New York punishes hedge fund manager Falcone; consumers cut back on credit cards
The attorney general is investigating complaints about people who are illegally renting out their homes through Airbnb. The state passed a law in 2010 that makes it illegal for people to rent out their homes for less than 30 days if they are not present in the home at the time. The current investigation has been going on for about a month in response to complaints from legislators and housing advocates, according to a person familiar with the investigation. Airbnb has 225,000 users in the city, but the attorney general only wants data about the 15,000 users who rent out space on the service, according to the New York Daily News . The attorney general is not interested in casual hosts on Airbnb, but is only interested in investigating people who rent out their home for a large amount of timeperhaps a majority of the year without living there, according to the source familiar with the investigation. The other group of interest is landlords who evict tenants and essentially turn their units into full-time Airbnb hotels, thus limiting housing stock in the city Airbnb says there are many people who host on Airbnb who dont fall into those categories and only rent out their homes occasionally. The company says it wants to protect the privacy of its users. Airbnb says the subpoena is too broad and includes people who live in their homes and only occasionally rent them out. The vast majority of these hosts are everyday New Yorkers who occasionally share the home in which they live, said Airbnbs David Hantman in a blog post. We always want to work with governments to make the Airbnb community stronger, but at this point, this demand is unreasonably broad and we will fight it with everything weve got. At this point its unclear what Airbnb will do but it sounds from the blog post like the company will fight the subpoena and does not plan on turning over all the requested user data. Last week Airbnb won a victory when a New York City review board overturned a case fining one Airbnb host $2,400. That case, however, only found that Airbnb rentals under 30 days were legal if the primary resident was in the unit at the time the traveler was there.
It’ll really come down to Cashman’s confidence in Sabathia. If he believes Sabathia can get back to ace status, then bringing back Kuroda becomes less of a priority. If not, then he’ll have to try to retain him. Kuroda shouldn’t make more than $15 million next seasonbut he might. Assess Rotation Following Kuroda Decision Hannah Foslien/Getty Images If Kuroda returns, then the Bombers will only need one starter to replace Pettitte. If they aren’t set on Phelps or Pineda at the No. 5 spot, then they’ll need two. That is much easier to work with than having to replace three members of a rotation. Assessing the rotation prior to signing free agents is the key to putting together a successful offseason. By only addressing areas of need (and making sure that they actually address those areas), the Yankees can have a successful offseason. Expect the first two steps of the process to be resolved within the first two weeks of free agency. John Sommers II/Getty Images There are several options for one-year deals that could interest the Yankees. Bronson Arroyo, Tim Hudson and Jake Westbrook would be worth one-year fliers, though each player is over the age of 35.
New York case offers insight into secret war against Somali militants
Reuters CONSUMERS Credit card debt declines in the U.S. Americans cut back on using their credit cards in August for a third straight month, a sign that consumers remain cautious about spending. Consumers increased their borrowing $13.6 billion in August to a seasonally adjusted $3.04 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Monday. Thats a record and it followed a gain of $10.4 billion in July. Once again, the increase in borrowing was driven entirely by auto and student loans. A measure of those loans rose $14.5 billion to $2.19 trillion. But credit card debt dropped $883 million to about $850 billion. The decline could hold back consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of economic growth. The report highlighted trends that have surfaced in the post-recession economy. The measure of auto and student loans has risen 8.2 percent from a year ago and in every month but one since May 2010. But credit card debt is essentially where it was a year ago. And it is 16.9 percent below its peak hit in July 2008 seven months after the recession began. Associated Press Also in Business The regulator overseeing major mortgage finance sources Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Monday said it filed legal paperwork to create a common platform for the two firms to issue mortgage-backed securities. The Federal Housing Finance Agency said it established a new company called Common Securitization Solutions. The joint venture is intended to help securitize home loans and consolidate some of functions currently replicated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
After first being detained in secret, they were charged in November and ordered held without bail. SEEKING INFORMATION A main objective of the U.S. operation appears to have been to collect intelligence about al Shabaab. Information on the group has become more urgent for security services following the deadly attack by militants on the upscale Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi. At least 67 people were killed in a four-day siege. Ahmed Godane, the leader of Shabaab’s dominant, pro-al Qaeda faction, claimed credit for the attack. Defense lawyers said that once Ahmed, Yusuf and Hashi, all of Somali extraction, were in the United States, investigators began pressuring them to provide information about al Shabaab’s leaders and operations. “It’s all about getting information,” said Susan Kellman, a lawyer for Ahmed. But the three have not agreed to cooperate, legal sources familiar with the case said. The suspects intend to challenge their indictments in court, though a trial date has not been set. In a possible ploy to increase pressure on the defendants, federal prosecutors last month placed a letter in the public court record alleging the former fighters had “substantial knowledge” of a purported Shabaab “research and development department” involved in developing chemical weapons.