• As Thousands of Taxi Drivers Were Trapped in Loans, Top Officials Counted the Money - The New York Times

    [Read Part 1 of The Times’s investigation: How Reckless Loans Devastated a Generation of Taxi Drivers]

    At a cramped desk on the 22nd floor of a downtown Manhattan office building, Gary Roth spotted a looming disaster.

    An urban planner with two master’s degrees, Mr. Roth had a new job in 2010 analyzing taxi policy for the New York City government. But almost immediately, he noticed something disturbing: The price of a taxi medallion — the permit that lets a driver own a cab — had soared to nearly $700,000 from $200,000. In order to buy medallions, drivers were taking out loans they could not afford.

    Mr. Roth compiled his concerns in a report, and he and several colleagues warned that if the city did not take action, the loans would become unsustainable and the market could collapse.

    They were not the only ones worried about taxi medallions. In Albany, state inspectors gave a presentation to top officials showing that medallion owners were not making enough money to support their loans. And in Washington, D.C., federal examiners repeatedly noted that banks were increasing profits by steering cabbies into risky loans.

    They were all ignored.

    Medallion prices rose above $1 million before crashing in late 2014, wiping out the futures of thousands of immigrant drivers and creating a crisis that has continued to ravage the industry today. Despite years of warning signs, at least seven government agencies did little to stop the collapse, The New York Times found.

    Instead, eager to profit off medallions or blinded by the taxi industry’s political connections, the agencies that were supposed to police the industry helped a small group of bankers and brokers to reshape it into their own moneymaking machine, according to internal records and interviews with more than 50 former government employees.

    For more than a decade, the agencies reduced oversight of the taxi trade, exempted it from regulations, subsidized its operations and promoted its practices, records and interviews showed.

    Their actions turned one of the best-known symbols of New York — its signature yellow cabs — into a financial trap for thousands of immigrant drivers. More than 950 have filed for bankruptcy, according to a Times analysis of court records, and many more struggle to stay afloat.

    Remember the ‘10,000 Hours’ Rule for Success? Forget About It
    “Nobody wanted to upset the industry,” said David Klahr, who from 2007 to 2016 held several management posts at the Taxi and Limousine Commission, the city agency that oversees cabs. “Nobody wanted to kill the golden goose.”

    New York City in particular failed the taxi industry, The Times found. Two former mayors, Rudolph W. Giuliani and Michael R. Bloomberg, placed political allies inside the Taxi and Limousine Commission and directed it to sell medallions to help them balance budgets and fund priorities. Mayor Bill de Blasio continued the policies.

    Under Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. de Blasio, the city made more than $855 million by selling taxi medallions and collecting taxes on private sales, according to the city.

    But during that period, much like in the mortgage lending crisis, a group of industry leaders enriched themselves by artificially inflating medallion prices. They encouraged medallion buyers to borrow as much as possible and ensnared them in interest-only loans and other one-sided deals that often required them to pay hefty fees, forfeit their legal rights and give up most of their monthly incomes.

    When the medallion market collapsed, the government largely abandoned the drivers who bore the brunt of the crisis. Officials did not bail out borrowers or persuade banks to soften loan terms.

    “They sell us medallions, and they knew it wasn’t worth price. They knew,” said Wael Ghobrayal, 42, an Egyptian immigrant who bought a medallion at a city auction for $890,000 and now cannot make his loan payments and support his three children.

    “They lost nothing. I lost everything,” he said.

    The Times conducted hundreds of interviews, reviewed thousands of records and built several databases to unravel the story of the downfall of the taxi industry in New York and across the United States. The investigation unearthed a collapse that was years in the making, aided almost as much by regulators as by taxi tycoons.

    Publicly, government officials have blamed the crisis on competition from ride-hailing firms such as Uber and Lyft.

    In interviews with The Times, they blamed each other.

    The officials who ran the city Taxi and Limousine Commission in the run-up to the crash said it was the job of bank examiners, not the commission, to control lending practices.

    The New York Department of Financial Services said that while it supervised some of the banks involved in the taxi industry, it deferred to federal inspectors in many cases.

    The federal agency that oversaw many of the largest lenders in the industry, the National Credit Union Administration, said those lenders were meeting the needs of borrowers.

    The N.C.U.A. released a March 2019 internal audit that scolded its regulators for not aggressively enforcing rules in medallion lending. But even that audit partially absolved the government. The lenders, it said, all had boards of directors that were supposed to prevent reckless practices.

    And several officials criticized Congress, which two decades ago excepted credit unions in the taxi industry from some rules that applied to other credit unions. After that, the officials said, government agencies had to treat those lenders differently.

    Ultimately, former employees said, the regulatory system was set up to ensure that lenders were financially stable, and medallions were sold. But almost nothing protected the drivers.

    Matthew W. Daus, far right, at a hearing of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission in 2004. CreditMarilynn K. Yee/The New York Times
    Matthew W. Daus was an unconventional choice to regulate New York’s taxi industry. He was a lawyer from Brooklyn and a leader of a political club that backed Mr. Giuliani for mayor.

    The Giuliani administration hired him as a lawyer for the Taxi and Limousine Commission before appointing him chairman in 2001, a leadership post he kept after Mr. Bloomberg became mayor in 2002.

    The commission oversaw the drivers and fleets that owned the medallions for the city’s 12,000 cabs. It licensed all participants and decided what cabs could charge, where they could go and which type of vehicle they could use.

    And under Mr. Bloomberg, it also began selling 1,000 new medallions.

    At the time, the mayor said the growing city needed more yellow cabs. But he also was eager for revenue. He had a $3.8 billion hole in his budget.

    The sales put the taxi commission in an unusual position.

    It had a long history of being entangled with the industry. Its first chairman, appointed in 1971, was convicted of a bribery scheme involving an industry lobbyist. Four other leaders since then had worked in the business.

    It often sent staffers to conferences where companies involved in the taxi business paid for liquor, meals and tickets to shows, and at least one past member of its board had run for office in a campaign financed by the industry.

    Still, the agency had never been asked to generate so much money from the business it was supposed to be regulating.

    Former staffers said officials chose to sell medallions with the method they thought would bring in the most revenue: a series of limited auctions that required participants to submit sealed bids above ever-increasing minimums.

    Ahead of the sales, the city placed ads on television and radio, and in newspapers and newsletters, and held seminars promoting the “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

    “Medallions have a long history as a solid investment with steady growth,” Mr. Daus wrote in one newsletter. In addition to guaranteed employment, he wrote, “a medallion is collateral that can assist in home financing, college tuition or even ‘worry-free’ retirement.”

    At the first auctions under Mr. Bloomberg in 2004, bids topped $300,000, surprising experts.

    Some former staffers said in interviews they believed the ad campaign inappropriately inflated prices by implying medallions would make buyers rich, no matter the cost. Seven said they complained.

    The city eventually added a disclaimer to ads, saying past performance did not guarantee future results. But it kept advertising.

    During the same period, the city also posted information on its website that said that medallion prices were, on average, 13 percent higher than they really were, according to a Times data analysis.

    In several interviews, Mr. Daus defended the ad campaigns, saying they reached people who had been unable to break into the tight market. The ads were true at the time, he said. He added he had never heard internal complaints about the ads.

    In all, the city held 16 auctions between 2004 and 2014.

    “People don’t realize how organized it is,” Andrew Murstein, president of Medallion Financial, a lender to medallion buyers, said in a 2011 interview with Tearsheet Podcast. “The City of New York, more or less, is our partner because they want to see prices go as high as possible.”

    Help from a federal agency

    New York City made more than $855 million from taxi medallion sales under Mayor Bill de Blasio and his predecessor, Michael R. Bloomberg.

    For decades, a niche banking system had grown up around the taxi industry, and at its center were about half a dozen nonprofit credit unions that specialized in medallion loans. But as the auctions continued, the families that ran the credit unions began to grow frustrated.

    Around them, they saw other lenders making money by issuing loans that they could not because of the rules governing credit unions. They recognized a business opportunity, and they wanted in.

    They found a receptive audience at the National Credit Union Administration.

    The N.C.U.A. was the small federal agency that regulated the nation’s credit unions. It set the rules, examined their books and insured their accounts.

    Like the city taxi commission, the N.C.U.A. had long had ties to the industry that it regulated. One judge had called it a “rogue federal agency” focused on promoting the industry.

    In 2004, its chairman was Dennis Dollar, a former Mississippi state representative who had previously worked as the chief executive of a credit union. He had just been inducted into the Mississippi Credit Union Hall of Fame, and he had said one of his top priorities was streamlining regulation.

    Dennis Dollar, the former chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, is now a consultant in the industry. 

    Under Mr. Dollar and others, the N.C.U.A. issued waivers that exempted medallion loans from longstanding rules, including a regulation requiring each loan to have a down payment of at least 20 percent. The waivers allowed the lenders to keep up with competitors and to write more profitable loans.

    Mr. Dollar, who left government to become a consultant for credit unions, said the agency was following the lead of Congress, which passed a law in 1998 exempting credit unions specializing in medallion loans from some regulations. The law signaled that those lenders needed leeway, such as the waivers, he said.

    “If we did not do so, the average cabdriver couldn’t get a medallion loan,” Mr. Dollar said.

    The federal law and the N.C.U.A. waivers were not the only benefits the industry received. The federal government also provided many medallion lenders with financial assistance and guaranteed a portion of their taxi loans, assuring that if those loans failed, they would still be partially paid, according to records and interviews.

    As lenders wrote increasingly risky loans, medallion prices neared $500,000 in 2006.

    ‘Snoozing and napping’

    Under Mr. Bloomberg, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission began selling 1,000 new medallions.

    Another agency was also supposed to be keeping an eye on lending practices. New York State banking regulators are required to inspect all financial institutions chartered in the state. But after 2008, they were forced to focus their attention on the banks most affected by the global economic meltdown, according to former employees.

    As a result, some industry veterans said, the state stopped examining medallion loans closely.

    “The state banking department would come in, and they’d be doing the exam in one room, and the N.C.U.A. would be in another room,” said Larry Fisher, who was then the medallion lending supervisor at Melrose Credit Union, one of the biggest lenders. “And you could catch the state banking department snoozing and napping and going on the internet and not doing much at all.”

    The state banking department, which is now called the New York Department of Financial Services, disputed that characterization and said it had acted consistently and appropriately.

    Former federal regulators described a similar trend at their agencies after the recession.

    Some former employees of the N.C.U.A., the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said that as medallion prices climbed, they tried to raise issues with loans and were told not to worry. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve Board also oversaw some lenders and did not intervene.

    A spokesman for the Federal Reserve said the agency was not a primary regulator of the taxi lending industry. The rest of the agencies declined to comment.

    “It was obvious that the loans were unusual and risky,” said Patrick Collins, a former N.C.U.A. examiner. But, he said, there was a belief inside his agency that the loans would be fine because the industry had been stable for decades.

    Meanwhile, in New York City, the taxi commission reduced oversight.

    For years, it had made medallion purchasers file forms describing how they came up with the money, including details on all loans. It also had required industry participants to submit annual disclosures on their finances, loans and conflicts of interest.

    But officials never analyzed the forms filed by buyers, and in the 2000s, they stopped requiring the annual disclosures altogether.

    “Reviewing these disclosures was an onerous lift for us,” the commission’s communications office said in a recent email.

    By 2008, the price of a medallion rose to $600,000.

    At around the same time, the commission began focusing on new priorities. It started developing the “Taxi of Tomorrow,” a model for future cabs.

    The agency’s main enforcement activities targeted drivers who cheated passengers or discriminated against people of color. “Nobody really scrutinized medallion transfers,” said Charles Tortorici, a former commission lawyer.

    A spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement that during the mayor’s tenure, the city improved the industry by installing credit card machines and GPS devices, making fleets more environmentally efficient and creating green taxis for boroughs outside Manhattan.

    “The industry was always its own worst enemy, fighting every reform tooth and nail,” said the spokesman, Marc La Vorgna. “We put our energy and political capital into the reforms that most directly and immediately impacted the riding public.”

    Records show that since 2008, the taxi commission has not taken a single enforcement action against brokers, the powerful players who arrange medallion sales and loans.

    Alex Korenkov, a broker, suggested in an interview that he and other brokers took notice of the city’s hands-off approach.

    “Let’s put it this way,” he said. “If governing body does not care, then free-for-all.”

    By the time that Mr. Roth wrote his report at the Taxi and Limousine Commission in 2010, it was clear that something strange was happening in the medallion market.

    Mr. Daus gave a speech that year that mentioned the unusual lending practices. During the speech, he said banks were letting medallion buyers obtain loans without any down payment. Experts have since said that should have raised red flags. But at the time, Mr. Daus seemed pleased.

    “Some of these folks were offering zero percent down,” he said. “You tell me what bank walks around asking for zero percent down on a loan? It’s just really amazing.”

    In interviews, Mr. Daus acknowledged that the practice was unusual but said the taxi commission had no authority over lending.

    Inside the commission, at least four employees raised concerns about the medallion prices and lending practices, according to the employees, who described their own unease as well as Mr. Roth’s report.

    David S. Yassky, a former city councilman who succeeded Mr. Daus as commission chairman in 2010, said in an interview that he never saw Mr. Roth’s report.

    Mr. Yassky said the medallion prices puzzled him, but he could not determine if they were inflated, in part because people were still eager to buy. Medallions may have been undervalued for decades, and the price spike could have been the market recognizing the true value, he suggested.

    Meera Joshi, who became chairwoman in 2014, said in an interview that she was worried about medallion costs and lending practices but was pushed to prioritize other responsibilities. Dominic Williams, Mr. de Blasio’s chief policy adviser, said the city focused on initiatives such as improving accessibility because no one was complaining about loans.

    Worries about the taxi industry also emerged at the National Credit Union Administration. In late 2011, as the price of some medallions reached $800,000, a group of agency examiners wrote a paper on the risks in the industry, according to a recent report by the agency’s inspector general.

    In 2012, 2013 and 2014, inspectors routinely documented instances of credit unions violating lending rules, the inspector general’s report said.

    David S. Yassky, the former chairman of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

    The N.C.U.A. chose not to penalize medallion lenders or impose extra oversight. It did not take any wide industry action until April 2014, when it sent a letter reminding the credit unions in the taxi market to act responsibly.

    Former staffers said the agency was still focused on the fallout from the recession.

    A spokesman for the N.C.U.A. disputed that characterization and said the agency conducted appropriate enforcement.

    He added the agency took actions to ensure the credit unions remained solvent, which was its mission. He said Congress allowed the lenders to concentrate heavily on medallion loans, which left them vulnerable when Uber and Lyft arrived.

    At the New York Department of Financial Services, bank examiners noticed risky practices and interest-only loans and repeatedly wrote warnings starting in 2010, according to the state. At least one report expressed concern of a potential market bubble, the state said.

    Eventually, examiners became so concerned that they made a PowerPoint presentation and called a meeting in 2014 to show it to a dozen top officials.

    “Since 2001, individual medallion has risen 455%,” the presentation warned, according to a copy obtained by The Times. The presentation suggested state action, such as sending a letter to the industry or revoking charters from some lenders.

    The state did neither. The department had recently merged with the insurance department, and former employees said it was finding its footing.

    The department superintendent at the time, Benjamin M. Lawsky, a former aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, said he did not, as a rule, discuss his tenure at the department.

    In an emailed statement, the department denied it struggled after the merger and said it took action to stop the collapse of the medallion market. A department spokesman provided a long list of warnings, suggestions and guidelines that it said examiners had issued to lenders. He said that starting in 2012, the department downgraded some of its own internal ratings of the lenders.

    The list did not include any instances of the department formally penalizing a medallion lender, or making any public statement about the industry before it collapsed.

    Between 2010 and 2014, as officials at every level of government failed to rein in the risky lending practices, records show that roughly 1,500 people bought taxi medallions. Over all, including refinancings of old loans and extensions required by banks, medallion owners signed at least 10,000 loans in that time.

    Several regulators who tried to raise alarms said they believed the government stood aside because of the industry’s connections.

    Many pointed to one company — Medallion Financial, run by the Murstein family. Former Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, the current governor’s father, was a paid member of its board from 1996 until he died in 2015.

    Others noted that Mr. de Blasio has long been close to the industry. When he ran for mayor in 2013, an industry lobbyist, Michael Woloz, was a top fund-raiser, records show. And Evgeny Freidman, a major fleet owner who has admitted to artificially inflating medallion prices, has said he is close to the mayor.

    Some people, including Mr. Dollar, the former N.C.U.A. chairman, said Congress excepted the taxi trade from rules because the industry was supported by former United States Senator Alfonse D’Amato of New York, who was then the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

    “The taxi industry is one of the most politically connected industries in the city,” said Fidel Del Valle, who was the chairman of the taxi commission from 1991 to 1994. He later worked as a lawyer for drivers and a consultant to an owner association run by Mr. Freidman. “It’s been that way for decades, and they’ve used that influence to push back on regulation, with a lot of success.”

    A spokesman for Mr. Cuomo said Medallion Financial was not regulated by the state, so the elder Mr. Cuomo’s position on the board was irrelevant. A spokeswoman for Mr. de Blasio said the industry’s connections did not influence the city.

    Mr. Murstein, Mr. Woloz, Mr. Freidman and Mr. D’Amato all declined to comment.

    The aftermath
    “I think city will help me,” Mohammad Hossain, who is in deep debt from a taxi medallion loan, said at his family’s home in the Bronx.

    New York held its final independent medallion auction in February 2014. By then, concerns about medallion prices were common in the news media and government offices, and Uber had established itself. Still, the city sold medallions to more than 150 bidders. (“It’s better than the stock market,” one ad said.)

    Forty percent of the people who bought medallions at that auction have filed for bankruptcy, according to a Times analysis of court records.

    Mohammad Hossain, 47, from Bangladesh, who purchased a medallion for $853,000 at the auction, said he could barely make his monthly payments and was getting squeezed by his lender. “I bought medallion from the city,” he said through tears. “I think city will help me, you know. I assume that.”

    The de Blasio administration’s only major response to the crisis has been to push for a cap on ride-hail cars. The City Council at first rejected a cap in 2015 before approving it last year.

    Taxi industry veterans said the cap did not address the cause of the crisis: the lending practices.

    Richard Weinberg, a taxi commission hearing officer from 1988 to 2002 and a lawyer for drivers since then, said that when the medallion bubble began to burst, the city should have frozen prices, adjusted fares and fees and convinced banks to be flexible with drivers. That could have allowed prices to fall slowly. “That could’ve saved a lot of people,” he said.

    In an interview, Dean Fuleihan, the first deputy mayor, said the city did help taxi owners, including by reducing some fees, taxes and inspection mandates, and by talking to banks about loans. He said that if the City Council had passed the cap in 2015, it would have helped.

    “We do care about those drivers, we care about those families. We attempted throughout this period to take actions,” he said.

    Federal regulators also have not significantly helped medallion owners.

    In 2017 and 2018, the N.C.U.A. closed or merged several credit unions for “unsafe business practices” in medallion lending. It took over many of the loans, but did not soften terms, according to borrowers. Instead, it tried to get money out as quickly as possible.

    The failure of the credit unions has cost the national credit union insurance fund more than $750 million, which will hurt all credit union members.

    In August 2018, the N.C.U.A. closed Melrose in what it said was the biggest credit union liquidation in United States history. The agency barred Melrose’s general counsel from working for credit unions and brought civil charges against its former C.E.O., Alan Kaufman, saying he used company funds to help industry partners in exchange for gifts.

    The general counsel, Mitchell Reiver, declined to answer questions but said he did nothing wrong. Mr. Kaufman said in an interview that the N.C.U.A. made up the charges to distract from its role in the crisis.

    “I’m definitely a scapegoat,” Mr. Kaufman said. “There’s no doubt about it.”

    Glamour, then poverty
    After he struggled to repay his taxi medallion loan, Abel Vela left his family in New York and moved back to Peru, where living costs were cheaper. 

    During the medallion bubble, the city produced a television commercial to promote the permits. In the ad, which aired in 2004, four cabbies stood around a taxi discussing the perks of the job. One said buying a medallion was the best decision he had ever made. They all smiled. Then Mr. Daus appeared on screen to announce an auction.

    Fifteen years later, the cabbies remember the ad with scorn. Three of the four were eventually enticed to refinance their original loans under far riskier terms that left them in heavy debt.

    One of the cabbies, Abel Vela, had to leave his wife and children and return to his home country, Peru, because living costs were lower there. He is now 74 and still working to survive.

    The city aired a commercial in 2004 to promote an upcoming auction of taxi medallions. The ad featured real cab drivers, but three of them eventually took on risky loans and suffered financial blows.
    The only woman in the ad, Marie Applyrs, a Haitian immigrant, fell behind on her loan payments and filed for bankruptcy in November 2017. She lost her cab, and her home. She now lives with her children, switching from home to home every few months.

    “When the ad happened, the taxi was in vogue. I think I still have the tape somewhere. It was glamorous,” she said. “Now, I’m in the poorhouse.”

    Today, the only person from the television commercial still active in the industry is Mr. Daus. He works as a lawyer for lenders.

    [Read Part 1 of The Times’s investigation: How Reckless Loans Devastated a Generation of Taxi Drivers]

    Madeline Rosenberg contributed reporting. Doris Burke contributed research. Produced by Jeffrey Furticella and Meghan Louttit.

    #USA #New_York #Taxi #Betrug #Ausbeutung

  • Venezuela: Exodus of Doctors Bring Help to Latin America’s Poor - Bloomberg

    An exodus of more than 22,000 physicians in the past five years is reshaping medicine in the region.
    If Guaido succeeds and Venezuela’s economy stirs to life, some of the 3 million people who left might return. For now, however, the human deluge offers regional governments an unexpected wellspring of talent.

    The influx offers an opportunity to strengthen public services in a region of deep inequality, said Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington.

    This is Latin America’s moment to utilize human capital from Venezuela, providing access outside of the capital cities and, in the meantime, helping the migrants find work,” Selee said. “It’s a win-win, but you have to make sure you provide a way for professionals to obtain credentials and get those professionals to areas where there is need for their services.

  • * Nissan a-t-il fomenté un « coup d’Etat » interne ? (nxp/ats) - 23 Novembre 2018 - 20minutes.CH

    Nissan a retrouvé la santé et ne supportait plus de voir les technologies, la production de certains véhicules et une partie des bénéfices récupérés par Renault.

    La spectaculaire déchéance de Carlos Ghosn, patron de l’alliance Renault-Nissan, pourrait en fait cacher un « coup d’Etat » du groupe japonais à l’encontre de son sauveur afin d’éviter une alliance encore plus poussée avec le constructeur français, estiment certains analystes du secteur.

    Ces derniers mois, le ressentiment perlait dans la presse japonaise, surtout depuis qu’avaient surgi au printemps des rumeurs de fusion du duo original né en 1999, un scénario qui ne plaît pas vraiment au Japon.

    Lundi, ces frictions sont apparues au grand jour quand le patron de Nissan, Hiroto Saikawa, a mis en pièces l’héritage de M. Ghosn, actuel président du conseil d’administration, qui a pourtant sauvé le constructeur de la faillite.

    Loin des éloges dont a longtemps été couvert le charismatique dirigeant, M. Saikawa a réécrit l’histoire en « décrivant le redressement comme étant le fruit du travail d’un important groupe de personnes », a commenté Christopher Richter, analyste du secteur automobile au sein de la société de courtage CLSA.

    Il l’a en outre « qualifié de cerveau de la #combine ». « J’ai trouvé ces propos déplacés tant que les faits n’ont pas été complètement établis », dit l’expert.

    « Frustration »
    Au vu du ton adopté, les tensions remontent cependant à bien plus loin que cette année. « Elles couvaient sous la surface au cours des récentes années et ont enfin éclaté de façon brutale », écrit David Fickling, éditorialiste pour l’agence financière Bloomberg News.

    Au point que Hiroto Saikawa a dû répondre à des questions sur un « coup d’Etat », une opinion partagée par Nobutaka Kazama, professeur à l’université Meiji de Tokyo. « Il a pu être planifié dans l’espoir de rejeter une intégration à l’initiative de Renault ».

    « Il semble y avoir une sorte de frustration et des inquiétudes de la direction », explique de son côté M. Richter. « Nissan a des envies d’indépendance », estime-t-il.

    Aux prémices de l’aventure, #Nissan, criblé de dettes, faisait figure de maillon faible. Mais la firme renaît vite de ses cendres, au prix de la sévère restructuration sous l’égide du « gourou » Ghosn.

    Si elle a été affaiblie par de récents scandales liés à l’inspection des véhicules au #Japon, la société affiche des comptes plutôt solides.

    « Sa propre voie »
    Chaque année, sa contribution aux résultats du français est significative, ce qui fait grincer des dents chez les employés japonais, agacés de voir les technologies, la production de certains véhicules (comme la petite berline Micra fabriquée en France) et une partie des bénéfices récupérés par #Renault, rapportait au fil des ans la presse nippone.

    Des reproches repris mardi par le quotidien économique Nikkei, qui ajoutait qu’après des années d’acceptation silencieuse, « il y avait au sein de Nissan des critiques grandissantes sur les rémunérations excessives de M. Ghosn ».

    La division s’était accentuée en 2015 après une montée temporaire de l’Etat français au capital de Renault, une manoeuvre qui avait ravivé l’inquiétude au sein de Nissan, et M. Ghosn s’était justement donné pour mission de solidifier l’alliance.

    Renault détient 43% de Nissan, qui possède quant à lui 15% du groupe au losange. « Est-ce que ce bain de sang sera suffisant pour dompter les tensions ? », lance M. Fickling. « Il est évident depuis pas mal de temps que Nissan ne souhaite pas d’un changement qui ne reflèterait pas sa position centrale dans le groupe ».

    Dans ce contexte houleux, le nouveau patron de Nissan semble avoir donc sauté sur l’occasion pour s’émanciper d’un encombrant modèle.

    « M. Saikawa utilise visiblement les accusations contre M. Ghosn pour accroître son poids sur Nissan et marquer la compagnie de son empreinte », résume Hans Greimel, expert d’Automotive News basé au Japon.

    #Mitsubishi_Motors s’est lui aussi retourné contre celui qui l’a sauvé de la débâcle en 2016 : il a prévu de convoquer rapidement un conseil d’administration afin de démettre #Carlos_Ghosn de la présidence.

    Seul Renault, probablement le plus affecté par l’affaire qui touche son PDG, est pour l’instant resté prudent. Mais même s’il n’est pas poussé vers la sortie, M. Ghosn pourrait avoir du mal à se maintenir à sa tête.

  • Douglas Schifter blamed politicians for ruining life | Daily Mail Online

    Livery cab driver who shot himself dead in front of New York’s City Hall blamed politicians and ride-sharing services like Uber for ’financially ruining’ his life

    A livery driver shot himself dead in his car in front of New York’s City Hall on Monday morning after venting on Facebook about the transportation industry
    Douglas Schifter, 61, wrote a lengthy post about two hours before his death blaming ride-sharing services as well as politicians for financially ruining his life
    Schifter, a driver since the ’80s, also ranted about issues in the transportation industry in columns he wrote for the for-hire publication Black Car News
    Neil Weiss, owner of Black Car News, said his friend had been struggling to pay his bills recently and had to move in with extended family in Pennsylvania

    By Minyvonne Burke For and Associated Press

    Published: 18:47 GMT, 6 February 2018 | Updated: 00:06 GMT, 7 February 2018

    A livery cab driver in New York vented on Facebook that politicians and ride-sharing services like Uber had ’financially ruined’ his life hours before he shot himself dead on Monday in front of New York’s City Hall.

    Douglas Schifter drove up to the east gate of City Hall around 7.10am and shot himself in the head while sitting in his car, the New York Police Department said. The 61-year-old driver was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was injured.

    Around 5:30am, less than two hours before his suicide, Schifter posted an ominous message on Facebook blaming Uber as well as Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Michael Bloomberg for destroying his livelihood.

    ’I have been financially ruined because three politicians destroyed my industry and livelihood and Corporate NY stole my services at rates far below fair levels,’ Schifter wrote in a lengthy post.
    Douglas Schifter, a livery can driver in New York, killed himself on Monday morning

    Douglas Schifter, a livery can driver in New York, killed himself on Monday morning
    Police said Schifter drove to the east gate of New York’s City Hall and shot himself in the head

    Police said Schifter drove to the east gate of New York’s City Hall and shot himself in the head
    About two hours before his death, Schifter vented on Facebook that ride-sharing services like Uber as well as politicians had ’financially ruined’ his life

    About two hours before his death, Schifter vented on Facebook that ride-sharing services like Uber as well as politicians had ’financially ruined’ his life

    ’I worked 100-120 consecutive hours almost every week for the past fourteen years. When the industry started in 1981, I averaged 40-50 hours. I cannot survive any longer with working 120 hours! I am not a Slave and I refuse to be one.’

    Schifter accused companies of not paying their drivers ’fair rates’ which in turn caused drivers desperate to make ends meet to ’squeeze rates to below operating costs and force professionals like me out of the business’.

    ’They count their money and we are driven down into the streets we drive becoming homeless and hungry. I will not be a slave working for chump change. I would rather be dead,’ he fumed.

    Later in the post, Schifter slammed Uber as a company ’that is a known liar, cheat and thief’.

    Schifter expressed similar frustrations in columns he wrote for Black Car News, a publication for the for-hire vehicle industry.

    While venting about congestion pricing, Schifter wrote: ’The government is continuing its strong drive to enslave us with low wages and extreme fines. It’s a nightmare.’

    Neil Weiss, a friend of Schifter’s and the owner of Black Car News, said Schifter had been struggling to pay bills and moved in with extended family in Pennsylvania. He said his pal had texted him about 90 minutes before he killed himself that he was ’making it count’.

    ’I worked 100-120 consecutive hours almost every week for the past fourteen years. I am not a Slave and I refuse to be one’, the 61-year-old driver wrote on his Facebook page

    According to taxi and limousine records, Schifter had driver livery cabs, black cars and limousines since the early 1980s

    Weiss told the New York Post that he assumed Schifter’s cryptic message was in reference to the Facebook post his friend shared earlier on Monday.

    ’Obviously, that’s not what he meant,’ he said.

    ’He was a really sweet guy. His life had just gotten destroyed by the way the transportation industry had been going in New York City. There’s been some very significant adjustments in the past few years.’

    According to Weiss, Schifter complained for years that the change in their industry - which saw an increase in drivers and the introduction of ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber - was ’hurting a lot of people’.

    ’There’s been a lot of changes in the transportation industry in New York City over the past bunch of years and not for the better,’ Weiss said. ’I was hoping he was getting things together.’

    Taxi and limousine records show that Schifter had driven livery cabs, black cars and limousines since the early 1980s.

    #USA #travail #disruption #suicide #Uber #taxi

  • Europe Billionaires Are in High Seas ‘Arms Race’ - Bloomberg

    A shopping spree by two billionaires is shaking up a shipping industry still recovering from years of falling rates and overcapacity.

    Jacques Saade’s CMA CGM SA, the world’s third-largest container line, announced an order for nine massive vessels in September, after a year of tepid sales for new ships. Within days, Gianluigi Aponte’s Mediterranean Shipping Co., the No. 2 container line, confirmed it had lobbed in an order for 11 behemoths, each of which can hold 22,000 shipping containers, enough capacity for 44,000 cars or 8.8 million 50-inch TVs.

    The orders amounted to almost $2.9 billion combined, according to London-based Vessels Value, an online ship-valuation database. Longer than 3 1/2 football fields, the container ships will be among the largest ever built.

    Question finale, dont on peut sans doute omettre le dernier mot…

    It becomes kind of like an arms race,” said Lee Klaskow, a shipping analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “Who has the biggest ship?

  • #TPP Nations Meet in Canada to Discuss Fate of Pact Without U.S. - Bloomberg

    Canada is hosting a round of exploratory negotiations on the future of the #Trans_Pacific_Partnership after the U.S. bowed out.

    Senior trade officials from every remaining signatory country will convene the so-called #TPP-minus-one talks in Toronto on Tuesday and Wednesday. While ministers won’t attend, the event is expected to set the stage for an upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit of trade ministers in Vietnam.

    This week’s talks are also the latest sign of Canada looking to pivot in part away from its biggest trading partner — coming amid escalating disputes with President Donald Trump’s administration over the North American Free Trade Agreement, softwood lumber and the dairy sector.

  • How to use the Bloomberg Terminal for advocacy work: the basics

    Juste survolé rapidement, ça parait très intéressant mais cher

    Partie 1

    The Bloomberg Professional service is Windows-based proprietary software that offers users real-time access to global news sources, financial data, and analytics tools. It comes with a special keyboard and monitors, but is commonly referred to as the “Bloomberg Terminal” from the early 1980s versions that came as an actual computer terminal.

    Historically, only for-profit financial organizations have used the Bloomberg Terminal. However, it has vast resources with useful data that the advocacy community could be leveraging to enact change. These include information about securities, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) information, global news feeds, shipping and port locations, and research reports from various institutions.

    Bloomberg Finance L.P., the company that makes the terminal, has identified the non-profit sector as an underrepresented constituency in its user base. This lack of representation can be explained partly by the high expense of obtaining a terminal, which costs $24,000 a year, and partly by a lack of awareness in the advocacy community. Bloomberg Terminals may be available at larger non-profit firms or research institutions.

    The initial Bloomberg welcome screen shown below has links to various tools like securities information, help functions, and links to customization menus.

    Partie 2
    Tracking assets for environmental advocacy work with Bloomberg

    Partie 3
    How to use the #Bloomberg_Terminal for advocacy work: advanced tools
    je sais pas trop comment taguer #données #ressources #ressources_naturelles

  • These Three Maps Show How Drugs Move Around the World - Bloomberg Business

    In 2013, 246 million people worldwide—one of every 20 people between the ages of 15 and 64—used an illegal drug. Some 27 million of those are problem drug users suffering from addiction, dependence, or other disorders.

    #drogues #trafic #cartographie

  • Europe Wants to Punish Greece With Exit - Bloomberg View

    The creditor institutions, he said, had shown flexibility and sought compromise. Their most recent offer involved no wage cuts, he emphasized, and no pension cuts; it was a package that created “more social fairness.” Tsipras had misled Greeks about what the creditors were asking. The talks were getting somewhere. Agreement on this package could have been reached “easily” if Tsipras hadn’t collapsed the process early Saturday by calling a referendum.

    What an outrageous passel of distortion.

    • In my more than 30 years writing about politics and economics, I have never before witnessed such an episode of sustained, self-righteous, ruinous and dissembling incompetence — and I’m not talking about Alexis Tsipras and Syriza. As the damage mounts, the effort to rewrite the history of the European Union’s abject failure over Greece is already underway. Pending a fuller postmortem, a little clarity on the immediate issues is in order.

      Ouaouh, chroniqueur chez Bloomberg, ancien du FT, on a connu plus gauchiste…

  • The Way Humans Get Electricity Is About to Change Forever - Bloomberg Business

    The Climate Is Still Screwed
    The shift to renewables is happening shockingly fast, but not fast enough to prevent perilous levels of global warming.

    About $8 trillion, or two thirds of the world’s spending on new power capacity3 over the next 25 years, will go toward renewables. Still, without additional policy action by governments, global carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector will continue to rise until 2029 and will remain 13 percent higher than today’s pollution levels in 2040.

    That’s not enough to prevent the surface of the Earth from heating more than 2 degrees Celsius, according to BNEF.

  • Grèce : les créanciers ont refusé les propositions grecques

    Les créanciers de la Grèce ont rejeté les propositions d’Athènes, a annoncé ce matin à son gouvernement le Premier ministre grec Alexis Tsipras, juste avant son départ pour Bruxelles, d’après l’agence Bloomberg qui cite, anonymement, un membre du gouvernement.

    D’après une source gouvernementale anonyme citée par l’AFP, [il] a déploré "l’insistance de certaines institutions qui n’acceptent pas des mesures compensatoires". Il visait en particulier le Fonds monétaire international qui, selon Athènes, n’accepte pas certaines des propositions grecques, a indiqué à l’AFP une autre source gouvernementale.
    Désormais révélé en détail par le quotidien grec Kathimerini, le plan grec a pourtant la main lourde : les mesures prévues s’élèvent sur deux ans à 8 milliards d’euros, soit 4,4 % du PIB. Le relèvement de la TVA pour 2,1 milliards d’euros, des cotisations salariales pour 1,9 milliard d’euros et des taxes sur les entreprises de 2,2 milliards d’euros conduiront inévitablement à un affaiblissement de la demande dans un pays où elle demeure très faible.

    Certains économistes grecs estiment que l’effet négatif sur la croissance pourrait être de deux points de PIB et une rumeur de marché évoquait mardi 23 juin une étude de la Deutsche Bank qui évoquait un effet allant jusqu’à 3 points de PIB. Du reste, mardi, dans les rues d’Athènes, un seul mot semblait sur toutes les lèvres, celui « d’austérité », à laquelle le gouvernement se serait rallié.

      voir également

      On voit donc se dessiner la stratégie de l’Eurogroupe : exiger toujours plus de concessions, pilonner sans cesse les lignes rouges du gouvernement grec pour les abattre. Le but de cette instance n’est pas de trouver un « compromis », c’est de supprimer ces lignes rouges, autrement dit la hausse de la TVA sur l’électricité et l’énergie, et de pratiquer des coupes dans les pensions. Peu importe que la Grèce propose des équivalences, l’Eurogroupe veut profiter du peu de temps qu’il reste jusqu’à la date butoir du 30 juin - date à partir de laquelle le défaut vis-à-vis du FMI deviendra effectif - pour faire céder le plus possible Athènes.

      Chaque concession est donc prise comme un aveu de faiblesse d’Athènes et conduit donc à enfonce davantage le clou. C’est la preuve que le but des créanciers n’est pas d’obtenir de simples garanties sur le remboursement de leurs créances, mais d’ouvrir avec l’accord un nouveau front, politique celui-là : mettre en difficulté, par ses concessions, Alexis Tsipras dans son propre camp.

      Contrairement à ce que martèle la presse occidentale, ce dernier n’est pas « otage » de son aile gauche, qui a accepté les concessions jusqu’aux lignes rouges, il est bien plutôt otage des créanciers qui le poussent à abandonner ces lignes rouges.

  • Marbella Misses Russian Money as Moscow Malaise Reaches Beaches - Bloomberg Business

    Marbella is missing the money that made living easy for big-spending Russians in the marina and nightclubs of the glitzy Spanish resort.

    Enfin, et c’est la conclusion de la vidéo, la crise russe n’a pas que des effets néfastes :

    … [the crisis] has one benefit: it separates the rich from the pretending.

  • Greece Looks to Merkel to Break Impasse as Plan Snarls Talks - Bloomberg Business

    Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government may be satisfied with Greece committing to at least one economic reform sought by creditors to open the door to bailout funds, according to two people familiar with Germany’s position.

  • Rencontres wahabo-sionistes:
    Israelis and Saudis Reveal Secret Talks to Thwart Iran - Bloomberg View

    Since the beginning of 2014, representatives from Israel and Saudi Arabia have had five secret meetings to discuss a common foe, Iran. On Thursday, the two countries came out of the closet by revealing this covert diplomacy at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.

  • Lester Brown portrait (How an American With a Knack for Math Saved India From Famine) - Bloomberg Business

    He’d begin his days reading newspapers from around the country, each of which seemed to carry isolated accounts of local droughts. That was one puzzle piece. The head of Esso (now ExxonMobil) in India, whom he met at a diplomatic reception, glowed about business: Indian farmers had doubled their diesel purchases over the previous year to power irrigation pumps running full throttle to water dying crops. One more piece of the puzzle. An embassy official Brown knew showed up at work unexpectedly one day when he had said he’d be in the north duck-hunting. The man had canceled his annual trip because the lake had run dry. Another piece.

    The anecdotal evidence piled up and pointed to one conclusion. The country’s farmers would fall dramatically short of the grain needed by Indians, then numbering 480 million. Famine was imminent.

    From whatever data he could assemble, Brown projected a deficit of at least 10 million tons of grain

    #inde #famine #agriculture #révolution_verte #écologie

  • Quelle est la vitesse du changement culturel ? - Bloomberg

    Alex Tribou et Keith Collins pour Bloomberg proposent une intéressante datavisualisation sur le changement culturel aux Etat-Unis. Combien d’années faut-il pour qu’un changement culturel ait lieu ? Les deux auteurs proposent de répondre via des infographies observant la vitesse à laquelle se répandent, dans les Etats américains, des législations ayant rapport au changement social, comme l’autorisation du mariage inter-racial, la fin de la prohibition, le droit de vote des femmes, le droit à l’avortement, le mariage entre personnes du même sexe, ou le droit à consommer de la marijuana. Pour eux, le changement social aux Etats-Unis suit un modèle constant : quelques Etats innovent, puis un événement clef - une décision de justice ou un campagne de mobilisation - fait basculer d’autres Etats et mène à un (...)

    #culture #politique

  • Des entreprises publiques au « hedge fund souverain », où va l’État actionnaire ?

    L’agence de presse économique #Bloomberg publie un portrait de Régis Turrini, « capitaliste sous couverture de la #France socialiste ». Ancien responsable des fusions-acquisitions chez #Vivendi, il est désormais directeur de l’Agence des participations de l’État (APE). Celle-ci est chargée de gérer les parts de l’État français dans les entreprises publiques ou semi-publiques. Régis Turrini défend une vision particulièrement provocatrice de son rôle, se comparant lui-même à Warren Buffett, et l’Agence dont il (...)


    / Bloomberg, France, #Finances_et_banques, Vivendi, #Renault, #État_actionnaire, #État_français, Agence des participations de l’État (APE), #financiarisation, #influence, #privatisation, secteur (...)

    #Agence_des_participations_de_l'État_APE_ #secteur_public


  • 4月21日のツイート

    Top story: by Facebook, see more posted at 06:17:12

    Top story: Elon Musk Had a Deal to Sell Tesla to Google in 2013 - Bloomberg Bus……, see more posted at 02:25:01

    via @eigahiho… posted at 00:33:21

    #poetry… posted at 00:08:47

  • Russian Hackers Use Zero-Days to Try to Get Sanctions Data - Bloomberg Business

    Hackers linked to the Russian government used previously unknown flaws in Microsoft Corp.’s Windows and Adobe Systems Inc.’s Flash to try to infiltrate discussions on sanctions policy, a person familiar with the attack said.
    The spying scheme was detected on April 13 by U.S. cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc. and targeted an agency of an overseas government that was in discussions with the U.S. about sanctions policy. The attack was halted before the group extracted any data, the company said in a blog post Saturday.
    The hacking group, which FireEye calls Advanced Persistent Threat 28, or APT28, is known for advanced cyber-attacks and its use of malware known as Sofacy. In this case, it took the unusual step of using two so-called zero-day exploits to try to infiltrate the computer systems of its victim in a highly sophisticated attack, FireEye said.
    While there is not yet a patch available for the Windows vulnerability, updating Adobe Flash to the latest version will render this in-the-wild exploit innocuous,” FireEye said in a blog post.
    Adobe has created a fix for the vulnerability while Microsoft is working on a patch, FireEye said. The flaw does not apply to Windows 8 and later versions.

  • U.S. Counts on Training Foreign Forces Despite Years of Failure - Bloomberg Business

    En tout cas c’est au contraire un grand succès pour les marchands d’#armes.

    The U.S. is trying to stabilize Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria using a tactic that’s rarely worked: training and equipping foreign forces.

    The effort to defeat terrorists and insurgencies without using American troops is failing in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia and other Sunni nations have now intervened. It still faces long odds and long wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    For now, President Barack Obama is doubling down on getting other nations to fight by boosting arms sales to the Gulf states, resuming military aid to Egypt and supporting the Saudi-led offensive in Yemen.

    In Afghanistan, trainers have 21 months left before Obama plans to recall them. In Iraq, U.S. advisers are rebuilding a U.S.-trained army that crumbled last year when Islamic militants attacked. Training moderate Syrian rebels, which Congress approved last fall, has yet to begin.

    #Etats-Unis #mort

  • YouTube va proposer un abonnement pour éviter les pubs

    Dans un mail envoyé à tous les créateurs de contenu vidéo, partagé par Bloomberg, YouTube annonce que dans l’année il sera possible de souscrire à un abonnement mensuel qui permettra de lire du contenu sur leur site sans se payer les publicités que tout le monde connait bien. Ainsi Google pourra se faire quelques ronds en plus et se rapprochera du fonctionnement d’autres plateformes comme Netflix ou Hulu, vu qu’il est aussi possible de louer des films sur YouTube maintenant... [Tout lire]


  • Ukraine Creditors Fire Opening Salvos Before Restructuring Talks - Bloomberg Business

    Ukraine’s creditors are expecting a “speedy resolution” to negotiations “without any principal debt reductions,” according to a statement on Thursday. Ukraine has said it will cut the face value of bonds as well as reducing coupons and extending maturities as it seeks to meet the conditions of an International Monetary Fund bailout. A deal without writedowns is “not viable,” according to Michael Ganske from Rogge Capital Partners Plc.

    This is how restructuring negotiations always start, with unrealistic proposals,” Ganske, the head of emerging markets at Rogge in London, said by e-mail Thursday. “There will be negotiations and they will meet in between.