Corporate-Credit Outlook Weakens to Worst Since Crisis, S&P Says (Bloomberg)
The proportion of issuers facing a potential downgrade at the ratings company surpasses possible upgrades by the most since 2009, according to a Jan. 11 report. The gap also widened the most since the financial crisis in the past six months, S&P said.
Fed hikes need to be gradual, risk hurting emerging world: IMF chief (Reuters)
Further interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve should be gradual or they risk hurting already fragile emerging economies, where many companies borrow in dollars, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.
Risk of Bankruptcy Looms Over Chunk of U.S. Oil Industry (WSJ)
Three major investment banks— Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc.—now expect the price of oil to crash through the $30 threshold and into $20 territory in short order as a result of China’s slowdown, the U.S. dollar’s appreciation and the fact that drillers from Houston to Riyadh won’t quit pumping despite the oil glut.
VW CEO Flubs Interview With U.S. Apology Tour Off to Rocky Start (Bloomberg)
The issue, related to rigging engines to cheat on emissions tests, was instead caused by “a technical problem” and stemmed from a misinterpretation of U.S. law, the CEO said, appearing to downplay the company’s role in actively deceiving regulators. He then questioned the reporter’s assertion that Americans believe there are ethical issues within the company: “I cannot understand why you say that.”
Tinder’s Sean Rad wants you to know he’s not a jerk (NYP)
In a piece published in the London Evening Standard on Nov. 18, just hours ahead of an initial public offering by Tinder parent company Match Group, Rad had boasted that a “really, really famous” supermodel was “begging” him for sex...On Monday, in a profanity-laced interview published by Fast Company, Rad griped that some of those howlers were taken out of context. (The Evening Standard stands by its story.) “It’s f–ed up, because I’m dealing with all of these stereotypes,” Rad whined. “Because I’m a successful guy in tech I must be a douche bag. Because I run a dating app I must be a womanizer.” Rad also admitted, however, that he “f–ed up” by idiotically running at the mouth, adding, “I should know better as CEO.”
Six Years Later, 93% of U.S. Counties Haven’t Recovered From Recession, Study Finds (RTE)
Nationwide, 214 counties, or 7% of 3,069, had recovered last year to prerecession levels on four indicators: total employment, the unemployment rate, size of the economy and home values, a study from the National Association of Counties released Tuesday found.
Grindr Sells Stake to Chinese Company (NYT)
Grindr, the popular dating and social networking app for gay men, has found itself a match. The company on Monday said it had sold a majority stake to the Beijing Kunlun Tech Company, a Chinese gaming company, valuing the six-year-old start-up at $155 million. Beijing Kunlun will acquire 60 percent of Grindr, with the remainder to be owned by Grindr employees and Joel Simkhai, the company’s founder. Grindr has previously not raised capital from outside investors.
Powerball jackpot increases to $1.5 billion (CNBC)
The prize's cash value is now worth $930 million.
YouTuber builds 6,000-piece 'Star Wars' AT-AT from Legos (UPI)
Charlie of the BrickVault channel stars in the YouTube video and spends 26 hours building the AT-AT walker from instructions posted online by custom Lego builder Peter Brookdale. The BrickVault team said it took thousands of dollars to procure all of the supplies from website BrickLink, far more than the $218.99 price tag for Lego's official 1,137-piece AT-AT kit. Charlie attempts the first several hours of building on his own, but eventually brings in help from other members of the BrickVault team. "Putting this thing up on its legs is extremely difficult and scary," Charlie quips after regarding the finished product.