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Friday, March 6, 2009


Consumer borrowing rose unexpectedly in January
Consumer borrowing rose unexpectedly in January after three months of declines. The Federal Reserve said Friday that borrowing increased at an annual rate of $1.76 billion in the first month of the year. Economists expected borrowing to decline at a rate of $5 billion. Still, the small rise in January is unlikely to shake economists' views that borrowing will remain weak this year as consumers tighten their belts in the face of massive layoffs and the recession. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity....

Wells Fargo slashes dividend, expects $5B savings
Following the lead of other major banks, Wells Fargo & Co. said Friday it will slash its dividend by 85 percent in an effort to save $5 billion annually. Wells Fargo is the latest of the money-center banks to succumb to the decision to lower its dividend to shore up capital as a buffer against future losses....

Sirius closes $530 million Liberty investment deal
Sirius XM Radio Inc. on Friday said it has closed the $530 million investment deal with Liberty Media Corp. and extended the maturity of certain debt coming due in two months, until 2010. Charlie Ergen, chief executive of Dish Network Corp., fought for control of Sirius after buying a substantial amount of debt due last month. But Sirius turned to Liberty Media....

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