What Are Your Financial Resolutions for this year

Jodie fosters money monster holds bankers responsible for financial cri


With Jodie Foster's "Money Monster", which premieres on Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival, Hollywood is expressly holding the banks responsible for the financial crisis. Foster's fourth feature film sees a TV financial guru played by George Clooney held hostage live on air as Jack O'Connell in the role of a disillusioned viewer decides to take revenge after he loses money following advice from Clooney."I hadn't seen much response to the financial crisis by Hollywood," said Dominic West, star of "The Wire" and "The Affair" who plays a banker in Foster's film, told a news conference just before the premiere."This attracted me for that reason - it was holding the bankers to account in a very graphic, dramatic way that I think resonated very much. Then I realised I was going to be the evil banker," said West. The film co-stars Julia Roberts, who makes her Cannes debut.

"I discovered the role would entail holding George Clooney hostage, likewise Julia Roberts and going after Dominic West with a gun and a bomb vest, a detonator..., so I thought that was within my capabilities," said O'Connell. Clooney also praised "Money Monster" for trying to teach a lesson.

"It just seems that we've gotten used to the idea that some schmuck can get up on television and tell you where to put your money and they do it out of entertainment, and people listen to them and do it and lose things in real life, and the rest of the world goes on unhurt by all these things," he said. Foster, 53, a two-time Academy Award winner as best actress who since 1991 has also directed "Little Man Tate", "Home for the Holidays" and "The Beaver", believes her new movie has just the right balance to find its audience."I think people do still want to make movies that make them think, that make them feel, that don't manipulate them," she said.

"But there aren't very many being made in the mainstream world. So one of the reasons why I think this film belongs here in some ways is that it's challenging how stories are told and that you do not have to choose between being a mainstream film and being an intelligent movie. You can be both.""Money Monsters" comes a year after "The Big Short", about renegade Wall Street fund managers during the financial crisis. "The Big Short" won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay.

Kuwaits equate in talks to refinance $6 bln bridge loan sources


Feb 7 Kuwait's EQUATE Petrochemical Co is in talks with banks to refinance a $6 billion bridge loan that it secured last year and was partly used to fund the acquisition of petrochemical company MEGlobal, sources with knowledge of the matter said on Sunday. The venture between Dow Chemical and Petrochemical Industries Co (PIC) of Kuwait is seeking funds split into portions of three years and five years, the sources said on condition of anonymity as the information is not public. One source, a Gulf-based banker, added the first tranche would be structured as a revolving credit facility and the second as a term loan. EQUATE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kuwait's finances have been hit by a slump in oil prices. This has squeezed banking system liquidity, forcing government and quasi-sovereign entities to scramble for financing ahead of possible U.S. interest rate hikes in the coming months. EQUATE's loan would facilitate the exit of Dow from some of its ventures in Kuwait; the sale of ME Global is part of Dow's bigger plan to optimise ownership in its Kuwait operations.

EQUATE originally raised a $6 billion bridge loan in December to buy MEGlobal from Dow and PIC, part of state-run Kuwait Petroleum, for $3.2 billion, and to refinance some of EQUATE's existing debt. The loan is due to mature in December 2016 although it has an option to be extended for six months.

EQUATE is taking indications from local and international banks for bullet as well as amortising loans, the Gulf-based banker and a second source said. In a bullet loan, the principal is repaid at the end of the term, while in an amortising structure, the borrower repays parts of the loan throughout the duration. The current bridge loan was arranged by banks including JP Morgan, Citigroup, HSBC, Kuwait Finance House and National Bank of Kuwait. Established in 1995, EQUATE operates an integrated manufacturing facility producing more than 5 million tonnes annually of petrochemical products, including polyethylene and ethylene, that are marketed throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.