L’Aquila G8 Summit underway right now – well continuing in a few hours and some info they are getting from the International Energy Agency and the continuing saga of financial and economic crisis in the US over toxic assets they are now going to replace with good ones and money and whatever those poor little bankers need – (after they’ve screwed everybody)

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my note-

technical difficulties

our apologies

***

IEA’s G8 Programme – Aiming at a Clean, Clever and Competitive Energy Future

Following up on its participation in G8 events during the past four years, the IEA has been invited by the Italian G8 Presidency to take part in the G8 Environment Ministers meeting in April, the G8 Energy Ministers meeting in May and the G8 Summit in July. See the official Italian G8 web site: http://www.g8italia2009.it for more details.

Attending the G8 Energy Ministers meeting, in Rome from 24-25 May, the IEA presented its analysis on the impact of the financial crisis on global energy investments (read executive summary). The Agency also provided a background paper on climate policy (read report).

At the G8 Environment Ministers’ meeting in Siracusa on 22-24 April 2009, IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka presented a paper on presented a paper to the Ministers on the RD&D and investment needed to ensure that low-carbon technologies become viable, commercial technologies in the future. The IEA presentation emphasised that low-carbon technologies must play a key role in climate change mitigation. See Mr. Tanaka’s remarks, slide presentation and G8 paper.

The IEA G8 programme has identified new strategies for greater energy security and climate protection. IEA points to policies for speeding development and deployment of cleaner, more efficient energy technologies. The IEA has submitted a set of concrete policy recommendations for promoting energy efficiency that could reduce global CO2 emissions by 8.2 gigatonnes by 2030.

The IEA work focuses on: alternative energy scenarios and strategies; energy efficiency in buildings, appliances, transport and industry, including indicators; cleaner fossil fuels; carbon capture and storage; renewable energy; and enhanced international co-operation.

The IEA G8 programme was initiated following the G8 leaders’ request at their 2005 Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland.

Access the IEA Press Release following the G8 Hokkaido meetings.

http://www.iea.org/g8/index.asp

***

http://www.iea.org/textbase/npsum/G8_EE_2008.pdf

Executive Summary of IEA suggestions 2008 – to G8 summit

25 Energy Efficiency Policy Recommendations by IEA to G82008
2008
Executive Summary Size: KB
ISBN:
No. of Pages: 68
Download the PDF Type of Document: Paper
The IEA recommends that G8 leaders adopt and urgently implement this package of measures to significantly enhance energy efficiency. This package was developed underthe Gleneagles G8 Plan of Action, which mandates the pursuit of a clean, clever and competitive energy future.

Feedback, comments suggestions on this publication? Please contact us at this link.

[From – ]

http://www.iea.org/Textbase/publications/free_new_Desc.asp?PUBS_ID=2047

***

Publications for Sale Publications/Surveys Free for Download
  • Renewables Information 2009 with 2008 data
  • World Energy Statistics 2009 CD-ROM service
  • Energy Balances of OECD Countries 2009 Edition
  • Energy Statistics of OECD Countries 2009 Edition
  • CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion, 2008 Edition
  • Natural Gas Information 2008 with 2007 data
  • Oil Information 2008 with 2007 data
  • Electricity Information 2008 with 2007 data
  • Coal Information 2008 with 2007 data
  • Energy Balances of Non-OECD Countries 2008 Edition
  • Energy Statistics of Non-OECD Countries 2008 Edition
  • Energy Prices and Taxes (quarterly) Quarterly publication
  • Oil, Gas, Coal, and Electricity (quarterly) Quarterly publication
  • Oil pdf, excel (view archive since 1999 )
  • Natural Gas pdf, excel (view archive since 1999 )
  • Prices pdf, excel
  • Electricity pdf, excel
  • (view archives)

  • Key World Energy Statistics 2008
  • Oil Market Report
  • Energy Statistics Manual
  • See all publications

    http://www.iea.org/Textbase/stats/index.asp

    ***

    Welcome to the Oil Market Report online service.

    Each month, access to information on supply, demand, stocks, prices and refinery activity is available through the Oil Market Report online service.

    The OMR publication published each month can be found here on this website in pdf. Available along with it are over 3000 charts and graphs updated monthly. All of this is available to subscribers who choose to receive the Oil Market Report by email. The charts are available simultaneously with the release of the OMR. This web service is a perfect complement to the macro analysis in the report.

    Subscribers, please log in (to the left) for the very latest oil market information.

    Visitors, please see our free public access site. This information is available with a two week time delay.

    http://www.oilmarketreport.org/

    ***

    http://omrpublic.iea.org/

    Visitors, please see our free public access site. This information is available with a two week time delay.

    (Which is the link immediately above)

    World Oil Demand Chart from 2009 through July 1 - International Energy Agency

    World Oil Demand Chart from 2009 through July 1 - International Energy Agency

    Highlights of the latest OMR
    dated: 11 June 2009

    Forecast global 2Q09 crude runs are raised 0.2 mb/d to 71.3 mb/d, as a result of higher April preliminary data in OECD countries, reports of high crude runs in China and marginally stronger global demand. But 3Q09 crude runs are forecast at 72.8 mb/d, representing an annual decline of 1.2 mb/d.

    [Etc.]

    The latest free issue of the full OMR

    http://omrpublic.iea.org/

    ***

    Day One of the L’Aquila G8 Summit: the press conference

    Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi during the press conference Prime Minister Berlusconi has summed up the first day’s proceedings at the Abruzzo Summit, stressing the agreement reached on fighting climate change, which is to be submitted to the G5 countries during the forthcoming sessions. The other topics on the agenda included the economic crisis and the need for new rules, development and food security.

    Summit Documents: the first day

    The G8 meeting in the Main Conference Hall 08/07/2009 A new page entitled “Summit Documents” is now available online in the “Summit” section of the website. This new item on the menu, the first item in the “Summit” section, will contain all of the Declaration and documents from the L’Aquila Summit in Pdf format ready for downloading and printing.

    http://www.g8italia2009.it/G8/G8-G8_Layout_locale-1199882116809_Home.htm

    ***

    http://www.g8italia2009.it/G8/Home/Media/Foto/G8-G8_Layout_locale-1199882116809_1246707983758.htm


    The People Working on Our Behalf at the G8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy right now – July 8 – 10, 2009

    Foto di famiglia G8

    High Resolution Download

    Da sinistra: il Presidente giapponese Taro Aso, il Premier canadese Stephen Harper, il Presidente degli Stati Uniti Barack Obama, il Presidente francese Nicolas Sarkozy, il Presidente del Consiglio italiano Silvio Berlusconi, il Presidente russo Dmitry Medvedev, il Cancelliere tedesco Angela Merkel, il Premier del Regno Unito Gordon Brown, il Primo Ministro del Regno di Svezia Fredrik Reinfeldt e il Presidente della Commissione Europea José Manuel Barroso durante la foto di famiglia nel primo giorno del vertice G8 a L’Aquila. SitoG8/ANSA foto: Maurizio Brambatti

    ***

    About Italy

    Welcome to Italy, and Welcome to Abruzzo

    Poppies on the Amiternum's Archaeological site background Many of the guests who will be coming to Italy during this year of the Italian G8 duty Presidency are already familiar with the country and its landscapes, its artistic heritage and the wide variety of cultures, dialects and aspects of the various italian regions. Many of them are admirers of the goods produced by italian creativity in sectors ranging from fashion to design and from machinery to traditional agricultural produce and leading-edge technologies. Connoisseurs of italian wine and cuisine, with their extraordinary variety of flavours and aromas, are also legion worldwide.

    For several reasons, however, Italy is also a country that faces a large number of hazards due to the forces of nature and the way the land has been managed.

    Around 40% of its population lives in highly seismic areas, and Abruzzo, the region that is to host the summit, was struck by a violent earthquake in April. The quake left 300 dead and razed a considerable portion of the architectural heritage of L’Aquila and the surrounding province to the ground.

    The italian G8 Presidency decided to move the Summit venue from its original site in Sardinia to L’Aquila, both as a sign of sympathy and support for the people of Abruzzo and to draw the world’s attention, at this time of hardship, to an italian region with a wealth of history, culture and natural beauty.

    http://www.g8italia2009.it/G8/Home/G8-G8_Layout_locale-1199882116809_ConoscereItalia.htm

    ***

    G-8 leaders have ambitious environmental goals

    L’AQUILA, Italy (CNN) — Leaders of the world’s most powerful economies pledged to seek huge cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions at a summit in Italy on Wednesday.

    The Group of Eight leaders said they would “join a global response to achieve a 50 percent reduction in global emissions by 2050 and to a goal of an aggregate 80 percent or more reduction by developed countries by that date.”

    [Etc.]

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/07/08/g8.summit/index.html

    ***

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/8141561.stm

    BBC slide show G8 Summit in photos – 07-08-09 – Amazing.

    ***

    http://www.abruzzo2000.com/abruzzo/laquila/laquila.htm

    See below toward bottom of this post for some general info from this site about L’Aquila and the surrounding area – (before the earthquake, April 6).

    ***

    9 firms to run toxic assets program

    Among those selected: BlackRock and Invesco. Program will be kickstarted with $30 billion government investment.

    By David Ellis, CNNMoney.com staff writer

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The government on Wednesday tapped nine financial firms to manage a scaled-down program aimed at helping the nation’s banks and said it would invest up to $30 billion to get it started.

    Among those selected to serve as asset managers of the so-called Public-Private Investment Program were BlackRock (BLK, Fortune 500), AllianceBernstein (AB), Oaktree Capital Management, Invesco (IVZ), Angelo, Gordon & Co., Marathon Asset Management, RLJ Western Asset Management, The TCW Group and Wellington Management Company.

    [ . . . ]

    “While utilization of legacy asset programs will depend on how actual economic and financial market conditions evolve, the programs are capable of being quickly expanded if these conditions deteriorate,” Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and FDIC Chair Sheila Bair said in a statement.

    [ Etc. ]

    Treasury has said the program is intended to generate a return for private investors and protect taxpayers.

    Under the program, banks and other qualified firms looking to rid themselves of assets will sell commercial mortgage-backed securities and certain residential mortgage-backed securities issued before 2009 and originally considered ‘AAA’-rated by two or more recognized agencies.

    Each of the nine selected fund managers are required to invest a minimum of $20 million in firm capital in the funds they manage. At the same time, no single investor will be able to own more than a 9.9% stake in the PPIP funds.

    It remains to be seen how effective the program will be in helping shore up banks’ finances.

    [there’s more – but the next little bit says that a “key industry group” has long advocated for the program – gee, wonder who that is? – my note]

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/08/news/companies/ppip/index.htm?cnn=yes

    First Published: July 8, 2009: 4:31 PM ET

    ***

    25 charged in $100 million mortgage fraud

    (also on CNN – and the news tonight)

    ****

    http://www.abruzzo2000.com/abruzzo/laquila/laquila.htm

    L’Aquila History and Region Information site – (not the most current – but very interesting and good information).

    Altitude: 714 m a.s.l — Population: ca. 67000 inhabitants — Zip code: 67100 — Phone Area Code: 0862

    L’Aquila

    province of L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy

    L’Aquila (surface area 466,96 kmq, about 67,000 inhabitants on the whole territory of the Commune, about 45,000 only the town and suburbs), the capital town of Abruzzi and of the Province of L’Aquila, is situated on the left bank of the Aterno River, at an elevation of 2,150 feet (655 meters), in a valley surrounded by the highest mountains of the Appennines, the Gran Sasso and the Velino-Sirente, 58 miles (93 km) northeast of Rome. For its geographical position in the middle of high mountains the city has long, cold winters and abundant rainfall throughout the year, even if autumn is the wettest season. L’Aquila is the main historical and artistic centre of Abruzzi, has an archbishopry and is renowned for its University, Musical Conservatory, Arts Academy, Theatre and Concert Society, National Museum of the Abruzzi and the ancient Salvatore Tommasi library.Formerly a center for handicraft and agriculture, L’Aquila has nowadays become primarily an administrative center for its large province and partly for the region (regional bodies are divided between L’Aquila and Pescara). The economy of the town is characterized by chemical, mechanical and farming industries, the production of wine, cereals, saffron and dairy products, traditional delicatessen and craftswork; the nearby mountains also offer facilities for winter sports and excursions.

    (more info on history and sites in the region found on this page – I don’t think it is the official site but it is a good one.)

    http://www.abruzzo2000.com/abruzzo/laquila/laquila.htm
    ***

    The Financial Stability Board will hold its Inaugural Meeting in Basel on 26-27 June – Global Economic Crisis – US Economic Crisis – Statistics MacroEconomic Determinants – Factors and Economic Regulations / Policies / Financial Markets / Transparency / fiscal responsibility – advanced and emerging economies

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    Impacts of the crisis


    8. The crisis has produced or exacerbated serious, wide-ranging yet differentiated impacts across the globe. Since the crisis began, many States have reported negative impacts, which vary by country, region, level of development and severity, including the following:
    • Rapid increases in unemployment, poverty and hunger


    • Deceleration of growth, economic contraction

    • Negative effects on trade balances and balance of payments
    • Dwindling levels of foreign direct investment
    • Large and volatile movements in exchange rates
    • Growing budget deficits, falling tax revenues and reduction of fiscal space


    • Contraction of world trade

    • Increased volatility and falling prices for primary commodities


    • Declining remittances to developing countries


    • Sharply reduced revenues from tourism


    • Massive reversal of private capital inflows


    • Reduced access to credit and trade financing


    • Reduced public confidence in financial institutions


    • Reduced ability to maintain social safety nets and provide other social services, such as health and education


    • Increased infant and maternal mortality


    • Collapse of housing markets.

    Causes of the crisis


    9. The drivers of the financial and economic crisis are complex and multifaceted.
    We recognize that many of the main causes of the crisis are linked to systemic
    fragilities and imbalances that contributed to the inadequate functioning of the global economy.

    Major underlying factors in the current situation included inconsistent and insufficiently coordinated macroeconomic policies and inadequate structural reforms, which led to unsustainable global macroeconomic outcomes.
    These factors were made acute by major failures in financial regulation, supervision and monitoring of the financial sector, and inadequate surveillance and early warning.

    These regulatory failures, compounded by over-reliance on market self-regulation, overall lack of transparency, financial integrity and irresponsible behaviour, have led to excessive risk-taking, unsustainably high asset prices, irresponsible leveraging and high levels of consumption fuelled by easy credit and inflated asset prices.

    Financial regulators, policymakers and institutions failed to appreciate the full measure of risks in the financial system or address the extent of the growing economic vulnerabilities and their cross-border linkages.

    Insufficient emphasis on equitable human development has contributed to significant inequalities among countries and peoples.

    Other weaknesses of a systemic nature also contributed to the unfolding crisis, which has demonstrated the need for more effective government involvement to ensure an appropriate balance between the market and public interest.

    Response to the crisis


    10. We are all in this crisis together.

    While each country has primary responsibility for its own economic and social development, we will continue to work in solidarity on a vigorous, coordinated and comprehensive global response to the crisis in accordance with our respective abilities and responsibilities.

    [etc.]

    http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/CONF.214/3&Lang=E

    ***

    http://www.financialstabilityboard.org/

    Financial Stability Board – Financial Stability Forum

    16 Jun
    The Financial Stability Board will hold its Inaugural Meeting in Basel on 26-27 June.

    ***

    [ from – ]
    ***

    http://www.imf.org/external/index.htm

    IMF AND CIVIL SOCIETY

    IMF Invites Civil Society Input Into Governance Reform

    IMF Survey online

    June 26, 2009

    • Move follows calls from civil society for voice in reform process
    • Proposals to be channeled by independently run website
    • Process to culminate at IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings in Istanbul

    The IMF is asking civil society organizations (CSOs) for input into proposals to reform the way the institution is governed.

    An independently run website has been set up to help collate and synthesize the CSO input, which will feed into IMF staff’s preparation of governance reform papers for IMF Executive Board discussions before the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings in October. The process will culminate in a meeting between IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and CSOs during the 2009 Annual Meetings in Istanbul, Turkey.

    The effort to involve CSOs in IMF governance reform—called the Fourth Pillar—follows calls from civil society for a voice in the process. The move started with a series of letters to civil society figures from Strauss-Kahn in late 2008 and also involved an April videoconference between Strauss-Kahn and CSOs on three continents.

    The three existing pillars comprise work already done by

    • The IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office, which released a report on “Governance of the IMF” in May 2008
    • The IMF Executive Board, which is examining proposals from a Working Group on IMF Corporate Governance, and
    • The Committee of Eminent Persons on IMF Governance Reform, which reported in March 2009.

    The IMF uses the term civil society organization to refer to the wide range of citizens’ associations that exists in virtually all member countries to provide benefits, services, or political influence to specific groups within society.

    CSOs include business forums, faith-based associations, labor unions, local community groups, nongovernmental organizations, philanthropic foundations, and think tanks. Usually excluded are branches of government—such as government agencies and legislators—and also individual businesses, political parties, and the media. Labor unions often distinguish themselves from CSOs.

    The IMF has invited the New Rules for Global Finance Coalition to coordinate the inputs and interaction with CSOs during the consultation period. The coalition is a Washington, D.C.-based organization that advocates advancing reforms of the governance and practices of international financial institutions.

    The IMF is providing logistical support through the funding and development of the independent and interactive website, where CSOs can submit materials, engage in debates, and offer feedback. New Rules for Global Finance will be the sole administrator of the website.

    Proposals can be submitted through the website, or directly to the IMF at ngoliaison@imf.org. A representation of submitted materials will be translated into French, Spanish, and English; translations in additional languages will be accommodated where possible.

    Comments on this article should be sent to imfsurvey@imf.org

    [also on this page – ]

    Roles reassessed

    Governance reform at the IMF is one of the most important tasks facing the institution. In March 2008, the Executive Board approved a resolution increasing the voice and participation of emerging market economies and low-income countries in the institution. Now further reforms are under consideration.

    Additional proposals include a reassessment of the roles and responsibilities of the Board of Governors, the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the Executive Board, and IMF Management, as well as procedures for selecting the IMF Managing Director. The Fourth Pillar—like the other three pillars—will inform a forthcoming Board paper on governance reform, which will be presented to the Board of Governors at the 2009 Annual Meetings in Istanbul.

    ***

    Recommendations and principles to strengthen financial systems

    On 2 April 2009, the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) issued reports covering:

    The Forum also published today an update on the implementation of the recommendations contained in the FSF’s April 2008 Report on Enhancing Market and Institutional Resilience.

    Addressing procyclicality in the financial system

    The present crisis has demonstrated the disruptive effects of procyclicality – mutually reinforcing interactions between the financial and real sectors of the economy that tend to amplify business cycle fluctuations and cause or exacerbate financial instability. Addressing procyclicality in the financial system is an essential component of strengthening the macroprudential orientation of regulatory and supervisory frameworks.

    The recommendations set out in this report mitigate mechanisms that amplify procyclicality in both good and bad times. They encompass a mix of quantitative/rules-based and discretionary measures that are interrelated and reinforce one another. They will be implemented over time once conditions in financial markets return to normal.

    Principles for Sound Compensation Practices

    The Principles require compensation practices in the financial industry to align employees’ incentives with the long-term profitability of the firm. The principles call for effective governance of compensation, and for compensation to be adjusted for all types of risk, to be symmetric with risk outcomes, and to be sensitive to the time horizon of risks. Implementation by firms will be reinforced through supervisory examinations at the national level.

    Principles for Cross-border Cooperation on Crisis Management

    Through these Principles , relevant authorities, including supervisory agencies, central banks and finance ministries, commit to cooperate both in making advanced preparations for dealing with financial crisis and in managing them.

    Update on the Implementation of the April 2008 FSF Recommendations

    The update on progress in implementing the recommendations of the April 2008 Report on Enhancing Market and Institutional Resilience covers actions in five areas: (i) strengthening capital, liquidity and risk management in the financial system; (ii) enhancing transparency and valuation; (iii) changing the role and uses of credit ratings; (iv) strengthening the authorities’ responsiveness to risks; and (v) putting in place robust arrangements for dealing with stress in the financial system.

    The previous follow-up report, issued in October 2008, is available here.

    ***
    WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of DEWALT framing nailers due to risk of serious injuries.
    WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of Loyal Bedding mattress sets due to a flammability standard violation.
    WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of Crane Plumbing whirlpool bath tubs due to entrapment and drowning hazards.
    ***
    US Consumer Product Safety Commission website
    Recalls and Product Safety News
    Help keep your family safe by checking product recalls and safety news from CPSC.
    Neighborhood Safety Network (Español)
    Help all Americans become aware of lifesaving safety information.
    Report an Unsafe Product
    Report an incident with a product that caused an injury. Medical Professionals and Fire/Police Investigators: file MECAP, incident reports.
    ***
    SIDNEY, Australia, June 26 (UPI) — Australian airline Qantas Airways said Friday it was canceling an order for 15 Dreamliner 787 jets, Boeing’s long-delayed, wide-body aircraft.
    [and]

    Boeing delays launch of 787 Dreamliner

    Boeing says a Dreamliner order is canceled

    ***

    Boeing says a Dreamliner order is canceled

    Published: Feb. 2, 2009 at 9:42 AM

    CHICAGO, Feb. 2 (UPI) — U.S plane maker Boeing said a customer, presumably Russian airline S7, canceled its order for 15 new 787 Dreamliner jets.

    [ . . . ]

    Boeing said a machinist strike and a charge of $685 million for delays in the development of the latest 747 jumbo jet resulted in a loss of $56 million in the fourth quarter. The company announced it was cutting 10,000 jobs to adjust to the slowing economy.

    In 2007, Boeing made $1 billion in the fourth quarter.

    Before the cancellation, there were 910 Dreamliners on order. McNerney said Boeing expected other cancellations as the economy slowed.

    http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2009/02/02/Boeing-says-a-Dreamliner-order-is-canceled/UPI-88021233585730/

    ***

    Asia-Pacific in Figures

    Asia-Pacific in Figures 2006This statistical pocketbook contains key data for 58 countries or areas on population statistics, social statistics, employment, energy, national accounts, external trade, central government expenditure by function, finance, production, prices, land use, transport and tourism. Where official government figures are not available, the tables draw on data from the United Nations and other international sources.

    Asia-Pacific in Figures is available in pocket book format in English as a sales publication.

    ***
    Data Centre
    Last update: 10 June 2009
    Online databases

    Short-term Indicators for Asia and the Pacific

    Short-term Indicators for Asia and the PacificShort-term indicators (last update: 10 June 2009). The online database contains time series data for 31 of the regional members and associate members of ESCAP and is designed to provide up-to-date monthly (or quarterly) data to assess economic trends for countries or areas in the region. The online database covers the period from January 2003 and is updated every quarter.

    Short-term indicators: Introduction and explanatory note.

    Annual Core indicators

    Annual Core indicatorsAnnual Core Indicators (last update: 21 April 2009).The online database contains time series data for selected indicators covering a wide range of issues in relation to the secretariat’s work: demography, migration, education, health, poverty, gender, employment, economy, government finance, employment, transport, and environment.

    Among other indicators, this database contains data published in the Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2008. The time series are generally longer and more complete in the database. Because of different presentation requirements, the indicator names in the database and the Yearbook may be slightly different.

    [ From – ]

    http://www.unescap.org/stat/data/index.asp

    UNESCAP – United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

    United Nations Statistics Division

    ***

    Jacques Polak Research Conference

    Call for Papers:
    Financial Frictions and Macroeconomic Adjustment

    November 5—6, 2009

    The International Monetary Fund will hold the Tenth Annual Jacques Polak Research Conference at its headquarters in Washington, DC, on November 5-6, 2009.

    The conference is intended to provide a forum for discussing innovative research in economics, undertaken both by IMF staff and by outside economists, and to facilitate the exchange of views among researchers and policy makers. Ricardo Caballero (MIT) will deliver the Mundell-Fleming lecture.
    The theme of this year’s conference is Financial Frictions and Macroeconomic Adjustment. Possible topics include (but are not restricted to):

    • Dynamics of balance sheets and insolvencies during liquidity and solvency crises
    • Amplification mechanisms during financial crises and their macroeconomic implications
    • The impact of balance sheet adjustments on macroeconomic and financial aggregates
    • Lessons from history and country cases about liquidity and solvency crises, and their resolution
    • Policy responses to cope with financial imbalances and widespread insolvencies
    • The treatment of insolvencies in various legal frameworks and its effects on aggregate outcomes
    • The political economy of insolvencies and bailouts

    Papers that do not fit into these categories, but that are related to the main theme of the conference, are also welcome.

    Interested contributors should submit a draft paper or a two-page proposal to the Program Committee. The proposal should include the title of the paper, the author(s)’ affiliation and contact information, the main questions to be examined, the most relevant literature, the intended contribution of the paper to the literature, and the possible data sets and methodology to be employed. Authors should also provide a copy of their curriculum vitae. All presenters will be reimbursed for travel expenses and accommodation.

    Please submit your proposals (in a Word or PDF file) by May 31, 2009 (e-mail to ARC2009@imf.org). Please use the contact author’s name as the name of the file. The Program Committee will evaluate all proposals in terms of originality, analytical rigor, and policy relevance and will contact the authors whose papers have been selected by late June. A 15-page work-in-progress draft will be required by August 14, 2009. Further information on the conference program will be posted on the this webpage.

    ***

    New Series—Staff Position Notes

    Principles of Household Debt Restructuring — SPN 09/15

    June 26, 2009

    http://www.imf.org/external/index.htm

    **

    Advanced Economies – from IMF analysis on website –

    Facing Crisis at Home

    ***

    World Decision Makers – US and Global Economic Crisis and Recovery – Putin and Pandit – Citigroup Pandit to participate in International Economic Forum in Russia this week

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    http://www.times.spb.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=29163

    The St. Petersburg International Economic forum had its peak in 2007 and 2008, when deals were signed worth $13.5 billion and $14.6 billion respectively, though many projects have been put on hold due to the crisis, including the Orlov tunnel under the River Neva, the New Holland multifunctional center and other development and housing projects.

    Nabuillina and Vikram Pandit, the chief executive of City Group, are expected to take part in the panel discussion “Anti-Crisis Programs: Scale And Limits of Government Intervention in the Context of a Market Economy,” on what forms government investment and debate on nationalization should take, and on how public-private partnerships can effectively replace direct state interference and what measures Russia should take.

    **

    The forum’s opening on Thursday will be “International Day,” covering the topic of Russia-EU business dialog.

    Russia-U.S. business dialog will mostly be devoted to economic cooperation as a key factor in “resetting” Russia-U.S. relations. Many predict a major thaw between the two global powers when U.S. president Barack Obama pays his first visit to Russia in July.

    The forum officially opens on Friday, with “Economics Day” — a plenary session at which the main guest will be president Dmitry Medvedev. He is set to deliver a keynote address entitled “The global economic crisis: First lessons and leading the way forward.”

    **

    Contact Number +7 (812) 680 0000

    Русский EnglishWe speak English and Russian
    Official Website of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russia
    June 4 – 6, 2009 (Thursday of this week)
    **

    http://press.forumspb.com/eng/events/

    Timetable of Events at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

    [and take a look at this list of participants and where they are from – it is absolutely amazing]

    http://www.forumspb.com/eng/members/for_members/for_participants/

    ***

    Mark to Stupid Accounting – without an accurate set of numbers, any projections about the US economy going into Recovery are a lie – the experts said there wasn’t a Recession every day last year and now they simply want people to spend money – so they are lying

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    ‘Crazy Turtle Woman’ transforms graveyard into maternity ward

    CNN Story

    MATURA, Trinidad (CNN) — With its white sand and clear, blue water, Trinidad’s Matura Beach looks like a postcard. It’s a far cry from its recent past, when leatherback sea turtle carcasses littered the ground and kept tourists away.

    “Twenty years ago, this was a graveyard,” Suzan Lakhan Baptiste said of the six-mile stretch of beach near her home.

    “The stench was horrendous. You could smell it for miles,” she said.

    Saddened and frustrated, Baptiste launched a crusade to help end the slaughter of the gentle giants. Today, she and her group are succeeding: What was once a turtle graveyard is now a maternity ward — one of the largest leatherback nesting colonies in the world.

    [there’s more – its a great article – ]

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/05/28/cnnheroes.suzan.lakhan.baptiste/index.html

    ***

    My Note –

    This lady in Trinidad proves an individual can make a difference. She didn’t have to be the richest, the best educated at the best university, the most well-connected to the rich and powerful in the community, to make a difference. She simply had to make a choice to participate in a constructive way and do it. Amazing.

    – cricketdiane

    ***

    Oil Is Plentiful, Demand Weak. Why Are Gas Prices Going Up?
    By Vivienne Walt / Paris Friday, May. 29, 2009

    Storage tankers across the globe may be brimming with oil that no one is buying because of the global economic downturn, but the traditional laws of supply and demand don’t always apply to oil prices.

    [ . . . ]

    Prices had rocketed to a record level of $147 a barrel last July before plummeting to $30 just five months later and beginning a new climb. (See pictures of South Africa’s oil-from-coal refinery.)

    [ . . . ]

    Oil demand in rich countries has crashed since the onset of the economic crisis last year, and is now at its lowest level since about 1981, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency. U.S. oil inventories — the stored surplus — this month reached their highest level since the 1980s. And about 2.6 billion barrels are currently stored in commercial tankers around the world.

    “There is some risk we will run out of storage space in the next four to six weeks,” says Simon Wardell, director of global oil at IHS Global Insight, an energy-forecasting company in London. To oil-rich countries that possibility evokes grim memories of 1998, when the Asian economic crisis sent demand plummeting, driving world oil prices down to $10 a barrel. “If we run out of storage it could prompt a collapse in the price,” says Wardell. Oil producers might then choose to dramatically cut output in order to run down the surplus. (See pictures from Azerbaijan’s oil boom.)

    Despite such dangers, investors and oil producers are betting that global demand will roar back, apparently hoping that the recession has already hit bottom. Over the past two months, investors have plowed billions of dollars into oil futures.

    [ . . . ]

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1901446,00.html

    ***

    My Note –

    This proves that the oil futures speculators are the fundamental that drives the price of oil and other commodities rather than demand. That means there are natural dynamics in the marketplace which are being undermined by this method of price setting.

    Specifically, when demand is low and profits have been at 300% for many months – maybe even for years, the basic sense of business would be that the price would come down to meet the demand at the level where it exists now and those precious profit dollars would cover the operating difference until demand returns. But, not the way its being done in this unnatural market manipulation by speculators, it won’t.

    It looks like the prices of gasoline in the US during the summer months is actually based on the numbers from Memorial Day travel. If there are many people who took off on trips for the Memorial Day holiday, then the prices skyrocket for the summer. If people stayed home and mini-vacationed nearby, then the summer prices only increases by a smaller percentage.

    I think that the analysts and speculators that appear on tv / cable / news and talk about “green shoots” ad nauseum are the same ones who told us last year that there would never be enough oil to meet demand and that’s why it had to be $4.11 per gallon as people in the US took vacations last summer.

    The same analysts, economic experts, tv news producers, stock market experts and news shows paraded across every news broadcast nearly the entirety of last year telling the American people that there wasn’t a problem, not an “R” word going on (Recession), not any real deep contraction of the economy, not anything but a little “bubble” . . . hmmm.

    Either they were lying or they were incompetent because even I could see it was already a deep Recession, maybe even a Depression occurring in the economy, not because I’m a “bear or bull” but because the facts were evident throughout the economy. And, if I could see it – intellectually, academically, factually, accurately – based on economic factors that were (and are) obvious to anyone who looked at them, then those experts had to know or they are doing something very wrong.

    And, now aren’t they the same ones telling the news anchors whether there are “green shoots” or not, could we have seen the bottom already and be on the way up, are there signs of recovery, is the confidence restored in the market, – but let’s ignore what the dollar is doing, the multitude of bankrupt companies being liquidated, the personal bankruptcy numbers, the continuing high rates of foreclosures, the commercial property disasters and the unemployment figures that are becoming chronic numbers with long term unemployment for many families and individuals.

    It seems these financial and economic “experts”, stock brokers and news producers simply want everyone to go on vacation, spend all their money, max out their credit cards and the hell with whether they come home and lose their jobs with no resources to use to cross that period of time in front of them. But, they will have had a good vacation, and everything (according to news sources) is going to be out of this Recession or whatever little downturn they are calling it this week – by fall of this year. Well, I wish that were true – don’t we all.

    Why I know what they are saying is basically a lie, is because the GDP keeps having to be adjusted later to account for inventories that are backed up and unsold, which means the percentage of contraction in the economy actually turns out to be greater than originally thought each quarter.

    The buying power of many markets, not only in the United States but around the World – I mean, the actual dollars of buying power is diminished.

    Projections made from sales figures two years ago, or last year or even during the last Recession cannot accurately predict what that buying power is today, or this summer or later this year in the fall and Christmas season.

    And, I know the projections from “experts” on the news about our economic outlook is a lie because the governments of many countries including the US are only propping up what is a failing proposition, not capitalism – but rather the biased, favored, subsidized, manipulated game that has been passing for a “free market capitalist system” when it wanted and bailed out by those governments whenever there has been difficulty or lowered profit ratios.

    The other thing that has been done to favor these corporations and commercial property bondholders that is manipulating the real numbers has to do with the marking the values of those assets as it suits them. From the time that change in the accounting rules away from mark-to-market occurred, there has been no real transparency nor accuracy to those values. As long as that is so and the same grading / rating agencies are continuing to rate things as Triple AAA, which aren’t based on their real debt to income using real costs and real returns and real liabilities, there will continue to be fractures in the foundations of the US economy.

    – cricketdiane, 06-01-09

    Credit as a basis of our economic foundation yields what we are experiencing now – it is wrong – Bernanke has it backwards, God help us

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    A couple days ago, Ben Bernanke testifying before Congress stated that the bank failures of the Great Depression caused the economic failures of the system and quoted the study upon which his research was based.

    The bank failures of the Depression were the “result of,” not the “cause of”. He has it backwards. And, we can see it in the situation we are confronting now which mirrors the system failure of the 1929 – 30’s.

    Excessive speculation which created a “false and counterfeit money supply” is the dominant factor that undermined the banks, stock values, company assets, wealth and the overall economy just as it is doing now.

    For the same reason that we have laws against counterfeit currencies and false securities being created to flood into the market, these speculative products were not an innovation – they were a crime. That experts couldn’t tell the difference between innovation and crime speaks to the distance that our educated professionals have from the living lessons of the Depression.

    The reason we don’t allow counterfeit money to be printed randomly and sent into the economy is because it devalues all the asset and currency values that relate throughout the economy.

    When “structured investment vehicles” (SIVs), “credit derivatives” (CDOs) and other exotic financial derivatives were created, they were not secured, not regulated, not collateralized properly, and not based on real substance as other currencies and securities. These are a counterfeit form of currency.

    Just as a bunch of $20 dollar bills printed up and sent into the marketplace distorts the money supply and the national / global monetary values, so has this extensive pool of falsely premised investment products (now considered, toxic assets) done the same thing.

    Entire companies, banks, investment firms, national treasuries and whole industries have been completely destroyed by this already, individual lives decimated, families and communities wiped out, and it is continuing to do so day by day, week by week, month after month.

    By re-packaging and re-selling these unrealistically valued investment / financial products as if they were a valid substantial asset, a total pool of money came to exist that does not in fact exist in reality. This speculative process has undermined every balance sheet it has touched from national treasuries across the world, to states’ budgets, and corporate asset values to the actual values of property, buying power, currency values and bank insolvencies.

    The specific reason that credit cannot be used as a basis of any strong, healthy economy is exhibited by the entire quantitative and qualitative experience we have now.

    Not only does it subject the broad spectrum of individuals and businesses to its inhumane strains of idiocy in decision-making, it also leaves everyone at the mercy of its continuing desire for profits at the exclusion of all else.

    Some of its drawbacks include that interest rates and borrowing conditions can be set without limit or common sense. Credit based economy commonly is responsible for the undermining of good healthy business models which occurs in every industry and business type. It insulates its decision-makers from the marketplace and from the direct consequences of their actions and it re-values assets, growth, possibilities and opportunities unnaturally with no basis in reality. It also represents a monetary supply whose currency is not valued by any responsible, prudent nor sensible authority.

    Each day and in every life threatening situation that is being caused by the insistence of the US financial community to set our foundation of economic value on credit rather than on fiscal responsibility and real currency, we are literally experiencing what happens when credit is that basis. This is what was learned from living experiences in the Great Depression that gave us the programs, laws, protections, agencies and initiatives which evolved from it.

    Many of those individual initiatives to protect our economy from excessive leverage, from excessive unbridled speculation, from the creation of false and counterfeit securities and currencies, and from the many and varied uses of money to manipulate property values, to manipulate corporate asset values and to undermine the real economy have been removed.

    So, here we are experiencing a failing economy with every indication it is a Great Depression with a greater magnitude than the last one in America and greater than every other such event across the world’s history.

    And, that is what the efforts of the last thirty years of our government’s decisions and our banker’s lobbying, our brilliant analysts and economists, our hedge fund managers and Wall Street investment banks have given us.

    The chances are very low that these people, all of whom profited from this and have lived in the luxury of kings and queens for all of this time and still do, are going to be in any part, the makers of solutions to this crisis. The more likely thing they will do is to find a way to continue this game until each and every person alive is using credit as the only currency of value so that money can continue to be harvested from the movement of money.

    Unfortunately, that means other real solutions will not be applied and other real solutions will not be sought and other real values will continue to be distorted and undermined until it all crumbles. Then the economy and its foundation must be rebuilt from a much more difficult position and after many, many, many business losses and depletion of resources have occurred. It is what is unfolding before us right now.

    – cricketdiane, 02-12-09

    Commercial Bankruptcies – Personal bankruptcies – Rising Tsunami of Economic Disaster Ahead

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    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/57742.html

    WASHINGTON — As the curtain falls on one of the most devastating financial years on record, business bankruptcies — both large and small — continue to soar.

    The nearly 58,000 commercial bankruptcies filed nationwide through November of this year exceed the year-end totals of every year since Congress overhauled the bankruptcy laws in 2005, according to Automated Access to Court Electronic Records, an Oklahoma City bankruptcy data company.

    The 11-month figure is also 35 percent more than the nearly 43,000 business petitions filed in all of last year, the company’s data show.

    The Distressed Company Alert, a weekly newsletter about troubled public companies, typically adds five to 10 companies a week to its list.

    These days, it’s adding 18 to 24 a week.

    In Delaware, where many out-of-state companies file incorporation papers, bankruptcies have jumped 243 percent from last year. Many companies file in Delaware because the bankruptcy process tends to move faster there, said Gregory R. Stone, an assistant finance professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.

    When the recession began last December, businesses nationwide were filing an average of 206 bankruptcy petitions a day. That average has increased steadily since June, reaching 318 per day in November.

    Commercial bankruptcy filings are up 111 percent in Oregon, 91 percent in Utah and 83 percent in California, which leads the nation with nearly 12,000 business filings this year.

    WASHINGTON

    Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008

    ***

    http://aacer.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=97&Itemid=41

    Automated Access To Court Electronic Records

    ***

    http://www.bankruptcy-statistics.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=233:us-bankruptcy-filings-near-1-million-mark-for-this-year&catid=81:national&Itemid=198

    U.S. Bankruptcy Filings Near 1 Million Mark for This Year

    Bankruptcy filings in the U.S. have almost topped 1 million this year, with one month to go.

    Another 91,355 companies and individuals sought court protection from creditors in November, according to data compiled by Automated Access to Court Electronic Records, a service of Jupiter ESources LLC in Oklahoma City. A similar number in December would push the total for 2008 to around 1.1 million, up 33 percent from last year.

    Daily filings climbed 2.6 percent last month from October, and “exceeded 5,000 per day for the first time since the 2005 changes to the bankruptcy law,” Mike Bickford, AACER’s president, said in an e-mail. He expects a total of more than 1.1 million filings for the year.

    Per capita, the most filings are in Tennessee, followed by Nevada, Georgia and Alabama.

    There were 590,500 filings in 2006 and 827,000 in 2007.

    ***

    http://www.bankruptcy-statistics.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=220:bankruptcy-filings-state-by-state-2005-2008&catid=81:national&Itemid=198

    Bankruptcy filings, state by state, 2005-2008

    Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings by state, by jurisdiction

    CreditCards.Com created an interactive bankruptcy map utilizing AACER data.

    ***

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/30/business/30shop.php

    Published: December 30, 2008

    A rash of retailing bankruptcies is expected in the United States in the new year, but as the clock winds down on one of the weakest holiday shopping seasons in decades, the fallout has already begun.

    On Monday, the Parent Co., an Internet retailer of children’s products, had the dubious distinction of apparently becoming the first well-known retailer to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after Christmas. The company made the filing along with nine of its subsidiaries, including eToys. Many analysts did not expect bankruptcy filings to begin until January or February.

    Michael Wagner, chief executive of the Parent Co., called the bankruptcy filing “an unfortunate but necessary and responsible step to preserve the company’s value for our stakeholders in light of the ongoing challenging retail environment.”

    The Parent Co., based in Denver, is majority owned by D.E. Shaw & Co. The company, which listed assets of $20.6 million and debt of $35.7 million, is seeking permission for a $10.9 million operating loan from a Shaw affiliate to keep operations running while it seeks a buyer.

    Challenging is hardly the word. This year, retailers including Circuit City, Boscov’s, Sharper Image, Mervyns, Linens ‘n Things, Whitehall Jewelers and Steve & Barry’s filed for bankruptcy protection.

    And that is very likely the tip of the iceberg. After studying more than 180 companies, AlixPartners, a restructuring firm, estimates that over the next 24 months there will be a fourfold increase in the number of retailers in deep distress — companies that do not have enough working capital or are unable to finance their debt.

    (excerpt)

    ***

    (The Associated Press) SUNDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2008
    Hospital across the U.S. are being squeezed by tight credit, higher borrowing costs, investment losses and a jump in patients many recently unemployed or otherwise underinsured not paying their bills.

    In New Jersey, where 47 percent of hospitals posted losses in 2007, five of the 79 acute-care hospitals closed this year, and a sixth may close soon. In Hawaii, nearly every hospital is in trouble, with two filing for bankruptcy and one nearly closing recently.

    ***

    Bankruptcy News – View Bankruptcy News Across the US

    Bankruptcy News – Read the latest Bankruptcy News headlines in the US from this week. Search Bankruptcy News articles in various local markets. Stay up-to-date on Bankruptcy News and other Industry News on bizjournals.com.

    Jump to: Monday

    Monday 01.05.2009

    From the January 2, 2009 print editions

    ***

    http://www.bizjournals.com/

    ( Well, there’s the important things – yeah, right. – my comments – There are still places and people pushing the idea that the media reporting anything about reality makes things worse and then, as above – insisting that everyone in America believes that. No we do not.)

    ***

    Atlanta retailers set to downsize

    Poor holiday sales and tight credit will likely lead to as much as 2 million square feet of empty retail space in metro Atlanta in 2009. Full Story

    http://atlanta.bizjournals.com/atlanta/

    ***

    As Vacant Office Space Grows, So Does Lenders’ Crisis
    Vacancy rates in office buildings exceed 10 percent in virtually every major city in the country and are rising rapidly, a sign of economic distress that could lead to yet another wave of problems for troubled lendersRead More

    http://www.abiworld.org//AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home

    * requires sign-up / membership to read article and statistics at this site

    ***

    http://www.uscourts.gov/

    http://www.uscourts.gov/bankruptcycourts.html

    Electronic portal for bankruptcy courts and access to information directly from government sources – US

    ***

    http://www.bankruptcydata.com/BankruptcyDataNewsNEW.asp

    Business Bankruptcy Headlines for 1/5/2009

    Ausam Energy Chapter 11 Petition Filed
    Ausam Energy (fdba Northlinks Limited) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Noram Resources, filed for Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Texas, case number 08-38223. This oil and gas exploration and development company is represented by Matthew Scott Okin of Okin Adams & Kilmer. The Company announced that the filings were necessitated by its inability to secure new equity or debt financing on terms acceptable to the Company’s current primary lender and that it “believes that the Chapter 11 filing provides it with the best chance of preserving the value of its business assets and maximizing the return to all of the stakeholders of the Company.” On December 8, 2008, the Company announced that it had “accepted with regret” the resignation of William M. Hitchcock as chairman and director.

    Constar International Chapter 11 Petition Filed
    Constar International and four affiliates filed for Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware, lead case number 08-13432. The Company is represented by Neil B. Glassman of Bayard. The Company supplies PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic containers for conventional applications throughout North America and Europe. Michael Hoffman, president and C.E.O. of Constar, said, “We are pleased to have received support from the holders of a majority in principal amount of our subordinated notes for a pre-arranged and consensual restructuring that significantly improves our balance sheet by eliminating $175 million in debt, reduces our annual cash interest obligations by approximately $19.3 million, and frees up cash to reinvest in our business to support future growth. We intend to continue to operate as usual during the restructuring process with minimal disruption to the business and our constituencies. We intend to pay all of our obligations in full – which includes providing pay and benefits to our employees as usual, honoring all contracts, and paying suppliers in full.” Constar International also announced that it has received commitments from its existing bank lenders to provide the Company with debtor-in-possession and exit financing of $75 million. The $75 million exit financing facility provides for committed financing for the three years following the closing of the D.I.P. financing.

    Propex Exit Financing Approved
    The U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved Propex’s motion for an order authorizing entry into a proposed exit financing agreement with a Wayzata Investment Partners and to pay (I) a work fee of $150,000 and (II) related expenses. On December 11, 2008, Wayzata Investment Partners sent the Debtors a non-binding letter agreement expressing interest in providing the Debtors with a delayed draw term exit facility in the amount of $65,000,000 that will mature in four years after the effective date of the Plan. Wayzata Investment Partners is a 19% holder of the Debtors’ pre-petition secured term debt facility and has had ongoing access to the Debtors’ financial information.

    Chesapeake Chapter 11 Petition Filed
    Chesapeake Corporation and 18 affiliated Debtors filed for Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Virginia, lead case number 08-36642. The Company, which supplies specialty paperboard and plastic packaging, is represented by Benjamin C. Ackerly of Hunton & Williams. The Company also announced that it has reached agreement with required lenders on its $250 million senior secured credit facility on an amendment and extension to December 30, 2008 of their forbearance agreement. Under the amendment, the lenders have agreed that they will continue to forbear from exercising their rights and remedies against the Company and its subsidiaries in respect of (i) existing financial condition covenant defaults and (ii) the corporation’s failure to pay the interest payment that was due on November 15, 2008, to the holders of its 10-3/8% senior subordinated notes under the senior secured credit facility. Andrew J. Kohut, Chesapeake’s president and chief executive officer, commented, “The extension of the forbearance agreement provides us additional time needed to finalize arrangements with these groups to strengthen our short- and long-term financial liquidity and implement a financial restructuring.”

    Heller Ehrman Chapter 11 Petition Filed
    Privately-held law firm Heller Ehrman filed for Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of California, case number 08-32514. The filing was announced by the firm’s dissolution committee following a previous announcement of the firm’s intention to dissolve. Heller Ehrman is represented by John D. Fiero of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones. According to the announcement, the dissolution committee “hoped to wind down the firm’s operations in an orderly fashion without resort to the Bankruptcy Court, and indeed has made great progress in collecting accounts receivable and in negotiating with creditors. The Dissolution Committee decided to seek protection under Chapter 11 due to the refusal by its two bank lenders to agree to terms that, in the business judgment of the Dissolution Committee, were fair and equitable to all creditors of the Firm.” Dissolution committee chairman, Peter Benvenutti, commented, “This is not a result of the firm’s running out of money. On the contrary, due to the positive responses received from hundreds of former clients, collection of accounts receivable over the past three months has been strong.”

    Interstate Bakeries Grievances’ Status Reported
    Interstate Bakeries filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court a “Notice of Status of Prepetition Union Grievances.” The notice states that on November 3, 2004, the Court directed the Debtors to file every sixty days a summary statement of the number of prepetition union grievances that have been resolved and the aggregate dollar amount of such grievance resolutions. To that end, Interstate Bakeries states, “since the Petition Date, approximately 400 prepetition union grievances have been resolved with an aggregate dollar amount of such grievance resolutions being approximately $270,000.” The Court confirmed Interstate Bakeries’ Plan on December 5, 2008, but the Company has not yet emerged from Chapter 11 protection.

    DESA Chapter 11 Petition Filed
    Privately-held DESA and five affiliated Debtors filed for Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware, lead case number 08-13422. This zone heating and specialty tools manufacturer and marketer is represented by Laura Davis Jones of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones. According to documents filed with the Court, the Company’s largest creditor is Hong Kong-based Interpro Manufacturing, which is owed $3.1 million. Predecessor company DESA Holdings emerged from a previous Chapter 11 filing on April 12, 2005, after being sold to DESA LLC, formerly known as HIG – DESA Acquisition LLC.

    The Parent Company Chapter 11 Petition Filed
    The Parent Company (aka Baby Universe) and nine of its subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware, lead case number 08-13412. This content, commerce and e-media provider is represented by Laura Davis Jones of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones. “This action is an unfortunate but necessary and responsible step to preserve the company’s value for our stakeholders in light of the ongoing challenging retail environment,” said Michael Wagner, C.E.O. of The Parent Company. The Company announced that it has engaged Oppenheimer & Co. to explore strategic alternatives, including a sale of some or all of its businesses. On December 24, 2008, the Company received a Nasdaq Staff Deficiency Letter notifying the Company that it was not in compliance with the requirements for continued listing set forth in Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 4310(c)(14) because of its failure to timely file its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended November 1, 2008.

    Tribune Hiring Approvals Sought
    Tribune filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court motions seeking to retain Lazard Freres & Co. (Contact: James E. Millstein) as investment banker and financial advisor for the following fees: a monthly fee of $200,000 and a $16 million restructuring/disposition fee; Daniel J. Edelman (Contact: Jeff Zilka) as corporate communications and investor relations consultant at hourly rates ranging from $320 to 550; Reed Smith (Contact: John D. Shugrue) as special counsel for certain litigation matters at the following hourly rates: paraprofessional at $105 to 315 and attorney at 245 to 905; Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker (Contact: Richard A. Chelsey) as special counsel for general real estate and related matters at the following hourly rates: associate at $405 to 560, of counsel at 645 and partner at 765 to 825; PricewaterhouseCoopers (Contact: William T. England) as compensation and tax advisor and independent auditor at the following hourly rates: paraprofessional at $150, associate at 225, senior associate at 290, manager at 400, director/senior manager at 565, managing director at 675 and partner at 780; Jenner & Block (Contact: David Bradford) as special counsel for certain litigation matters at the following hourly rates: project assistant at $150 to 160, paraprofessional at 160 to 260, associate at 325 to 535 and partner at 525 to 1,000; McDermott Will & Emery (Contact: Blake D. Rubin) as special counsel for general domestic legal matters at the following hourly rates: paraprofessional at $105 to 345, associate at 285 to 590 and partner at 445 to $1,010; Alvarez & Marsal North America (Contact: Thomas E. Hill) as restructuring advisor at the following hourly rates: administration/analyst at $175 to 350, associate/senior associate at 275 to 450, director/senior director at 375 to 550 and managing director at 525 to 750 and Sidley Austin (Contact: James F. Conlan) as attorney at the following hourly rates: paraprofessional at $95 to 385, associate at 240 to 650, senior counsel at 400 to 875 and partner at 575 to $1,100.

    W.R. Grace Objection Filed
    Roberta A. DeAngelis, the U.S. Trustee assigned to the W.R. Grace case, filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court a preliminary objection to the First Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization of W.R. Grace and Company, et al., the official committee of asbestos personal injury claimants, the asbestos personal injury future claimants’ representative and the official committee of equity security holders. According to the objection, Article 8 of the Plan contains various provisions regarding releases, channeling injunctions for personal injury and property damage claims, injunctions for general claims and the discharge of the Debtors. As such, the Trustee asserts a preliminary objection to the various release and injunction provisions set out in Article 8 of the Plan, including that such provisions are in violation of relevant Third Circuit law and 11 U.S.C. § 524(g). In addition, Section 11.8 of the Plan contains a broad exculpation clause that may not be appropriate under relevant Third Circuit law, and Section 7.14 of the Plan contains provisions that the Debtors are deemed consolidated for Plan purposes only.

    – a selection from today

    ***

    One comment from me – the media didn’t cause this, the poor people in America didn’t cause this and people feeling good or not didn’t cause this. It’s sort of like when the powers that be believed that the earth was flat – it didn’t make it so and neither did not believing that make it round.

    – cricketdiane

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