Roundup: Americans take on more mortgage debt; Johnson & Johnson to buy Abbott's vision unit; more | TribLIVE.com
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Americans take on more mortgage debt

The Fed's quarterly report on household wealth showed that Americans' net worth climbed 1.2 percent during the April-June quarter, to $89.1 trillion.

Stock and mutual fund portfolios increased 2.3 percent to $21.2 trillion. Housing wealth rose 1.9 percent to $25.6 trillion. The value of checking and savings accounts, as well as pension entitlements, also climbed. Mortgage debt rose 2.5 percent in the second quarter at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, the biggest quarterly gain in more than eight years.

Household wealth, or net worth, reflects the value of homes, stocks and other assets minus mortgages, credit card debt and other borrowing.

Johnson & Johnson to buy Abbott unit

Johnson & Johnson says it is paying more than $4.3 billion in cash to buy the eye health unit of Abbott Laboratories to boost its vision business.

The unit, called Abbott Medical Optics, makes lasers and other equipment used for cataract surgery and laser vision correction procedures. It also makes eye drops and contact lens cleaners.

Johnson & Johnson says the purchase will enter it into the cataracts surgery market. The New Brunswick, N.J., company says the deal will help its vision business, which includes Acuvue contact lenses.

Deutsche Bank: No plan to pay $14B

Deutsche Bank AG said Friday it does not intend to pay $14 billion to settle civil claims with the U.S. Department of Justice for its handling of residential mortgage-backed securities and related transactions.

The Frankfurt, Germany-based lender said negotiations over the amount of the settlement are just beginning.

Deutsche Bank is among many financial institutions investigated over dealings in shoddy mortgages in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. The government has accused the banks of misleading investors about the quality of their loans.

Software company says it warned Tesla

The company that made the camera and computer system for Tesla Motors' semi-autonomous Autopilot says the electric car maker ignored its warnings of safety problems.

Mobileye said Friday that it warned Tesla, prior to the release of Autopilot, not to allow drivers to use the system without their hands on the steering wheel. The system Tesla rolled out in the fall allows drivers to remove their hands, while the car takes control.

Mobileye's statement escalates a spat with Tesla and will almost certainly draw the interest of two federal agencies investigating the death of a driver while using Autopilot in a May crash in Florida. At issue is whether Tesla rolled out the system before it was ready.

— Wire reports

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