A second person was declared dead as a result of a ravenous fire that destroyed 347 homes in a Colorado Springs neighborhood on Tuesday, making it the most destructive wildfire in the state's history. As firefighters had succeeded in pushing the fire back into the mountains, President Obama visited the city, stopping in to see some of the 32,500 evacuees across El Paso County and taking a tour of the Mountain Shadows neighborhood, where numerous homes were consumed by flames, leaving nothing but gray rubble surrounded by seared, black lawns. Obama then stopped in to visit with some firefighters before Air Force One departed from Peterson Air Force Base.
Peter Madoff, the younger brother of convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, pleaded guilty on Friday to charges he conspired with his older brother to covering up evidence in what is believed to be the largest Ponzi scheme in US history. The younger Madoff was charged with conspiracy and falsifying investment records in the matter as prosecutors alleged the 66 year-old obstructed an Internal Revenue Service investigation and repeatedly lied to investment clients while serving as the chief compliance officer for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.
Richard Fisher, the President of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, told reporters in Aspen, Colorado on Friday that he believes the housing market has “bottomed out,” citing record-low mortgage rates from recent months as a major factor in recent improvement in the housing sector. Fisher's optimistic outlook on housing derives from trends in various reports that show a recovery under way.
Police in Monument, Colorado arrested a pair of alleged burglars on Thursday afternoon, who were trying to break into a home in an evacuation zone for the Waldo Canyon wildfire, which destroyed 346 homes on Tuesday and Wednesday. 38 year-old Belinda Yates and 36 year-old Shane Garrett were arrested and charged with charges including second degree burglary and theft. The two were also reportedly in possession of methamphetamine and a weapon, and will be charged for them accordingly.
The world's leading sport apparel manufacturer Nike reported its fiscal fourth-quarter results after Thursday's opening bell, driving shares down 12.5 percent in after-hours trading after earnings fell on higher costs despite an overall increase in revenue. The company also cited a higher effective tax rate, and increased marketing expense related to its sponsorship of the European Soccer Championships, which is ongoing, and the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics in London as factors in the disappointing results.
As expected, Research in Motion reported a first-quarter loss on Thursday, but the loss was more expansive than predicted by analysts and the company further disappointed shareholders with an announcement that it is delaying the release of the Black Berry 10 mobile operating system until next year. RIM CEO Thorsten Heins warned last month that the company would post a loss, but the $518 million setback far exceeded the consensus estimate from economists in a recent Thomson Reuters poll.
In a somewhat surprising move, search giant Google announced on Thursday that it is making its Chrome Web browser available for users of Apple's iPhone, as well as its productivity app dubbed Google Drive. The move was a little surprising given the contentious relationship between the two companies in recent years since former Apple CEO Steve Jobs accused Google of stealing the iPhone. While Apple has developed a reputation for making it difficult for developers to get their apps approved for sale in the iTunes App Store, it has been especially hard on browsers, having only approved a handful of apps prior to Chrome.
For the last six days, residents of Colorado Springs, Colorado have watched in horror as a wildfire started about ten miles to the northwest and then eventually made its way into the city, burning more homes than any wildfire in the state's history. Dubbed the Waldo Canyon Fire, after the canyon in which it began, the now 16,000-acre wildfire has destroyed at least 346 homes, most of those going up in flames on Tuesday, when thunderstorms generated wind gusts of up to 65 miles per hour, driving flames down the side of the mountains west of the city at alarming speed.
The current financial gloom just got a bit worse for 28 Spanish banks on Monday evening as Moody's announced a downgrade to their long-term debt and deposit ratings based on concerns about their exposure to Spanish debt. The move comes on the heels of a downgrade to Spanish sovereign debt earlier this month, which in-turn led to the downgrades on the banks. Considering the banks' individual exposures to Spanish government debt, the nation's reduced credit profile logically implies a weaker profile for the banks, Moody's explained in a statement.
According to a study released Monday from Bankrate.com, nearly half of all Americans (49%) do not have enough money stashed away to cover three months of expenses, and only one fourth have enough to last six months, the amount recommended by most economists as an emergency fund. Perhaps the most alarming, according to the survey, the percentage of consumers with no savings whatsoever has surged from 24 percent a year ago to 28 percent. The report was based on a survey conducted among 1,000 adults across the nation.