QUICK READS

President Unveils Bid to Spur Growth The president called on Congress to pass a $447 billion package of spending initiatives and tax cuts to boost growth, in what might be the White House’s last chance to change its political fortunes before the 2012 campaign kicks into high gear.

Obama Turns to Old Playbook to Grow Jobs With Tax Cuts, Spending His call for payroll-tax breaks, extending unemployment assistance, increasing infrastructure spending and aiding cash- strapped state governments amounts to extending, tweaking or reviving policies lawmakers have already tried in the years-long effort to reduce unemployment.

BofA Cutbacks May Hit 40,000 Bank of America officials have discussed eliminating roughly 40,000 positions during the first wave of a restructuring that Chief Executive Brian Moynihan is expected to discuss Monday, people familiar with the plans said.

China inflation and growth cool Underlines expectations that central bank can hold off on further tightening of monetary policy in the face of global economic slowdown

Lagarde Warns of Economic Risks Downside risks to growth across the world have increased and countries must act now, boldly and together, said Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, adding that central banks must be prepared to implement unconventional policy measures.

Consumer Debt Rises on Nonrevolving Surge; Credit Cards Fall U.S. consumer credit made another gain during July, led by a big increase in nonrevolving debt, including student loans. Consumer credit jumped by $11.97 billion. The surge in outstanding credit was the biggest in more than three years. Consumer credit in June rose a downwardly revised $11.35 billion. Nonrevolving credit drove the overall increase in July, rising by $15.41 billion to $1.662 trillion. Among the various loans within the nonrevolving credit category are those for education. Unemployment is high and the sluggish jobs market might be spurring Americans to go back to school. The Fed report said revolving credit, which includes credit-card debt, fell by $3.44 billion to $792.48 billion. That July drop followed two promising increases.

India August Exports Rise 44% India’s merchandise exports grew in August from a year earlier but the volume shrank 17% from the previous month, and the expansion pace may decelerate further due to global economic uncertainties.

Canada sheds jobs, rate climbs Employers unexpectedly cut 5,500 positions in August, marking the second month in a row that job growth has stalled. The country’s unemployment rate rose a notch to 7.3 per cent, Statistics Canada said Friday.

Canada Takes Aim at Wheat Monopoly For 70 years, a lone trading desk in Canada’s prairie region quietly has held sway over the price of wheat. But those days are numbered.

Wal-Mart Revives Layaway Wal-Mart is bringing back its layaway program for toys and electronics this holiday season as the retail giant tries to boost sales from consumers who may struggle to afford the cost of Christmas. Under the new layaway plan, which begins, Oct. 17, customers will be able to have stores set aside toys and electronics of $15 or more, including dolls, bicycles, videogames and televisions, so long as the total purchase price exceeds $50. Customers will then have until Dec. 16 to pay off the remaining balance and retrieve the orders.

Ben Bernanke: Asked after his speech to the Economic Club of Minnesota about disagreements over what the Federal Reserve should do next, Chairman Bernanke joked: “When two people always agree, one is redundant.”

 

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