Watchdog Says Treasury Dept. Once Again Overpaid GM Execs

Watchdog Says Treasury Dept. Once Again Overpaid GM Execs

(frankieleon)

Under the guidelines for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which invested billions of taxpayer dollars in bailing out the nation’s banks and carmakers, executive pay is supposed to kept to reasonable levels. In the case of General Motors, it pledged to cap salaries at $500,000; not bad for a company that allowed nearly two dozen people to die rather than fix an ignition switch. But the TARP watchdog says that once again the Treasury Dept. has allowed GM to pay execs more than it agreed to.

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Study: Raising Cigarette Prices Means People Drink Less Beer & Booze

Study: Raising Cigarette Prices Means People Drink Less Beer & Booze

(Great Beyond)

For those who drink and smoke, it’s no surprise that often, the more you smoke, the more you end up drinking, and vice versa. So it follows that when state taxes make cigarettes more expensive, you might be inclined to smoke less, and as such, you might end up drinking less beer and whiskey as a result. That’s the effect rising cigarette prices have on alcohol consumption (except for wine), say researchers in a new study that looks at consumption habits of smokers and drinkers.

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Walmart introduces checking account service

Walmart introduces checking account serviceWalmart says it'll introduce a checking account service through Green Dot Corp. (AP Photo/Wal-Mart Stores Inc.) ORG XMIT: NY119(Photo: Anonymous AP)Walmart is getting into personal banking.In a partnership with Green Dot Corp., Walmart announced Wednesday that it’ll launch a checking account service that will be linked to a MasterCard debit card and simplify fees paid by customers.Available at Walmart stores by the end of October, GoBank will charge $8.95 a month but will waive the fee if customers consent to a monthly direct deposit of $500. Other fees that are associated with “free” checking accounts at commercial banks – for overdraft, not maintaining a minimum balance or writing bad checks – are waived, it says.Customers can also use a network of 42,000 ATMs without paying withdrawal fees, it says.”GoBank is breaking down the barriers to traditional banking and brings the benefits of a FDIC-insured checking account that’s loaded with features to a large segment of Americans,” says Steve Streit, founder and CEO of Green Dot Corp.Walmart has broadened its in-store services over the years, adding health care clinics, tax services and money transfers. But it saw an opportunity to expand financial and banking-related services for budget-minded customers that sought to avoid fees and credit checks.USATODAYWal-Mart offers lower-fee money transfer service”GoBank gives our customers yet another option as to how they manage their money,” says Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Walmart U.S., in a statement.Walmart and Green Dot noted that an independent study by Bretton Woods estimates that consumers pay about $218 to $314 a year for a basic checking account.GoBank, which is insured by FDIC, will also offer other services that are common at other banks, including bill pay, a debit MasterCard and a free money-transfer service that can be used among GoBank customers.Customers wishing to sign up will not undergo a credit check, but GoBank uses “proprietary underwriting techniques to allow almost any consumer who passes ID verification to open an account,” it says.Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) rose 1.4% in morning trading.

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