In Monday's Americas papers

24 December 2007 11:00  [Source: ICIS news]


Front Page

Retailers hope for big final push
The final weekend of the holiday shopping season will likely bring a sigh of relief from many retailers who feared that sales would be weak.

GOP contest heats up in New Hampshire
The Republican primary in New Hampshire next month is shaping up to be as frantic and unpredictable as the race in Iowa, though focusing on a different set of issues and cast of characters.

'Blank checks' generate new interest
The black sheep of the IPO world quietly took over a large part of the market in 2007, with so-called blank-check debuts generating nearly a quarter of all new stocks that listed in the US.

Money & Investing

For investors, a roadmap to risk in 2008
If the latter half of 2007 is proof of anything, it is that Wall Street didn't do a very good job of disaster planning for this year - if it did any at all.

Sparkles behind the sullied
Hardly a day goes by without one of the nation's big banks announcing more bad news tied to subprime mortgages. Investors, worried that the next blow-up will hit them square in the portfolio, have driven down bank stocks 28% this year.

Treasury plans two notes auctions
Two auctions of government debt are likely to be the focus of this holiday week, a time when trading typically slows sharply. On Wednesday, the Treasury Department will sell $22bn in two-year notes, and on Thursday, it will sell $13bn in five-year notes.


Front Page

Just don’t expect them at the early bird sale
At 3am in New York City, there is a lot you can legally do, but it is not exactly a wonderland. You can ride the subway. You can watch your clothes twirl around in a dryer at an all-night Laundromat. You can buy a pack of cigarettes and a bag of chips at a 24-hour deli.

US officials see waste in billions sent to Pakistan
After the US has spent more than $5bn in a largely failed effort to bolster the Pakistani military effort against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, some American officials now acknowledge that there were too few controls over the money. The strategy to improve the Pakistani military, they said, needs to be completely revamped.

Business Day

When shielding money clashes with the free will of the elderly
Eight years ago, when Robert J Pyle was 73 years old, he had about $500,000 in the bank and owned a house in Northern California worth about $650,000. He was looking forward to a comfortable retirement.

How the cooling economy is stealing target’s Christmas
It was supposed to be a Target Christmas. Buffeted by high energy costs and a slowing housing market, consumers were expected to trade down from midpriced department stores, like Macy’s and Nordstrom, to discount retailers with designer cachet - Target’s undisputed terrain.


Front Page

Christmas cheer, campaigns an awkward mix for Iowa voters
Chris Dodd, the Democratic senator from Connecticut, has been rolling across Iowa in what he calls the "Twelve Days of Results" tour. It's like the 12 Days of Christmas - only with themes such as "Results To Protect Homeowners" replacing all that "Ten Lords a-Leaping" business.

Dollar's fall is felt around the globe
The sharp decline of the US dollar since 2000 is affecting a broad swathe of the world's population, with its drop on global markets being blamed at least in part for misfortunes as diverse as labour strikes in the Middle East, lost jobs in Europe and the end of an era of globe-trotting rich Americans.


Warm, gooey corporate gifts sometimes prove ethically sticky
For the past three weeks, EFX Media in Arlington has turned itself into a chocolate chip cookie factory.

Where technocrats play with toys of tomorrow
When Booz Allen Hamilton, the big McLean technology and consulting firm, wants to demonstrate the art of the possible, it invites visitors into a room it calls the "technology petting zoo".


Front Page

Access requests bogged down by PM's officials
Public requests for documents are being slowed by lengthy reviews in the central department that reports to the prime minister, the Information Commissioner says.

Parents defend ballet school after student arrested in sex case
Parents and former students rallied around the National Ballet School this weekend after stunning allegations that a teenage student had sexually assaulted younger peers, and that it was the second instance of sex charges against a student in just three months.


Agreement reached to restructure ABCP market
An agreement reached Sunday to salvage the frozen $33bn market for troubled commercial paper will give investors a chance to recoup much of their money after the debt begins trading this spring.

Slings, arrows nothing new for DBRS
In the 31 years since Walter Schroeder quit his job at investment dealer Wood Gundy to start up Dominion Bond Rating Service, he's seen the credit rating industry come under fire multiple times.


Front Page

Hamas keeping at it over ceasefire draft
Hamas is drafting terms for a temporary ceasefire with Israel while trying to gain support from other Palestinian factions to accept it, Israeli media reported yesterday. Israeli President Shimon Peres said yesterday the Jewish state should not agree to a truce with Hamas unless the Islamist group first stops rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

Turks attack for third time in a week
Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq yesterday in the third confirmed cross-border offensive by Turkish forces in less than a week, the Turkish military said.

Julio Bocca’s swan song
Julio Bocca, the ballet dancer, performed last night in an open air, and free-of-charge, edition of Swan Lake, in front of the Obelisk in downtown Buenos Aires. Bocca, whose impassioned leaps and pyrotechnical pirouettes launched a 20-year run at the American Ballet Theater and led him to form the Ballet Argentino troupe in 1990, said last night would be his last performance ever.

By: Staff Reporter
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