Photographer: Miles Willis/Bloomberg
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German automakers have been in constant crisis for two years. They’re trying to find a way to salvage beleaguered diesel technology and put emissions scandals behind them. Today, the CEOs of BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen met with German government officials for an emergency summit on the future of diesel. By the end, the automakers agreed to upgrade more than 5 million diesel cars in Germany via software revisions. — Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha
Two brothers, seven lines of code, and billions of dollars. In 2010 Patrick and John Collison, brothers from rural Ireland, founded Stripe. The company builds software that businesses can plug into websites and apps to instantly connect with credit card and banking systems and receive payments. Today Stripe has a valuation of $9.2 billion and handles tens of billions of dollars in Internet transactions annually. There’s competition, though — tech giants like Apple and Google are pushing their own systems.
Big month for the euro. Since the euro surged past a key mark of $1.1714 on July 26, analysts are having to look as far back as 2010 for perspective on how far the common currency could rise. Based on historic patterns, they see the potential for new highs of $1.1877 and $1.2043 looming on the horizon, and perhaps $1.2167 after that.
Cancel the stag party in Prague. Flights to and from the U.K. could be grounded and Britons limited to ferry journeys to Ireland and road trips to Scotland, said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary. The comments were O’Leary’s starkest yet about the possible fallout of Brexit for aviation if a wide-ranging deal isn’t secured in time. “The airlines will be screaming blue murder...if there isn’t an agreement,” he said.
Boom times. Spain’s parliament has approved only four laws this year, hampered by the weakness of a minority administration led by Mariano Rajoy. The government’s snail’s pace isn’t keeping up with the country’s economic boom. With growth of more than 3 percent expected in 2017, analysts say Spain is missing out on a chance to make reforms that would boost performance in years to come.
Unscathed. Of all the actors involved in the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis and recession, the big three credit rating agencies — S&P, Moody’s and Fitch — got away the least touched by tighter rules and regulations. Ten years later not much has changed in how they work. Critical investors, analysts, and lawmakers say the companies still weaken their standards to win business, with regulators again asleep at the wheel.
Bees bounce back. The number of U.S. commercial honeybees rose 3 percent from a year earlier to 2.89 million in April. Deaths from a mysterious malady called Colony Collapse Disorder that affects hives in North America and Europe have fallen by 27 percent. But beekeepers say the continued threat from mites and pesticides — suspected in the die-off of other pollinators like wild bees and butterflies — mean the ecosystem is still at risk.
Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha