cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16


following the money

1. US treasury gains $936 million from JP Morgan warrants

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Treasury Department announced Friday that it has received 936.1 million U.S. dollars from the sale of warrants of JPMorgan Chase & Co., a bank that obtained government support during last year's financial crisis.

The Treasury said it sold more than 88.4 million warrants in an auction Thursday at a price of 10.75 dollars each.

JPMorgan was the second financial institution launching an auction of warrants -- a security that entitles the holder to buy stock at a price that is usually higher than the stock price at time of issue -- that had received aid from the government's 700-billion-dollar Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) since October 2008.

Last week, the Treasury received 146.5 million dollars in a sale of warrants it held from Virgina-based Capital One Financial Corp.

"These proceeds provide an additional return to the American taxpayers from Treasury's investment in the company beyond the dividend payments it received on the related preferred stock," the Treasury said in a statement.

read more @ chinaview

2. Abu Dhabi provides $10B to cover Dubai World's debt

by Sun Ruijun

ABU DHABI, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Abu Dhabi government has agreed to fund 10 billion U.S. dollars to Dubai to meet upcoming obligations on the state-owned conglomerate Dubai World, the official news agency WAM reported Monday.

"The government of Abu Dhabi has agreed to fund 10 billion dollars to the Dubai Financial Support Fund that will be used to satisfy a series of upcoming obligations on Dubai World," Sheikh Ahmad bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee (SFC), was quoted by the report as saying.

read more @ chinaview

3. Greece needs urgent loans

ATHENS - Greece on Monday described loans as 'a matter of life and death' for its beleaguered economy as the government prepared to unveil emergency measures to combat the worst debt crisis in the country's modern history.

'At this moment, loans are a matter of life and death for the Greek economy,' government vice president Theodore Pangalos told Ta Nea daily hours before a scheduled speech by Prime Minister George Papandreou on the country's gaping 300-billion-euro (S$615 billion) debt.

read more @ straits times

4. Citigroup to repay US$20B

NEW YORK - CITIGROUP is repaying US$20 billion (S$27.8 billion)in bailout money it received from the Treasury Department, in an effort to reduce government influence.

The New York-based bank was among the hardest hit by the credit crisis and rising loan defaults. It received US$45 billion in government support as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Programme.

Citigroup Inc only has to pay back US$20 billion because the remaining US$25 billion was converted into a 34 per cent ownership stake in the bank earlier this year.

The government says it plans to sell its shares in the bank within the next year.

Many banks have moved quickly to repay the bailout money because it came with restrictions like caps on executive pay and dividends. -- AP

source: straits times

5. IMF finds Israel gaining safe haven status

Israel's economic policies are praised in a draft annual report. A draft report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) opens, "Since the beginning of 2008 it appears that Israel has been acquiring safe haven status".

The IMF economists, who have been in Israel preparing their report, praised Israel's response to the recent economic crisis, saying that the aggressive monetary expansion, which included non-conventional methods, and giving an opportunity to automatic stabilizers to be expressed in 2009 with the adoption of a two-year budget for 2009-2010, all were put into effect at the right time and at the required level.

"Therefore," the report continues, "the challenge going forward is to formulate an effective exit strategy" but at the same time to "refrain from actions that are liable to worsen the situation in the case of a bigger than expected slowdown."


6. Argentina initiates trade and investment mission in the UAE to foster export opportunities in South America

With the aim of exploring trade opportunities in various industry sectors in the UAE and South America, the Embassy of Argentina in the UAE and the Dubai Export Development Corporation (EDC), an agency of the Dubai Department of Economic Development.

The business roundtable will be held from 14th to 16th December. This is a precursor to a planned outward mission by EDC and its members to South America (Brazil, Chile & Argentina) in the next year.

The three-day 'Multi-sector Trade and Investment Mission Argentina-UAE' is supported by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and H.E. Ruben Eduardo Caro, the Ambassador of Argentina to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The delegation is headed by H.E. Ambassador Luis Kreckler, Under-Secretary of Foreign Trade, Argentina's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and Mr. Gabriel Jorquera, Trade Commissioner of Argentina. Meanwhile, Engineer Saed Al Awadi, Chief Executive Officer of EDC will represent its members from different industry sectors in the Emirates.

read more @

7. wind farms in Brazil

MADRID -(Dow Jones)- Spanish renewable energy company Iberdrola Renovables SA (IBR.MC) Monday will participate in a massive tender to build and run wind farms in Brazil.

National Electric Energy Agency, or Aneel, of Brazil later Monday will hold an auction for 339 projects capable of generating more than 10,000 megawatts of power in Latin America's biggest country.

An Iberdrola Renovables spokeswoman early Monday couldn't say exactly how much generation capacity the company will bid for. Officials at other Iberian renewable power heavyweights EDP Renovaveis SA (EDPR.LB) and Acciona SA (ANA.MC) weren't immediately available for comment.

The Brazilian tender is one of the biggest around at the moment and most wind players will have an interest in it, said Dirk Schnitker, a trader at CM Capital Markets in Madrid.

Unlike in Spain, where the recession has strangled electricity demand, Brazil currently needs all the generation capacity it can get, Schnitker said.

Iberdrola Renovables is a unit of Spanish power utility Iberdrola SA (IBE.MC), and the world's biggest wind-power generator.

source: morningstar

8. "Everything starts at the mine or at the oil or gas well."

Six hundred million people in the Western world are enjoying a life increasingly dominated by technology that we don't understand. In particular, we don't understand how it is made. What I see in America is a reluctance to admit that the green road starts in the black earth. We have to mine and refine the minerals and metals into forms which can then be fabricated into forms which can then be made into parts which can then be assembled into the technology devices we use to conserve energy. Everything starts at the mine or at the oil or gas well.

read more @ mineweb

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