Bank of America Corp. will pay $415 million to to settle allegations that its Merrill Lynch unit misused billion of dollars in customer funds, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday. The Wall Street Journal reports the bank’s wealth management unit engaged in complex trades to trim the amount of customer funds that should have been set aside in reserve accounts. If Bank of America failed, customers would have been exposed to a “massive shortfall,” regulators said. Under the terms of the settlement, Merrill Lynch admitted to wrongdoing in the trades, which occurred between 2009 and 2012.
The German carmaker Volkswagen AG will pay almost $10.3 billion to settle claims from American owners of diesel-run cars affected by the auto maker’s emissions cheating scandal, according to sources familiar with the settlement. Reuters reports the deal addresses owners of about 500,000 Volkswagen cars with two-liter engines that are outfitted with software that cheats government emissions tests. A source familiar with the settlement said the deal includes offers to purchase nearly 500,000 cars and to set aside billions of dollars for green energy projects, including a program to offset excess diesel pollution.
USA Today reports Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren will step down next year, and Jeff Gennette will step in to fill his shoes in the first quarter of 2017. Lundgren will stay on as executive chairman of the department store. The announcement Thursday comes amid tough times for Macy’s and other retailers reeling from slumping sales and a broader shift in the way people shop. Traditional department stores are facing increased pressure from Amazon and discount retailers like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls.
Clinton wins business leaders’ support.
Billionaire Warren Buffett, Google executive chair Eric Schmidt and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg were among 56 powerful American business leaders who endorsed Hillary Clinton on Thursday. While business leaders have traditionally sided with Republicans, CNN Money reports many business leaders are speaking out against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Reed Hastings, CEO and co-founder of the streaming video service Netflix said, “Trump would destroy much of what is great about America.” Other business leaders warned that a Trump presidency could trigger an economic slowdown. Over a third of the leaders who announced their support for Clinton Thursday lead technology companies, including Airbnb, Tumblr and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins.