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March 19, 2013
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Legal News in Brief

  Corporate Spotlight 
  • Citi agrees to settle subprime suit
    Citigroup has agreed to pay $730 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by bond holders who say the bank did not accurately represent its exposure to certain subprime mortgage loans and other risky securities and understated some loan losses. "Citigroup denies the allegations and is entering into this settlement solely to eliminate the uncertainties, burden and expense of further protracted litigation," a statement from the bank says. BBC (3/18), Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • GOP economist reportedly is examined for SEC post
    Michael Piwowar, the Senate Banking Committee's head Republican economist, reportedly is being vetted for a spot on the Securities and Exchange Commission. If Piwowar is nominated and confirmed, he will be the only economist on a panel that traditionally comprises lawyers. He could occupy the seat of GOP Commissioner Troy Paredes, whose term ends in June. Bloomberg (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  National News 
  • Economists expect Fed to keep rates low
    Ahead of the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting this week, economists expect the central bank to maintain historically low short-term interest rates, despite signs of a strengthening economy. Unemployment remains at 7.7%, and at previous meetings, the Fed has pledged to keep policies in place until unemployment drops to 6.5%, provided inflation remains mild. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Legislative Dispatch 
  Employment Focus 
  • Bankruptcy proceedings put retirees' health benefits at risk
    Patriot Coal has asked a bankruptcy court judge to negate a union contract that guarantees retirement benefits for about 10,000 retirees and their 13,000 dependents. Some retirees say they wouldn't be able to afford health care if the judge grants the request. "If our benefits were cut off, we wouldn't last long," retiree Clifton Tennant said. The Wall Street Journal (3/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Federal budget cuts add urgency to hiring, some experts say
    Sequestration is forcing some federal agencies to reduce staff, and putting pressure on staffing firms to deliver candidates who can handle multiple roles, says Peter Metzger of job-placement firm CTPartners. Some employers have become more eager to fill key spots before they lose money from their hiring budgets, says workforce consultant Susan Strayer LaMotte. The Washington Post (3/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Supreme Court and Federal Court Watch 
  • Judge denies Countrywide request to dismiss FHFA claims
    Countrywide Financial, now part of Bank of America, failed to persuade a federal judge to dismiss claims brought by the Federal Housing Finance Agency on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Countrywide argued that FHFA did not provide enough information to prove that there were factual misrepresentations in mortgage-backed securities offering documents. "The mere expansion of underwriting guidelines does not support a claim under the securities laws, but failing to disclose that expansion to investors constitutes a viable misstatement," District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer said. Bloomberg (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional and Business Development 
  • The difference between being the boss and being bossy
    While many dream of becoming the "boss," the word itself can create difficulties in the work environment, writes Tim Lambert. "Using it has the psychological effect of driving a certain type of behaviour. ... [W]hat's needed is a reframing of the relationship between a manager and the people they manage: a relationship based on mutual benefit and interdependence, not hierarchy," he writes. Linked 2 Leadership blog (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 9 interviewer types you might need to win over
    The various interviewers that you might encounter over your career include "The Robot" and "The Clueless Boss," according to this infographic from Interview Success Formula. Have a strategy prepared for each one, such as to emphasize your work ethic when interviewing with someone who isn't interested in making a personal connection. Mashable (3/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  PLI News 
  • The Third of a Four-Part Series on International Banking
    Foreign banks seeking to diversify their financing opportunities may consider Securities and Exchange Commission registration. The audio briefing International Banking, Part III: SEC Registration for Foreign Banks, at PLI Online on March 20, will focus on the registration process; disclosure considerations for financial institutions; and compliance, governance and ongoing reporting. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Did You Know ... About Patents and Presidents?
    Did you know that President George Washington was a big proponent of a patent system? In fact, during his very first State of the Union address, he implored Congress to immediately take action on passing a Patent Act, which was enacted several months later. And did you know that President Thomas Jefferson was one of the first three U.S. patent examiners? On PLI's Patent Law Practice Center, Gene Quinn discusses the many presidents who took action on patents. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it."
--Margaret Thatcher,
British prime minister

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