April 4, 2013 in Business

In brief: Revived Detroit Electric unveils sports car

From Wire Reports
 

DETROIT – More than 100 years after it began making cars, Detroit Electric is back in business.

The automaker on Wednesday unveiled in Detroit the SP:01, a limited-edition electric sports car.

Detroit Electric was founded in 1906 and built 13,000 electric cars. Among its customers were Thomas Edison, John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford’s wife, Clara. But the company halted production in 1939, overcome by the Great Depression and drivers’ growing preference for gasoline-fueled engines.

Detroit Electric was revived five years ago by Albert Lam, a former Lotus Cars and Apple Inc. executive.

The two-seat, $135,000 SP:01 has a top speed of 155 miles per hour and can go from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds.

Signs of growth seen in small business lending

NEW YORK – Small business lending is showing small signs of growth, according to data compiled by the government.

The total amount of small business loans outstanding at the end of the fourth quarter came to $586 billion, up from $584 billion in the third quarter, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. That was the first quarterly gain in small business lending since the FDIC began tracking loans on a quarterly basis at the start of 2010.

Despite the year-end improvement, the lending environment for small business remains weak.

Trader admits wire fraud while at Goldman Sachs

NEW YORK – A former Goldman Sachs trader pleaded guilty to wire fraud Wednesday, admitting that he caused his company to lose $118 million in 2007 when he put $8 billion at risk.

Matthew Marshall Taylor, 34, said he took the position on a futures contract traded electronically through the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in December 2007 to enhance his reputation and boost his earnings in a year when he made $150,000 in salary and $1.6 million in bonuses.

According to court papers filed in Manhattan, Taylor entered fictitious information in trading account records and lied to company representatives to cover up the fact that he had put 10 times more money at risk in the trade than he was allowed.

He claimed that the $8 billion at risk was actually only $65 million, the papers said.

Amazon throws in digital with purchase of vinyl

SEATTLE – In an odd combination of old and new, Amazon says that every time a person buys a vinyl record from its online store, it will give that customer a digital version of the songs for free.

The feature, called AutoRip, was launched in January for CDs. Digital songs are stored in the customer’s online storage account with Amazon. Songs received this way don’t count against that customer’s storage limit. The new offer, announced Wednesday, extends to any physical albums bought on Amazon since 1998.

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