The Biz Buzz

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Archives: Dec. 2010

Dec.
30th

Boeing and Airbus in photo finish in orders race

Boeing leads in the annual race with European rival Airbus this year so far to land the most commercial airliner orders, but Airbus could be closing fast as the year ends.

The France-based aerospace manufacturer announced orders today from China Eastern Airlines for 50 Airbus A320 single-aisle jets. It wasn’t clear in the announcement whether those are new orders or orders already announced as part of an overall Chinese airlines order.

Boeing says it has booked 583 new airliner orders this year not deducting cancellations. Airbus has reported 440 new orders through November.

In a letter to employees

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Dec.
30th

Two King County banks named in FDIC report; one pays $5,000, another changes lending practices

Two King County banks were included in today’s regular monthly list of enforcement actions by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

For November, the FDIC listed actions against Seattle Bank and Foundation Bank of Bellevue.

• Foundation Bank was named in an order to pay a civil penalty. The bank, the FDIC said, had consented to pay $5,000 related to an inaccurate submission of an application and loan data for 2008 and 2009 as required by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. The bank, according to the order, neither admitted nor denied any violations.

• In a consent order, Seattle Bank agreed

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Dec.
30th

If you’re paying for online content, you’re in the majority – 65 percent pay, says Pew survey

Almost two-thirds of Internet users – 65 percent – have paid to download or access online content, ranging from movies and games to news articles and apps.

So go the results of a survey released today by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Music, software and apps are the most popular content that users have paid to access or download, the study found, according to data contained in a Pew press release.

Among the findings of the report:
• 33 percent or Internet users have for digital music online.
• 33 percent have paid for

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Dec.
29th

L&I will host Tacoma public hearing on proposed increase to workers’ compensation rates

Were you displeased with the announcement that workers’ compensation premiums for business were going up by an average of 12 percent, or an average of 6.5 cents per hour worked?

Or perhaps you thought the proposed premium increases were too small, and you’d like to pay more?

Either way, here’s your chance to be heard.

The new rates will go into effect on Jan. 1 and remain effective for 120 days under an emergency rule. The department is seeking public comment before the revisions are made permanent.

The Tacoma hearing will be held on Jan. 4 beginning at 10 a.m. in

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Dec.
29th

John Long retiring from MultiCare’s Good Sam; Glenn Kasman taking over

John Long, president of MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital, has announced he will retire in April after the completion of the hospital’s Patient Care Tower.

“I’m so proud of what we have accomplished in Puyallup during the last four years,” Long said in a release Wednesday. “As our new patient tower opens next spring, it feels like the perfect time for me to close this chapter of my career and my life.”

Long will be replaced by Glenn Kasman, vice president of professional services and business development at Good Samaritan.

Long was named president of the Puyallup hospital after its affiliation

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Dec.
28th

Online book market expert Thrift Recycling Management of Lakewood raises $8.5 million in funding sought for two years

Phil McMullin, CEO and co-founder of Lakewood-based Thrift Recycling Management, called this week to announce that after a two-year effort to attract capital, his company has received $8.5 million in financing,

TRM sells used books online, donates books to charity and recycles used books that have been donated by the public.

The new equity partner is QuestMark Partners of Baltimore, Md. The capital raising effort was led by Cascadia Capital of Seattle.

“It’s a lot of money for us. It’s not incremental, it’s exponential,” McMullin said.

“This new financing will allow Thrift Recycling to maintain its rapid growth and

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Dec.
28th

Applications for federal mortgage bridge loans won’t be ready until early next year

I reported in October that Washington was one of 32 states that will receive federal funds to provide up to $50,000 in so-called bridge loans for homeowners who are facing foreclosure because of a loss in income.

Many of you have called to find out when the applications will be available. I’ve tried to return all phone calls and e-mails, but if I’ve missed you, I apologize.

It looks like the applications won’t be ready until January, despite what the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which will issue the loans, has tried to do.

Regional HUD spokesman

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Dec.
23rd

State Department of Financial Institutions settles 2008 case with Countrywide Home Loans; 123 state residents due $650k

The state Department of Financial Institutions on Thursday announced it had reached a settlement in a consumer protection case regarding Countrywide Home Loans. The case has been ongoing for more than two years, the department said in a release.

On June 23, 2008, DFI filed a statement of charges against Countrywide alleging the company was discriminating against ethnic and racially protected classes by offering loan products that were less favorable than those offered to non-protected classes.

The Department said it conducted more than 2,400 hours of examination and investigation to determine the extent of the problem. DFI examiners evaluated

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