AP Business Summary letter at 4:40 p.m. EDT

Yellen: No federal bailout for collapsed Silicon Valley Bank

WILMINGTON, Delaware (AP) – Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the federal government will not bail out Silicon Valley Bank but is working to help depositors worried about their money. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures deposits up to $250,000. But many of the businesses and wealthy people who used the bank had more than that amount in their accounts. There are fears some workers across the country will not receive their paychecks. Yellen, in an interview with CBS’ Face the Nation, emphasized that the situation was very different from the financial crisis nearly 15 years ago, which led to bank bailouts to protect the industry.

Oil giant Saudi Aramco makes historic profit of $161 billion in 2022

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Oil giant Saudi Aramco said it made $161 billion last year, claiming the highest-ever annual profit by a publicly traded company and drawing immediate criticism from activists. Officially known as Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the company’s huge gain came from rising energy prices after Russia launched its war against Ukraine in February 2022. Sanctions have restricted the sale of Moscow’s oil and natural gas in Western markets. However, this gain comes from growing international concern about the burning of fossil fuels, which is accelerating climate change. Amnesty International therefore criticized Aramco’s profit.

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Russian advance stalls in Bakhmut, Ukraine, says think tank

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) – A leading think tank says Russia’s advance in Moscow’s campaign to seize the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut appears to have stalled. The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said late Saturday that there was no confirmed advance by Russian forces in Bakhmut. The think-tank’s latest assessment of the longest ground battle of the war says Russian forces and units of the Kremlin-controlled Wagner paramilitary group continued to launch ground attacks in the city, but there was no evidence they had advanced. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday that he posthumously bestowed the highest national title, Hero of Ukraine, on a soldier believed to have been killed by Russian speakers.

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Saudi Arabia’s Gulf trunk threatens to reveal kingdom secrets

WASHINGTON (AP) — Saudi officials who oversee the kingdom’s U.S. investments have not shied away from flaunting their ties to top American businessmen and politicians. That includes wearing MAGA hats when swinging golf clubs alongside former President Donald Trump. But they have remained silent about the details of these relationships. That’s changing as a result of a state lawsuit in California pitting Golf Tour newcomer LIV of Saudi Arabia against the PGA. In a sports lawsuit with international implications, a federal court in California has ruled that Saudi Arabia’s hands-on management of LIV has cost it the legal protections foreign governments normally enjoy in US courts.

2 foreign tourists die in crash at Kenya wildlife sanctuary

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Kenyan police say two foreign tourists have died after the vehicle they were traveling in went off the road and overturned in the Masai Mara Conservation Area. The dead were German and Swiss nationals. Police said Sunday the accident happened after the vehicle got stuck in the mud and went off the road on Saturday. Another tourist was injured and two others escaped unhurt. They were part of a tour group. However, it was not immediately clear who was driving the vehicle. The injured tourist was flown to a hospital in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. The Masai Mara National Reserve is a popular tourist destination and hosts the annual wildebeest migration out of the Serengeti in Tanzania.

Thousands take part in new protests in Greece over train crash

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Thousands of people have protested against safety failures on Greece’s rail network nearly two weeks after the country’s deadliest train crash. They are also calling for punishment for those responsible for the February 28 head-on collision between a passenger train and a freight train that killed 57 people. Police said more than 8,000 gathered outside Parliament in Athens to protest on Sunday and 5,000 demonstrated in Thessaloniki.

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Will it take a market crash before Congress raises the debt limit?

WASHINGTON (AP) – What might it take to get President Joe Biden and Congress to reach an agreement on raising the debt ceiling? Financial markets may need to collapse before lawmakers are forced to act, according to several economists and a former White House official. Every other time before, Congress has reached an agreement on the debt ceiling. The question now, in a time of increasing political polarization, is whether things are different today. Republicans and Democrats have danced around the need to increase the government’s legal borrowing powers. This maneuvering could continue for several more months, until the last possible moment when the federal government hits a currently unknown “X-date” and is unable to pay its bills.

China advocates continuity and reappoints central bank governor

BEIJING (AP) – China has reappointed Yi Gang as central bank governor in a bid to reassure entrepreneurs and financial markets by showing continuity at the top while other economic officials are changing. Yi, whose official title is governor of the People’s Bank of China, does not play a role in shaping monetary policy, unlike his peers in other major economies. Its official role is to implement monetary policy, or execute decisions made by a policy-making body whose membership is secret. But the central bank governor serves as monetary policy spokesman, is the most prominent Chinese figure in global finance and is responsible for reassuring bankers and investors at a time when China’s economy is recovering from drastically slower growth.

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Neither protests nor rubbish heaps stop the French pension bill

PARIS (AP) – An unpopular bill that would raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64 has received a boost. France’s Senate voted 195-112 to pass the measure on Saturday, despite protests and tons of uncollected rubbish mounting by the day. The legislation is expected to be presented to a reconciliation committee on Wednesday. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne called a ministerial meeting for Sunday evening to decide on the next steps. The government hopes to refrain from invoking its constitutional authority to enforce the law without a final vote. As unions oppose President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform plan, some 5,400 tons of uncollected rubbish are piling up on the streets of Paris.

Moldovan police say they thwarted Russia-backed unrest plan

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) – Police in Moldova say they foiled a conspiracy by groups of Russian-backed actors trained to cause mass unrest during a protest against the country’s new pro-Western government. The chief of Moldova’s police said during a press conference that an undercover agent had infiltrated groups in an alleged “diversion”. The police official said some have Russian citizenship and had been promised $10,000 to help organize “mass riots” during Sunday’s protests in the capital. Seven people were arrested. Several bomb threats were also reported on Sunday.

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