Japanese auto parts maker Takata finally buckled under pressure from federal regulators Tuesday, declaring that nearly 33.8 million vehicles sold in the United State come equipped with airbags that can spew pieces of shrapnel upon deployment. While about 17 million of those vehicles had already been part of recalls by major automakers, millions of others have yet to be identified, leaving consumers wondering if they’re driving around with what some people have likened to an explosive device in their steering wheel. [More]
We’re barely into May, and it’s already been an incredibly busy year for the FCC. Even major issues like a spectrum auction and a ruling on municipal broadband were overshadowed by the two huge proceedings around net neutrality and the Comcast/TWC merger. And so when FCC chairman Tom Wheeler sat down for a “fireside chat” at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York this week, he had a lot to say. [More]
After facing increased scrutiny by federal regulators in recent weeks regarding an investigation into the massive airbag recall and lack of new safety devices, Japanese auto parts maker Takata announced it will double production of replacement airbags in the next six months. [More]
Sysco’s in-person meetings with the Federal Trade Commission didn’t have the desired effect. The foodservice supply giant wanted approval for its planned acquisition of competitor U.S. Foods, but the FTC thinks that Sysco wants to gobble up too much of the market. The commissioners voted 3-2 to block the merger. [More]
When the four banks still offering customers payday loan-like services announced they would discontinue their often under-fire products, they likely knew their bottom-line would take a hit. One of those institutions, First Third Bank announced this week that changes to its program resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in revenue, providing an example of why it can be difficult to persuade lenders to ditch the profit-making, but financially devastating programs. [More]
Some first-time home buyers face an uphill battle when it comes to obtaining a mortgage following the housing crisis. But new policies created by federal regulators aim to make it easier for consumers to buy the home of their dreams. [More]
The proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, as it currently stands, looks like it could be a good move for the businesses and a bad move for consumers. But right now it’s still just that: a proposed merger. In order for this corporate marriage to move forward, federal regulators first have to approve the union–and that’s where it gets tricky. [More]
What Can A Regulator With A Sense Of Ethics Do After Leaving The Feds? Try Not To Become A Lobbyist.
After many years building your career, you’ve reached such a level of good reputation and success that you’ve been tapped to lead a major federal regulatory agency for a few years. Wow! That’s real power. Great job! But your term ends, or the administration changes, and your time in charge of the agency is done. You feel strongly that you’ve got another decade or two in you before retirement, though. So what’s your next move? [More]
When several thousand Verizon customers needed to dial 911 during a January snowstorm in the D.C. area, they were left hanging by the provider. The FCC has asked Verizon to investigate why an estimated 10,000 911 calls were dropped. [More]
Any sort of federal agency to protect consumers from abuse from the financial industry is months, or possibly years, away, notes Linda Stern of Reuters. That’s why you shouldn’t depend on such an agency to protect you in the meantime. In fact, you can take her advice and use it no matter what happens at the federal level.
The Associated Press says that a review of regulatory documents shows that years before the subprime mortgage crises developed into a full blown economic meltdown— the government ignored warnings and listened instead to lobbyists who represented some of the same banks that have now failed.
The next wave of the credit crisis — the skyrocketing defaults on credit cards — is coming in and odd alliances are being formed. The Consumer Federation of America, along with the Financial Services Roundtable ( a self-described “major player on Capitol Hill and with the regulators” which represents the securities, investment, insurance and banking industries) has requested a “special program that would allow as much as 40 percent of credit card debt to be forgiven for consumers who don’t qualify for existing repayment plans.”
A two-year investigation has concluded that most Verizon FIOS installations fail to meet national safety standards, and could cause fires or electrocutions. FIOS is famous for house fires, but New York’s Public Service Commission first started its investigation back in 2006 after several inspectors discovered improperly grounded installations.
Yesterday the FDIC shuttered the 28 branches of the First National Bank of Nevada and the First Heritage Bank. Federal regulators will perform a nifty little magic trick over the weekend, and on Monday, the branches will reopen as Mutual of Omaha Bank. Aren’t bank failures fun?!
Ever hear of IndyMac Bancorp? Well, it’s gone! Federal regulators seized the California bank spawned by Countrywide founder Angelo Mozilowhich, which had giddily doled out mortgages to lenders without requiring proof of income. Rather than blame the second largest bank failure in U.S. history on the subprime meltdown, the charmingly politicized regulators at the FDIC blamed the bank’s demise on Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY). Huh?