Finance

8:27am

Thu May 16, 2013
The Two-Way

Berkshire Hathaway's Credit Rating Knocked Down A Notch

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 8:53 am

Warren Buffett.
Donald Bowers Getty Images for Fortune

Billionaire investment legend Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has had its credit rating lowered from AA+ to AA by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

In a statement, S&P says that even though Berkshire Hathaway has an "excellent business profile," the lower credit rating "better reflects our view of BRK's dependence on its core insurance operations for most of its dividend income." (S&P's statement is posted on its website, but you have to register to view it.)

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1:17am

Fri May 10, 2013
All Tech Considered

Peers Find Less Pressure Borrowing From Each Other

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 6:10 am

iStockphoto.com

The Internet has managed to disrupt many industries, from publishing to music. So why not lending?

Google is teaming up with the nation's largest peer-to-peer lender. The search and tech giant is investing $125 million in Lending Club, which gets borrowers and lenders together outside the conventional banking system. Google's move and the actions of other big players reflect a growing interest in peer-to-peer lending.

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12:39pm

Tue May 7, 2013
The Two-Way

Feds Say Debt Settlement Firm Defrauded 'Financially Desperate'

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 2:33 pm

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara addresses the media on Tuesday during a news conference on the indictment of Mission Settlement Agency.
John Moore Getty Images

The work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal oversight agency established by Dodd-Frank three years ago, has resulted in its first criminal referral — a case against a debt-settlement company it says defrauded thousands of people.

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8:20am

Mon May 6, 2013
The Two-Way

U.S. Courts More Lenient With Offshore Cheats, Analysis Finds

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting bit of analysis today: U.S. courts tend to hand out more lenient punishments to those who hide money offshore to cheat on their taxes than they do to more mundane tax evaders.

The Journal relies on Internal Revenue Service statistics and "data compiled by former U.S. Justice Department lawyer Jack Townsend."

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2:41am

Fri May 3, 2013
Your Money

John Bogle's Latest Advice: A 'Gatekeeper' For Your Nest Egg

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:14 am

John Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group and president of the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center, says the government should set standards to protect Americans' retirement savings.
Mark Lennihan AP

Mutual funds, which have topped $13 trillion, are the way many Americans interact with the financial markets. You may have come across mutual funds when you set up an individual retirement account or a company-sponsored retirement account like a 401(k).

A "basket" of stocks, bonds or both, mutual funds are seen as safer to own than individual stocks. Having many in one basket spreads the risk, especially over time. But high fees, lack of diversification, or a focus on short-term gains can put your nest egg at risk.

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