Los Angeles Business Journal

Steps Closer to Rate Hike

Although it didn’t happen this week, the time could soon be approaching when Federal Reserve policymakers raise the federal funds rate for the first time since 2006 since they seem to be indicating the economy is getting better, the Los Angeles Times reports.

A New Beginning

In anticipation of next year’s opening of the Expo Line, a Metro train drove into the downtown Santa Monica terminal this week, LAist reports. It marked the first time in more than 60 years that a passenger train has reached downtown Santa Monica.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 75 points in early trading Thursday to 17,676. The S&P 500 was down nine points to 2,100. The Nasdaq was down 26 points to 5,086. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 242.

Rough Times for Relativity

Ryan Kavanaugh's financially embattled Relativity Media may be cutting up to 50 jobs and possibly filing for bankruptcy as early as today, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Beverly Hills production company is said to owe at least $320 million and has faced a lack of box office hits over the past year.

Edison Wants More from Mitsubishi

Southern California Edison is asking for $3 billion more – now a total of $7.6 billion – from Tokyo’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which manufactured the faulty steam generators that led to the permanent shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power plant, the Los Angeles Times reports. The amount the utility wins would be split 50-50 with customers. However, Mitsubishi maintains it owes no more than $137 million, according to the agreements that were signed.

Some Drought-Struck Towns Could be ‘Wiped Off the Map’

The state’s drought crisis, which centers in the Central Valley, could possibly erase some towns from the map as wells and jobs dry up and farmers struggle, CBS Sacramento reports. However, the possibility of a new well in Tulare County might bring a glimmer of hope.

Malibu Winemakers Will Toast This

In a surprising move, a compromise was reached Tuesday by Los Angeles County Supervisors who voted to allow pending applications to establish vineyards to proceed instead of continuing to ban them, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. County officials say the ban on new applications would just be extended for four months instead of 10.

Weighing the Safety of Local Oil Fields

After a recent report claimed fracking fir oil may be unhealthy and hurt water and air quality, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors called for an inventory of all operating oil fields in the county, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. It is unclear what the supes intend to do with the information. County officials also want legislative advocates to push for consistent state legislation to fund studies on the health and environmental impacts of oil and gas production.

Soft Opening for ‘Kait’

All the hype may not have paid off for the highly anticipated premiere of “I Am Kait” as the E! reality show brought in an average of 2.73 million viewers which is just slightly higher than a typical audience for Bruce Jenner’s former reality show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” the Hollywood Reporter reports. A “20/20” interview with the now Kaitlin Jenner did with Diane Sawyer in April brought in 17 million viewers. Only seven more episodes of the new reality show are scheduled to run this summer.

Microsoft Betting on an Upgrade

Microsoft Corp. is rolling out Windows 10 today, hoping for a reinvigoration of recent lagging sales, CNBC reports. Windows 10, which is more similar to the older Windows 7 and is so far receiving modest reviews, will initially be offered as a free update and perhaps make up for the disappointment of Windows 8 which was released three years ago.

The Desert Look

It’s become a badge of honor in light of the drought: a drought-friendly lawn, according to officials with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports. This led to a slew of people signing up for turf-removal rebates, which exhausted funds for the rest of the year. Officials are glad to see the demand, since 50 percent of household water is used on lawns. But some critics say too much money is being spent on something residents would eventually do themselves.

Beauty Comes With a $1,000 Price Tag

How much would you pay to learn how to look like a tanned Kim Kardashian? Try $1,000. That’s what some people shelled out recently to attend a four-hour master class with Kardashian and her make-up artist at the Pasadena Civic Conference Center with some students even traveling from other countries to attend, LAist reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 49 points in early trading Wednesday to 17,680. The S&P 500 was up five points to 2,098. The Nasdaq was up three points to 5,092. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 242.

City Ignoring Phone Overcharges?

A Calabasas company named Cost/Benefit Corp., which was hired by the city of Los Angeles to audit cell phone bills, claims Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Attorney Mike Feuer failed to take action after finding out the city was overcharged by about $12 million and could recover as much as $39 million from its phone providers, the Los Angeles Times reports. Instead, the company claims it has not been paid, so it is suing the city. The city intends to countersue.

Katy Perry vs. Local Restaurateur

The controversy that pits pop singer Katy Perry against local restaurateur Dana Hollister, who has a a tentative deal to buy a hilltop Los Feliz convent from an order of nuns, is headed to a Los Angeles County Superior Court, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is fighting the agreement, saying Hollister took advantage of the nuns, and it wants to sell to Perry. The dispute centers on who has the authority to actually sell the nunnery.