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Home Prices and Consumer Confidence Traverse Record Lows

By Jason Simpkins Associate Editor Another fresh round of economic data was released yesterday (Tuesday) with the prognosis looking dire for the U.S. economy. Home prices as measured by the S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metro areas fell 1.4% in April from March and slumped by a record 15.3% over the year. The group's […]

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Congress Debates High Oil Prices While Corporations and Consumers Pick up the Tab

By Jason Simpkins Associate Editor The price of oil edged up again yesterday (Tuesday), before settling at $137 a barrel flat, as concerns about short-term supplies continues to overwhelm Saudi Arabia's recent pledge to boost production. With Saudi Arabia offering some, albeit limited, cooperation, Congress has turned its ire on speculators and investment banks. First, […]

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BG Group’s $13.1 Billion Bid for Origin Energy Goes Hostile

By Mike Caggeso Associate Editor British gas utility titan BG Group PLC (OTC ADR: BRGYY) went hostile in its takeover bid for Australia's Origin Energy Ltd. (PINK: OGFGF), Australia's largest coal-seam-gas producer, taking its offer of A$15.50 per share, which values the company at $13.1 billion (A$13.8 billion dollars), directly to shareholders. BG Group originally […]

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Faced with Skyrocketing Iron Ore Costs, China's Baosteel Rolls Two Rivals into a Joint Venture

By Mike Caggeso Associate Editor Baosteel Group Corp., China's largest steel producer, will pay $4.2 billion in cash for an 80% stake in a new Guangzhou-based steel mill that will merge two rivals, Shaoguan Iron & Steel Group and Guangzhou Iron & Steel Group. China is already the world's top steel consumer and producer, churning […]

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Bunge Buys Out Corn Products for $4.4 Billion

By Jason SimpkinsAssociate Editor Bunge Ltd. (BG), fertilizer and oilseed producer, said it will buy Corn Products International Inc. (CPO) for $4.4 billion, or $56 a share, a 31% premium to its Friday closing price. The purchase will help Bunge expand its product line to include Corn Products' starches, syrups and sweeteners. The deal will […]

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“Frankenfoods” Gain Greater Acceptance as Food Prices Skyrocket

By Jason Simpkins Associate Editor For more than a decade, European policymakers have spurned genetically modified crops, but these so-called Frankenfoods are beginning to look more and more appetizing in the wake of food shortages and soaring prices. Only 21% of Europeans are willing to eat genetically engineered food, according to a survey by the […]

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MBIA on the Hook for $7.4 Billion After Moody’s Downgrade

By Jennifer YousfiManaging Editor After a recent credit-rating downgrade, MBIA Inc. (MBI) must come up with $2.9 billion in possible termination payments, as well as an additional $4.5 billion in collateral to stabilize guaranteed investment contracts (GICs). Many investment contracts have minimum collateral requirements that go into effect in the event of a credit-rating downgrade. […]

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Faced with Skyrocketing Iron Ore Costs, China’s Baosteel Rolls Two Rivals into a Joint Venture

By Mike Caggeso Associate Editor Baosteel Group Corp., China's largest steel producer, will pay $4.2 billion in cash for an 80% stake in a new Guangzhou-based steel mill that will merge two rivals, Shaoguan Iron & Steel Group and Guangzhou Iron & Steel Group. China is already the world's top steel consumer and producer, churning […]

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Moody's Joins Other Rating Agencies in Downgrade of Ambac, MBIA

By Jennifer Yousfi Managing Editor Moody's Investors Service on Friday downgraded the debt rating of key bond insurers MBIA Inc. (MBI) and Ambac Financial Group Inc. (ABK), increasing expectations that more write-downs are in the offing for the U.S. financial-services sector, which has already written off nearly $400 billion in losses. Moody's Investors Service, subsidiary […]

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Mexico Joins the Global Battle Against Inflation with Surprise Rate Cut

By Jason SimpkinsAssociate Editor Mexico's central bank unexpectedly raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 7.75% Friday, warning that the rate of inflation may exceed its previous forecast. "The recent inflation dynamic is worrying," Banco de Mexico's five-member board said in a statement. "The balance of risks for inflation has worsened." […]

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