Consumer sentiment edges up to year high

Posted on 25 Feb 2012 In: Consumer

Consumer sentiment edges up to year highArticle from Reuters:

NEW YORK | Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:41am EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Consumer sentiment improved a tad in February to rack up a year high as Americans became more confident about the economy’s resilience, a survey released on Friday showed.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s final reading of the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 75.3, edging up from 75.0 the month before. It was the highest level since February 2011.

It surpassed economists’ expectations of 73.0 and recovered from a [...] Continue Reading…

APNewsBreak: NY requires life insurance companies to start paying fully on …Article from Washington Post:ALBANY, N.Y. — New York regulators on Friday told insurance companies they must pay out fully when members of the military are killed in action as the standard practice, rather than automatically establishing a kind of checking account that provides interest to the companies.
State Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky said New York is the first state to require the measure. He said families can often get a better return on interest if they invest the [...] Continue Reading…

Credit union director urges payday loan rate cap

Posted on 24 Feb 2012 In: Credit

Credit union director urges payday loan rate capArticle from BBC News:24 February 2012 Last updated at 12:07 ET

Martin Treadgold thinks that the UK should have a cap on APR rates like many European countries

The director of a West Midlands credit union has called on the government to cap the maximum interest rate levied by high-cost credit providers.
Martin Treadgold, from the 6 Towns Credit Union in West Bromwich, said some of the rates were “unethical”.
His comments come after the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced a new investigation into the [...] Continue Reading…

Bailed-out insurance company AIG posts $ 20 billion profit on a tax-related …Article from Washington Post:NEW YORK — American International Group, the insurance company that was bailed out by the government in 2008, reported a $ 19.8 billion profit in the fourth quarter of last year, nearly all of it due to a tax-related accounting gain.
In the same period a year earlier, the company earned $ 11.2 billion. Excluding the accounting adjustment, AIG had operating earnings of $ 1.6 billion, compared to an operating loss [...] Continue Reading…

Consumer Comfort in US at Almost the Highest in Four Years

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 In: Consumer

Consumer Comfort in US at Almost the Highest in Four YearsArticle from BusinessWeek:February 23, 2012, 12:09 PM EST

Initial Jobless Claims in U.S. Hold at Four-Year Low
Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Fall to Four-Year Low
Margins Widen at U.S. Companies as Wages Lag Behind: Economy
Trade Deficit in U.S. Climbed in December to Six-Month High
Growth Forecast in Obama Budget Exceeds Economist Estimates

By Bob Willis
(Updates with markets and correlation with other data starting in seventh parag…………………continues on BusinessWeek
>>> Read the full article from the source

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FSA: Industry has ‘itself to blame’ for [...] Continue Reading…

Credit Agricole posts Q4 loss as Greece bites

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 In: Credit

Credit Agricole posts Q4 loss as Greece bitesArticle from The Associated Press:Credit Agricole posts Q4 loss as Greece bites
By SARAH DiLORENZO, AP Business Writer – 1 hour ago 
PARIS (AP) — French bank Credit Agricole SA reported a euro3.07 billion ($ 4.06 billion) net loss in the fourth quarter on Thursday, as an intensifying European debt crisis drove down the value of its Greek bonds and shaved billions off the bank’s bottom line.
Credit Agricole — hit by the Greek debt crisis largely through its ownership of Greek [...] Continue Reading…

Utility Regulators To Reconsider AEP Rate Hike

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 In: Utility

Utility Regulators To Reconsider AEP Rate HikeArticle from WOUB:By
Associated Press

Published Thu, Feb 23, 2012 5:03 am Dateline
Columbus, OH

Ohio public utility regulators are ready to reconsider electric rate increases criticized by schools and small businesses as burdensome at a time of a weak economy and continued budget cuts.    Three of the state’s largest school groups have asked regulators to give districts special consideration as they reconsider the increase that took effect last month for American Electric Power.    The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is holding a hearing today to reconsider [...] Continue Reading…

Insurance policies pushed up by £30 a year because of £2.4m daily bill to …Article from Daily Mail:By Ray Massey
Last updated at 12:00 AM on 23rd February 2012

British motorists are paying an astonishing £2.4million a day on their insurance policies to cover legal fees generated by personal injury and whiplash claims, a damning new report revealed yesterday.
The hefty £876million a year legal fees paid to lawyers to settle the injury claims resulting from road accidents are the equivalent of £1,666 added to motor insurance premiums every minute, said the [...] Continue Reading…

Consumer group files FTC complaint against Google

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 In: Consumer

Consumer group files FTC complaint against GoogleArticle from CNET:
by Elinor Mills February 22, 2012 12:04 PM PST

From Google’s privacy policy change to Google overriding browser default settings, the FTC is getting an earful from privacy groups and lawmakers.

The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) today filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission claiming that Google’s move to consolidate its dozens of privacy policies violates an agreement the company reached with the FTC to settle privacy complaints about the now defunct Google Buzz.
The complaint — similar to [...] Continue Reading…

Consumer watchdog agency probes checking-account overdraft fees; misleading …Article from Washington Post:WASHINGTON — The government’s new consumer-watchdog agency is launching a probe into costly overdraft fees charged by big banks.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Wednesday that it will ask banks for information about how overdraft fees affect consumers, how overdraft protection is marketed and what information consumers receive.

The probe could result in new rules or even lawsuits if banks are accused of violating consumer laws.
“Overdraft practices have the capacity to inflict serious economic harm on the people who [...] Continue Reading…