Business news at a glance

IRS raises contribution limits for retirement savings plans

Americans will be allowed to contribute more of their money to 401(k) and similar retirement saving plans next year. The IRS said Friday that savers with 401(K) and similar plans will be able to contribute up to $22,500 next year. That’s up from $20,500 this year. People aged 50 and over, which have the option to make additional “catch-up” contributions to 401(k) and similar plans, will be able to contribute up to $30,000 in 2023. The IRS also raised the annual contribution limits on individual retirement arrangements, or IRAs, by $500 to $6,500. The changes make it easier for retirement savers to set aside more of their income toward building their nest egg.


Twitter tries calming employees as deal with Musk looms

With Elon Musk’s $44 billion deal to buy Twitter set to close no later than Oct. 28, the social media service is trying to quell employee fears about a potentially seismic overhaul of the company once he takes over. Employees’ fears were stoked Thursday amid reports that Musk planned to cut Twitter’s staff by as much as 75%. Late Thursday, Twitter tried to calm some of the concerns, with the company’s general counsel saying in a memo that there were no plans for layoffs. The reassurance may not be enough. Once Musk completes the deal, he can do almost anything he likes with the company.

Why Japan stands virtually alone in keeping interest rates ultralow

As the Federal Reserve has pushed up U.S. interest rates in an effort to tame rampant inflation, virtually every major central bank in the world has scrambled to keep up the pace. And then there’s the Bank of Japan. The yen is in free fall. Inflation by some measures is the highest in decades. And conventional wisdom says that a rate increase could ease both problems. But the Bank of Japan has remained steadfastly committed to its ultralow interest rates, arguing that making money more expensive now would only suppress already weak demand and set back a fragile economic recovery from the pandemic.

Texas sues Google for collecting biometric data without consent

The Texas attorney general filed a privacy lawsuit against Google on Thursday, accusing the internet company of collecting Texans’ facial- and voice-recognition information without their explicit consent. Attorney General Ken Paxton said Google had violated a state consumer protection law that requires companies to inform citizens and get their consent before capturing their biometric identifiers, including fingerprints, voiceprints and a “record of hand or face geometry.” José Castañeda, a Google spokesperson, said in a statement that Paxton “is once again mischaracterizing our products in another breathless lawsuit.” He added, “We will set the record straight in court.”

Appeals court finds consumer bureau’s funding unconstitutional

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a leading financial regulator, has been unconstitutionally funded since its creation more than a decade ago, in a decision that vacated a bureau rule on payday lending and cast doubt over a vast swath of its regulations. The consumer bureau is funded directly by the Federal Reserve. A three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that the funding method improperly ceded too much authority to the bureau and insulated it from being accountable to Congress and the American people.

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