The latest on Carlos Ghosn’s escape and four other business stories you need to read today

The latest on Carlos Ghosn’s escape and four other business stories you need to read today


Carlos Ghosn’s spiriting away remains the No. 1 ripped-from-the-headlines saga that we here at CNN Business are most looking forward to binge-watching when it is inevitably adapted into a 12-part series. (Hey HBO showrunners, DM me!) 

It had been a few months since we’d had an update on the former Nissan chairman, who disappeared from his Tokyo home in December while under house arrest and awaiting trial for financial crimes. He later turned up in Lebanon.  
But on Wednesday, US authorities arrested two men — a former special forces soldier and his son — on suspicion of aiding the brazen escape. According to these downright cinematic court documents, the men helping Ghosn flee the country met him in a luxury hotel. They then posed as musicians carrying two large black boxes for “audio equipment” through the Osaka airport where a private jet was waiting. (Surprise! Our fugitive was in one of the boxes! Allegedly.) 
There’s just so much to this story. Read more here.

HEIR-ING GRIEVANCES

Disney family descendants are causing the company some PR headaches lately. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Walt Disney’s brother Roy, has been especially vocal with some expletive-laden critiques of how the company has treated its workers. 
The latest to pile on is Brad Lund, one of Walt’s grandsons, who told the Daily Beast this week that “all family members will join in our dismay” regarding the company’s bonus payments to executives at a time when thousands of Disney’s rank and file are furloughed because of the pandemic. 

“I have already expressed my hope that the Disney organization continues to give reasonable compensation and support to its many loyal employees in the spirit of the company of which my grandfather was so proud,” Lund told the Daily Beast. 

Top Disney executives agreed to take pay cuts during the pandemic, and a spokesperson said Wednesday there was “no truth to any speculation about bonus payments” and that it’s “premature and irresponsible to speculate about bonus compensation.”

HIRE. MORE. WOMEN.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra
It’s not a surprise and yet it is still outrageous. Fortune magazine released its annual ranking of the top 500 businesses Wednesday, and found that 37 — 37! — are run by women.

That’s the highest ever, but it’s barely over 7%. Of those, all but three are white. DO BETTER, CORPORATE AMERICA.

My colleague Alisha Ebrahimji has all the infuriating details here.

ACCORDING TO OXFORD…

The economy has gone from President Donald Trump’s greatest political asset to perhaps his biggest weakness, and it may well lead to a “historic defeat” in November, according to an election model released Wednesday by Oxford Economics. 

“It would take nothing short of an economic miracle for pocketbooks to favor Trump,” researchers said in the report, adding that the economy will be a “nearly insurmountable obstacle for Trump come November.”

And yet, as CNN Business’ Matt Egan notes: Economic models are not political crystal balls. And they have no track record of predicting elections during pandemics. More from Matt’s report on the study here.

MASK LIFE

Finally, a solution from the Department of Tiny Annoyances: Apple has come up with a way for you to unlock your phone while you’re wearing a mask. 

Oh, so my iPhone’s going to recognize that I’m wearing a mask and just zoom in on my eyes? Or they’re bringing back fingerprint scanning? Introducing voice commands?

Nope. The phone’s just gonna skip the face scan and ask you for your passcode when your face is covered. OK, I’ll take it. 

IN OTHER NEWS

  • US stocks rebounded on Wednesday, finishing at their highest level since March 6. Investors may be downplaying the severity of the economic collapse: We’re bracing for millions more jobless claims when the Department of Labor reports the latest numbers Thursday morning.
  • The World Bank says the coronavirus pandemic could push as many as 60 million more people into extreme poverty, deepening pessimism among economists about the scale and duration of the fallout.
  • Two Ford plants had to be temporarily shut down soon after reopening because employees tested positive for Covid-19. 
  • NASA’s chief of human spaceflight abruptly resigned after just six months on the job, citing a “mistake.”



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