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Today in the Market (12/20/2022)

Good Evening. Tuesday’s tumultuous session concluded with small gains as investors prevented losses from extending into the fifth day.

The S&P 500 increased by 0.10%, and the Dow Jones rose by 0.28%. The Nasdaq Composite was slightly above zero at 0.01%.

TIME TO PAY UP

Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) struck a $3.7 billion deal with federal authorities, which included a record-setting $1.7 billion fine, to address charges that it neglected millions of clients for years, leading some to lose their vehicles or homes.

The deal with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau involves more than $2 billion in “redress to consumers”, according to a statement released by the CFPB. The statement highlighted the “widespread mismanagement” of car loans, mortgages, and savings accounts.

This is not the first time… Under the leadership of CEO Charlie Scharf, Wells Fargo has been attempting to handle a slew of scandals that arose in 2016 as a result of the bank’s opening of millions of fraudulent accounts. Problems arose across all business lines, culminating in the dismissal of two CEOs and a number of expensive fines, including the Federal Reserve’s decision to restrict the company’s assets.

When will the payment happen? Wells Fargo anticipates a pretax operating loss of about $3.5 billion in the fourth quarter, which will include the CFPB civil penalty and remediation, in addition to other litigation expenditures.

ALL TOGETHER TO FIGHT FOR BIODIVERSITY

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After four years of discussions, over 200 nations reached an unprecedented agreement to combat the extinction crisis. The ambitious agreement was reached on the last day of COP15, the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity.

Approximately one million species are presently threatened with extinction, a major extinction catastrophe that experts deem as grave as the asteroid that wiped off the dinosaurs. The agreement has 23 goals to prevent this from occurring, the most famous of which is “30 by 30“, which aims to safeguard 30% of the world’s land and sea by 2030. Today, only 17% of terrestrial regions and 8% of marine areas are protected.

Setting expectations: In 2010, 190+ states signed a similar pact with 20 biodiversity objectives, but a study by the United Nations in 2020 concluded that none of them had been reached on a global scale. The United States is not a member of the new commitment, since resistance from Republicans has prevented the nation from joining the Convention on Biological Diversity.

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