Citigroup will pay $7 billion to settle a government investigation into the sale and marketing of toxic sub-prime mortgages. Such securities were blamed for fueling the boom and bust that triggered the recession in late 2007. The agreement, announced this morning, came weeks after negotiations between the two sides broke down, prompting the Justice Department to threaten a damaging lawsuit against the financial giant. Citi is the second big bank to settle. The Justice Department announced late last year a $13 billion mortgage deal with America’s biggest bank, JP Morgan Chase. The government is said to be in negotiations with Bank of America over sub-prime mortgage sales. The Citi settlement includes a $4 billion cash payment to the Department of Justice and $2.5 billion in consumer relief.
Drugmakers AbbVie and Shire are in detailed talks about a possible merger after AbbVie once again raised the size of its offer and gave Shire shareholders a bigger stake in the new company. Shire, with headquarters on the British tax-haven island of Jersey, says Illinois-based AbbVie is now offering a cash-stock combination valued at more than $91 for each share of Shire. Its shareholders also would own about 25 percent of the combined company. Previous offers from AbbVie were rejected by Shire.
The stock market could be volatile this week as the second-quarter earnings season moves into high gear. Yahoo, eBay and Google will report profits and sales. Analysts expect most large companies to report strong earnings. Despite a small gain Friday, stock averages had their biggest weekly drop since April. Stock futures rose this morning.
Samsung Electronics says it has suspended business ties with a Chinese supplier that allegedly hired children. The South Korean company says that it had found possible evidence of child labor and illegal hiring at Dongguan Shinyang Electronics. The nonprofit China Labor Watch said children worked at Shinyang for three to six months to meet production targets during a period of high demand. The report came after Samsung said its audit found no child labor at hundreds of Chinese suppliers.
Football, as the rest of the world calls soccer, is worth big bucks. Adidas will pay Manchester United $1.3 billion over 10 years for sponsorship. The deal was announced after Nike decided that tripling the cost of its equipment supply contract with Man U was not worth it. Despite a miserable season this year in the Premiere League, United still has a highly valuable brand name.
Tired of paying too much money for insurance coverage? Bundling your home and auto policies can lead to sizeable savings. “Fifteen percent is the average discount we’re seeing nationwide to bundle home and auto,” Laura Adams of insurancequotes.com says. “If you bundle or combine both of those under one agency, in many cases this is going to give you a really substantial discount.”
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow