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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Chamber hires headhunter to fill chief executive post

From Staff And Wire Reports

The Coeur d’Alene Area Chamber of Commerce has hired an executive search firm to help find a new chief executive officer.

Jonathan Coe, who led the chamber for 10 years, resigned in August to accept a new position in Santa Rosa, Calif.

With the assistance of Waverly Partners LLC, the chamber’s board chairman, Mark Fisher, will head a five-member search committee to identify qualified candidates, a chamber news release said.

The chamber has 1,200 members, 17 employees and a budget of more than $2 million. The position profile can be viewed at www.cdachamber.com.

IPO market showing signs of recovery from drought

NEW YORK – Coming off its worst year in three decades, the market for initial public offerings is starting to show signs of life.

Eight companies are looking to raise as much as $3.7 billion when they go public next week, the most activity the U.S. IPO market has seen in a single week in nearly two years and a clear sign that Wall Street’s appetite for risk is returning.

IPOs all but dried up in 2008 as investors shunned the traditionally risky bets and moved into safer assets like cash and Treasurys as the stock market tumbled.

Only 43 companies completed IPOs in the U.S. last year, down from 272 the year before and 221 in 2006, according to Renaissance Capital’s IPOHome.com. It was the slowest year for IPOs since 1978.

FTC may ban prepaid fees to mortgage modifiers

WASHINGTON – The head of the Federal Trade Commission said Thursday the agency is considering banning upfront payments to companies that advertise help for borrowers who are in trouble on their home loans.

Government officials say scammers seeking to take advantage of borrowers in danger of default often charge upfront fees of $1,000 to $3,000 for help with loan modifications that rarely, if ever, pay off.

“If you are concerned about keeping your home, avoid any company that asks you for a large fee in advance. That is a real red flag,” said Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the FTC. Such upfront fees are already prohibited in 20 states.

Madoff’s beach home fetches nearly $9 million

NEW YORK – It boasts ocean views, an infamous former owner – and now a buyer willing to pay more than $8.75 million.

An unidentified would-be buyer or buyers snapped up Bernard Madoff’s Long Island beach house within days after the U.S. Marshals Service put the seized property up for sale, a spokeswoman for the broker the Corcoran Group said Thursday.

Spokeswoman Anne Lacombe said the fallen money manager’s Montauk retreat was under contract for more than its $8.75 million asking price.

She didn’t have the exact figure, any information on the intended buyer or the closing date.

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