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And then there were seven. Mecklenburg County can no longer claim ownership to the headquarters of eight Fortune 500 companies. Aerospace manufacturer Goodrich is being swallowed by Connecticut-based United Technologies in a deal worth more than $18 billion. 

Shares of Bank of America ended up 31 cents yesterday after the bank held its annual shareholder meeting in Charlotte. Some 50 or so people chanted "Bail out the people, not the banks! Bail out the people not the banks!" on the sidewalk outside the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. A year ago, anti-big-bank bailout sentiment dominated the Bank of America annual meeting, inside and out. Roundtree EDIT.mp3

The first round of Charlotte's Quail Hollow Championship starts this morning. Just two years ago it was called the Wachovia Championship. Wells Fargo gained sponsorship rights to the PGA tournament with its acquisition of Wachovia, but it's hard to tell. After all, Wells Fargo has yet to put its name on the tournament even though it pays a sponsorship tab of about $7 million a year.

Wells Fargo was one of many banks that backed away from sports marketing last year in the wake of backlash over government bailouts. But UNC Charlotte sports marketing professor Robert Roundtree says the bank still gets some benefits from its sponsorship.

Bank of America's Lewis loses chairman's role

Apr 29, 2009

Bank of America held it's highly-anticipated annual meeting today and has just released the results of its shareholder vote. CEO Ken Lewis and all of the board's directors have been re-elected. However, shareholders narrowly voted to split the roles of CEO and Chairman of the board. WFAE's Julie Rose was at the meeting and joins us to explain. 

BofA Shareholder Votes Still Pending

Apr 29, 2009

Thousands of shareholders packed the Belk Theater uptown this morning for Bank of America's annual meeting. It lasted nearly four hours, but left nothing resolved, including the future of the bank's CEO Ken Lewis. 

Ex-Merrill CEO boosts B of A Meeting Drama

Apr 28, 2009

The drama leading up to Wednesday's Bank of America meeting continues. Ousted Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain is firing a new round of claims in the scandal over executive bonuses. The latest revelations add fuel to what is already expected to be a contentious shareholder gathering in Charlotte. 

Businesses along Independence have long wanted to expand beyond boundaries the city imposed 20 years ago. Charlotte City Council is now looking at relaxing these rules, after Walmart says they make it impossible for it to build a store along the road. 

Bank of America is raising rates by several percentage points on many of its lower-interest credit cards that carry a balance. 

Family Dollar's earnings up 33 percent

Apr 8, 2009

Family Dollar's earnings jumped 33 percent in the second quarter as many other retailers continue to struggle during this downturn. Family Dollar has been on a roll this recession. It topped the list of Standard & Poor's 500 best performing stocks last year and sales are up 6.4 percent in the second quarter. 

Banks defend sports marketing

Mar 25, 2009

Last year, money spent on sports marketing was estimated at $10 billion. That includes things like stadium rights and NASCAR sponsorships. Nearly 10 percent of that money came from banks and other financial services companies. But in light of bailouts and billion dollar losses, these companies are under intense scrutiny. And as a result, banks say they're walking away from money-making deals, just to avoid the controversy. No company is more prominent in the world of sports than Bank of America. Its home city of Charlotte is a perfect example. It spent $44 million on sporting event last year, including NASCAR's Bank of America 500. 

UNC Charlotte Economics Professor John Connaughton says in the second half of the year, the recession will show signs of ending. He says in 2010, it will quote "really take off." 

New reality in realty

Mar 17, 2009

In 2006, Charlotte's real estate market was hot. More homes were selling than ever before. For realtors, life was good. But in the past year and a half, that's changed. A once hot market has cooled significantly, and all of a sudden, what it means to be a realtor in Charlotte has changed too. 

Bank of CEO Ken Lewis from a lot of people these days. Add to the list Sydney Finkelstein. He specializes in businsess leadership at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business. Sydney Finkelstein specializes in business leadership. He wrote an article last week for Forbes magazine called Why Ken Lewis Destroyed Bank of America . Finkelstein says Lewis had a strong record until the purchase of the investment firm Merrill Lynch. In this segment, he tells WFAE's Scott Graf why that purchase changed everything.

Charlotte targets California businesses

Mar 9, 2009

The number of companies interested in moving to Charlotte has slowed along with the economy. So the Charlotte Regional Partnership is focused on luring business from the other side of the country. This is a more aggressive campaign than usual for the Charlotte Regional Partnership.

Survey: CFOs pessimistic on economic recovery

Mar 6, 2009

The survey shows that executives who hold the purse strings of U.S. companies expect the recession to last well into 2010. They also expect to pull back on hiring and capital spending. And they predict company earnings will continue to drop for the next year. Lead researcher John Graham is a professor of finance at Duke University. He says CFOs have a good track record at predicting the future economic climate. "And when we've compared the CFO outlook for the next 12 months to what actually happens over the next 12 months. CFO's are surprisingly accurate in terms of anticipating employment, capital spending and overall domestic product- GDP," he says. Graham says CFOs were overall neutral on what they thought of President Obama's stimulus package. A third said it was working, another third said it wasn't and the rest had no opinion. Every quarter Duke University and CFO Magazine survey more than a thousand chief financial officers around the world.

Blue Cross profits anger advocates

Mar 6, 2009

Blue Cross Blue Shield is under fire from advocacy groups over its contract to administer the state health plan for employees. A week ago, the state revealed it paid Blue Cross more than $97 million last year to administer the health plan for state employees and process 9.4 million claims. That breaks down to $10 per claim, compared to an average of 41 cents the state paid another firm to process Medicaid claims in 2007.