Business Briefs – August 29, 2019

Facebook Tightens Political Ad Rules

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook is tightening its rules around political advertising ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, acknowledging previous misuse. But it’s not clear if it will be enough to stop bad actors from abusing its system.

The changes include a tightened verification process that will require anyone wanting to run ads pertaining to elections, politics or big social issues like guns and immigration to confirm their identity and prove they are in the U.S. Beginning in mid-September, such advertisers confirm their group’s identity using their organization’s tax identification number or other government ID.

Farmers’ Loyalty to Trump Tested Over New Corn-Ethanol Rules

LACONA, Iowa (AP) — When President Donald Trump levied tariffs on China that scrambled global markets, farmer Randy Miller was willing to absorb the financial hit. Even as the soybeans in his fields about an hour south of Des Moines became less valuable, Miller saw long-term promise in Trump’s efforts to rebalance America’s trade relationship with Beijing.

“The farmer plays the long game,” said Miller, who grows soybeans and corn and raises pigs in Lacona. “I look at my job through my son, my grandkids. So am I willing to suffer today to get this done to where I think it will be better for them? Yes.”

But the patience of Miller and many other Midwest farmers with a president they mostly supported in 2016 is being put sorely to the test.

The trigger wasn’t Trump’s China tariffs, but the waivers the administration granted this month to 31 oil refineries so they don’t have to blend ethanol into their gasoline. Since roughly 40% of the U.S. corn crop is turned into ethanol, it was a fresh blow to corn producers already struggling with five years of low commodity prices and the threat of mediocre harvests this fall after some of the worst weather in years.

Lord & Taylor Sold for $100M to Rental Clothing Company

NEW YORK (AP) – Lord & Taylor, one of the nation’s oldest department stores, is being sold for $100 million to a rental clothing company.

Le Tote Inc. is buying the company from Hudson’s Bay Co., which gets a minority stake in Le Tote and will control two seats on its board.

Lord & Taylor, founded as a dry goods store in 1826, has struggled recently as more people shop online. It has closed several stores, including its flagship on New York’s Fifth Avenue, which was shut its doors for good earlier this year after more than a century in the 11-story building. There are currently 38 Lord & Taylor stores across the country.