JPMorgan Chase Shareholder Showdown

May 21, 2013 8:07am

Morning Business Memo…

A shareholder showdown today at the annual meeting of JPMorgan Chase in Tampa. A vote is expected on a proposal to separate the jobs of chairman and CEO at the big bank. If the effort started by several large pension funds is successful it would be mean a demotions for Jamie Dimon, who now holds both jobs. Under Dimon’s watch JP Morgan has been more profitable than most other banks and its share price held up very well despite the 2008 financial crisis. But last year’s “London whale” trading losses on risky trades exposed the bank to widespread criticism and federal investigations. Some corporate government experts say JP Morgan needs a more independent board with better risk controls.

Apple may be highly profitable, but a Senate investigation found the company paid virtually no income tax to any government. Apple employs a group of affiliate companies to avoid paying billions of dollars in US taxes, according to the report. Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives are set to testify today before a Senate panel. They could face a grilling from Senators who are critical of Apple’s tax strategies. The investigation found that Apple holds most of its $145 billion in cash overseas. The strategies used are legal, and many other multinational corporations use them to avoid paying US taxes on profits earned overseas. But Apple uses a unique twist, the report found. The company’s tactics raise questions about loopholes in the U.S. tax code. The firm denies using tax gimmicks.

Credit reporting agency TransUnion says Americans got better about paying their credit card debt on time in the first three months of the year. The rate of credit card payments at least 90 days overdue fell to 0.69 percent in the first quarter from 0.85 percent a year earlier. That’s a drop of nearly one-fifth.

The housing recovery boosted sales and earnings at Home Depot. Even though the weather was poor in many states compared with last year the largest home improvement chain posted an 18 percent increase in quarterly profits and a 4 percent gain in sales over last year. Home Depot shares rose 4 percent in premarket trading.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesabc

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