Nov. 14 Business Briefs

By: 
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Senate bill easing financial rules gains bipartisan support

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators has announced an agreement on legislation to provide banks and credit unions relief from some of the stricter regulatory requirements approved after the financial crisis.

The lawmakers say the agreement is targeted at helping local community banks, but it also includes regulatory relief for larger financial institutions.

For example, the agreement would raise the threshold at which bank holding companies are considered too big to fail and are subject to stricter capital and planning requirements. Under the agreement, the threshold moves from $50 billion in assets to $250 billion.

The bill is much narrower than what the House has passed in an effort to undo much of the financial law, known as Dodd-Frank. The 18 co-sponsors of the bill include nine Democrats and nine Republicans.

Walmart.com teams up with upscale Lord and Taylor

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart will devote a section on its website to upscale Lord & Taylor, the latest strategic partnership as retailers make alliances.

The initiative announced Monday will start next spring. Lord & Taylor hopes it’ll attract new customers already buying higher-end products on walmart.com. For Walmart, which has bought trendy fashion brands like ModCloth and Bonobos as it tried to broaden its customer base, the partnership is another move toward trying to create a premium online fashion destination.

Neither company would disclose the financial details of the arrangement. Walmart’s big push to expand online comes as it tries to position itself to challenge Amazon. 

Greek government promises new holiday payments for poor

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s prime minister says his government will again distribute one-off Christmas payments to low-earning Greeks, drawing from a budgetary surplus built on severe spending cuts and high taxes.

Alexis Tsipras says 1.4 billion euros ($1.6 billion) will be given to at least 3.4 million Greeks this holiday season, compared to the 617 million euros issued to pensioners last year.

In a televised address late Monday, Tsipras said the bonuses would range from 240 to 900 euros per beneficiary.

Rates rise at Treasury auction

WASHINGTON (AP) — Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in Monday’s auction to their highest levels in nine years.

The Treasury Department auctioned $42 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 1.240 percent, up from 1.185 percent last week. Another $36 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 1.360 percent, up from 1.300 percent last week. The three-month rate was the highest since those bills averaged 1.250 percent on Oct. 20, 2008. The six-month rate was the highest since those bills averaged 1.400 percent on Oct. 27, 2008.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,968.66 while a six-month bill sold for $9,931.24. That would equal an annualized rate of 1.261 percent for the three-month bills and 1.388 percent for the six-month bills.

Also Monday the Fed said the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, rose to 1.54 percent last Friday.

 

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