BRUSSELS (AP) — Rating agency Standard & Poor’s said Monday it has downgraded the creditworthiness of the eurozone’s rescue fund by one notch to AA+, putting the fund’s ability to raise cheap bailout money at risk.
The downgrade follows ratings cuts for AAA-rated France and Austria, whose financial guarantees were key to the creditworthiness of the European Financial Stability Facility.
“The downgrade to ‘AA+’ by only one credit agency will not reduce (the) EFSF’s lending capacity of euro440 billion,” Klaus Regling, the fund’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.
S&P had warned in December that it would cut the rating of the euro440 billion EFSF in line with the downgrades of any AAA country.
DUBLIN (AP) — A famed entrepreneur who was once rated Ireland’s richest person was declared bankrupt Monday as a bank pursues him for debts exceeding euro2.1 billion ($2.7 billion).
Lawyers for tycoon Sean Quinn withdrew his opposition to a Republic of Ireland bankruptcy order sought by the former Anglo Irish Bank, the reckless lender at the center of Ireland’s calamitous property crash.
The bankruptcy judgment will force a thorough court investigation of Quinn’s finances, which the bank hopes will reveal capital and assets that it can reclaim from Quinn, his wife and five children.
Quinn, 64, didn’t attend Monday’s court hearing. He issued a statement accusing the bank of pursuing “a personal vendetta” and declaring that the “judgment in no way improves Anglo’s prospects of recovering money for the taxpayer.”
Quinn had a reported 2007 net worth of euro4.7 billion ($6 billion) but sank much of his fortune into Anglo months before the bank — the most aggressive lender to Ireland’s construction barons — suffered crippling losses as the country’s decade-long property bubble burst.
The Quinn family secretly built up to a 28 percent stake in Anglo shares using an ill-regulated financial instrument that hid the scale of their investment from other stockholders. As Anglo’s share price plunged, Quinn says the bank encouraged his family to borrow hundreds of millions specifically to buy more Anglo stock, a charge the bank denies.
Ireland nationalized Anglo in 2009 to prevent its collapse, wiping out a Quinn family investment estimated at euro2.8 billion. The government last year renamed Anglo as the Irish Bank Resolution Corp., or IBRC. Its bailout is expected to cost taxpayers euro29 billion, a bill so great it overwhelmed Ireland’s finances and forced the government last year to negotiate a humiliating loan pact with the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
While OJ Simpson rots in the Big House in Nevada … he’s about to lose his big house in Florida.
According to court records, JPMorgan Chase bank is foreclosing on the 4 bedroom, 4bathroom home OJ owns in Miami. Simpson bought the home in 2000 for $575,000 … but the home was recently assessed at $478,401.
OJ is currently serving time in a Nevada prison for kidnapping, armed robbery and other charges stemming from an incident in 2007, in which OJ took a bunch of sports memorabilia at gunpoint.Comments »
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAPK3HpI7Q0 603 500]Comments »
Money, as we know, talks.
And in this Presidential Primary season it’s not just talking, it’s filibustering.
The new Super PACs ushered in by a pair of federal court rulings allows for single donors whether individuals or unions or companies to make unlimited contributions.
Super PACs aren’t allowed to coordinate directly with the campaigns, but many are making their feelings known.
Three billionaires have made no secret of their support of specific candidates: Meet Sheldon Adelson. The casino king has a net worth of $21.5 billion.
According to Forbes, his company, the Las Vegas Sands, has scored by developing casino properties in Singapore and Macau. But you may be familiar with his American properties — the Venetian and the Palazzo , both in Vegas. He’s also known for developing Comdex, the marquee computer conference event.
Adelson is the son of a taxi driver and dropped out of the City College of New York. His donation of five million to Newt Gingrich helped resuscitate the Speakers’ campaign after the Iowa Caucus.
Then there’s Jon Huntsman Senior, the father of candidate Jon Huntsman, who founded Huntsman Chemical. He has a net worth of more than $1.5 billion.
Huntsman — the company — was once the largest privately held chemical company in the nation, and Huntsman Senior built it acquisition by acquisition.
Spiking oil prices forced the billionaire to sell just under half the company, but he turned that around last year, taking the company public. His investments in the Super PAC backing his son is said to be in the millions.
Finally, Foster Friess, the mutual fund king, is the major financial backer of a Super PAC supporting Rick Santorum. Friess founded his own management firm, Friess Associates, which grew to a nearly $16 billion fund under the name Brandywine. In the 1990’s, it was a top performer posting average annual gains of 20 percent.
Friess is a long time donor to social conservative causes that Santorum has championed. More information on Super PACs and their donors will be made public at the end of the month.
We’ll report on all those numbers, even the wealthy folks contributing to the President’s re-election campaign.
Read more: http://trade.cc/zdf#ixzz1jXphPuoE
Iran said on Saturday it had evidence Washington was behind the latest killing of one of its nuclear scientists, state television reported, at a time when tensions over the country’s nuclear program have escalated to their highest level ever.
In the fifth attack of its kind in two years, a magnetic bomb was attached to the door of 32-year-old Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan’s car during the Wednesday morning rush-hour in the capital. His driver was also killed.
U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton denied responsibility and Israeli President Shimon Peres said Israel had no role in the attack, to the best of his knowledge.
“We have reliable documents and evidence that this terrorist act was planned, guided and supported by the CIA,” the Iranian foreign ministry said in a letter handed to the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, state TV reported. The Swiss embassy represents U.S. interests in a country where Washington has no diplomatic ties.
The spokesman for Iran’s Joint Armed Forces Staff, Massoud Jazayeri, said: “Our enemies, especially America , Britain and the Zionist regime (Israel), have to be held responsible for their actions.”
Iran in the past has accused Israel of causing a series of spectacular and sometimes bloody mishaps to its nuclear programme. Israeli officials do not comment on any involvement in those events, although some have publicly expressed satisfaction at the setbacks.
Feeling the heat from unprecedented new sanctions, Iran’s clerical establishment has brandished its sword by threatening to block the main Mid-East oil shipping route, starting to enrich uranium at an underground bunker and sentencing an Iranian-American citizen to death on spying charges.
State TV said a “letter of condemnation” had also been sent to Britain, saying the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists began after the head of Britain’s MI6 spy service announced intelligence operations against states seeking nuclear weapons.
The West says Iran’s nuclear programme is aimed at building a bomb. Tehran says it has the right to peaceful nuclear power.
Tehran has urged the U.N. Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to condemn the latest killing.
After years of international sanctions that had little impact on Iran, U.S. President Barack Obama signed new measures on New Year’s Eve that, if fully implemented, would make it impossible for most countries to pay for Iranian oil.
Washington is requiring that countries gradually reduce their purchases of Iranian oil in order to receive temporary waivers from the sanctions.
The European Union is expected to unveil similar measures next week, and announce a gradual oil embargo among its member states, who collectively buy about a fifth of Iran’s exports.
The combined measures mean Iran may fail to sell all of the 2.6 million barrels a day of exports it relies on to feed its 74 million people. Even if it finds buyers, it will have to offer steep discounts, cutting into its desperately-needed revenue.
On Tuesday shipping sources told Reuters Iran was storing an increasing supply of oil at sea – as much as 8 million barrels – and was likely to store more as it struggles to sell it.
Iran denies it is having trouble: “There has been no disruption in Iran’s crude exports through the Persian Gulf … We have not stored oil in the Gulf because of sanctions as some foreign media reported,” oil official Pirouz Mousavi told the semi-official Mehr news agency on Friday.
The sanctions are causing real hardship on the streets, where prices for basic imported goods are soaring, the rial currency has plummeted and Iranians have been flocking to sell rials to buy dollars to protect their savings.
The pain comes less than two months before a parliamentary election, Iran’s first since a presidential vote in 2009 that was followed by eight months of street demonstrations.
Iran’s authorities successfully put down that revolt by force, but since then the “Arab Spring” has shown the vulnerability of authoritarian governments in the region to protests fueled by anger over economic difficulty.
Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz leading to the Gulf if sanctions are imposed on its oil exports, and has threatened to take unspecified action if Washington sails an aircraft carrier through the strait, an international waterway.
Military experts say Tehran can do little to fight the massive U.S.-led fleet that guards the strait, but the threats raise the chance of a miscalculation that could lead to a military clash and a global oil crisis.
The Pentagon said on Friday that small Iranian boats had approached close to U.S. vessels in the strait last week, although it said it did not believe there was “hostile intent.”
The United States and Israel have not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the nuclear dispute. Iran says it would retaliate if attacked.
The tension has caused spikes in global oil prices in recent weeks, although prices eased at the close of last week’s trading on the prospect of reduced demand in economically stricken European countries. Brent crude fell 82 cents to settle at $110.44 a barrel on Friday.
The chances for an imminent easing of tension look even more remote as the nuclear deadlock continues because of Iran’s refusal to halt the sensitive nuclear work.
Last week Iran began enriching uranium underground – the most controversial part of its nuclear programme – at a bunker deep below a mountain near the Shi’ite holy city of Qom.
Nuclear talks with major powers collapsed a year ago. Iran says it wants the talks to resume, but the West says there is no point unless it is willing to discuss a halt to uranium enrichment, which can be used to make material for a bomb.
(Additional reporting by Mitra Amiri; Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Peter Graff)Comments »
Beef, booze and babes — it’s the ultimate Giant playoff road trip.
A Wall Street fat cat has paid a ridiculous $240,000 to fund a rolling party on wheels in a luxury packed RV that is making the 20 hour trek to Lambeau Field for Big Blue’s matchup against Green Bay tomorrow.
Joining the road trippers are two beautiful waitresses, a driver and even the executive chef at Old Homestead Steakhouse, which sold the trip.
Peter Serafin, 57, a married, Manhattan-born Green Bay Packer fan, is taking the trek with five diehard Giant fan pals. The crew is riding high on the hog with hundreds of pounds of prime beef, lobster, shrimp, caviar and enough booze to get an entire NFL team plastered.
Serafin’s wife has to be the most supportive woman on Earth; today is his 28th wedding anniversary.
“Fortunately, my wife understood this is a one-shot deal,” he said.
“I wanted to throw this out there,” said Old Homestead owner Marc Sherry. “I mean, who wouldn’t want this?”
The $240,000 road trip:
* 1,086 miles to travel in a 70-foot RV
* 5 Giant fans and a “cheesehead”
* 2 beautiful waitresses
* 3 TVs
* 26 bottles of champagne
* 65 Kobe beef burgers
* 100 gallons of beer
* 150 pounds of prime beef
* 10 live lobsters
* 6 seats on the 50-yard line
Read more: http://trade.cc/yyn
1:37 PM, Jan 13, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a former Army lieutenant colonel, sends THE WEEKLY STANDARD an email commenting on the Marines’ video, and has given us permission to publish it.
“I have sat back and assessed the incident with the video of our Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.
“All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq?
“The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.
“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.”Comments »
Apple Suppliers 2011
AAC Technologies Holdings Inc.
AcBel Polytech Inc.
Acument Global Technologies
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
Amperex Technology Ltd.
Analog Devices, Inc.
Anjie Insulating Material Co., Ltd.
Asahi Kasei Corporation
AU Optronics Corporation
Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik
Avago Technologies Ltd.
Brilliant International Group Ltd.
Broadway Industrial Group Ltd.
ByD Company Ltd.
Career Technology (MFG.)
Catcher Technology Co., Ltd.
Cheng Loong Corporation
Cheng Uei Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
(Foxlink) Chimei Innolux Corporation
Compeq Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
CymMetrik (Shenzhen)Printing Co
Cyntec Co., Ltd.
Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
Daishinku Corporation (KDS)
Darfon Electronics Corporation
Delta Electronics Inc.
Dynapack International Technology
Elpida Memory, Inc.
Emerson Electric Co.
ES Power Co., Ltd.
International Fastening Technology Pte Ltd.
FLEXium Interconnect, Inc.
Flextronics International Ltd.
Fortune Grand Enterprise Co., Ltd.
Foster Electric Co., Ltd.
Fuji Crystal Manufactory Ltd.
Grand Upright Technology Ltd.
Gruppo Dani S.p.A.
Hama Naka Shoukin Industry Co., Ltd.
Hanson Metal Factory Ltd.
Heptagon Advanced Micro-Optics Pte Ltd.
Hi-P International Ltd.
Hitachi-LG Data Storage
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (Foxconn)
Hynix Semiconductor Inc.
Ibiden Co., Ltd.
AG Intel Corporation
Interflex Co., Ltd.
International Rectifier Corporation
Inventec Appliances Corporation
Jabil Circuit, Inc.
Japan Aviation Electronics Industry, Ltd.
Jin Li Mould Manufacturing Pte Ltd.
Kaily Packaging Pte Ltd.
Kenseisha Sdn. Bhd.
Changyun Electronic Industry
Lateral Solutions Pte Ltd.
Lens One Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.
LG Chem, Ltd.
LG Display Co., Ltd.
LG Innotek Co., Ltd.
Linear Technology Corporation
Lite-On Technology Corporation
Luen Fung Commercial Holdings Ltd.
Macronix International Co., Ltd.
Marvell Technology Group Ltd.
Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.
Meiko Electronics Co., Ltd.
Microchip Technology Inc.
Micron Technology, Inc.
Mitsumi Electric Co., Ltd.
Multi-Fineline Electronix, Inc.
Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
Nan ya Printed Circuit Board Corporation
Nippon Mektron, Ltd.
Nishoku Technology Inc.
NXP Semiconductor N.V.
ON Semiconductor Corporation
Oriental Printed Circuits Ltd.
Pioneer Material Precision Tech
Primax Electronics Ltd.
Quanta Computer Inc.
Renesas Electronics Corporation
Ri-Teng Computer Accessory Co., Ltd.
ROHM Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.
Seiko Epson Corporation
Shin Zu Shing Co., Ltd.
Silego Technology Inc.
Simplo Technology Co., Ltd.
Skyworks Solutions Inc.
Standard Microsystems Corporation
Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.
Sunrex Technology Corporation
Suzhou Panel Electronic Co., Ltd.
Taiyi Precision Tech Corporation
Taiyo Yuden Co., Ltd.
Texas Instruments Inc.
Tianjin Lishen Battery Joint-Stock Co., Ltd.
Toshiba Mobile Display Co., Ltd.
Toyo Rikagaku Kenkyusho Co., Ltd.
TPK Holding Co., Ltd.
Tripod Technology Corporation
Triumph Lead Electronic Tech Co.
Unisteel Technology Ltd.
Universal Scientific Industrial Co., Ltd.
Western Digital Corporation
Zeniya Aluminum Engineering, Ltd.Comments »
NCAA President Mark Emmert would support a four-team playoff in college football — as long as the field doesn’t grow.
After giving his annual state of the association speech Thursday in Indianapolis, Emmert acknowledged he would back a small playoff if that’s what Bowl Championship Series officials decide to adopt.
“The notion of having a Final Four approach is probably a sound one,” Emmert said when asked what he heard coming out of New Orleans this week. “Moving toward a 16-team playoff is highly problematic because I think that’s too much to ask a young man’s body to do. It’s too many games, it intrudes into the school year and, of course, it would probably necessitate a complete end to the bowl system that so many people like now.”
Emmert spoke two days after the 11 Bowl Championship Series conferences met to discuss possible changes to the system starting in 2014, but there is no consensus yet.
BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said Tuesday that 50-60 possibilities for various changes were presented during a deliberate meeting in New Orleans, where Alabama beat LSU in the BCS title game Monday night. Hancock anticipates it will take another five to seven meetings to reach a conclusion in July.
One possibility is the four-team playoff, or the so-called plus-one approach, that would create two national semifinals and a championship game played one week later. The original proposal, made in 2008 by the commissioners of the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference, was emphatically shot down by the leaders of the Big Ten, Pac-10, Big East, Big 12 and Notre Dame.
The BCS title game pits the nation’s top two teams based on poll and computer rankings.
But momentum is clearly growing for a larger playoff system.
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany acknowledged this week that he would now consider the prospect of a four-team field.
“Four years ago, five of us didn’t want to have the conversation,” Delany told reporters earlier this week. “Now we all want to have the conversation.”
Then on Thursday, the BCS picked up another major endorsement for a potential playoff.
Emmert has long said he expected changes to the BCS system and has repeatedly offered to help the BCS debate if they want it. The NCAA licenses bowl games, but does not run them. It also has no direct authority over the BCS system.
But a small, four-team tournament could be the perfect remedy for what many still consider a flawed system.
“I see a lot of ways that a Final Four model could be successful,” Emmert said.
Read more: http://trade.cc/yudComments »