Corporations & securities brief ~ FERC to ask Enron to return money made during energy crisis

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's corporations and securities law news, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) [official website], who have been examining the trading schemes Enron [corporate website, JURIST Hot Topic] employed on Western power consumers, contend that the energy giant should be forced to relinquish all profits, some $1.9 billion, earned in that region between January 1997 and June 2003. Just last summer the commission ordered Enron to repay $32.5 million after learning the company had attempted to manipulate the power market when it failed to disclose a business relationship with El Paso Electric Co [corporate website]. The Houston Chronicle has more and continuing coverage on the Enron collapse.

In other news...

  • As previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, the Federal Trade Commission [official site] reported that for the fifth year in a row, identity theft topped the list of most reported frauds as the number of complaints about identity theft increased 15 percent from the previous year, and represents about 40 percent of all complaints received by the FTC. Read the FTC report [PDF]. Reuters has more.

  • SBC Communications Inc. announced that it will cut around 10,000 jobs as a result of its $16 billion acquisition [terms of the deal] of AT&T Corp [corporate website]. SBC has a webcast and supporting materials [PDF] related to the acquisition. Reuters has more.

  • American Express Co. [corporate website], the world's fourth-largest credit card issuer, will spin off its broker financial advisory unit in an attempt to better compete with Visa [corporate website] and Mastercard [corporate website]. Read the American Express press release. Bloomberg has more.

  • Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates [official biography] said the software company will still cooperate with the European Union order [text] against the company despite the complications posed by the ruling. AP has more.

  • Adolph Coors Co. [corporate website] shareholders have approved the company's merger with Molson Inc [corporate website]. The new entity will form the number five brewer in the world. Read the Coors press release. CBSMarketWatch has more.

  • Citigroup's [corporate website] huge trades in the eurozone government bond market last August have come under intense scrutiny after the leaking of a memo from the company's chief executive Charles Prince [official biography] which spelt out how the US investment bank could very profitably destabilize the market. The aim of the memo was to "turn the European Government bond market into one that more closely resembles" the US Treasury bond market. The memo will most likely fuel indignation in eurozone governments and also may weigh against Citigroup in regulatory investigations of the trades, being led by Bafin of Germany and the UK's Financial Services Authority [official website]. The Financial Times has more.
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