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Friday, Aug 22nd

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Banks accused of rigging silver price

silver price riggingDeutsche Bank, HSBC and Bank of Nova Scotia have been accused of attempting to rig the price of silver, in a lawsuit filed in the US.

The plaintiff alleges the banks, which set the price of silver each day, abused their position in the market.

Deutsche Bank and HSBC have not commented on the filing, while Bank of Nova Scotia told Bloomberg news agency it would "vigorously defend" itself.

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85 wealthiest are richer than poorest 3.5 billion

gatesThe U.N.'s annual Human Development Report released Thursday shows that the world's 85 richest people are wealthier than the poorest 3.5 billion.

The top five countries ranked in the Human Development Index (HDI) are Norway, Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United States. The bottom five are all from Africa: Mozambique, Guinea, Burundi, Burkina Faso and Eritrea. The U.N. attributed slowing improvements in health, education and income to worsening income inequality, climate change and government corruption.

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Bond trader could face nine years in prison in rare criminal prosecution

Blond trader to faced jail timeJesse Litvak was ecstatic.  It was March 31, 2010, and the mortgage bond trader at Jefferies & Co. had just persuaded Michael Canter, head of securitized assets at from giant asset manager Alliance Bernstein, to bite on the purchase of millions of dollars in mortgage bonds.

Litvak messaged the good news to his boss, William Jennings and wrote that he misrepresented the prices Jefferies had paid for the bonds and could get Canter to pay even more.

“Boom!” replied Jennings.   With another phone call and a couple of clicks on his computer, Litvak completed the $27 million sale, which earned him and Jefferies a $50,000 commission.

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Microsoft to cut 18,000 jobs this year as it trims Nokia

MicrosoftMicrosoft Corp said on Thursday it will slash up to 18,000 jobs, or 14 percent of its workforce, this year as it trims its newly acquired Nokia phone business and tries to transform into a cloud-computing and mobile-friendly software company.

The larger-than-expected cuts are the deepest in the company's 39-year history and come five months into the tenure of Chief Executive Satya Nadella, who outlined plans for a "leaner" business in a public memo to employees last week.

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This Nonexistent Social Network With No Revenues and No Assets Is Worth $4 Billion

Nonexistent tech companyIf you thought the potato-salad Kickstarter story was a crazy example of free markets run amok, here's one that's even more surreal: A social-media company called CYNK Technology is exploding in the stock market, with shares up more than 25,000 percent since the middle of June.

If you've never heard of CYNK Technology, you're forgiven — the company has no assets, no revenues, and a single employee. It's not even clear if the company's social network, IntroBiz, has any members.

And yet, Wall Street is going nuts over CYNK. As of today's close, the company's market value is over $4 billion, making it more valuable, on paper at least, than companies like JetBlue and the New York Times.

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Citigroup may pay $7 billion to resolve U.S. mortgage probes

CitigroupCitigroup Inc is close to paying about $7 billion to resolve a U.S. probe into whether it defrauded investors on billions of dollars worth of mortgage securities in the run-up to the financial crisis, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

A majority of the settlement is expected to be in cash, but the figure also includes several billion dollars in help to struggling borrowers, the source said.

An announcement of the settlement between the bank and the U.S. Department of Justice could come as early as next week, the source said.

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The Closing of Crumbs and the End of the Cupcake Era

Crumbs closesCrumbs Bake Shop shut down all its stores at the close of business on Monday, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The cupcake calamity comes amid vanishing same-store sales and over-saturation of shops in certain areas during the fad for the frosted dessert.

Signs of danger were unmistakable: Nasdaq suspended trading of Crumbs shares last Tuesday for the company’s failure to have the required minimum of $2.5 million in shareholder equity.

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