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Business News Archive - April 11, 2009

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The US Department of Labor is investigating the Tribune Co's employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP, company officials say.

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Standard & Poor's says it has lowered its ratings for Chrysler LLC and General Motors debt, saying investors can expect less payback from the US automakers.

China's foreign exchange reserves grew 16 percent in the 12 months ending in March, rising to $1.95 trillion, officials said Saturday. While foreign exchange reserves rose $7.7 billion in this year's first quarter, the increase pales in comparison to last year's first-quarter rise, which was $146.2 billion higher, the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua reported. Analysts told Xinhua the smaller growth of foreign exchange reserves in the first quarter was because of changes in the value of non-U.S.-dollar assets and money flows under the capital account. Changes of foreign exchange reserves in the first quarter were mainly driven by non-U.S.-dollar assets' volatile fluctuation, said Liu Yuhui, an economist with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He reportedly noted that during the first quarter, especially early on in the period, non-dollar foreign currencies dropped heavily against the U.S.

Dubai World is pushing a plan to rescue a financially troubled Las Vegas project that would pledge billions of dollars needed to complete it, sources say. The conglomerate, owned by the government of Dubai, is proposing to team with its U.S.

Amazon.com Inc. will soon offer a Kindle electronic book reader with a larger screen for U.S. consumers, sources say. The unidentified sources said the bigger-screen Kindle may be ready for distribution as early as the 2009 Christmas holiday season, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

One in nine homes in the United States is vacant, an unprecedented number weighing on the nation's real estate market, industry experts say. USA Today reported Saturday that the shear number of homes not being lived in will affect the real estate -- and rental -- market for years to come. The newspaper noted that bargain prices in some areas of the nation are attracting first-time buyers.

Union mailers at The Boston Globe are facing possible pay cuts under cost-cutting measures by The New York Times Co., a union official says. Teamsters Local 1 head Mary White said Times Co.

Agencies within the British government are at odds over helping motorists buy new cars, The Times of London reported Saturday. The newspaper said plans aimed at helping the beleaguered British car industry are being stymied by the British Treasury Department. Under the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform's proposal, motorists who owned cars more than 9 years old could turn in their car and receive a certificate for a roughly $2,900 discount on the price of a new car or one less than a year old.

Word of the Day
swell-mobsman
  • A member of the swell-mob; a genteelly clad pickpocket. Sometimes mobsman.
Use of the word 'swell-mobsman' dates at least to the early 1800s.