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Monday, Sep 26th

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Puerto Rico Defaults on Constitutionally Guaranteed Debt

Puerto Rico defaults The Puerto Rican government failed to pay almost half of $2 billion in bond payments due Friday, marking the commonwealth’s first-ever default on its constitutionally guaranteed debt.

Gov. Alejandro García Padilla defended the historic decision by highlighting the island’s tense relationship with Wall Street firms that own its debt.

Some of these firms stand to lose money as a result of Friday’s nonpayment. Major insurers backing Puerto Rico’s debt could also be forced to pay out as much as hundreds of millions of dollars to bondholders.

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Stocks rebound after Brexit sell-off; Dow closes up more than 250 points

NYSEU.S. stocks closed higher Tuesday, lifted by gains in oil prices, as investors looked for bargains after the Brexit sell-off.

Analysts also noted improved sentiment after initial fears of significant negative spillover from the U.K. vote to leave the European Union.

The major averages extended gains into the close, with the Dow Jones industrial average closing about 269 points higher and the Nasdaq composite up 2.1 percent. The S&P 500 closed nearly 1.8 percent higher.

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Poll: Two-thirds of U.S. would struggle to cover $1,000 crisis

One thousand dollars emergency out of reach for two thirds of AmericansTwo-thirds of Americans would have difficulty coming up with the money to cover a $1,000 emergency, according to an exclusive poll released Thursday, a signal that despite years of recovery from the Great Recession, Americans' financial conditions remain precarious as ever.

These financial difficulties span all income levels, according to the poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Seventy-five percent of people in households making less than $50,000 a year would have difficulty coming up with $1,000 to cover an unexpected bill. But when income rose to between $50,000 and $100,000, the difficulty decreased only modestly to 67 percent.

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US corporations have $1.4tn hidden in tax havens, claims Oxfam report

US corporations hide 1.4t in tax havensUS corporate giants such as Apple, Walmart and General Electric have stashed $1.4tn (£980bn) in tax havens, despite receiving trillions of dollars in taxpayer support, according to a report by anti-poverty charity Oxfam.

The sum, larger than the economic output of Russia, South Korea and Spain, is held in an “opaque and secretive network” of 1,608 subsidiaries based offshore, said Oxfam.

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U.S. watchdog to probe Fed's lax oversight of Wall Street

Janet YellinA U.S. watchdog agency is preparing to investigate whether the Federal Reserve and other regulators are too soft on the banks they are meant to police, after a written request from Democratic lawmakers that marks the latest sign of distrust between Congress and the central bank.

Ranking representatives Maxine Waters of the House Financial Services Committee and Al Green of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations asked the Government Accountability Office on Oct. 8 to launch a probe of "regulatory capture" and to focus on the New York Fed, according to a letter obtained by Reuters.

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Macy's announces closure of 36 stores, layoffs after slow holiday sales

Macy'sRetailer Macy's Inc. announced the elimination of more than 4,500 jobs and the closure of 36 stores after disappointing sales during the holiday season.

It said Wednesday it would initiate "a series of cost-efficiency and process-improvement measures" by reducing the workforce at each of about 770 Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores, closing other stores, and offering a "voluntary separation opportunity" to some senior executives. The downsizing actions are set to begin early this year.

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Accounting industry and SEC defang America’s audit watchdog

auditing industryJames Schnurr, just two months into his job as chief accountant at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, stood before a packed ballroom in Washington last December and upbraided a little-known regulator.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB, oversees the big firms that sign off on the books of America’s listed companies. And the board was “moving too slowly,” Schnurr said, to address auditing failures that in recent years had shaken public confidence in those firms.

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