It’s Becoming Clearer Who Profited From The Blackouts, And That’s Raising Questions Of Price Gouging
FMOSE BUCHELE, 10 May 2021
The blackouts that hit Texas in February left more than 100 people dead and caused billions of dollars in debt for those who found themselves on the wrong side of the state’s famously laissez-faire energy market. For others, it created huge earnings the full scope of which are now coming into focus.
Until recently, companies that made a lot of money during the freeze have tried to keep a low profile about it. But quarterly financial reports have come due making that information harder to conceal. The big winners: companies that sold natural gas. Continue reading “Article: It’s Becoming Clearer Who Profited From The Blackouts, And That’s Raising Questions Of Price Gouging”
Ex-Mexico Governor Linked to Drug Cartels Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering in U.S
Mary Anne Webber, 26 March 2021
A former governor of Tamaulipas, Mexico on Thursday pleaded guilty in a Texas court for taking over $3.5 million in bribes for government contracts, which he then laundered in the United States.
Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba, 64, was the governor of Tamaulipas from 1999 to 2005. Yarrington walked into U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle’s courtroom shortly before 1 p.m. Continue reading “Article: Ex-Mexico Governor Linked to Drug Cartels Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering in U.S.”
Lessons from the Texas big freeze
Carl Pope, 24 March 2021
The Texas power market caps wholesale prices at an astonishingly high $9,000 per/mwh. When the crisis hit, the computers managing the market price crashed. Regulators then arbitrarily set prices at the peak rate, and left them there for four days, knowing that generators could not provide more power because their facilities were frozen. During the freeze, household daily utility bills of $2,500 and more were incurred by homeowners who had signed up for variable plans, even when for most of the four days they had no power. The City of Denton incurred $300 million in power bills in a week, $2,000 for each of its 15,000 residents.
The power companies maximised their profit from those units that were up and running. By the third week in February, it appeared all the energy companies serving the Texas market had made as much money in 2021 as they had in the previous three years.
“We were able to get super premium prices, that’s going to pay off handsomely like hitting the jackpot,” said Chief Financial Officer Roland Burns of Comstock Resources, a leading Texan energy producer. He later apologised when his remarks hit the headlines. Continue reading “Article: Lessons from the Texas big freeze”
Supreme Court Decides Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. v. Manning
Chuck Webber, Jeffrey P. Justman, James G. Martignon, 05 May 2016
On May 16, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. v. Manning, No. 14-1132, holding that that the “arising under” test for federal-question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 determines whether federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction under section 27 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) of lawsuits to enforce liabilities or duties created by that Act. (The Court did not address the portion of section 27 that gives federal courts exclusive jurisdiction of “violations of this chapter or the rules and regulations thereunder” with respect to criminal and regulatory enforcement actions.)
Greg Manning owned stock in Escala Group, Inc., a company traded on the NASDAQ. Between 2006 and 2007, Escala’s share price plummeted and Manning lost most of his investment. Manning blamed Merrill Lynch and other financial institutions for devaluing Escala during that period through “naked short sales” of its stock, under which one borrows stock from a broker and sells it to a buyer on the open market, but never delivers the shares back to the buyer. “Naked” short sales of stock may be designed to drive down a company’s stock price, and are accordingly regulated by Regulation SHO. Continue reading “Article: Supreme Court Decides Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. v. Manning”