McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Business Budget for Monday, August 12, 2013

Updated at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC)

This budget is now available on MCT Direct at http://www.mctdirect.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.



^In effort to double exports, U.S. initiative targets big cities


But the company, now in its 25th year, with about 305 employees and commonly known as Plicards, is the kind of exporter the Obama administration is after in its ambitious plan to double exports to more than $3 trillion by the end of next year.

The goal, called the National Export Initiative, seems unlikely to be met. The effort to double 2010's sum of $1.8 trillion in exports nonetheless has spurred a nationwide push to encourage smaller companies to jump into global trade.

It's also led to the Metropolitan Export Initiative, which helps big cities _ 13 of them so far _ take stock of the trade-related assets they have and marshal resources to boost exports.

1050 (with trims) by Kevin G. Hall in Asheville, N.C. MOVED


^U.S. shrimp industry seeks relief from cheaper foreign imports


The U.S. International Trade Commission will hold a hearing Tuesday for the final phase of a duty investigation of frozen warm-water shrimp imports from seven countries: China, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Ecuador.

It will decide whether the subsidized shrimp imports are causing "material injury" to domestic producers.

600 (with trims) by Isabella Zhong and Rhyan Kronzer in Washington. MOVED


^Industry wrote provision that undercuts credit-rating overhaul


The bill, they said, should break the viselike dominance of three agencies _ Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, Moody's Investors Service and the smaller Fitch Ratings _ in an industry that serves as a crucial watchdog over the nation's financial system.

What's escaped public scrutiny until now, however, is that the law's tough criteria defining when a newcomer could join the industry weren't written by Congress. They were crafted by a yet-to-be-identified official of one of the big three ratings agencies, a former aide to the Senate Banking Committee has told McClatchy.

Experts and the heads of unregistered ratings firms worry that congressional staffers, in seeking help to ensure that fly-by-night companies couldn't win federal approval, inadvertently let the fox into the coop.

1650 (with trims) by Greg Gordon in Washington. MOVED



^In August buy school supplies and stocks


"(Shopping) starts to pick up in August. There are quite a few good deals," says Mark Di Vincenzo, author of "Buy Shoes on Wednesday and Tweet at 4:00: More of the Best Times to Buy This, Do That and Go There."

Some deals make more sense than others when viewed through the law of supply and demand, he says.

400 by Nedra Rhone in Atlanta. MOVED

^Lifting of ad ban could stir investment market


For about 80 years, their efforts to raise capital by selling stocks, bonds or other securities were generally prohibited from widely soliciting investors or advertising their offerings.

Thanks to a rule approved July 10, capital-raising companies may now sponsor public seminars, set up password-free websites, do mass mailings, buy billboard space, and run newspaper, magazine, TV and radio advertisements to market their offerings.

2100 (with trims) by Becky Yerak. MOVED

^Vacation is no time to abandon financial caution


Whether traveling for business or pleasure, no one wants to worry about being scammed or exposed to identity theft.

^But traveling_

"The truth is, when you're on a business trip or on vacation, you're distracted. You're either thinking about the deal or the swimming pool," said Adam Levin, co-founder and chairman of Identity Theft 911, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

And scammers know that. "They're counting on the fact that you are not thinking about this stuff," said Levin. "It's the moments of distraction that are the moments of vulnerability, which is when they'll strike."

From phony Wi-Fi hot spots to "free vacation" come-ons, here's a rundown of some of the most common vacation-time scams.

1650 (with trims) by Claudia Buck. MOVED

^Even as economy improves, some are downsizing their lives


While the Fort Worth-reared, self-trained software architect is making more money than ever before _ in the six figures _ and can still afford luxury goods, he has consciously scaled back, saying that he realized that his hobbies, sports and volunteering brought him more enjoyment than acquiring possessions.

Once ensconced in a 1,200-square-foot loft, Rodela is now renting an apartment that is 800 square feet, albeit in a Dallas high rise. His Jeep Wrangler and upscale Infiniti are gone, replaced by a 6-year-old Toyota 4Runner and a mountain bike.

Instead of spending lavishly on entertainment and recreation, Rodela says he volunteers 20 to 30 hours a month with groups like the Red Cross, the DFW Federal Club Human Rights Campaign, Vogel Alcove Homeless Childcare, Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, the North Texas Food Bank and a student mentoring group, StudentMentor.org.

"I'm living below my means, but it offers me the freedom to do what I want," he said over a chicken Caesar salad and wheat beer at his neighborhood bar. "I'm living on about 35 to 40 percent of my monthly income as opposed to the 65 to 70 percent before. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. If your 1 -year-old phone works fine, why get a new one?"

1450 by Barry Shlachter in Dallas. MOVED


^Silicon Valley optimistic about Jeff Bezos buying Washington Post


But for Silicon Valley techies, this unlikely marriage is cause for optimism: Someone may finally deliver technical and entrepreneurial prowess to an industry they largely view as slow footed.

Forget grand futuristic ideas. For many in Silicon Valley, the news industry is so woefully behind in its grasp of the Internet, that if Bezos can simply modernize its Web efforts, it would represent a great leap forward for many news organizations.

1100 by Chris O'Brien and Andrea Chang in San Francisco. MOVED


^Not even death stops banks from deducting fees


At the time of his death, Bersane had about $1,175 in a Bank of America checking account. His disability-related Social Security checks were automatically deposited there.

BofA acknowledged in a letter to Bersane's next of kin shortly after his death that it had received notification of his passing.

Yet since that time, the bank continued deducting a $12 monthly maintenance fee from Bersane's account.

"The man is dead," said Patricia Burge, 60, of Norwalk, Calif., who lived with Bersane for 19 years. "How do you keep charging fees to a dead man?"

That's the beauty of being a bank, apparently. When it comes to fees, the notion of "until death do us part" has little meaning.

900 by David Lazarus. MOVED

^Today's market report


600 by MarketWatch staff.

Moving later



These features regularly move on Monday:



1000 by Pamela Yip. MOVED



800 by Claudia Buck. (Not moving this week.)



700 by Susan Tompor. MOVED



200 by Chuck Myers. MOVED



900 by Brett Graff. (Moves once a month.)


These features move Friday for Sunday release:



800 by Gail MarksJarvis.



1000 by Gregory Karp. MOVED


^ Kids and Money: Financial ignorance is no excuse


I could come up with an all-star roster of men and women who have burned through multi-million-dollar contracts over the years because of extravagant spending, poor investment decisions and a severe lack of financial common sense. But this latest case, involving San Francisco 49ers' cornerback Tarell Brown, may be the most unusual.

^Brown, according to several news reports, recently forfeited $2 million_

Brown was also scheduled to receive a $75,000 "workout bonus," but that's gone too, according to news reports.

Predictably, after learning about his financial missteps through a Twitter message, Brown fired his agent.

650 by Steve Rosen. (For subscribers only) MOVED


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2013 McClatchy-Tribune Information Services