U.S. prosecutors have charged a man with stealing data related to 130 million credit and debit cards -- the largest case of identity theft in American history. Authorities have accused Albert Gonzalez and two other unnamed Russian partners of hacking into retail payment systems for major nationwide chains, like 7-Eleven, and trying to sell the data. According to prosecutors, Gonzalez was once an informant for the Secret Service, helping them track down hackers.
On the auto-industry front, after months of negotiations, GM has signed an agreement to sell Saab Automotive to to Sweden's Koenigsegg Group. Details of the plan haven't been released, but representatives from both companies say they require an injection of cash into Saab from the European Investment Bank. Since the deal requires government money -- at one point Saab pegged the figure at $600 million -- it won't officially go through until it gets approval from the European Commission.
Also in Europe: Germans are finally feeling good about the economy. The index of German investor confidence jumped to its highest level in three years this month, according to the latest ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment. The index rose from to 56.1 from 39.5 in July. The figure comes on the heels of last week's announcement that Germany's economy grew by 0.3 percent in the second quarter.
And my favorite line from this morning's op-eds: the Times' Bob Herbert on health care co-ops competing with large insurance companies: "Forget about the nonprofit cooperatives. That's like sending peewee footballers up against the Super Bowl champs."