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Business this week

The vice-chairman of America’s Federal Reserve , Stanley Fischer, unexpectedly resigned for “personal reasons”. His term was not due to end until June 2018. The resignation of Mr Fischer, who has also served as head of the Bank of Israel and as chief economist of the World Bank, increases the pressure on President Donald Trump to fill a mounting list of vacancies at the Fed.

The number of jobs in America grew by 156,000 in August, less than analysts had expected. Unemployment ticked up to 4.4%, from 4.3% in July.

12 hours ago The UK Independence Party elects a former Liberal Democrat candidate as its new leader Britain 18 hours ago Roads are becoming more deadly in developing countries Graphic detail 19 hours ago Winnie-the-Pooh brought joy to readers, but misery to the Milnes Prospero 21 hours ago Ukraine’s Amid signs of robust economic growth, the Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest rate by 0.25%, to 1%, less than two months after its previous rate hike in July.

After its economy added 59,000 jobs in July, total employment in Italy rose above 23m for the first time since 2008. See article .

Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund, the world’s largest, proposed a significant change in how its bond portfolio should be measured, recommending that only government bonds in dollars, euros or sterling should make up its benchmark index, rather than bonds in 23 currencies. The fund has been shifting away from bonds and towards equities.

Winning lots of won

Workers at Kia won a victory over their employer in a wage dispute when a South Korean court ordered the carmaker to pay 420bn won ($370m) in back pay. Kia says the ruling will cost it closer to 1trn won once all wages are adjusted.

United Technologies , an American aerospace company, announced that it would acquire a competitor, Rockwell Collins , for $30bn. Boeing, one of the putative combination’s largest customers, said it was “sceptical” that the deal would be in the best interest of its industry, and said it might pursue “regulatory options” to protect its position. See article .

Bell Pottinger , a prominent London public-relations firm, put itself up for sale after its chief executive, and another senior manager, stepped down. The firm ran into trouble after being expelled by its industry body, the Public Relations and Communications Association, which had found that Bell Pottinger’s work for South Africa’s influential Gupta family was likely to have inflamed “racial discord” in the country. See article .

The European Court of Justice gave firms offering price rebates a reprieve. By sending an appeal by Intel over a €1bn ($1.2bn) EU fine in 2009 back to a lower court for reconsideration, the court said EU antitrust authorities would have to show rebates harmed competition to be deemed illegal.

Crypto curbs

A group of Chinese regulators, led by its central bank, declared initial coin offerings (ICOs), a type of fundraising for companies based on issuing virtual tokens, to be illegal. The regulators not only called a halt to new offerings, but also said that proceeds from already completed ICOs should be refunded to investors.

Six banks, including HSBC and Credit Suisse, signed on to a consortium spearheaded by UBS, another bank, to create a “utility settlement coin”, a new form of blockchain-based digital currency for clearing and settling transactions that it hopes to launch next year. This brings the total number of financial institutions involved in the project to 11.

A review by PwC into a scandal over sham accounts at Wells Fargo revealed that the American bank had opened 1.4m more unauthorised accounts, or around 70% more, than had initially been estimated last year. See article.

Trouble in paradise. Nordea , the Nordic region’s largest bank, announced that it would move its headquarters from Stockholm to Helsinki. The move comes after over a year of complaints from the bank about Swedish policies, including plans for a bank levy (since put on hold). The bank cited Finland’s membership in the EU’s banking union, which will allow the lender to be regulated in the same way as its European peers, as the main reason for choosing the Finnish capital over Copenhagen, the Danish capital, which it also considered.

Four of the top ten executives at Reckitt Benckiser , a British consumer-goods giant, are leaving the firm. The shake-out follows a series of setbacks, including a hit from a severe cyber-attack in June. See article .

Happy birds

Rovio , a Finnish games company and maker of “Angry Birds”, is planning an initial public offering. The firm suffered when interest in its signature game flagged in 2014, but is now basking in the success of the first “Angry Birds” film, which grossed $350m at box offices worldwide in 2016. Some worry that the firm is too much of a one-tweet wonder.