," she said as she carried a huge black backpack up a flight of stairs. "I am just going to get some food and figure out ... where I am going to stay tonight." Jamey Fierce, 62, from Toronto, sat at one of the Berlin airport's coffee shops trying to figure out an affordable route to get home, thinking that maybe he could book a flight via Lisbon. "Not only was the flight canceled - the airline was canceled," said Fierce with some humor.

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2019-04-01

Trump Owns the Economy Now, for Better or Worse

[img] WASHINGTON — President Trump is getting exactly what he wants on the economy, but it may not last. The Federal Reserve has abruptly stopped its march toward higher interest rates, as Mr. Trump demanded. The tax cuts he signed in late 2017 are in full swing. His attempt to rewrite the global rules of trade are underway, and he proclaims himself happy with the array of new tariffs he has imposed. His recent comments suggest he is unconcerned about slowdowns in China and Europe, which he considers economic rivals. But while Mr. Trump points with pride to last year’s economic growth and promises even faster growth to come, there are signs that his most dependable talking point is eroding. On Thursday, the Commerce Department issued a downward revision of its estimates for economic growth in the fourth quarter, pushing one measure of the full year’s growth down as well. Forecasters outside the White House, including officials at the Fed, expect growth to slow even more this year. Economic data suggests that slowdown is already underway in the first quarter. Manufacturing is losing some of its steam from last year’s rapid growth, and job creation is also moderating. Chief executives of some of the nation’s biggest companies see investment, hiring and sales growth all slowing this year. Three-quarters of business economists say they are more worried about growth undershooting their forecasts than overshooting it, and half have revised those forecasts downward for this year. White House officials see growth staying above 3 percent for the next few years — and potentially for an entire decade, provided Mr. Trump can continue carrying out his economic agenda, including another round of tax cuts, a $1 trillion infrastructure plan and additional deregulation.

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2019-04-01

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