Bernanke defends Fed’s low-interest-rate policies

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday that the Fed’s low-interest-rate policies are helping to boost growth around the world, rejecting criticism that they could lead to a global currency war.

In a speech at the London School of Economics, Bernanke staunchly defended the Fed’s policies and similar stimulus efforts pursued by other central banks since the 2008 financial crisis.

Last week the Fed stood by its policies to keep borrowing costs at record lows, saying the U.S. economy still required the support to help lower high unemployment.

Johnson & Johnson recalls glucose meters in U.S.

Johnson & Johnson is recalling all of its OneTouch VerioIQ blood glucose meters in the United States because they do not provide a warning when a diabetic’s blood sugar level is dangerously high. Instead, at a certain sugar level, the meters turn off.

The meters are made by J&J’s LifeScan unit, which will issue free replacement meters to all patients.

The company says the meters shut down when a patient’s blood sugar hits 1,024 milligrams per deciliter.

Ford India unit apologizes for ad demeaning women

The India unit of Ford Motor Co. has apologized for advertisements decried as demeaning to women, including one depicting Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with a trio of bound women in the trunk of a car.

A Ford India spokeswoman said Monday that the company is investigating whether anyone at the automaker ever saw the print ads, which were never used commercially but appeared over the weekend on a website showcasing creative advertising.

The ads caused an uproar online and came just after India passed a new law on violence against women following a fatal gang rape of a student on a bus that prompted mass protests and spotlighted the status of women in India.

Best Buy co-founder back as firm chairman emeritus

Best Buy’s co-founder and former chairman Richard Schulze is returning to Best Buy as chairman emeritus.

The move comes after Schulze considered making a buyout bid for the electronics retailer but never made a formal offer.

Best Buy has been working to turn around its results as it faces tough competition from online retailers and discounters. Since hiring turnaround expert Hubert Joly as its CEO in August, the company has cut jobs, invested in training employees and started matching online prices.

T-Mobile USA abandons two-year contract plans

T-Mobile USA, the struggling No. 4 cellphone company, is ditching plans centered on familiar two-year contracts in favor of selling phones on installment plans.

T-Mobile is the first major U.S. carrier to break from the contract model. The company changed its website over the weekend to begin selling the new plans. It plans to lay out the rationale for the change Tuesday at an event in New York, which could also reveal when T-Mobile will start selling the iPhone.

T-Mobile has been losing subscribers from its contract-based plans for more than two years, chiefly to bigger competitors Verizon Wireless and AT&T. T-Mobile has done better with contract-less, prepaid plans, but those aren’t as profitable for the company.

The new plan blurs the boundaries between the two types. Prepaid plans have lower monthly fees, but the buyer usually has to pay full or nearly full price for the phones. With T-Mobile’s new plans, the initial phone-buying experience won’t be much different from what it’s like for contract plans, but customers could save money in the long run.

– From news service reports