A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld two settlements that require union retirees of General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. to pay more for their health care. GM, Ford and the United Auto Workers union reached the settlements in 2005, and U.S. District Court approved them the following year. The settlements cover 472,000 retirees and dependents at GM and 172,000 at Ford.
Worries aside, Fed keeps key rate
Wall Street turbulence, Main Street credit problems and a nationwide housing slump pose increasing risks to the economy, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday, even as it left an important interest rate at 5.25 percent on Tuesday. In turn, commercial banks' prime interest rate for certain credit cards, home equity lines of credit and other loans - would stay at 8.25 percent. The key rate hasn't budged for more than a year.
Higher productivity may be temporary
The productivity of American workers rebounded in the spring while wage pressures eased, favorable economic developments that analysts worried might prove only temporary. The Labor Department reported Tuesday that worker efficiency rose at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the April-June quarter, more than double the 0.7 percent pace of the first three months of the year.
Consumer credit jumped by $13.2B
Consumers boosted their borrowing more than expected in June, reflecting another hefty jump in credit card debt. The Federal Reserve reported Tuesday that consumer credit rose at an annual rate of 6.5 percent in June. It marked the second straight sizable gain. Total consumer credit rose by $13.2-billion in June to a record $2.459-trillion. The increase was double what had been expected.
Ex-Brocade CEO found guilty
Former Brocade Communications Systems Inc. CEO Gregory Reyes was convicted Tuesday of defrauding investors in the first stock options backdating case to go to trial. The guilty verdict on all counts is an important validation of the Justice Department's options backdating inquiry, which has led to criminal charges against at least 10 executives. Reyes' case was seen as an test of whether a jury considers it a crime deserving of jail time.
GulfShore Bank is closer to opening
The brand-new GulfShore Bank has raised $13.3-million in capital, received conditional approval from regulators and is set to open its first office in South Tampa Aug. 22. Gregory Manassa is president and chief executive and John McCarthy executive vice president and senior lending officer.
EXPERIENCE AT HAND
John Agwunobi, the assistant U.S. health secretary, will lead Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s health and wellness business unit. The former Florida health secretary begins Sept. 4. Wal-Mart will open as many as 400 in-store health clinics in the next three years.