Roger Ailes, who mastered the art of selling political candidates like Hollywood celebrities and was the architect of conservative-oriented TV news, died at 77. He was the longtime chairman and chief executive of the Fox News Channel, building it over two decades into a politically influential juggernaut until his abrupt ouster last year amid sexual harassment allegations. Puerto Rico’s development bank entered into a deal with financial creditors that would allow it to avoid a lengthy bankruptcy proceeding. The deal focused on the bank is one piece of an overall $73 billion public debt load that the government of the struggling island is seeking to restructure. Puerto Rico is mired in a decade-long recession. Two former Walmart employees filed a lawsuit accusing the retailer of treating thousands of pregnant workers as “second-class citizens” by rejecting requests to limit heavy lifting, climbing on ladders and other potentially dangerous tasks. American International Group named an insurance industry veteran as its chief executive. In hiring Brian Duperreault, 70, AIG is giving in to the demands of investor Carl Icahn, AIG’s fourth-largest shareholder, who has been pushing for changes at the insurer. Former Massey Energy chief executive Don Blankenship asked President Trump to resist attempts in Congress to enhance criminal penalties for coal executives who violate mine safety and health standards. Blankenship served a year in prison after being convicted of conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine in southern West Virginia, where 29 workers died in a 2010 blast. Prosecutors in Stuttgart, Germany, said they’re investigating whether Volkswagen chief executive Matthias Müller and two others, including Müller’s predecessor, manipulated markets by not releasing information about the German company’s diesel cheating soon enough.
Facebook will pay $122 million in fines to the European Union over charges that it misled regulators during its 2014 acquisition of WhatsApp. European regulators said Facebook was not honest about its ability to identify users who had both Facebook and WhatsApp accounts and link those accounts.
U.S. household debt reached a record high in the first quarter, topping the previous peak reached in 2008, during the Great Recession. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said that household debt, which includes home equity lines of credit, stood at $12.73 trillion in the first quarter.
The United Nations predicts that the global economy will expand in the next two years, spurred by stronger growth and a modest recovery in trade and investment. The world body forecast global economic growth of 2.7 percent this year and 2.9 percent in 2018, compared with a revised figure of 2.3 percent in 2016. For the United States, it forecast economic growth of 2.1 percent in 2017 and 2018, compared with 1.6 percent in 2016.
The world’s richest people lost $35 billion Wednesday when global equity markets were rocked by political turmoil in the United States, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Bill Gates, the world’s richest person, with $86.8 billion, lost $1 billion as shares of Microsoft, his largest holding, tumbled 2.8 percent. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s painting
of a skull sold for $110.5 million at Sotheby’s in New York, setting an auction record for American artists and providing a windfall for the daughter of two collectors who purchased it for $19,000 in 1984. The buyer was billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, founder of a Japanese fashion website and a new force in contemporary art. The work led four days of bellwether auctions in New York, where the world’s wealthiest investors and families dropped more than $1.5 billion on impressionist, modern, postwar and contemporary art.