Brexit could lead to power cuts; India’s Infosys will hire 10,000 Americans; Samsung gets green light on driverless car

Profitable Moment

Alitalia needs to go out of business

Alitalia, the Italian airline, has gone into emergency administration after workers refused workplace reforms to cut costs. The Italian government is giving the airline a loan on commercial terms. The finance minster told me he was optimistic a solution would be found: I don’t know why. It was only 2 ½ years ago that the last restructuring took place when Etihad bought 49% of the airline and we were told a new chapter was beginning. 

It gives me no pleasure to say this. But, Alitalia should be allowed to go the way of all airlines that can’t survive without handouts: Out of business. For years, Alitalia has lost money, had a terrible reputation for service and reliability, while its domestic and European business has been stolen by low cost carriers like Ryanair.

If Alitalia ceased to fly, others would come in and pick up the slack. That’s the case with other European carriers already. Germany’s Lufthansa owns or partly owns all three neighboring airlines — Swiss, Austrian and Brussels. Air France/KLM is owned by a holding company. British Airways & Aer Lingus are part of a Spanish-registered company. 

Etihad’s folly was the last gasp for Alitalia. Now the market should be allowed to do its work. 

What’s new… what’s next

By Matt Egan, Patrick Gillespie, Julia Horowitz and Paul R. La Monica of CNNMoney

1. Le Pen woos left wing voters by attacking elite

Far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is seeking out an unlikely constituency: far-left voters in France. The two extremes of France’s political spectrum share a deep mistrust for big banks, free trade and globalization. And both groups have no interest in Le Pen’s opponent, Emmanuel Macron, a former banker turned presidential candidate who has never run for office. French voters choose their next president on Sunday. For now, Macron has a significant lead in the polls. 

2. Will Brexit come with power cuts in Britain?

Britain’s power industry is facing a potential meltdown over Brexit. UK lawmakers have warned that plans to exit the European Union pose a major threat to the country’s power supplies and nuclear industry. A cross-party committee warned that nuclear power plants — which generate 20% of the country’s electricity — could be forced to be shut down if Britain leaves the European Atomic Energy Community and consumers could also face much higher energy costs.

3. Trump’s strange take on China’s currency

One month ago, President Trump called China the “world champions" of currency devaluation. Now he’s telling a very different story. In an interview Monday, Trump said the Chinese have not manipulated their currency since he began his campaign “out of respect." His administration may have decided not to label China a currency manipulator, but that particular observation doesn’t hold water. China hasn’t stopped intervening in currency markets, analysts say.

4. Indian tech giant to hire 10,000 in the U.S.

Infosys, a Bangalore-based IT firm that is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the big corporate push to outsource jobs to India and add more foreign workers in the U.S., now wants to hire thousands of Americans here. Infosys is looking for “experienced technology professionals" and recent college grads at four tech and innovation hubs it will open in the U.S. The move could be greeted warmly by President Trump, whose mantra is to “Buy American and Hire American."

5. Big questions for Buffett at Berkshire meeting

Thousands of fans of Warren Buffett will flock to Omaha on May 6 for Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting — or, at the very least, watch a livestream of it on Yahoo. Buffett will face key questions from shareholders. Does he still have faith in scandal-ridden Wells Fargo? Did he make a bad bet on airlines? What does he think of Trump’s first 100 days? And the big one on everyone’s mind — who will eventually take over for Buffett at Berkshire?

6. Quick Takes:

Calling all university students: Facebook interns earn $8,000 a month

Nigerian cash has several exchange rates and that’s only one of many issues

Samsung gets approval for a self-driving car 

United Airlines CEO faced Congress after passenger was thrown off plan

Nouriel Roubini says Trump is the biggest risk to global growth and stability 

7. What’s next:

Pizza Hut and beer: Another diverse group of major companies is set to report earnings on Wednesday, including CNN parent Time Warner, which also owns HBO and TBS. The company is expected to detail the timing of its takeover by AT&T. Earnings are also on tap before the opening bell from brewer Molson Coors, Pizza Hut-owner Yum Brands and insurance giant Humana.

Fed rate hike plans on track? The US Federal Reserve is due to release its policy decision at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday. No rate hike is expected and Fed chief Janet Yellen is not scheduled to hold a press conference. But Wall Street will be reading the Fed statement closely in search of clues on whether the central bank plans to raise interest rates at its next meeting in June.

Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg grab the mic: There’s no shortage of tech star power after the bell on Wednesday. Musk will be looked at to justify Tesla’s 49% stock surge so far this year by sharing new details about the Model 3. The bar will also bet set high for Zuckerberg and Facebook, which has enjoyed a 33% rally this year. Look for updates on Facebook’s user growth and efforts to liven up Instagram with new Snapchat-like features.

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