- - Thursday, June 7, 2012

NEW YORK — The founder and outgoing chairman of Best Buy is resigning from the board and may sell off his 20.1 percent stake in the beleaguered electronics retailer.

It’s the latest news to hit the Minneapolis company facing increasing competition from online retailers and a CEO scandal. Richard Schulze, 71, has been with the company since its inception in 1966 and is its largest shareholder.

He initially announced in May that he would step down on June 21 at the company’s annual meeting after an investigation found he knew that the then-CEO was having an inappropriate relationship with a female staffer.


Fed approves tighter rule on required capital reserves

The Federal Reserve wants U.S. banks to set aside more money to cushion against unexpected losses, a key step in preventing another financial crisis.

The Fed governors voted 7-0 on Thursday to propose rules requiring all banks hold at least 7 percent of their assets in capital reserves, up from the current 2 percent rule and in line with international standards. The capital requirements were mandated under the 2010 financial overhaul.

The rules are open to comment until September and will be finalized after that. But some banks won’t have to meet the requirements until 2019. That’s because the rules have to be coordinated with international standards that are being phased in over the next seven years.

“Capital is important to [banks] and the financial system because it acts as a financial cushion to absorb a firm’s losses while reducing the incentive” for the firm to take risks, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said at the meeting.

The banks have lobbied vigorously against the proposals. They say setting aside so much money in reserve could limit what they could lend.


Distillery wants ‘Five Wives’ vodka on state shelves

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah distillery is happy Idaho will sell its cheeky Five Wives vodka.

Now, Jonathan Turley, attorney for Ogden’s Own Distillery, says the company wants Idaho regulators to stock Five Wives on shelves at state liquor stores not just make it available through special warehouse orders.

Regulators say they are considering the request.

Idaho reversed course Wednesday and said it would lift a ban on Five Wives vodka, with its not-so-subtle reference to polygamy, by agreeing to take special orders.

Idaho regulators previously branded the product offensive to Mormons who make up a quarter of Idaho’s population.


Nuclear-plant restart won’t happen this summer

LOS ANGELES — The damaged San Onofre nuclear power plant in Southern California is likely to remain offline until at least the end of August.

Operator Southern California Edison said Thursday that the company plans by the end of July to submit a plan to federal regulators to restart the Unit 2 reactor.

But any plan to restart the plant must be approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and that could take weeks or longer. Edison says it’s likely that the plant between San Diego and Los Angeles will remain dark at least through August.

The plant has been shuttered since January after investigators found excessive wear on hundreds of tubes that carry radioactive water. State officials have warned of possible rotating blackouts if a heat wave hits and the plant remains offline.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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