Must-Read Money Stories for Monday, Jan. 30

by January 30, 2017
Teen clothing retailer Wet Seal is reportedly in the process of shuttering all 173 or so of its stores after failing to recover from recent liquidation. (Image "Wet Seal Clothing Store" by Mike Mozart via Flickr, CC license by 2.0.)

Teen clothing retailer Wet Seal is reportedly in the process of shuttering all 173 or so of its stores after failing to recover from recent liquidation. (Image “Wet Seal Clothing Store” by Mike Mozart via Flickr, CC license by 2.0.)

Airlines shuffle staff amid U.S. ban

As Donald Trump’s immigration ban created a chaotic scene of protests and panic over the weekend, two of the biggest Middle Eastern airlines were forced to shuffle employees so flights were in compliance upon touching ground in the U.S. The order barring travelers from seven Muslim countries meant rescheduling pilots and cabin staff on Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways’ U.S.-bound flights, according to the Wall Street Journal. The ban, which was partially blocked by federal judges Saturday, has prompted worldwide confusion among airport operators, airlines and travelers as well as broader concerns about its impact on international business relations.

Google riled by Trump’s refugee ban

More than 100 Google employees who were traveling abroad received an anxious message Friday from CEO Sundar Pichai telling them to cut their trips short and immediately return to the U.S. Pichai’s concerns stemmed from Trump’s immigration ban on seven Muslim countries, directly affecting the Google employees, who have valid green cards and work visas and were traveling abroad when the new restrictions were implemented Saturday, according to Bloomberg. The Google incident highlights the deepening tensions between Trump and some of the nation’s largest tech companies, where concerns are growing about the impact the new administration’s policies will have on business and their workforces.

Retailers signal nationwide closures

Unable to recover from liquidation and bankruptcy filing two year ago, Wet Seal—a trendy, low-cost clothing chain that’s been a longtime favorite among teenagers at U.S. shopping malls—is in the process of shutting down all 173 or so of its stores for good, according to documents initially obtained by the Wall Street Journal. Wet Seal is the latest victim of what Forbes described as an ongoing “retail bloodbath”: other popular mall brands such as The Limited and American Apparel are also shutting down this year while massive layoffs and store closures were taking shape this month at retailers Sear’s and Macy’s.

Feds target Broadway Ponzi scheme

Federal prosecutors have arrested two men on charges that they duped investors in a Ponzi scheme tied to their ticket-reselling business of popular Broadway shows such as “Hamilton,” according to Reuters. Joseph Meli and Steven Simmons, who operated the business through their alternative investments hedge fund Sideris Capital Partners, are also being similarly accused of orchestrating a Ponzi scheme in a separate case by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which says the duo swindled $81 million from investors.