The Justice Department announced the indictments of two Russian spies and two criminal hackers in connection with the heist of 500 million Yahoo user accounts in 2014, marking the first U.S. criminal cyber charges ever against Russian government officials. Goldman Sachs reduced chief executive Lloyd Blankfein’s annual compensation 27 percent, awarding him $22 million for 2016 after eliminating a long-term incentive award. Goldman Sachs redesigned its compensation structure for 2016 after investors told the company that the long-term incentive part of the package was overly complex. Germany has threatened to fine social networks such as Facebook as much as $53 million if they fail to enable users to complain about hate speech and fake news or refuse to remove illegal content. If passed, the legislation would be the stiffest regulation Facebook faces in any country in which it operates. Swatch Group said it’s developing an alternative to the iOS and Android operating systems for smartwatches as Switzerland’s largest maker of timepieces vies with Silicon Valley for control of consumers’ wrists. Neiman Marcus, the luxury retailer, says it’s exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company. Like many department stores, Neiman Marcus has been wrestling with declining customer traffic as shoppers increasingly buy online at sites like eBay or consignment shops. McDonald’s has started testing mobile order-and-pay, noting the ordering process in its restaurants can be “stressful.” The company also said that it was notified by Twitter that its account was “compromised” after it appeared to send a message calling President Trump “a disgusting excuse of a President.” The tweet to Trump from the official account for McDonald’s Corp. said it would love to have Barack Obama back in the White House.
Alarm.com Holdings, the Northern Virginia company that allows people to run their home from a smartphone, is expanding into facial recognition that will allow customers to remotely identify activity in and around their home and business. The company is buying ObjectVideo, a Reston-based company that uses video monitoring to analyze patterns in real time. Terms were not disclosed.
Intel agreed to buy Mobileye, an Israeli self-driving technology firm, for $15.3 billion in a deal that could thrust the U.S. chipmaker into direct competition with rivals Nvidia and Qualcomm to develop driverless systems and components for global automakers. The acquisition of Mobileye could propel the world’s largest chipmaker into the front ranks of automotive suppliers.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX won its second launch contract from the U.S. military by underbidding an alliance of defense industry giants. Cost was a determining factor in awarding the $96.5 million contract to Space Exploration Technologies, said Claire Leon, the Air Force’s launch enterprise director. SpaceX is to launch an Air Force GPS satellite on an upgraded Falcon 9 rocket in 2019.
The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate, launching into what investors expect to be a more rapid series of increases that will help ward off the threat of inflation but also raise costs for indebted U.S. households. Fed officials voted nearly unanimously after a two-day policy meeting in Washington to raise the key interest rate for overnight lending by a quarter-point, from a range of 0.5 to 0.75 percent to a range of 0.75 to 1.0 percent. “The simple message is the economy is doing well,” Fed Chair Janet L. Yellen said in a news conference after the announcement. Puerto Rico’s federal oversight board voted unanimously to certify the government’s fiscal turnaround plan, on the condition that it be amended to eliminate Christmas bonuses, impose employee furloughs and further reduce pension spending. The plan, a cornerstone of the federal Puerto Rico rescue law known as PROMESA, will serve as the baseline for looming restructuring talks with holders of some $70 billion in debt that has pushed the U.S. territory to the brink of economic collapse.
The Federal Reserve Bank of
Atlanta named Raphael Bostic as its new president, an economist, professor and former housing official under Obama. Bostic, 50, is the first African American president at a Fed regional bank. Trump has nominated a Boeing executive to serve as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s second-incommand. If confirmed by the Senate, Patrick Shanahan, the senior vice president of supply chain operations for Boeing, will succeed Robert Work, who had agreed to stay on as deputy until his replacement was nominated. The Consumer Federation of America found that millions of people had not made a payment on $137 billion in federal student loans for at least nine months in 2016, a 14 percent increase in defaults from a year earlier. The watchdog used the latest data from the Education Department, which manages $1.3 trillion in federal student debt owed by 42.4 million Americans.