Feeling trapped: Louisiana shrimpers say proposed regulations regarding the use of turtle excluder devices on shrimp trawls are unnecessary and could be devastating for their business. The National Marine Fisheries Services is proposing the use of turtle excluder devices to limit sea turtle deaths in the Gulf. But Louisiana shrimpers tell The Courier passage of the rules could put small boats out of business. The shrimpers say complying with the proposed rules could cost them thousands of dollars to install and maintain the devices. Read the full story.
Seeing it half full: There’s hope in the Lafayette area that the election of Donald Trump will help the lagging housing sector, which has been negatively impacted by low oil prices, The Advertiser reports. Year-to-date home sales in Lafayette were down about 5% through November. Still, Van Eaton & Romero President Bill Bacque says optimism is increasing, adding enthusiasts believe Trump will revitalize the oil and gas industry, which lost some 9,000 jobs in Lafayette in 2016. If oil and gas recover, Bacque says, the housing market will follow. Read the full story.
Test of time: Italy’s Monte dei Paschi, believed to be the world’s oldest surviving bank, is failing. The Associated Press reports the European Central Bank, the main regulator for banks in the eurozone, has estimated the bank has a capital shortfall at 8.8 billion euros, or $9.2 billion. The figure is well above the 5 billion euros that Monte dei Paschi had set as its capital increase goal, due to the fact that its capital position has deteriorated in the past month, apparently as customers withdrew deposits. The Italian government is expected to invest 6.3 billion euros to prop up the bank. The rest would come from bondholders who would take losses under new EU rules meant to spare taxpayers the cost of rescuing banks. Read the full story.