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Archive for April 18th, 2010

Goldman Sachs fraud charges ‘just the tip of the iceberg’: prof

Raw Story- By Andrew McLemore
Saturday, April 17th, 2010 — 10:06 pm

Charges of fraud brought against banking titan Goldman Sachs by the Securities and Exchange Commission rocked financial markets Friday, but experts say the allegations are merely the first of many to come, Reuters reported.After the SEC went public with the allegations, the Dow Jones dropped 125 points and Goldman Sachs stocks dropped 13 percent — the largest one-day drop in company history.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said James Hackney, a professor at Northeastern University School of Law. “There are a lot of folks out there in different deals who played similar roles, and once it starts building steam, plaintiffs’ lawyers will figure out this is where the money is and there should be a lot of action.”

Reuters Global editor at large Chrystia Freeland said the significance of the charges is “huge.”

Goldman Sachs’ members like to think of themselves as “the smartest, the richest,” but Freeland said they also like to think of themselves as the “most virtuous.”

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Ash may hover for days over uncertain Europe

SYLVIA HUI and ANGELA CHARLTON | 04/17/10 10:25 PM | AP

PARIS — The Icelandic volcano that has kept much of Europe land-bound is far from finished spitting out its grit, and offered up new mini-eruptions Saturday that raise concerns about longer-term damage to world air travel and trade.

Facing days to come under the volcano’s unpredictable, ashy plume, Europeans are looking at temporary airport layoffs and getting creative with flight patterns to try to weather this extraordinary event.

Modern Europe has never seen such a travel disruption. Air space across a swath from Britain to Ukraine was closed and set to stay that way until Sunday or Monday in some countries, affecting airports from New Zealand to San Francisco. Millions of passengers have had plans foiled or delayed.

Activity in the volcano at the heart of this increased early Saturday, and showed no sign of abating.

“There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight,” Icelandic geologist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson told The Associated Press on Saturday. “The activity has been quite vigorous overnight, causing the eruption column to grow.”

Scientists say that because the volcano is situated below a glacial ice cap, the magma is being cooled quickly, causing explosions and plumes of grit that can be catastrophic to plane engines, depending on prevailing winds.

In Iceland, winds dragged the ashes over new farmland, to the southwest of the glacier, causing farmers to scramble to secure their cattle and board up windows.

With the sky blackened out and the wind driving a fine, sticky dust, dairy farmer Berglind Hilmarsdottir teamed up with neighbors to round her animals and get them to shelter. The ash is toxic – the fluoride causes long-term bone damage that makes teeth fall out and bones break.

“This is bad. There are no words for it,” said Hilmarsdottir, whose pastures near the town of Skogar were already covered in a gray paste of ash.

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