China’s roughly 3,000-member National People’s Congress is widely expected to vote in President Xi Jinping for a third term, making him the longest-reigning leader of modern China. Xi is expected to easily win the five-year term, as he did in 2018 when he received all 2,970 ballots cast, following the abolition of constitutional provisions that would have prevented him from seeking another term. The NPC is also likely to reappoint Xi as the chairman of the Central Military Commission, giving him control over the world’s largest armed forces in terms of active personnel. A new vice president will also be elected. While the balloting is largely procedural, it is noteworthy since Xi was able to discard the collective leadership approach and pack top party positions with his allies, thereby eliminating potential rivals for power.
Silvergate Capital, one of the main banks for crypto companies, announced on Wednesday that it is winding down operations and liquidating its assets. The company has served as a central lender to the crypto industry, with over $11 billion in assets. Silvergate’s liquidation comes after it discontinued its payments platform last week and warned that it was unsure whether it could stay in business. The company’s liquidation plan states that all deposits will be fully repaid, but it did not specify how it plans to resolve claims against its business. Silvergate’s announcement of liquidation was partly due to an imminent regulatory crackdown and investigations from banking regulators, including the Federal Reserve and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation. Investment firms Citadel Securities and BlackRock had recently taken major stakes in Silvergate, buying up 5.5% and 7%, respectively.
To reduce its structural costs by $2 billion over the next two years, General Motors (GM) is offering voluntary buyouts to the majority of its 58,000 US white-collar employees who have worked at the company for five or more years as of June 30. GM expects to incur a pre-tax charge of up to $1.5 billion for the buyouts, with most of the charges being in cash during the first half of the year. This decision follows the termination of around 500 salaried positions worldwide last week, as GM aims to enhance vehicle profitability and remain competitive in the market.