Daily Digest

Daily Digest 11/28 - Madoff Relatives Sued $69 Million, Race for Aid in Ireland, Real Christmas Trees

Sunday, November 28, 2010, 11:00 AM
  • Madoff Relatives Sued for $69 Million
  • EU Ministers Race to Complete Aid Package for Ireland
  • Irish Cutbacks Pile It on for 'New Poor'
  • BP to Sell Pan American Stake for $7.06 Billion
  • In The Name Of Oil, Ghana Is Already Swimming In A Flood Of Debt
  • Japanese Firm in Rare Earths Deal With Australian Miner
  • Environment Prefers Real Christmas Trees

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Madoff Relatives Sued for $69 Million 

The trustee seeking to recover money for people who were defrauded by Bernard L. Madoff filed lawsuits Friday against investors, employees and Madoff family members, including his wife. Irving H. Picard, appointed trustee by a federal bankruptcy court, filed 40 lawsuits seeking $69 million against people who he said had invested with Mr. Madoff and withdrawn more money than they contributed. The filings are the latest in a series of “clawback suits” filed by Mr. Picard, a New York lawyer, attempting to obtain as much as $17.5 billion total for victims of the largest Ponzi scheme in American history.

EU Ministers Race to Complete Aid Package for Ireland 

A “staff-level” accord on Ireland’s aid will be endorsed today, European Union Economic and Monetary Commissioner Olli Rehn said today in Brussels. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Ireland’s interest rate is the only “little detail” to be nailed down. With 10-year bond yields climbing above 7.5 percent in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy on Nov. 26, European leaders are fighting to prevent the spread of Ireland’s fiscal woes from threatening the survival of the 12-year-old euro.

Irish Cutbacks Pile It on for 'New Poor' 

A church-run soup kitchen here symbolizes the human cost of Ireland's crisis: Middle-class homeowners, squeezed by rising debt and falling incomes, line up for food parcels alongside foreign asylum-seekers and the long-term unemployed. These are Ireland's "new poor"—ordinary people with houses and jobs laid low by years of austerity, and now facing even tougher times as the government slashes public-sector jobs, raises taxes and cuts social welfare. Theresa Dolan runs the Capuchin Day Center near Dublin's law courts that caters to the swelling ranks of the city's poor. Before 2008, around 250 people came each day for a hot dinner, she says. Now there are 520. And the visitors' profile is changing.

BP to Sell Pan American Stake for $7.06 Billion

The deal is the latest in a series of asset sales aimed at raising money to cover the estimated $40 billion cost of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. It is also another step in the expanding influence of Chinese companies in the energy sphere. Bridas Corp. is 50-50 a joint venture between the international arm of China National Offshore Oil Company, called Cnooc International Ltd., and Bridas Energy Holdings, which is owned by Argentina's Bulgheroni family. Cnooc acquired its 50% of Bridas Corp. for $3.1 billion in March.


In The Name Of Oil, Ghana Is Already Swimming In A Flood Of Debt

Since ExxonMobil's $4 billion offer for Kosmos Energy's 23.5% stake in the Jubilee field was rejected last month, Asian national oil companies have been rounding about in Accra, aiming to become GNPC's financier and operating partner. Kosmos, however, is contemplating a listing of its shares as an alternate way to go ahead with the project. ExxonMobil abandoned its offer on 17 August, opening the way for a GNPC bid backed by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Sources at GNPC told Africa-Asia Confidential that the deal would include a $5 billion loan to the GNPC. CNOOC would take a 10% stake, another major oil company 10% and GNPC 3% of Jubilee, which is estimated to hold more than 1.2 billion barrels of oil. CNOOC is in good terms with Accra due to previous promises by the China Development Bank to bankroll Ghana's oil infrastructure with billions of dollars in preferential loans.

Japanese Firm in Rare Earths Deal With Australian Miner

The Tokyo-based company, Sojitz, said it had signed a $250 million procurement deal with an Australian mining company and warned that the outlook for stable shipments from the Chinese mainland remained far from certain. The deal is the latest effort by Japan to diversify its sources of the minerals, known as rare earths, which are vital to the production of a wide range of high-technology products.


Environment Prefers Real Christmas Trees

According to Dr. Clint Springer, assistant professor of biology at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, consumers that buy a real Christmas tree, do not only support tree farms to stay in business, they also support a healthier environment. The National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) reports that approximately 350,000 acres of land is used as Christmas tree plantations in the U.S. alone.

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Re: Daily Digest 11/28 - Madoff Relatives Sued $69 Million, ...

What is the significance of a new clearing house for the silver and gold markets?


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sign of things to come...?

Power guzzlers to pay price


Power-guzzling households will be slugged disproportionately and battlers will be insulated from the full force of rising bills under a major shake-up of electricity pricing in Western Australia.

Thousands of homeowners will be quizzed in coming weeks about their power use and the make-up of the family home as bureaucrats begin changing the single-price tariff, where every kilowatt hour of power costs the same, to one where heavier users get much higher bills.

Under the new structure, every house would get, at a low rate, an amount of power deemed necessary to maintain essential services in a house. The next block of power would be sold at a higher price and any electricity consumed after that would cost disproportionately more. The change would mean big consumers will subsidise the artificially low prices charged in the first block.

Energy Minister Peter Collier said the changes, which may not need to be backed by legislation and could be in place next year, would ensure "the fairest tariff structure for all Western Australians".

The survey of up to 10,000 households will pave the way for future changes which could ultimately see telecommunications-enabled meter boxes fitted with telecommunications devices rolled out so power utilities can remotely switch off individual appliances in a home.

Energy providers would be able to turn off pool pumps and air-conditioners to conserve power in times of peak use.

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Re: Daily Digest 11/28 - Madoff Relatives Sued $69 Million, ...

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Re: Daily Digest 11/28 - Madoff Relatives Sued $69 Million, ...
  [7 minutes video]

The Day the Dollar Died

The first 12 hours of a U.S. dollar collapse!

by http://inflation.us

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Re: Daily Digest 11/28 - Madoff Relatives Sued $69 Million, ...
China, Russia quit dollar
By Su Qiang and Li Xiaokun (China Daily)
St. Petersburg, Russia - China and Russia have decided to renounce the US dollar and resort to using their own currencies for bilateral trade, Premier Wen Jiabao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin announced late on Tuesday.
Chinese experts said the move reflected closer relations between Beijing and Moscow and is not aimed at challenging the dollar, but to protect their domestic economies. "About trade settlement, we have decided to use our own currencies," Putin said at a joint news conference with Wen in St. Petersburg.

The two countries were accustomed to using other currencies, especially the dollar, for bilateral trade. Since the financial crisis, however, high-ranking officials on both sides began to explore other possibilities.

The yuan has now started trading against the Russian rouble in the Chinese interbank market, while the renminbi will soon be allowed to trade against the rouble in Russia, Putin said.

"That has forged an important step in bilateral trade and it is a result of the consolidated financial systems of world countries," he said.

Putin made his remarks after a meeting with Wen. They also officiated at a signing ceremony for 12 documents, including energy cooperation.

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