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David Robinson

David Robinson is the deputy business editor for The News, where has worked since graduating from Syracuse University in 1985. A New Hampshire native, he started out in the News' Tonawanda bureau and moved into the business news department in October 1987, exactly a week after the stock market crash.


WILLIAM H. Merrill remembers getting a call from a home buyer who was interested in a house on Grand Island that looked nice, except for some soft spots on the floor and some "funny little gray spots" on the walls.When Merrill, a Williamsville home inspector, went through the house to check on its condition, it didn't take him long to find out that the floor had soft …

Marine Midland Bank said Tuesday it will shift its national credit card services operations from Wilmington, Del., to Buffalo in a move that will add about 130 jobs to the downtown work force.By combining the credit card unit's Delaware and Buffalo customer-service and bill-processing operations, Marine executives said they hope to reduce operating expenses and improv…

Boosted by a sharp increase in revenue, Cellular Products Inc., a Buffalo-based producer of blood-testing kits, Monday reported a smaller loss during the fourth fiscal quarter and fiscal year ending March 31.The company said it lost $285,528, or 4 cents a share, from January through March, compared to a loss of $597,999, or 8 cents a share, during the same period last…

When it comes to mobile home park developments, towns and villages all over Erie County are deciding it's better to be safe than sorry.As a result, at least four Western New York towns -- Hamburg, Orchard Park, Grand Island and Eden -- are tightening their zoning laws covering new mobile home parks.In three of those towns -- Eden, Orchard Park and Hamburg -- officials…

Benderson Development Co. of Buffalo is proposing to build a major factory outlet shopping mall in Niagara Falls on the same site the Ghermezian brothers once considered for a $1.2 billion "mega-mall," sources said.The proposed mall, which would have 1 million to 1.2 million square feet of space, would be close in size to the $100 million Walden Galleria in Cheektowag…

Thanks to some new state legislation passed this weekend, SONYMA soon will be able to offer cut-rate mortgages to middle-income home buyers who previously couldn't qualify for the loan program.Under the legislation, which Gov. Cuomo is expected to sign, the State of New York Mortgage Agency will receive a new funding source that will allow it to offer loans to a more …

Barrister Information Systems Corp. Friday announced that it lost $2.8 million during the quarter ending March 31 as it continues a restructuring program that has cut its work force by about 40 workers since mid-April.The fourth-quarter loss amounted to 91 cents a share, compared to a net loss of $158,000, or 5 cents a share, during the same period last year. Sales fo…

The State of New York Mortgage Agency will offer qualified low and moderate income home buyers a chance to obtain a home loan that carries a 5 percent interest rate and no points.The demonstration program, which will take effect Friday, will provide $11 million in mortgage money -- including about $900,000 to $1 million in the Buffalo area -- to families with at least…

A sharp drop in both housing and nonresidential construction pushed the value of all building contracts in Erie and Niagara counties down by 39.7 percent during May, an industry survey said.The F.W. Dodge division of McGraw-Hill Inc. reported that the total value of all contracts declined for the second consecutive month, falling to $62.4 million last month from $103.…

THANKS TO A new federal law forcing lenders to disclose more information about the terms on home equity loans, it should get a little easier for consumers to shop around for the best deal.The new disclosure rules, which were issued earlier this month by the Federal Reserve, require lenders to give borrowers more information about the loan's rates and terms at the time…

By rejecting a key amendment to the savings and loan industry bailout bill, the House dealt a sharp blow Thursday to three struggling local thrifts, including Empire of America Federal Savings Bank of Buffalo.Savings and loan institutions, like Empire, as well as Anchor Savings Bank and First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Rochester, have been using an accoun…

Goldome today said it is dropping its controversial policy of threatening to cut the severance pay of its laid-off employees unless they signed an agreement to keep silent about their layoff and waive their right to sue the bank.The Buffalo-based bank also said its current reorganization effort, which is about half-completed, eventually will reduce the number of its e…

Alan Abelson kept his audience laughing Tuesday, but his message was strictly economic gloom and doom.With debt building up as government, business and individuals continue living beyond their means, the economy is due for its deepest recession since the Great Depression, said Abelson, the editor of Barron's, a national business and financial weekly.Drawing from a wel…

FOR THE FIRST time in about 15 months, many fixed mortgage rates have slipped below 10 percent -- but economists aren't sure how much lower they will fall.A rallying bond market, combined with a stronger dollar and a common belief that inflation is under control, have helped pull mortgage rates down steadily during the last two months, economists say.As a result, mort…