Business Briefs – February 20, 2018

Investors Are Winners as Companies Lay Out Tax-Saving Plans

NEW YORK (AP) — The tax overhaul was sold by its backers as a way to help American workers, and companies have announced plans to give employees bonuses and improve their operations. But the plans also suggest the lion’s share of tax savings will go to investors. Companies have added tens of billions more to buyback programs, a popular way of returning money to investors and making earnings per share look better.

Latvian ECB Official Won’t Resign, Rejects Bribes Report

LONDON (AP) — Latvia’s official on the European Central Bank’s main policymaking council has refused to heed calls to resign following an investigation into suspected bribery and an Associated Press report on allegations of extortion and connections to money laundering. Ilmars Rimsevics, who was detained Saturday and released on bail two days later without charge, is defiant, dismissing the allegations against him as a smear campaign by commercial banks.

New Wynn Resorts CEO Ready To Move Company Forward

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The executive who took over Wynn Resorts after casino mogul Steve Wynn was accused of misconduct says the public shouldn’t judge until the investigations wrap up. CEO Matt Maddox also said in an interview that the company is ready to move forward without its founder and develop innovative projects.

Groups Want Details on Trump’s Approval of Keystone Pipeline

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Opponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada are asking a judge to force the U.S. government to turn over emails and other documents related to President Donald Trump’s approval of the project. Environmentalists who have sued to stop the pipeline say the documents could bolster their case that Pres. Trump’s decision was arbitrary and should be overturned. Government attorneys say the documents include internal deliberations that don’t have to be made public.

Venezuela’s Digital Coin Makes Debut

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela is becoming the first country to launch its own version of bitcoin, a move it hopes will provide a much-needed boost to its credit-stricken economy. Officials say the so-called petro is backed by Venezuela’s crude oil reserves, the largest in the world.