Personal items of swindler hit auction block

Bernard Madoff’s belongings go on sale this week in New York City and will include the ordinary — socks, cuticle scissors and even bottles of shampoo. But some items will be marked with the initials of the notorious financier — from his Italian black velveteen slippers to his underwear. Federal marshals gave the media a preview Wednesday of what buyers can expect at Saturday’s auction at a Manhattan hotel. Bed linens, clothing, cookware and luggage are among the thousands of items that were seized from the New York penthouse of Madoff and his wife and from their Long Island beach house. Madoff led a lavish lifestyle until he went to prison. He left behind homes filled with masks and bulls — symbols of both Wall Street success and the fraud that destroyed him.

Cisco System earnings climb 8 percent

Cisco Systems Inc. said Wednesday that its earnings for the latest quarter climbed 8 percent from last year, providing fresh evidence that business spending on technology continues to recover from the recession. But new downbeat comments from the company’s chief executive on the pace of its customers’ spending helped push shares lower in extended trading. The stock dropped 95 cents, or 3.9 percent, after the results came out. Cisco offers a fair reading on the pace of corporate investment. The company said Wednesday it earned $1.9 billion, or 34 cents per share, in the fiscal first quarter ended Oct. 30. That’s up from $1.8 billion, or 30 cents per share, a year ago.

GM dumps bank over leak about stock IPO

Swiss bank UBS is no longer working on General Motors’ initial public stock offering because a bank employee leaked information about the sale in an unauthorized e-mail, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday. GM disclosed the e-mail in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. UBS had been listed as a proposed underwriter in GM’s IPO until Nov. 3, when it was dropped without explanation. The person, who did not want to be identified because the bank has not been publicly identified, declined to reveal the contents or distribution. GM’s filing said the e-mail went to institutional investors. It also said it “does not reflect our views.”

Singapore Air grounds its Airbus A380s

Tests uncovered oil stains in three Rolls-Royce engines on Singapore Airlines’ A380 superjumbos, prompting the airline to yank the planes from service Wednesday, just two days after Qantas announced troubling oil leaks on their A380s. The oil on the Qantas and Singapore planes was discovered during tests prompted by the explosion of a Rolls-Royce engine on a Qantas A380 during a flight from Singapore to Sydney last week. The plane made a safe emergency landing in Singapore, but the Australian airline immediately grounded its entire fleet of A380s while it investigated the cause.

From Herald news services