Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing

Article excerpt

Leeson Pleads Guilty Of Cheating In Barings Debacle

Former trader Nick Leeson pleaded guilty in Singapore Thursday to two charges of cheating in the collapse of Barings PLC, and the prosecution dropped the other nine charges against him.

Leeson, who agreed to be extradited from Germany last week, is liable under Singapore law to a maximum of eight years in prison on the two cheating charges. He was to be sentenced an hour after the hearing at which he pleaded guilty.

One charge was originally forgery, punishable by up to seven years, but was reduced at the prosecution's request to cheating, punishable by up to one year.

Bloomberg Durable Goods Orders Fall As Economy Weakens

In fresh evidence the economy is weakening, factory orders for expensive, long-lasting goods fell in October for the first time in three months.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that durable goods orders declined 1 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted $167.3 billion from $168.9 billion in September.

The department blamed declining demand for aircraft, automobiles and military hardware.

Associated Press Lazard Freres Shutters Its Muni Bond Business

Lazard Freres & Co., beset by fines, scandals and shrinking margins, said Thursday it will cease underwriting and trading municipal bonds. About 30 people will lose jobs in the municipal department, though Lazard said some of them will be reassigned.

Lazard's municipal bond business declined in the last two years as Lazard faced investigations related to state charges that it maintained undisclosed fee relationships that helped the firm profit at its clients' expense. Bloomberg GM Accepts Fine, Recall Over Cadillac Emissions

General Motors Corp. agreed Thursday to pay an $11 million fine and recall 470,000 Cadillacs with defective emission systems that were sold between 1991 through 1995, as part of a settlement with the government. …

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