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February 2016

On Presidents’ Day, let’s work on moving the country forward, not divisions based on hate

I wrote the following article for Presidents’ Day 2011. It’s worth repeating during the dreadful presidential campaign we’re having this year where some candidates are preaching hate. What’s so amazing about it is that it talks about how many of the founding fathers were immigrants. And how many people in... Read more →

Baby boomer bloggers write about Valentine’s Day and finances

It’s been a busy week here as a consumer journalist. Thursday I wrote about Moneygram agreeing to pay $13 million to settle charges related to how its wire transfer service was used in schemes to defraud consumers. Then, later in the day, federal and state regulators announced Morgan Stanley agreed... Read more →

Recall of the Week: IKEA ceiling lamps due to laceration hazard

IKEA is recalling about 840,000 IKEA ceiling lamps in the United States and about 427,000 in Canada. The plastic retaining clips that attach the glass shades to the lamp housings can break and let the glass shades fall, posing a laceration hazard, the company and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission... Read more →

Facts and figures for Valentine’s Day 2016

Nearly 55 percent of consumers will celebrate Valentine’s Day, spending an average of $146.84 on flowers, jewelry, candy, clothing, and more, up from $142.31 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $19.7 billion, according to a survey for the National Retail Federation. When it comes to the top gifts... Read more →

Don’t fall for romance scams, as you get ready for Valentine’s Day

Scammers are always lurking, and Valentine’s Day, the day to celebrate love, is no exception. With an increase in online dating, flower sales, and weekend getaway deals — there’re many ways to get cheated. The Better Business Bureau Northwest is warning consumers about slick deals that could steal their identity,... Read more →

Uber agrees to pay $28.5 million to settle class-action lawsuits charging it misled customers on safety

Photo: Alexander Torrenegra Urber has agreed to pay $28.5 million to about 25 million riders to settle two class-action lawsuits. It also agreed not to use certain language in safety-related advertising as well as the term “Safe Ride Fee.” A judge from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District... Read more →

Morgan Stanley to pay $3.2 billion to settle charges over mortgage securities fraud that led to 2008 financial crisis

Photo: Jenix89 Morgan Stanley will pay a $2.6 billion penalty to resolve federal claims over its sale of residential mortgage-backed securities. The amount is the largest in a series of settlements with Morgan Stanley entered into by members of the mortgage-backed securities working group, which totals about $5 billion. As... Read more →

Feds take steps to improve access to checking accounts

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking steps to improve checking account access because the bureau is concerned that consumers are being sidelined by the lack of account options and by inaccurate information used to screen potential customers. The bureau sent a letter recently to the 25 largest retail banks... Read more →