Economy Briefs: New Barclays chairman vows total review

LONDON — The new chairman of Barclays Bank says he’ll undertake a top-to-bottom review of the embattled business, telling a British newspaper that he isn’t wedded to any of his predecessor’s policies.

Asked whether he was committed to the current business plan of Barclays, which is reeling from a massive rate-fixing scandal, David Walker told the Sunday Telegraph that he wasn’t “committed to anything except getting it right.”

Mr. Walker said he wanted to review the company’s business plan, but didn’t want to sound “threatening.”

Mr. Walker is due to replace Marcus Agius, who offered his resignation last month after the imposition of a $453 million fine for manipulating the critical London interbank offered rate, or LIBOR, which is used to calculate borrowing costs for hundreds of trillions of dollars in loans and investments such as bonds, auto loans and derivatives.

The scandal has damaged the bank’s reputation and led to a slew of resignations. Regulators are still weighing whether to bring criminal charges.

Market-watchers had speculated that the scandal would prompt Barclays to pare back its investment banking arm, Barclays Capital. But Mr. Walker, who takes over from Mr. Agius on Nov. 1, seemed cool to the idea, said he wanted Barclays to remain a “universal bank.”

ENERGY

Iraq’s oil outputnow exceeds Iran’s

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s oil output now stands at 3.2 million barrels per day, outpacing neighboring Iran to become the second-biggest producer in OPEC, Hussein al-Shahristani, Iraq’s deputy prime minister responsible for energy affairs, said Sunday.

Iraq has sought to dramatically increase its oil output and exports. The latter accounts for the vast majority of government income, while world powers have imposed ever-tightening economic sanctions on Iran’s oil-export sector.

Oil cartel OPEC’s August market report, citing secondary sources, put Iraqi production at 3.079 million barrels per day in July, compared with 2.817 million barrels per day for Iran.

The gap is likely to widen further as Iraq looks to ramp up production in coming years, and as several contracts with foreign energy firms to extract crude begin resulting in increased output.

COURTS

Hair braider wins suit challenging rules

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah woman who braids hair to supplement her family’s income has won a federal lawsuit against the state over its licensing process for her craft, arguing state regulations violated her right to earn a living.

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