Bryan Fischer, the director of issues analysis of the conservative fundamentalist American Family Association, on Thursday told a so-called “expert” who denies climate change that not using God’s fossil fuels would be like “crushing” someone’s feelings by…
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The likely next Secretary of State's leading critic can't fault her on this one.
Image by Jason Reed / Reuters
Republicans aimed criticism at U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice Thursday for having modest stakes in companies that did business with Iran. And while the revelation has driven new questions and fodder for those opposing her nomination as secretary of state, one of Rice’s most vocal critics, Senator John McCain, maintains investments in two of the same companies — ENI and Royal Dutch Shell –through funds revealed in his financial disclosures.
McCain holds stock holds between $1,000-$15,000 in the JPMorgan International Value Fund through his spouse, according to his 2011 financial disclosure form. 3.6% of the fund is currently invested in Royal Dutch Shell, the dutch oil company which owes Iran more than $1 billion in oil payments.
Also through his wife, McCain holds additional investment valued between $1,000-$15,000 in the T. Rowe Price Overseas Stock Fund. One of the fund's ten largest holdings is also in Royal Dutch Shell.
In addition to Royal Dutch Shell, 2.9% of the JPMorgan International Value Fund's investment are in the Italian international oil company ENI. While ENI has stated it no longer does business with Iran, the company has a waiver from sanctions to collect more than $1 billion Iran owes them through pre-sanctions deals.
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The US has banned oil giant BP from new government contracts over their “lack of business integrity.” The decision is connected with the explosion and subsequent massive oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010.The Environmental Protection Agency barred BP and its affiliate companies from receiving new government contracts, grants or other business, until the company meets federal business standards. The ban does not affect any existing BP contracts with the government. The company’s US office has not commented on the announcement.The EPA decision comes as three BP employees are scheduled to be arraigned on criminal charges including deaths of workers during the accident at the rig on Wednesday. Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine, Deepwater Horizon supervisors, were indicted with manslaughter in the death of 11 rig workers, for allegedly ignoring abnormal high-pressure readings indicating the trouble just before the explosion.Former BP executive David Rainey has been charged with concealing information from Congress, concerning the amount of oil that leaked as a result of the accident.Earlier this month BP announced that it will plead guilty to manslaughter, obstruction of Congress and other charges and pay a record $4.5 billion fine.The date of the plea is yet to be announced, BP attorneys and the Justice Department are scheduled to meet December 11 to discuss it.In April 2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, situated in the Gulf of Mexico and operated by BP, was rocked by an explosion. The explosion triggered a massive fire and an oil spill resulting in millions of barrels of oil leaking into the Gulf, which became the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. … Read More
Warrren Buffett that “Oracle of Omaha” who at the height of the financial crisis, having invested billions in Goldman bonds, instructed us through every microphone or camera he could find that we should understand that all that those wonderful “Abacus” deals cobbled together by Goldman Sachs costing their client-investors into the billions (financial packages that Senator Levin (D-Michigan) termed as “sh*t” during Congressional hearings) was just business as usual, that the responsibility for deceit lay with the buyer in Mr.Buffett’s perverse notion of ‘caveat emptor’. To Mr. Buffet, issues of trust and accountability were secondary to this new world of finance (please see “Mr. Buffett’s New York Times OP-ED. Thank You We Feel Better Now”11.17.10))Mr. Buffett has now given us his latest pearl of wisdom. During an interview with Charley Rose on Monday night he proffered Jamie Dimon JPMorganChase’s CEO as his suggested successor to Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury. Given the way Wall Street has run Washington, and certainly not to Mr. Buffett’s cost, this would be a natural extension of the old boys network solidifying business as usual during President Obama’s second term T with a Treasury Department deeply entrenched to Wall Street. Selecting Jamie Dimon would be a gift to the powerful investment bank constituency plying their trade already in the all too comfortable niche of ‘too big to fail’. Ever quick to place at risk their depositors money while having easy access to cheap and virtually limitless borrowing at the Fed Window, permitting them to engage highly speculative proprietary trading while emasculating the Dodd-Frank Bill meant to rein in their excesses. Policies that brought us to the brink of financial ruin. It would be a gruesome revisit to déjà vu all over again. (please see “Jamie Dimon’s Malign Influence On The Culture Of American Banking” 07.13.12). Mr. Dimon’s propensity for speculative and proprietary trading was spotlighted through JPMorganChase buying up new trading platforms such as acquiring the Royal Bank of Scotland’s RBS Sempra trading division, becoming the largest shareholder of the London Metal’s Exchange, placing billion dollar bets on copper and other metals, boosting their trading work force from 125 in 2006 to some 1800 in 2010,or chartering VLCC tankers of 200,000 Dead Weight Tons (DWT), filling them with millions of barrels of crude oil or oil products such as heating oil, and keeping them anchored at sea for months at a time to play the oil market, not to speak of the ongoing ‘London Whale’ imbroglio (‘financial transaction’ to some, ‘speculation’ to others) . Read More…
More on Timothy Geithner
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(AFP Photo / Miguel Medina)Lack of progress around the “fiscal cliff” in the US seem to be outweighing optimism about Greece receiving another lifeline from the Eurogroup in all major floors except Europe itself. In Russia, even high oil failed to support stocks.A high-ranking member of the US Senate unnerved investors expressed frustration over the budget impasse and the looming “fiscal cliff.” This sent Asian stocks lower in early Wednesday trading.The US President Barack Obama, together with lawmakers, has until January 1 to reach a deal to trim the country’s unwieldy deficit. Otherwise, a series of automatic tax increases and sharp spending cuts will take effect that could drag the world’s leading economy into recession. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.8% to 9,348.55, a day after closing at a seven-month high. South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.8% to 1,909.56 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5 % to 4,434.90. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.8% to 21,672.98. Russian stocks finished lower on Tuesday, where “even the world oil prices didn’t manage inspire investors to buy,” said Ekaterina Kondrashova, an Investcafe analyst. Also, “there is real concern that the Greek deal is nothing more than the can being booted down the road beyond the German general election towards the end of next year,” Angus Campbell, head of market analysis at Capital Spreads, added.The RTS dipped 0.61% to end at 1,418.28 and the MICEX was down 0.65% to 1,394.87.In Russia’s corporate news, US GAAP financial statement for 3Q and 9M 2012 from the country’s oil major Lukoil was the most interesting story. High oil prices drove the company’s revenue 9.6% higher quarter on quarter in August–October 2012 – to $35.5 billion.On Wall Street, reports released Tuesday showing increases in US consumer confidence and orders for machinery and equipment failed to boost stocks significantly. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.7 % to close at 12,878.13. The S&500 lost 0.5 % to close at 1,398.94. The Nasdaq composite was down 0.3% to 2,967.79. In Europe, the major stocks closed higher, with Britain’s FTSE 100 up 0.2%, and Germany’s DAX up 0.6%. France’s CAC 40 was flat.Late Monday finance ministers of the eurozone and representatives of the International Monetary Fund agreed shortly to provide for another 34.4 billion euro ($40.8 billion) to Athens, as well as three additional payments in early 2013. … Read More
Rarely does the release of a data-driven report on energy trends trigger front-page headlines around the world. That, however, is exactly what happened on November 12th when the prestigious Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) released this year’s edition of its World Energy Outlook. In the process, just about everyone missed its real news, which should have set off alarm bells across the planet. Claiming that advances in drilling technology were producing an upsurge in North American energy output, World Energy Outlook predicted that the United States would overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the planet’s leading oil producer by 2020. “North America is at the forefront of a sweeping transformation in oil and gas production that will affect all regions of the world,” declared IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven in a widely quoted statement.Continue Reading… … Read More
An Ecuadorian appeals court recently affirmed a trial court judgment finding Chevron guilty of massive environmental contamination stemming from its … Read More