Precisely because it is such a grave matter, the standoff between President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress over how to avert the "fiscal cliff" creates an opportunity for real reform of America's finances, according to The Economist. "Mr Obama is said to want a big deal that not only averts the fiscal cliff but sets America on a sustainable fiscal course," the magazine notes. "Such a deal is within his reach. He should grasp it."
Jay DesMarteau, head of small-business and government banking at TD Bank, provides tips to small businesses about how they can be more successful in obtaining loans from banks. For example, he says that banks want to see a business plan and that "the most important thing to us is the strength of the business's cash flow."
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published a guide for how its examiners will ensure that private student lenders comply with federal consumer financial laws. Examiners will evaluate marketing and advertising materials, disclosures, periodic borrower statements and lenders' systems for tracking and handling consumer inquiries.
The Department of Justice is requiring First Niagara Financial Group to sell 26 HSBC Bank branches in order to close a $1 billion acquisition of almost 200 of the bank's branches. The buyers of those 26 branches might be known within 30 days, according to a First Niagara representative.
Bank of America is asking some small-business customers to pay off their credit-line balances all at once, instead of in monthly payments. Bank officials said the move is "necessary for Bank of America to continue prudent lending to viable businesses across the U.S."