Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
1. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday.The move was widely expected but still marked a milestone in the US central bank’s shift from policies used to battle the 2007-2009 financial crisis and recession.
2. Tether, a digital currency pegged to the dollar, may have been used to manipulate the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. “Tether seems to be used both to stabilise and manipulate bitcoin prices,” professor John Griffin and doctoral student Amin Shams said.
3. The trustee liquidating Bernard Madoff’s firm announced a $US280 million settlement with one of the swindler’s earliest investors. The move enables customers to recoup more than 75% of the principal they lost.
4. Chancellor Angela Merkel said she expected German military expenditure to rise steadily in coming years.“That will be reflected in the 2018 budget and in the following years, I think,” Merkel told reporters after a meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.
5. Renault boss Carlos Ghosn faces a salary vote.The French government, the carmaker’s largest shareholder, is expected to oppose his €7.4 million ($US8.7 million) 2017 payout at Friday’s annual shareholder meeting.
6. Banks are unlikely to use distributed ledgers to process cross-border payments for now because of scalability and privacy issues, according to Ripple. “I will concede, we haven’t gotten there yet,” Ripple’s chief cryptographer David Schwartz said in an interview.
7. Spain’s Culture Minister Maxim Huerta resigned following local media reports he avoided taxes while he was working as a TV journalist a decade ago. Huerta, who was named to the cabinet by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez last week, told a news conference in Madrid he was “absolutely innocent.”
8. US President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow was discharged from the hospital, two days after he suffered a heart attack. “Doctors say Larry’s recovery is going very well. The president and the administration are happy Larry is back home and look forward to seeing him back to work soon,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.
9. My Big Coin is at the center of a closely-watched case that could determine whether US regulators have the authority to combat fraud associated with cryptocurrencies. The US sued technology entrepreneur Randall Crater and a company he founded, alleging they perpetrated a $US6 million fraud on people who wanted to buy My Big Coin.
10. Volkswagen has been fined €1 billion euros ($US1.18 billion) by public prosecutors in Germany over diesel emissions cheating.“Following thorough examination, Volkswagen AG accepted the fine and it will not lodge an appeal against it,” the company said.
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