FSA CHIEF WARNS ON BANK RULES
Ensuring that the heads of failed banks face punishment would likely require a set of rules that held them to higher standards than other company directors, the head of the City watchdog has warned. Lord Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority, makes this argument while defending the FSA’s decision last week not to take action against the directors of Royal Bank of Scotland – whose £24bn loss in 2008 was the biggest in British corporate history and saw the government take a 70 per cent stake in the bank.
BLACKSTONE’S SENIOR MANAGERS TO FILL IN WHILE SCHWARZMAN IS AWAY
Blackstone is looking to increase the responsibilities of several senior managers as Stephen Schwarzman, its chief executive, prepares to spend much of the next six months outside the US, mostly in Paris, people familiar with the matter say. The move by Schwarzman, 63, has been described by the people as a personal decision, partly led by a request by his wife.
XSTRATA STEPS UP SPENDING PLANS
Xstrata, the acquisition-built mining company, is again stepping up spending on its internal portfolio, budgeting $23bn for new mines, smelters and other expansionary projects between 2011 and 2016. With copper price at an all-time nominal high, the Anglo-Swiss miner will focus expansionary spending on projects in copper and coal and nickel.
VICTREX RECOVERY SPARKS SPECIAL DIVIDEND
Victrex, the producer of high-tensile, heat-resistant plastics used in cars, aircraft and hip replacements, is to pay out a special dividend of 50p following a strong recovery in full-year revenues and profits.
ROYAL MAIL IS BEING “FATTENED UP” FOR SALE
The draft legislation to privatise Royal Mail is being unfairly skewed to
make the state-owned group more attractive to future investors, a leading private sector competitor has complained. Ahead of the Postal Services Bill coming to the end of its committee stage in the House of Commons today, TNT Post UK said that the draft legislation as it stands would restrict, not enhance, competition in the postal market.
TWO MEN ARRESTED OVER CROWN CURRENCY COLLAPSE
Two men were arrested yesterday in connection with an inquiry into Crown Currency Exchange, the Cornwall-based holiday broker that collapsed owing customers about £20m. Devon and Cornwall Police has detained two men, aged 68 and 70.
The Daily Telegraph
CARL SHAPIRO AGREES TO FORFEIT $625M TO BE GIVEN TO BERNARD MADOFF VICTIMS
One of the first investors in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and a lifelong friend of the fraudster has reportedly agreed to forfeit $625m to be given to victims of the fraud. Businessman and philanthropist Carl Shapiro and other representatives of “Shapiro investment advisory account holders entered into an agreement with” US prosecutors in New York.
JIM ROGERS: “US GOVERNMENT’S INFLATION DATA IS A SHAM”
Leading investor Jim Rogers has blasted the US government’s inflation data as a “sham” that is causing the central bank to massively understate price pressures. Rogers, who shot to fame co-founding Quantum Fund with George Soros, said the Federal Reserve relies too much on housing prices.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
MICROSOFT TO ADD “TRACKING PROTECTION” TO WEB BROWSER
Microsoft Corp. says it will revive a powerful privacy feature in Internet Explorer similar to one it dropped from an earlier version of the Web browser because of concerns about alienating advertisers. The software giant said the next version of its browser, Internet Explorer 9, will allow users to stop certain websites and tracking companies from gathering information about them.
BOFA TO PAY $137M TO END MUNI BID-RIGGING CASE
Bank of America Corp. agreed to pay $137m to federal and state authorities for municipal bid-rigging practices in the late 1990s and earlier this decade.
The agreement is part of a larger push by the nation’s largest bank by assets to rid itself of legal headaches predating the financial crisis.