VeraSun Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

VeraSun Energy Corp., one of the nation’s largest ethanol producers announced late Friday that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The South Dakota-based company says it expects to continue normal operations and pay its workers regular salaries while it reorganizes. According to a company news release “the filing was precipitated by a series of events that led to a contraction in VeraSun’s liquidity, impairing its ability to operate its business and invest in production facilities.”

VeraSun made bad bets on the corn market over the summer as grain prices reached record highs, resulting in significant losses for the company. That came just as the U.S. economy began deteriorating.

“Worsening capital market conditions and a tightening of trade credit resulted in severe constraints on the Company’s liquidity position,” the company said.

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Chinese shoppers shocked by tainted food scandal

BEIJING, China (CNN) — Consumers in Beijing’s malls and shops are shunning the milk and poultry sections — for good reasons.

Poultry products, including eggs, may be contaminated with melamine through animal food.
Poultry products, including eggs, may be contaminated with melamine through animal food.

They are shocked and scared by the news headlines: some food produced in China is tainted with melamine.

“Of course I’m worried,” says a woman shopping in Nanxiaojie Market. Stop eating eggs? “That’s not possible,” she tells CNN. “If there’s a problem with eggs, it should be solved fundamentally.”

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao says China will take steps to win back consumers.

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Florida’s Freedom Bank Is 17th in U.S. to Be Closed This Year

Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) — Freedom Bank of Bradenton, Florida, became the 17th U.S. bank seized by regulators this year as the deepest housing slump since the Great Depression triggers record foreclosures and mounting losses.

Freedom, with $287 million in assets and $254 million in deposits, was shut yesterday by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was named receiver. Fifth Third Bancorp of Cincinnati will assume the deposits and buy $36 million of assets, the FIDC said. Freedom’s four offices will open Nov. 3 as Fifth Third branches.

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