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Business update: Buffett, Ballmer predict bright future

Mon., Sept. 13, 2010, 10:24 a.m.

Two of the biggest names in business say they see a bright future for the economy. Famed investor Warren Buffett says there will be no double-dip recession as some fear. He says banks are lending money again, businesses are hiring employees and he expects the country to come back stronger than ever. The chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. was speaking today via video to the Montana Economic Development summit in Butte, Mont. Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer says there soon will be more technological advancement and invention than seen during the Internet era. He says that will help drive business growth.

Banks get years to adjust to new global rules: Bankers and analysts said new global rules could mean less money available to lend to businesses and consumers, but praised a decision to leave plenty of time — until 2019 — before the financial stability requirements come into full force. The so-called Basel III rules, which will gradually require banks to hold greater capital buffers to absorb potential losses, are likely to affect the credit industry by imposing stricter discipline on credit cards, mortgages and other loans.

Airlines late more often in July than year ago: U.S. airlines were late more often in July than a year earlier, but there were only 3 planes stuck for more than three hours, the government said today.

Although there were more late flights in July, the on-time rate for the country’s biggest airlines in the first seven months of this year was the third best in 16 years.

GOP spokesman: Senate GOP to oppose Obama tax plan: Senate Republicans will oppose any effort to renew soon-to-expire Bush administration tax cuts if upper income taxpayers are excluded from the reductions. A spokesman for Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell says every Senate Republican has pledged to oppose President Barack Obama’s tax-cutting plan. Obama would renew the tax cuts for most people, but let the top income tax rate rise back to almost 40 percent on family or small business income over $250,000.

Wal-Mart introduces wireless plan under own brand: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said today that it is introducing the first cell phone plan that uses the chain’s own branding, further demonstrating its clout in getting special deals from wireless carriers. The Wal-Mart Family Mobile service will run on T-Mobile USA’s network. Unlimited calling and texting will cost $45 per month for the first line and $25 for each additional line for the family. The service will be offered starting next week in most of its stores across the nation.

Ex-IBM exec gets 6 months in prison: A tearful former IBM executive was sentenced to six months in prison today for his role in what prosecutors call the biggest hedge fund insider trading case in history. Robert Moffat, 54, of Ridgefield, Conn., was also ordered to pay a $50,000 fine by U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts following his guilty plea earlier this year to securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

Stocks climb on banking reform, China growth: Stocks extended their rally into a third week today as investors sent bank stocks higher following new global regulatory requirements and China’s economy continued its robust growth. The Dow Jones industrial average rose nearly 70 points in midday trading. If it holds onto gains Monday, it would be the eighth time in nine days the index rose.


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