Premiums in the property and casualty insurance industry have grown weaker in the years since major disasters such as Hurricane Katrina occurred. Low interest rates also are affecting the companies' profits, writes Spencer Jakab. "The Federal Reserve may ease the pressure if it begins lifting interest rates this year, as expected, but so would a costly disaster," he writes.
Lawyers from both sides in an antitrust lawsuit against MasterCard and Visa will file documents Tuesday on whether the settlement should proceed. Alleged misdeeds by a lawyer representing MasterCard threaten to scuttle the settlement, as in a similar deal involving American Express.
Some older workers are opting, when it's available, for a "phased" retirement, which involves scaling back their hours and adopting more flexible schedules years before they leave the workforce permanently. Workers can bolster their retirement savings with this part-time work, and employers are able to retain talent longer than they might be able to otherwise.
Industry groups including FSR are working to persuade Congressional Black Caucus members to oppose the Labor Department's proposed fiduciary rule for retirement advisers, saying it would be bad for many of their constituents. Jill Hoffman, a vice president of government affairs for FSR, said caucus members would play a major role in the debate. "Their support or opposition to the rule will directly influence the regulation's chances of implementation," she said.
Several small payday lenders in Louisiana are asking the heads of congressional small-business committees to press the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to reconsider its proposed rule on payday loans. The rule would put small lenders out of business and curb access to credit for consumers, they argue.
The gap between new-car and used-car payments is at the widest level since tracking began in 2008, says Experian Automotive. A used car had an average monthly payment of $361 in the second quarter of this year, compared with $483 for new cars.
Strong competition among issuers of co-branded credit cards is driving the expansion of rewards and other cardholder benefits, says a report by Packaged Facts. About 43% of Americans have a co-branded card in their wallets.
Vice President Joe Biden is considering becoming a Democratic presidential candidate, but critics say his close ties with financial services companies -- especially credit card companies in his home state -- may lessen his appeal to voters.
Younger investors took some hard hits recently as their long-dated target-date funds suffered amid the stock market volatility. For many, this is their first experience with large-scale volatility. Many young employees are automatically invested in such funds.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is responsible for collecting data from lenders on small-business loans but hasn't yet written a rule to enforce data collection. Eighty-four House Democrats sent a letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray last week urging the bureau to implement such a rule, saying the information is vital in the enforcement of fair-lending laws.
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