The Week in Business: Trump on TV

What’s Up? (May 7-13)

CNN’s Trumpcast

Until last week, former President Donald J. Trump had not appeared on CNN since 2016. But at a town hall hosted by the network on Wednesday night, Mr. Trump, the Republican front-runner in the 2024 presidential campaign, resumed the lies and name-calling that marked his presidency. Answering questions from the anchor Kaitlan Collins, he repeated misinformation about the 2020 election, called the writer E. Jean Carroll, who won a suit accusing him of sexual abuse and defamation, a “wack job” and derided Ms. Collins as a “nasty person.” When Ms. Collins tried to correct Mr. Trump’s lies, he often talked over her. The largely sympathetic audience cheered him on throughout the evening. Critics of CNN’s forum said it was reckless to give Mr. Trump such a large platform for his message, especially because it proved difficult to fact check his statements in real time. The chairman of CNN, Chris Licht, defended the broadcast on Thursday, saying it underscored that covering Mr. Trump would “continue to be messy and tricky.”

Inflation Is Slowing

A closely watched report on Wednesday showed that inflation in the United States had reached a noteworthy milestone: April was the 10th straight month that the pace of price increases slowed. The Consumer Price Index climbed 4.9 percent from a year earlier, surpassing analysts’ expectations — in a good way. Economists in a Bloomberg survey had forecast a 5 percent climb. Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and fuel costs, also fell slightly. The report comes on the heels of the Federal Reserve’s 10th consecutive increase to its benchmark rate. The latest inflation data, along with other signs of a slowdown in the economy, could make the May increase the last one for now.

Elon Musk’s Announcement

Elon Musk long ago asked users on Twitter if he should step down as chief executive of the platform. “I will abide by the results of this poll,” he said. The results came in: Almost 58 percent of the 17.5 million people who voted agreed that Mr. Musk should leave his post. But it was still somewhat surprising when Mr. Musk announced on Friday that he had chosen his replacement: He said his successor would be Linda Yaccarino, the chair of global advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal. Mr. Musk said Ms. Yaccarino, who recently interviewed him onstage at an advertising event in Miami, would focus on business operations while he would continue to work on product design and technology.

What’s Next? (May 14-20)

Senate Hearings on the Banking Crisis

Two groups that have sought to blame each other for the recent bank failures will appear at a pair of Senate hearings this week — the heads of those banks and the federal regulators who oversee them. On Tuesday, Greg Becker, the former chief executive of Silicon Valley Bank, who stepped down from his post after the bank’s collapse in March, will testify before the Senate Banking Committee. Two former top executives from Signature Bank, which failed two days later, will also testify. They are expected to meet a harsh reception from lawmakers. In a letter summoning Mr. Becker to appear, the chairman of the committee wrote, “You must answer for the bank’s downfall.” Regulators can expect a grilling, too, at a separate hearing on Thursday. When regulators appeared before the committee last month, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle faulted shortcomings in oversight for the banking crisis. Regulators also pointed the finger at the banks’ mismanagement.

More Turmoil at Fox

Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation suit against Fox News, which was settled for $787.5 million in April, may have been only the opening salvo in a long fight to hold the network accountable for airing misinformation about the 2020 presidential election. Last week, Nina Jankowicz, a prominent specialist in Russian disinformation and online harassment, filed a new defamation suit accusing Fox of spreading lies about her that led to serious threats to her safety and harm to her career. That’s not Fox’s only legal trouble. It still faces a defamation suit from another election technology company, Smartmatic, which is seeking $2.7 billion in damages. Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson, the network’s star host who was recently ousted and is still under contract, has said he is starting his own show on Twitter, a sign that negotiations to reach an amicable separation with the network have broken down.

Report Cards for Big Box Stores

Walmart and Target, two of the country’s largest retailers, will release their quarterly earnings reports this week, providing a glimpse at how inflation — which is falling but persistent — is affecting consumers. For the three months that ended in January, Walmart reported that its revenue was 7.3 percent higher than a year earlier and said December was its best month for sales at its U.S. stores in its history. But the company warned of dimmer prospects for the rest of the fiscal year, suggesting that consumers’ ability to absorb higher prices could be approaching its limit. Other retailers struck similar downbeat notes, suggesting that they expected conditions to worsen in the coming months.

What Else?

Goldman Sachs said on Monday that it would pay $215 million to settle a gender bias suit accusing the bank of hindering women’s career advancement and paying them less than their male colleagues. Disney, in its quarterly earnings report last week, said that it had narrowed its streaming losses but that revenue from its old-line TV channels had fallen sharply. And Peloton said it was recalling more than two million exercise bikes because of reports of a faulty part.

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