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As it turns out, Wilbur Ross isn’t actually a billionaire, according to the updated Bloomberg Billionaires Index. It has lowered the calculation of the U.S. Commerce Secretary’s net worth to $860 million from $3 billion, after a Forbes report accused Ross of lying to the media about the size of his fortune. In other money news, behold these photos of the U.S. Treasury Secretary posing with freshly minted $1 bills bearing his signature.—Katie Robertson
Senate Republicans toss potential Obamacare bomb into tax bill. The plan released Tuesday night mixes two red-hot debates by adding a repeal of the Obamacare law’s individual mandate to tax legislation. While the move will help Senate Republicans meet their fiscal target, it complicates the vote calculations in both chambers and hands Democrats a bumper sticker-ready issue they can use to charge up their base.
Richard Cordray will resign from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The head of the controversial consumer watchdog plans to leave at the end of the month amid growing speculation that he will run for governor of Ohio as a Democrat. His decision means Trump could soon install his own director of the regulator, which was set up in response to the 2008 financial crisis.
Nafta bickering begins again. The talks picked up on Wednesday mostly where they left off a month ago, with tension and animosity in the air. Cabinet-level officials from all three nations involved said they’ll skip the meetings for the first time and leave discussions to their negotiating teams. It’s the latest sign that reaching a deal isn’t imminent.
Amazon’s cashierless store is almost ready for prime time. For the past year, the company’s employees have been test-driving Amazon Go, an experimental convenience store in downtown Seattle where customers can pay for items without standing in line at a cashier. The store’s public launch date was postponed, but the team is said to have worked out many of the technical bugs and is starting to hire store-related personnel.
Times Square is having trouble hanging on to office workers. The New York City tourist destination, which moved past its era of porn and squalor by luring companies to new skyscrapers, now faces defections by some of those very tenants, most recently Ernst & Young. The neighborhood’s effective office rents have fallen by 1 percent annually for two years.
What Tesla’s big rig must do to seduce truckers. Elon Musk has promised the company’s battery-powered semi, to be unveiled Thursday, will drive like a sports car and beat its diesel counterpart in a tug of war. But in the U.S. truck market, a business with ultralow-margins, cost matters above all else. This is what it would take to shift freight from diesel to electric.
The final days of a tax haven. Vanuatu built a role for itself over the past 40 years as an offshore financial center with an attractive tax and regulatory regime. But as the Paradise Papers cast an unflattering light on tax havens, the nation’s leaders are trying to carve a new path for the country.