Business Briefs – November 7, 2018

Banks Could Face Tighter Scrutiny Under Rep. Maxine Waters

NEW YORK (AP) — With Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives, Rep. Maxine Waters, who has called for more regulation of banks, is expected to become chairwoman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, the committee that oversees the nation’s banking system and its regulators.

With Split Congress, Prospect for Economic Deals Looks Dim

WASHINGTON (AP) — A newly Democratic-led House and a Senate that is staying in Republican hands are likely to seek agreement on measures that could potentially benefit the U.S. economy, from spending on America’s infrastructure to limits on drug prices. Yet the poisonous atmosphere in Washington, mandated federal spending limits and a potential duel over the government’s borrowing authority are likely to block or at least slow progress.

A Democratic House Could Probe Trump Business Ties Abroad

PARIS (AP) — The U.S. election could have international consequences. The Democrats taking charge of the U.S. House of Representatives could launch new investigations into President Donald Trump’s global business empire and ties with countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia and China. President Trump, though, remains in charge of foreign policy.

China’s Reserves Fall, Suggesting Beijing Propping Up Yuan

BEIJING (AP) — China’s foreign currency reserves declined in October, suggesting Beijing might be intervening in markets to keep its yuan’s politically sensitive exchange rate from falling too far against the dollar. Central bank data showed the reserves fell by about $34 billion to just over $3 trillion. It was unclear how much of that was due to sales of dollars to support the yuan, but Chinese authorities have promised not to depress the yuan to help exporters who face U.S. tariff hikes.

Smartphone Makers Bet on Foldable Screens as Next Big Thing

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The smartphone industry has been searching for a breakthrough to revive a market mired in an innovation lull. A potential catalyst is coming with the introduction of phones featuring flexible screens that can be folded in half without breaking. On Wednesday, Samsung provided a glimpse at a foldable-screen device that it will release next year. But it’s unclear whether the flexibility will have mass appeal, especially when the bendy devices are expected to cost more than $1,000.

Boeing Jet Crashed in Indonesia After Key Sensor Replaced

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian investigators say a crucial sensor was replaced on a Lion Air jet the day before it plunged into the Java Sea, and that sensor replacement may have exacerbated other problems with the plane. That sensor, known as the “angle of attack” sensor, keeps track of the angle of the aircraft nose to help prevent the plane from stalling and diving. Earlier this week, Indonesian officials hinted that airspeed indicators played a role in the Oct. 29 crash that killed all 189 people on board.