Financial Briefs

Breaking financial news from Wall Street to Main Street

Pickens’ natural gas nation

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

T. Boone Pickens, the 80-year-old oilman-turned-hedge-fund-manager, has already promised to pay $60-million (U.S.) of his own money to push his vision to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Now he is convinced he has worked up a way to drive the message home in Washington, with a burgeoning grassroots lobby force he calls his “army.”

The Texas billionaire says he has dropped a billion in the recent turmoil, but the recent painful pullback in oil prices has not shaken his conviction as a long-term energy bull, or his belief that the largest economy in the world has to source more of its energy needs at home.

read more

Advertisements

Posted in Economy, Markets, News, Oil, World | Leave a Comment »

Manulife eyes bid for AIG’s Asian units

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

Manulife Financial Corp. is weighing a bid for Asian operations of American International Group Inc., a move that would vault the Canadian insurer into the top ranks of one of the world’s hottest insurance markets.

Chief executive officer Dominic D’Alessandro and his successor Don Guloien, who will take over when Mr. D’Alessandro retires in May, have been meeting with investment bankers and financial advisers in the past week to look at an offer for parts of AIG, according to people familiar with the matter.

read more

Posted in Economy, Markets, News, Stocks, World | Leave a Comment »

Global stocks fall again as US bailout stalls

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

Asian and European stock markets fell on Friday as political wrangling held up a 700-billion-dollar bailout package for the US financial system despite earlier hopes that a deal was near.Investor sentiment took another hit from the overnight collapse of the second largest US savings and loan institution, Washington Mutual, which heaped yet more pressure on markets.

World stocks jumped Thursday on signs a deal was near on the US government’s plan to buy toxic mortgage-related assets from financial firms at the heart of the global credit crisis.

read more

Posted in Economy, Markets, News, Stocks, World | Leave a Comment »

New Zealand Economy Shrank 0.2%, Confirming Recession

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

New Zealand’s economy contracted last quarter, driving the nation into its first recession in 10 years and adding to the prospect the central bank will cut interest rates to a three-year low next month.

read more

Posted in Economy, Markets, News, World | Leave a Comment »

China Approves Short Selling, Margin Lending to Develop Market

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

China’s cabinet agreed to let investors buy shares on credit and sell borrowed stock to help develop Asia’s second-largest market after prices and trading volumes slumped, an official familiar with the plan said.

read more

Posted in China, Economy, Markets, News, World | Leave a Comment »

Wild White House meeting sets back deal

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

I can’t invent votes,” House Republican Leader John Boehner warned the administration about the lack of support in his conference for the massive government intervention. And House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) angrily accused House Republicans — with the tacit support of Republican presidential candidate John McCain — of crafting an alternative to undercut Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Both McCain and his Democrat rival, Sen. Barack Obama, left without any joint endorsement. A beleaguered President Bush had to struggle to maintain order and reassert himself. And when Democrats left after the meeting to caucus in the Roosevelt Room, Paulson pursued them, begging that they not “blow up” the legislation.

read more

Posted in Economy, Markets, News, World | Leave a Comment »

J.P. Morgan to Take Over Faltering WaMu

Posted by financialbriefs on September 26, 2008

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. was expected to announce as early as Thursday night a deal to acquire the bulk of Washington Mutual Inc.’s operations in a deal that would mark the end of independence for what once was the largest U.S. thrift.

read more

Posted in Economy, Markets, News, Stocks, World | Leave a Comment »

Senate Democrats Propose $56 Billion Economic Stimulus Plan

Posted by financialbriefs on September 25, 2008

Senate Democrats proposed a $56 billion economic stimulus package that would increase government spending on unemployment benefits, food stamps, infrastructure projects, aid to state governments and heating aid to the poor.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said today that the legislation is needed to help millions of Americans struggling with the slow economy.

“We must not forget Main Street as we work to address the crisis on Wall Street,” he said, adding that the plan would “create hundreds of thousands of good-paying American jobs and prevent cuts in critical services for millions of Americans.”

read more

Posted in Economy, Markets, News, World | 1 Comment »

CEOs who got out before crisis left with millions

Posted by financialbriefs on September 25, 2008

With a Wall Street bailout looming that will almost certainly limit CEO pay, some of the poster boys of the financial crisis have already fled the scene, taking millions of dollars in severance packages with them.

Stanley O’Neal walked away from Merrill Lynch with a package now worth about $66 million. Less than a year later, the storied investment house was forced into a takeover by Bank of America.

Ken Thompson was ousted from Wachovia in June with a “golden parachute” now worth more than $5 million, and Chuck Prince was forced out at Citigroup with a parting gift now valued at $16 million.

read more

Posted in Economy, Markets, News, Stocks | Leave a Comment »

White House meeting ends on sour note

Posted by financialbriefs on September 25, 2008

A high-profile White House meeting on Treasury’s $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan ended Thursday on a sour, contentious note, with no joint endorsement by the two presidential candidates, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama.

Democrats complained of being “blindsided” by a new conservative alternative to the plan first put forward by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. And the outcome casts doubt on the ability of Congress to move quickly on the matter, even after leaders of House and Senate banking committees reached a bipartisan agreement Thursday on the framework for legislation authorizing the massive government intervention.

It was McCain who urged President Bush to call the White House meeting attended by House and Senate leaders as well as Obama, his Democratic rival. But the candidates left without commenting to reporters outside, and the whole sequence of events confirmed Treasury’s fears about inserting presidential politics into what were already difficult negotiations.

read more

Posted in Economy, Markets, News, World | Leave a Comment »