Exxon fights climate change probes
Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, doubled down on its efforts this week to push back against accusations that it, and other oil giants, misled the public and investors about the risks of climate change for decades. As posted on The Guardian, Retuers reports that Exxon asked a Texas federal court on Monday to throw out a subpoena from the New York State attorney general—marking the company’s second such request this year regarding a state subpoena, the first of which involved Massachusetts. The subpoenas demand the release of decades-worth of internal documents that would aid the states’ investigations into whether Exxon mislead investors about climate change and subsequently violated securities law—accusations the company argues are politically-motivated.
Obamacare introduces “Simple Choice” plans
When open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act begins in two weeks, some consumers will be able to choose from a new category of insurance plans that covers basic health services with no deductible. The Obama administration says these so-called “Simple Choice” plans seek to address widespread complaints that many marketplace plans, with their high deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs, are only beneficial for catastrophic events, the New York Times reported this week. Simple Choice monthly premiums, however, are not capped nor are insurers required to offer the plans at all, so costs and availability by market are still unknown.
Visa CEO steps down
Visa Inc.’s CEO, Charlie Scharf, announced his resignation this week, saying his desires to be closer to family on the East Coast are at odds with his professional obligations at the company’s San Francisco headquarters, according to Bloomberg. Scarf will stay on until Dec. 1, at which point he’ll hand over the reigns to board member Alfred Kelly, who is a former president of American Express. Visa raised its quarterly cash dividend by 18 percent the day after Scharf’s resignation announcement, which, as MarketWatch notes, came just days ahead of Visa’s next quarterly earnings release.
More resignations for ex-Wells chief
Just a week after stepping down as chair and chief executive of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf made national headlines again Tuesday when, citing “personal reasons” in regulatory filings, he abruptly resigned from the boards of Chevron Corp and Target Corp., effective immediately. According to the Wall Street Journal, those were the only boards of publicly traded companies outside Wells Fargo of which Stumpf was a member. Wells Fargo has been embattled in controversy since last month when it agreed to a $185 million-fine tied to its aggressive sales practices during Stumpf’s tenure.