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With our investment news briefs, Money Morning provides investors with a quick overview of the most important investing news stories from all around the world.
First Solar's Field of Dreams; NY Attorney General May Seek BofA Charges; Another Big Brazil Discovery; Small Banks Want TARP Money, Too; Dubai Not Worried About Debt; Madoff's NYC Duplex For Sale;
- First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) said it has signed an agreement to build a 2-gigawatt solar power field on a 25-mile track of land slightly larger than the size of Manhattan in China's Inner Mongolia province, MarketWatch reported. The project hangs on the blessing of a "feed-in tariff" from the Chinese government, which would guarantee the pricing of produced electricity for a certain period of time. The project won't be entirely completed until 2019.
- In a letter to Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo threatened to file charges against the bank for failing to disclose details about its Merrill Lynch & Co. takeover, Bloomberg reported. "The law is clear that Bank of America and its officers cannot assert an advice of counsel defense for their decisions, and at the same time persist in refusing to disclose the substance of the conversations with counsel," wrote David Markowitz, chief of Cuomo's investor protection bureau.
- The Guara discovery off Brazil's shore may contain 1.1 billion to 2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, said the three oil companies operating the field – Brazil's Petrobras (NYSE ADR: PBR), United Kingdom's BG Group (OTC ADR: BRGYY), and Spain's Repsol YPF, S.A. (NYSE ADR: REP). If those figures hold, the development will use a vessel that extracts up to 120,000 barrels a day, with first production slated in 2012, MarketWatch reported.
- Lobbying efforts are picking up to attain Treasury Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding for smaller, community banks. As many as 1,000 small banks may fail before the economy recovers, MarketWatch reported. Lobby groups are hoping to develop a program where loans from U.S. Treasury match the amount of money banks can raise from private investors, which would lessen chances of default.
- Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai's ruler, said he's "not worried" about the emirate's ability to pay at least $4.52 billion in debt that is maturing this year. "I assure you we are alright, the U.A.E. is alright, and we are not worried," Sheikh Mohammed, also the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, told reporters late yesterday at his Zabeel palace in Dubai, Bloomberg reported.
- Bernie Madoff's New York City penthouse duplex is up for sale and is expected to sell for about $8 to $10 million. The money will be used to reimburse Badoff's Ponzi scheme victims. As you probably guessed, it's an extravagant place – with Persian rugs, a baby grand Steinway piano and a leather bull perched on a table in Madoff's office, Reuters reported.