c.2013 New York Times News Service

c.2013 New York Times News Service

BRITISH COMMISSION CALLS FOR NEW LAWS TO PROSECUTE BANKERS FOR FRAUD

British lawmakers are calling for criminal prosecutions of senior bankers who cause the collapse of financial institutions, as Parliament is set to undertake a major overhaul of the country’s banking sector. The lawmakers, which were part of the British parliamentary commission on banking standards created last year in response to a series of scandals, outlined plans for greater responsibility over how British banks were managed in a report published on Wednesday in London. Some of the recommendations will be incorporated into proposed banking legislation that is expected to come into effect next year.

DISPUTE ENDS AS CHRYSLER AGREES TO FIX OLDER JEEPS

A tense standoff over the safety of millions of Jeep sport utility vehicles was resolved in one last high-level phone call. The call took place Monday between Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler’s chief executive, and David Strickland, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to a person with knowledge of the call who spoke on condition of anonymity because the conversation was private. When it was over Chrysler had agreed to a voluntary campaign, announced Tuesday, to inspect and upgrade 2.7 million Jeeps that the government had said were prone to fires in rear-end collisions. In return, Marchionne asked that regulators stop describing the vehicles as defective.

DISH NETWORK BACKS OFF BID TO BUY SPRINT

Dish Network said Tuesday that it would not submit a new takeover bid for Sprint Nextel ahead of a deadline imposed by the company and would instead focus on its bid for a stake in Clearwire, a smaller wireless operator. That appeared to leave Sprint free to complete the sale of a majority stake to SoftBank of Japan for $21.6 billion. In a statement, Dish said that it still saw merit in a merger with Sprint, which would help it move into cellphone service. But conditions imposed by Sprint’s revised bid with SoftBank made it “impracticable” to put together a counter bid ahead of the 11:59 p.m. deadline.

GOOGLE ASKS COURT TO ALLOW DATA RELEASE

Google on Tuesday filed a motion with the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, asking permission to publish data on national security requests that the company received. The motion is the company’s latest move to control the public relations crisis that has resulted from revelations of government Internet surveillance. Last week, Google sent a letter to the director of the FBI and the director of national intelligence, also seeking to publish the data. By law, recipients of national security requests are not allowed to acknowledge their existence.

REGULATORS ARE DIVIDED REGARDING CONSULTANTS

Federal and state regulators are united in their concern that outside consulting firms have produced some shoddy work for Wall Street banks. Yet on Tuesday, the regulators took starkly divergent stances toward the multibillion-dollar consulting industry: While federal authorities seemed to reinforce the industry’s power, a state agency tried to undercut it. The Federal Reserve, the nation’s chief banking authority, ordered a large regional bank to hire a consulting firm to comb through “high-risk customer accounts.” In contrast, New York state’s top regulator seized upon an obscure state banking law to try to compel changes.

AMA RECOGNIZES OBESITY AS A DISEASE

The American Medical Association has officially recognized obesity as a disease, a move that could induce physicians to pay more attention to the condition and spur more insurers to pay for treatments. In making the recommendation, delegates at the association’s annual meeting in Chicago overrode a recommendation against doing so by a committee that had studied the matter. “Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately 1 in 3 Americans,” Dr. Patrice Harris, a member of the association’s board, said in a statement.

BOEING CONFIRMS PLAN FOR LONGER DREAMLINER

Boeing said Tuesday that it had formally committed to building a stretched version of its flagship 787 Dreamliner jet after receiving firm orders for 102 of the planes from five airlines and leasing companies. The announcement gives the U.S. plane maker orders for the new version worth more than $29 billion at list prices, a welcome bit of news for the Dreamliner program after troubles with its lightweight but volatile lithium-ion batteries grounded the entire 787 fleet for three months this year. Boeing made its announcement on the second day of the Paris Air Show.