WEEK IN REVIEW
Monday 1% commission for houses
National real estate brokerage Redfin is cutting the commission it charges to Houston-area home sellers to 1 percent. The company, which had already rolled out a 1 percent commission structure in a handful of cities, announced that it was expanding the program to 18 additional markets across the country. Austin and Dallas are also included. Carbon capture push
Norway’s Statoil, France’s Total and the Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell announced plans to assemble a network of technology and facilities that will capture and store carbon bleeding out of industrial sites in Norway in an effort to help mitigate rising temperatures. Tesla production lags
After Elon Musk unveiled the Model 3 in July, the Tesla CEO set a goal of producing 1,500 Model 3s in the third quarter. But the company said that it had produced only 260 of the 1,500 intended sedans during that period. The company attributed the lower output to production issues. Tuesday Trucks, SUVs lead the way
The auto industry posted its first monthly sales gain of the year in September, led by strong truck and SUV sales and the replacement of cars destroyed by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. One mistake by one person
The Equifax data breach, which exposed the sensitive personal information of nearly 146 million Americans, happened because of a mistake by a single employee, the credit reporting company’s former chief executive told members of Congress. ‘You should be fired’
Chief executive Timothy Sloan defended Wells Fargo against withering criticism from lawmakers that it has not done enough to reform itself since admitting last year it had opened millions of fake accounts customers didn’t want. “At best, you were incompetent, and at worst, you were complicit,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., told him. “Either way, you should be fired.” Higher holiday spending
Americans are expected to spend about $680 billion this holiday season, marking a 3.6 percent to 4 percent increase from last year’s $655.8 billion, according to estimates by the National Retail Federation. Even as consumers spend more, Black Friday turnout has steadily declined in stores and online. Last year, 154 million Americans shopped during Thanksgiving weekend, marking a 32 percent decline from 2011, according to the National Retail Federation. Standing by the NFL Anheuser-Busch gave callers to its consumer hotline the automated option of leaving feedback about its NFL corporate sponsorship. The beer giant, one of the NFL’s largest advertisers, said it stood by its sponsorship of the league. Wednesday Fiesta reopens
Fiesta Mart reopened one of its stores hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey, bringing relief to a north Houston neighborhood that has struggled to find affordable food of good quality close by after the storm. The store at 9419 Mesa at Tidwell was damaged by floodwaters and a leaking roof. Fees at port can be waived Port Houston Executive Director Roger Guenther received authority to waive certain charges for cargo-moving customers affected by Hurricane Harvey. If customers couldn’t get their products out of port due to Harvey and are asking Port Houston to waive storage fees or other tariff charges, Guenther now has the flexibility to consider those requests. Thursday Sweatshirt criticized
As of late afternoon, a hooded sweatshirt that seems to make light of the potentially fatal eating disorder anorexia was still on Amazon’s website, despite landing the retail giant in the cross hairs of consumer wrath. The sweatshirt was being offered by a third-party seller listed as AturoBurch. Tough payday lending rules
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued tough nationwide regulations on payday loans and other shortterm loans, aiming to prevent lenders from taking advantage of cash-strapped Americans. The long-awaited rules from would require lenders in most cases to assess whether a consumer can repay the loan. Checks arrive in Alaska
Nearly every Alaskan woke up $1,100 richer, thanks to this year’s payout from the state’s oil wealth investment fund. The distribution from the Alaska Permanent Fund is essentially free money for residents. But it’s just half of the expected $2,200 windfall, which was cut for the second straight year to help the state pay its bills. Friday Coal-fired plant to close
Vistra Energy said its 1,800-megawatt Monticello power station east of Dallas will be closing in January, bringing the loss of 200 jobs. “The market’s unprecedented low power price environment has profoundly impacted its operating revenue and no longer supports continued investment,” Vistra CEO Curt Morgan said. A warning on NAFTA
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned the Trump administration that a withdrawal from NAFTA would be a “debacle” that would cost jobs.
Maria Villarreal checks out Black Friday items at the Bass Pro Shops in Pearland. Holiday spending is projected to rise this year.