U.S. selling Sterling shares

The U.S. Treasury on Wednesday priced the sale of more than 5 million shares of Sterling Financial Corp. stock, which would net about $113 million in repayment for Troubled Asset Relief Program money the bank received in 2008.

A news release said Treasury officials priced 5,738,637 common shares at $20 each and expect to close the sale on Aug. 20.

Treasury will no longer hold any shares in Sterling after the sale, but it will continue to hold warrants to purchase more than 97,500 shares of the company’s common stock. The disposition of that stock will provide additional proceeds to taxpayers, according to a Treasury release.

Treasury purchased 303,000 preferred shares of Sterling through TARP in 2008, providing the debt-burdened Sterling Bank with $303 million in capital. Those shares were converted into common stock in 2010 as part of a successful $730 million recapitalization effort.

Caterpillar, union reach deal

JOLIET, Ill. – Caterpillar Inc. has reached a tentative six-year deal with the union representing almost 800 striking workers at an Illinois plant that makes components for trucks, tractors and other machines, the company and union said Wednesday.

Caterpillar said in a statement that the deal with workers in Joliet still must be ratified by members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. A vote is scheduled for Friday.

Airline can’t reject contract

DALLAS – A federal bankruptcy judge is blocking American Airlines from temporarily setting pay and contract rules for its pilots, but American plans to try again.

The judge ruled Wednesday that American could not reject a contract it negotiated in 2003 and impose its own terms on pilots. American wanted to cancel the contract to cut costs as it rebuilds in bankruptcy protection.

Judge Sean Lane ruled in New York that American failed to prove it needed furloughs and more outsourcing of flying, two key parts of its restructuring plan.

CEO pay exceeds tax burden

NEW YORK – Twenty-six big U.S. companies paid their CEOs more last year than they paid the federal government in tax, according to a study released Thursday by the Institute for Policy Studies.

The study said the companies, including AT&T, Boeing and Citigroup, paid their CEOs an average of $20.4 million last year while paying little or no federal tax on ample profits, according to regulatory filings.

Among the “kingpins” it criticized was CEO James McNerney Jr. of Boeing. It said he got $18.4 million in pay last year while his company received a tax refund of $605 million.

The study said deductions and credits are allowing companies to lavish big pay packages on executives so they can cut their tax bills.

Banks subpoenaed over rates

ALBANY, N.Y. – The attorneys general of New York and Connecticut have issued subpoenas to seven banks over the possible manipulation of a global interest rate, a person with knowledge of the matter told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

Subpoenas were issued, mostly last month and this month, to Barclays, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS, the person said.

American and British regulators have already fined Barclays $453 million for submitting false information between 2005 and 2009 to keep the interest rate, known as LIBOR, low. LIBOR, short for London interbank offered rate, is used to set the interest rates on trillions of dollars in contracts around the world.

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