Blame Portugal (Some More), Amazon’s Latest Legal Tangle and Wells Fargo Sets the Stage (Hopefully)

Busted…

Image courtesy of ddpavumba/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of ddpavumba/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Amazon is getting busted by the FTC. The e-commerce site is being sued by the government agency for charging parents millions of dollars for unauthorized in-app purchases made by their tech-savvy children. Kids were (are?) able to purchase virtual goods using their parents very real money without very real permission. Not only does the FTC want Amazon to refund all that cash but it also wants the internet company to actually stop. Amazon’s policy on refunding in-app purchases is to NOT refund them. However, Amazon says it has already done otherwise and was “deeply disappointed” about the lawsuit. No kidding. In January, Apple had to refund over $32 million for the same reason while T-Mobile got sued last week for bogus billing charges.

Trouble in Portugal?

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There is even more reason to blame Portugal today now that country’s regulator suspended trading for Banco Espirito Santo since the price of its shares took a major nosedive. The bank  is part of the Espirito Santo International conglomerate that has been causing so much trouble lately. The problem for us here across the pond is that Wall Street isn’t taking to kindly to these banking problems and the Dow Jones took a .4% hit over these events. Wall Street, the rest of the world (and myself ) start to wonder if European banks are “healthy.” The index of European lenders, appropriately enough called STOXX, already fell to its lowest this year with no thanks to Austria and Bulgaria who contributed to these “wonderings” with their own banking issues. And while Banco Espirito Santo might seem like a minor player in the banking field, its very big problems spread to its neighbors in Greece, Italy and Spain. The Portugese Prime Minister said there is no reason to worry for depositors to worry and the country’s banking practices are a-ok. Isn’t that reassuring?

Now that’s healthy…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On the flip side, Wells Fargo seems very healthy – especially compared to European banks. It was the first of the big banks to announce its second quarter earnings and kicked off the season with a 4% gain with much help, thanks, and a major debt of gratitude (no pun intended – well maybe just a little) to loans, especially commercial, and deposit growth. The company had a net income of $5.7 billion, up from $5.5 billion from a year ago and gained $1.01 per share. Revenue was over $21 billion which was actually down 1.5% from a year ago but shares are still up over 28% since October.

 

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