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Business/Economy

  • British manufacturer buys Nambe LLC for $12M

    SANTA FE (AP) — A Santa Fe-based company known for its polished aluminum alloy kitchenware and home décor has been acquired by a British manufacturer and worldwide distributor.

    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Portmeirion Group's purchase of Nambé LLC for $12 million from the Hillenbrand family closed Tuesday.

    Portmeirion CEO Lawrence Bryan says he has always enjoyed Nambe's design ethic, describing it as contemporary and chic.

    The sale included the Nambé headquarters building in Santa Fe, all rights and intellectual property and a distribution center in nearby Española.

    Nambé brings in $18 million in annual revenue, with its products available at Nambe stores in New Mexico and Arizona and other retailers in the U.S. such as Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.
    Bryan says he expects to open Nambé shops in other states.
     

  • Where's the pot? California tracking system unlikely to know

    By MICHAEL R. BLOOD Associated Press

    LOS ANGELES — When California voters broadly legalized marijuana, they were promised that a vast computer platform would closely monitor products moving through the new market. But 16 months after sales kicked in, the system known as track-and-trace isn't doing much of either.

    As of last month, just nine retail outlets were entering data into the network established under an estimated $60 million state contract, even though 627 shops are licensed to sell pot in California.

    The rate of participation is similarly slim for other sectors in the emerging industry.

    Only 93 of more than 1,000 licensed manufacturing companies producing extracts, oils and other products were documenting their activities in the network in April. And of the nearly 4,000 licensed growers, only about 7 percent, or 254, are using the high-tech system, according to a review of state data.

    How are state officials watching over the nation's largest legal pot market ? For now, it's essentially a paper trail.

    Most California companies are required to document their business on paper sales invoices and shipping manifests. But experts say that can be a doorway for criminal traffic.

  • TV pitches for prescription drugs will have to include price

    By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — TV pitches for prescription drugs will soon include the price, giving consumers more information upfront as they make medication choices at a time when new drugs can carry anxiety-inducing prices.

    Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Wednesday the Trump administration has finalized regulations requiring drug companies to disclose list prices of medications costing more than $35 for a month's supply.

    "What I say to the companies is if you think the cost of your drug will scare people from buying your drugs, then lower your prices," Azar said. "Transparency for American patients is here."

    Drug companies responded that adding prices to their commercials could unintentionally harm patients.

    "We are concerned that the administration's rule requiring list prices in direct-to-consumer television advertising could be confusing for patients and may discourage them from seeking needed medical care," said the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the main trade group.

  • IMF forecast: Global growth will weaken this year to 3.3%

    By PAUL WISEMAN and MARTIN CRUTSINGER AP Economics Writers

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday downgraded its outlook for growth in the United States, Europe, Japan and the overall global economy and pointed to heightened trade tensions as a key reason.

    The IMF expects the world economy to grow 3.3% this year, down from 3.6% in 2018. That would match 2016 for the weakest year since 2009. In its previous forecast in January, the IMF had predicted that international growth would reach 3.5% this year.

    For the United States, IMF economists downgraded their growth forecast for this year to 2.3% from 2.9% in 2018.

    The gloomier picture in the IMF's latest World Economic Outlook contributed to a selloff in stocks, with investors concerned that slower global growth could weaken corporate earnings. It comes on the eve of meetings in Washington this week of the IMF and its sister lending organization, the World Bank. Those meetings are likely to be dominated by discussions of how to combat growing risks to international growth.

    "This is a delicate moment for the global economy," Gita Gopinath, the IMF's chief economist, said at a news conference, while cautioning that the fund does not foresee an international recession.

  • CEO of oil group sees no slowdown in US production

    By DAVID KOENIG AP Business Writer

    The U.S. oil and gas industry is praised by supporters for boosting America to the forefront of global production and attacked by critics who blame it for sowing doubt about the scientific consensus that burning fossil fuels is changing the Earth's climate. The American Petroleum Institute is the energy industry's lobbyist in Washington. These days it is led by Mike Sommers, previously the chief of staff for former Republican House Speaker John Boehner.

    Recently Sommers talked with The Associated Press about the energy industry, climate change, offshore drilling and other issues. His answers here have been edited for brevity.

    Q. The U.S. is now the world's biggest oil producer. What does that mean for the industry and investors?

    A. The most important component is what it means to the United States. It's given our lawmakers an incredible amount of flexibility to help lead the world. No longer are we subject to the whims of an oil cartel in the Middle East. We're the world's swing oil and gas producer, and that's exciting for American leadership.

    Q. At a recent big energy conference in Houston, there was talk by Shell and BP about investing in renewables. Are U.S. oil companies going to be left behind?

  • The highest-paid CEOs by state

    By The Associated Press

    Here are the top-paid CEOs by state for 2017, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive data firm.

    The survey considered only publicly traded companies with more than $1 billion in revenue that filed their proxy statements with federal regulators between Jan. 1 and April 30. Not every state had a publicly traded company headquartered there that was large enough to be included. The survey includes only CEOs who have been in place for at least two years, but it does not limit the survey to companies in the S&P 500, as the AP's general compensation study does.

    To calculate CEO pay, Equilar adds salary, bonus, stock awards, stock option awards, deferred compensation and other components that include benefits and perks. For some companies, big raises can occur when CEOs get a stock grant in one year as part of a multi-year grant.

    The typical CEO in the Standard & Poor's 500 index made $11.7 million last year.
    ___

    Alabama: O. B. Grayson Hall Jr., Regions Financial, $9.4 million (Hall is stepping down in July.)

    Arkansas: C. Douglas McMillon, Walmart, $22.8 million

    Arizona: Richard C. Adkerson, Freeport-McMoRan, $16.2 million

    California: Michael Rapino , Live Nation Entertainment, $70.6 million

  • In wake of Equifax breach, what to do to safeguard your info

    NEW YORK (AP) — There's no way around it: The news from credit reporting company Equifax that 143 million Americans had their information exposed is very serious.

    The crucial pieces of personal information that criminals may need to commit identity theft — Social Security numbers, birthdates, address histories, legal names — were all obtained. And once your personal data is out there, it's basically out there forever.

    Unlike previous breaches at Yahoo, Target and Home Depot, Equifax's role in the financial industry makes this breach far more alarming. The company is basically a storehouse of Americans' most personal credit information, knowing everything about people from when they opened their first credit card, to how much money they owe on their houses, to whether they have any court judgments against them.

    Lenders rely on the information collected by the credit bureaus to help them decide whether to approve financing for homes, cars and credit cards. Credit checks are even sometimes done by employers when deciding whom to hire for a job.

  • Legislative roundup, 2-26-19

    The New Mexican

    Days left in the session: 18

    Confirmed: The Senate on Monday voted 34-0 to confirm Jackie White as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

    White, 44, previously worked as a captain for the Albuquerque Fire Department. She heads the agency responsible for coordinating the state's response to emergencies and natural disasters.

    It is a big job in a state that has to grapple with wildfires, flash floods and the threat of terrorist attacks.

    Moreover, the department courted controversy under the administration of then-Gov. Susana Martinez, coming under scrutiny amid financial problems and allegations that some staff forged training certificates.

    So White's first task may be providing some stability to an agency that has seen high turnover.

    Born in Canada, White became an Olympic athlete for her home country. She competed in softball in the summer games in Sydney and in Athens, Greece, in 2000 and 2004 respectively.

    White originally came to the state to play softball with the University of New Mexico team. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2015.

  • Sewing dreams into reality

    Cruiser’s Custom Embroidery may have just opened up a shop on Trinity Drive in August, but the store’s owner has been embroidering for much longer than that.
    Mike Luna actually started his business about 10 years ago, working from home. At the time, Luna sold his restaurant, Home Run Pizza, and was looking for something else to do. As the president of the Atomic City Corvettes car club, Luna realized that the companies that did the embroidering on their jackets and clothing weren’t quite cutting it.
    The rest is history.
    “I’ll buy my own doggone machine and I’m just going to play,” he said, thinking it was just going to be a hobby to help out his fellow club members and nothing more. But his friends kept calling for him to do more work and his business grew.
    Luna has grown proficient with his sewing machine, he can take any idea and make a logo or a design out of it and put it on anything, whether it’s cloth, leather, or anything in between.
    Luna still works by himself, and loves to work with customers one-on-one. A lot of amazing ideas have passed through the needle of his machine through the years, and he can wait to see what’s next.

  • Federal budget clears the Senate

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump promised tax cuts Friday "which will be the biggest in the history of our country" following Senate passage of a $4 trillion budget that lays the groundwork for Republicans' promised tax legislation.
    Republicans hope to push the first tax overhaul in three decades through Congress by year's end, an ambitious goal that would fulfill multiple campaign promises but could run aground over any number of disputes. Failure could cost the GOP dearly in next year's midterm elections.
    The budget plan, which passed on a near party-line vote late Thursday, includes rules that will allow Republicans to get tax legislation through the Senate without Democratic votes and without fear of a Democratic filibuster. Nonetheless, the GOP's narrow 52-48 majority in the Senate will be difficult for leadership to navigate, as illustrated by the Republicans' multiple failures to pass legislation repealing and replacing "Obamacare."
    The final vote on the budget was 51-49 with deficit hawk Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky the lone opposing GOP vote.
    Trump insisted over Twitter on Friday that Paul would be with him in the end on taxes, even though the senator has been critical of the tax package as it's emerged thus far.