BILLION DOLLAR BAILOUT
Portugal's interim Prime Minister Jose Socrates announced a joint bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Portugal follows Greece and Ireland as the third debt-strapped European country to take a bailout from the rest of the continent, the Los Angeles Times reports. "This is a deal that defends Portugal," said Socrates, who faces a snap parliamentary election on June 5. The deal gives Portugal more time to meet its budget goals, but some investors fear that the only way out of Europe’s government-debt crisis is for the most troubled countries to default on their bonds-- most likely via some kind of debt restructuring that could force investors to take a loss, the Times said.
BP REPUTATION TAKES ANOTHER SPILL
BP will pay $25 million in civil fines to settle charges arising from two spills from its network of Alaska pipelines in 2006 and from a willful failure to comply with court orders to properly maintain the pipelines to percent corrosion, federal officials announced. The New York Times reports that the fine is the largest per-barrel assessment ever levied against an oil company in a spill case. This does not bode well for BP, whose catastrophic spill in the Gulf of Mexico is still under investigation. Those fines could cost BP more than $20 billion if the British oil giant is found grossly negligent.
BILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT
The U.S. justice department has sued Deutsche Bank for $1 billion for its alleged role in the financial crisis, the Financial Times reports. The suit accuses the German lender and a subsidiary of "recklessly" endorsing risky loans for federal insurance. "U.S. officials allege that Deutsche and its MortgageIT arm profited from the resale of mortgages that would eventually leave thousands of Americans facing default or eviction while sticking the government with hundreds of millions in insurance claims," FT said.
IS IT GETTING CROWDED IN HERE?
By the end of the century, the Earth will be home to 10.1 billion people, the United Nation forecasts. The planet's population, now almost 7 billion, is expected to reach eight billion in 2023, nine billion by 2031, and then 10 billion sometime after 2081. According to the study, population growth is expected to be centered in "high-fertility countries" in sub-Saharan Africa as well as in Asia, Oceania and Latin America. And as better treatments for HIV and AIDS are implemented, global life expectancy is expected to increase from 68 years to 81 years.
The largest company you've never heard of, according to Reuters, is about to get more attention. Switzerland-based commodities giant Glencore International PLC announced that its partial share float later this month could value the company at $61 billion, the Associated Press reports. This is expected to be one of the biggest initial public offerings in recent years. Glencore plans to sell part of its shares on the London Stock Exchange starting May 24 with a secondary flotation planned for Hong Kong a day later. The initial public offering would raise about $10 billion, with almost a third of the shares available to go to so-called cornerstone investors. Glencore made a net profit of $2.8 billion last year, a 41 percent increase over 2009, the AP said. The company controls about 3 percent of the global oil trade.