MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, August 20th. 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.
What if American corporations had to report their financials only half as frequently as they do now?
Would that orient them more toward the longer term? And less toward quarter-to-quarter results?
President Trump has asked the SEC, the Securities and Exchange Commission, to consider a change like that. Right now, SEC requires publicly traded corporations to issue financial statements four times a year. Trump’s proposal is twice a year.
He got the idea from the CEO of PepsiCo, who said she and other big-company chief executives “have been discussing how to better orient corporations to have a more long-term view.”
She said cutting the required frequency of financial reports was one of several suggestions to think beyond immediate results.
REICHARD: Google may have violated a 2011 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission on how it collects your data. The agreement gave users the power to turn location sharing off. But an investigative report revealed Google may be collecting that information anyway. And now the Electronic Privacy Information Center has asked government regulators to look into whether Google broke the law.
And Facebook is denying charges it helped real-estate sellers block some users from seeing ads for certain properties. That would be illegal housing discrimination.
Housing advocates have filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Facebook says it doesn’t permit discrimination.
EICHER: Three government reports from last week suggest continued strength in the economy.
First, the Federal Reserve reported manufacturing output rose a solid three-tenths of a percent in July. The Fed noted increases in production of cars, electronics, and appliances.
And American consumers are buying them. The second report says July retail sales rose half a percentage point. Tellingly, the Commerce Department report found increased spending at restaurants and bars. That spending is the first to go in harder times.
And third, the Commerce Department also reported housing starts rose nine-tenths of a percent in July. That number did not meet expectations. The National Association of Homebuilders explained that new tariffs on Canadian lumber are adding about $7,000 to the cost of a new house.
REICHARD: Technically, Elon Musk runs Tesla. But lately it seems Tesla’s running Elon Musk. The hard-charging celebrity CEO let it be known last week he’s putting in 120-hour workweeks—and sleeping only with the help of the prescription drug Ambien.
The self-revelation made investors nervous about Musk’s ability to do the job. Tesla stock plunged on the news. It lost $5.5 billion in market value.
EICHER: On Wall Street, three winners and one loser. The Nasdaq lost its two-week winning streak when the index fell three-tenths of a percent. The Dow Jones Industrials, the Standard & Poor’s 500, and the smaller-company index, the Russell 2000, all enjoyed slight gains on the week.
And that’s this week’s Monday Moneybeat.