Memorial service slated for UNLV economist Schwer

A memorial service has been scheduled for Dec. 10 for UNLV economist Keith Schwer, who died Thursday of esophageal cancer at age 66.

The service is set for 1 to 3 p.m. at Tam Alumni Center at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It’s open to the public and is the only service planned by his family.

As executive director of UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research since 1986, Schwer compiled the monthly Southern Nevada Index of Leading Economic Indicators and presented his Economic Outlook twice a year.

Widely considered the top economist in Las Vegas, he was frequently quoted by local and national media.

Schwer is survived by his wife, Kaye; daughters Nancy, Amanda and Michelle; and three grandchildren.

State utility regulators will use stimulus money for training

Nevada utility regulators plan to use about $800,000 in federal stimulus funds for employee training and to add two staff members to focus on renewable energy.

A Public Utilities Commission of Nevada official said the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money will help manage increasing demands for oversight of renewable energy, transmission and distribution, energy efficiency and smart grid technology.

PUC executive Crystal Jackson says the commission expects recent activity in those areas to increase in coming years.


Kraft Foods takes bid for Cadbury takeover to investors

Kraft Foods Inc. took its $16.3 billion hostile takeover offer for Cadbury PLC straight to shareholders of the British candy company on Friday.

The deal is nearly unchanged from an earlier offer that Cadbury rejected. But by putting it directly in shareholder hands, Kraft starts the clock on a series of regulatory deadlines to get the majority support it needs and may flush out rival bids.

Kraft said in September that it proposed a takeover of Cadbury and formally issued the bid in November. Cadbury rejected the offer, saying it undervalued the company.

The offer includes 300 pence in cash and 0.2589 new Kraft shares for each Cadbury share.


Regulator says Madoff scandal may not change SEC culture

The Securities and Exchange Commission culture that allowed the Madoff fraud scandal to go undetected for nearly two decades may not change and the agency isn’t doing enough to support investor protection proposals in Congress, according to a top state regulator.

Denise Voigt Crawford, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association, blasted the SEC for what she said has been too-weak support for provisions in financial overhaul legislation aimed at bolstering investor protection.


Jobless-rate news helps push American dollar higher

The dollar surged Friday after the government said the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 10 percent in November, leading traders to weigh chances that the Federal Reserve might begin raising key interest rates sooner than they had expected.

The 16-nation euro dropped to $1.4827 in late New York trading from $1.5092 late Thursday. Before the government’s release at 8:30 a.m. in New York, the euro had traded above $1.50.

The British pound slid to $1.6429 from $1.6566, while the dollar leapt to 90.70 Japanese yen from 88.21 yen.

Against a basket of six currencies, the dollar was up 1.6 percent since the government’s jobs report.


Some borrowers getting aid on mortgages fall behind

About 25 percent of borrowers helped under the administration’s massive foreclosure prevention plan have already fallen behind on their new mortgage payments, according to government data that raise questions about the program’s effectiveness.

The delinquency figures reflect the latest troubles of the program, known as Making Home Affordable. Earlier this week, Treasury officials announced a campaign to put new pressure on lenders to do more to move struggling homeowners into loans with easier terms.

So far, more than 650,000 borrowers have been enrolled into the initial, or “trial,” phase of the program and have seen their payments lowered by an average of $640 a month, or 40 percent.


Rolling Stone hopes fans will have their rock and eat it, too

Rolling Stone hopes to make rock ‘n’ roll good enough to eat.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that the magazine plans a large-scale Rolling Stone-branded restaurant and nightclub next summer at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles. The magazine’s owners, the paper said, hope to capitalize on Rolling Stone’s status as a rock music and pop culture chronicler with the new venture.

The Times notes that Rolling Stone’s move is risky. Competitors such as Planet Hollywood and Hard Rock Cafe have suffered financial hardship in the past, but both continue to operate.

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