Business events scheduled for Tuesday

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, White House budget director Peter Orszag and top White House economist Christina Romer testify about the budget and the economy before the House Appropriations Committee, 10 a.m.

BRUSSELS — Finance ministers of the 27 EU nations review Greek austerity measures to ease the financial crisis.

VIENNA — OPEC oil ministers meet on whether to increase, decrease or keep production steady. Through Wednesday.

BERLIN — Germany’s ZEW institute releases its monthly investor confidence index for Europe’s biggest economy.

AMSTERDAM — International Energy Agency director Nobuo Tanaka and Norwegian ex-PM Gro Harlem Brundtland open a 3-day global conference on biofuels. [Read the full article]

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McLean-based Capital One Financial Corp. charged off an annualized 10.2 percent of its domestic credit cards in February, down from 10.4 percent in January, the company reported Monday, March 15. Charge offs, which are loans written off as uncollectible, dropped in Capital One’s auto finance division to 2.5 percent on an annualized basis, down from 4.27 percent in January. Charge offs on international cards were down to an annualized 8 percent from 9 percent in January. Capital One (NYSE: COF) is the nation’s third largest issuer of Visa Inc. credit cards. It also owns Chevy Chase Bank. © 2010 American City Business Journals, Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of bizjournals. McLean-based Capital One Financial Corp. [Read the full article]

Capital One Financial Corp. said Monday that its losses from U.S. credit cards eased last month.

The company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that its net charge-offs in February totaled $493.8 million, or 10.19 percent of its U.S. credit card debt. That was down from 10.41 percent in January.

The credit card balances are written off once they’re 180 days late, under the assumption that they won’t be repaid.

In the past year, the credit card industry has written off a record amount of loans as customers struggle to pay off debt amid rising unemployment and diminishing personal wealth.

Industry wide, the charge-off rate hit a high of 10.10 percent in the third quarter of last year, according to the Federal Reserve. That compares with a rate of 3.87 percent in the third quarter of 2006, well before the recession began.

Capital One said the rate for U.S. [Read the full article]

Futures were weak this morning as the rhetoric from China’s Premier Wen Jiabao this past weekend certainly seemed to open up the door for an escalation in the trade war between the U.S. and China (relations have been rather frigid since the arms sale to Taiwan). This is the last thing the U.S. needs, stressed relations with a country growing its GDP at a 10% plus quarterly clip. Though this rate of economic expansion is being fueled by cheap exports predominantly, reflecting an alleged undervalued currency, not maintaining good relations would be detrimental for U.S. business. Why you ask? Well, many U.S. companies have made it a central plank in their expansion plans to aggressively tap China. From my neck of the woods, retail companies like Polo Ralph Lauren (RL), Coach (COH), and Tiffany & Co. (TIF) are using their huge cash piles to position themselves in China. Given a potentially new normal rate of domestic growth, it’s vital for retailers and other U.S. [Read the full article]

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