Former prosecutor tapped to head SEC
President Barack Obama sent his strongest signal yet Thursday that he wants the government to get tougher with Wall Street, appointing a former prosecutor to head the Securities and Exchange Commission for the first time in the agency’s 79-year history.
Mary Jo White, former U.S. attorney in Manhattan, has an extensive record of prosecuting white-collar crime, won convictions in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 1998 terrorist attacks on two U.S. embassies in Africa, and put crime boss John Gotti away.
If confirmed, she will have the job of enforcing complicated regulations written in response to the worst financial crisis since the Depression.
NTSB: Battery shows short-circuiting
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner battery that caught fire earlier this month in Boston shows evidence of short-circuiting and a chemical reaction known as “thermal runaway,” in which an increase in temperature causes progressively hotter temperatures, federal accident investigators said Thursday.
It’s not clear to investigators which came first, the short-circuiting or the thermal runaway, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman said. Nor is it clear yet what caused either of them, she said during a news briefing on the board’s investigation.
Sandy victims face costly options
SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J.
Superstorm Sandy landed one final stunning blow to New Jersey on Thursday as the state adopted rebuilding guidelines that come with sticker shock.
They will force homeowners in flood zones to spend tens of thousands of dollars to raise their houses now or pay exorbitant premiums of up to $31,000 a year for flood insurance later.
Gov. Chris Christie said he adopted flood maps issued late last year by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as New Jersey’s standard for rebuilding from the worst storm in its history. The superstorm destroyed more than 30,000 homes, caused $37 billion in damage and is keeping 41,000 people out of their damaged homes.
Starbucks profit up
Americans still need their Starbucks fix even in the weak economy.
The Seattle-based coffee chain said Thursday its profit rose 13 percent in the latest quarter in line with Wall Street expectations. Results were boosted by a 6 percent increase in global sales at cafes open at least a year, a key metric of health.
The performance reflects the sharp turnaround Starbucks has made since its struggles during the recession. After bringing back founder Howard Schultz as CEO in 2008, the company embarked on a massive restructuring effort that included closing underperforming stores in the U.S. Going forward, Schultz has noted that the company has the flexibility to keep growing even through a turbulent economy because most people see Starbucks as an “affordable luxury.”
From wire reports