U.S. alleges tricks by KeatingFormer savings-and-loan boss...

BUSINESS DIGEST

November 04, 1992

U.S. alleges tricks by Keating

Former savings-and-loan boss Charles Keating Jr. and his son financed a multimillion-dollar personal empire for themselves, relatives and friends using tricks and deception, the government said yesterday. Federal prosecutor Alice Hill made the allegations during opening arguments in the U.S. District Court fraud and racketeering trial for Keating and his son, Charles Keating III.

Defense lawyer Steve Neal said he would show that all the transactions were legitimate. Mr. Neal said the government's case amounts to using hindsight to criminalize business decisions that were made during a booming real estate market.

Rate on savings bonds hits low

U.S. savings bonds will earn interest at a rate of 5.04 percent for the next six months, the lowest since the government began selling variable-rate bonds in 1982, the Treasury Department announced. The new rate, in effect through April 30, is down from 5.58 percent during the past six months. That had been the lowest since the previous record low of 5.84 percent from May through October of 1987.

Rates are adjusted every May 1 and Nov. 1 to reflect changes in market-based rates. However, bonds held for five years or more are guaranteed to yield a minimum of 6 percent annually. There had been speculation the minimum would also be lowered, but it remained unchanged.

Travelers announces loss, cuts

The Travelers Corp. said it lost $358 million in the third quarter and announced plans to eliminate another 1,500 jobs following 3,500 in cuts outlined less than two months ago.

The insurer blamed the loss yesterday on claims from Hurricane Andrew and costs associated with a recession-related restructuring, which includes a plan to sell a 27 percent stake to the New York-based financial services concern Primerica Corp.

OPEC output reaches high

OPEC crude oil output edged up to a 12-year high of 25.15 million barrels per day in October, according to a Reuter survey completed yesterday. Output by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has not been above 25 million barrels per day since 1980.

Avemco acquires First Security

Avemco Corp.'s Matterhorn Bank Programs has acquired First Security Planners Inc., an Illinois agency that specializes in the placement of collateral protection insurance programs for lending institutions. Terms weren't disclosed.

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