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Feds suit says TCF tricked customers on overdraft fees

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, or CFPB, sued TCF Bank Thursday, claiming that the bank tricked customers into paying a $35 service fee to cover each overdraft on their accounts.

The suit accuses TCF, headquartered outside the Twin Cities, of pushing overdraft services even as new federal rules prohibited overdraft charges...Read more

Costco to pay $11.75M over handling of opioids and other drugs

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- Costco will pay the U.S. government $11.75 million to settle allegations that some of its pharmacies improperly filled prescriptions for controlled substances, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.

The Justice Department alleged that Costco pharmacies filled prescriptions that were incomplete, lacked valid Drug Enforcement ...Read more

Tesla cleared in fatal Autopilot crash

Business / Business News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday it has closed an investigation of a fatal Tesla Autopilot Tesla crash, finding no defects and declining to issue a recall notice.

The six-month investigation into the nation's first self-driving vehicle fatality found no problems with the design or performance ...Read more

Amazon Web Services passes Google on most popular list

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- In some corners of the high-tech workplace, Amazon.com is more popular than Google.

Services built by Amazon Web Services, Amazon's cloud-computing division, were the fourth most popular workplace web application in November, up one spot from a year earlier.

That's according to Okta, a San Francisco company whose products help ...Read more

Hidden traps that cause startups to fail, and how to avoid them

Business / Business News /

Venturing into the world of entrepreneurship can be exciting. But, the early days of a business are also the time when your venture is most vulnerable to failure. About 25 percent of startups fail within a year, and 50 percent fail within the first four years, according to figures from Statistic Brain.

Several hidden traps can cause startups to...Read more

On the House: When a new fence fails to impress

Business / Business News /

Q: I recently had a new fence installed, and I am pretty unhappy about it. The wood quality is terrible, as if they used seconds. The salesman said this is the way the fence should look. I have only paid half the total cost. Should I ask them to repair/replace anything before I pay the balance?

A: Since I haven't seen your fence, it's hard for ...Read more

Could the 30-year mortgage survive without the government?

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Republicans are raising the prospect of making the biggest change to home loans since the New Deal.

Two of President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet picks, along with Republican lawmakers, have been speaking publicly about curbing government backing for the kind of loan that the majority of Americans rely on to buy a house: the 30-...Read more

China and Mexico were sending back the U.S. jobs Trump promised before he started making deals

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- In some of the states where economic frustration propelled Donald Trump to the White House, the jobs he promised were already coming back before he started making deals.

For the first time in decades, areas of the Carolinas that had been crippled by the loss of the textile industry are getting some of those jobs back from China. ...Read more

Target, with holiday sales off, expects lower earnings

Business / Business News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Target executives revealed that holiday sales were worse than expected and lowered their outlook for fourth-quarter results.

Comparable sales in November and December dropped 1.3 percent as the retailer continued to get less traffic to its stores, a trend that started last spring. Online sales were strong but could not make up ...Read more

Is Wells Fargo closing enough branches?

Business / Business News /

As digital customers bypass bank branches--and after its phony-accounts-for-cash scandal--Wells Fargo bank closed 84 of its 6,300 branches last fall, and plans to close 200 this year, plus 200 next year, chief financial officer John Shrewsberry told investors at the company's year-end conference call last week.

Wall Street's reaction: Is that ...Read more

Oracle paid white men more than women, blacks, Asians, Labor Department alleges

Business / Business News /

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. -- Technology company Oracle has discriminated against women, African Americans, Asians and non-Asians in its employment practices, the U.S. Department of Labor said Wednesday after filing a lawsuit.

"The leading technology company has a systemic practice of paying Caucasian male workers more than their counterparts in ...Read more

US agency sues nation's largest student-loan servicer, accusing it of cheating borrowers

Business / Business News /

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued the nation's largest servicer of student loans Wednesday, alleging that Navient Corp. cheated borrowers, resulting in higher payments for Americans struggling to payback their student loans.

The federal consumer agency said that Navient, formerly part of Sallie Mae, "failed to provide the most basic...Read more

Trump's pick for commerce secretary assures lawmakers he is not anti-trade

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Like the man who picked him to be the next commerce secretary, Wilbur L. Ross is a billionaire with extensive financial interests and an ardent critic of America's trade policies -- both of which came under scrutiny at his confirmation hearing Wednesday morning.

President-elect Donald Trump's rise on a tide of anti-globalization ...Read more

Trump's pick for commerce secretary assures lawmakers he is not anti-trade

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Like the man who picked him to be the next commerce secretary, Wilbur L. Ross is a billionaire with extensive financial interests and an ardent critic of America's trade policies -- both of which came under scrutiny at his confirmation hearing Wednesday morning.

President-elect Donald Trump's rise on a tide of anti-globalization ...Read more

FTC sues Qualcomm over cellular-patent licenses

Business / Business News /

SAN DIEGO -- A U.S. regulator has sued Qualcomm over how it licenses cellular patents to smartphone makers, joining South Korea in seeking to upend the San Diego's company's patent royalty practices.

The Federal Trade Commission filed the civil lawsuit this week in U.S. District Court in Northern California. The company also faces ...Read more

Drug company that 'fueled' opioid epidemic in Kentucky to pay $150 million

Business / Business News /

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- One of the nation's largest pharmaceutical distributors allegedly failed to report suspicious orders in Kentucky and elsewhere, contributing to a spike in abuse of painkillers called opioids, federal authorities have charged.

McKesson Corp. agreed to pay a $150 million penalty for alleged violations of federal drug law, the U....Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Market dysfunction is a remediable weakness of the home-loan market

Business / Business News /

With a new administration in Washington, the time is ripe to reconsider some fundamental features of our housing finance system. In recent articles, I focused on three weaknesses of the system, and on how to fix them.

––The rigidity of the mortgage payment obligation makes the standard mortgage very difficult to manage. The proposed remedy ...Read more

Troy Wolverton: Amid angst, tech industry innovates

Business / Business News /

LAS VEGAS -- CES is nearly a week-long party celebrating the tech industry.

But in recent years, the annual tech show, held earlier this month, has had a palpable sense of anxiety as much as excitement.

Products that have gotten lots of hype in recent years as the Next Big Thing, from 3-D television to 3-D Printers to smartwatches to virtual ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Vista updates aren't the real problem

Business / Business News /

Q: I read in your column that Windows 7 isn't updating properly (see tinyurl.com/zzhdlyf). Do you know why I can't update my PC's Windows Vista 64-bit operating system?

I'd like to update my PC before Microsoft stops supporting Windows Vista this April. But I haven't received an update since mid-July of last year, and the software last checked ...Read more

Uber files challenge over Seattle's unionization ordinance

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- The ride-hailing service Uber on Tuesday filed a legal challenge over the Seattle ordinance giving drivers the power to unionize.

The City Council adopted the ordinance in 2015. The first of its kind in the country, it gives independent-contractor drivers for Uber and other app-based ride-dispatch companies the right to collective ...Read more