SC business notebook, Feb 1

January 31, 2014 

Palm trees line the mid body construction building at Boeing's new North Charleston assembly plant.

C. ALUKA BERRY — Buy Photo

Boeing employees get 18 days of bonus pay

Boeing South Carolina’s workers will take home an extra 18 days of pay as their bonus this year. Two days after the Chicago-based aerospace giant reported record revenue and earnings for 2013, the company announced Friday more than 5,000 workers at the North Charleston 787 Dreamliner assembly plant will pick up a performance-based bonus of about 6.9 percent of their eligible earnings, about the same as last year. The plant has more than 6,600 workers, but many of them are contract workers who don’t qualify for the bonus, a spokeswoman said.

Judge approves $8.5 billion Bank of America settlement

A New York judge has approved the $8.5 billion Bank of America settlement over investor losses from mortgage-backed securities, concluding that trustee Bank of New York Mellon acted reasonably in most regards. Critics of the settlement, who formerly included New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, argued that it represented only a fraction of the losses. State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kapner writes in her ruling Friday that BNY Mellon “did not abuse its discretion” in entering the settlement agreement and “did not act in bad faith.” According to court papers, the claims arose from “a massive collapse in value” of mortgage loans in New York trusts in 2007 and 2008. The claims were against trust creator Countrywide Financial Corp. and trust servicer Bank of America, which bought Countrywide in 2008.

Bernanke leaves post with his own baseball card

Ben S. Bernanke now has his own baseball card. The Federal Reserve distributed the card at a staff reception this week in honor of its outgoing chairman, who stepped down Friday after eight years at the helm – a banker who also happens to be a passionate baseball fan. The Dillon native has a cabinet full of baseball memorabilia in his office at the Fed, and he has season tickets near the first-base line at Nationals Park in Washington. The card, a fine piece of Photoshop work, shows a bareheaded Bernanke (no honorifics for athletes in these pages) in Nationals gear. The back describes him as “first drafted from the Ivy League” in 2002, when he joined the Fed’s Board of Governors. During those early years, with his family still in New Jersey, the card says he lived on “a steady diet of Hot Pockets.” The listed stats include 226 speeches and 79 congressional appearances.

Keystone XL pipeline clears major hurdle

The long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline cleared a major hurdle toward approval Friday, a serious blow to environmentalists’ hopes that President Barack Obama will block the controversial project running more than 1,000 miles from Canada through the heart of the U.S. The State Department reported no major environmental objections to the proposed $7 billion pipeline, which has become a symbol of the political debate over climate change. The report stops short of recommending approval of the pipeline, but the review gives Obama new support if he chooses to endorse it.

The (Charleston) Post and Courier, The Associated Press and New York Times contributed.

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