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London Sets Record for Luxury Home Sales

Foreign buyers are pouring in money to escape volatility at home

(Newser) - The market for London's most luxurious homes is skyrocketing as foreign buyers, seeking safe investments, swoop in to purchase the city's priciest residences. Sales of properties worth more than $8 million spiked 31% to a record 262 in the past year, reports Businessweek . House-hunters hailing from the Middle... More »

Libya Lost $1B Investing With Goldman

2008 investment slammed by financial crisis

(Newser) - Libya handed $1.3 billion in Goldman Sachs in 2008 for a range of investments—but as the financial crisis took hold, the money lost 98% of its value, a Wall Street Journal investigation finds. Goldman made a deal with Moammar Gadhafi’s sovereign-wealth fund as it sought “to... More »

Why Buying Facebook Stock Is for Suckers

Do you really know what you're buying?

(Newser) - The investment world seems to be going gaga over the opportunity to buy shares of Facebook—or at least, the prospect that uber-wealthy Goldman Sachs clients can now buy shares of Facebook. But Duff McDonald of Fortune wouldn’t do it—and not just because he hasn’t got the... More »

Classy ATM Spits Gold, Not Cash, in Florida

Machine installed in a shopping mall

(Newser) - An ATM at a posh Florida mall cuts out the paper and goes straight for gold. Slide in credit card or cash and get out a pile of gold bars and coins in a tidy black box, the AP reports. The German machine is primarily a novelty item, says its... More »

Investors Flee Wall St., Bet on the Farm

Farmland has outperformed S&P 500 since recession

(Newser) - While Wall Street fiddles and the rest of the real estate market largely fizzles, there's a new hot commodity that has investors flocking to it: Farmland, reports the LA Times. Average farm real estate prices have doubled over the last decade, unlike, say, Florida condos, and many Americans and foreigners... More »

Screw Charity, Millionaires Spending More on Bling

Financial crisis scares money out of stocks, into stuff

(Newser) - Spooked by the financial crisis, millionaires have pulled their money out of stocks and put it where their passions are—think yachts, art, private jets, and expensive jewelry—while simultaneously cutting back on their donations to charity, according to a new report from Merrill Lynch and Capgemini. Most millionaires now... More »

Hedge Fund Managers Rake In Record $25B

Top 25 managers cleaned up by betting on bank bailout

(Newser) - Betting correctly that the federal government would not let more banks fail after the cruel denouement of 2008, hedge fund managers engineered a record payday for themselves in 2009. The top 25 brought in $25.3 billion, topping 2007’s record by a healthy margin, and the $4 billion taken... More »

Glenn Beck's Paranoia Is a Gold Mine

Gold to guns, scribe says there's profit to be made off right wingers

(Newser) - Move over Jim Cramer. When it comes to possibly unhinged investment gurus, Mike Madden of Salon says he’s going with Glenn Beck and G. Gordon Liddy. Ever since advertisers began boycotting Beck, gold sellers have been grabbing space. The weirdest ad features G. Gordon Liddy mocking Fed policies that... More »

2 Madoff Victims Sue SEC

Regulators are responsible for victims' losses, suit claims

(Newser) - Two investors who lost a combined $2.4 million to Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme have sued the SEC for negligence. The lawsuit argues that the commission should reimburse the plaintiffs for their losses because it failed in its duty to protect investors. Regulators had "countless opportunities" to catch... More »

Buffett: 'We Are Not Out of Problems Yet'

Investor looks to clean up on crisis, but is moving out of stocks

(Newser) - Even Warren Buffett had a bad financial crisis: The Omaha sage personally lost $25 billion in 2008, enough to put him behind Bill Gates on the worldwide rich list. But while many investors hunkered down as markets tanked, Buffett recalibrated, pouring billions into companies—Goldman Sachs, GE, BofA, Amex—that... More »

US Reaps Profit as Banks Pay Back TARP Funds

Fed pulls in $14B from loan programs

(Newser) - When the government spent some $240 billion last year to help avert financial disaster, the idea of making a profit from the TARP funds invested in teetering banks looked like a long shot. Now, however, profits from eight banks who’ve paid back the cash have totaled some $4 billion,... More »

Exxon to Invest $600M in Algae-Based Fuel

Will partner with famed genome expert Craig Venter

(Newser) - Exxon Mobil, the biggest oil company in the world, will invest $600 million in turning algae into fuel, the New York Times reports. Known for blowing off concerns about global warming and dismissing biofuels—its CEO famously called ethanol “moonshine”—Exxon Mobil has in fact been researching alternative... More »

$200M Russian Investment Values Facebook at $10B

(Newser) - Facebook is getting a $200 million investment from a Russian Internet investor that values the social networking company at $10 billion. The investment gives Digital Sky Technologies a nearly 2% stake in the Palo Alto, California-based company's preferred stock. More »

No Recovery In Sight for Small Business

(Newser) - Wall Street and Washington financial gurus may be seeing “green shoots” of economic recovery, but small businesses are still stuck in the mud, Kevin Kelly writes in Newsweek. Kelly, the CEO of a bag manufacturing company, says too many colleagues' businesses are losing sales, laying off workers, or shutting... More »

Scientists Bet There's a Gambling Gene

Study suggests genetics behind taking money risks

(Newser) - Genetics might be behind your betting habits, researchers have found. People with a “short” type of a certain gene were more likely to take risks than those with the “long” type, the Daily Telegraph reports. In a study, 30 volunteers were, for example, given cash and allowed to... More »

Cap-and-Trade Could Help —Not Hurtthe Economy

Fighting climate change can be profitable: Krugman

(Newser) - Now that Washington finally has the political will to combat climate change, opponents of environmentalism are pushing a new line: limiting emissions would do further damage to a battered economy. For Paul Krugman, those claims are "junk economics" to go with climate change deniers' "junk science." A... More »

Today's Hot Investment: Guns

or: Fearing New Laws, Buyers Stock Up on Guns

(Newser) - Guns sales are booming as buyers, fearing an Obama administration crackdown on the sale of assault weapons, are looking to safeguard their homes—and their retirement, reports the Wall Street Journal. Some gun enthusiasts see semiautomatic weapons as a smart investment that’s sure to gain value if new restrictions... More »

Venture Capitalists Start to Regain Their Nerve

Confidence gradually rebounding with stimulus plan

(Newser) - Venture capitalists are starting to get their confidence back after an exceptionally timid year, the New York Times reports. A key index shows the administration's efforts to stabilize the economy have given investors glimmers of hope. "There is some degree of stability in the financial markets and that allows... More »

Google Launches $100M Venture Capital Fund

Investments will be in non-Internet fields

(Newser) - Google will launch a venture capital fund next year with an initial capitalization of about $100 million, reports the Wall Street Journal. Unlike other corporate funds that back companies in their own industries, Google Ventures will look beyond the Internet to also invest in biotech, health care, and environmental technology.... More »

Help Jim Cramer—Arcade Style

New game lets you fend off Mad Money host's critics

(Newser) - Jim Cramer is facing his share of critics, from Jon Stewart to Fox Business, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Now you can help him defend himself in a new web video game: Jim Cramer’s Crashsteroids. Steer Cramer’s sneering mug as he takes aim at his detractors in... More »

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