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U.S. fiscal cliff by-the-numbers

$ 16.3 trillion — Size of the current national debt January 2, 2013 — Date that automatic tax hikes and spending cuts will take effect, unless a deal is reached $ 7 trillion — Amount of tax increases and spending cuts included in the fiscal cliff, spread out over the next 10 years49% and 25% — Americans surveyed who approve of the way President Obama and Speaker Boehner are handling the fiscal cliff, respectively Time is running out for congressional Republicans and President Barack Obama to strike a deal to avert the fiscal cliff. If the two parties can’t come […]

BOSTON The “fiscal cliff” is less than three weeks away, but most corporate executives are not strapping on their parachutes just yet. A cross-section of executives from companies including DuPont Co , Saks Inc , Aetna Inc and 3M Co on Wednesday warned that the standoff adds an element of uncertainty to an already tepid U.S. economy. But many expressed confidence President Barack Obama and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will reach a deal and avoid the worst-case scenario of tax hikes and sharp cuts in federal spending beginning next year. “I think the fiscal cliff is on everybody’s mind,” […]

DUESSELDORF German solar company SolarWorld saw very good business in the United States so far in the fourth quarter, Chief Executive Frank Asbeck told Reuters on Wednesday. Asbeck also added that a strategic partnership was one of many options for the group, which had posted a 300 million euro ($ 389.97 million) net loss for the first nine months of 2012. (Reporting by Anneli Palmen; Writing by Christoph Steitz)

U.S. regulators are near a settlement with Google Inc in a dispute over the search giant’s efforts to stop the sale of products it says infringe essential patents, according to two sources close to the probe. But the Federal Trade Commission is not expected to reach a deal soon on the larger, more contentious issue of whether Google tweaks its search results to disadvantage rivals in travel, shopping and other specialized searches. Its rivals say Google fears the specialized sites will siphon away its most lucrative advertising and the revenue that goes with it. Under the expected settlement, which could […]

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is asking federal officials to consider whether a proposed proprietary trading ban undermines U.S. trade policy, part of an ongoing effort by industry groups to push back against the so-called Volcker rule. The controversial rule, which is required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, would block banks from making speculative trades with their own money. It was named for former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who pushed for the ban. In a letter dated Monday, the powerful business lobbying group called for U.S. Trade Representative(USTR) Ron Kirk to review the proposed Volcker rule, […]

The U.S. Treasury’s sale of its remaining stake in American International Group Inc will fetch $ 7.6 billion, bringing the government a total profit of $ 22.7 billion from its bailout of the insurer in the financial crisis four years ago. The share offering will close the chapter on one of the most politically contentious rescues of 2008, which ultimately gave AIG up to $ 182 billion of government support. At one point, the government estimated that it would never recover all of the bailout money, but as AIG restructured and returned to viability, it was able to repay the […]

The U.S. Justice Department filed a felony criminal information against HSBC Holdings Plc’s HSBC Bank USA in federal court in News York’s Brooklyn on Tuesday. The information is a widely expected precursor to a deferred prosecution agreement under which the bank would pay $ 1.9 billion to resolve money laundering charges. (Reporting By Aruna Viswanatha; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

U.S. Trade Deficit Widens in October

The U.S. trade deficit widened in October as exports suffered the biggest drop in nearly four years, indicating slowing global demand is likely to weigh on U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday the trade gap increased 4.9 percent to $ 42.2 billion even as imports declined to the lowest level in 1-1/2 years. September’s trade gap was revised to $ 40.3 billion from the previously reported $ 41.6 billion. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the trade deficit to rise to $ 42.6 billion in October. The wider trade gap in October reflected […]

HSBC Holdings Plc is expected to become the first bank to admit to both money-laundering lapses and U.S. sanctions violations on Tuesday as part of a settlement of around $ 1.8 billion with law enforcement agencies, according to people familiar with the situation. The settlement, which will be in the form of a deferred-prosecution agreement, is the largest by far that a U.S. or European bank has agreed to amid a crackdown in the United States. Reuters reported last week that London-based HSBC would be forced to pay the $ 1.8 billion and that criminal charges would be deferred. In […]

U.S. regulators are set to announce a $ 1.9 billion settlement with HSBC Holdings PLC to resolve probes that the bank ignored possible money laundering, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday citing sources. Top compliance and banking officials at HSBC were quizzed in July at a Senate hearing after a top lawmaker produced a report showing that the global bank allegedly allowed drug traffickers, terrorists and rogue states to launder several billions of dollars because of poor controls. Citing sources, the Wall Street Journal reported that the deal could be announced as early as Tuesday.

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