Thursday, April 17, 2014

GM Needn’t Tell Customers to Park Recall Cars Says Judge

Only the multinational TBTF companies would get a pass like this. QB

General Motors Co. (GM) doesn’t have to take the unprecedented step of telling car owners that 2.59 million vehicles it recalled are unsafe to drive until faulty ignition switches are fixed, a federal judge ruled.
U.S. regulators are better able than courts to tell the automaker how to manage its recall, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos held today in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The request for a so-called park-it order was made by the owners of a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt who sued GM for the lost value of their car. They said the order was the only “fail-safe solution” until defects in the Cobalt and other small-car models linked to 13 deaths are fixed. The judge said she denied the plaintiffs’ request in part because they didn’t need the order to advance their lawsuit against GM.
“GM pushed to win this hearing on a technicality,” Bob Hilliard, a Corpus Christi-based lawyer for the plaintiffs, said. “There’s no doubt had they agreed with me and done this voluntarily, lives would have been saved.” Kevin Kelly, a spokesman for GM, said the company respects the court ruling.

Ex BP-employee settles US insider-trading charges related to 2010 Gulf oil spill

This is the height of greed. QB

A former BP employee who was a coordinator during the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has agreed to settle federal charges of using confidential information on the seriousness of the spill to profit illegally from trading in BP stock.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement of civil insider-trading charges with Keith Seilhan, saying he agreed to pay $224,118. Seilhan neither admitted nor denied the SEC's allegations but agreed to refrain from future violations of securities laws.
The agency says Seilhan was a crisis manager in BP's incident command center in Houma, Louisiana, and coordinated the initial cleanup operations after the spill that occurred April 20, 2010.
The SEC says he received private company information on the magnitude of the disaster, such as estimates of oil flow.
The explosion on the BP-operated drilling rig Deepwater Horizon four years ago killed 11 workers about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast and set off the nation's worst offshore oil disaster.
Seilhan, 47, who lives in Tomball, Texas, was a 20-year employee of the British oil company. He left BP in January 2011.
Koch Brothers Net Worth Tops $100 Billion as TV Warfare Escalates
Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who run Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries Inc., added $1.3 billion to their collective fortune yesterday on reports that U.S. industrial production gained more than forecast. The surge elevated their net worth to more than $100 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The Koch’s ascent comes as Freedom Partners, one of their fundraising networks, last week aired its first batch of television ads targeted at this year’s U.S. Senate races, including commercials knocking Democratic Senator Mark Udall of Colorado and Representative Bruce Braley of Iowa for supporting President Barack Obama’s health-care law.
“The Koch brothers are pouring millions into this,” Chris Harris, a campaign spokesman for Senator Udall, said in an e-mail yesterday. “They’re only fighting for their own interests, not Coloradans’. Mark Udall has a long record of fighting for the middle class and stops at nothing to protect Colorado’s special way of life.”
The ads represent an escalation in TV warfare among outside groups intervening in the Iowa and Colorado contests. In both cases, Americans for Prosperity, another Koch organization, criticized Democratic candidates for backing the health-care law.