Regulators warn that Botox from Canada may be unsafe

Federal regulators have warned more than 350 medical practices that Botox they may have received from a Canadian supplier is unapproved and could be counterfeit or unsafe.

The Food and Drug Administration said in a letter sent last month, a letter released publicly last week, that batches of the wrinkle treatment shipped by suppliers owned by pharmacy Canada Drugs have not been approved by the FDA and that the agency cannot assure their effectiveness or their safety.

The FDA said Canada Drugs was previously tied to shipping unapproved and counterfeit cancer drugs. 

Georgia counties sue HSBC claiming loss of tax base

Three Atlanta-area counties have filed a lawsuit claiming that British bank HSBC cost them hundreds of millions of dollars in extra expenses and damage to their tax bases by aggressively signing minorities to housing loans that were likely to fail.

The Georgia counties’ failure or success with the relatively novel strategy could help determine whether other local governments try to hold big banks accountable for losses in tax revenue based on what they claim are discriminatory or predatory lending practices. Similar lawsuits resulted in settlements this year worth millions of dollars for communities in Maryland and Tennessee.

Fulton, DeKalb and Cobb counties say in their lawsuit, which was filed in October, that the housing foreclosure crisis was the “foreseeable and inevitable result” of big banks, such as HSBC and its American subsidiaries, aggressively pushing irresponsible loans or loans that were destined to fail. 

LSE trims LCH.Clearnet offer amid capital changes

London Stock Exchange PLC has reduced the value of its bid to buy up to 60 percent of European clearing house LCH.Clearnet to take into account new capital requirements being imposed by regulators.

The Exchange said Monday that its offer values LCH.Clearnet at a provisional $19.83 a share, down from the March offer. The overall value of the deal was not disclosed.

It said the reduction was based on the assumption that LCH.Clearnet will have to raise 300 million in new capital. LCH.Clearnet is currently in discussions with regulators about how much It needs to raise to shore up its capital base. 

Oil prices fall slightly as markets await ‘cliff’ action

The price of oil fell slightly Monday during a shortened pre-Christmas trading day. Concerns over the political stalemate in Washington continue to be the focus of traders, with the price of U.S. benchmark oil closing down 5 cents to $88.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Energy traders have been watching Democrats and Republicans clash over tax hikes and social service cuts. Normally, recent good economic data would signal more energy consumption and higher prices. But fears about the “fiscal cliff” have so far tempered prices, according to Phil Flynn of The Price Future Group.

“Because of the holiday, a lot of people are sitting on the sidelines,” Flynn said. “We’ve priced in those scenarios and now we’re just waiting for something definitive.”

The average U.S. price for gasoline rose 1.5 cents over the weekend to $3.247 a gallon. Regular unleaded costs nearly two cents more than a year ago.

– From staff and news services