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Panel likes IDA oversight plan; other business briefs


Panel likes IDA oversight plan

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's proposal for more state oversight of industrial development agencies was endorsed Thursday by the Citizens Budget Commission, a Manhattan-based independent think tank. "While a small step, this action would help align state and local government economic efforts and restrict state tax breaks to the most appropriate projects," commission president Carol Kellermann wrote in a letter to state lawmakers. Cuomo wants IDA projects that receive an exemption from the state sales tax to also be endorsed by a regional economic development council, which he appoints. He would also limit IDA projects to seven business sectors. IDAs, which provide tax breaks to expanding companies, are opposed to the governor's plan, saying it would delay building projects and erode local control. -- James T. Madore

Honor for Grumman executive

A Northrop Grumman vice president was inducted this week into the Long Island Technology Hall of Fame. Coincidental with the defense company's announcement Monday that it will move most of its remaining Long Island workers to California and Florida, the hall of fame inducted Bob Klein, Bethpage-based vice president of engineering and global product development for the Military Aircraft Systems division, along with two other local executives. The hall honors leaders in science or technology who have impacted Long Island. Also inducted were Colin Goddard, chairman of the Stony Brook biotech company Coferon Inc., and Arie E. Kaufman, chairman of the computer science department and chief scientist of Stony Brook's Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology. While some of the programs Klein oversees are moving, one -- the electronic warfare program -- will remain in Bethpage. A company spokeswoman said it had not yet been determined if Klein would transfer from Bethpage. -- Tom Incantalupo


Fed: Borrowing at record $2.8T

Americans stepped up borrowing in January to buy cars and attend school, while staying cautious about using their credit cards. Consumer borrowing rose $16.2 billion in January from December to a total of $2.8 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. That's the highest level on record. A category that covers student loans and auto loans grew $16 billion, following an $18.3 billion gain in December. Isaac Lebwohl, an economist at Credit Suisse, said that his analysis of the monthly report indicates that almost 90 percent of the gain in that category came from student loans.

Banks do well on 'stress tests'

The nation's largest banks are more prepared to withstand a severe U.S. recession and a global downturn than at any time since the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve says. The Fed's annual "stress tests" showed Thursday that as a group, the 18 banks hold fewer bad loans compared with last year, helped by a stronger economy. Under the tests' most severe scenario, the United States would undergo a recession in which unemployment would reach nearly 12 percent, stocks would lose half their value and home prices would plunge 20 percent.

47,000 Subarus recalled

Subaru of America is recalling more than 47,000 cars and SUVs with remote starters because the engines can start on their own. The recall affects some Legacy and Outback cars from the 2010 to 2013 model years. Also covered are the Impreza from 2012 and 2013 and the XV Crosstrek from 2013. Subaru says that if the key fob is dropped, it can malfunction and start the engine. The motor will run for up to 15 minutes, but could continue to start and stop until the car runs out of gas or the fob battery dies. If the cars are parked in a garage, there's a risk of carbon monoxide buildup. -- AP

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