Business Briefs – January 15, 2019

Hampered by Scandals, Wells Fargo’s Profits Stagnate

NEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo’s profits fell slightly in the fourth quarter as the consumer banking giant remains restrained by federal regulators, who put a tight leash on it after years of scandals and missteps. The bank saw its total loans fall slightly from a year ago, and deposits were also down slightly. That’s notable because in a growing economy, a bank the size of Wells Fargo would typically be increasing both deposits and assets, just like its competition.

Federal Workers Take On Odd Jobs to Make Ends Meet

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Government workers living without a paycheck are driving for Uber, and relying on word of mouth and social networks to find handyman work and odd jobs to help pay the bills during the longest shutdown in U.S. history. The tens of thousands of out-of-work government employees have more options than in past shutdowns given the rise of the so-called “gig economy.” But giving Lyft rides is no substitute for stable work and a steady paycheck.

Mnuchin Urges Senators to Support Easing Russia Sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has met with Republican senators to persuade them to support the Trump administration’s decision to ease sanctions on companies linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Mnuchin spoke to senators on Tuesday ahead of a scheduled vote on a resolution that seeks to block the lifting of penalties against the aluminum manufacturing giant Rusal and two other companies connected to Deripaska.

China to Cut Taxes, Keep Policy Flexible to Counter Slowdown

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese officials say Beijing plans to slash taxes, step up spending and help resolve financing problems of private and small enterprise to help counter the country’s worst slowdown since the global financial crisis. The officials said Tuesday that Beijing will keep its monetary policy stable but flexible. A deputy central bank governor, Zhu Hexin, said the People’s Bank of China was confident it can keep the value of the Chinese yuan steady. The officials outlined plans for 2019.