June 2009 Current Events: Business/Science News

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Here are the key events in business and science news for the month of June 2009.

  • General Motors Files for Bankruptcy, Plans to Close 14 Plants (June 1): General Motors files for bankruptcy and announces it will close 14 plants in the United States. G.M. celebrated its 100th anniversary last year and is still the largest automaker in the U.S.
  • U.S. Unemployment Reaches 9.4% (June 4): The U.S. government reports that the country's unemployment rate is 9.4%—the highest it's been in 26 years. Job losses slowed down in June 2009, but the number of people actively seeking employment rose. Since December 2007, six million jobs have disappeared in the United States and 14.5 million Americans are unemployed.
  • S.E.C. Accuses Countrywide Ex-Chief of Fraud (June 4): The Securities and Exchange Commission charges former Countrywide chief executive, Angelo R. Mozilo, with fraud due to improper mortgage lending practices and illegal insider trading.
  • Ten Banks Allowed to Start Repaying Bailout Money (June 9): After passing their government-applied stress tests and lobbying the government, the Treasury Department gives 10 banks permission to start repaying funds given to them during the federal bailout.
  • White House Appoints Executive Pay Czar (June 10): The Treasury Department appoints a new czar to executive pay. Kenneth R. Feinberg, a Washington, D.C. lawyer, will oversee the compensation of the employees of seven major American companies.
  • Madoff Sentenced to 150 Years in Prison (June 29): Bernard Madoff, the perpetrator of a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, is sentenced to 150 years in prison, the maximum sentence. The judge will decide how the victims of the investment fraud will be repaid in approximately three months.
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