This is a rundown of what we think are the most interesting business stories to come across our desks on this day, the 17th of November.

 

Olympus scandal

Although the Olympus scandal hasn’t been picked up by the media in the United States the same way Enron or Madoff were, it’s certainly the largest Japanese corporate scandal in recent memory.  The story involves aspects like diverted merger fees, vanishing offshore accounts, and the firing of the CEO who tried to uncover it.

FT: Nippon sells a third of its Olympus stake
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/beb6ee92-10cf-11e1-8010-00144feabdc0.html

Ex-Olympus CEO Woodford Says He’s Prepared to Return
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/ex-olympus-ceo-woodford-says-hes-prepared-to-return/2011/11/08/gIQAMI16yM_video.html

 

APEC catch up

Obama tries to assure American allies that the impact of defense sequestration would “not come at the expense of the Asia Pacific.”  But unlike the current GOP candidates, taking a stance geared towards peaceful co-existence.

FT: Obama declares Asia a ‘top priority’
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/f3663938-10d7-11e1-ad22-00144feabdc0.html

 

Renewable woes

First, Solyndra.  Then, the Volt.  Now, a report on how solar companies were hit by a double whammy: input costs when commodities were at a high while sales prices now are pressured by oversupply.

FT: Solar power: cloudy outlook
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/3/9093d960-0fd2-11e1-a36b-00144feabdc0.html

 

But that’s not stopping them in the frontier markets

The Newcom Group has had plans to take advantage of Mongolia’s the windy steppe for a while now.  Looks like they GE picked up the contract for their planned wind farm.

Newcom Group Building 50 MW plant in Mongolia
http://www.bcmongolia.org/news/1209-newcom-group-building-50-mw-wind-power-plant

GE signs Mongolian wind power deal
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/fee2eb26-10d7-11e1-a95c-00144feabdc0.html

 

Right in front you

While Meredith Whitney’s scenario of massive municipal bond defaults has not materialized and investors continue to focusing on Europe, investors must not forget to keep monitoring developments closer to home.

Sharp Decline in Revenue Is Forecast for California
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/17/us/sharp-decline-in-revenue-is-forecast-for-california.html