Texarkana Gazette

Business Highlights


WASHINGTON — The warning signs were all there. Silicon Valley Bank was expanding at a breakneck pace and pursuing wildly risky investment­s in the bond market. The vast majority of its deposits were uninsured by the federal government, leaving its customers exposed to a crisis. None of this was a secret. Yet bank supervisor­s at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the state of California did nothing as the bank rolled over the cliff. The search for causes and culprits – and solutions — is refocusing attention on a 2018 federal law that rolled back tough bank regulation­s put in place after the 2008-2009 financial crisis and, perhaps even more, on the way regulators wrote the rules that put that law in place.

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron has shunned parliament and imposed a highly unpopular change to the nation’s pension system, raising the retirement age from 62 to 64. His risky move is expected to trigger motions of no-confidence in Macron’s government. The decision was made just before a National Assembly vote that might not have gone his way. Lawmakers in France’s lower house of parliament tried to stop his prime minister from speaking by singing the national anthem. Pension changes are key to Macron’s second term, but they’ve prompted major strikes and protests across the country since January. LISBON, Portugal — Portugal’s center-left Socialist government is set to approve a package of measures to address the country’s housing crisis. A growing number of people are being priced out of the property market by rising rents, surging house prices and climbing mortgage rates. Affordable housing is a problem across the European Union. But the problem runs deep in Portugal, one of Western Europe’s poorest countries that has long pursued investment on the back of a low-wage economy. The problem has been magnified by tourism, a growing influx of foreign investors and visitors needing shortterm rentals. Official figures show that just over half of Portuguese workers earned less than 1,000 euros a month last year. The majority of developing nations are set to miss out on the economic benefits of booming green technologi­es, slowing progress toward their climate goals and widening the inequality gap between rich and poor countries, a United Nations report warned Thursday. The U.N.’S agency for trade and developmen­t, or UNCTAD, said that unless the internatio­nal community and national government­s actively tend to green tech industries in developing countries, the benefits associated with lower-emission technologi­es will be near inaccessib­le for many poorer nations in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. Electric vehicles, solar and wind energy and green hydrogen are projected to reach a market value of $2.1 trillion by 2030, four times higher than they’re worth today.

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