BofA to Settle Mortgage Investors’ Class-Action
(NEW YORK) — Bank of America has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by investors who bought mortgage investments from Countrywide Financial, the California-based lender it acquired in 2008. The announcement came as the nation’s second biggest bank reported higher net income for the first quarter, but missed analysts’ expectations. Bank of America said Wednesday that it would pay $500 million to settle the lawsuit brought by the Maine State Retirement System and other pension funds who said Countrywide had misled them about the quality of the mortgages they bundled together and sold to investors before the crisis. The settlement is the latest reminder of the long fallout of Bank of America’s decision to buy Countrywide, which was known for making exotic loans. The purchase catapulted the bank into a spot at the top of the nation’s mortgage scene, but it’s been an albatross ever since, bringing lawsuits, regulatory investigations and quarterly losses. Bank of America ...
Tesco Barely in Profit as it Prepares U.S. Exit
(LONDON) — Tesco PLC, Britain’s largest supermarket operator, says it is looking to sell its U.S. operations after failing to make an impression over six years. Tesco said Wednesday that net profit for the year dropped 96 percent to 120 million pounds ($183 million) following a 1.2 billion pounds writedown to exit its Fresh & Easy brand in the U.S. It also took an 804 million pounds writedown on its U.K. property portfolio. Fresh & Easy has nearly 200 stores in California, Arizona and Nevada. Tesco says it is also leaving Japan and taking a more measured approach to growth in China. Chief Executive Philip Clarke told the BBC that the decision to leave the United States was right for shareholders and that the company was looking for a single buyer. MORE: How the Entry of Walmart and Big Retail Chains Will Change India
Post Office Retreats on Eliminating Saturday Mail
(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Postal Service backed down from its plan to eliminate Saturday mail delivery because Congress barred it, officials said Wednesday. But its governing board said it’s not possible for the financially ailing agency to meet cost-cutting goals without altering its delivery schedule. Delaying “responsible changes,” the board said, only makes it more likely that the Postal Service “may become a burden” to taxpayers. The Postal Service said in February that it planned to switch to five-day-a-week deliveries beginning in August for everything except packages as a way to hold down losses. (MORE: Is the Post Office Breaking the Law by Eliminating Saturday Delivery?) But that announcement was a gamble. The agency essentially was asking Congress to drop from spending legislation the longtime ban on five-day-only delivery. Congress did not do that when it passed a spending measure last month. “By including restrictive language … Congress has prohibited implementation ...
Fed Divided Over When to End Stimulus
WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve policymakers are divided over when to end extraordinary measures intended to encourage more borrowing and spending to help stimulate the U.S. economy, according to minutes of the Fed’s last meeting released Wednesday. The minutes of the Fed’s March 19-20 meeting were released at 9 a.m. EDT — five hours earlier than planned — after the Fed inadvertently sent them a day earlier to congressional staffers and lobbyists. The report showed that a few members want to end “relatively soon” a program that is spending $85 billion a month to purchases bonds. Those members say the costs likely outweigh the benefits. A few others saw the risks as increasing quickly and said the purchases would likely need to be reduced “before long.” Many members said an improved job market could lead them to slow purchases within a few months, and a few said economic conditions would likely justify continuing the program until late this year. (MORE: Obama’s Budget Would ...
UPS to Appeal EU's Block of TNT Merger
UPS said it was appealing an EU decision to block its planned $6.76 billion merger with Dutch rival TNT Express.