Topics : Oil prices soared on Thursday after US President Donald Trump said he expects Russia and Saudi Arabia to announce a major oil production cut, and Saudi state media said the kingdom was calling an emergency meeting of oil producers to deal with the market turmoil.Trump said he had spoken to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and expects Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut oil output by as much as 10 million to 15 million barrels per day, as the two countries signaled willingness to make a deal.That set off a swift rally in oil markets, with Brent futures soaring $4.80, or 19%, to $29.56 a barrel by 11:42 a.m. EDT (1542 GMT), while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $4.59, or 23%, to $22.55. Oil markets have been under pressure ever since early March, when Saudi Arabia and Russia were unable to come to terms on a deal to curb production, and the Saudis responded by boosting output to more than 12 million bpd and shipping out cargoes worldwide at discounted prices. Since then, the worsening of the coronavirus pandemic has severely cut fuel demand, pushing US crude as low as about $20 per barrel.With fuel demand expected to fall by 20% to 30% in the coming months, pressure was building on the oil producers to come to a deal, and Trump expressed growing frustration about the price of oil and its effect on the energy industry. He is meeting with major energy chief executives at the White House on Friday.A cut of 10 million to 15 million barrels per day would be unprecedented, and would likely need the participation of numerous countries outside of OPEC and its allies.Texas regulators are exploring the possibility of cutting production in that state, which produces more than 5 million barrels per day.”It’s one thing to send optimistic tweets and quite another to coordinate actual production cuts when Russia dragged its feet throughout the OPEC+ era and the US has no controlling authority to implement production limits,” said Sandy Fielden, director of oil and products research at Morningstar in Austin, Texas. Saudi Arabia was expected to call an emergency meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The Wall Street Journal reported that the kingdom would consider dropping output to roughly 9 million barrels per day, or about 3 million bpd less than what it planned on pumping in April.”The question will come down to, will they be able to agree to something? It’s taken couple of weeks of Brent at $25 and WTI at $20 and it seems as if Russians are more approachable than they were a month ago,” said Gene McGillian, vice president of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.Trump did not specify that the cut referred to barrels per day, but that is the most common way oil markets refer to supply and demand.Earlier in the session, Brent soared as much as 47%, its highest gain ever. WTI, meanwhile, jumped as much as 35%, which was it second highest ever following an intraday gain of 36% on March 19.
The Federal Reserve’s new Main Street Lending Program for US small and midsize businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic more than doubled its loans in the latest week in its largest weekly increase so far.Data released on Thursday by the Fed showed Main Street loans held by the central bank rose by US$131 million to $226 million as of Wednesday from $95 million a week earlier.Under the program, the Fed will buy 95 percent of a loan initiated by a private lender to a qualified business. It has seen limited use since launching last month, but officials have said interest is growing.Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren, whose bank is managing the program for the Fed system, on Wednesday said that low use of the program early on is not a sign of failure and that more businesses may turn to the facility in the fall if the economy worsens.Topics : read more
Mark Zuckerberg Discusses the Future of Privacy on FacebookHe spoke at the company’s F8 conference.ShareVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:55Loaded: 5.69%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:55 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PauseMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:15Loaded: 0%0:00Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:15 Playback Rate1xFullscreenFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will remain as chairman after a shareholder vote to curtail his power failed.The proposal, voted down at Facebook’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday by an undisclosed margin, required that Facebook appoint an independent chair to replace Zuckerberg. Critics had pushed for the vote following a string of controversies at the social media giant including privacy snafus, use of its service by to spread disinformation, and a lack of independent oversight.The actual result at the meeting was foregone conclusion. Zuckerberg controls the majority of votes and is in no mood to loosen his stranglehold over the company that he co-founded.But he did have to face withering criticism during the meeting when Arjuna Capital’s managing partner Natasha Lamb asked whether he would be willing to step down as chairman. Instead of answering directly, he dodged the question by talking about the need for governmental regulation.“The big question we need to answer is what is the right framework that will enable us to solve certain issues we’re grappling with,” Zuckerberg said.When Lamb repeated her question, the moderator told her she had already asked one and then turned to someone else. But the issue wouldn’t die.Another audience member asked Susan Desmond-Helmann, Facebook’s lead independent director, if she would call for an executive session about handing Zuckerberg’s chairman’s role to someone else.“The answer is no,” she responded. “The company and I and the board of directors are comfortable with the current operating arrangement, where Mark is chairman and CEO.”In a letter to shareholders in April, Trillium Asset Management backed the proposal against Zuckerberg, saying that Facebook’s board “has repeatedly appeared absent or unable to provide the oversight and accountability necessary” at this time. It also said that having a lead independent director was insufficient.“Let us not miss this opportunity to make a simple yet powerful change that will go a long way to creating a successful future,” Jonas Kron, Trillium’s senior vice president, said at Thursday’s meeting.Activist groups Change of Color and Majority Action also asked shareholders to vote against Zuckerberg. The groups cited key executive departures like that of chief product officer Chris Cox, Facebook’s failure to stop the spread of hate and misinformation, and privacy concerns.The organizations also encouraged shareholders to support separate proposals that would have given shareholders with equal voting power to board directors and require Facebook to provide more details about subjects like its gender pay gap and business structure. Those proposals also failed.This isn’t the first time shareholders have voted on removing Zuckerberg as chairman. In 2017, a group of shareholders suggested that Zuckerberg had too much power and that the company needed an independent chair to keep him in check.That proposal failed.Trillium knew that the shareholders’ votes were unlikely to change anything this time around either, but it hoped to send a message to Facebook, nonetheless.“Results showing even 30% or 40% of outsider shares supporting an independent board chair will send a powerful message to leadership that must be taken seriously,” Trillium said in a letter it sent to shareholders in April in an effort to win their votes.You May Like Sponsored Content by Ultimate Software A Work Culture Built for All Generations HealthFormer GE CEO Jeff Immelt: To Combat Costs, CEOs Should Run Health Care Like a BusinessHealthFor Edie Falco, an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ After Surviving Breast CancerLeadershipGhosn Back, Tesla Drop, Boeing Report: CEO Daily for April 4, 2019AutosElon Musk’s Plan to Boost Tesla Sales Is Dealt a SetbackMPWJoe Biden, Netflix Pregnancy Lawsuit, Lesley McSpadden: Broadsheet April 4 read more