Late-payment rate for loans at 6-year high

By Times Wires
Published January 4, 2008


Late payments on a cluster of consumer loans, including those for autos, home improvement and certain home-equity loans, climbed in the summer to their highest point since the country's last recession in 2001. The American Bankers Association reported Thursday that the delinquency rate on a composite of consumer loans increased to 2.44 percent in the July-to-September quarter, up sharply from 2.27 percent in the previous quarter. Payments are considered delinquent if they are 30 or more days past due.

Factory order rise hides trouble spot

Orders to U.S. factories jumped in November by the largest amount in four months. The increase was driven by higher petroleum prices and was not viewed as a sign of any newfound strength in manufacturing. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that orders for manufactured goods rose 1.5 percent in November, the biggest rise since a 3.4 percent surge in July. But all the strength came in demand for nondurable goods, which shot up 3 percent, reflecting higher oil prices. Orders for durable goods, everything from appliances to autos, actually fell by 0.1 percent, the fourth straight monthly decline. Analysts said the drop in durable goods reflected the problems facing factories right now.


Payroll, benefits firm bought out

NELCO, a professional employer organization in Bradenton, has been purchased by CoAdvantage, a competitor in Orlando, for an undisclosed amount. Hyde Park Capital Advisors in Tampa represented NELCO in the transaction. Both companies offer outsourced payroll, benefits and workers' compensation services to employers.


Inside trader gets nearly five years

A former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst was sentenced Thursday to nearly five years in prison for his role in an insider-trading operation that used illegal tips from a grand juror and leaked copies of a market-moving magazine to make millions of dollars illegally. Eugene Plotkin, 28, was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Holwell in Manhattan. He also was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and to forfeit up to $6.7-million, the amount of the scam's illegal profits. Plotkin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and eight counts of insider trading. Most of the profits have been secured by federal authorities who froze bank accounts when the fraud was discovered. The charges carried a potential maximum term of 165 years, but a plea deal enabled a much lower sentence.

Times staff and wires