United States

A stalemate between the U.S. and other members of the World Trade Organization, including the European Union and China, stands to cripple the organization’s top court, threatening the global body’s survival, the Wall Street Journal reported. On Wednesday the court, called the Appellate Body, will no longer have enough judges to rule on big trade disputes between countries. At stake are international rules negotiated over five decades by the U.S. and Europe to boost global trade.
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While 2018 was the year trade wars broke out, 2019 will be the year the global economy feels the pain, Bloomberg News reported. Bloomberg’s Global Trade Tracker is softening amid a fading rush to front-load export orders ahead of threatened tariffs. And volumes are tipped to slow further even as the U.S. and China seek to resolve their trade spat, with companies warning of ongoing disruption. Already there are casualties. GoPro Inc.
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Venezuela is facing the possible unraveling of a pair of billion-dollar settlements aimed at protecting the cash-strapped country’s U.S.-based Citgo Petroleum Corp from seizure by creditors. A lawyer for Canadian mining company Crystallex International Corp said on Tuesday Venezuela had breached the $1.4 billion November agreement that resolved a long-running fight over an expropriated gold mine. Separately, Venezuela’s $1.3 billion settlement in October with Rusoro Mining of Vancouver, also over expropriated mining assets, has been upended by U.S.

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Cambridge Analytica, the U.K. political consulting firm that closed its doors after a scandal over how it harvested data to influence the last U.S. presidential election, now faces a group of Facebook users in its bankruptcy, Bloomberg News reported. “Data Breach Plaintiffs" filed a notice on Tuesday to appear in the company’s New York bankruptcy. The group is involved in two lawsuits against both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica that seek class-action status on claims that about 87 million Facebook users had their personal information taken without permission.
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The International Monetary Fund moved on Friday to formally begin negotiations on a bailout of Argentina, without any objection from the Trump administration, The Wall Street Journal reported. The crisis in Argentina has prompted the U.S. to once again embrace the type of multilateral and global institutions that have often come under heavy criticism from the Trump White House. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde presented the program Friday in Washington to the IMF’s executive board, where the U.S.
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A U.S. bankruptcy court is set to hear a dispute involving Brazilian telecoms company Oi SA and major shareholder Bratel Brasil SA, Bratel said on Wednesday, as investor discontent with Oi’s bankruptcy reorganization process shows no signs of abating, Reuters reported. On Friday, Bratel, a subsidiary of Portugal’s Pharol SGPS SA, which owns almost 28 percent of Oi’s common shares, said it had filed a legal complaint in the United States.
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Toshiba’s biggest creditors are split over its future strategy as pressure mounts for a swift Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing by Westinghouse, the troubled Japanese conglomerate’s US nuclear subsidiary, the Financial Times reported. People briefed on the situation said talks between Toshiba, its main lenders and other stakeholders are focused on whether it is possible or even desirable for Westinghouse to be placed under bankruptcy protection before the end of the Japanese group’s financial year on March 31.
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Nortel Networks Corp. won approval to start distributing $7.3 billion to creditors, a major step in the long-running demise of the telecommunications company, The Wall Street Journal reported. Judges in Canada and the U.S. on Tuesday cleared Nortel to open up the lockbox containing $7.3 billion raised by selling its businesses and patents in bankruptcy. While most Canadian creditors will collect less than half of what they are owed under the plan, bondholders with claims against both Nortel in Canada and its U.S. unit expect to recover 95% or more of what they’re owed.
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A Chapter 11 bankruptcy exit plan by Abengoa SA's main U.S. subsidiary, Abeinsa Holding Inc, violates the law by shielding the Spanish renewable energy parent from lawsuits, according to the U.S. government's bankruptcy watchdog, Reuters reported. The objection by the U.S. Trustee, which typically oversees the administration of bankruptcy cases and polices them for conflicts, threatens to derail Abengoa's high-stakes debt restructuring plan to avoid its own bankruptcy in Spain.
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Judges in Canada and the U.S. on Thursday approved materials explaining Nortel Networks Corp.’s creditor-repayment plan, inaugurating the beginning of the end of one of the priciest bankruptcies on record, The Wall Street Journal reported. Thursday’s court hearings launched the formal process of polling creditors on the bankruptcy plans that will end Nortel’s corporate life after eight years in bankruptcy, and divide the $7.3 billion in proceeds from its global going-out-of-business sale.
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