In The News:
We’re Suing You..
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (aka FDIC) is suing 16 big banks that set a key global interest rate, accusing them of fraud and conspiring to keep the rate low to enrich their bottom-line. The list of banks includes giants such as Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM). The FDIC is alleging that the banks rigged the London interbank offered rate, or LIBOR, from August 2007 to at least mid-2011.
Why exactly is LIBOR important to me??? It is a benchmark rate that is commonly used to figure out the interest rate you will pay on your credit card, your mortgage, or student loans. LIBOR affects trillions of dollars in contracts around the world. By rigging the bench rate, the banks were able to charge the customer a higher rate, thereby adding to their profit margin at the customer’s expense. In its suit, the FDIC seeks to recover monetary losses which were suffered as a result of the manipulation of the rates.
The FDIC’s suit, filed Friday, is only the latest in the ongoing fallout from the scandal. Late last year, four banks – Britain’s Barclays(BCS), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Switzerland’s biggest bank UBS (UBS), and Rabobank of the Netherlands – paid a total of about $3.6 billion to settle U.S. and European regulators’ charges of rigging the LIBOR. In addition, the banks signed agreements with the U.S. Justice Department that allow them to avoid criminal prosecution if they meet certain conditions.
Less Fat, Better Tasting…
On Friday, Dannon Co. announced that it will scale back fat and sugar in its yogurt products, becoming the latest business to team up with first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to fight childhood obesity. The company’s commitment, made as part of a partnership with Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative and the Partnership for a Healthier America, sets specific goals for reducing fat and sugar in its product line and calls for increasing nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. Dannon, the U.S. unit of France’s Danone SA and maker of one of the top-selling yogurt brands in America, drew nearly 30% of the dollars spent on yogurt in the country.
The agreement with Dannon comes as big food companies try to capitalize on the continuing move by consumers for lower sodium and less sugary options. Under the new agreement, Dannon will change its product line by 2016 so that 70% of its products contain 23 grams or less of sugar per 6-ounce serving, up from the current 62%, and so that all products marketed to children meet that standard. The company will also put $3 million toward research on healthy eating, including grants to universities, as well as pamphlets and educational materials.
In The Markets:
Asian markets started out the week mixed as concerns escalate over what the new “Crimea” with its new currency and time zone will look or act like.
European shares closed down on Friday as the continued tension in Ukraine and global concerns about the economic growth of China hampered investors buying mood.
U.S. markets closed down on Friday capping the worst week since late January for both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average. Worries over the weekend vote in Crimea and slower data from China weighted on the markets. DJIA: -43.22 16065.67 Nasdaq: -15.02 4245.40 S&P 500: -5.21
In Dinner or Drink:
Barbeque Chicken with Citrus Yogurt Marinade
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 orange, juice and zest
1 cup Dannon Plain Yogurt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup parsley
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
12 boneless chicken thighs
1 tsp. kosher salt
1. In a large bowl combine citrus juices and zests, yogurt, olive oil, garlic, spices and herbs, mix well. Pour all but 1/2 cup marinade over chicken and toss to coat completely. Let chicken marinate 1-2 hours (or overnight).
2. Salt chickens. Place chicken skin side down on barbecue/grill and cook with lid up 10-12 minutes. Turn chicken and baste with reserved marinade. Continue to cook, basting occasionally, lid down for 10-12 minutes.
3. Serve chicken over rice or cous cous.
6 servings (2 chicken thighs per serving)
Be kind to those that meet you as you rise, you may pass them again as you
fall. – Irish Proverb