Financial news on December 10, 2011

Business and Financial news
A Risk Once Unthinkable

James B Stewart Common Sense column questions how MF Global could lose $1.2 billion of customers' funds that were, by law, untouchable; observes firm had internal controls and a chief compliance officer, all of which raise questions about the safety of customer accounts at brokerage firms. Read more..

By JAMES B. STEWART - The New York Times

Consumer Confidence Rises and Trade Deficit Falls

Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index measuring consumer confidence rises to 67.7 in December from 64.1 in November; October trade deficit falls to $43.47 billion, its lowest point in 10 months. Read more..

By REUTERS - The New York Times

E.C.B. Moves to Head Off Credit Crunch

The European Central Bank cut its main interest rate and will expand emergency funding to banks. But the president, Mario Draghi, quashed hopes that the bank might buy more government bonds. Read more..

By JACK EWING - International Herald Tribune

For Chase, a TV Show to Promote Its Charity

JPMorgan Chase, in a gambit to polish its image, will sponsor the American Giving Awards, an television program that will profile recipients of Chase donations; it will be bookended by Chase commercials. Read more..

By BRIAN STELTER - The New York Times

Getting a Grip on Taxes Before the Storm Hits

Paul Sullivan Wealth Matters column offers taxpayer checklist for last few weeks of 2011 as well as pressing tax issues to consider for 2012. Read more..

By PAUL SULLIVAN - The New York Times

Labor Board Drops Case Against Boeing After Union Reaches Accord

National Labor Relations Board drops its politically charged case against Boeing in which it had accused firm of violating labor law when it opened plant in South Carolina; International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers urged board to drop case after reaching accord with Boeing. Read more..

By STEVEN GREENHOUSE - The New York Times

U.S. Rejects Europe’s Offer in Aircraft Subsidy Case

United States rejects European Union plan to eliminate subsidies provided to Airbus and says it will ask the World Trade Organization for permission to impose trade sanctions that could amount to $7 billion to $10 billion annually. Read more..

By REUTERS - The New York Times

U.S. Seeks Withdrawal of AT&T Antitrust Case

Justice Department said it wants to withdraw or postpone its antitrust case against the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA by AT&T now that the two companies no longer have a valid application to approve the deal. Read more..

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS - The New York Times

Wal-Mart Discloses an Internal Inquiry

Wal-Mart says it might have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and begins internal investigation; says investigation is result of a voluntary internal review of its global anticorruption practices and information obtained elsewhere. Read more..

By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD - The New York Times

White Elephant for Sale in London, Again

After each grandiose plan to develop the Battersea Power Station failed, the iconic but decrepit London landmark is back on the market. Read more..

By JULIA WERDIGIER - International Herald Tribune

See what else happened on December 10, 2011