SEARCH

Sunday
Oct312010

Pontiac Excitement Fades Away

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(DETROIT) -- It's the official end of the line for the fabled Pontiac brand of American motor-muscle.  General Motors officially closed down Pontiac Sunday, although it stopped making the cars last year.

It's part of the company's recession-fueled reorganization, but motorheads everywhere are mourning the death of the GTO, the Firebird Trans Am and the Bonneville, among other signature models.  They defined Saturday night cruising for generations of American teenagers.

Pontiac follows Oldsmobile into the corporate junkyard, with Buick and three other lines left to fill the niche at GM.

The first Pontiac rolled off the line 84 years ago.  GM's deal to provide Pontiacs to dealers officially ended Sunday, perhaps signifying the ultimate brake job.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct312010

Apple Sues Motorola Over Smartphone Software

Photo Courtesy - PR Newswire(NEW YORK) -- Apple has filed a lawsuit against Motorola claiming the rival technology company is violating Apple's patents on smartphone software.  The nine-page complaint follows Motorola asking a judge in Delaware on Oct. 11 to rule that it doesn't infringe on Apple patents and to rule the patents invalid.  It's the latest chapter in the high-tech tit-for-tat battle between the two.

Bloomberg.com reports that Apple's suit, filed in Wisconsin Friday, involves three patents linked to the Droid, Devour i1, Charm, Backflip and Cliq.  The nine-page complaint lists three Apple patents it says Motorola is violating with its phones and the software applications controlling those devices.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct312010

Fox, Cablevision End Holdout; Signal Returns to 3 Million Homes

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- FOX restored its signal to more than 3 million New York-area homes Saturday night, as News Corporation and Cablevision finally agreed on a new distribution deal.

Subscribers on Oct. 16. lost access to local FOX stations, as well as My 9 in New York, FOX Business Network, Nat Geo WILD and FOX Deportes.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct302010

Feds Combat Online Credit Scams

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Regulators are cracking down on some firms that promise to fix your credit problems.

"The way that debt settlement companies bill consumers has now changed," said John Ulzheimer of Credit.com.

Before these new rules, Ulzheimer said, "the debt settlement companies could have charged consumers an upfront fee for their services whether they actually did anything for the consumer or not,” a practice that is now illegal.

The change means some operators could be forced out of business.

“Many of these companies did nothing more than survive on upfront fees,” said Ulzheimer, who added that the true practice of fixing incorrect credit reports takes time and effort.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct302010

Mortgage Bank's Foreclosure Review Not Enough for State AG

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Ohio's Attorney General says banks which messed up foreclosure-related affidavits and are now refiling the documents by the tens of thousands are, "an insult to the justice system.”

In a statement released by his office, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray says the banks' actions seem to indicate they think they don’t have to play by the same rules as other parties.
 
“The suggestion by Wells Fargo and its colleagues at several other national firms that they can cure fraudulent testimony by simply refiling new affidavits and continuing to proceed toward foreclosures shows they do not recognize the seriousness of the problem they have created,” said Cordray. “There is no simple 'do-over' for false testimony that will be likely to avoid sanctions and penalties imposed by the courts.”
Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio
 
Friday
Oct292010

Weak Holiday Spending in Store for Retailers 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PRINCETON, NJ) -- Retailers can expect another anemic holiday shopping season, according to a new Gallup poll. While the poll shows consumer spending is up in October from September, spending remains far below the 2008 recessionary spending range of $81 to $114.

American’s self-reported spending in stores, restaurants, gas stations and online averaged $62 per day in the first four weeks of October. That figure is up from $59 in September, but is below the $63 figure from August.

Although spending remains in the new normal range of $59 to $72 that was set for 2009-2010, year-over-year comparisons and continued high unemployment rates suggest a weak Christmas spending season.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct292010

Mexico Deports Ohio Fraudster

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Mexican authorities this week deported an Ohio woman convicted in Columbus in a $1.9 billion corporate fraud case that involved wire fraud and securities fraud.  Rebecca Parrett had been living at a central Mexican resort town for more than 2 years after her 2008 conviction.

Married six times, Parrett left behind her sixth husband, her son from her first marriage and grandchildren. Her husband, Gary Green, and son, Robert Parrett, could not be reached for comment. 

Parratt was the only person to flee her conviction despite being a co-defendant with her former husband, Donald Ayers, and several other executives of a company she co-founded, National Century Financial Enterprises, in Columbus. National Century was supposed to pay medical companies for future insurance bills and claims to be re-sold as bonds.  That didn't happen and authorities say it evolved into a massive Ponzi-like scheme.

Parrett claimed she never did any of the things she was convicted of. 

On Wednesday, Parrett waived her right to a detention hearing. The judge ordered that Parrett be detained and transferred back to Columbus.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct292010

Economy Growing But Recovery Still Muddled

Image Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The government released its first look at the Gross Domestic Product for the third quarter, showing the overall economy grew at a two percent seasonally-adjusted pace.  This is exactly what economists had predicted. 

GDP is the broadest measure of the nation's economic health, accounting for all the goods and services produced by this country.  Friday's report marks the fifth quarter in a row in which the economy has expanded.  The number is subject to revision. 

Economists say the report shows a second dip into the recession is unlikely but it also shows an economy that is muddling through the recovery. 

President Obama responded to the modest new economic growth numbers with another small business event, this time at a sheet metal company in Beltsville,  Maryland. The president showed off a new report from the Department of the Treasury that claims there are still more tax breaks that would help small and medium sized businesses like the company he was visiting, Stromberg Sheet Metal, take accelerated deductions for expansion and new hiring.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct292010

New Weekly Jobless Claims Lowest Since July 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With disaster potentially looming for Democrats on Election Day, the Obama administration touted new numbers from the Labor Department that suggest the employment picture may be brightening a tad.

According to the latest figures, new jobless claims fell by 21,000 last week to 434,000, the lowest level since July.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that these numbers show that unemployment is reaching a level where economic growth starts getting generated.

Usually, 425,000 new claims or less per week for jobless benefits indicates that the economy is headed in the right direction.  That hasn’t happened yet since Obama took office 21 months ago.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct282010

Americans Concerned about Making Housing Payments

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A majority of Americans say they are concerned about making their mortgage or rental payments, according to a new Washington Post poll.

Fifty-three percent of those polled said they are "very concerned" or "somewhat concerned" about making their monthly payment.

The results show concerns over housing payments have spiked since 2008, despite improvements in the overall economy. In December 2008, 37 percent were either “very” or “somewhat concerned” about making payments on time. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio