Retail Sales Climb
10/15/2011U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in September as Americans spent more on cars, clothing and fuel, an indication that consumers remain willing to shop despite high unemployment and a weak recovery.Retail and food services sales climbed 1.1% from the previous month to an adjusted $395.47 billion, the Commerce Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a 0.8% increase.
The city of Harrisburg, Pa., filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday, which supporters characterized as the only alternative to a state takeover that would force the city to use its most lucrative assets to pay off Wall Street creditors. Harrisburg’s bankruptcy filing comes as a growing number of municipalities across the country are struggling with mounting debt and a decline in revenue in the recession’s aftermath.
Banks are shedding jobs worldwide as stricter regulations and a tough second quarter for trading income take their toll on investment banking units in particular. JPMorgan said on Thursday it would cut 1,000 jobs from its investment banking division over the next 18 months. The layoff plan brings staff cuts announced this year or reported to be in the works at U.S. and European banks to just over 100,000 — some to be lost over the course of three- or four-year programs.
ATHENS—Efforts to resolve Greece's financial crisis now are focusing on asking banks to take a major write-down on their holdings of Greek government bonds. These write-downs, or "haircuts," could range between 40% and 60% depending on the modality used, people with direct knowledge of Greece's talks with European governments and the International Monetary Fund say. The question remains whether European governments and the European Central Bank also will have to accept losses to provide Greece with debt relief.
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