February 2011 Current Events: Business News

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Here are the key events in business news for the month of February 2011.

  • Verizon Offers iPhone 4 (Feb. 10): Verizon begins offering the iPhone 4, giving consumers an option other than AT&T, and fueling the rivalry between the two wireless carriers. Recent reviews of the Verizon iPhone have found that it drops fewer calls than the AT&T version. Customers in N.D., S.D., Mont., and Wyo., which are not currently serviced by AT&T, will now be able to purchase an iPhone from Verizon.

  • The End of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (Feb. 11): The U.S. Treasury Dept submits a report to Congress proposing the eventual elimination of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, part of the Obama administration's plan to reform the U.S. housing finance market. The report concludes that Fannie and Freddie strayed from their primary business goal of promoting sustainable home ownership when they extended credit to riskier borrowers. The report also lays out reforms to fix flaws in the mortgage market through stronger consumer protection, improved underwriting standards, and increased transparency for investors.

  • Borders Files for Bankruptcy (Feb. 16): The 40-year-old retail chain that helped usher in the age of the book superstore files for bankruptcy protection. Borders, which began as a used bookstore in Ann Arbor, Mich. and expanded wildly in the 1990s, now operates over 650 stores and employs 19,500 people. Due to over-expansion, executive turnover, and a failure to capitalize on the digital revolution, Borders is set to close 200 stores and greatly reduce its staff in the coming weeks.

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2011 Current Events