In brief: Deficit shrinking faster, White House announces
WASHINGTON – The White House said Monday that the federal budget deficit for the current fiscal year will shrink to $759 billion. That’s more than $200 billion less than the administration predicted just three months ago.
The new figures reflect additional revenues generated by the improving economy and take into account automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that the White House had hoped to avert.
The White House projected that economic growth would be slightly slower in the coming years than it forecast in April. The report said the automatic spending cuts that kicked in during March will slow down economic growth this year from the 2.6 percent increase it forecast for the fourth quarter of this year to a 2.4 percent increase.
But the White House sees a slightly rosier jobs picture. It projects that unemployment will average 7 percent next year and reach 6.8 percent in the final quarter of 2014. That’s an improvement over the 7.2 percent unemployment it forecast in April as an average for 2014.
Advisory firm backs Dell buyout proposal
NEW YORK – A top proxy advisory firm is recommending that Dell shareholders vote in favor of a deal that would allow the company’s founder and an investment firm to buy the computer maker and take it private.
Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners have offered to buy Round Rock, Texas-based Dell Inc. for $13.65 per share, or a total of $24.4 billion. Michael Dell believes he can turn the company around by taking it private and diversifying into niches, such as business software, data storage and consulting.
But Carl Icahn, a billionaire investor and Dell’s second-largest shareholder, said he wants Dell to remain publicly traded and boost value for shareholders by buying back $16 billion in stock.
The company has backed Michael Dell’s proposal and said that Icahn doesn’t have adequate financing for his plan. Shareholders will vote on the buyout offer at the company’s annual meeting on July 18.
Barnes & Noble confirms CEO Lynch’s departure
NEW YORK – Barnes & Noble Inc. said Monday that William Lynch has stepped down as CEO, effective immediately, just weeks after the book retailer announced weak sales, big losses and the declining popularity of its Nook e-readers.
Lynch’s resignation comes after just three years in the role. No successor was named, but the New York company said it is reviewing its strategic plan and will provide an update “when appropriate.” Shares fell nearly 5 percent in after-hours trading on the news.
In the wake of his departure, Chief Financial Officer Michael Huseby will become president of the company and CEO of its Nook Media unit. Controller Allen Lindstrom will succeed Huseby as CFO. Huseby and Mitchell Klipper, CEO of Barnes & Noble Retail Group, will report directly to Leonard Riggio, the company’s chairman and largest shareholder with a nearly 30 percent stake.