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Investigators Said to Have Video Showing Bomb Suspect Investigators have video of a possible suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, according to federal law enforcement officials.
The crucial images came from a store security camera near the April 15 bombing site, according to a federal law enforcement official briefed on the matter. Another person familiar with investigators’ work said that, as of early this afternoon, the suspect in the images hadn’t been identified. Both asked for anonymity to discuss the investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Boston police released statements that no arrest has been made.
“They are making progress,” Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said in a telephone interview. “Nobody in custody.”
A bomb threat today at the the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse in Boston forced the postponement of a 5 p.m. news briefing on the investigation. While court employees were later allowed to return, the briefing hadn’t been rescheduled. (Bloomberg)
Obama May Levy Carbon Tax to Cut U.S. Deficit, HSBC Says Barack Obama may consider introducing a tax on carbon emissions to help cut the U.S. budget deficit after winning a second term as president, according to HSBC Holdings Plc.
A tax starting at $20 a metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent and rising at about 6 percent a year could raise $154 billion by 2021, Nick Robins, an analyst at the bank in London, said today in an e-mailed research note, citing Congressional Research Service estimates. “Applied to the Congressional Budget Office’s 2012 baseline, this would halve the fiscal deficit by 2022,” Robins said.
Hurricane Sandy sparked discussion on climate protection in the election after presidential candidates focused on other debates, HSBC said. A continued Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives means Obama’s scope for action will be limited, Robins said. Cap-and-trade legislation stalled in the U.S. Senate after narrowly passing the house in 2009. (Bloomberg)
Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks $13 Billion Banks worldwide earned an estimated $13 billion by taking advantage of below-market rates on emergency U.S. Federal Reserve loans from August 2007 through April 2010. Roll over the bars below to explore details for each. To compare results with banks' net income or losses for the same timeframes, click the corresponding button. Worldwide total is the sum for 190 firms with available data; those banks lost a combined $21.6 billion.
The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.
The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue. (Bloomberg)
Fukushima Radioactive Water May Breach Plant’s Storage Trenches in 5 Days Radioactive water accumulating in Japan’s crippled Fukushima plant may start overflowing from service trenches in five days, potentially increasing the contamination from the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. has been manually pumping water into overheating reactors after cooling systems broke down and much of that has overflowed into basements and trenches. The water is rising at a rate that means it will overflow as early as June 6, Bloomberg calculations from the company’s data show.
“There is still a risk of radioactive water leaking into the sea,” Hikaru Kuroda, an official at the utility known as Tepco, said in Tokyo today. “We may have between five and seven days before the water levels reach the top of the trenches.”
Almost 60 percent of Japanese adults worry they’ve been contaminated since Fukushima started emitting radiation almost three months ago, according to a Pew Research Center poll. The poll shows at least 80 percent of the population is dissatisfied with the response either from Tepco or the government of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who survived a no-confidence vote today. (Bloomberg)
Japan Reactor-Core Damage Is Worse Than Expected, Delaying Tepco’s Cleanup Tokyo Electric Power Co. said one of the reactor cores at its stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant is more seriously damaged than previously thought, setting back the utility’s plan to resolve the crisis.
Fuel rods in the core of the No. 1 reactor are fully exposed, with the water level 1 meter (3.3 feet) below the base of the fuel assembly, Junichi Matsumoto, a general manager at the utility known as Tepco, told reporters at a briefing in Tokyo. Melted fuel has dropped to the bottom of the pressure vessel and is still being cooled, Matsumoto said.
Japan is trying to contain the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl after a quake and tsunami two months ago knocked out power and cooling systems at the Fukushima station. While authorities have previously suspected a partial meltdown at unit 1, high radiation levels had prevented workers from entering the building to check the damage until last week.
“What this means is this is probably going to be a much more difficult cleanup than they originally planned for,” said Paul Padley, a particle physicist at Rice University in Houston. The government and Tepco “have consistently appeared to be underestimating the severity of the situation.” (Bloomberg)
Oil Plunges as Japan's Refiners Shut Plants After Earthquake Oil fell below $100 a barrel in New York for the first time in more than a week after Japan’s strongest earthquake in at least a century forced refiners to shut several processing plants.
U.S. crude futures were headed for their first weekly decline in a month following the temblor in the world’s third- largest oil user. A fire at Cosmo Oil Co.’s refinery in Chiba, outside Tokyo, is spreading, a Fire Department spokesman said. JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. closed refineries in Sendai, Kashima and Negishi. In London, Brent crude was set for its first weekly decline in seven.
“The earthquake is having a psychological impact on the market in triggering a rise in risk aversion,” said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “The effect is also physical, in that oil demand from Japan could temporarily be lower.”
Crude for April delivery tumbled as much as $3.69, or 3.6 percent, to $99.01 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $100.38 at 1:02 p.m. London time. Prices this week are down 3.9 percent, the first weekly drop in a month.
Brent oil for April settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange dropped as much as $3.18, or 2.8 percent, to $112.25 a barrel. It was trading at $113.19 at 1:01 p.m. local time. The contract has lost 2.4 percent this week. (Bloomberg)
Iceland Shows Ireland Did 'Wrong Things' Saving Banks On his second day as head of Iceland’s third-largest bank, Arni Tomasson faced a crisis: The firm he had been asked by regulators to run was out of cash.
It was Oct. 8, 2008, at the height of the global financial meltdown, and Iceland's bank assets in the U.K. had been frozen, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its March issue. Customers flocked to branches of Tomasson's Glitnir Banki hf to withdraw money, even though the government had guaranteed their deposits. By the end of the day, the vaults were empty, says Tomasson, recalling the drama two years later.
The only way Glitnir and other lenders could avoid a panic the next morning was to get more cash, which they were having trouble doing. A container of crisp kronur sat on the tarmac at Reykjavik's airport awaiting payment, Tomasson says. The British company that printed the bills, De La Rue Plc, was demanding sterling, and the central bank couldn't access its U.K. account.
"Everybody was panicked -- depositors, creditors, banks around the world," Tomasson says. "The effort by all of us at the time was to make sure life could go on as normal." (Bloomberg)
Chertoff Group: Israel Cyber-Attacks Iranian Nuke Plant With Stuxnet Computer Virus Richard Falkenrath, a principal at Chertoff Group and a Bloomberg Television contributing editor, discusses the Stuxnet computer virus. The worm targets Siemens AG software used to control industrial equipment and may be aimed at destroying Iran's controversial nuclear facility, according to Ralph Langner, a German industrial controls safety expert, the Financial Times reported. Falkenrath, speaking from Washington, talks with Deirdre Bolton on Bloomberg Television's "InsideTrack." (Bloomberg)
Airport `Naked Image' Scanners May Get Privacy Upgrades Holli Powell, a Phoenix medical- software consultant who flies every week, says she avoids getting into airport security lines that end at what she calls a humiliating full-body scanner.
“Those scanners, I feel, are above and beyond,” Powell, 35, said in an interview. They generate “nearly naked images.”
The concerns of travelers such as Powell, which led privacy advocates to sue the government, may soon be eased. L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. and OSI Systems Inc.’s Rapiscan, makers of the scanners for U.S. airports, are delivering software upgrades that show a generic figure rather than an actual image of a passenger’s body parts. The new display would mark sections of a person’s body that need to be checked. (Bloomberg)
Mitsui Says Oil Tanker Possibly Attacked Near Hormuz Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., operator of the world’s second-largest oil-tanker fleet, said one of its ships may have been attacked near the Strait of Hormuz, deemed by the U.S. to be the most important chokepoint for oil supply.
An explosion, which “may have been caused by an external attack,” occurred at 5:30 a.m. Tokyo time, injuring one of the crew, Mitsui said in a statement. The vessel, M. Star, was on its way to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates to assess the damage and no oil is leaking, Mitsui said. The tanker was damaged by rough seas, the official U.A.E. news agency WAM reported, citing Musa Murad, director of the Port of Fujairah. (Bloomberg)
Tropical Storm Bonnie Forms, Heading for Florida and BP's Gulf Oil Spill Tropical Storm Bonnie has formed south of the Bahamas and is on a track to move across the southern tip of Florida and into the oil-fouled waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
The storm has maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers), and is expected to build strength as it bears down on the Florida Keys tomorrow, according to a special hurricane center advisory issued at 6:15 p.m. Miami time. (Bloomberg)
Racine: Economy, health care top Vt. issues Doug Racine says he's ready to fight this year, eight years after a losing effort to become governor. The 57-year-old state senator, former lieutenant governor and car dealership co-owner from Richmond is well known for trying to push Vermont closer to universal health care. He shares with his fellow liberal Democrats a desire to see the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant close when its license expires in 2012. He wants to focus the state's economic development efforts on small businesses.
What worried supporters when Racine moved to join what's now a five-way race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination was whether he was tough enough to mount an effective campaign. - He does not share Douglas' opposition to large-scale wind projects on Vermont mountaintops. "I think there's a place for that," he said. (Bloomberg)
Cracks Show BP Was Battling Gulf Well as Early as February It took 10 days to plug the first cracks, according to reports BP filed with the Minerals Management Service that were later delivered to congressional investigators. Cracks in the surrounding rock continued to complicate the drilling operation during the ensuing weeks. Left unsealed, they can allow explosive natural gas to rush up the shaft. - On Feb. 13, BP told the minerals service it was trying to seal cracks in the well about 40 miles (64 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast, drilling documents obtained by Bloomberg show. Investigators are still trying to determine whether the fissures played a role in the disaster. (Bloomberg)
BP Needs ‘Lottery Win’ to Seal Oil Leak at First Try (Update1) “What you’re doing is trying to intersect a well bore that is probably roughly a foot across with another well that is about a foot across,” he said. “It’s a hit-or-miss sort of thing. Ultimately the relief well will work. It’s just a matter of time, of continuing to poke at it until you intersect it.” (Bloomberg)
Bailout Is ‘Nail in the Coffin’ for Euro, Rogers Says "I was stunned," Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Singapore. "This means that they’ve given up on the euro, they don’t particularly care if they have a sound currency, you have all these countries spending money they don’t have and it’s now going to continue." (Bloomberg)
Goldman Donations to Obama Campaign Totaled Nearly $1 Million Obama received the money from employees and their family members, making Goldman Sachs second only to the University of California as his biggest single source for donors in 2007 and 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. - Wall Street provided three of Obama’s seven biggest sources of contributors for his presidential bid. In 2007 and 2008, Goldman Sachs employees and family members gave him $994,795, Citigroup Inc. $701,290, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. $695,132. (Bloomberg)
Maryland Passes 'Benefit Corp.' Law for Social Entrepreneurs Maryland today became the first state to legally create a new corporate form known as a “benefit corporation” that will let social entrepreneurs codify their missions in their corporate charters.
The law is modeled on proposals by B-Lab, a Berwyn, Pa.-nonprofit that certifies socially responsible companies. The law lets entrepreneurs commit their for-profit ventures to a specific public good, and requires them to report on contributions to that goal and submit to auditing of their impact. Having official “benefit corporation” status allows entrepreneurs to consider stakeholders like employees, communities, or the environment in business decisions. Under existing corporate law, company directors can face lawsuits if considering outside stakeholders is seen to damage the financial interest of shareholders. (Bloomberg)
Travelers file complaints over TSA body scanners The letters belie the TSA's claims about the disclosure policies related to the use of the technology and of the general level of concern related to its use, said Ginger McCall, staff counsel at EPIC. "The TSA has been reassuring people that travelers will be made aware of what these machines are and of the alternatives that are available," McCall said. The complaints suggest otherwise and appear to show less support for the technology than the TSA has let on, she said. (Bloomberg)
Secret AIG Document Shows Goldman Sachs Minted Most Toxic CDOs When a congressional panel convened a hearing on the government rescue of American International Group Inc. in January, the public scolding of Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner got the most attention. Lawmakers said the former head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank had presided over a backdoor bailout of Wall Street firms and a coverup. Geithner countered that he had acted properly to avert the collapse of the financial system.
A potentially more important development slipped by with less notice, Bloomberg Markets reports in its April issue. Representative Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, placed into the hearing record a five-page document itemizing the mortgage securities on which banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Societe Generale SA had bought $62.1 billion in credit-default swaps from AIG.
These were the deals that pushed the insurer to the brink of insolvency -- and were eventually paid in full at taxpayer expense. The New York Fed, which secretly engineered the bailout, prevented the full publication of the document for more than a year, even when AIG wanted it released.
That lack of disclosure shows how the government has obstructed a proper accounting of what went wrong in the financial crisis, author and former investment banker William Cohan says. “This secrecy is one more example of how the whole bailout has been done in such a slithering manner,” says Cohan, who wrote “House of Cards” (Doubleday, 2009), about the unraveling of Bear Stearns Cos. “There’s been no accountability.” - E-mails between Fed and AIG officials that Issa released in January show that the efforts to keep Schedule A under wraps came from the New York Fed. Revelation of the messages contributed to the heated atmosphere at the House hearing.
“What date did you know there was a coverup?” Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray of California demanded of Geithner. Lawmakers used the word coverup more than a dozen times as they peppered Geithner with questions. (Bloomberg)
Citigroup Stock Proving Irresistible to Hedge Funds “The sum of the parts is worth less than each individual part,” said Garnick. “It is easier for investors to assign value to a company if it is broken up into its many component parts. In this market environment people are starting to reward single business unit companies.” (Bloomberg)
FARC’s Cocaine Sales to Mexico Cartels Prove Too Rich to Subdue Mexican drug cartels are getting cocaine from Colombia’s biggest guerrilla group in a deal that increases the security threat to both nations, according to a document captured by Colombian military intelligence and to a government official in that country.
The agreement was discussed in a meeting between a leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Raul Reyes, and an agent of a Mexican cartel at Reyes’s jungle hideout in mid- 2007, according to a letter Reyes wrote to other guerrilla commanders that was obtained by Bloomberg News.
The pact to bypass middlemen has given Reyes’s group, known as the FARC, an opportunity to double its profit by selling directly to the Mexican cartel, said the government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The FARC earned at least $1 billion and maybe several times that amount in the past year, according to officials familiar with the group. The arrangement has strengthened the cartels at a time when they are under pressure from an offensive ordered by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, the Colombian official said. (Bloomberg)
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