Federal Reserve to review oversight of biggest banks

The Federal Reserve says it will review how it oversees the biggest U.S. banks amid criticism that it has grown too close to the financial institutions it is charged with regulating.

The Fed announced the review late Thursday. On Friday, a Senate subcommittee will hold a hearing on whether Fed examiners – particularly in its New York operation – have become too cozy with the big banks they oversee.

The central bank said the review will examine whether its decision-makers get the information they need to make good decisions in their inspection and oversight of banks. It also will look at the Fed’s internal culture, and whether dissenting views related to oversight are stifled.

Best Buy sales rebounded during most recent quarter

Best Buy said Thursday that sales rebounded during the third quarter, making it the latest big retailer to show unexpectedly strong results heading into the critical holiday shopping season.

The big-box retailer’s profits rose to $107 million, nearly double the $54 million it posted in the same quarter last year. In the past week, Wal-Mart and Target have also reported surprising upticks in sales.

Best Buy stock shot up nearly 7 percent Thursday, closing at about $38 a share.

Index of leading indicators has best showing since July

An index designed to predict the future health of the economy rose in October at the fastest pace in three months.

The Conference Board said Thursday that its index of leading indicators increased 0.9 percent last month following a 0.7 percent rise in September, which had been initially reported as a slightly stronger 0.8 percent gain. The October reading was the best showing since a 1.2 percent jump in July.

The leading index is composed of 10 forward-pointing indicators and eight showed strength in October, led by favorable interest rates and gains in manufacturing orders.

Arizona attorney general files lawsuit against GM

Arizona’s attorney general has sued General Motors for failing to recall millions of cars and trucks with safety defects the auto giant did not disclose for years.

The lawsuit seeks potentially billions of dollars in fines.

Attorney General Tom Horne said Thursday that he sued under the state’s consumer fraud statutes and is seeking a $10,000 fine for each of hundreds of thousands of defective vehicles sold in the state.

The lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix also seeks an injunction barring GM from similar actions and an order that it hand over profits it made from selling defective vehicles.

— From news service reports