European Union politicians are mulling using an obscure treaty article to curb financial speculation, in an attempt to force down oil and food prices and counter the influence of hedge funds, The Telegraph reports.
After scouring through the EU's legal base, a team led by the Italian government has fixed on Article 81. It covers "anti-competitive agreements" affecting trade between EU states or dealings between companies in the same state, if there are repercussions for the rest of the EU.
Giulio Tremonti, Italy's finance minister, has called for a united European front to tackle alleged abuses, describing speculators as the "plague of the 21st Century", according to Italy's financial newspaper Il Sole.
THE US TREASURY Secretary, Henry Paulson, signalled yesterday that the worst may soon be over for the American economy, according to The Independent.
As the price of a barrel of oil tested fresh highs once again, and acknowledging the "headwinds" to growth coming from rapidly rising global energy and food inflation, Mr Paulson nonetheless said: "We have a resilient economy, we have good productivity, we have good efficiency. I think there's a very strong possibility that we will be growing at the end of the year, we will have stronger growth at the end of the year than we have right now."
THE FORMER HEAD of brokerage firm Refco was today sentenced to 16 years in prison for a $1.5bn (£750m) fraud that ultimately destroyed the company, The Guardian reports.
The sentence is a remarkable turnaround for Phillip Bennett, a 60-year-old Gloucestershire native and former Cambridge rugby player who at the height of the fraud was worth more than $1bn.
In February Bennett pleaded guilty in a New York City federal court to 20 counts of conspiracy and fraud, two-and-a-half years after his arrest. Prosecutors said losses connected to the fraud topped $1.5bn.IFAonline
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