Feds investigate Chesapeake
The U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into possible antitrust violations by Chesapeake Energy Corp.
The agency has subpoenaed documents related to how the driller pays royalty owners and accounts for oil and gas reserves, the Oklahoma City Journal Record reported. Chesapeake disclosed the subpoena on Thursday in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Justice Department and other agencies asked Chesapeake for documents, testimony and information related to the company’s oil and gas leases and purchases as part of its antitrust investigation, according to the driller’s filing.
The company was named in several lawsuits alleging underpayment of royalties and defended cases in Arkansas, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Columbia Gas names officer
Columbia Gas of Ohio announced Friday that Vince Parisi will join the company Nov. 1 as vice president of finance and regulatory affairs.
Parisi joins Columbia after serving in a variety of senior executive positions in the natural gas industry, including roles in strategic planning, risk mitigation and regulatory law. Most recently he served as vice president, general counsel of Gas Natural Inc.
Small rise in August spending
Consumer spending barely grew in August after a sharp rise the previous month as incomes rose by the smallest amount since winter, the Commerce Department said Friday.
Analysts had expected Americans to slow their pace of spending following strong 0.4 percent growth in July.
But the growth of less than 0.1 percent — meaning spending was essentially flat — was well below economists’ forecasts of 0.2 percent.
Taking inflation into account, consumer spending actually declined slightly in August, the first time that’s happened since January.
Consumers cooled their spending because the growth of their incomes slowed.
Personal income increased 0.2 percent in August, half of the strong 0.4 percent pace of the previous month.
Consumers also saved more in August. The share of disposable income saved increased by 0.1 percentage point to 5.7 percent.
Wild ride for Deutsche Bank
Shares in Deutsche Bank swung wildly on Friday, touching a record low before roaring back to life, amid speculation about the stability of Germany’s biggest bank and the European financial system.
Having initially fallen 8 percent, the shares rallied to close more than 6 percent higher on hopes the bank will be able to negotiate down the massive cost of settling a U.S. investigation.
The U.S. government had been asking for $14 billion to settle claims over the bank’s sales of mortgage securities, complex investments that were one of the causes of the global financial crisis in 2008. The U.S. government says Deutsche Bank was among several companies that misled investors about the quality of these investments.
BMW issues air bag recall
Another potentially deadly problem has surfaced with Takata air bags, this one forcing BMW to recall over 4,000 SUVs in the U.S. and Canada.
The new problem was traced to improper welds, and it’s separate from the trouble that has caused the largest automotive recall in U.S. history.
The latest recall, unveiled Friday in documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, affects certain BMW X3 and X4 SUVs from the 2015 model year, and X5s from 2014 and 2015. The driver’s front air bag inflator can separate from a plate, shooting out metal and other debris. “This may result in injury or death to vehicle occupants,” BMW said in the documents.
Compiled from staff and wire reports.