CEO of Fiat Chrysler Rubbishes Allegations By EPA

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States has alleged that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) violated the Clean Air act. The FCA was accused of increased nitrogen oxide emission from its Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and Jeep grand Cherokee SUVs 2014-16 due to the installation of undisclosed software. The assistant administrator of EPA, Cynthia Giles said that FCA is causing illegal pollution by violating the Clear Air act. The devices make the vehicle perform differently on road and during testing.

The stocks of FCA quickly dropped after the allegations by the EPA. FCA stocks lost about 10% and closed at $9.95 per share. The FCA may be asked to pay $44, 539 per vehicle for a clear violation of the Clean Air act. The CEO of FCA, Sergio Marchionne has disputed the alleged charges. He commented that FCA would be compared to Volkswagen in an unfair way and people may draw unjustified conclusions. In the press conference, he called the allegations to be absolute nonsense and he said that it is impossible to compare FCA with Volkswagen.

The German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen admitted that the vehicles are equipped with software that is exclusively designed to cheat on the government emissions testing for diesel vehicles. The company is ordered to pay $2.8 billion as criminal fine and $1.5 billion as civil penalties. The company was found at fault for meddling with the software and intentionally lying about the conspiracy to the US investigators. The case is not over yet as the settlement is waiting for approval from Detroit federal judge. Volkswagen also agreed to bear the civil settlements that can cause $1.7 billion loss for the company to help the car owners and dealers affected by the scandal. The manufacturer has agreed to authorize buybacks of the associated vehicles and offer free fixes.

FCA is worried about being compared to Volkswagen as FCA hasn’t involved in a deceptive act. Many experts said that FCA may be at fault in not disclosing the software, but it can’t be charged with deception like the Volkswagen. It is very common in the automobile industry to use a software to adjust engine emissions. However, FCA has failed to disclose information about this software and this is the reason for the allegations of EPA. Analysts commented that there is no evidence that FCA purposefully cheated.

The FCA vehicles don’t meet the standards with the included software, but it can’t be compared to the deliberate and deceptive act of Volkswagen. Marchionne said that he was disappointed by EPA’s public move when they are discussing the acceptance level of calibration. He also questioned the possible political motive. The disagreement associated with engine calibration is not similar to the defeat devices found in Volkswagen. EPA rebutted to this statement saying that EPA along with CARB committed to enhanced testing when the Volkswagen was found guilty. Marchionne also said that he believes that the EPA has requested the support of the US Justice Department to continue with the investigation.

Will CFPB Weaken Delaware’s Payday Loan Regulations?

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The state of Delaware has problems with payday loans, despite the alternative financial product banned from lending in the marketplace.

Delaware is one of the states that has joined the crusade against short-term, high-interest loans. However, a recent study came out that found a large number of the unbanked and underbanked use payday loan, and the numbers of those not using the traditional banking system are higher than the national average, which is a development that has troubled many Delaware officials and financial institutions.

Over the past few years, Delaware officials have implemented new rules and regulations to rein in payday loans in Delaware and ensure that borrowers are protected from so-called predatory lending.

However, Delaware is one of many states wondering: what will happen if the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) imposes its proposal of federal regulatory rules? Will the states’ initiatives be null and void? Will states be required to follow the federal government’s own rules and regulations?

Everything remains foggy at this point, and it is even more so now that Donald Trump is the president-elect. It is unclear if he will restrain the federal consumer watchdog agency or allow it to move ahead.

Despite the tough measures already in place in Delaware, critics fear that the lenders of short-term, high-interest loans will be able to get through the loopholes and operate without any fear of reprisal. If that happens then it could open the window to other states’ legislation being ignored by lenders.

This was brought up by Liz Coyle, executive director of Delaware Watch, in a letter last month.

“Dangerous loopholes in the proposed rule could provide payday lenders a license to creep back into our state, eroding protections developed through decades of work that save Delaware consumers millions of dollars each year,” she wrote.

Delaware has had a ban on payday loans since 2004, though the occasional lender pops up. The biggest problem as of late has been the proliferation of payday loan companies online. This is something that is giving states and provinces across North America and Europe a major headache. Nonetheless, the payday loan ban gives lenders a prison sentence of up to 20 years if they’re caught and convicted.

It is true that many expect a Donald Trump administration and a Republican-controlled Congress will toss out many of the provisions in the often lambasted Dodd-Frank bill. However, it remains uncertain what will happen to the CFPB, which was established in the wake of the economic collapse.

Critics have often argued that payday loans target the most vulnerable and send low- and middle-income households into a never ending debt trap. Proponents purport that payday loans are necessary because many of the impecunious consumers do not have access to conventional forms of credit or even banking options due to language barriers, criminal records or even something miniscule as the lack of funds.

Jurisdictions around the world have imposed new rules and regulations that either limit how payday loan stores operate or restrict them from entry or expansion entirely.

Lockheed Martin Comes Up With A Plan To Reduce The Cost Of F-35

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The F-35 fighter airplane made by Lockheed Martin is a single engine, single seat fifth generation aircraft that can participate in stealth multirole fighters. The F35 fighter aircraft has not participated in any combat missions, but they were announced to be combat ready after intensive testing. The f-35 program is undeniably the most expensive defense system weapon system that has received criticism all over the world. The USA predominantly funds the F35 program while many allies and partners also contribute to the development of the airplane.

The F35 program is several billion dollars over the budget and it is behind the schedule. The critics argue that the design is flawed and the manufacturer shouldn’t be allowed to enter the production stage without adequate testing. The defense system program has already gained enough political momentum and the huge sunk cost make it impossible to kill the deal at the moment. The president-elect Donald Trump expressed his disappointment in the involved cost and delay of the F35 program in his first press conference. This immediately affected the stocks of Lockheed Martin on Wednesday. Immediately after the comments by Donald Trump, the shares fell by 1%.

Donald Trump said to the press that his government will take measures to bring the cost of the F35 way down. He said that the project is long overdue and it has already consumed several billion dollars. Trump said that the new government will do some big things on the F35 and F18 program to bring down the cost of the defense weapons system. The F35 program has been questioned by several experts ahead of Trump.

On 13th January, the chief executive of Lockheed Martin, Marilyn Hewson met with the new president-elect Donald Trump to discuss the details about the F35 program. She said that the company is focusing on closing a deal that will bring down the cost of the aircraft. Hewson said that Lockheed Martin also wants to provide the best capability to the soldiers at the lowest possible price. She added that the new deal will reduce the price of the aircraft compared to the previous lot and it will also bring new jobs to the country.

According to Hewson, the new contract deal will allow Lockheed Martin to create 1800 jobs in Fort Worth. It will also create 38900 jobs in Texas. The supply chain used in the manufacture of the F35 program also influences 45 states. The stocks which were facing a tough time gained 1% after these comments from Hewson.

In early December, president-elect Donald Trump tweeted that the cost of the F35 program is out of control. He also added that he had a talk with Boeing to make an F18 Super Hornet which is comparable to F35. The new meeting is expected to resolve the conflicts between the new administration and Lockheed Martin. The defense secretary pick by Trump, James N. Mattis told the lawmakers that Donald Trump truly supports the F35 program, but he wants the best bang for the buck.