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Briefs

JPMorgan, investors settle feud

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has reached a $4.5 billion settlement with investors who said the bank deceived them about bad mortgage investments.

The settlement, announced Friday, covers 21 major institutional investors, including JPMorgan competitor Goldman Sachs, BlackRock Financial Management, and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. The mortgage-backed securities were sold by JPMorgan and Bear Stearns between 2005 and 2008.

The deal is the latest in a series of legal settlements over JPMorgan’s sales of mortgage-backed securities in the years preceding the financial crisis.

Separately, JPMorgan has been negotiating with the U.S. Justice Department to settle a civil inquiry into its sales of mortgage-backed securities. The bank reached a tentative deal last month to pay $13 billion.

JPMorgan said it has placed a total of $23 billion in reserve to cover potential costs.

Malibus recalled over defrost, power seats

General Motors is recalling nearly 60,000 Chevy Malibu midsized cars to fix window defrosters that might not work and power seat wiring that can catch fire.

The largest of the recalls covers more than 44,000 Malibus from the 2014 model year. GM says a computer that runs the ventilation system can revert to the previous setting even if a driver sets the controls to defrost. If that happens, the driver won’t be able to clear the windshield to see where he’s going.

GM also is recalling nearly 15,000 Malibus in North America from the 2013 model year because wiring beneath the seats can catch fire.

Dealers will repair both problems, as needed, at no cost to customers.

Wholesalers boost stockpiles again

U.S. wholesalers increased their stockpiles in September for the third straight month, an indication that they expect more demand from businesses and consumers.

Wholesale stockpiles rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent, the Labor Department said Friday. That follows an increase of 0.8 percent in the previous month. August’s increase was the highest in seven months.

Sales at wholesale businesses rose 0.6 percent in September, up from 0.4 percent in August.

Rising stockpiles boost growth because it means factories have produced more goods. And rising sales among wholesalers shows businesses are unlikely to get caught with too many unsold goods on their shelves.

BBB warns consumers of energy-related scam

A Warsaw utility co-op is warning of scam artists posing as bill collectors.

Kosciusko REMC said consumers should be on the lookout for a rip-off that has a scammer threatening disconnection unless payment is received immediately.

The con involves a false caller-ID number that makes it appear the call is coming from the utility. Consumers are told to pay with a prepaid debit card or use an online payment service. Customers are then directed to dial a toll-free number and provide payment information, enabling the scammer to steal their money.

Kosciusko REMC members are encouraged to call the co-op at 574-267-6331 or 800-790-7362 if they suspect such activity. Kosciusko REMC is an electric cooperative serving more than 17,000 customers throughout Kosciusko and surrounding counties.

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