Business news briefs
home prices up
The Salt Lake City-Ogden area was the 102nd-most searched real estate market in the country during October, according to Realtor.com, a homes-for-sale website. The median list price for homes in the Salt Lake City-Ogden market hit $214,900 last month, a 7.5 percent increase from the same month a year ago, the website reported.
Ikea Group, the world's biggest home-furnishings retailer, said today that political prisoners in the former East Germany were used in the making of its furniture 25 to 30 years ago. The company controlled by Swedish billionaire Ingvar Kamprad commissioned a study that found prisoners in the communist German Democratic Republic were forced to make the popular furniture.
The federal agency that insures pensions for more than 40 million Americans last year ran the widest deficit in its 38-year history. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. says its deficit grew to $34 billion for the budget year that ended Sept. 30. That compares with a $26 billion shortfall in the previous year.
to $417M fine
JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse have agreed to pay a combined $417 million to settle federal civil charges that they sold risky mortgage bonds to investors ahead of the 2008 financial crisis that the banks knew could fail. JPMorgan did not warn investors that homeowners were behind on their payments for the mortgages tied to the bonds, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Big animal abuse
A landmark $500 million agreement was reached to settle a slaughterhouse abuse case in California that led to the biggest meat recall in U.S. history in 2008 .The settlement with Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. is the largest-ever penalty for an animal abuse case. It was the first time federal fraud statutes were used, the Humane Society said. The settlement, however, is largely symbolic because the company is bankrupt.
set new vote
Pilots at American Airlines will vote again on whether to approve a contract offer from the company, which has been operating under bankruptcy protection for nearly a year. The Allied Pilots Association said its board voted 12-4 to accept a tentative agreement with American. The 7,500 pilots rejected a previous company offer in August.
Nike to sell off
Cole Haan unit
Nike has reached an agreement to sell its Cole Haan unit to the private equity firm Apax Partners for $570 million. The sneaker-and-athletic wear giant telegraphed a sale earlier this year when it said it was disposing of its Cole Haan and Umbro brands to focus on its core businesses.