NBCU unlikely to join Apple 99-cent rentals

NEW YORK (Reuters) – NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker said on Wednesday his company is not likely to follow rivals to make its TV shows available for Apple Inc’s new 99-cent rental service unveiled earlier this month.

Herb Allison, Financial Bailout Chief, Stepping Down

WASHINGTON (AP) — Herb Allison, the head of the government’s $700 billion financial bailout program, announced on Wednesday that he would resign.

Allison said in a letter to his colleagues in the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Stability that they had accomplished a great deal.

He said that the bailout fund, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, had proven to be remarkably successful in achieving its goal of stabilizing the nation’s financial system and laying the groundwork for an economic recovery.

Allison said he was stepping down to return to Connecticut. He will be succeeded on an interim basis by Tim Massad, who is currently the chief counsel and chief reporting officer for the bailout program.

Massad, 54, will become acting assistant Treasury secretary for financial stability, effective on Sept. 30. Before joining government, Massad had been a partner for 17 years at the New York City law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

The $700 billion bailout program was created by Congress in October 2008 at the height of the financial crisis. The TARP program cannot commit money to new programs as of Oct. 3, although it will continue to support existing programs.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, in a statement, said that he wanted to “praise and celebrate” the work done by the people in the TARP program.

“I want to first recognize that while we have succeeded in putting out the financial fires that caused this deep economic crisis, we have not yet repaired all the damage,” Geithner said in remarks to Treasury employees of the TARP program.

The TARP program, which began under President George W. Bush, became a frequent target of Republican attacks and the general public. Many people questioned the government rescue of big banks at a time when unemployment was surging and thousands of Americans were losing their homes to foreclosure.

Read more: Tarp, Treasury Office of Financial Stability, Treasury Department, Herb Allison, Bailout, Bailout Chief, Troubled Asset Relief Program, Tim Geithner, Business News

Obama tries to humanize the healthcare debate

FALLS CHURCH, Virginia (Reuters) – President Barack Obama launched a new attempt to convince Americans of the advantages of his healthcare overhaul on Wednesday, just six weeks before an election in which the plan has proved more of a liability than a benefit for his fellow Democrats.

Bill de Blasio, Citizens United Avenger, Asks Companies To Pledge Against Unbridled Campaign Spending

The Supreme Court may have opened the floodgates for corporate campaign spending, but Bill de Blasio, New York City’s public advocate, is doing his part to staunch the unfettered flow of political money–one company at a time.

De Blasio’s strategy is simple enough.

Read more: Citizens United, Goldman Sachs, 2010 Elections, New York City, 527s, Supreme Court, Target, DISCLOSE Act, JP Morgan, Political Donations, Bill De Blasio, Business, Wall Street, Campaign Finance Reform, Politics News

Official says security threat harder to tackle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. authorities are having a harder time detecting terrorism threats on American soil, top officials said on Wednesday, more than nine years after the September 11 attacks thrust the United States into a global struggle with Islamist militancy.

Summers’ successor to set tone on economic policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans on Wednesday urged President Barack Obama to pick a more business-friendly successor to economic adviser Larry Summers, a move that would signal a shift to the center.

Wall Street ends lower on tech

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks slipped on Wednesday, ending the Dow’s five-day winning streak, following Adobe’s discouraging revenue outlook and investors’ disappointment over Microsoft’s new dividend.