News Blurbs

Israel-Gaza conflict ends in cease-fire
A fragile cease-fire was orchestrated between Israel and Hamas, with Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi taking the lead amidst negotiations. Though Mursi belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood, said to be the political cousin of Palestinian-led Hamas, he has pledged to maintain Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. Many are already questioning the balance of power, with Egyptian judges and a recently dismissed Secretary General calling for strikes against his self-decreed new executive, judicial and legislative powers. 

A new golden age?
Investors are once again securing their portfolios with the yellow metal, resulting in a 12-year rally, the longest in nine decades. “We see gold as a hedge against the follies of politicians,” said CIO Michael Mullaney of Fiduciary Trust. Gold is expected to continue its bullish streak well into 2013.

HP writes off $8.8 billion
Shares in Hewlett Packard fell 12 percent after its CEO Meg Whitman announced an $8.8 billion write-off on the value of its $11 billion acquisition of small UK-software company Autonomy. It is alleged that Autonomy participated in “serious accounting improprieties” only recently discovered.

No more Twinkies
Hostess Brands, makers of the iconic Twinkie cream-filled cake, is heading towards liquidation. Negotiations between the company and its baker’s union were unable to reach consensus, leaving 18,500 employees out of work. CEO Gregory Rayburn told Bloomberg he considered this a failure, blaming outdated work rules and inefficient cost structures. Sales were upwards of $2 billion for the year. The company was 93 percent unionized.