Texas Judge Temporarily Blocks Small Business Loan Rule

In a recent ruling, a Texas judge granted a preliminary injunction, partially blocking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from enforcing a mandate requiring lenders to collect demographic data on small business borrowers. The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by the Texas Bankers Association (TBA), the American Bankers Association (ABA), and a small Texas bank, who claimed that the CFPB lacked authority to issue the rule due to an appeals court’s finding that the regulator’s funding structure was unlawful. The ruling is pending the U.S. Supreme Court’s consideration of the CFPB’s funding structure, which is scheduled for fall.

Source: Reuters


Job Openings Lowest In Over Two Years

In June, U.S. employers posted a decrease in job openings to 9.6 million, signaling a downturn in demand for workers. The number of job openings was lower than April’s 10.3 million and the lowest in over two years. Additionally, the number of people quitting their jobs fell to 3.8 million from 4.1 million in June, indicating a slowdown in the job market. The Federal Reserve aims to temper the job market as lower desperation to hire and fewer workers seeking higher-paying jobs may reduce pressure on businesses to raise wages, potentially aiding in lowering inflation. Despite the decline, there are still 1.6 jobs available for every unemployed worker, higher than pre-pandemic levels. Economists forecast a gain of 200,000 jobs in July’s upcoming report, which may maintain the unemployment rate at 3.6%, near a half-century low.

Source:  Fortune


Meta Prepares To Launch AI-Powered Chatbots With Personalities

Meta, the owner of Facebook, is preparing to launch AI-powered chatbots with different personalities as early as next month. These chatbots, called “personas,” aim to engage the social media platform’s nearly 4 billion users and provide a new search function and recommendations. Some of the personas take the form of different characters, like impersonating Abraham Lincoln or advising on travel in the style of a surfer. While the move is intended to boost engagement and collect more user data for targeted advertising, it also raises concerns about privacy, manipulation, and potential bias in the AI-generated content. Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, envisions AI agents that act as assistants and coaches, with the company investing in generative AI technology to support the development of these chatbots. However, the company may face scrutiny from experts to ensure the chatbots do not spread misinformation or harmful content.

Source: Financial Times