North America

Credit Suisse violated a 2014 plea deal with U.S. authorities by continuing to help ultra-wealthy Americans evade taxes and concealing more than $700 million from the government, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee found on yesterday, Reuters reported. After concluding a two-year investigation into Credit Suisse - which this month agreed to a rescue takeover by rival UBS - the committee said it had uncovered "major violations" of the 2014 agreement between the Swiss lender and the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) for enabling tax evasion.
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Catalina Marketing Corp., a data and marketing services provider to retailers and consumer products companies, filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday for the second time with a prepackaged plan to slash debt and sell its business in Japan, WSJ Pro Bankruptcy reported. Catalina has suffered from a decline in demand for its services in recent years, including during the Covid-19 pandemic when most retailers were forced to close their doors, according to a court filing yesterday by Chief Financial Officer Michael Huffmaster.
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Luc Despins, a New York bankruptcy lawyer, typically took on difficult jobs: After the energy company Enron collapsed years ago, he helped thousands of victims recover some of their money. But when Mr. Despins was appointed by a bankruptcy court last year to locate the assets of Guo Wengui, a Chinese property mogul and political provocateur who had failed to repay tens of millions of dollars to a hedge fund, the assignment presented very different challenges, the New York Times reported. In November, protesters appeared outside his home and that of his ex-wife.
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Two New Yorkers who created a popular financial news show on Russian state television and cashed in on the crypto boom have emerged as key advisers to the Salvadoran government on its adoption of bitcoin, according to a WSJ Pro Bankruptcy analysis. Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert are also investing in bitcoin ventures in the Central American country and are founding backers of a crypto exchange that is helping manage El Salvador’s sovereign debt sale that is linked to bitcoin.

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U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday unveiled a new indictment against Sam Bankman-Fried, accusing the founder of now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange of conspiring to pay a $40 million bribe to Chinese government officials, Reuters reported. The new bribery conspiracy charge adds the pressure on the 31-year-old former billionaire, who now faces a 13-count indictment over the November collapse of FTX.
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Panama's economic recovery has been "very strong," but the outlook remains uncertain as growth is projected to slow to 5% this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Friday, Reuters reported. Panama faces risks of new external shocks as well as potential disruptions to copper mining after delays reaching a renewed agreement with Minera Panama, the IMF said. Canadian miner First Quantum owns a 90% interest in the Cobre Panama mine through its unit Minera Panama. Panama's inclusion on the Financial Action Task Force grey list also poses risks.
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Mexico’s inflation eased more than economists expected in early March, likely boosting the odds that the central bank will slow a record monetary tightening cycle at next week’s meeting, Bloomberg News reported. Consumer prices rose 7.12% in the first two weeks of the month from the same period a year earlier, down from 7.48% in late February, the national statistics institute reported Thursday. Core inflation, which excludes volatile items such as fuel, was 8.15% on an annual basis, below the previous measure of 8.21% and matching economists’ estimate.
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Mexican consumer prices rose less than expected in early March, the national statistics agency said on Thursday, backing bets the central bank could slow the pace of its monetary tightening later this month, Reuters reported. Annual headline inflation in the first half of March hit 7.12%, down from 7.48% in the second of half of February and below market expectations. Mexican core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy products and has in recent months been more stubborn than headline inflation, was 8.15% in annual terms.
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A cohort of TV Azteca SAB’s creditors filed a petition to force the Mexican broadcaster into involuntary bankruptcy in the U.S., the latest twist in drawn-out debt talks, Bloomberg News reported. Holders of about $63 million of unsecured Azteca bonds filed an involuntary chapter 11 petition against the company in New York, according to court papers on Monday. The move marks the second attempt by bondholders to get traction for their claims against Azteca after it defaulted on the $400 million of notes in 2021.
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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday sued Chinese cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun, accusing him and other defendants of illegally selling crypto securities and scheming to artificially inflate trading volume in crypto assets, Reuters reported. Beginning around August 2017, Sun and his companies Tron Foundation Limited, BitTorrent Foundation Limited and Rainberry Inc engaged in a scheme to distribute billions of crypto assets known as Tronix (TRX) and BitTorrent (BTT), the SEC said.
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