The bottom line
Fewer people on <em>Forbes</em> billionaires list; Mortgage fraud cases rise by 26%; Canadian firm hires brokers from Stanford Financial; Wal-Mart will open stores targeted to Hispanics; China to reimburse farmers on purchases of vehi
Fewer people on Forbes billionaires list
Only 793 people made the new Forbes billionaires list, down from 1,125 last year. The combined wealth of the world’s billionaires was $2.4 trillion, down $2 trillion from the previous year.
Mortgage fraud cases rise by 26%
The number of mortgage fraud cases last year rose 26 percent from 2007, the Mortgage Asset Research Institute reported. The increase came as lenders dramatically tightened their standards, making it harder for borrowers to qualify for loans without solid credit and proof of their incomes.
Canadian firm hires brokers from Stanford Financial
Former employees of Stanford Financial, the firm accused of bilking investors out of $8 billion, are having little trouble finding new work. Oppenheimer Financial, a Canadian firm, has offered jobs to as many as 100 Stanford brokers, including Stanford’s entire Charlotte, N.C., office.
Wal-Mart will open stores targeted to Hispanics
Wal-Mart this summer plans to open its first stores targeted directly at U.S. Hispanics. The Supermercado de Wal-Mart stores planned for Phoenix and Houston will feature a bilingual staff and merchandise geared toward Hispanic tastes.
China to reimburse farmers on purchases of vehicles
China announced that it would reimburse farmers up to 5,000 yuan (about $730) on purchases of light trucks and minivans—part of a plan to boost vehicle sales and goose the slowing Chinese economy.