Business

Business
11:49 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

Lots Of Unknowns On Fracking's Future In North Carolina

Hardly a factor a decade ago, shale gas is projected to account for half of total natural gas production in the U.S. by 2040.
Credit U.S. Energy Information Administration

Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—for natural gas in shale rock has radically changed the nation’s energy mix. Since the fracking boom began in 2008, the cost of natural gas has plummeted and supply has surged. The technique is banned in North Carolina, but a bill that passed last year and another currently making its way through the legislature would open the door.

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Developing
10:53 am
Thu February 14, 2013

How The US Airways Merger Will Affect Charlotte

Early indications are that Charlotte will remain a hub for air travel, with the merger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways.
Credit USAirways.com

  The early indication is that Charlotte’s airport is safe in the just-announced merger of US Airways and American Airlines. The new American Airlines will be the world's largest, with a value of 11 billion dollars and an extensive network of destinations.

When merging, airlines combine operations, which means reducing duplicative routes and changing presences in airports. US Airways operates about 90 percent of flights in and out of Charlotte-Douglas every day—it is the airline’s largest hub.

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Business
5:19 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Freightliner Cuts 1,200 Charlotte-Area Jobs

Three Charlotte-area plants make parts and assemble Freightliner trucks.
Credit KDavidClark/Flickr

The numbers are in on Daimler Chrysler’s plan to lay off workers at its three Charlotte area Freightliner plants. The tally is 1,200 jobs.

To comply with federal law, Daimler notified state and local governments this week that the company plans to lay off workers as soon as April. The state posted the numbers of expected layoffs today: 80 workers from a parts plant in Gastonia, 405 from an assembly plant in Mount Holly, and 715 from the assembly plant in Cleveland. Daimler cited “softening economic conditions” as the catalyst.

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Banks
9:31 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Regions Bank Ends Payday Loans In NC

Regions Bank, based in Birmingham, Alabama has been using a federal banking law to provide payday lending services, even though these types of loans are illegal in North Carolina.

But the bank recently announced that it will no longer offer its payday lending service to North Carolina residents because of the small number of eligible customers for the product in the state.

Since 2001, payday lending shops have been illegal in North Carolina. But that law doesn't apply to banks that are based outside the state.

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Business
5:09 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Duke Duking It Out With Small Florida County Over Taxes

The tax value of Duke/Progress Energy's Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida is one point of contention between the company and Citrus County officials.
Credit Duke-energy.com

A small county on the Florida Gulf Coast is in a budget crisis because its largest taxpayer is refusing to pay up. Progress Energy Florida – which is now owned by Duke Energy – operates a coal and nuclear power plant complex that accounts for one-quarter of Citrus County's property tax revenues. But Duke Energy only paid half its tax bill last year and this week warned it'll do the same in 2013. WFAE's Julie Rose explains:

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Business
2:29 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Latest Settlement Shows 'Light At The End Of The Tunnel' For BofA

Credit Jennifer Lang

We've already established that Bank of America's 2008 acquisition of Countrywide was a costly move – and a mistake in the view of many. The Charlotte bank has spent tens of billions of dollars on settlements and losses tied to that mountain of messed-up mortgages. On Monday, Bank of America made some important progress.

Another day, another settlement - or really two,  in the case of Bank of America. And these are far from the last we'll expect to see. 

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Business
9:48 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Microloans For Poor Arrive In Charlotte

Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace prize in 2006 for his “efforts to create economic and social development from below.”
Credit www.grameenamerica.org

Charlotte is a bank town – known for banks in the traditional sense – like Bank of America and Wells Fargo that offer checking accounts, credit cards and loans, if you can qualify. But in the last week, a very different kind of bank opened in Charlotte offering what's known as microloans to small businesspeople who couldn't qualify for a traditional one.

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Business
10:10 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

BofA Stock "Most Improved" For 2012

Bank of America saw the largest stock gains in 2012 among NC's 50 largest publicly-traded companies.

One of North Carolina's most publicly-criticized companies also saw the biggest improvement in stock price during 2012.   

Bank of America's stock ended the year at $11.61 a share, which is more than double its starting price in 2012.  

Keep in mind, of course, that five years ago BofA was trading around $40 a share, so there's a good distance to go if a full rebound is in the cards.

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Business
5:02 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Duke Shuffles Executives

Jeff Lyash is the fourth high-ranking Progress Energy executive to leave since the company merged with Duke Energy.
Duke Energy

Another Progress Energy executive is out at Duke Energy in the latest personnel shuffle of the merged companies.  A Duke Energy spokesman says changes required in a settlement with North Carolina utility regulators sparked a "domino effect."  

Seven top executives are shifting titles and roles in what resembles a game of musical chairs.

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Business
6:06 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Duke CEO: Don't Fear The Fiscal Cliff

Wells Fargo senior executive vice president David Carroll, Premier Inc CEO Susan DeVore and Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers at the Charlotte Chamber Economic Outlook luncheon on December 17, 2012.
Julie Rose

The Charlotte business community gathered Monday for a diagnostic take on the U.S. economy from the city's top industries. Executives of Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Duke Energy, Nucor and Premier health care alliance offered a grim picture of slow growth and high unemployment. 

If the U.S. economy had a life coach, every pep-talk these days would be along the lines of "Look pal, you gotta 'Fake it 'til you make it.' Confidence breeds success.  All this worry is bringing you down."

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