Drilling slump brings Lorain layoffs
U.S. Steel announces January 6 that it will lay off 614 workers at its plant in Lorain in March due to declining demanding for steel pipes and tubes used for drilling for gas and oil.
Rollout of the apple watch
The Apple Watch went on sale in April, threatening to shake up the market for fitness bands and other wearable gadgets. Prices start at $350 and go up to $10,000 for luxury models. The smartwatch received mixed reviews. Some critics questioned whether it was useful enough to justify buying.
Four big banks admit foreign exchange rigging
Four of the biggest banks in the world – Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland – agreed to pay more than $5 billion in penalties and plead guilty to rigging the currency markets.
Verizon buys AOL
Verizon Communications announces May 12 it will buy AOL for $4.4 billion in an all-cash deal, as a way to expand its video offerings. Additionally, Sprint and Verizon will pay $159 million ($120 million of it in customer refunds) to settle federal and state charges that the phone services added illegal third-party charges to mobile phone bills.
Greece bailout deal agreed
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives at the eurozone leaders summit in Brussels, 12 July. In a marathon Brussels summit lasting more than 16 hours – the longest in EU history – an agreement was finally reached that would lead to a third bailout for Greece and keep the country in the eurozone.
China’s deceleration is part of an official plan to shift from unsustainable growth from exports and wasteful investment to slower but steadier expansion based on consumer spending. Yet its leaders tarnished their reputation for economic stewardship by clumsily intervening to prop up plunging stock prices. Between August 10 and August 25, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 11 percent on fears that everyone had underestimated China’s troubles and their impact on the rest of the world.
In the first half of 2015, Volkswagen passed Toyota as the world s top-selling automaker. The triumph didn’t last long. On September 18, the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that VW had cheated on emissions tests for hundreds of thousands of diesel cars it had marketed as “green.”
Takata’s exploding air bags
Japan’s Takata Corp. admitted concealing evidence for years that its air bags could explode — a defect linked to eight deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide. Takata agreed to pay U.S. regulators a $70 million fine.
Growth of the ‘gig’ economy
The growth of the ride service Uber ignited a debate about the “gig economy,” in which people don’t hold regular jobs in traditional workplaces but rather work as some version of a freelancer: Uber drivers tooling around town in their own cars.
Automakers and tech companies such as Google, Alibaba and Baidu scrambled to develop cars that would drive themselves. Nissan let reporters take a test drive in a self-driving car. Electric carmaker Tesla rolled out technology that allows for automated braking and lane-changes. As more functions are automated, experts say some cars should eventually be capable of driving themselves, perhaps by 2025.