Energy-grant cuts to take toll on jobs
The Government's cuts to its Better Energy grants will cost jobs and make it extremely difficult for Ireland to meet its retrofit and energy-reduction targets, green building magazine 'Construct Ireland' warned. Following the Budget, the Sustainable Energy Authority reduced grants for cavity-wall insulation from €350 to €320. Grants for internal and external wall insulation were also reduced -- previously these were €2,000 and €4,000 respectively. But now separate rates have been introduced for different house types, with the maximum being €1,800 for internal insulation and €3,600 for external.
Irish to show work ethic at Christmas
HARD-WORKING Irish plan to stay in the office over Christmas, and 64pc check work emails while on holiday, according to a workplace-trends survey from Regus. Nearly half of Irish employees will work during the Christmas break this year, yet two- fifths believe very little will be achieved. Two-thirds of workers supposedly on holiday will check work emails regularly, the survey found.
Fannie and Freddie executives charged
THE US financial regulator has charged six former top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with civil fraud, saying they misled the US government and taxpayers about risky subprime mortgages during the housing bust.Those charged include the agencies' two former CEOs, Fannie's Daniel Mudd and Freddie's Richard Syron. They led the companies when the housing bubble burst in late 2006 and 2007.
Crude oil rises on New York exchange
CRUDE OIL rose as much as 0.5pc to $95.40 a barrel in New York yesterday. Futures for January delivery traded at $95.37 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for January settlement gained 0.9pc yesterday after falling $4.48 the previous day to $105.02 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Traders said crude prices reversed direction from morning slumps due to some slight weakness in the US dollar. A weaker US currency makes dollar-priced crude more attractive to traders using other currencies.