Financial
FDIC sues 16 big banks that set key rate PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARCY GORDON, AP Business Writer   
Saturday, 15 March 2014 05:28

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has sued 16 big banks that set a key global interest rate, accusing them of fraud and conspiring to keep the rate low to enrich themselves.

The banks, which include Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. in the U.S., are among the world's largest.

The FDIC says it is seeking to recover losses suffered from the rate manipulation by 10 U.S. banks that failed during the financial crisis and were taken over by the agency. The civil lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court in Manhattan.

The banks rigged the London interbank offered rate, or LIBOR, from August 2007 to at least mid-2011, the FDIC alleged. The LIBOR affects trillions of dollars in contracts around the world, including mortgages, bonds and consumer loans. A British banking trade group sets the LIBOR every morning after the 16 international banks submit estimates of what it costs them to borrow. The FDIC also sued that trade group, the British Bankers' Association.

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U.S. government ceding control of key Internet body PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Technology Writer   
Saturday, 15 March 2014 05:14

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The U.S. government is relinquishing its control of the Internet's address system in a shift that may raise questions about the future direction of online innovation and communications.

The decision announced Friday begins a long-planned transition affecting the stewardship of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN. That's a not-for-profit agency launched in 1998 by the Commerce Department to govern the system that assigns website addresses and directs Internet traffic.

The department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or NTIA, hopes to end its oversight of ICANN's Internet Assigned Numbers Authority by the time its contract expires in September 2015. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority administers the technology that keeps computers connected to the Web and steers Internet traffic.

Proposals for a new ICANN stewardship will be accepted beginning next week at a conference in Singapore.

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Judge leaves Pandora songwriter royalty unchanged PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Saturday, 15 March 2014 05:26

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge in New York has left the rate that Internet radio giant Pandora must pay songwriters unchanged at 1.85 percent of revenue for the next two years.

That's according to ASCAP — the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers — which collects royalties for some 500,000 artists and publishers in the U.S.

ASCAP said Judge Denise Cote of the U.S. District Court in New York made the ruling Friday. Court filings show her order and opinion was filed under seal.

ASCAP Chief Executive John LoFrumento said in a statement that the market rate for Internet radio is substantially higher than 1.85 percent and said the ruling demonstrates the need for regulatory reform. ASCAP cited several separate deals as benchmarks, including one between music publishers and Apple Inc. for its iTunes Radio service, as examples.

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Rule targets for-profit colleges over student debt PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press   
Friday, 14 March 2014 10:30

WASHINGTON (AP) — The for-profit college industry says it will vigorously oppose proposed regulations by the Obama administration designed to protect students at for-profit colleges from amassing huge debt they can't pay off.

The proposed regulations would penalize career training programs that produce graduates without the training needed to find a job with a salary that will allow them to pay off their debt. Schools, for-profit or not, that don't comply would lose access to the federal student aid programs.

"Career-training programs offer millions of Americans an opportunity they desperately need to further their education and reach the middle class," Education Secretary Arne Duncan told reporters Thursday. "Today, too many of these programs fail to provide students with the training that they need at taxpayers' expense and the cost to these students' futures."

If finalized, the regulations would take effect in 2016.

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