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Consumer confidence down in April

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Consumer confidence dropped in April to a three-month low amid discouraging economic indicators, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers.

The index fell 2.8% in April to 76.4 from 78.6 a month earlier. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey was 73.5 after a preliminary April reading of 72.3.

The Michigan survey’s current conditions index, which measures Americans’ view of their personal finances, fell to 89.9 in April from 90.7 last month.

The index of expectations six months from now dropped to 67.8 this month from 70.8 in March.

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Former Morgan Stanley exec joins CIT Group

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — CIT Group, a leading provider of financing and advisory services to small businesses and middle market companies, has named Todd Harrington Northeast regional sales manager of CIT Trade Finance.

He will report to Marc Heller, Northeast regional manager and international manager of CIT Trade Finance.

“Todd is an asset to our team as we look to grow our factoring, asset-based lending, and accounts receivable management services in the Northeast region,” said Heller. “His sales and credit experience is a benefit to our business and his expertise in building new and existing relationships make him an excellent choice for this leadership role.”

Previously, Harrington was managing director and chief sales officer for CIT’s small business lending group, in which he was responsible for sales, marketing and relationship management related to all small business lending products in the United States, including small business administration programs.

Harrington joined CIT in January of 2007. Prior to CIT, Harrington was executive director, national sales for Morgan Stanley’s commercial financial services division. At CFS, Harrington had national responsibility for sales staff and strategy in support of small business and middle-market focused lending products. Previously at Morgan Stanley, Harrington served as the national director of business advisory services for the small and mid-sized business clients of the firm.

Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Harrington held several VP-level banking positions at Chase Manhattan Bank/Chemical Bank, where he originated and syndicated leveraged buyouts and traditional middle market and small business banking transactions starting in 1992 when he graduated from Chemical Bank’s credit training program. Harrington holds a BS in management from Binghamton University.

CIT is a bank holding company with more than $35 billion in financing and leasing assets, which serves clients in more than 30 industries. CIT Trade Finance is a leading provider of factoring services in the United States for companies that sell into retail channels of distribution. It provides accounts receivable factoring, trade credit protection, accounts receivable management and asset-based lending to manufacturers and importers.

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Walmart looks to resolve Canada’s raccoon problem

BY CSA STAFF

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – Walmart Canada is looking to resolve Canada’s raccoon problem by carrying Great Value Mint-X raccoon repellent garbage bags.

"Taking your trash to the curb only to find the bag shredded by a raccoon and your garbage strewn all over the place is not exactly how we like to start the day," said Sandra Farwell, VP of private brands at Walmart Canada. "Most of the time we’re careful and make sure the garbage can is secured, but every once in a while, the crafty little critters manage to crack the lid and settle in for a feast of chicken bones, vegetable peelings and other delicacies."

Developed in partnership with Mint-X and Walmart Canada’s Great Value private label team, the Great Value Mint-X garbage bag comes in two formats – 30, 70-liter bags and 20, 121-liter bags – both priced at $6.97 and available exclusively at Walmart stores across Canada. A mint-scented fragrance is added to the garbage bags during the manufacturing process, and it is the scent of mint that according to tests conducted by Mint-X that repels raccoons.

"It’s exciting to see the expansion of our Mint-X solution in the Canadian market," said Jeff Dussich, COO, Mint-X. "Mint-X bags are already being used across the U.S., from New York to Los Angeles and they are proven to be effective, even against the toughest raccoons in North America."

Walmart Canada operates a growing chain of more than 375 locations nationwide serving more than one million customers each day, as well as its flagship online store, www.walmart.ca, which is visited by more than 250,000 Canadians daily.

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