Report: Pinterest gains in popularity within U.S.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Pinterest has become the third most popular social network in the United States, behind only Facebook and Twitter, according to a marketing researcher.
An Experian Marketing Services report found marked increases in visitors to Pinterest’s website, including a 50 percent gain from January to February that made it more popular than LinkedIn or Google+.
The Palo Alto, Calif., company has found a growing audience for its digital bulletin boards, which allow users to collect and share digital images and link them to websites. Since its launch in 2010, it has become especially popular with hobbyists.
Experian research showed that the site’s visitors were demographically different from those visiting other social networks, with women accounting for 60 percent and a higher percentage of users in the Midwest, Northwest and Southeast.
U.S. consumers borrow more for autos in February
WASHINGTON — Americans took out more loans to buy cars and attend school in February but used their credit cards less frequently for the second straight month.
The Federal Reserve said Friday that consumers increased borrowing by $8.7 billion, the sixth straight monthly increase.
The jump in borrowing was driven by an $11 billion increase in the category that mostly measures demand for auto and student loans. Borrowing on credit cards fell $2 billion after a $3 billion decline in January.
In February, consumer borrowing rose to seasonally adjusted $2.52 trillion. That’s nearly at pre-recession levels and up from a post-recession low of $2.39 billion in September 2010.
Kodak seeks bonuses, nixes benefits changes
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Eastman Kodak Co. is seeking permission to pay about 300 executives and other employees a total of $13.5 million in bonuses to persuade them to stay with the company as it reorganizes under bankruptcy protection.
The photography company said the targeted employees have knowledge and skills critical to help the business emerge from bankruptcy and would be difficult to replace if they left to pursue other offers. They include 119 middle managers who would share $8.5 million of the sum.
Also this week, Kodak told retirees it has withdrawn for now its motion to end supplemental health care benefits for about 16,000 Medicare-eligible retirees.
Executives at bailed-out companies to get pay cuts
WASHINGTON — Top executives at three companies bailed out by U.S. taxpayers during the 2008 financial crisis were ordered to take pay cuts by the federal government.
The Treasury Department said nearly 70 executives at American International Group Inc., Ally Financial Inc. and General Motors Co. had their annual compensation reduced by 10 percent. The CEOs of each company had their pay frozen at 2011 levels.
All three companies have yet to repay what they received from the $700 billion bailout and therefore are subject to pay cuts. AIG still owes taxpayers around $50 billion. General Motors owes about $25 billion. Ally Financial about $12 billion.
Even with the freeze, the CEOs are expected to be well paid this year.
American Timberlands buys 12,000 acres in S.C.
A land investor with offices in Columbia and Pawleys Island said Friday it has acquired 12,000 acres of South Carolina forestland for a new investment fund. American Timberlands Co. said the three tracts are in Edgefield, Jasper and Kershaw counties. The purchase price was not disclosed.
American Timber said it manages about 60,000 acres statewide, including 20,000 acres in Horry County it purchased in 2008.
Staff and wire reports. Stock markets were closed for Good Friday.