The role of America's federally regulated banks in the $50bn Bernard Madoff investment scandal has come into question after it emerged that a number of victims of his alleged Ponzi scheme thought they had invested their money with an ordinary bank, The Times reports.
Two law firms in Florida, which are gathering claims from Madoff victims, are both representing a couple who say that they believed that they had invested about $1m (£688,000) with the Westport National Bank, a regulated savings bank in Connecticut, rather than with Mr Madoff.
The Florida case raises concern that a new wave of unwitting victims may emerge from Mr Madoff's investment scheme. The FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are already investigating the role of certain hedge funds that provided Mr Madoff with new clients. The biggest of these is Fairfield Greenwich, a Connecticut hedge fund believed to have lost about half its assets, totalling $7.3bn, to Mr Madoff's scheme.
THE RECENT SLUMP in the price of oil could help boost the UK economy, but too much of a further fall could reverse the good done, said a study backed by accountancy firm Ernst & Young, according to The Independent.
The value of oil has tumbled in recent months. It fell below $40 a barrel last week, after peaking at almost $150 a barrel last year.
The fall, if oil stabilises around $40 a barrel, would cause an 0.3% reduction in economic contraction this year and add 0.6% to economic growth in 2010, the survey, conducted by the Ernst & Young Item Club, said.
SEVERAL HIGH-PROFILE banks, including Deutsche Bank and UBS, could be caught up in lawsuits over lending agreements with Italian local governments, The Telegraph reports.
According to some estimates, Italian authorities could be sitting on €35bn (£33bn) of liabilities relating to bonds they took out in the 1990s, which could turn into Italy's biggest financial scandal since the Parmalat fraud.
Milan has said it is considering legal action against a group of lenders - Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, UBS and Dublin-based Depfa, part of Germany's Hypo Real Estate. The group struck a deal to help Milan manage repayments on €1.7bn of bonds it bought to finance public spending.IFAonline
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