Must-Read Money Stories for Monday, Jan. 16

by January 16, 2017
Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully launched 10 commercial satellites into orbit Saturday, the first rocket launch since its disastrous accident four months ago. (Image "SpaceX CRS-8 blastoff" by Steve Jurvetson via Flickr, CC license by 2.0.)

Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully launched 10 commercial satellites into orbit Saturday, the first rocket launch since its disastrous accident four months ago. (Image “SpaceX CRS-8 blastoff” by Steve Jurvetson via Flickr, CC license by 2.0.)

Moody’s fined for risky ratings

Moody’s Corp.—the world’s second-largest credit ratings company—has agreed to hand over $864 million in fines to the U.S., settling claims that its allegedly inflated mortgage securities ratings helped instigate the 2008 economic crisis, the U.S. Justice Department disclosed Friday. The agreement marks the second such deal since 2015, when Standard & Poor’s, the largest ratings agency, paid out $1.37 billion to settle similar claims, according to Reuters. Moody’s will divvy the fine among the Justice Department, 21 states and Washington D.C. and also adopt new procedures to help protect the integrity of its ratings.

Lockheed may lower F-35 costs

Following a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump on Friday, Lockheed Martin’s top executive told reporters outside of Trump Tower that the company was getting closer to a notably less expensive deal with the U.S. military for its F-35 fighter jet aircraft, according to the New York Times. The meeting and subsequent announcement stem from Trump’s harsh comments a month ago on Twitter—the platform he’s used to publicly criticize other major U.S. companies.

SpaceX makes comeback

Space Explorations Technology Corp., or SpaceX, successfully launched 10 commercial satellites into space on Saturday via its Falcon 9 rocket—marking the company’s first such launch since a disastrous accident four months ago threatened its future viability, according to the Wall Street Journal. SpaceX, the brainchild of entrepreneur Elon Musk, has been trailblazing new and unconventional approaches to rocket technologies and launches to make space travel more affordable and accessible. Despite Saturday’s success, experts say the company’s 2016 accident, which proceeded another the year prior, has ignited widespread concern ahead of its plans to launch astronauts into orbit by the end of the decade.

Sony CEO resigns

Michael Lynton announced his plans Friday to resign from his post as chief executive of Sony Pictures Entertainment, which has not yet announced a replacement. Lynton said he’s ending his 13-year tenure with Sony to focus on his board position at social media service Snapchat, which has filed paperwork to go public by as soon as March, according to the Los Angeles Times. His resignation marks the latest leadership shakeup at Sony, which has been struggling to recover from a massive cyberattack in 2014 and is facing an industry-wide slump at the box office.