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Lots of news out of retail today, so let’s jump right in.
As Chipotle searches for a CEO, one candidate that has emerged on almost every list of possible contenders is former Panera CEO and current chairman Ron Shaich. There’s just one problem. Shaich doesn’t want the job. “Why would I ever go to work for Bill Ackman?” he told Business Insider.
Toys R Us is planning to close up to 182 stores, which represents about 20% of its locations in the US. The toy chain will start going-out-of-business sales in February, and the stores will close in April. Here’s the full list of store closures.
Starbucks is spending $US120 million to raise wages and benefits, a decision that follows numerous barista complaints of being underpaid. The move was “accelerated” by the new tax law, according to CEO Kevin Johnson.
In finance news, Baupost Group’s Seth Klarman dedicated two pages in his annual client letter to a scathing critique of Trump, global nationalism and concerns about the rise of Russia, China and North Korea, saying all could forebode market upheaval.
“Xenophobia, racism, and anti-Semitism are literally on the march,” Klarman wrote in the year-end letter, a copy of which was reviewed by Business Insider.
The founder of controversial hedge fund Och-Ziff is reportedly at odds with the 34-year-old who had been set to succeed him.
Here’s what’s going on in the markets:
- The Senate voted to confirm Jerome Powell as the new Fed Chair
- Guggenheim’s investment chief has a sobering message for investors from Davos: ‘know when to get out’
- A top fund manager owns zero shares of the Dow’s hottest stock – here’s why he’s betting on its biggest competitor instead
- Here’s what UBS’ bosses are saying about a big shakeup at its $US2.3 trillion money management unit
- One of Wall Street’s best stock pickers shares his secrets for crushing the market
- Nasdaq has launched a tool to help companies understand America’s hottest investment product
- Qualcomm was fined nearly $US1.2 billion after paying Apple to put its chips in the iPhone
Rapper 50 Cent says he accepted bitcoin as payment for his 2014 album “Animal Ambition.” The 700 bitcoin he reportedly raked in are now worth between $US7 million and $US8.5 million, and he hasn’t offloaded his stake yet.
Elsewhere in crypto news:
- $US9 billion startup Stripe drops bitcoin support because it doesn’t make sense as a means of payment.
- ‘Mrs. Watanabe’ is back: How the archetypal Japanese housewife is fuelling the bitcoin craze
- Ripple, the firm behind the cryptocurrency XRP, just added 2 financial services firms to its roster of clients
Lastly, take a look inside the largest Lamborghini dealership in the world.