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Holiday Party, Slip-Sliding Away

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 17 (UPI) — The typical U.S. office party has gone from an open-bar, brass-band blowout to a meek, cost-effective, employees-only seasonal fete, surveys indicate. The annual survey done by executive search firm Amprop Battalia Winston found 74 percent of companies indicated they would throw a holiday party for their staff. That was […]

France Warned, Belgium Downgraded

PARIS, Dec. 17 (UPI) — The credit ratings of Belgium and France came under fire this week as plans to solve the European debt crisis failed to impress financial analysts. Moody’s Investors Service said it would put Belgium at an Aa3 rating, three notches below the top triple-A rating, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. […]

Delta To Take Larger Bite Of New York City

NEW YORK, Dec. 17 (UPI) — Delta Air Lines Inc. said it is poised to become New York City’s busiest airline with plans for expansion through 2012. Already handing 22 percent of the passengers in and out of LaGuardia Airport, Delta recently swapped terminal slots at Reagan National Airport in Washington with US Airways Group […]

Air Force Tightens Fraud Prevention Effort

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 (UPI) — The U.S. Air Force reports it is coordinating efforts to prevent and mitigate procurement fraud and contractor misconduct. The effort was expressed by the signing this month of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Air Force Contracting and Air Force General Council for Contractor […]

Builder Confidence Rises Slightly

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 (UPI) — Builder confidence in the U.S. market for newly built, single-family homes rose slightly in December, a national housing market index indicated. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gained for the third consecutive month, adding 2 points to reach 21, the trade group said. The index remains […]

CPI Up Slightly

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) — The Consumer Price Index for core prices rose 2.2 percent in November on an annual basis, one tick higher than October and within range of a federal target. Core prices, which exclude food and energy items, rose 2.1 percent on a 12-month basis. The U.S. Federal Reserve’s target is for […]

Savings Bonds To Go Digital

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) — The U.S. Treasury Department said bank sales of paper savings bonds will convert to an all-digital system in 2012. The switch is part of the department’s “all-electronic initiative,” which was begun last year by the Bureau of Public Debt. The change to an all-digital system for savings bonds that used […]

WTO Gives Russia Membership

GENEVA, Switzerland, Dec. 16 (UPI) — Trade ministers at the World Trade Organization have agreed to allow Russia entrance into the 153-member international trade group. The agreement puts an end to a glaring omission in the WTO, as Russia has become an increasingly important gas and oil exporting nation that has critical political influence in […]

Industrial Production Drops Slightly

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) — Industrial production fell 0.2 percent in November after rising 0.7 percent in October, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board said. Manufacturing output dropped 0.4 percent, while production at mines rose 0.1 percent in the month. Output at utilities rose 0.2 percent after three consecutive months of declines, the Fed said Wednesday. […]

Former Fannie, Freddie Executives Charged

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) — U.S. finance regulators have charged former executives of the nation’s largest mortgage brokers with misleading investors about their risky mortgages holdings. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed the charges in Manhattan against former Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Chief Executive Officer Richard Syron and two other former Freddie Mac executives, […]

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