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    Daily Digest 10/31 – Sandy Damage Bill May Be $50 Billion, Greece PM Warns of Chaos

    by saxplayer00o1

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 4:56 PM


Storm's cost may hit $50B; rebuilding to ease blow

Superstorm Sandy will end up causing about $20 billion in damages and $10 billion to $30 billion more in lost business, according to IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm.

Greek PM Warns of Chaos if Austerity Blocked

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras sent a stark message to his government's two junior coalition partners Tuesday, calling on them to back a 13.5 billion euro ($17.4 billion) austerity and reforms package or otherwise see the country being led into "chaos."

Spanish banks sap profits with "desperate" price war

With many of the banks unable to raise cash on the money markets while Spain sits at the centre of the euro zone debt crisis, they are now forced to woo depositors with annual rates over 4 percent – and as high as 8 percent in one extreme case – well above the euro zone average of 2.7 percent for two-year cash.

Portugal government seeks opposition support for more spending cuts

Portugal's government is seeking support from the main opposition party for 4 billion euros of new spending cuts that may need changes to the constitution to push through, the prime minister said.

India Cuts Reserve Ratio to Back Growth Push; Holds Key Rate

Governor Duvvuri Subbarao reduced the cash reserve ratio to 4.25 percent from 4.5 percent, adding about 175 billion rupees ($3.2 billion) to the banking system, the Reserve Bank of India said in Mumbai today. The cut to a 36-year low, the fourth this year, was predicted by 19 of 33 analysts in a Bloomberg News survey, while four expected 4 percent and the rest no change.

Bernanke’s Cash Fuels Record Debt Rally

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is fueling a record-long winning streak in corporate debt as the money he pumps into the economy spurs investors to seek riskier assets to generate returns.

Hungary 'to offer wealthy foreigners citizenship in return for investment'

Debt-ridden Hungary is to attempt a new way to dig itself out of its massive debt pile… swapping investment for citizenship. The proposed legislation would grant permanent residency and ultimately citizenship to any outsiders who buy at least 250,000 euros worth of special government bonds.

Fitch Puts Argentina's Junk-Level Sovereign Rating on Review For Downgrade

Fitch Ratings placed Argentina's junk-level sovereign debt rating on review for a downgrade, citing increased uncertainty about the country's ability to pay its external debt. The firm currently rates Argentina at single-B, five steps into speculative territory

Tenn. has 74 percent increase in homeless students

Tennessee saw the number of homeless public school students increase by 74 percent between 2007 and 2010. That number was well above the national average of 38 percent, but the true number may be even higher.

Storm-Surge Damage May Not Be Covered by Some Insurance

As storm-battered homeowners, business owners, and government officials survey Sandy’s damage, the question for many is what the repair price tag will be. The storm’s assault may cause as much as $20 billion in losses, but less than half of that is likely insured. Some damage, such as infrastructure repairs, will be covered by the government. But some losses simply won’t be covered, leaving businesses and homeowners holding the bag.

Why Germany Wants to See its US Gold

Tourists are allowed to venture below street level to see the vault. After descending in an elevator, they stand in front of an enormous steel cylinder that pivots like a door in a 140-ton steel-and-concrete frame. But not even the owners are allowed to view their own gold. According to the Federal Audit Office report, the Fed explained that "in the interest of security and of the control process" no "viewings" are possible.

Bank of Japan Expands Stimulus as GDP Poised to Decline

The Bank of Japan expanded its asset-purchase program for the second time in two months, a move that failed to cheer investors as stocks slumped amid mounting evidence that the economy contracted last quarter.

Willow Road work will impact red light revenue (Illinois)

But in Northfield, between May 1 and Sept. 30, $320,116 has been generated — which puts the village on pace to make nearly $770,000 from citation revenue this fiscal year. "Everything's back to normal again," Noble said, adding that the two-year Willow Road project will impact revenue, but also the village's negotiation with Redflex on a subsequent contract. "Redflex has been pretty good to work with," he said. "I don't know if we'd go out and just redo the whole thing again." Safety, not revenue, however, is the primary focus for the cameras, said Northfield Police Chief Bill Lustig.

Argentina scorns US debt ruling, vows to pay restructured bonds

On Friday, a federal appeals court in New York ruled that Argentina violated bond provisions to treat all creditors equally when it made payments to creditors who accepted the swaps while refusing to pay the holdouts. "We are never going to pay the vulture funds. Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn't understood a thing," Economy Minister Hernan Lorenzino said via Twitter late on Monday. "We're going to continue paying the 93 percent of creditors who entered the swap, in dollars, euros and yen … we will not be pushed into the trap of default," he tweeted.


Four nuclear plants shut down in N.Y. area

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Tuesday that three New York-area nuclear reactors experienced shut downs during Hurricane Sandy while a fourth, in Oyster Creek, N.J., remains on “alert” due to water intake problems. More specifically, the NRC said that plants in Scriba, N.Y., and Buchanan, N.Y., experienced automatic shutdowns due to electrical issues, while the reactor at Hancocks Bridge, N.J., was manually shut down due to water circulation problems.


Superstorm Sandy cuts power to 8.1 million homes

More than 8.1 million U.S. homes and businesses were without power on Tuesday after Hurricane Sandy tore down power lines, flooded electrical networks and sparked an explosion at a Consolidated Edison substation on Manhattan's East River. About a quarter of New York City's homes and businesses were without power 15 hours after Hurricane Sandy roared ashore accompanied by a nearly 14-foot (4.2-metre) tidal surge that flooded empty subway and highway tunnels.

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