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Dec 9, 2009

Riverstone exec pays $20 mln in pension probe-NY AG

NEW YORK, Dec 9 (Reuters) – The founder of private equity
firm Riverstone Holdings LLC, David Leuschen, will pay $20
million in restitution to resolve his role in a kickback probe
of New York’s state pension fund, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo
said on Wednesday.

After the state pension fund invested $150,000 in a joint
venture between Riverstone and The Carlyle Group [CYL.UL],
Leuschen made an “investment” of $100,000 in a film produced by
the brother of the former top pension investment officer, David
Loglisci, Cuomo said.

Dec 4, 2009

NY agency OKs tax-free debt for World Trade Center

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A $2.6 billion tax-free bond sale for World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein was approved on Wednesday by a state economic agency though the rebuilding of the shattered complex remains stalled.

The Liberty Development Corporation plans to issue the debt for the developer via Goldman Sachs in the last two weeks of December, a spokeswoman for the umbrella agency, the Empire State Development Corporation, said by telephone.

Dec 4, 2009

Markstone exec 5th to plead guilty in NY pension probe

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A California venture capitalist has pleaded guilty to a felony charge for bribing four senior officials who managed New York State’s pension fund, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday.

Elliott Broidy, chairman of Markstone Capital Partners, paid nearly $1 million in gifts to four officials in the New York State comptroller’s office and was rewarded with a $250 million investment in his fund, Cuomo said in a statement.

Dec 3, 2009

Markstone head pleads guilty in NY pension probe

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A California venture capitalist has pleaded guilty to a felony charge for bribing four senior officials who managed New York State’s pension fund, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday.

Elliott Broidy, chairman of Markstone Capital Partners, paid nearly $1 million in gifts to four officials in the New York State comptroller’s office and was rewarded with a $250 million investment in his fund, Cuomo said in a statement.

Nov 24, 2009

NY top court rules for state in Atlantic Yards case

NEW YORK, Nov 24 (Reuters) – New York State lawfully seized
land needed for the $4 billion Atlantic Yards project in
Brooklyn, the state’s highest court ruled on Tuesday.

The project, which includes plans to build a basketball
arena for the New Jersey Nets alongside office and apartment
buildings, has been repeatedly delayed by lawsuits and
financing problems.

Nov 20, 2009

NYC mayor, government try different ways to trim workers

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City and the state both want to cut expenses by trimming public employees but so far they are using different strategies.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is encouraging agencies to prune workers by giving them credit for saving money on health care and pension benefits, although those costs come out of the city’s overall spending plan, Doug Turetsky, a spokesman for the Independent Budget Office, said by telephone on Friday.

Nov 20, 2009

NY agency sets Dec. 3 hearing for WTC Liberty bonds

NEW YORK, Nov 19 (Reuters) – A New York state agency has
scheduled a public hearing for Dec. 3 on the issuance of up to
about $2.6 billion of Liberty bonds to rebuild the World Trade
Center, a civic group called Good Jobs New York said on
Thursday.

Holding the public hearing, which is required, is a step
toward ensuring that the New York Liberty Development
Corporation, an arm of the Empire State Development Corp., will
be able to issue the bonds — if Congress lets this bond
program expire this year. The hearing date is two weeks away.

Nov 18, 2009

NYC’s cash-poor MTA needs shake-up, new chief says

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York’s cash-poor Metropolitan Transportation Authority needs a top-to-bottom shake-up and must restore its credibility with the deficit-stricken state government before it can expect any more dollars, the agency’s new chief said on Wednesday.

Although this year’s budget is balanced, the nation’s biggest mass transit agency’s finances are “fragile,” MTA officials said. The MTA’s fiscal balance faces risks such as generous pay hikes that union workers won in arbitration and another surprising slide in real estate-linked tax revenues, the transit agency’s officials noted.

Nov 18, 2009

Downturn cost U.S. metro areas all recent job growth

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. recession that began in December 2007 cost the top metropolitan areas all of the 2.29 million jobs they had gained in the previous expansion, according to a report released on Wednesday.

“All of the job growth that occurred in the top U.S. metropolitan areas from August 2000 through August 2007 was erased by the subsequent recession,” New York City Comptroller William Thompson said in a quarterly economic report.

Nov 17, 2009

Wall Street profits revive, bank bonuses may jump

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York Stock Exchange member firms earned a record $35.7 billion for their broker-dealer operations in the first six months of this year, which is 1-1/2 times above the previous high-water mark set in 2000, the state comptroller said in a report on Tuesday.

Six of the top U.S. banks set aside $112 billion for salaries and bonuses, including deferred payments, during the first nine months of this year, Democratic Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli also reported.