Talking Points


Brightcove gets a new CEO


gets a new CEO

Brightcove executives are hoping for a brighter future under new leadership. The Boston-based handler of online videos said it has hired Jeff Ray to be its new CEO. He lives in Florida and is coming out of retirement to take the job, according to a company spokeswoman, and plans to work in Boston during the workweek. He will oversee a staff of 500, including 270 in Boston. Ray takes over for acting CEO Andy Feinberg, who returns to his previous job as president and COO. Feinberg took charge last year after then-chief executive David Mendels left following pressure from an unhappy investor who was upset with the company’s performance. — JON CHESTO


WTO predicts continued growth in 2018

The World Trade Organization predicts continued trade growth this year, though it warned Thursday that tensions and retaliatory measures, notably between the United States and China, could compromise those gains. WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo laid out the trade body’s predictions at a news conference amid concerns about a trade war over President Trump’s planned tariffs on Chinese and other goods and Beijing’s retaliation. As it stands, the forecast is for 4.4 percent growth in merchandise trade volumes in 2018, easing to 4 percent next year. That’s down from 4.7 percent in 2017. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Public employee pension gap
at a record high

A public employee pension crisis for state governments has deepened to a record level even after nearly nine years of economic recovery for the nation, according to a study released Thursday, leaving many states especially vulnerable if the economy hits a downturn. The annual report from the Pew Charitable Trusts finds public worker pension funds with heavy state government involvement owed retirees and current workers $4 trillion as of 2016. They had about $2.6 trillion in assets, creating a gap of about one-third, or a record $1.4 trillion. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Musk calls
delay in
Model 3
a ‘time shift’


Don’t call Tesla Inc.’s slower-than-anticipated deliveries of Model 3 sedans a delay. It’s merely been a “time shift,” according to Elon Musk. “You’ll definitely get your car,” the chief executive told CBS in an interview aired Thursday. “It’s a six- to nine-month time shift. That’s literally it, and three of those months have already passed.” Musk has tested some customers’ and investors’ patience by struggling to resolve bottlenecks causing a “production hell.” The period of manufacturing woes is lasting about two to three quarters longer than he thought, he said. The comments by Musk were somewhat inconsistent with Tesla’s statement earlier this month, in which the company said the Model 3 may exceed the growth rate that Ford Motor Co. exhibited with the Model T. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Hearst acquires rest of Fitch Group

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Hearst Corp. has acquired the 20 percent share of Fitch Group it didn’t already own for $2.8 billion, helping the media giant further diversify as the publishing business struggles. Hearst originally bought a stake in the credit-rating company in 2006 and increased its share to 80 percent in 2015. Fitch does business in more than 30 countries. It competes with Moody’s Investors Service and S&P, the two biggest credit-rating companies. Fitch also provides credit-market data, risk analysis, and training. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Steve Schwarzman won’t get his name on his old high school

Steve Schwarzman (left) was president of his high school’s student council, but he’s not making the rules now. An agreement putting the name of billionaire cofounder of Blackstone Group on the school — one of the stipulations of a $25 million donation he pledged — was rescinded Tuesday by the Abington, Pa., school board following objections from some residents. The main complaint was that the deal had been done in private with little input from the public. Schwarzman, 71, dropped the requirement to have his name added to Abington Senior High School, and a new agreement was posted Wednesday on the district’s website to be voted on April 24. The revised deal would put the private equity executive’s name on a new science and technology center, but no longer stipulates that he would receive regular updates on the school’s computer science curriculum or construction progress. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


for jobless benefits ease

US filings for unemployment benefits eased last week following a spike reflecting volatility around spring holidays, Labor Department data showed Thursday. Claims are still near the 45-year low of 217,000 in February, indicating employers’ reluctance to fire staff. The prior week’s increase of 24,000, the biggest since September, may have reflected the impact of the Easter holiday and school breaks, periods when seasonal adjustments tend to be more difficult. Also, applications for jobless benefits below 300,000 are considered consistent with a healthy labor market. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Berkshire Hathaway
to oppose
USG’s board nominees

Berkshire Hathaway plans to oppose USG Corp.’s board nominees, backing a shareholder revolt that flared after the wallboard maker spurned a takeover bid from Germany’s Knauf. USG shares jumped. Knauf, which owns about 10 percent of USG, is calling for investors to reject the slate in an election next month as a way to pressure the company into accepting the $5.9 billion deal. ‘‘Berkshire’s present intention is to vote against the four directors proposed by management,’’ Debbie Bosanek, an assistant to Berkshire chief executive Warren Buffett, said in an e-mail Thursday. Berkshire holds 31 percent of Chicago-based USG. Knauf offered to buy USG for $42 a share, Berkshire revealed in a regulatory filing last month. Berkshire indicated it would accept that amount if a sale is approved.


LL Bean: Man
who sued over
new return
policy had never returned anything


LL Bean says an Illinois man who sued over the retailer’s new return policy never tried to return any products. The lawsuit in federal court accuses Maine-based LL Bean of breach of warranty over changes to its unlimited ‘‘satisfaction’’ guarantee. The company is asking a judge to dismiss the lawsuit. It says the suit misrepresented the policy because returns made before Feb. 9, 2018, are not subject to the revised policy as long as there’s proof of purchase. Going forward, there’s a one-year limit for most new purchases. LL Bean also said there’s also no evidence that the plaintiff, Victor Bondi, tried to return anything, so ‘‘there’s no controversy for this court to resolve.’’ — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Rates barely changed

Mortgage rates have settled in, undeterred by conflicting economic data, global political and economic concerns, and recent Federal Reserve signals. According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average ticked up to 4.42 percent. It was 4.40 percent a week ago and 4.08 percent a year ago. The 15-year fixed-rate average remained the same as it was a week ago, holding steady at 3.87 percent. It was 3.34 percent a year ago. The five-year adjustable-rate average slipped to 3.61 percent. It was 3.62 percent a week ago and 3.18 percent a year ago. — WASHINGTON POST