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Senators Hear From Consumers And Credit Card Companies Concerning Interest Rate Increases And Fees – Legislation Possible

Senators Hear From Consumers And Credit Card Companies Concerning Interest Rate Increases And Fees – Legislation Possible

Carl Levin

(Best Syndication) A Permanent Senate Subcommittee on Investigations looked into the practices of credit card companies Wednesday. The panel interviewed an Ohio man whose $3,200 credit card debt ballooned into $10,700 with interest and penalties. The heads of various credit card companies also gave testimony.

The subcommittee of Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs heard from representatives of Bank of America, Citigroup Inc. and Chase Bank USA. The Ohio man, Wesley Wannemacher, went over his $3,000 limit only three times but was hit with over-limit fees 47 times.

Even though Wannemacher paid between $140 and $210 per month, his total debt more than tripled over a six year period. Lawmakers worry that these practices and other exorbitant fines and interest penalties may be widespread in the industry.

Hidden Fees Cost Retirees – 401k Reform Likely Now Democrats Control Congress – Republicans Say More Information Confusing

Hidden Fees Cost Retirees – 401k Reform Likely Now Democrats Control Congress – Republicans Say More Information Confusing

George Miller

(Best Syndication) Lawmakers are looking into whether rules for managers of 401k accounts should be changed after lawmakers heard from pension experts on Capital Hill. The evidence presented to the House Education and Labor Committee on Tuesday suggests that hidden fees take a significant bite out of workers' retirement savings account balances, often without the workers' knowledge.

Committee Chairman U.S. Representative George Miller (Dem-Calif.) said “Today, the average 401-k account balance among private sector workers is just $28,000. That would help retirees get through a year or two of retirement – but certainly not an entire retirement.”

Asian Stock Markets Up – Gains In India China New Zealand – US Treasury Secretary Paulson Asks China To Open Capital Markets

Asian Stock Markets Up – Gains In India China New Zealand – US Treasury Secretary Paulson Asks China To Open Capital Markets

Secretary Paulson

(Best Syndication) The New York Stock Exchange bounced back a little Tuesday as stocks finished broadly higher. This follows a correction last week that prompted some investors to seek bargains. The Dow Jones Industrials closed 1.30% up. The NASDQ and Standard and Poors also saw gains closing 1.9 and 1.55 percent higher respectively.

The biggest gainers were The Warnaco Group, up 11.39%, Intl Power plc (ADR) up 10.31% and Opnext, Inc., up 10.06%. The biggest losers were Frontline Ltd. (USA) down -5.25%, hanarotelecom down -4.98%, and Telekom Austria AG down -3.85%.

The economy may be in good shape still but we may not be out of the woods yet, according to a report from Marc Hogan of Business Week. "There is insufficient evidence to declare the market has entered a bear phase," says Richard Dickson, senior market strategist at Lowry's Reports. "The best chance for a clarification of the market's status could be in a rebound rally and test of the current lows."

Microsoft Criticizes Google For Copyright Lazziness After Launching Their Own Book Search – Google Launched Competing Office

Microsoft Criticizes Google For Copyright Infringement After Launching Their Own Book Search – Google Launched Competing Office Suite

Stock Photo

(Best Syndication) Microsoft associate general counsel, Thomas C. Rubin criticized and basically accused Google of violating publisher copyrights. At the American Association of Publishers in New York Tuesday, of which both Google and Microsoft are both members, Ruben said that the worlds most popular search engine undermines the incentive to create.

On Monday Rubin criticized Google in a newspaper editorial, and then Tuesday said "In my view, Google has chosen the wrong path for the longer term because it systematically violates copyright and deprives authors and publishers of an important avenue for monetizing their works. In doing so, it undermines critical incentives to create."

Government Reports Higher Wages and Slowed Growth – Inflation Concerns

Government Reports Higher Wages and Slowed Growth – Inflation Concerns

Stock Photo

The government has recently released reports on factory orders and productivity. Concerns of slower growth and rising inflation are the focus of the Federal Reserve.

Hourly wages grew at a 7.5 percent annual rate during the fourth quarter. Wages were calculated by including wages, salaries, supplements, employer contributions to employee-benefit plans, and taxes.

Because of the increase in hourly compensation, there was an increase in unit labor costs at a rate of 6.5 percent during the fourth quarter of 2006.

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