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April 04, 2009

Fed chief says strategy to ease crisis working

CHARLOTTE, N.C.: While acknowledging that the Federal Reserve was "extremely uncomfortable" about bailouts of big financial companies, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Friday that the central bank's strategy to ease the financial crisis is working. Bernanke was referring to the Fed's decisions last year to step in and financially back JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s takeover of investment house Bear Stearns and throw its first of four financial lifelines to insurance giant American International Group Inc. At a Fed conference in Charlotte, Bernanke said it had to act because collapse of those companies would have dealt a serious blow to the financial system and economy. The situation underscores the need for new powers to allow the government to safely wind down such huge firms, he said. The Fed's actions, along with those of other central banks, have "significantly reduced funding pressures for financial institutions, helped to reduce rates in bank funding markets and increase overall financial stability," Bernanke said.

Associated Press

Subpoenas issued in Ticketmaster case

LOS ANGELES : An investigation into how Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. handled Bruce Springsteen concerts has reached the subpoena stage. The giant ticketing company based in West Hollywood incurred the wrath of the singer, concertgoers and even Congress in February with alleged actions that possibly forced fans to pay more than face value for tickets though its resale operation, TicketsNow. On Friday, Ticketmaster sent an e-mail to hundreds of brokers "to inform you that we are now required to hand over certain information about TicketsNow's broker clients and their sales activities." Specifically, the company said it would be turning over the identity of brokers who sold tickets for two Springsteen concerts scheduled at the Izod Center in New Jersey in May. Authorities also will be getting copies of the broker contracts, Ticketmaster said. "We are required to provide these materials in response to lawful demands," the e-mail states, identifying the investigating agencies as the U.S. Justice Department, the New Jersey attorney general's office, the Federal Trade Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau.

Los Angeles Times

Google reportedly eyeing Twitter

SAN FRANCISCO: Conflicting reports emerged Friday about Google Inc.'s growing interest in acquiring or partnering with Twitter Inc., a wildly popular but relatively unformed Internet service that enables users to post brief, spontaneous messages. The reports immediately raised questions about whether cash-rich Google intends to make another speculative purchase on par with its $1.65 billion acquisition of another painfully young but popular service, YouTube, nearly three years ago. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said: "It should come as no surprise that Twitter engages in discussions with other companies regularly and on a variety of subjects." A Google spokesman said the company does not "comment on rumor or speculation."

MarketWatch

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