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    Sears May Stand, Facebook Data Breach et al.

    Professor of Financial Economics and Part-time Value Investor, Transfin.
    Oct 13, 2018 1:47 PM 4 min read

    Good evening reader,

     

    We reserve Saturdays as a touch point for issues outside the 'dry' realm of Business and Finance. Which is why last week we spoke of the #MeToo movement; in light of two anti-rape activists (Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege) winning the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. 

     

    Little did we realize that one week would be all that takes for #MeToo to catch up in India!

     

    Influential men, be it actors, directors, comedians, politicians, and journalists, are under the scanner. A changed societal mindset, where it is no longer OK to ignore and underplay consent, has empowered women to ensure they're heard loud and clear. As individuals and as a Group. 

     

    And they have spoken. Shared their trauma. Expressed their anguish. Demanded justice.

     

    Yes, mass rage at times has dissipated into personal vendetta, devoid of reason or logic. But isn't that inherent when issues are thrown in the court of public opinion? Can it become the reason for this movement fizzing out?

     

    In our opinion, yes. 

     

    Social media has surely become a flag-bearer for #MeToo. But the same social media is also an agent of anarchy. The present dispensation should move swiftly to reform our law enforcement machinery, to make it more empathetic and effective against sexual crimes, refraining from band-aid solutions. 

     

    The setup of a legal panel under the Union Minister for Women and Child Development, to examine the existing legal and institutional frameworks around sexual harassment and women safety, especially at work, may be a start. 

     

    The media must continue pressing ahead to ensure an end is also met.

     

    Presenting today's Top 6 Business Stories through our End Of Day Wrap Up:

     

    INDIA

     

    NCLT reserves order on MCA’s petition to grant IL&FS a moratorium of 90 days on loans taken by the infrastructure lending company and its 348 subsidiaries.

    Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) had also approached the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to restrain other creditors of IL&FS from filing suits, in case of default on loans. The company and its subsidiaries could face over 80 legal suits if the moratorium were to be rejected. This would not only impede the restructuring process to which effect a new board was recently constituted by the government, but also negatively impact multiple joint ventures IL&FS subsidiaries had with various state governments, including Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.

     

    93% (INR38,824cr) of the total IGST refund claims of INR41,889cr have already been disposed, clarifies Finance Ministry.

    The announcement comes following the Federation of Indian Export Organisations report earlier this week that INR22,000cr of GST refunds are pending, which is creating a liquidity crunch for exporters. The remaining claims amounting to INR3,065cr are held up on account of various deficiencies which have been communicated to exporters for remedial action, as per the Ministry.

     

    After launching gold and silver futures contracts, NSE applies for crude and copper futures contracts for approval.

    It is also planning to enter the agricultural commodities space, for which research is still on for identifying commodities, reports Vikram Limaye, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NSE.

     

    US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) grants the highest number of drug approvals in its history this year, Indian firms account for 35-40% of overall approvals.

    The regulator, this year has provided 781 drugs with final approval and 190 with tentative go-aheads. While this opens up the generic market for new players, it also means that the existing ones shall face competition in the US generic market, where India is the largest exporter. The approval rate by USFDA has been on a rise since the implementation of the Generic Drug User Fee Amendments (GDUFAs) to expedite the process of approvals.

     

    US/INTERNATIONAL

     

    Facebook clarifies that 29 million users were affected by the recent data breach, not 50 million.

    The social media giant reported that cyber attackers stole data from 29 million Facebook accounts using an automated program that moved from one friend to another. Facebook added that it would message affected users over the coming days to inform them of the information (which include name, contact details, birth dates, employers, education history, religious preference, types of devices used, pages followed and recent searches and location check-ins) that had been accessed in the attack.

     

    Sears Holding may strike a bankruptcy deal with lenders.

    Sears Holdings might lock in a bankruptcy plan with its lenders, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup that would shut at least 150 stores and provide the US-based retailer a lifeline loan to maintain a small footprint of about 300 locations. The company currently has about 700 Sears and Kmart stores. The lenders would also provide emergency financing of up to $500m, as per sources. Sears is expected to file for bankruptcy on Sunday, ahead of its Monday debt payment of $134m, which is more than 3x its market value.

     

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