Business briefs

  • December 9, 2013 - 11:00 PM

Stronger Volcker Rule expected

Federal regulators are poised to approve on Tuesday a tougher-than-expected version of the so-called Volcker Rule, adopting the most sweeping overhaul of financial regulation since the Depression and imposing new limits against Wall Street risk-taking, according to the final draft of the rule reviewed by the New York Times. Five years after the financial crisis, the rule, which is the keystone of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, bans banks from trading for their own gain, a practice known as proprietary trading. The rule takes aim at the sort of risk-taking responsible for a $6 billion trading blowup at JPMor­gan Chase last year. To prevent such things, the rule — the brainchild of Paul Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman and adviser to President Obama — would help prevent the kind of risky positions that nearly sank Wall Street in 2008.

Chrysler to recall 5,600 vehicles

Chrysler will recall about 4,200 cars and pickups in the United States and 1,400 in Canada because the eight-speed automatic transmission could fail. In a separate action, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating whether a Hyundai recall earlier this year should have covered more vehicles. The Chrysler recall affects some 2013 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Ram 1500 vehicles equipped with a V6 engine, either all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and the eight-speed automatic transmission.

Bank of America accused of mortgage bias

The city of Los Angeles has filed a lawsuit against Bank of America Corp., the third banking giant accused of mortgage discrimination in minority communities that in turn led to a wave of foreclosures, lower property tax revenue and higher costs for city services. The city alleges that Bank of America “engaged in a continuous pattern and practice of mortgage ­discrimination in Los Angeles since at least 2004” by d­emanding different terms or conditions on loans that “vulnerable” ­borrowers could not afford, according to the complaint filed in federal court.

Hedge funds’ gold wagers slump to ’07 levels

Hedge funds are the least bullish on gold since 2007 as signs of faster U.S. economic growth bolster the case for the Federal Reserve to trim stimulus and cut demand for haven assets. The net-long position in gold fell 16 percent to 26,774 futures and options in the week ended Dec. 3, the lowest since June 2007.

TransCanada moves oil into Keystone pipeline

Alberta-based TransCanada Corp. said it has started moving oil into the Keystone XL pipeline’s southern leg, which runs from Oklahoma to the Texas coast. The announcement came on the same day that environmentalists stepped up their fight against the northern leg that would extend from oil-sands fields in Alberta to Steele City, Neb., where it would connect with other lines to move crude to Gulf Coast refineries.

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