Signet unit to pay $11 million to CFPB, New York over allegations of opening accounts without consent

Signet Jewelers SIG, -0.09% division Sterling Jewelers has agreed to pay $10 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and $1 million to the state of New York to settle claims it’s opened store credit-card accounts with customer consent. According to the settlement, Sterling also enrolled customers in payment-protection insurance without their consent and misrepresented to consumers the financing terms […]

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Fed’s Beige Book says contacts in ‘many’ districts have become less optimistic

The description: Eight of 12 Federal Reserve districts reported modest to moderate growth in December and early January, with St. Louis and Kansas City reporting flat or slight growth and St. Louis and Dallas reporting a slower pace of growth, according to the Fed’s Beige Book report released Wednesday. What happened: “Many” districts reported that contacts “had become less optimistic” […]

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Sasse says Justice Department should investigate itself over Jeffrey Epstein sentencing

Alleging "an epic miscarriage of justice," Sen. Ben Sasse has written letters to Justice Department officials asking why former hedge-fund manager Jeffrey Epstein received a soft sentence for allegedly trafficking minor girls for sex parties, Axios reported. Epstein pleaded guilty to two felony prostitution charges but received immunity for sex-trafficking charges. The sentencing was agreed to by Alexander Acosta, then […]

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Eisman of ‘The Big Short’ fame says he’s shorting U.K. banks because nobody has ‘any idea’ about ‘economic impact of Brexit’

Investor Steve Eisman said he’s betting against U.K. banks amid a testy Brexit negotiation. The prominent hedge-fund manager and investor who garnered prominence on Wall Street for his bets against dicey mortgage products engineered by some of the world’s biggest banks, says uncertainty about the outcome surrounding Britain’s planned divorce from the European Union is underpinning his recent bearish bank […]

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EMERGING MARKETS-Currencies gain as Turkish lira firms before rate decision

* Turkish central bank expected to keep rates unchanged * Russia’s rouble gains 0.5 percent, oil rises * MSCI’s EM stocks index hits six-week peak * S.African rand firmer ahead of local retail sales data By Aaron Saldanha Jan 16 (Reuters) – Most emerging market currencies firmed against the dollar on Wednesday, with Turkey’s lira strengthening ahead of a central […]

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Global blockchain unicorn Bitfury launches music business

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Global blockchain company The Bitfury Group, valued recently at $1 billion, announced on Wednesday the launch of a music and entertainment division that will create an open-source music platform secured by the bitcoin blockchain. The open-source platform, named SurroundTM, will encourage collaboration and promote innovation within the industry, the company said. Blockchain, which first emerged as […]

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Chevron, Total and Reliance join oil blockchain platform Vakt

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil majors Chevron (CVX.N) and Total TOTP.PA, along with major Indian refiner Reliance Industries (RELI.NS), have joined the blockchain-based platform Vakt, London-based Vakt said on Tuesday. Vakt, already in use by other major trading firms since the end of last year, is the first of many blockchain pilot schemes for commodities trading to go live. The firm […]

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Okanagan restaurants looking to draw crowds with annual event

The 14th annual Dine Around Thompson Okanagan event was launched on Tuesday night in Kelowna. There are 50 restaurants between Osoyoos and Kamloops offering special menus until Feb. 3. Participating restaurants will offer a three-course-menu for $15, $25, $35, or $45 with suggested pairings of B.C. VQA wine, craft beer or spirits. From past experience, organizers are expecting more than […]

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Barry Rosenstein’s Jana to shut down two of its equity funds

Barry Rosenstein’s Jana hedge fund is slimming down in the new year. Following years of lackluster returns, the fund told investors Tuesday that it was closing two of its equity funds to focus on its better-performing activist strategies. “This is where we have delivered our best returns for investors, developed a genuine competitive advantage, made our mark on numerous industries, […]

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