Connect with us

Business

Former Trump official Mauricio Claver-Carone probed for workplace affair: AP

MIAMI (AP) — Investigators say they found evidence a former Trump official who heads Latin America’s biggest development bank carried on a romantic relationship with his chief of staff — a bond they allegedly forged in a pact scribbled on the back of a restaurant place mat: “We deserve absolute happiness.”

The Associated Press obtained a copy of a confidential report by a law firm hired by the Inter-American Development Bank’s board to investigate an anonymous complaint of misconduct against its president, Mauricio Claver-Carone.

In it, investigators said it is reasonable to conclude the relationship between the two existed since at least 2019, when both held senior positions on the National Security Council. They said the purported relationship prompted one U.S. official at the time to warn that it posed a counterintelligence risk.

Exhibit A in the 21-page report is a “contract” that the two purportedly drew up on the back of a place mat in the summer of 2019 while they dined at a steakhouse in Medellin, Colombia. Both were there attending the annual meeting of the Organization of American States.

In it, they allegedly outline a timeline for divorcing their spouses and getting married. There is also a “breach clause” stating that any failure to fulfill the terms would bring “sadness and heartbreak” that could only be mitigated by “candlewax and a naughty box” from an oceanfront hotel in Claver-Carone’s native Miami.

“We deserve absolute happiness. May only God part w/ this covenant,” according to the contract, a photo of which was provided to investigators by the woman’s former husband, who told investigators he found the place mat in her purse when she returned from the trip.

The purported contract is one of several details in the report that have Claver-Carone fighting to save his job. They include allegations he had a 1 a.m. hotel room rendezvous with his chief of staff, sent her a poem on a Sunday morning titled “My Soul is in a Hurry” and — perhaps most troubling — awarded her 40% pay raises in violation of the bank’s conflict-of-interest policies.

Claver-Carone has disputed the report’s accuracy, strongly denouncing the manner in which the review was conducted and offering no hint that he is considering resignation.

According to investigators, he has denied ever having — now or before — a romantic relationship with his longtime right hand.

His chief of staff denied the allegations in the anonymous complaint and told investigators she never violated the IDB’s code of ethics, the report said. In a written submission to investigators, she also complained that she had been denied due process.

The AP isn’t naming Claver-Carone’s aide because the report, which is labeled “confidential,” hasn’t been made public.

“Neither I nor any other IDB staff member has been given an opportunity to review the final investigative report, respond to its conclusions, or correct inaccuracies,” Claver-Carone said in a statement Tuesday.

The findings recall accusations of ethical lapses against another Republican atop a multilateral institution, former Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, who resigned as head of the World Bank in 2007 for arranging a generous pay raise for his girlfriend.

The Inter-American Development Bank is the biggest multilateral lender to Latin America, disbursing as much as $23 billion every year in efforts to alleviate poverty in the region.

Representatives of the bank’s 48 members met Wednesday to discuss the report but it was unclear what action, if any, they might take.

The U.S. is the largest shareholder in the Washington-based bank and some inside the White House have made no secret of their dislike for Claver-Carone, whose election as IDB chief in the final months of the Trump presidency broke with tradition that a Latin American head the bank.

Some of the more salacious claims referenced in the report could not be substantiated by New York-based Davis Polk. The law firm also found no evidence that Claver-Carone knowingly broke the bank’s travel policies to cover up a romantic relationship, or retaliated against any bank employees, as was alleged in an anonymous complaint sent in March to the bank’s board.

Still, Davis Polk harshly criticized Claver-Carone and his chief of staff for failing to cooperate fully with their investigation — considering it a violation of bank policies and principles.

For example, the report said Claver-Carone failed to hand over his bank-issued mobile phone for analysis although he did provide a forensic report conducted by a consultant. Claver-Carone also didn’t share messages from his personal phone or Gmail account with his chief of staff, the report said.

“Particularly in light of their failure to cooperate, it would be reasonable to conclude that the evidence of a prior relationship, and the additional circumstantial evidence of a current relationship while they were both at the Bank, constitute a violation of the applicable Bank policies,” the report said.

Davis Polk’s report said Claver-Carone raised his aide’s pay by 40% within a year. It said that one of the raises and a change of title was ordered by Claver-Carone a day after an email exchange in which she complained about not getting sufficient respect from her co-workers.

“You figure it out. It’s your bank,” she wrote, according to the report.

Davis Polk, which also conducted the investigation that led to Andrew Cuomo’s resignation as governor of New York, faulted Claver-Carone for making employment decisions about someone with whom it believes he had been romantically involved. However, it said that other executives received similarly-sized increases and his chief of staff’s current salary of $420,000 is in line with her predecessor’s compensation.

Claver-Carone when confronted with photographs of the purported place mat “contract” during an interview this month told investigators that he had never seen the document and denied it was his handwriting or signature. He stated that the document was fraudulent and part of a scheme by his aide’s ex-husband to harm her.

In a letter to the bank’s general counsel, seen by AP, divorce lawyers for the chief of staff said her former husband had a history of cruelty and revenge that was raised in divorce proceedings. They said any evidence he supplied investigators should not be deemed credible.

However, two independent handwriting experts, one who previously worked for the FBI, concluded there was a high probability that the handwriting on the place mat — excerpts of which are displayed in the report — match Claver-Carone’s penmanship in bank documents. Claver-Carone refused to submit a handwriting sample as part of the probe, the report said.

Sign up for the Fortune Features email list so you don’t miss our biggest features, exclusive interviews, and investigations.

Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Business

Toyota’s CEO cautions against electric vehicles hype, views them as just one option in his ‘department store’ of powertrains

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to keep gas-powered cars as a key part of its lineup, rejecting efforts by rivals to go fully electric amid concerns over how quickly consumers will embrace new technologies.

While the world’s largest automaker will introduce more electric vehicles in the coming years, it will also offer a range of other options, including gasoline-electric hybrids, hydrogen- and traditional fossil fuel-powered models, according to Chief Executive Officer Akio Toyoda, who met with reporters Thursday.

Battery-electric vehicles “are just going to take longer than the media would like us to believe,” Toyoda, grandson of the automaker’s founder, told dealers gathered in Las Vegas. He pledged to offer the “widest possible” array of powertrains to propel cars cleanly.

“That’s our strategy and we’re sticking to it,” he said.

Toyota’s stance reflects the numerous and sometimes conflicting considerations for automakers, which are seeking to boost sales, serve diverse customer bases and meet increasingly strict environmental standards in many countries. The decision contrasts with that of competitors such as General Motors Co., which has pledged to go all electric by 2035.

Environmentalists and shareholders have criticized Toyota for dragging its feet in embracing EVs, with Greenpeace putting the brand at the bottom of its ranking of global automakers’ decarbonization efforts. Critics have accused Toyota of clinging to its 25-year history with the gasoline-electric Prius hybrid, which once earned Toyota plaudits.

“The fact is: a hybrid today is not green technology,” Katherine Garcia, director of the Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation For All campaign, wrote in a blog post last month. “The Prius hybrid runs on a pollution-emitting combustion engine found in any gas-powered car.”

Toyota’s electric vehicle pledge

The company last year pledged to spend 4 trillion yen, or $28 billion, to roll out 30 EVs by 2030. Still, that’s less than the $50 billion that Ford Motor Co. is spending to build EVs through 2026.

Despite the apparent disparity, Toyoda said his company already has been investing in battery-powered hybrids for more than two decades. He contends that makes Toyota the “top runner” in reducing carbon emissions from vehicles worldwide.

“Our investments may appear smaller than others’, but when you look at what Toyota has been doing over the last 20 years, the total amount might not necessarily be small,” Toyoda said.

The CEO said a lack of sufficient infrastructure will hold back EV adoption rates, which is a factor in its decision not to go all in on electricity.

“Toyota is a department store of all sorts of powertrains,” he said. “It’s not right for the department store to say, ‘This is the product you should buy.’”

Toyoda expressed skepticism that automakers will be able to achieve the California mandate that will effectively ban gasoline-fueled vehicles by 2035 and require a substantial portion of sales be EVs by 2030. New York said Thursday it would institute similar regulations.

“We have to look at the current price range and infrastructure availability and at what pace they’re going to be upgrading,” he said. “Realistically speaking, it seems rather difficult to achieve.”

Sign up for the Fortune Features email list so you don’t miss our biggest features, exclusive interviews, and investigations.

Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Tesla deliveries set a new record but missed forecasts in the third quarter

Tesla Inc. worldwide deliveries missed forecasts in the third quarter and the company warned of challenges in getting its cars to customers, suggesting that supply-chain snarls remain a blight.

It delivered a record 343,830 cars worldwide in the third quarter. Analysts had expected that nearly 358,000 vehicles would be shipped, based on the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

“Historically, our delivery volumes have skewed towards the end of each quarter due to regional batch building of cars,” Austin, Texas-based Tesla said in a statement. “As our production volumes continue to grow, it is becoming increasingly challenging to secure vehicle transportation capacity and at a reasonable cost during these peak logistics weeks.”

Quarterly deliveries are among the most closely watched indicators for Tesla since they underpin the carmaker’s financial results. Though legacy automakers and new entrants alike are bringing more EVs to market, Tesla has led the charge for battery-powered cars since the first Model S sedans were delivered to customers a decade ago. 

Tesla had said that its delivery count is conservative and that final numbers could vary by 0.5% or more. The company produced 365,923 vehicles for the quarter. 

Tesla began shifting to a “more even regional mix” of vehicle production, leading to an increase of cars in transit during the end of the quarter. “These cars have been ordered and will be delivered to customers upon arrival at their destination,” the company said. 

The carmaker doesn’t break out sales by geography, but the U.S. and China are its largest markets and the overwhelming number of sales were of the Model 3 sedan and Y crossover. 

Tesla makes the Model S, X, 3 and Y models at its factory in Fremont, California. It makes the newer Model 3 and Y at the factory near Shanghai. Tesla recently began delivering Model Ys from its latest plants in Berlin and Austin. 

The delivery figures come on the heels of Tesla’s “AI Day” late Friday night, which was largely a recruiting event. Chief Executive Office Elon Musk showed off a prototype humanoid robot walking and waving its hand, seeking to demonstrate Tesla’s advances in artificial intelligence.

Sign up for the Fortune Features email list so you don’t miss our biggest features, exclusive interviews, and investigations.



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Price cap coalition targeting Russian oil revenue ‘a big gamble’

U.S. officials celebrated in early September when top allies agreed to back an audacious, never-before-tried plan to clamp down on Vladimir Putin’s access to cash as he wages war on Ukraine.

The idea sounded simple enough: The countries would pay only cut-rate prices for Russian oil. That would deprive Putin of money to keep prosecuting his war in Ukraine, but also ensure that oil continued to flow out of Russia and helped to keep global prices low.

A month later, the Group of Seven, representing some of the world’s leading economies, is still figuring out how to execute the plan — a far more complex task than it might seem at first blush — and the Dec. 5 deadline to marshal participants is fast approaching.

In the meantime, the war grinds on. The Kremlin is mobilizing 300,000 more troops to join the invasion of Ukraine and Putin has annexed four Ukrainian regions after Kremlin-orchestrated referendums that the West denounced as shams.

And while the U.S. and European countries have levied thousands of financial and diplomatic sanctions on Russia, including recently announced penalties, Treasury leaders say a price cap on oil could deliver the most effective blow to Russia’s economy, undermining its greatest revenue source.

Pushed by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the price cap plan is testing the bounds of statecraft and capitalism. Yellen made her reputation as a Federal Reserve chair who helped steer the U.S. into the longest expansion in its history. Now she’s trying to use global energy markets as a vise to stop a war and keep oil prices from rushing upward this winter.

Yellen and her team at Treasury have been lobbying their international counterparts on the price cap since at least May. The U.S. has already blocked Russian oil imports, which were small to begin with.

“This is an entirely new way to use financial measures against a global bully,” Elizabeth Rosenberg, Treasury’s head of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, said at a recent congressional hearing.

“A price cap coalition requires unprecedented coordination with international partners, as well as close partnership with global maritime industries, and exceptional resolve in the face of hostile Russian bluster and threats, including the risk that Russia may seek to retaliate,” Rosenberg said.

What if Russia stops exporting oil?

The risks of this new form of economic warfare are immense to the global oil supply. If it fails or Russia retaliates by stopping the export of oil, then energy prices worldwide could skyrocket. U.S. consumers could feel the ramifications in another spike in gasoline prices.

“I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know exactly what Russia will do here. There are a lot of different options,” Ben Harris, Treasury’s assistant secretary for economic policy, said during a recent Brookings Institution presentation. He added: “The price cap provides an opportunity for a bit of a release valve and the hope that these Russian barrels will find the market, but at a reduced price.”

The Dec. 5 deadline for setting the price for discounted oil comes just before a year-end wider European embargo on seaborne Russian crude oil and a complete ban on shipping insurance designed to prevent Russian oil from reaching non-European buyers. The embargo and insurance ban could eliminate up to 4 million barrels a day from the world’s daily supply of petroleum, a loss of roughly 4%.

Treasury’s hope is that the price cap kicks in first and allows some of that oil to keep flowing via exceptions to the embargo and the insurance ban, albeit at prices lower than market rates.

While Treasury officials and leading economists express confidence that the plan will work — and already is working — some oil analysts are wary of trying to implement it before winter, in a global economy already scarred by supply shocks, and a Europe facing fast-rising inflation.

The unknowns are too many, they say.

“The wildcard factor to me is what the Russians do, because the Russians have made abundantly clear that they do not want to play along with price caps,” said Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

“We should prepare ourselves at least,” she said, “that they may withhold oil.”

Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Citi Group, said at the Brookings Institution recently: “It’s an experiment that’s never been done in world history. I think it is a poor judgment call to do this at this time.”

Oil is the Kremlin’s main pillar of financial revenue and has kept the Russian economy afloat so far in the war despite export bans, sanctions and the freezing of central bank assets that began with the February invasion.

Before the war, Russia exported roughly 5 million barrels of oil per day as one of the world’s biggest oil exporters. That figure — accounting for roughly 9% of the world’s crude exports — has largely been unchanged despite all the sanctions.

Russia has vowed to take retaliatory measures to offset the impact of the price cap. Last week, Kommersant, a Russian business newspaper, reported that the Kremlin is considering raising $50 billion in additional revenue from taxes on exported energy, in response to the plan.

Analysts are hopeful the Russians are bluffing. Deutsche Bank recently assigned a “low probability” to Russia stopping its exports and cut its forecast for the price of crude by 10%. The German bank cited the U.S. Treasury’s announcement that India could have flexibility to buy from non-EU providers if it doesn’t join the price cap coalition, among other factors.

And while it’s assumed China and India won’t be part of an official coalition on the price cap, lower prices paid to Russia by these nations would help accomplish the coalition’s goal, Treasury officials say, getting more oil on the market with less revenue for the Kremlin. Already, Russia is locking in long-term contracts to limit the loss of potential oil revenues.

Raoul LeBlanc, vice president of energy at S&P Global Commodity Insights, said in some ways the discounts Russia is already providing countries show that a price cap could work.

LeBlanc said the complete loss of Russian oil on the global marketplace “would be catastrophic to the world economy” and losses would most heavily affect Latin America and much of South Asia.

Many European countries are already seeing major impacts of the war on their economies without a price cap in effect. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development last week said the global economy is set to lose $2.8 trillion in output in 2023 because of the war.

On other energy matters, European Union energy ministers on Friday levied a tax on fossil fuel companies’ windfall profits, but could not agree on a natural gas price cap.

Treasury is navigating a host of tricky questions as it works to implement the oil price cap plan. Among them: figuring out the size of the discount the G-7 and others would force on Russian oil, how the price cap would interact with the coming embargo and insurance ban, how companies would conduct their business as they try to avoid sanctions and how to stop Putin from getting around any cap.

Ben Cahill, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said he believes the price cap is “better than the status quo” — the expected European embargo on oil and ban on maritime insurance. But, Cahill adds, it will create complexities in the market that could drive up the cost of doing business.

“It’s a big gamble,” he said.

Source link

Continue Reading

Facebook

Latest

In a workshop, IAS officer said, girls have to change their thinking, know what else they said In a workshop, IAS officer said, girls have to change their thinking, know what else they said
National4 days ago

In a workshop, IAS officer said, girls have to change their thinking, know what else they said

In response, a senior woman IAS officer said that there is no end to this demand. She further said, 'You...

Government increased dearness allowance of central employees by 4%, this would benefit 50 lakh employees Government increased dearness allowance of central employees by 4%, this would benefit 50 lakh employees
National4 days ago

Government increased dearness allowance of central employees by 4%, this would benefit 50 lakh employees

Along with this, the work of redevelopment is going on in 199 railway stations of the country. Tenders have been...

Twitter denies Elon Musk's claim of fake accounts, you also know what is the news Twitter denies Elon Musk's claim of fake accounts, you also know what is the news
National4 days ago

Twitter denies Elon Musk’s claim of fake accounts, you also know what is the news

Documents obtained from two data scientists employed by Musk showed they estimated in early July that the number of fake...

Yogi cabinet will have an important meeting, dozens of proposals may be approved Yogi cabinet will have an important meeting, dozens of proposals may be approved
National4 days ago

Yogi cabinet will have an important meeting, dozens of proposals may be approved

It is being told that more than a dozen proposals can be approved in the meeting to be chaired by...

Congress leader raped air hostess in Delhi, know the whole matter Congress leader raped air hostess in Delhi, know the whole matter
National5 days ago

Congress leader raped air hostess in Delhi, know the whole matter

Female air hostess. When the police reached the spot, the woman told that a person named Harijit Yadav, whom she...

People will be able to watch live streaming of Constitution Bench hearing, beginning with Uddhav vs Shinde case People will be able to watch live streaming of Constitution Bench hearing, beginning with Uddhav vs Shinde case
National5 days ago

People will be able to watch live streaming of Constitution Bench hearing, beginning with Uddhav vs Shinde case

It started today with the Uddhav vs Shinde case. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal argued on behalf of the Uddhav faction.

NIA arrested 170 PFI workers from 8 states of the country, Section 144 implemented in Jamia Nagar NIA arrested 170 PFI workers from 8 states of the country, Section 144 implemented in Jamia Nagar
National5 days ago

NIA arrested 170 PFI workers from 8 states of the country, Section 144 implemented in Jamia Nagar

. So the same, NIA team raided Delhi's Shaheen Bagh on Tuesday morning and detained 30 people. The NIA had...

New disclosure in Ankita murder case, former female employee said, suspicious boys and girls used to come to the resort New disclosure in Ankita murder case, former female employee said, suspicious boys and girls used to come to the resort
National5 days ago

New disclosure in Ankita murder case, former female employee said, suspicious boys and girls used to come to the resort

After leaving the job, Pulkit, Saurabh and Ankit put a lot of pressure on me to return to the job....

Modi urges environment ministers to give maximum boost to circular economy Modi urges environment ministers to give maximum boost to circular economy
National1 week ago

Modi urges environment ministers to give maximum boost to circular economy

It was inaugurated when I became the Prime Minister. A huge amount of money was wasted due to this delay....

BJP MP Janardan Mishra cleans the school toilet with his hands, shared the video on Twitter BJP MP Janardan Mishra cleans the school toilet with his hands, shared the video on Twitter
National1 week ago

BJP MP Janardan Mishra cleans the school toilet with his hands, shared the video on Twitter

When the MP saw that the toilet of the center was very dirty, it was not cleaned, he decided to...

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Zox News Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.