Obama administration unveils $1T Public-Private Investment Program for troubled bank assets

The Obama administration today unveiled its new plan the “Public-Private Investment Program”, to buy up to $1 trillion in troubled bank securities including mortgage backed securities, subprime mortgages, and other derivatives. Initially, the plan is to buy up to $500 billion worth of these securities, but the plan earmarks up to an additional $500 million. Announced today, the Obama administration said it would provide up to $100 billion before committing more money pending review.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner today said, “Simply hoping for banks to work legacy assets off over time risks prolonging a financial crisis,”

Under the Public Private Investment Program, the government will use taxpayer money to push partnerships with the private investors who will buy the toxic assets. Essentially, the plan is designed to remove the toxic assets sitting on the banks’ balance sheets.


Nortel to Pay Executives $7.3M in Bonuses With Court Win

The world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker and Toronto-based, Nortel Networks, has just won an approval by Canadian and American courts to pay out US $7.3 million to upper management.

Nortel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 14, 2009. Under the new restructuring plans, the company plans to cut up to 5,000 jobs by the end of 2009, most recently announcing 3,200 new job cuts.

Nortel’s Chief Counsel Derrick Tay supports the payout and said today “You need to keep the good people to make sure this restructuring is successful…” despite thousands of employees have been denied severance.


Appeals Court Rules Madoff to Stay in Jail Pending Sentencing


Bernard Madoff was remanded in jail on March 11 after pleading guilty to 11 criminal charges until sentencing scheduled for June 16, 2009. He appealed the decision, only to be turned down by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today.

Judge Denny Chin said because of Madoff faces life in prison and because of his age, he might try to flee. Judge Chin went on to say, “Moreover, the district court’s finding that the defendant has the means – and therefore the ability [to flee]… [Madoff has] ample opportunity over a long period of time to secret substantial resources outside the country.” to flee.

The legal team representing Madoff says they are disappointed and respectfully disagree with the ruling.


Wal-Mart Paid $2B in Bonuses, Continues Strong Growth

The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, has released new annual bonus figures today. Wal-Mart said it paid out about $2 billion to its U.S. hourly employees through various financial incentives, which included $933.6 million in cash bonuses, $788.8 million in profit sharing, merchandise discounts, 401(k) contributions, employee stock options, among other incentives.

Last year, Wal-Mart handed out $1.2 billion in financial bonuses.

Wal-Mart has been able to do this given strong growth despite a global economic downturn. Same-store sales were up 3.3% in the last fiscal year ending Jan 31, 2009. Total sales during that same period were up significantly by 7.2% to $401.24 billion.

More and more people are going to Wal-Mart today to save on purchases given massive job losses and high mortgage payments that become due. Wal-Mart said today it plans to further cut prices including specifically on glasses and contact lenses, among other merchandise.


Madoff Accountant David Friehling Turns Himself In, Faces 105 Years in Prison


Bernard’s Madoff’s accountant David Friehling has just turned himself in to authorities today for securities fraud charges that allege he falsified financial statements.

Acting U.S. Attorney Lev Dassin said today, “Although Mr. Friehling is not charged with knowledge of the Madoff Ponzi scheme, he is charged with deceiving investors by falsely certifying that he audited the financial statements of Mr. Madoff’s business,”

Prosecutors allege Madoff’s firm paid Friehling $12,000-$14,500 per month between 2004-2007 for his services. Prosecutors also allege he invested with Madoff’s security firm and had a joint account with his wife totaling more than $500,000.

Friehling now faces up to 105 years in prison if convicted.

Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 criminal charges on March 11, 2009 and is currently awaiting sentencing on June 16, 2009 in jail. His legal team is appealing the decision to get him out of jail pending sentencing.

Madoff, 70, faces up to 150 years in prison for stealing $65 billion in the biggest ponzi scheme in history.


Telus Announces $500M Infrastructure Investment, Did not block YouTube on Older BlackBerry Handsets

telusThe second largest telecom in Canada, Telus, has announced plans today to invest up to $500 million in expanding infrastructure in British Columbia and parts of Alberta. The company also outlined plans to build a more eco-friendly datacenter likely to be located in BC.

Telus said, “This investment is expected to ensure a smooth transition to long-term evolution technology, the emerging worldwide standard for 4G wireless networks.” Read the full story


Obama Moves to Block $165M AIG Bonuses

aigAmerican International Group (AIG), is planning to pay about $165 million in bonuses. Today, President Obama said at the White House he plans to explore every legal avenue to block the payments. Obama said today at the White House, “This is a corporation that finds itself in financial distress due to recklessness and greed…how do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers,”

However, blocking the payments is a very difficult challenge mainly because of existing contracts already in place between AIG and executives. Others argue failing to pay bonuses will drive the best talent to other firms or even out of the market.

AIG lost $40 billion in 2008. The Fed recently provided $173 billion (80% stake) in emergency government loans to AIG


Court Papers Show Bernard Madoff Worth $826M

New documents obtained from court filings show that Bernard Madoff is currently worth at least $826 million. The documents are from appeals requesting Madoff be released from prison until sentencing, which is scheduled for June 16, 2009. According to the documents, Madoff’s Investment Securities firm is valued at $700 million (currently being liquidated), along with $22 million worth in real estate (including his $7 million New York City apartment), a $7 million French yacht, jewelry worth in excess of $2 million, among other assets. Bernard Madoff was remanded in jail after pleading guilty to 11 criminal offences relating to a Ponzi scheme where Madoff allegedly defrauded $65 billion from investors.


Bill Gates World Richest Man, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Knocked off Billionaires List

Forbes has just released their world’s richest billionaires list, with Bill Gates reclaiming the number one spot over Warren Buffett despite loosing $18 billion over last year. Aggregately, Forbes estimates there are now 793 billionaires worth collectively $2.4 trillion, down from 1,125 people collectively worth $4.4 trillion only a year earlier. The biggest decline in personal net worth was $31.9 billion by Anil Ambani, chairman of India’s Reliance Communications, who now has an estimated net worth of $10.1 billion.

Interestingly, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been entirely knocked off the billionaires list as his companies estimated valuation declined because of the poor current economic climate. Forbes did not provide an estimate of his personal net worth. Forbes has now named German Prince Albert von Thurn as the youngest billionaire at 25 with an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion.


Madoff Pleads Guilty, Remanded in Jail


Bernard Madoff, the man behind the biggest Ponzi scheme ever who stole more than $65 billion, has just pleaded guilty today to 11 criminal crimes. U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin ordered Madoff, now 70, to jail because of his guilty plea, when asked to explain his crime, Madoff said “I operated a Ponzi scheme,” Madoff later said “I always knew this day would come,” and explained he thought the scheme would actually end, but it “provided impossible,” Sentencing is scheduled for June 16, 2009. Madoff faces up to 150-years in prison.


Business 2.0 Press publishes exclusive business tech news and analysis covering start-ups to large-caps from Bay & Wall streets since 2008 from a group of highly knowledgeable industry professionals that abide by the toughest industry codes of conduct and professional standards lightMore

lightAdd value by subscribing (RSS)


StockFractions.com has the most stock ratios for public companies. Get the most comprehensive micro insight on public firms available on the web, all for free.
Stock Fractionsgo


Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of death. Irrespective of family history, everyone is exposed to the risk. About 90% of colon cancer cases begin from non-cancerous tumors, polyps, which could form in the large bowel. Screening with a colonoscopy will painlessly remove any polyps hence almost entirely reducing your risk of developing the horrible disease. The good news is that about 90% of colon cancer cases are preventable through a simple (yes, simple) colonoscopy.
Learn moreatom
Public service message from Business 2.0 Press