US acts on Boeing beacons
US aviation authorities said on Friday they were working “to develop instructions to operators” on how to inspect the emergency beacons suspected of causing a fire on a Boeing Dreamliner last week in London. “After reviewing the initial findings” from Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch, “the Federal Aviation Administration is working with Boeing to develop instructions to operators for inspection of the Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) on Boeing 787 aircraft,” the FAA said in a statement. These inspections will be mandatory and operators will need to check for evidence of “proper wire routing and any signs of wire damage or pinching” in the Honeywell-made beacons.
Judge to grant Toyota claims
A California judge said on Friday that he was finalizing a settlement worth more than US$1 billion in cases where motorists say the value of their Toyota vehicles plunged after recalls over claims they unexpectedly accelerated. US District Judge James Selna said he was approving the deal that was announced in December and will affect 22 million consumers. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against Toyota since 2009, when the Japanese automaker started receiving numerous complaints that its cars accelerated on their own, causing crashes, injuries and even deaths. More than 14 million vehicles have been recalled since the claims surfaced. Toyota has denied the allegations, blaming driver error, faulty floor mats and stuck accelerator pedals for the problems.
JPMorgan directors quit
JPMorgan Chase & Co on Friday said two directors who served on the bank’s risk policy committee at the time of its US$6 billion “London whale” trading loss are stepping down from the board. The US’ largest bank said David Cote and Ellen Futter have retired, and it plans to name replacements later this year. Cote, the chairman and CEO of industrial conglomerate Honeywell Inc, and Futter, the president of the American Museum of Natural History, were both re-elected to new terms this year, but they were targeted by activist investors and received diminished support from shareholders. Futter has been on the board for 16 years and Cote has been on the board for five years. They served on the risk policy committee when the bank suffered the surprise trading loss.
SEC rejects Falcone deal
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected an US$18 million settlement that would have banned billionaire hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone from the securities industry for two years. Falcone and Harbinger Capital Partners were told on Thursday that SEC commissioners voted down the settlement, according to a filing on Friday by parent company Harbinger Group Inc. The SEC’s enforcement staff had proposed the deal in May. The deal sought to settle civil fraud charges by fining Falcone and hedge-fund firm Harbinger Capital US$18 million. The SEC has accused Falcone and the firm of using fund money to pay his taxes and favoring some clients over others. In a lawsuit filed in June last year, the SEC alleged that from 2006 through early 2008, Falcone manipulated the market for high-yield, high-risk bonds issued by a company called Maax Holdings Inc.