Geithner says taxpayers recovering bailout funds
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Members of a watchdog panel pressed Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner on looming losses for banks and foreclosure relief for struggling homeowners, as he assured them Tuesday that taxpayers are recovering their investment from the $700 billion financial bailout.
Geithner told a hearing of the Congressional Oversight Panel that banks have repaid about 75 percent of the bailout money they received, and the government's investments in aided banks have brought taxpayers $21 billion. He acknowledged a potential partial loss from the rescue of giant insurer American International Group Inc., into which the government plowed $182 billion.
Geithner also said the auto industry has made significant structural changes, and the prospects that General Motors and Chrysler will repay the nearly $60 billion in bailout money have improved.
Cell phone radiation law
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- San Francisco's Board of Supervisors has approved a new law requiring cell phone retailers to post the amount of radiation emitted by each phone they sell.
The board voted 10-1 Tuesday to approve a first-of-its-kind ordinance that requires stores to disclose the phones' specific absorption rate, or SAR.
The measure is backed by Mayor Gavin Newsom, who is expected to sign it within 10 days.
Opponents say the city is responding to unfounded concern over cell phone radiation. Whether the radiation produced by cell phones causes cancer or other health problems remains a matter of debate among scientists.
Ex-Madoff aide freed on bail
NEW YORK (AP) -- The former finance chief for jailed financier Bernard Madoff was released on $10 million bail Tuesday, months after he admitted his role in an epic fraud that cost thousands of investors billions of dollars and agreed to cooperate with investigators.
Frank DiPascali, 53, left U.S. District Court in Manhattan without speaking to reporters after meeting the terms of a bail package that a judge had set in February.
DiPascali pleaded guilty in August to helping with Madoff's Ponzi scheme until it collapsed in late 2008, when Madoff revealed to his sons that his private investment business was a fraud and they notified the FBI.
Madoff, 72, is serving a 150-year prison term after admitting that his secretive investment advisory service at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities never bought any securities. Instead, he used new investments to pay returns to existing clients.
DiPascali's cooperation has delayed his sentencing on his guilty plea to securities fraud, money laundering and other charges that carry potential penalties of up to 125 years in prison.
Gourmet Live app launches
NEW YORK (AP) -- Gourmet may be dead as a magazine, but the brand lives on.
Conde Nast, which closed the money-losing print magazine last fall, said Tuesday that it is launching a digital product called "Gourmet Live" for the iPad and other mobile gadgets.
It is another bet by Conde Nast on the world of apps -- the mobile software applications popularized by Apple Inc.'s iPhone. The publisher has invested heavily to bundle its magazines as applications on both the iPhone and now the iPad.
Robert Sauerberg, the head of Conde Nast's consumer marketing division, emphasized that Gourmet's app is not a digital magazine. But he said the impetus comes in part from the reception its magazines have gotten on mobile devices.
Seaway shipments increase
Cargo shipments on the St. Lawrence Seaway are improving from last year.
Through last month, total cargo shipments on the entire Seaway, including the Welland Canal, were up
18 percent from the same period a year ago, according to the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. Iron ore volume is up 105 percent from a year ago.
Total transits on the Welland Canal are up 16 percent. A transit refers to a vessel's passage through one or more of the canal's locks.