Your Money in The News: Financial Firsts

What happened in the news this week that affects how you live and invest? Here's a highly curated (read: extremely subjective) list of stories about financial milestones for the week of September 23.

PRICIER PORK: The U.S. hog herd at the start of September probably shrank for the first time since 2010 as a virus killed piglets, reducing supply and sparking a rebound in pork prices. 9/27

GE AND RISK: For the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, derivatives traders regard General Electric Capital Corp. (GE) as less risky than JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) as GE shrinks the unit and the bank faces billions of dollars in fines. 9/27

JAPAN INFLATION: Japan’s inflation accelerated to the fastest pace since 2008 in August on higher energy costs, underscoring pressure on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to drive wage increases as he seeks to end 15 years of deflation. 9/26

MUNICIPAL DEBT: California plans to sell $12.5 billion in debt in the next 18 months after the most-populous state’s economic recovery helped reduce its relative borrowing costs to the lowest level in five years, Treasurer Bill Lockyer said. 9/26

FRONTIER MARKETS: Templeton Emerging Markets Group closed its fund that invests in the least-developed markets to new money, as record inflows turn stock indexes from Dubai to Argentina into the world’s best performers this year. The MSCI frontier gauge is poised to advance during a year of losses in the emerging index for the first time on record. 9/25

GM BOOST: General Motors Co. (GM) was raised to investment grade for the first time in eight years and moved to continue paying back stakeholders from its 2009 bailout with plans to buy preferred shares held by a union health-care trust. Moody’s Investors Service upgraded GM to Baa3 from Ba1, citing new models for the U.S. market, strength in China and what it calculates as $31 billion of cash, including credit facilities. 9/23

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