Business news

Merkel offers plan to boost Europe’s banks


BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe’s banks should look first to raise money in the private sector before turning to governments to bolster their financial cushions against potential losses from the continent’s sovereign debt crisis.

A summit Sunday of the bloc’s 27 leaders should send a “signal” regarding a coordinated recapitalization of Europe’s bank­ing sector to ensure the “real economy keeps functioning,” Merkel said Friday at the chancellery in Berlin, alongside visiting Dutch Premier Mark Rutte.

Speculation that Europe is looking at a coordinated plan to put more money into its shaky banking sector to withstand a possible government bond default by Greece has helped stock markets rally over the past couple of days, after a dismal start to the week.

Disney chief executive will stay until 2015

LOS ANGELES — Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Iger will step down as CEO in March 2015 after nearly a decade at the helm, setting in motion a succession plan for the largest U.S. media and entertainment company.

The company did not mention possible successors, but industry speculation centered on Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo and the head of Disney’s theme parks and resorts division, Tom Staggs.

Iger, 60, succeeded Michael Eisner as Disney’s CEO in Octo­ber 2005, which means his tenure as chief executive would be less than a decade long.

Eisner’s reign at Disney, which ranks among the longest and most storied – for better and worse – in CEO history, lasted 21 years, from 1984 until 2005.

The company has increased in value by more than a third since Iger began his term. Disney shares fell 1 percent Friday to close at $31.70.

In other news

CONSUMERS SLASHED their borrowing in August by the most in 16 months. Fewer people used their credit cards, and a measure of demand for auto and student loans fell.


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