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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Business Briefs: NW Farm Credit Services buys Ambassadors building

From Staff And Wire Reports

Northwest Farm Credit Services, a financial services company serving regional farmers, bought the Ambassadors Group building near Spokane’s airport for $9 million. The 133,000- square-foot building was constructed in 2006 by Ambassadors, a travel company that promotes cultural trips under the People to People banner.

The building, along with 11 acres of land at 2001 S. Flint Road, has been for sale for two years. It was first listed for $13 million.

Ambassadors executives announced at the time that they wanted a smaller office space as a way to “right-size” the company during a period of declining revenue. At the time, officials said they intended to lease back office space from the buyer, but a recent federal filing about the sale gave no indication what Ambassadors intends to do.

Spokane’s Northwest Farm Credit Services office is at 1700 S. Assembly St. near the Sunset Hill. It has not announced plans for a move.

The farm financing co-op has been in business for nearly 100 years, providing financing and other services to farms, ranches and natural resource businesses across the Northwest.

Officials of both companies could not be reached for comment.

Fed to review its oversight of big banks

WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve said Thursday that it will review how it oversees the biggest U.S. banks amid criticism that it has grown too close to the financial institutions it is charged with regulating.

The Fed’s announcement came a day before a Senate subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing on whether Fed examiners – particularly in the Fed’s New York operation – have become too cozy with the big banks they oversee.

The central bank said the review will examine whether its decision-makers get the information they need to make good decisions in their inspection and oversight of banks. It also will look at the Fed’s internal culture, and whether dissenting views related to oversight are stifled.

The bailout of Wall Street banks during the 2008 financial crisis brought the issue forward.

Speed up Jeep recall, NHTSA tells Chrysler

DETROIT – The government is telling Chrysler to speed up its recall of 1.5 million older Jeeps with gas tanks that can rupture in a rear collision.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent a letter to Chrysler saying that only 3 percent of the Jeeps have been fixed, more than a year after the recall began.

The Jeep Grand Cherokees and Libertys have gas tanks behind the rear axles that can rupture in rear collisions and catch fire. The remedy is to install a trailer hitch to protect the tanks in low-speed collisions. At least 51 people have died in crashes because of the problem.

The letter says Jeep owners have complained about being turned away by dealers for lack of parts.

Chrysler says it’s redoubling efforts to ship parts.

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