SC business notebook

January 31, 2013 

Rural summit slated March 4

Gov. Nikki Haley and the S.C. Department of Commerce will host rural and economic development leaders from across South Carolina next month for the 23rd annual South Carolina Rural Summit, they said Wednesday in a statement. The summit, set for 8:30 a.m. March 4 at Aiken’s Municipal Center, is a chance for state and rural leaders to share ideas on how to improve rural parts of the state to attract more investment. It also is a chance for regional leaders to build relationships, which helps with the “team sport” of economic development, Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said. In addition to Haley, speakers include Joe Max Higgins, CEO of Columbus-Lowndes Development Link; Tan Kirby Davis, president of The Kirby Resource Group; and Bernell K. Ingram, president and CEO of Visions International. Cost is $125 before Feb. 20 and then increases to $150. More information:

S.C.’s loss in 2008 bailout up to $27 billion

A government watchdog says U.S. taxpayers stand to lose $27 billion from the 2008 financial bailout, up from an estimate of $22 billion in the fall. A report by the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program says the estimate is higher because of increased losses for the Treasury Department on sales of shares in bailed-out companies. Ally Financial, the former financial arm for General Motors, still owes $14.6 billion of the $17.2 billion in aid it received. The report says taxpayers can expect to lose $5.5 billion on that investment because of the company’s losses on risky mortgages issued ahead of the financial crisis.

Fed keeps borrowing cheap

The Federal Reserve says economic growth “paused” in recent months and reaffirmed its commitment to boost a sluggish U.S. economy by keeping borrowing cheaply for the foreseeable future. The Fed took no new action after a two-day policy meeting. But it stood behind aggressive steps it launched in December to try to reduce unemployment, in a statement released Wednesday. Last month the Fed said it would keep its key short-term interest rate at a record low at least until unemployment – currently at 7.8 percent – falls below 6.5 percent.

Time cuts 6 percent of staff

Time Inc., the magazine unit of Time Warner Inc., says it is cutting 6 percent of its global staff of 8,000, or about 500 people. The cuts began Wednesday and will affect domestic and international workers. In a memo to staff, Time CEO Laura Lang said the company must become leaner, more nimble, and operate on multiple platforms. She said operating more efficiently will create room for critical investments and new initiatives.

The Associated Press contributed.

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