Citigroup Pays Its Dues…and Fines, The Tastiest Merger and Samsung Is In Hot Water

Hot in the Citi…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Citigroup was all fiscal smiles today even as it agreed to cough up $7 billion for all the aggravation it caused because of its fraudulent mortgage practices. US Attorney General Eric Holder graciously pointed out, “The bank’s misconduct was egregious…the bank has admitted to its misdeeds in great detail.” Now Holder and the FDIC needn’t bother anymore with its cumbersome civil investigation. It also frees up the AG to sit back, relax and think about how he’s going to pull billions of dollars from Bank of America’s deep coffers. Part of the settlement is supposed to provide relief. That relief could come in the form of loans for affordable housing and changes to mortgages. Too bad those innovative ideas aren’t slated to take place until 2018. And while Citi did post better than expected earnings, trouble still looms for it as a money-laundering investigation is taking place at its Mexican unit.

That’s one sweet pairing…

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/

Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli is picking up a tasty American treat by purchasing Russell Stover Chocolates. Kansas City, Missouri-based Russell Stover, which also makes Whitman’s (as in “the samplers”), has 2,700 employees and generates a yummy $500 million a year. Lindt & Sprüngli are looking forward to generating revenues of $1.5 billion with its new-found American sweetheart. While the exact price of the purchase hasn’t been disclosed, the estimated figure is $1.4 billion and will make the newly formed venture the third largest chocolate manufacturer in North America. The two companies called it “a perfect strategic fit” and I couldn’t agree more.

Ugly technology…

Image courtesy of nonicknamephoto/

Image courtesy of nonicknamephoto/

Things are not looking so smart over at Samsung, the world’s biggest smartphone maker. The company just suspended business with one of its suppliers in China. According to New York-based human rights watchdog group China Labor Watch (CLW), the factory in question employs under-age workers amid a litany of other offenses. Children were allegedly made to work eleven hour days and paid for only ten of them. Even though Samsung maintains a “zero tolerance policy” for such odious practices, CLW also found the factory, Dongguan Shinyang Electronics, had its employees work for excessive and unpaid overtime. This is not Dongguan Shinyang Electronics’ first brush with human right violations either. The company has been audited three times since 2013. In the meantime CLW thinks Samsung is treating its social responsibility as “just advertisements.” Ouch.



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