DETROIT: ‘ HISTORIC BANKRUPTCY HEARING ENDS NOW WHO PAYS WHAT TO WHOM ‘


#AceNewsServices – DETROIT – October 29 – The historic hearings on whether Detroit will exit the nation’s largest-ever municipal bankruptcy came to a quick end Monday after closing arguments, which were abbreviated by settlements with major creditors.

Moving the city closer to self-rule and something of a sense of normalcy, Judge Steven Rhodes said he would reveal his decision at 2 p.m. Nov. 7 after a fast-paced bankruptcy that defied predictions of drawn-out battles that could have stretched for years.

“We think we made our case and we met our burden,” Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr said outside court after closing arguments from city lawyers, attorneys for creditors and even individuals who object to the plan.

Rhodes pressured Detroit’s bankruptcy attorneys to justify better treatment for pensioners than financial creditors, making for an unexpectedly dramatic exchange.

In a discussion of the complicated math underpinning the city’s financial projections, Rhodes noted that pensioners could eventually get all their pension cuts restored if the city’s pension investments perform well over the next several years.

“Tell me why that isn’t a 100% recovery,” Rhodes asked Detroit bankruptcy lawyer Bruce Bennett.

“The math gets a little tricky here,” Bennett responded.

The exchange underscores the importance of the unfair discrimination issue in Detroit’s bankruptcy. Although all major creditors have struck settlements, bond insurers Syncora and Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. (FGIC) argued earlier in the case that pensioners were getting extraordinarily favorable treatment.

Civilian retirees are getting a 4.5% cut to their monthly checks, the elimination of cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) increases and a claw back of excessive annuity payments. Police and fire pensioners are getting a reduction in COLA from 2.25% to 1%.

Retirees voted to accept the cuts, as well as a 90% reduction in their health care benefits.

Still, Judge Rhodes must approve the plan after an exhaustive trial that lasted nearly two months. During the proceeding, Rhodes heard testimony from dozens of witnesses and examined hundreds of exhibits documenting the city’s plan to slash more than $7 billion in unsecured liabilities and reinvest $1.4 billion over 10 years in basic services.

Bennett said the largely amicable plan is “very remarkable” after a tumultuous negotiation period with retirees, insurers, bondholders and unions.

Source: 

#ANS2014 

LONDON: ‘ ‘DAVID CAMERON REFUSES TO PAY £1.7 BILLION DEMANDED BY EU AS CONTRIBUTION ‘


#AceFinanceNews – LONDON – October 27 – The British prime minister says his country will refuse to pay a £1.7-billion bill demanded as budget contribution by the European Union (EU), calling the Union’s behaviour “appalling.”

' David Cameron Refuses to Pay £1.7 billion to EU '

‘ David Cameron Refuses to Pay £1.7 billion to EU ‘

“We are not suddenly going to take out our checkbook and write a check for two billion euros (USD 2.5 billion); it is not happening,” said David Cameron in a news conference on the sidelines of an EU summit over the member states’ climate change policies in Brussels on Friday.

“It is an unacceptable way for this organization to work, to suddenly present a bill like this for such a vast sum of money, with so little time to pay it, and it is an unacceptable way to treat one of the biggest contributors to the European Union,” the British premier added.

Cameron also warned that such “appalling” behavior would certainly affect Britain’s decision whether to remain in the European Union the premier added in a desperate attempt to copy Nigel Farage’s ideas and steal some UKIP votes.

On Thursday, the European Commission demanded a number of European countries including Britain, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands and Malta to provide the organization with extra money by December other than their annual contributions.

“The British economy is growing much faster than the others and the logic is the same as with tax: if someone earns more, they pay more tax,” said European Commission spokesman, Patrizio Fiorilli, on Friday.

The organization said it made the decision after the recalculation of the member states’ national incomes since 1995, adding that Britain’s economy has enjoyed better-than-expected performance in comparison with other European countries.

This is while Germany, the most thriving economy of the region, will get a rebate of £779 million under EU’s revised measurement system of the member states’ economic output which unprecedentedly includes the financial profit of such activities as prostitution and illegal drug trade.

#ANS2014 

LONDON: ‘ CHANGES IN TENANCY AGREEMENTS IN PRIVATE RENTAL SECTOR ‘


#AceFinanceNews – LONDON – October 27 – A model tenancy agreement for use in the private rented sector where a short-hold tenancy is being entered into, and accompanying guidance.

Documents

Model agreement for a shorthold assured tenancy and accompanying guidance (online version)

Ref: ISBN 9781409843368MS Word Document, 182KB

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.Request a different format.

If you use assistive technology and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email alternativeformats@communities.gsi.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

This model tenancy agreement also contains guidance on its use and clauses. It has been designed by the government for use when the landlord and tenant are entering into a shorthold assured tenancy agreement in the private rented sector.

It will be particularly relevant for use when the parties are entering into a longer term tenancy of 2 or more years. It, therefore, contains provisions relating to rent reviews and those which enable the landlord or the tenant to end the tenancy during the fixed term if their circumstances change.

The model tenancy agreement is made available free of charge and can either be completed online or downloaded and completed manually. If the agreement is completed online, it will need to be printed off for wet signature.

Two copies of the agreement should be made – 1 for the landlord, the other for the tenant. It is the responsibility of either party to keep the agreement in a safe place as it will need to be referred to during the tenancy.

The use of the model is entirely voluntary. There is no legal requirement to use it – although landlords and tenants will be able to do so with confidence.

If you plan to use the agreement also see the how to rent guide.

#AFN2014

WASHINGTON: ‘ GOVERNMENT TO INCREASE FEDERAL BENEFITS BY 1.7 PERCENT IN 2015 ‘


AceFinanceNews – WASHINGTON (AP) – The government says millions of older Americans who rely on federal benefits will get a 1.7 percent increase in their monthly payments next year.

It’s the third year in a row the increase will be less than 2 percent.

#ANS2014

CALIFORNIA: ‘ HEALTH CARE COMPANIES SPEND $100 MILLION ON CAMPAIGN AGAINST PROPOSITIONS 45 AND 46 WITH CONSUMERS THE LOSERS ‘


#AceNewsServices – October 21 – Anytime insurance companies spend $100 million you can bet consumers are on the losing end of the spending.


This weekend California’s big health insurance companies added $12 million to their campaign against Prop 45 — bringing the health insurance companies’ total spending against Prop 45’s rate relief to $55.5 million.

Malpractice and health insurance companies are also spending $43 million against Prop 46 — which creates new patient safety protections.

Health insurance companies have now given nearly $100 million dollars against Propositions 45 and 46.

If you are worried about insurance companies buying this election, you can forward this email to your friends and let them know where they can get the facts about both initiatives.

Prop 45 requires health insurance companies to get permission before raising health insurance rates and allows the elected insurance commissioner to veto rate hikes. Health insurance companies are spending so much against it because they want to raise rates at will and not be accountable for what they charge.

Learn more at www.YesOn45.org

Prop 46 requires mandatory drug testing for physicians and suspension of impaired physicians’ licenses, mandatory checks of an existing prescription drug database before narcotics are prescribed to first time patients, and indexing for inflation of the state’s 38 year old cap on damages for medical negligence victims.

Insurance companies are spending so much against it because they don’t want to be accountable when physicians cause harm.

Read your voter guide and urge your friends and family to get the facts too.

How you vote is up to you, but voters should know that insurance companies are spending more than $100 million in California to mislead them.

Learn more at www.YesOn46.org

#ANS2014

CHICAGO: ‘ DEMOCRATS ELECTION PUSH TO RAISE MINIMUM WAGE BY PUTTING THEMSELVES FIRST’


AceFinanceNews – UNITED STATES(CHICAGO) – As Democrats across the country make an election-year push to raise the minimum wage, they often point to fast food workers, baristas and others who are struggling to raise families, pay rent or get through school – some on as little as $7.25 per hour.

First, though, they are out to help themselves. 

Looking to motivate younger people, minorities and others in their base to go to the polls on Nov. 4, the party has put questions on the ballot in five states asking voters whether the minimum wage should be increased.

The issue is also a near-constant topic on the campaign trail, as Democrats work to identify themselves as stalwarts for the middle class and to paint Republicans – who typically oppose raising the wage because they say it will lead to job cuts – as uncaring.

Source: 

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‘ OIL PROFITS AT ALL TIME LOW BUT BY MANIPULATION OF MARKETS, PROFITS ARE STILL BEING MADE ‘


#AceFinanceNews – October 19 – Oil profits are being tested. Crude prices have face-planted to their cheapest level since 2010, threatening the balance sheets of companies and the budgets of nations.

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Take Canada’s controversial oil sands.

With crude prices teasing $80 a barrel for the first time in years, about 25 percent of the synthetic crude produced from the sands is no longer profitable, according to the International Energy Agency.

Stocks of smaller oil companies, which tend to focus on supplies that are expensive to extract, aregetting crushed. Bond holders who have lent to oil prospectors are getting worried they won’t get paid back.

But maybe the biggest question remaining is whether the bounty of U.S. fracking, which made America the world’s biggest oil and gas producer, will wither in the field.

The answer so far: not so much. Here’s a list of break-even points for some of America’s biggest shale-oil regions. Note that most regions continue to be profitable below $80, including the Bakken and Eagle Ford formations, two of the most important sources.

Much of the Eagle Ford play would still be profitable with $50 oil.

Source:

#AFN2014

KIEV: ‘ AGREEMENT OVER PROVISIONAL GAS PRICE REACHED WITH RUSSIA ‘


#AceFinanceNews – UKRAINE (Kiev) – October 19 – Ukraine’s president confirmed that an agreement had been reached with Russia on a provisional price for gas deliveries during the winter months at Friday talks in Milan, AFP reports.

On the basis of consultations, I can say that Ukraine will have gas, will have heating,” Petro Poroshenko said in an interview to Ukrainian television on Saturday.

According to the president, the new price will be $385 dollars (300 euros) per 1,000 cubic meters, down from the current price of $485.

#AFN2014

MIAMI: ‘ JURY CONVICTS PERU MAN ON 26 FELONY CHARGES OF CONSPIRACY, FRAUD AND EXTORTION ‘


#AceFinanceNews – UNITED STATES (Miami) – October 18 – A jury in Miami convicted a Lima, Peru, man on 26 felony charges of conspiracy, fraud and attempted extortion arising from his operating call centres in Peru that lied to and threatened Spanish-speaking victims into paying fraudulent settlements, the Department of Justice announced today. 

Juan Alejandro Rodriguez Cuya, 35, was convicted by a jury after less than two hours of deliberation following a two-week trial before U.S. District Court Judge Patricia A. Seitz in Miami federal court. His co-defendant at trial, Maria Luzula, 52, of Miami, pleaded guilty to all of the charges against her midway through the trial.  Luzula is Cuya’s mother.

Cuya and Luzula both face a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison on each count. Both defendants remain in custody pending their sentencing on Jan. 22, 2015, and Dec. 18, respectively.

“The defendants targeted and preyed upon the Spanish-speaking community – and the evidence of the harm that their fraud caused on individual victims is heart-wrenching,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Joyce R. Branda of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “The Justice Department is committed to prosecuting those who defraud consumers for their own personal gain.”

According to evidence presented at trial, the defendants’ employees in Peru used Internet-based telephone calls to threaten Spanish-speaking victims in the United States. 

The Peruvian callers falsely accused the victims of having refused delivery of certain products and claimed that the victims owed thousands of dollars in fines and that lawsuits would be brought against them. 

In reality, the victims had never ordered these products and nothing had been delivered.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Branda commended the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their investigative efforts and thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida for their contributions to the case.  The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Phil Toomajian and Assistant Director Richard Goldberg of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch.

Source: 

#AFN2014

‘ Jim Paulsen Tells CNBC Markets Might End-Up in a Full-blown Ten Percent Correction ‘


#AceFinanceNews – October 16 – Wells Capital Management’s Jim Paulsen told CNBC on Thursday that the ongoing stock selloff could get “a little scarier yet” and that markets might end up in a “full-blown” 10 percent correction.

“Until yesterday, this corrective process has been looked at more as a good thing, a healthy refreshing pause, refreshing values for the long-term bull,” Paulsen told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “And that’s certainly not how we feel this morning. It gives you a sense we’re getting closer to the bottom here.”

Paulsen’s comments came as U.S. stock index futures signalled another morning of selling on Wall Street.

#AFN2014