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March 31, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday paid the highest-level Kremlin visit to Crimea since the territory was seized from Ukraine last month, and promised lavish investment and aid for the newly annexed region's 2 million residents. Medvedev led a Russian government delegation to Crimea's capital, Simferopol, and convened a Cabinet meeting at which the Russian officials proclaimed the region a special economic zone entitled to tax breaks and other incentives for investors.
March 30, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Most people may take natural gas for granted. It fuels the flame on your stove, fires your furnace. It's there when you need it. For Sempra Energy, natural gas is big business. The San Diego company owns Southern California Gas Co., the nation's largest natural gas distribution company, and San Diego Gas & Electric, one of the largest publicly owned power companies in the country. Sempra reported net income of $1 billion last year on revenue of $10.6 billion. It has 17,000 employees worldwide and provides energy to more than 30 million people.
March 29, 2014 | By Tim Logan
This time last year, investment firms raced to buy dozens of single-family homes in neighborhoods from Fontana to South Los Angeles to lease them out, transforming the mom-and-pop rental business into a Wall Street juggernaut. The flood of cash helped spark a steep rise in prices, drawing criticism for pushing families out of the market. But now the firms themselves have all but stopped buying in Southern California, the latest evidence that home prices have hit a ceiling. The professional investors no longer see bargains here.
March 24, 2014 | By James Rainey
With city budget managers intent on limiting new spending and reining in employee benefits, a coalition of union and political groups is fighting back with a report that suggests Los Angeles City Hall is spending too much on Wall Street and not enough on Main Street. The Fix L.A. Coalition, which is made up of union and liberal political groups, plans to release a report Tuesday that suggests the city could substantially reduce the $204 million in bank and money management fees that it paid last year to Wall Street firms.
March 14, 2014 | By James Rainey
At just 21, a kid from the San Fernando Valley named Jim Berk began work as a music teacher at Carson High School. Within a couple of years, the teacher, not much older than some of his students, had turned a woebegone marching band into one of the best in Southern California. Then Berk moved to struggling Hamilton High School to launch a music magnet program. It gained national acclaim and so many new students that officials reversed their threat to close the Westside campus. "The Wunderkind of education" the Times dubbed him in 1992.
March 13, 2014 | By Mike Boehm
With investment markets booming, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the world's richest visual art institution, saw its endowment rise to $6.2 billion during 2013, approaching its peak of $6.4 billion in mid-2007 before the Great Recession hit. An audited financial statement posted on the Getty's website reflects investment gains totaling $766.74 million from mid-2012 to mid-2013, enough to cover expenses while socking away about $534 million for the endowment....
March 9, 2014 | By Andrea Chang
Ask anyone about L.A. tech these days and they'll almost certainly point to Santa Monica and Venice, where hundreds of start-ups have emerged in the last few years. So-called Silicon Beach is home to Snapchat, sizable Google and Microsoft offices, and a growing number of venture capital firms and co-working spaces. Almost every night, tech entrepreneurs flock to networking happy hours and parties. Potential investors flock to demo days that showcase the latest start-ups. When BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt came to town last week, it was for a glitzy tech confab in Santa Monica.
March 6, 2014 | Daniel Miller and Julie Makinen
Beijing-based film production company Huayi Brothers Media Corp. plans to invest up to $150 million in a new movie company from Jeff Robinov, the former president of Warner Bros. Pictures Group. The deal would be one of the highest-profile partnerships between Chinese and Hollywood film entities. Robinov departed Warner Bros. in the summer of 2013 after leading Hollywood's biggest movie studio since 2007.  Huayi Brothers said in a statement that it would invest $120 million to $150 million in Robinov's Studio 8, and distribute the company's movies in China.
March 4, 2014 | By Walter Hamilton
Moelis & Co., a boutique Los Angeles investment bank, filed for an initial public offering, seeking to capitalize on the soaring stock market and a recent pickup in corporate mergers. The firm was founded in 2007 by Ken Moelis, a longtime Southern California investment banker. The Century City-based firm would trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol MC. The firm has advised on a host of prominent deals in recent years, including representing the Dodgers and former owner Frank McCourt in the team's sale to Guggenheim Partners.
March 1, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
TEMPE, Ariz.  - Albert Pujols plays for the Angels, and so does Josh Hamilton. Total rebuilding is not an option. It could have been. The Angels' minor league system generally ranks as the worst in the business. The major league team has not reached the playoffs in four consecutive years. The Angels are coming off their worst season in a decade, even with the emergence of baseball's best player, Mike Trout. As the Angels stumbled through the waning days of their lost summer, Jerry Dipoto had absolutely no idea whether he would keep his job. The second-year general manager started preparations for the 2014 season entirely unsure whether he would have the chance to implement them.
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