SC business notebook

February 7, 2013 

Obama picks CEO to lead Interior Department

President Barack Obama on Wednesday nominated outdoor business executive Sally Jewell to lead the Interior Department. Obama said Jewell, president and chief executive at REI, has earned national recognition for her support of outdoor recreation and habitat conservation. He also noted her experience as an engineer in oil fields and her record of achievement and environmental stewardship at REI, which sells clothing and gear for outdoor use. Jewell, the first woman Obama has nominated for his Cabinet in his second term, would replace current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar if confirmed by the Senate. Salazar announced last month that he would step down in March.

Royal Bank of Scotland fined in rigging interest rates

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group has become the latest financial giant to fork over hefty fines in an unfolding probe into the rigging of key interest rates. RBS will pay about $615 million to U.S. and British authorities in a settlement announced early Wednesday. Of that total, the bank will pay $150 million to the U.S. Justice Department, as one of its subsidiaries, RBS Securities Japan, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud for manipulating the benchmark London Inter-Bank Offered Rate, or Libor. The Libor interest rate is tied to trillions of dollars in financial instruments around the world. The rate determines how much consumers and individual investors pay in interest in a wide range of financial products, from mortgages to derivatives contracts.

Apple reveals 25 billionth song bought on iTunes

The answer to the trivia question will be: “Monkey Drums (Goskel Vancin Remix) by Chase Buch.” That’s the 25-billionth song purchased on iTunes. Apple announced the sales milestone Wednesday. The company says Phillip Lupke of Germany purchased and downloaded Buch’s song and will receive an iTunes gift card worth 10,000 euros, or about $13,500. It took the Cupertino, Calif., company almost 10 years to reach the milestone. Customers download an average of 15,000 songs a minute from the iTunes music store, which was launched in April 2003. The digital retailer’s catalog is 26 million songs deep.

The Associated Press contributed.

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