Business Stories of the Week: Friday, March 16, 2018

by March 16, 2018

Research shows that water bottles might have more plastic contamination than normal tap water. (Image via pixabay.com)

Former Equifax CIO charged for insider trading

Accused of offloading stock prior to public knowledge of Equifax’s massive data breach last year, former Equifax Chief Information Officer Jun Ying was charged by federal prosecutors with insider trading, Bloomberg reported. According to the SEC complaint, Ying researched the effects of Experian’s data breach in 2015, and sold off 6,185 shares of Equifax stock, totaling $950,000. The Chief Financial Officer and two unit presidents sold much of their stock after Equifax discovered the breach, however, the company maintains those officials made the sales before they knew of the breach.

Toys R Us going out of business

Another major retailer is shutting down. Toys R Us recently announced it was closing all of its stores and laying off its 30,000 U.S.-based employees, NPR reported. Facing competition from retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target, as well as changing demographics and shifting trends in how children spend their free time, Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy in September. Currently, the chain owes more than $200 million to creditors.

Ford recalls more than 1 million cars

Ford Fusions and Lincoln MKZs from 2014 to 2018 are being recalled due to loose steering wheel bolts that can cause the wheel to detach, USA Today reported. A previous recall due to door latch defects cost Ford more than $600 million. These two recalls together add to mounting quality control issues the brand has been seeing, and new CEO Jim Hackett seems to have his work cut out for him.

Wells Fargo’s CEO sees 35% pay bump

Tim Sloan, the CEO of banking giant Wells Fargo, made $17.6 million in 2017, up 35% from his 2016 salary, Reuters reported. This comes in the wake of the 2016 scandal, where Wells Fargo employees were pressured to open fraudulent accounts in their customers names. In January, Sloan said he wasn’t certain the bank had uncovered and fixed all the issues related to the 2016 scandal. The bank’s Chief Financial Officer, John Shrewsberry, earned $11.9 million, up from $9.3 million in 2016.

Bottled water may contain microscopic plastics

A study recently released by SUNY Fredonia found that 93% of water bottles tested — over 11 brands in nine countries — contained an average of 10.4 particles of plastic per liter, USA Today reported. Normal tap water has, on average, about half that amount. Big-name brands like Dasani, San Pellegrino, Nestle, and Aquafina were included in this test. On average, bottled water costs more than $1 per gallon, and tap water costs about $1 per thousand gallons.