JPMorgan deal with MF Global
JPMorgan Chase has agreed to a deal that will return $546 million to former customers of trading firm MF Global Holdings Ltd., which collapsed in 2011 with $1.6 billion missing from its accounts. JPMorgan held MF Global funds in several accounts and also processed the firm's securities trades. The trustee tasked with getting customers' money back, James W. Giddens, threatened to sue the New York bank if it didn't return money that was transferred to the bank from MF Global. By June 2012, JPMorgan had returned $608 million to the firm. Under a settlement agreement filed Tuesday in Manhattan bankruptcy court, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $100 million to reimburse customers and will relinquish claims on $417 million that it previously returned. The recovered money will eventually be passed along to customers. The bank said the settlement would not have a material impact on its results.
Freddie Mac sues 15 big banks
Freddie Mac has sued 15 big international banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup, accusing them of rigging a key interest rate and causing huge losses for the government-controlled mortgage giant. Freddie filed the lawsuit in federal court in Alexandria, Va. It names the banks that set the London interbank offered rate, known as LIBOR, which provides the basis for trillions of dollars in contracts around the world, including mortgages, bonds and consumer loans. In a growing scandal, two big British banks and Switzerland's largest bank have been fined hundreds of millions of dollars for manipulating LIBOR. A U.S. watchdog has found Freddie and its larger sibling, Fannie Mae, together may have lost more than $3 billion on their investments from banks' rate-rigging. Spokesmen for JPMorgan, Bank of America and Citigroup declined to comment.
HP refines glasses-free 3-D
Researchers at Hewlett-Packard Co. say they've developed a way to put glasses-free 3-D video on mobile devices with a wide enough viewing angle to allow viewers to see objects more fully just by tilting the screen. Glasses-free 3-D in itself is not unique -- companies such as MasterImage 3D and Stream TV have demonstrated the technology on tablets and flat-screen TVs at consumer electronics shows. But HP's researchers have found a way to make images viewable from angles up to 45 degrees from center in any direction, up, down, side-to-side or diagonally.
GM recalls Buicks, Cadillacs
General Motors is recalling nearly 34,000 Buicks and Cadillacs in the United States, Canada and elsewhere to fix a problem with the automatic transmissions. The recall affects Buick LaCrosse full-size cars and Cadillac SRX crossover SUVs from the 2013 model year. The company says a software problem can cause transmissions to unexpectedly shift into sport mode. That can override any slowing effect from the transmission, increasing the risk of a crash. GM says no crashes or injuries have been reported.
Officials: Cyprus has Plan B
Cyprus' government has drawn up a new plan to raise funds needed for the country to secure a crucial international bailout, three top government officials said Wednesday. Parliament had resoundingly rejected the previous plan, which involved seizing up to 10 percent of people's bank deposits. The rejection threw Cyprus' entire bailout into question, raising the possibility that the country's banks could collapse, the government would be unable to pay its bills and Cyprus could be forced out of the euro. The officials said the new plan includes some Russian assistance and a smaller bank deposit tax.