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Thursday 11.10.2016

GM to lay off 2,000 workers at two U.S. plants due to slowing sales

General Motors Co plans to lay off 2,000 employees at two U.S. auto plants in early 2017, the automaker said on Wednesday.

GM said it will furlough the employees when it cuts the third shift at its Lordstown, Ohio and Lansing, Michigan plants in mid-January.

The Lordstown plant builds the compact Chevrolet Cruze, whose U.S. sales through October were down 20 percent. The Lansing Grand River plant builds the Cadillac ATS and CTS, whose sales were down 17 percent through October.

GM also said it will invest $211 million at the Lansing plant for an unspecified "new product program." The company also will invest $668 million in its Toledo transmission plant for a new generation of transmissions.

Automakers, Dependent on Mexico, Face a Rougher Road With Trump

The election of Donald Trump as U.S. president puts new pressure on automakers and other manufacturers that have become dependent on open trade with Mexico, and raises the risk they will face higher costs.

Automakers could also take a hit if instability in financial markets undercuts the confidence of consumers in the United States and other major markets at a time when growth in U.S. auto sales has stalled.

Investors sold off U.S. stocks and the dollar in reaction to Trump's unexpected win. Shares in Japanese automakers, which also rely on Mexico as a production hub for the U.S. market, slid as well, underperforming the benchmark Nikkei index, which fell 5 percent.

In afternoon Tokyo trade, shares in Toyota Motor Corp were down 6.5 pct, Nissan Motor Co Ltd was down 6.0 pct, while Honda Motor Co fell 7.8 pct. All three companies declined to comment.

Gold Seller Running Out of Bars, Coins in London After Trump Win

London-based gold dealer Sharps Pixley Ltd. is running out of bars and coins as buying surges after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency.

The company’s store, a short walk from Buckingham Palace, has arranged emergency imports of Britannia coins and kilogram (2.2 pound) bars to meet demand. The frenzy began on its website overnight and continued in store this morning, Chief Executive Officer Ross Norman said by phone.

“We keep running out of product -- we’ve had to increase our credit lines to allow us to keep more stock on site,” Norman said, keeping a customer waiting on another line. “Swamped!”

Volumes have surged across the world, from exchange-traded funds and futures, to Mumbai jewelry stores and Dubai souks since it became clear that the Republican candidate would move to the White House.

Suppliers Starting To Cut Sales To Sears And Kmart

Retailers’s shelves and warehouses are stocked up for the holiday season, but suppliers are reportedly holding back from the stores belonging to one company. Sears Holdings, the parent company of Sears and Kmart, reportedly is having shipments to its stores cut by suppliers, who don’t want to be stuck with the bill if the company files abruptly for bankruptcy protection.

That information comes from a risk management executive who spoke to Business Insider and deals with suppliers’ insurance on their shipments, who reports that vendors selling everything from toys to TVs are cutting back on shipments, and of course using his firm to insure them in case anything happens to Sears Holdings in the coming months.

While one supplier has reportedly ended its relationship with Sears Holdings, others are simply sending smaller shipments to the retailers so the payment turnaround time is faster.

The retailer, for its part, insists that it isn’t headed for default. “We are an asset-rich enterprise with multiple resources at our disposal,” spokesman Howard Riefs told Business Insider.

Media the biggest loser of the 2016 election?

Here's the memo Jamie Dimon just sent to JPMorgan staff about the US election

Jamie Dimon just sent a memo to staff at JPMorgan reacting to the election of Donald Trump at the next US president.

"We are going through a period of profound political and economic change around the world," the note said.

He added that the voices of those who have expressed frustration with the lack of economic opportunity available to them should be listened to.

"We have just been through one of the most contentious elections in memory, which can make it even harder to put our differences aside," he said. "But that makes it more important than ever to bind the wounds of our nation and to bring together Americans from all walks of life."

Poll: Half of America Can’t Afford More Than $100 a Month on Health Insurance

More than half of Americans—52.5 percent—say they cannot afford to spend more than $100 a month on health insurance premiums, according to a poll from HealthPocket, a technology company that compares health plans.

The group asked survey respondents at the beginning of open enrollment what was the highest monthly premium they could afford to pay for health insurance in 2017.

More than half of respondents said $100 a month or less, while 15.9 percent said they could afford to spend $200 a month. Just over 11 percent said they could afford $300 a month, 5.5 percent said they could afford $400 a month, and 4.8 percent said they could spend $500 a month, while and 9.8 percent said they could afford $500 or more.

“Double-digit rate increases for people purchasing insurance in the Affordable Care Act market has renewed questions regarding what people can afford to pay for coverage,” the survey states. A higher percentage of women said that $100 was the most they could spend a month on health insurance premiums. Fifty-seven percent of women said this was the case compared to 47.4 percent of men.

The Chilling Thing Hertz Just Said about the US Auto Boom

Hertz Global Holdings, the giant rental car company which also owns Dollar and Thrifty, got crushed on Tuesday, as is so often the case, by an otherwise boring accounting entry.

Depreciation of its cars had to be adjusted. Depreciation of the rental fleet is a huge expense in the industry: for Hertz, 29% of its total expenses. Depreciation is supposed to bring the value of these cars down to what they can be sold for when they’re scratched and dented and have 37,000 miles on them. Depreciating the fleet just a little less aggressively would boost earnings for a little while and is a very tempting strategy.

But a few quarters later, when the cars have to be sold, reality comes home to roost. This accounting entry also shows how ever so slowly the rug is being pulled out from under the booming auto industry.

Hertz shares plunged 52% in the morning to a low of $17.20. Then the company’s largest shareholder, Carl Icahn, stepped in with great fanfare and single-handedly worked a miracle. He’s got a lot on the line. He disclosed with his media-savvy fanfare in August 2014 that he’d acquired an 8.5% stake, which he since raised to nearly 16%.

Manufacturing Net Employment Growth Continued to Decline in the First Quarter

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that net employment growth declined in the first quarter for the third straight quarter, according to the latest Business Employment Dynamics (BED) data. Note that BED data are released with a two-quarter lag, providing more detail about firm employment shifts by sector and by establishment size over time.

Manufacturers had gross job gains of 377,000 in the first quarter, with 346,000 from expanding establishments and 31,000 from new establishments. At the same time, there were gross job losses of 403,000 in the quarter, with 361,000 from contracting establishments and 42,000 from closing establishments. Therefore, there was a net employment change of -26,000, falling further from the -11,000 change seen in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The BED database continues to reflect reduced start-up rates for new manufacturing establishments over the longer term. There were 4,000 new manufacturing establishments in the first quarter, its lowest level since the third quarter of 2009. This was also down from essentially 8,000 per month pace seen in 1996, or two decades ago.

In addition, the rate of employees per start-up in manufacturing has also declined, down from an average of 94,000 employees from new establishments in 1996 to 19,000 in the first quarter of this year. Similar findings can be seen in other industries, with reduced entrepreneurship rates and smaller workforces per new start-up.

Here’s why the market rebounded after Trump’s victory

Trump will have huge sway over Fed's future

President-elect Donald Trump is no fan of Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.

As recently as September, Trump said Yellen should be "ashamed of herself." Now he will have the chance to replace not just her, but also at least three of her colleagues at the Fed, the most powerful financial institution in the world.

That's because Yellen's term expires in February 2018. Her close ally, Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer, also ends his term in the first half of 2018. In fact, even before he gets to those two, Trump will have the chance to nominate two other members to vacant Fed board seats, the nominations for which have been stalled in Congress.

That's an unusually large number of appointees for Trump to nominate. Most presidents usually only get to nominate two Fed leaders because of the way terms are scheduled at the Fed. Yellen is not expected to step down early, even though she has had to defend herself against Trump's criticism that the Fed is political.

Fed Faces Overhaul as Washington Braces for Trump-Led Shakeup

The leadership, powers and policies of the Federal Reserve may look very different in 18 months. President-elect Donald Trump can’t remove Fed Chair Janet Yellen from office before her four-year term expires. By mid-2018, however, Trump can replace the Fed’s top personnel and potentially alter monetary and regulatory policies. Some members of the Republican-controlled Congress may also take aim at the Fed’s independence from political influence.

“Trump will have the ability to substantially reshape the nation’s central bank,” said Aaron Klein, a research fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Still, discussion of potential remakes come with one massive caveat. No Fed watchers seemed confident in predicting even what kind of nominees Trump is likely to put up for the Fed, nor what kind of regulatory approach he is likely to favor. During his campaign, Trump railed against the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which greatly increased restrictions on banks operating in the U.S., but also said he would reinstate a separation between bank lending and securities underwriting.

As Sarah Binder, a political science professor at George Washington University, puts it: “In every conversation I have about a President Trump, there is an asterisk of unpredictability.”

Atlanta Fed keeps US fourth-quarter GDP growth view at 3.1 percent

The U.S. economy is on track to grow at a 3.1 percent annualized pace in the fourth quarter following data on wholesale inventories in September, the Atlanta Federal Reserve's GDP Now forecast model showed on Wednesday.

The latest fourth-quarter GDP estimate was unchanged from the figure calculated on Nov. 4, the Atlanta Fed said on its website.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday domestic wholesale inventories grew 0.1 percent in September, less than the 0.2 percent increase forecast among economists polled by Reuters.

The forecast of the contribution of U.S. inventory investment to fourth-quarter GDP growth increased to 0.50 percentage point from 0.46 percentage point, the Atlanta Fed said.

Cornell students hold ‘Cry In’ over Trump victory

The Cornell Daily Sun reports that students hosted a “Cry In” on the quad Wednesday in the wake of the presidential election results.

“I’m quite terrified, honestly,” one student told the campus newspaper as she took part in the event. “It’s saying that people are really given into fear-mongering. They are willing to put people down based on their identity just so that they would feel vindicated that they would be getting rid of ‘Crooked Hillary.'”

Another participant told the Sun many are in “shock” as she sipped on a Starbucks coffee cup, sitting cross-legged in the institution’s Ho Plaza. “I am concerned how this is validating the behavior of a lot of people,” she said.

As the event took place, students — roughly 20 or so, according to the Sun’s video — wrote their reactions and emotions on poster boards with colored markers, or with chalk on the ground. A chilly day on the Ithaca campus, at one point the demonstrators huddled together as what appeared to be a barista brought them warm drinks.

Obamacare is close to death after Trump's election

There is an overwhelming chance that the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, is facing its last few months of existence as we know it.

For the past few years, congressional Republicans have taken symbolic vote after symbolic vote to repeal Obamacare. And now, with control of the executive branch, these votes will probably become more than just a statement.

In a press conference Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said the law was an "unpopular law" and said the Congress has already proven it can "repeal and replace" the ACA.

Additionally, Republican Senate Minority Leader (soon to be Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell said that repealing the ACA was a priority of the Republicans. "It's pretty high on our agenda as you know. I would be shocked if we didn't move forward and keep our commitment to the American people," said McConnell at a press conference on Wednesday.

Greg Hunter's 2016 Presidential Wrap Up-Trump Win Saves America

Lloyds Bank to close branches and cut jobs

The new plan, which is designed to cut costs and improve shareholder returns, was announced in October of 2014 and has resulted in about 5,500 net job cuts and 153 branch closures in 2016 alone. This net figure for the 2016 job cuts includes retail, commercial banking, insurance, and consumer finance roles as well as taking the 145 new roles that will be a part of those job areas under the new plan into account.

“Some of the job losses stem from Lloyds cutting its cloth, but some are simply about the ongoing rise of digital banking services, which are reducing the need for a high street presence. Job losses are never positive news, but what Lloyds is doing at least in part reflects an ongoing shift in how customers transact with their banks,” senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, Laith Khalaf, told the BBC in October 2016.

Lloyds plans to implement the 49 branch closures beginning in the first quarter of 2017; a new mobile banking system will be in place for some areas affected by the branch closures.

Lloyds reported in October 2016 that their third-quarter profits were largely unchanged compared to last year in spite of the expected decrease in earnings after the Brexit vote in June.

'Move to Canada' threats return – but actually emigrating there is difficult

Online searches for “move to Canada” have spiked significantly as some Americans grapple with the reality of Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States. But the trend also prompted a flurry of warnings of that immigration to America’s northern neighbour can be an arduous process.

As a Trump victory looked increasingly likely on Tuesday night, reports emerged that Canada’s citizenship and immigration website was down, with users around the world receiving an internal message error when they tried to access the site.

Soon after Barack Obama phoned Trump to congratulate him on his win on Wednesday, the website appeared to be working sporadically. A spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada told the CBC that the site “became temporarily inaccessible to users as a result of a significant increase in the volume of traffic”.

The website’s outage dovetailed with a rise in online searches on how to move north. Google Trends data showed a spike in searches for “move to Canada” and “immigrate to Canada” as the results rolled in. On Wednesday several American media outlets joined the fray, publishing articles that offered advice on how to move to Canada.

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