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Feb 21, 2012

Insight: Laws leave cruise-ship victims at sea

By Tom Hals, Andrew Longstreth and Steve Stecklow

(Reuters) – When Walter Henry Alderfer learned last month about the Costa Concordia shipwreck off Italy, it brought back bad memories.

In April 2007, he, his wife and his daughter were aboard the Sea Diamond cruise ship when it struck a reef off Greece and sank into the Aegean Sea. Screaming passengers fought over life preservers, Alderfer says, and his wife hurt her neck and later needed surgery.

Feb 21, 2012

Laws leave cruise-ship victims at sea

Feb 21 (Reuters) – When Walter Henry Alderfer learned last
month about the Costa Concordia shipwreck off Italy, it brought
back bad memories.

In April 2007, he, his wife and his daughter were aboard the
Sea Diamond cruise ship when it struck a reef off Greece and
sank into the Aegean Sea. Screaming passengers fought over life
preservers, Alderfer says, and his wife hurt her neck and later
needed surgery.

Feb 17, 2012

WaMu gets court approval to exit bankruptcy

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) – Washington Mutual Inc received long-sought court approval to exit bankruptcy and repay $7 billion to creditors, ending more than three years of court battles between hedge funds investors, shareholders and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The reorganization plan will distribute the money to creditors, many of which are hedge fund investors who specialize in buying securities of bankrupt companies.

Feb 17, 2012
via Breakingviews

French banks face tough 2012 after rocky 2011

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By George Hay

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Last year wasn’t much fun for France’s two largest banks. After a relatively benign first half, the euro zone crisis hit BNP Paribas and Société Générale with a vengeance: their shares finished the year down 38 and 58 percent respectively, while the cost of insuring their debt tripled. For good measure, the European Banking Authority forced them to raise capital.

Feb 16, 2012

WaMu deal reverses votes against bankruptcy plan

, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Washington Mutual
Inc reached an agreement on Thursday that gave it the
needed approval of creditors to end its bankruptcy three years
after its namesake bank was seized by regulators.

A group of preferred shareholders agreed to change their
votes and they now support the company’s reorganization plan,
according to Brian Rosen of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, which
represents the company.

Feb 14, 2012
via Breakingviews

London real estate coming off steroids

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By George Hay

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

London real estate has been on steroids since 2009. But it’s no longer a racing certainty that the capital’s property will deliver an Olympic performance this year.

Feb 9, 2012

El Paso shareholders seek to block vote on merger

WILMINGTON, Del, Feb 9 (Reuters) – El Paso Corp’s
chief executive tainted the company’s proposed $21
billion sale to rival oil pipeline company Kinder Morgan Inc
by not disclosing his personal interest in acquiring
certain El Paso assets, El Paso shareholders argued on Thursday.

They told a Delaware chancery court that these alleged
conflicts of interest, plus those of deal adviser Goldman Sachs
Group Inc, so badly marred the merger that the court
should block a shareholder vote scheduled for next month.

Feb 8, 2012

Nine companies sued over “exclusive forum” bylaws

Feb 7 (Reuters) – Chevron Corp and eight other
corporations were sued by shareholders on Tuesday for adopting a
bylaw that requires common types of shareholder lawsuits be
brought exclusively in Delaware’s Chancery Court.

“Exclusive forum” bylaws are being adopted by more and more
corporations as a way to control a surge in shareholder
litigation, though the move has been resisted by shareholders.

Jan 31, 2012
via Breakingviews

RBS crisis is chance to write lasting pay policy

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By George Hay
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own

The Royal Bank of Scotland bonus row has become something of a tradition. This time it has become a corporate governance mess with operational, financial, political, and moral dimensions. It has also exposed the terminal weaknesses in the way semi-autonomous public institutions, such as RBS, set executive pay rates.

Jan 28, 2012

In cruise ship disaster, an SOS for lawyers

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Soon after Mitchell Proner, a New York personal-injury lawyer, heard about the capsizing of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy, he sprang into action.

Proner, who specializes in motorcycle-accident lawsuits, has never litigated a maritime case. But he has at least one advantage over other U.S. lawyers who might want to sue over the disaster: He speaks Italian. Within days of the accident, he hopped a flight to Italy.

    • About George

      "George Hay writes about the banking and property sectors. He joined from Thomson Financial News, where he was a companies correspondent. Before that he worked at United Business Media, where he was news editor of Building Magazine. He has a first in English Literature from Edinburgh University, and was nominated in two categories at the 2009 Business Journalist of the Year Awards."
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