Boeing will pay $2.5 billion to settle charge

CHICAGO — Boeing will pay $2.5 billion to settle a criminal charge related to its troubled 737 Max jetliner. The Justice Department announced the settlement Thursday, nearly two years after the second of two crashes that killed 346 people in all. Boeing is agreeing to pay money for crash victims’ families, airline customers and airlines, as well as a fine. The 737 Max entered service in 2017. The first crash occurred in October 2018 in Indonesia, and a second occurred five months later in Ethiopia. In both cases, an automated system pushed the noses of the planes down, and pilots were unable to regain control.

Didn’t get your relief payment yet?

WASHINGTON — The US Treasury and IRS have sent out the bulk of the second economic impact payments, which are intended to provide some relief to Americans. However, frustration is high among millions of people who did not receive payments yet and must wait for the mail or file their taxes before they receive it. The payments, worth $600 per eligible adult and dependent, are being distributed by direct deposit, paper checks and debit cards. Those who did not receive a payment or received the wrong amount must file their 2020 taxes to get it.

Long-term mortgage rates hit new lows

WASHINGTON — US long-term mortgage rates declined this week to new record lows for the first week of 2021. The year opens against the continuing backdrop of damage from the Coronavirus pandemic on the US and global economies, which suppressed home loan rates through most of 2020. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate home loan slipped to 2.65% from 2.67% from last week. The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans ticked down to 2.16% from 2.17%. Mortgage rates are set to rise modestly this year as economic factors shift, according to Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

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