Life

The U.S. economy added 661,000 jobs in September, and unemployment fell to 7.9%.

Slovenian Premier Faces Indictment for Alleged Abuse of Power

A Slovenian court has received a request from prosecutors to indict Prime Minister Janez Jansa for suspected abuse of power in real estate deals in the early 2000s that could carry a sentence of as long as eight years in prison.

Jansa, a nationalist who served jail time for a 2013 bribery conviction that was later overturned, stands accused of illegally benefiting from a real estate deal that allegedly helped him buy an apartment in the capital Ljubljana worth more than a quarter of a million euros ($300,000).

Jansa is not familiar with the contents of the indictment, a spokesman said by email. He has repeatedly rejected accusations of wrongdoing in his dealings with real estate.

“The court received the indictment,” The Ljubljana district court said in an email in response to Bloomberg questions on Friday. “A formal examination of the indictment is initially required, followed by its serving to indicted. The indictment is therefore not yet final.”

The case dates back to 2005, during Jansa’s first stint as prime minister. According to the Vecer daily newspaper, he is accused of financing the purchase of the apartment by selling land to a buyer who overpaid.

Jansa returned to power earlier this year by poaching parties from former Prime Minister Marjan Sarec’s ruling coalition when the latter resigned in a botched attempt at consolidating his popularity by triggering early elections.

Robots Beat Humans in Test of Predicting Financial Meltdowns

Robots probably have an edge over humans when it comes to predicting the next economic meltdown, according to researchers at the Bank of England.

“Wir Sind die Roboter: Can We Predict Financial Crises?” — referring to the 1978 song by German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk — is the latest report on theBank Underground blog.

It applies machine learning to data spanning the past 140 years and 17 countries, and finds it works well in highly complex situations. Their models correctly predicted the U.K.’ssmall banks crisis of 1991 and the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.

The researchers, led by Kristina Bluwstein, wrote that the benefits of being able to see disaster coming are large, and that humans aren’t great at it. They point out that “even people as smart as Isaac Newton” lost their fortunes in such events.

The average cost of a crisis is about 75% of gross domestic product, according to the research. That might be avoided if proper preventative actions — macroprudential tools in central-bank language — are applied early enough.

“The most important predictors are credit growth and the yield-curve slope” though there will always be inherently unforeseeable events, the authors wrote. “But identifying a financial system as more vulnerable and therefore more likely to amplify such an unexpected shock into a fully-fledged financial crisis is crucial.”

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump Test Positive for Coronavirus

President Donald Trump announced that he and First Lady Melania Tump have tested positive for coronavirus. The announcement came via Twitter, several hours after the president confirmed reports that close adviser Hope Hicks had tested positive.

“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”

Asda sold to billionaire Issa brothers in £6.8bn deal

Asda has been sold to two billionaire brothers from Blackburn and the private equity firm TDR Capital in a deal that values the supermarket chain at £6.8bn.

Asda, which is owned by the US retail giant Walmart, announced the sale to Mohsin and Zuber Issa, who made their fortunes running the EG Group petrol station group, and TDR.

Under the new ownership structure, the Issa brothers and TDR Capital are acquiring a majority ownership stake in Britain’s third largest supermarket chain. Walmart will retain a stake in the business, with an ongoing commercial relationship and a seat on the board.

In a joint statement, Mohsin and Zuber Issa said they were “very proud to be investing in Asda, an iconic British business that we have admired for many years”.

Asda said it would continue to be based in Leeds and that Roger Burnley would remain as chief executive. The consortium has promised to invest £1bn in Asda over the next three years and also promised to “maintain competitive pay levels” for staff.

Regulators blocked Walmart’s earlier attempt to quit the UK by ruling against a proposed merger between Asda and Sainsbury’s, and the new deal will need regulatory approval.

Judith McKenna, the chief executive officer of Walmart International, said the deal created the “right ownership structure” for Asda. “I’m delighted that Walmart will retain a significant financial stake, a board seat and will continue as a strategic partner.”

US V-P Mike Pence tests negative for Covid-19: Spokesman

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Vice-President Mike Pence tested negative on Friday (Oct 2) for Covid-19, his spokesman said after President Donald Trump stunned the world by disclosing he has contracted the coronavirus.

“As has been routine for months, Vice-President Pence is tested for Covid-19 every day. This morning, Vice-President Pence and the Second Lady tested negative for Covid-19,” spokesman Devin O’Malley tweeted.

The U.S. economy added 661,000 jobs in September, and unemployment fell to 7.9%.

By Ben Casselman

Job growth slowed further in September, as fading government support and the failure to contain the coronavirus threatened to short-circuit the once-promising economic recovery.

Employers brought back 661,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department said Friday. That is down from 1.5 million in August, and far below the 4.8 million jobs added in June. The unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent.