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Business briefs for Dec. 11
By The Associated Press Published: December 11, 2012
Business briefs


Ford fixing coolant issue

Ford will update software on 2013 Escape SUVs and Fusion cars to fix a coolant problem that can cause fires. Last month the automaker recalled more than 89,000 of the vehicles after getting complaints about overheating and fires. It urged owners to get loaner cars from dealers until Ford found a fix. Only vehicles with 1.6-liter turbocharged engines are affected. Ford Product Development Chief Raj Nair says the problem happens when coolant doesn't flow through the radiator to be cooled. That is because a valve is out of sync with the thermostat. Overheated coolant can blow gaskets and leak onto hot exhaust parts. The problem has caused nine fires.

Facebook solves problem

— Some Facebook users were briefly unable to access the site because of a technical glitch, officials said. The social networking site with more than 1 billion users worldwide reported Monday it made a change to its domain name system setup. The change resulted in some users temporarily not being able to reach the site. The problem was detected, and the site is now fully back. A domain name system acts like a phone book for the Internet, translating a domain name such as into a number that points to a specific host computer. Facebook did not say how many users were affected or for how long. Some technology blogs said the problems lasted about 20 minutes.

HSBC to pay penalties

— British banking giant HSBC will pay $1.9 billion to settle a money-laundering inquiry by federal and state authorities in the United States, a law enforcement official said Monday. The investigation of the bank — Europe's largest by market value — has focused on the transfer of billions of dollars on behalf of nations such as Iran, which are under international sanctions, and the transfer of money through the U.S. financial system from Mexican drug cartels. According to the official, HSBC will pay $1.25 billion in forfeiture and $655 million in civil penalties. The $1.25 billion figure is the largest forfeiture ever in a case involving a bank. Under what is known as a deferred prosecution agreement, the financial institution will be accused of violating the Bank Secrecy Act and the Trading With the Enemy Act.

Treasury rates mixed

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills were mixed in Monday's auction: Rates on three-month bills were unchanged, and rates on six-month bills fell to the lowest level since mid-September. The Treasury Department auctioned $32 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.09 percent, unchanged from last week. An additional $28 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.135 percent, down from 0.14 percent last week. The six-month rate was the lowest since these bills averaged 0.13 percent on Sept. 17. The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,997.73, while a six-month bill sold for $9,993.18. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.091 percent for the three-month bills and 0.137 percent for the six-month bills. Separately, the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable-rate mortgages, was unchanged at 0.18 percent last week, the same as the previous week.

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