Category: Business & Economy

Barclays sells credit card debt to Blackstone: Profiting from Poverty

Barclays (BARC.L), opens new tab has agreed to sell about $1.1 billion of credit card debt in the United States to Blackstone. Banks globally have been making greater use of credit risk transfers to shed risk from loan portfolios, Reuters has reported, with investors sharing the risk of losses. (See Corporate home buyouts: homelessness, mortgage & rent crisis rising) Barclays’ investment…

Pentagon Has Opened Over 50 Criminal Probes on US Aid to Ukraine

The Pentagon’s inspector general said its criminal investigators have opened more than 50 cases related to aid provided to Ukraine, including some involving contractors, but have yet to firm up any allegations. The investigations, which are at different stages, are looking at issues including “procurement fraud, product substitution, theft, fraud or corruption, and diversion,” the inspector general, Robert Storch, said…

Italian parliament OKs frigate, Leopard tank deals

ROME — Italy’s parliament has approved the planned acquisition of two new FREMM frigates with updated electronics and 132 combat-version Leopard tanks as well as 140 other tank versions. The new buys, approved Feb. 21 by the parliament’s defense commission, are part of a uptick in Italian military spending partly spurred by the Ukraine conflict. Italy has previously ordered 10…

BlackRock, Temasek-led group invest US$150 million in thermal battery maker Antora

  Thermal battery maker Antora Energy on Feb 22 said it has raised US$150 million (S$201.5 million) in a funding round led by a tie-up between the world’s biggest asset manager BlackRock and Singapore state investment firm Temasek. The BlackRock-Temasek partnership, called, Decarbonization Partners, led an investor group including Emerson Collective, GS Futures, The Nature Conservancy, Lowercarbon Capital, Breakthrough Energy…

Fincantieri teams with EDGE to sell to non-NATO countries

ROME — Italy’s Fincantieri and UAE group EDGE have agreed to create a Abu Dhabi-based joint venture to build and sell naval vessels to non-NATO countries, the firms said Tuesday. The JV, which will be 51% owned by EDGE but run by Fincantieri managers, will aim to take advantage of the UAE’s relations with other states and the export credit…

East Coast Marine F-35 squadron reaches initial operational status

The Marine Corps now has its first F-35B squadron on the East Coast that has achieved initial operational capability. That is one of many steps in the Corps’ pursuit of a fully fielded and operational F-35 fleet of aircraft by 2030. Initial operational capability means that Marine Fighter Attack Squadron, VMFA 542, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air…

France to push for EU law changes as farmers block Paris highways

PARIS: France said it would push to ease European Union environmental regulations on fallow farmland this week, as tractors blocked major highways out of Paris on Monday and nationwide farmers’ protests intensified. The French government on Friday dropped plans to gradually reduce state subsidies on agricultural diesel and promised a reduction in red tape and an easing of environmental regulations,…

China Evergrande liquidation ordered by court

A Hong Kong court has ordered the liquidation of China Evergrande, the real estate firm with more than $300bn (£236.1bn) of debts, amid deepening fears for the territory’s wider corporate health. Justice Linda Chan ruled Evergrande had been unable to offer a concrete restructuring plan to creditors – more than two years after defaulting on a bond repayment and after…

Canada Starts Inquiry Into Election Interference by China, Others

Vancouver, British Columbia — An official commission is about to get underway in Ottawa as Canada tries to determine to what extent China and other countries interfered in its last two elections. The investigation also will examine whether Russia and India interfered as well. All three countries have denied the allegations. Former Conservative Member of Parliament Kenny Chiu (Canadian House of…

Morgan Stanley and exec Pawan Passi avoid criminal misconduct prosecution for the price of $249 million

Morgan Stanley will pay $249 million to settle a criminal investigation, as well as a related Securities and Exchange Commission probe. The SEC said the bank generated more than $100 million in illicit profits as a result of misconduct by Pawan Passi, the bank’s former head of its US equity syndicate desk, and another employee.  Morgan Stanley has been under…

German Scientists Met Openly With Wuhan “Batwoman”

Perfectly timed to coincide with Anthony Fauci’s closed-door testimony before the US Congress, a recent bombshell report suggested, based on FOIA’d emails, that Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Institute of Virology met with Fauci at his National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), outside Washington, in June 2017.  According to the most popular version of the “lab-leak” theory, it is,…

Cubans face soaring fuel prices as Canadian tourists swoop in for winter getaways

Whatever the weather in Cuba this February, people may be feeling gloomy about the cost of living. The Cuban government is set to raise fuel prices fivefold at the start of next month. Havana says the move is a must, as it seeks funds to trim its deficit spending and buy needed goods from abroad. The change is not expected to have…

Microsoft debates what to do with AI Lab in China

SEATTLE – When Microsoft opened an advanced research lab in Beijing in 1998, it was a time of optimism about technology and China. The company hired hundreds of researchers for the lab, which pioneered Microsoft’s work in speech, image and facial recognition and the kind of artificial intelligence that later gave rise to online chatbots such as ChatGPT. The Beijing…

Florida Surgeon General Calls for a “Halt to the Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines”

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo called for a “halt to the use of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines” in a press release and X thread. In a statement posted on X, Ladapo wrote, “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have always played it fast and loose with COVID-19 safety,…

‘Science’ in Service of Agenda

Starting in the mid-20th century, companies began distorting and manipulating science to favor specific commercial interests. Big tobacco is both the developer and the poster child of this strategy. When strong evidence that smoking caused lung cancer emerged in the 1950s, the tobacco industry began a campaign to obscure this fact. The Unmaking of Science The tobacco industry scientific disinformation…

Google must bargain with YouTube worker union, US labour board rules

ALBANY – Alphabet’s Google violated US labour law by refusing to bargain with a union representing contract workers for YouTube Music, a federal agency has ruled. The National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) in a decision on Jan 3 rejected claims by Google, which owns YouTube, that it should not be considered the employer of workers provided by staffing firm Cognizant…