Business Briefs – April 22, 2018

Big Banks Saved $3.6B in Taxes Last Quarter Under New Law

NEW YORK (AP) – The nation’s six big Wall Street banks posted record or near record profits in the first quarter, thanks largely to the recently enacted Trump tax law. Combined, the six banks saved at least $3.59 billion in taxes last quarter, according to an Associated Press estimate, using the bank’s tax rates going back to 2015.

Fairfax Bids $300 Million for Toys R Us’s Canada Business

NEW YORK (AP) – Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holding has bid $300 million for Toys R Us’s Canadian operations in bankruptcy. According to court papers filed late Thursday, the bidder is assuming the role of a “stalking horse” in a court-approved auction process set for Monday in New York. The Fairfax bid surpassed the $215 million offer that Isaac Larian, the CEO of toy company MGA Entertainment, made last week.

Global Leaders Fear Rising Trade Tensions

WASHINGTON (AP) – Global finance ministers see rising trade tensions between the United States and China as a major threat facing the world economy. That’s according to the treasury minister from Argentina, who is chairing the G-20 finance group this year. He says G-20 officials discussed the risks during a dinner Thursday night with all participants agreeing that trade has been a positive force for many nations.

Trump Calls OPEC Efforts to Boost Oil Prices ‘Not Good’

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says oil-producing cartel OPEC “is at it again,” and that efforts to maintain high prices “will not be accepted!” Mr. Trump’s Friday morning tweet comes as representatives from OPEC nations and allied oil ministers are meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to discuss their agreement to maintain cuts to production in order to keep prices up.

Mattel CEO to Step Down After Being at Helm for 14 Months

NEW YORK (AP) – Mattel’s CEO Margaret Georgiadis is stepping down from the company. The news comes after the former Google executive, who took the top spot in February 2017, hasn’t been able to work any magic in reversing toy company’s sales.

Mattel was one of the biggest decliners among consumer-focused companies on the stock market. The struggling toy maker slid 3.6 percent to $12.96 after the annoucement.

Audit Clears Facebook Despite Cambridge Analytica Leaks

NEW YORK (AP) — An audit of Facebook’s privacy practices for the Federal Trade Commission found no problems even though Facebook knew at the time that a data-mining firm improperly obtained private data from millions of users. The audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers is available on the FTC’s website Friday, though it is heavily redacted.