In the tank: U.S. drivers are expected to collectively spend $52 billion more at the pump this year than they did in 2016, as the new year is expected to bring in the highest gasoline prices since 2012. USA Today reports the average cost for regular, unleaded gas is expected to spike to $2.49 per gallon this year, up from $2.13 in 2016. That significant uptick is in marked contrast to the steady price drops consumers have mostly seen over the past four years. “The era of falling prices from year to year is likely to be over,’’ says Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy’s senior petroleum analyst. U.S. drivers are projected to spend a total of $354.6 billion on gas this year, a jump from the $302.5 billion doled out in 2016. Read the full story.
Parting ways: Rex Tillerson, the nominee of President-elect Donald Trump for secretary of state, is severing ties with ExxonMobil through a $180 million retirement package one week before his Senate confirmation hearing begins. The Associated Press reports Tillerson will surrender, if confirmed, all unpaid stock that was part of his pay package, more than 2 million shares. In exchange, the company will make a cash payment equal to the value of those shares to a trust to be overseen by a third party, according to a regulatory filing today with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Because of the way the compensation is being dispensed, Tillerson will give up about $7 million, compared with what he would have been paid had he retired in March as he had planned to do before the nomination. Read the full story.
Settled: Credit-reporting companies Equifax Inc. and TransUnion have agreed to pay more than $23 million over federal claims that they deceptively marketed and sold credit scores to consumers, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says Atlanta-based Equifax and Chicago-based TransUnion—two of the three largest credit-reporting firms—falsely advertised how lenders use credit scores and deceptively charged consumers for subscriptions to check their own score. The companies in separate statements say they already have fixed many of the issues raised by the CFPB. Equifax and TransUnion collectively have agreed to pay more than $17.6 million in restitution to consumers and $5.5 million in fines, without admitting or denying the CFPB’s findings. Read the full story.