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  • U.S. regulator prepares crackdown on debt collectors

    Reuters - Wed, Nov 6, 2013 2:56 PM EST

    By Emily Stephenson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Debt collectors using text messages and social media to pursue delinquent borrowers could come under new scrutiny as the U.S. consumer financial watchdog considers new rules as part of a crackdown on the collection industry. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said on Wednesday that before it formally proposes any rules, it wants to hear how collectors verify borrowers' information and contact consumers. Among questions it is asking consumers, banks and the collection industry is whether there could be privacy concerns or other harm from communicating with debt collectors via text message, social media or other Internet-based tools. In recent months, regulators have warned debt collectors against misleading borrowers. More »U.S. regulator prepares crackdown on debt collectors

  • Russian PM wants cheaper credit to stimulate economy

    Reuters - Fri, Nov 1, 2013 4:30 AM EDT

    By Stephen Adler and Timothy Heritage MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia must boost the flow of credit to businesses to promote an investment-led recovery but will not throw fiscal caution to the wind to overcome the drag on the economy from weak exports, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. In an interview with Reuters, the former president said he saw no contradiction between fiscal consolidation and economic development, and said the government would press on with privatization at the right price. In any case, if there is, we do not know what it is," Medvedev said in an interview late on Thursday. Medvedev, 48, said a vital first step to steer the $2 trillion economy away from recession was to ensure affordable credit flows into the economy. More »Russian PM wants cheaper credit to stimulate economy

  • U.S. small businesses boosted borrowing in September

    Reuters - Tue, Oct 29, 2013 5:00 AM EDT

    By Ann Saphir (Reuters) - U.S. small business borrowing rose last month from a year earlier, an index that tracks lending showed on Tuesday, signaling moderate growth ahead for the economy as a whole. The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the volume of financing to small companies, registered 109.7 in September, down 6 percent from August but up 16 percent from the same month a year earlier. ... More »U.S. small businesses boosted borrowing in September

  • SEC releases 'crowdfunding' rule

    Reuters - Wed, Oct 23, 2013 6:05 PM EDT

    By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Entrepreneurs and start-up companies looking for investors will be able to solicit over the Internet from the general public under a new proposal issued by U.S. regulators on Wednesday. The "crowdfunding" proposal, if adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, would be a major shift in how small U.S. companies can raise money in the private securities market. ... More »SEC releases 'crowdfunding' rule

  • Highlights: Comments by British finance minister George Osborne

    Reuters - Tue, Oct 22, 2013 7:14 AM EDT

    LONDON (Reuters) - British finance minister George Osborne is speaking on Tuesday at a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event moderated by Reuters editor-at-large Harold Evans. Highlights of his comments are below. To follow the event live, double-click on http://uk.reuters.com/newsmaker CHINA "What we want is two-way trade. We, of course, want access to the markets, we want British banks writing bonds in China, but we also want Chinese banks writing bonds in London." "(Chinese banks in Britain) will be well-regulated ... there has been some comment that this was a special deal for the Chinese. ... More »Highlights: Comments by British finance minister George Osborne

  • Canadian government promises balanced budget law, sees free trade with EU

    Reuters - Wed, Oct 16, 2013 6:46 PM EDT

    By David Ljunggren and Randall Palmer OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's Conservative government on Wednesday promised to introduce legislation that will require balanced budgets except during economic crises, and renewed a pledge to balance its books by 2015. It also said it would soon wrap up free trade talks with the European Union, and announced that Prime Minister Stephen Harper would travel to Brussels on Thursday "with the goal of concluding the ... negotiations. ... More »Canadian government promises balanced budget law, sees free trade with EU

  • SEC chief concerned about information overload for investors

    Reuters - Tue, Oct 15, 2013 11:21 AM EDT

    By Sarah N. Lynch NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland (Reuters) - U.S. regulators should review the federal rules governing how public companies disclose financial data to ensure investors don't suffer from "information overload," the top U.S. securities regulator said on Tuesday. "I am raising the question ... ... More »SEC chief concerned about information overload for investors

  • Alibaba to transform China's 'e-conomy' with $500 billion marketplace

    Reuters - Sun, Oct 13, 2013 5:00 PM EDT

    By Paul Carsten HANGZHOU, China (Reuters) - Alibaba Group's plans to revolutionize China's retail industry, investing $16 billion in logistics and support by 2020, will open up China's vast interior and bring access to hundreds of millions of potential new customers. With an extra $15 billion or so in its pocket from a likely IPO, Alibaba and partners such as delivery service firms and life insurers will pump cash into revamping China's fragile supply chains and big new data centers to process reams of consumer information. ... More »Alibaba to transform China's 'e-conomy' with $500 billion marketplace

  • Spanish banks fear new capital hit in European review

    Reuters - Sun, Oct 13, 2013 4:45 AM EDT

    By Jesús Aguado MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish banks are considering ways to boost their capital amid fears the euro zone's imminent review of their balance sheets will force them to set aside even more cash for potential losses on restructured loans, banking sources in Madrid said. The country's banks last year made steep provisions for average losses of up to 60 percent on property lending where payment problems have already meant they are classed as bad loans. They may now face scrutiny over the coverage levels for defaults in other parts of their books, the sources said. ... More »Spanish banks fear new capital hit in European review

  • World Bank's Kim warns even U.S. default threat hurts poorest

    Reuters - Wed, Oct 9, 2013 9:40 AM EDT

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on Wednesday said even the threat of a U.S. default could hurt emerging markets and the world's most vulnerable people. "We're very concerned. Because right now there's so many headwinds as it is for emerging markets and the developing world, that that kind of impact really could be devastating," Kim said in an interview with CNN broadcast live at the World Bank, the Washington-based poverty-fighting institution. ... More »World Bank's Kim warns even U.S. default threat hurts poorest

  • U.S. small business confidence dips, but improving trend remains

    Reuters - Tue, Oct 8, 2013 7:36 AM EDT

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. small business optimism slipped in September as business owners worried about the economy's near-term outlook, but remained fairly upbeat on sales and expansion prospects. The National Federation of Independent Business said on Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index fell 0.2 point to 93.9 last month. The NFIB corrected August's reading to show 94.1 rather than 94.0, saying March data was mistakenly used in August's calculations. ... More »U.S. small business confidence dips, but improving trend remains

  • Venezuela fledgling currency system spawns $859 million mystery

    Reuters - Tue, Oct 1, 2013 4:16 PM EDT

    By Brian Ellsworth and Eyanir Chinea CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's efforts to put hard currency in the hands of dollar-starved businesses, to ease embarrassing shortages of consumer goods, are instead drawing complaints from trade groups who say they have no idea where the money has gone. The central bank says it allocated $859 million through a new foreign exchange mechanism meant to complement a decade-long currency control system by ensuring importers are able to bring in products ranging from chicken to newsprint. ... More »Venezuela fledgling currency system spawns $859 million mystery

  • Small business borrowing rises in August, slowly

    Reuters - Tue, Oct 1, 2013 9:33 AM EDT

    By Ann Saphir (Reuters) - Borrowing by U.S. small businesses edged up in August, pushing an index of borrowing to a six-year high. The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the volume of financing to small companies, rose 1 percent to 116.6, the highest level since August 2007. The index registered 115.4 in July, revised from an initial reading of 117.7, PayNet said on Tuesday. Historically, PayNet's lending index has correlated to overall economic growth one or two quarters in the future. ... More »Small business borrowing rises in August, slowly

  • CEOs take familiar, frustrating path to Washington on budget woes

    Reuters - Fri, Sep 27, 2013 6:19 PM EDT

    By James B. Kelleher and Patricia Kranz (Reuters) - Some of America's leading CEOs are beating a familiar path to Washington to support efforts to avert a government shutdown and raise the U.S. borrowing limit, warning lawmakers that the threat of the first debt default in the country's history is damaging the economy. The business leaders, all members of a group called "Fix the Debt," said they went to Capitol Hill last week with a simple message for Republicans and Democrats, but it is the same as the one they delivered in budget standoffs of 2011 and 2012. ... More »CEOs take familiar, frustrating path to Washington on budget woes

  • Analysis: U.S. third-quarter growth may disappoint, but economy looking better

    Reuters - Thu, Sep 12, 2013 1:34 PM EDT

    By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When the U.S. government reports on economic growth for the third quarter next month, the result may very well disappoint. But the reading could mask a fundamental improvement. If the fairly buoyant signals from sentiment surveys of various sectors are correct, the economy is on the brink of faster growth and a strengthening in the labor market. ... More »Analysis: U.S. third-quarter growth may disappoint, but economy looking better

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