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Google parent Alphabet Inc to cut 12,000 jobs

In the latest series of layoffs by major tech giants, Google parent company Alphabet Inc. is cutting 12,000 jobs, a report said on Friday.

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google-layoffs

In the latest series of layoffs by major tech giants, Google parent company Alphabet Inc. is cutting 12,000 jobs, a report said on Friday.

According to a staff memo by Alphabet’s chief executive Sundar Pichai, Google is letting go 12,000 employees which would impact its US and global staff immediately, Reuters reported.

In his letter, Pichai said that the company took a “rigorous review across product areas” to ensure that current roles are aligned with the company’s highest priorities.

Pichai’s letter highlights that the company will ensure a smooth “transition” for the impacted workers.

Google will pay employees during the full notification period (minimum 60 days). It says that it would offer a severance package starting at 16 weeks’ salary plus two weeks for every additional year at Google. Entitled workers will also receive bonuses and healthcare benefits as per their contracts. On the other hand, Google workers outside the US will receive a severance package as per their contracts and local guidelines.

The letter adds that Google will organize a town hall with employees on Monday.

The cuts come mere days after rival Microsoft said it would lay off 10,000 workers and the latest to shake the technology sector.

According to the report, the job cuts affect teams across the company including recruiting and some corporate functions, as well as some engineering and products teams.

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The news comes during a period of economic uncertainty as well as technological promise, where Google and Microsoft have been investing in a fledgling area of software known as generative artificial intelligence.

Earlier this week, Microsoft said it would eliminate 10,000 jobs and take a $1.2 billion charge to earnings, as its cloud-computing customers reassess their spending and the company braces for potential recession.

The layoffs add to the tens of thousands announced in recent months across the technology sector, which has downshifted following a strong growth period during the pandemic.

The news comes even as the software maker is set to ramp up spending in generative artificial intelligence that the industry sees as the new bright spot.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said which affect less than 5 percent of Microsoft’s workforce, would conclude by the end of March, with notifications beginning Wednesday.

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Hindenburg fallout: Gautam Adani no longer Asia’s richest, drops to number 15 on Forbes rich list

Indian Billionaire Gautam Adani, Wednesday, dropped to 15th on the Forbes rich list with an estimated net worth of $76.8 billion as the shares of his conglomerate plunged once again in the aftermath of the Hindenburg group report.

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Gautam Adani

Indian Billionaire Gautam Adani, Wednesday, dropped to 15th on the Forbes rich list with an estimated net worth of $76.8 billion as the shares of his conglomerate plunged once again in the aftermath of the Hindenburg group report.

Before the damning report by the US short-seller, Adani was ranked third on the list and also ranked Asia’s richest person, a title which he also lost after his personal fortune reportedly fell by over $40 billion.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the rout has wiped out around $92 billion of the value of the conglomerate’s listed units since last week with Adani’s personal fortune plummeting by over $40 billion during the same period.

The industrialist’s business interests, ranging from ports and airports to mining and cement, have plunged after the fallout from the Hindenburg report and now, Adani, who has vehemently denied the allegations levelled by the short seller, is fighting to stabilise his businesses and defend his reputation.

It comes just a day after the group managed to muster support from investors for a $2.5 billion share sale for flagship firm Adani Enterprises on Tuesday, in what many saw as a stamp of investor confidence.

Hindenburg Research published a report last week, accusing the Adani Group of indulging in improper use of offshore tax havens and stock manipulation while also raising concerns about high debt and the valuations of seven listed Adani companies.

The group has denied the allegations, saying the short-seller’s narrative of stock manipulation has “no basis” and stems from an ignorance of Indian law, adding that it has always made the necessary regulatory disclosures.

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Shares in Adani Enterprises, often described as the incubator of Adani businesses, plunged 30 per cent on Wednesday. Adani Power fell 5 per cent, while Adani Total Gas slumped 10 per cent, down by its daily price limit, Reuters reported.

Adani Transmission was down 6 per cent and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone dropped 20 per cent. Adani Total Gas, a joint venture with France’s Total, has been the biggest casualty of the report, losing about $27 billion.

Underscoring the nervousness in some quarters, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Credit Suisse had stopped accepting bonds of Adani group companies as collateral for margin loans to its private banking clients.

India’s markets regulator, which has been looking into deals by the conglomerate, has said it will add Hindenburg’s report to its own preliminary investigation.

State-run Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) said on Monday it would seek clarifications from Adani’s management on the short seller report. The insurance giant was, however, a key investor in the Adani Enterprises share sale.

Hindenburg Research on Monday hit back at the Adani Group, day after the business house dubbed the New York-based firm’s report as “calculated attack on India.”

In a 413-page response titled “Fraud cannot be obfuscated by nationalism or a bloated response that ignores every key allegation we raised,” Hindenburg Research accused the Adani Group of holding back India’s progress by draping itself in the Indian flag while systematically looting the nation.

Hindenburg said it believes that India is a vibrant democracy and an emerging superpower with an exciting future. However, the research group alleged that the country’s future was being held back by the Adani Group, “which has draped itself in the Indian flag while systematically looting the nation.”

Hindenburg stressed that it’s a firm believer in the fact that fraud is fraud even when perpetuated by one of the wealthiest individuals globally.

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Economy news

India will remain on similar growth curve till 2030, expect well behaved inflation this fiscal: CEA

Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) V Anantha Nageswaran on Tuesday projected that India’s economy was poised to do better and expected to grow at 6.5-7 percent till the end of the decade.

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Economic Survey

Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) V Anantha Nageswaran on Tuesday projected that India’s economy was poised to do better and expected to grow at 6.5-7 percent till the end of the decade.

Nageswaran, while talking to the media after tabling of the Economic Survey in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, said that the inflation is likely to be “well behaved” in the coming fiscal year barring any unforeseen factors.

According to the Economic Survey prepared by the CEA, RBI projection of retail inflation at 6.8 per cent in the current fiscal is neither too high to deter private consumption, nor too low as to weaken inducement to invest.

The Economic Survey for the current fiscal also state that the Indian economy is expected to hit a minor slow down to 6.5 percent in April 2023 but will continue to remain the fastest-growing major economy in the world owing to its ability to better deal with challenges faced by the global economy.

The CEA maintained that the projected growth rate would remain stable as long as oil prices stayed below 100 dollars per barrel. He also pointed out that the quality of public expenditure has gone up and the government has become more transparent with budget deficit numbers, adding that an increased transparency is being witnessed in public procurement.

Read Also: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tables Economic Survey 2023, check highlights here

Nageswaran stressed that credit growth is picking up across sectors, and credit to MSMEs has grown at 30 per cent since January 2022, while NPAs in NBFCs is lower than what it was 15 months ago.

The CEA revealed that India is well ahead of its targets for renewable energy mix.

Earlier on Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund in its January update of the World Economic Outlook called India as a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy world economy which, together with China, will account for half of the global growth in 2023, compared to the US and Euro area, who account for just a 10th of the world’s growth.

The IMF report had made almost similar projections to the Economic Survey tabled by the government. It has projected India’s growth to dip slightly from 6.1 percent to 6.8 percent during the current fiscal year ending on March 31. IMF also expects some minor slowdown in the Indian economy in the next fiscal year.

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Crypto NFT

Bitcoin at $23.4k; Solana, Ethereum also witness minor dips

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The cryptocurrency market, infamous for its instability and volatile highs and lows, has seen a significant dip in the past few months. Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, dipped by 1.40% and is currently trading at $23,402.75 while Ethereum, the second biggest cryptocurrency was trading at around $1,604.10, a decrease of 1.59%, as of January 30, 2023.

Although infamous for its volatility, the crypto market is currently holding stable with Bitcoin holding stable around the $23,700 mark. The value of Bitcoin has more than tripled since 2021 and remains one of the most popular investments among retail and institutional investors, despite recent price rectifications.

In what is seen as an indication of a strong demand for alternative cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin and Ethereum, the Solana and Binance Coin (BNB) have increased up to 6 percent in value.

Solana, a high-performance blockchain platform, has been attracting attention due to its ability to handle high transaction volumes and its fast-processing times. On the other hand, Binance Coin is the native token of the Binance exchange, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

Trading prices of major cryptocurrencies:

    •    Bitcoin :$23,157.54

-2.99%

    •    Ethereum : $1,586.03 USD

-3.54%

    •    Tether : $1.02 USD

+0.59%

    •    USD Coin : $1.00 USD

-0.10%

    •    BNB:  $315.00 USD

-1.28%

    •    XRP : $0.3989 USD

-4.87%

    •    Dogecoin : $0.09418 USD

+4.71%

    •    Cardano : $0.3778 USD

-4.79%

    •    Polygon : $1.11 USD

-5.32%

    •    Polkadot  : $6.35 USD

-5.02%

    •    Tron : $0.06263 USD

-1.26%

    •    Litecoin : $97.14 USD

+0.87%

    •    Shibu Inu : $0.00001205 USD

-1.45%

    •    Solana : $24.77 USD

-5.40%

Crypto prices are notorious for being unstable and massive price swings in either direction is a common phenomenon in the market. However, a recent trend has seen somewhat of a stability on the scene as other cryptocurrencies, alongside Bitcoin are also seeing an upswing.

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