WASHINGTON (Reuters) –
U.S. securities regulators on Monday charged a Michigan stock broker with fraud for allegedly luring seniors into a $250 million investment scam after convincing them to refinance their home mortgages.
The Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that Frank Bluestein acted as the single largest salesperson in a so-called Ponzi scheme operated by E-M Management, which was previously charged by the SEC with fraud in 2007.
Bluestein targeted potential investors who were retired or elderly and held investment seminars to lure them into investing in E-M securities. Bluestein also encouraged many of the investors to refinance the mortgages for their homes in order to fund their investments, the SEC alleged.
Calls to Bluestein's lawyer were not immediately returned.
(Reporting by Rachelle Younglai, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)
BRUSSELS (Reuters) –
The European Central Bank cannot maintain its current strong support of money markets forever, the bank's President Jean-Claude Trichet said on Monday.
The ECB has been pumping billions of euros into money markets over the duration of the crisis in an attempt to restore order and to reduce the cost of borrowing for banks, firms and consumers.
For many commercial banks it has become the dominant source of funding, but Trichet stressed the situation could not continue indefinitely.
"The strong intervention of the Eurosystem in the euro area money market cannot be maintained forever," Trichet told a hearing of a European Parliament committee.
"We have introduced exceptional measures under exceptional circumstances. We will have to phase them out once the rationale for these measures fades away and the situation normalizes."
However he remained clear that, while the economic situation was improving, it was not yet time for the ECB to retract its support.
"Now is not the time to exit. However, at some point in time exit strategies will have to be implemented," he said, echoing comments made by policymakers over the last few weeks.
"The ECB has an exit strategy and stands ready to put it into action when the appropriate time comes. Our exit strategy is an integral part of our overall monetary policy strategy."
The introduction of one-year lending to banks is one of the measures the ECB brought in during the financial crisis. It holds the second of its three planned one-year refi tenders this week.
A Reuters poll showed on Monday that traders expect the ECB to start withdrawing the massive amounts of liquidity it has pumped into markets within a year.
(Reporting by Marc Jones; Editing by Victoria Main)
SAO PAULO (Reuters) –
The International Monetary Fund will increase its forecast for global growth next year in the next few days to account for a faster recovery in major economies, its deputy director said on Monday.
The IMF will raise its forecast for 2010 global growth to about 3 percent from 2.5 percent, said Murilo Portugal, the fund's deputy managing director. The revised forecast could come as soon as Tuesday.
"The recovery is stronger than initially forecast," Portugal, a former deputy finance minister in Brazil, told journalists on the sidelines of a business seminar.
Brazil's economy, the largest in Latin America, should grow more than the global average, Portugal said without giving detailed forecasts.
Economists in a weekly central bank survey released on Monday increased their forecast for gross domestic product growth in Brazil to 4.5 percent in 2010 from 4.2 percent a week earlier.
(Reporting by Roberto Samora, Writing by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Kenneth Barry)