David Murcia Guzman, the architect of Colombia’s biggest pyramid scheme, was found guilty of money-laundering and illicit enrichment on Wednesday in a Bogotá courthouse. The conviction could carry a sentence of 12 to 15 years in prison.
The scheme, carried out under the name DMG holdings collected as much as $4.8 billion in investments. When Guzman was apprehended in Panama last November and it was revealed that as many as 500,000 investors had lost their money, riots ensued across the country. Many of Guzman’s victims are seeking financial redress.
Murcia Guzman’s attorney, Gustavo Salazar, contended that the prosecution of his client was a “buffoonery” of the Colombian government.
The Canadian dollar reached its highest level in six months yesterday, climbing from a low of CAD$1.30 per U.S. dollar to $1.18 today. This comes as investors speculated that the worst of the financial crisis may be over. The Canadian dollar appreciation mirrors gains in both the U.S. and Canadian stock markets and a possible bottoming out of commodity prices.
Canada’s economy is closely linked to global oil prices and other commodity exports, with the lumber industry, in particular, optimistic about the slight up-tick in the U.S. housing market. This, coupled with better than expected manufacturing output in China, appears to be fueling a greater appetite for investment in more commodity-dependent currencies like the Canadian dollar. No major Canadian economic data will come out today, but markets will be watching as employment and housing reports come out later in the week.
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and President Barack Obama met in the Oval Office on Saturday morning.
The White House said Larry Summers, head of the White House's National Economic Council, General Jim Jones, head of the National Security Council (NSC), Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg and Dan Restrepo, the NSC’s director for Western Hemisphere affairs attended the meeting. Among those attending on the Brazilian side, Minister of Foreign Affairs Celso Amorim, Chief of Staff Dilma Rouseff and Finance Minister Guido Mantega.
On the menu: the upcoming G-20 summit, the Summit of the Americas, the global financial crisis, biofuels and, privately, the custody case of David Goldman.
For Latin American leaders, the place to be this week was either Davos,
In its latest report, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the