After three years of discussions, amendments and infighting, five U.S. financial regulatory agencies approved the Volcker rule. The measure derives from the Dodd-Frank reforms and bans risky-but-lucrative practices that deposit-taking banks engage in, such as trading with their own money rather than that of their clients.
EADS, Europe’s biggest aerospace company, said it would shed 5,800 jobs over the next three years in its defense and space divisions, partly because of reduced military spending by European governments. The company is restructuring its business around its successful Airbus commercial-aircraft division.
General Motors appointed Mary Barra, left, as chief executive, its fifth in five years. Barra, currently head of product development, worked her way up at GM from a job in engineering that she started at 18. She is the first woman to run one of Detroit’s Big Three carmakers.
Sysco, America’s largest distributor of food, agreed to buy US Foods, a smaller rival, in a deal valued at $8.2 billion including debt. Many hospitals, hotels, schools and the armed forces rely on both companies to supply them.
It emerged that Stanley Fischer is being considered for appointment as Janet Yellen’s deputy when she takes up the reins as Federal Reserve chairwoman. Fischer is a respected economist and former governor of the Bank of Israel, and was seen as a contender for the top job earlier this year.
America’s consumption of oil rose in November to the highest level in five years, according to the International Energy Agency. Consequently, the IEA slightly raised its estimate of global oil demand next year, to 92.4 million barrels a day.
China’s steelmakers imported a record 77.8 million tons of iron ore last month, as they continued to replenish their depleted stocks, pushing the price of the commodity to a four-month high. Other data also suggested that growth in the Chinese economy may be speeding ahead: retail sales in November expanded by 13.7 percent.