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Friday, 15 April 2016

GOLDMAN SACHS - Not Too Big to Jail

Goldman Sachs to pay

 $5 billion in U.S.

 Justice Dept mortgage

 bond pact

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) has agreed to pay $5.06 billion to settle claims that it misled mortgage bond investors during the financial crisis, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Monday.
The settlement, which Goldman disclosed in January, stems from the firm's conduct in packaging, securitization, marketing and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities between 2005 and 2007, the Justice Department said.
Investors suffered billions of dollars in losses from the securities bought during the period, the department said.
The settlement comprises a $2.385 billion civil penalty and $1.8 billion in other relief, including funds for homeowners whose mortgages exceed the value of their property, as well as distressed borrowers. It also preserves the government's ability to bring criminal charges against Goldman and does not release any individuals from potential criminal or civil liability, the Justice Department said.

How Saudi Arabia plans to shake up its economy

In late February, several hundred Saudi officials, company executives and foreign consultants gathered in a luxury Riyadh hotel to discuss how Saudi Arabia’s economy could survive an era of cheap oil. One company manager at the event told Reuters that officials from about 30 Saudi government bodies manned booths in which they described their challenges. Corporate bosses were encouraged to “figure out ways to do partnerships to address those needs, to offer feedback, to complain, and to plan future ventures or even just future meetings,” the manager said. “It was like a private sector version of a national parliament.” The workshop was part of Saudi government attempts to work out how to restructure the economy so it no longer relies on oil. The National Transformation Plan (NTP), as Riyadh has dubbed the changes, is […]

U.S. says China to end export subsidies in seven sectors

An employee works at a garment factory, which exports products to Europe, in Hefei, Anhui province January 19, 2015. China has agreed to scrap controversial export subsidies on a range of products from metals to agriculture and textiles, the U.S. Trade Representative said on Thursday. In a deal coinciding with global economic meetings in Washington, the trade representative’s office said China had agreed to end a program known as its “demonstration bases-common service platform” in which it provides export subsidies to Chinese companies in seven economic sectors. The agreement is a step by Beijing to reduce trade frictions with the United States that range from steel and agricultural products to technology and banking. It comes about a year after the United States filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization about the program, alleging “unfair, prohibited export subsidies to a large range of Chinese manufacturers and producers.” “This agreement […]

PetroChina Unit Plans Startup of New Canadian Oil-Sands Plant

The Canadian unit of one of China’s largest oil and gas companies is on track to start operations at a new 35,000-barrel-per-day oil-sands plant later this year despite crude prices being below break-even levels for the project, a senior executive said. PetroChina Co.’s Brion Energy unit plans to begin steaming operations at its MacKay River oil-sands site in northern Alberta later this year and produce first oil in early in 2017, Bob Shepherd, Brion’s executive vice president, said in an interview. “We fully expect to start it up this fall,” pending final approval from parent company PetroChina, Mr. Shepherd said. The startup will mark the first production from PetroChina’s nearly 5 billion-Canadian-dollar ($3.9 billion) investment in two oil-sands projects in northern Alberta. The MacKay River project received approval in 2011 from Alberta provincial regulators […]

OPEC trims 2016 oil demand growth, says its output rises slightly

Image result for opec cartoons

OPEC on Wednesday predicted global demand for its crude oil will be less than previously thought in 2016 as consumption slows down, increasing the excess supply on the market this year. The monthly report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries lowered its forecast of world oil demand growth by 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) and said further downward revisions could follow. OPEC pumped 32.25 million bpd in March, the group said citing secondary sources, up about 15,000 bpd from February. The report points to a 790,000-bpd excess supply in 2016 if the group keeps pumping at March’s rate, up from 760,000 bpd implied in last month’s report. (Reporting by Alex Lawler; Editing by Keith Weir)

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