The Monday Moneybeat

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, April 23rd.

Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.

Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.

Coming next on The World and Everything in It, the Monday Moneybeat.

The nation’s six big Wall Street banks posted record or near-record profits in the first quarter of this year, and thanks goes for the most part to the Trump tax law.

All combined, the six banks saved at least $3.6 billion in taxes last quarter. The Associated Press made the estimate using the banks’ effective tax rates going back to 2015.

Before tax reform, the top corporate income tax rate in this country stood at 35 percent. And that doesn’t count state income taxes.

Banks were among the hardest hit of the big companies, because so much of their business is in the United States. These banks had been paying up to 31 percent of their income each year in corporate taxes.

This year, they’ll pay about 20 percent.

REICHARD: One of those big banks, Wells Fargo, is going to be giving back a good bit of that 2018 tax windfall.

It will have to pay out a 10-figure settlement to the federal government.

The $1 billion penalty is for charges tied to misconduct at Wells Fargo’s home-loan and car-loan businesses.

Federal regulators penalized the bank for improperly charging fees to borrowers who wanted to lock in a mortgage interest rate, as well as for sticking car-loan customers with insurance policies they neither wanted nor needed.

EICHER: The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday ordered inspections of Boeing 737 jet engines.

The move comes three days after an engine on a Southwest Airlines flight blew apart at 32,000 feet, killed a passenger, and forced an emergency landing.

The National Transportation Safety Board believes one of the engine fan blades snapped on the Southwest jet.

And when it did, it hurled debris that broke a window and led to the death of a passenger who was sucked partway out of the plane.

NTSB investigators said the fan blade was showing signs of metal fatigue: small cracks from repeated use invisible to the naked eye. So the FAA ordered ultrasound inspections. The order affects 352 aircraft engines in service in the United States.

REICHARD: Meantime, Southwest Airlines issued $5,000 checks to passengers aboard last week’s flight, as well as $1,000 travel vouchers. 144 passengers were aboard.

EICHER: On Wall Street, a very quiet week. All the major indexes finished up for the week, but only slightly. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Standard and Poor’s 500, the Nasdaq, and the Russell 2000 were all winners, but all the gains were less than one percentage point.

And that’s this week’s Monday Moneybeat.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) This Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, file photo shows a sign at a Wells Fargo bank location in Philadelphia.

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