Good morning, today is Wednesday, the Ides of March, and here are the stories that interest me.
US Midwest retail Chain Gordman’s is filing bankruptcy. The business, open for just over 100 years and has 100 stores in 22 states has filed for liquidation, equating to about 5,100 jobs. There is currently no timeline as to how long the stores will remain open. Gordmans and other regional retail stores have been struggling due to market changes in customer buying habits and declining customer loyalty.
French Presidential Candidate Francois Fillon is now formally under investigation, one month ahead of the first round of voting. he is charged of funnelling money to his family for work they did not do. The Centre-Right Candidate has been dogged by the story for weeks, and has slipped into third place after being the odds on favorite right after the Republican Primary. The scandal involved not only his wife, but also payments to his two children while he was a senator. With Marne Le Pen also being investigated by the EU, only Marcon, who is currently leading two party polls, is the only major candidate without an investigation currently going on.
Saudi Arabia has suddenly reverse direction on planned cuts to oil production, sending oil prices below $50 dollars in trading. Despite making plans to make cuts back in January to ease the current markets oil glut, Saudi Arabia has cancelled 1/3 of those cuts and are pumping more than 10 million barrels a day. Oil is threatening to dip below $45 a barrel which may cause further issues in oil bearing states like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Kuwait and others.
And Finally, the Netherlands is having its National elections today. In the final polls of the race, Geert Wilders, the Far-Right Candidate whose “Freedom Party” has been leading the polls in recent weeks slumping into 5th, meaning that the race is effectively unable to be called. Also with recent polls being off at the election point, who really knows. Again, this election will set the stage for two larger elections in Europe later this year: France and Germany. If Wilder’s Party were to win and form government, his promise to withdrawal from the EU would further put the compact in peril and will embolden right-wing advocates in France and Germany to push towards a political victory. A lot of eyes will be on this election as it may portend events for the future.
And that is all I have for today, have a good one!