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Tickers: October 2


Jack Gross, a West Des Moines resident who was the subject of a key U.S. Supreme Court decision that held claims of age discrimination to a higher standard of proof than that applied to race and gender bias, will testify Oct. 7 before a U.S. Senate committee examining the impact of high court decisions that have diluted the ability of individuals to claim violations of employment and consumer protection laws. Gross had claimed that, because of his age, he was demoted in 2003 to a job with FBL Financial Group Inc. that had no description or responsibilities. His previous position was given to a younger woman. He was 53 at the time. A federal district court sided with Gross, but the case was overturned on appeal. The Supreme Court then ruled that Gross lacked direct evidence that he was demoted because of his age.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) said it approved 852 loans totaling $210.7 million to small Iowa businesses in the fiscal year that ended Wednesday. Loan volume was significantly higher than the previous fiscal year and was credited to changes under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to SBA programs.

The U.S. Commerce Department said today that factory orders fell unexpectedly in August, with declines in commercial aircraft, construction machinery and electrical equipment, Bloomberg reported. Bookings fell 0.8 percent after a revised 1.4 percent increase in July that was larger than previously estimated. Today’s report follows others this week that showed manufacturing contracted or slowed in September.

Bank of America Corp. said today that it will make approximately $713 million in dividend payments to the federal government under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The company said that it has paid $1.83 billion in TARP dividends through Sept. 30.

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