Archive For December 21, 2016

Wells Fargo smothers lawsuits over sham accounts

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In congressional hearing rooms and on national television, Wells Fargo has vowed to make things right for the thousands of customers who were defrauded with sham accounts. The bank’s new chief executive, Timothy Sloan, in his first week on the job, said his “immediate and highest priority is to restore trust in Wells Fargo.” But…

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The madness of King Donald

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Late in American involvement in the Vietnam War, President Richard Nixon put forth the “madman theory.” He wanted Henry Kissinger to intimate to Hanoi and Moscow that Nixon was so frustrated that he had gone off the rails and was capable of anything, even nuclear war. Although a drunk and casual about the Constitution, Nixon…

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Trump vows to ‘bring down drug prices’; biotech stocks fall

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President-elect Donald Trump promised to drive down the cost of medicines, defying investors who saw a boon in his election last month and injecting himself again into a contentious economic debate. “I’m going to bring down drug prices,” Trump said, according to a transcript of an interview posted on Time magazine’s website as it named…

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Claims for US unemployment aid slide again

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans signed up for unemployment benefits last week, another sign the U.S. job market remains healthy. THE NUMBERS: The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly claims for jobless aid slid by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 258,000. The less-volatile four-week average rose by 1,000 to 252,500. Overall, 2.01 million Americans are…

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US home price gains lift household wealth to $90.2 trillion

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A healthy increase in home values and higher stock prices drove up U.S. household wealth in the July-September quarter, though the gains are largely concentrated among wealthier Americans. The Federal Reserve said Thursday that real estate values increased $554 billion in the third quarter, while Americans’ stock and mutual fund portfolios rose…

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Washington ranked in top tier for Q2 GDP growth

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Washington’s inflation-adjusted gross domestic product grew 2.3 percent in the second quarter, the fifth strongest showing among the states. The new report comes today from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. The rate is down from a blistering 4.8 percent in the same period last year (the first quarter’s 11.5 percent was likely a statistical…

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Portland will tax public companies where CEO pay is 100 times employee average

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Moving to address income inequality on a local level, the City Council in Portland, Oregon, voted Wednesday to impose a surtax on publicly traded companies whose chief executives earn more than 100 times the median pay of their rank-and-file workers. The surcharge, which Portland officials said is the first in the nation linked to chief…

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Rollback of truck safety rules may be just the beginning

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. — The trucking industry scored a victory this week when Republican lawmakers effectively blocked Obama administration safety rules aimed at keeping tired truckers off the highway. But there’s more coming down the road. The American Trucking Associations is pledging to come back next month, when Republicans will control the White House and Congress,…

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Banking on change: Tech startups target financial services

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SAN FRANCISCO — It may not be much longer before bank branches join video-rental stores and record shops as relics of a bygone era. Silicon Valley is pressuring banks to change their ways or risk becoming the latest industry overtaken by technology. Hundreds of startups are offering easier and cheaper ways to save, borrow, spend…

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Trump expected to tap Goldman banker for economic post

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn to an influential White House economic post, two people informed of the decision said Friday. Cohn, 56, would lead the White House National Economic Council, a posting that would require him to leave his $21 million a year job as…

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