Should you be watching your mailbox for a check from Citigroup?
The banking giant says it will pay out $2.5 billion to provide "consumer relief" to help settle charges brought against it by the U.S. Justice Department. The government said Monday that "defects" in Citi's mortgage securities had fueled the financial crisis that triggered the Great Recession.
There is a coal-burning power plant outside of Houston that ranks among the nation's biggest emitters of carbon dioxide. With pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the plant is hoping to capture that CO2 and use it to boost energy production in an old oilfield. Houston Public Media's Andrew Schneider reports.
So the Swiss chocolate maker, Lindt, has announced plans to gobble up Kansas City-based Russell Stover, the company behind all those Valentine samplers. I know what you are thinking. I know what you are thinking - you know, that's all very fine. You're thinking about all of this business news, but what does it mean for my chocolate? Well, Frank Morris of member station KCUR in Kansas City reports.
Kurdish security forces, the peshmerga, have taken over two major oil fields near Kirkuk, in northern Iraq. The fields have the potential to put billions of dollars into the coffers of the Kurdish regional government.
But there's a hitch: Even if the Kurdish government has control of the oil, it doesn't necessarily mean it can export it — thanks to the Baghdad government and the U.S.
Installing solar panels on a house to generate electricity often costs $20,000 or more, and many homeowners have turned to leasing programs to avoid those upfront costs. But most leases are for 20 years, and that can present problems if someone wants to sell the house before the lease is completed.
Peter Auditore of El Granada, Calif., was happy with the leased solar panels he installed a few years back. When he decided to sell, he found a buyer who also appreciated the environmental benefits of solar panels. But then there was a hitch just as the sale was about to go through.
Citigroup has agreed to pay $7 billion to settle claims that it committed fraud when it sold mortgage-backed securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis. Most of the money will be paid to the U.S. Treasury, but some will be used to provide mortgage relief to struggling homeowners.
Google is trying to make sense of a sweeping decision about the Internet. In May, the European Court of Justice ruled that people have the right to be forgotten. That is, if you don't like something about you that pops up on a Google search, you can make Google hide that result.
The accounting firm of Ernst & Young has agreed to pay $4 million to settle civil charges that it violated federal rules when a subsidiary lobbied Congress on behalf of audit clients.
"Ernst & Young engaged in lobbying activities that constituted improper advocacy and clearly violated the rules," said Scott W. Friestad, associate director of enforcement for the Securities and Exchange Commission, which announced the penalty Monday.
In the town of Bassett in southern Virginia, some of the downtown street lights are dark. The lamps, maintained by the once prosperous Bassett Furniture Co., are now funded by voluntary contributions from residents and businesses — when they can afford it.
Bassett is just one of many towns and cities in Virginia and North Carolina where scores of furniture-making plants have closed in the past 20 years, mostly because of competition from China and other foreign countries.
The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino is expected to close on Sept. 16, making it the latest in a series of Atlantic City casinos to go under.
As required by federal law in advance of mass layoffs, the hotel sent out warnings about the planned closure to employees on Monday. According to a document obtained by The Associated Press, a total of 1,153 layoffs are expected.
Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 12:49 pm
It's not just comedian John Oliver coming out against cable companies to support net neutrality. The world's largest Internet companies — Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and others — have officially chimed in, filing comments Monday to the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees Internet traffic.
Citigroup has agreed to settle allegations that it defrauded investors in the years leading up to the financial crisis. The settlement requires Citigroup to pay $7 billion. Two and a half billion will go toward mortgage relief for homeowners. Now, this settlement involves mortgage-backed securities the bank packaged and sold to investors, and it was announced this morning by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. We're going to talk this through with NPR's Jim Zarroli who's on the line. Jim, good morning.
Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 10:07 am
In a push for greater prominence in the American market, Swiss chocolate company Lindt & Sprungli has reached a deal to acquire Russell Stover, the company whose products include the time-tested Whitman's Sampler box of chocolates, a product featured in the 1994 film Forrest Gump.
The deal would make the combined company the No. 3 chocolate maker in North America, Lindt says in a news release announcing the deal. The company says the acquisition is the "biggest and most important strategic acquisition" in its history.
And if you've eaten a few too many Saskatoon berries, our last word in Business is for you, a calorie-counting app.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Losing weight pretty much boils down to a simple equation, calories in versus calories out. But tracking that can be tedious, logging everything you order or cook at home. Now picture this, a device that you place over your plate and it shows you exactly what's in the food you're about to eat.
Prosecutors in Shanghai have charged a British detective and his American wife with illegally buying and selling personal information about Chinese citizens. They were working for a company that was already under scrutiny from China's government. NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports.
A new kind of berry has found its way into Michigan grocery stores. These dark purple fruits are called saskatoons.
This commercial cultivar of the wild juneberry is pretty common in Canada, but it hasn't been grown by farmers in the U.S. until recently. Here, the berry, also sometimes called the serviceberry, has been collected in the wild for generations.
One farmer who has started growing them in Michigan isn't quite sure how to describe the taste.
Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 11:39 am
It sits in an imposing building just across Lafayette Square from the White House. Yet the Export-Import Bank, which has been offering credit to foreign purchasers of U.S. goods for 80 years, could start shutting down operations within a matter of weeks.
"There's about a 50-50 chance," says Dan Ikenson, who directs a trade policy center at the Cato Institute.
The complaint, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, says that Wal-Mart should have known that the driver of the truck had been awake 24 hours and alleges that he fell asleep at the wheel.
Many of the biggest stars in global soccer — Neymar, Messi, Ronaldo — play the regular season with club teams in Spain. Their marquee names have helped their Spanish teams get filthy rich. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona top Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest sports franchises. You have to scroll down to No. 4 to find the New York Yankees, and NFL teams below that.
In New York City's East Village, there are a number of hole-in-the-wall spots that advertise sushi at 50 percent off. But I can never bring myself to sample the goods. We're talking about a delicacy flown in from around the world. Marking it down drastically just doesn't sit right. Something — either the price, or the fish — has to be a little off.
Summertime in the tech world has made us eager for some lighter news, which you can find below. But the weightier legal battles in technology continue, as highlighted in our Big Conversation section. And links we think you should see are filed under Curiosities. Have a great weekend, readers.
In recent years, consumers have grown increasingly aware that the explosion of palm oil plantations to supply food companies making everything from Pop-Tarts to ramen noodles has taken a heavy toll on the environment.