Business Briefs – April 20, 2018

IMF’s Lagarde: Trade Tensions Threaten Global Economy

WASHINGTON (AP) – The head of the International Monetary Fund is warning that the healthiest global economy in years is being threatened by rising debt levels and a simmering trade dispute between the U.S. and China. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told reporters that a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies could dent global growth.

Mattel CEO Leaves After Being At Helm for 14 Months

NEW YORK (AP) – Mattel Inc. says that its CEO Margo Georgiadis is stepping down to pursue a new opportunity in the tech sector. The toy giant, based in El Segundo, California, says the board has named Ynon Kreiz, a Mattel director since June 2017, as her successor, effective April 26. Mattel says that Georgiadis will serve in an advisory role through May 10 to ensure a smooth transition.

Control Board Meeting to OK Austerity Plans for Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – New austerity measures are coming for Puerto Rico as a federal control board overseeing the U.S. territory’s finances meets Thursday to approve several fiscal plans that will serve as the island’s economic blueprint for the next five years. Plans call for a 10 percent average cut to a public pension system facing nearly $50 billion in liabilities as well as significant reductions in government subsidies to municipalities and Puerto Rico’s largest public university.

U.S. Officials: 16 Nations Agree To Track Venezuela Corruption

WASHINGTON (AP) – Two senior U.S. Treasury officials say finance ministers from several Latin American nations as well as the U.S. and Europe have agreed to work jointly to locate and seize assets arising from corruption by Venezuelan government insiders. They say the decision came at a meeting Thursday at which finance officials from 16 nations also discussed ways to provide economic and humanitarian help to Venezuela in the event socialist President Nicolas Maduro is replaced by a more acceptable government.

Oil, Gas Drilling in Alaska Refuge Takes Step Ahead

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration is moving forward on oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, fulfilling a longtime Republican priority that most Democrats fiercely oppose.

A notice being published Friday in the Federal Register starts a 60-day review to sell oil and gas leases in the remote refuge, one of the most pristine areas in the United States and home to polar bears, caribou, migratory birds and other species.