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Wed Sep 26, 2012, 06:59 PM

STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Thursday, 27 September 2012

STOCK MARKET WATCH, Thursday, 27 September 2012


SMW for 26 September 2012

AT THE CLOSING BELL ON 26 September 2012

Dow Jones 13,413.51 -44.04 (-0.33%)
S&P 500 1,433.32 -8.27 (-0.57%)
Nasdaq 3,093.70 -24.03 (-0.77%)



10 Year 1.61% -0.04 (-2.42%)
30 Year 2.78% -0.04 (-1.42%)









Market Conditions During Trading Hours






Euro, Yen, Loonie, Silver and Gold
















Handy Links - Government Issues:

LegitGov
Open Government
Earmark Database
USA spending.gov





Partial List of Financial Sector Officials Convicted since 1/20/09
2/2/12 David Higgs and Salmaan Siddiqui, Credit Suisse, plead guilty to conspiracy involving valuation of MBS
3/6/12 Allen Stanford, former Caribbean billionaire and general schmuck, convicted on 13 of 14 counts in $2.2B Ponzi scheme, faces 20+ years in prison
6/4/12 Matthew Kluger, lawyer, sentenced to 12 years in prison, along with co-conspirator stock trader Garrett Bauer (9 years) and co-conspirator Kenneth Robinson (not yet sentenced) for 17 year insider trading scheme.
6/14/12 Allen Stanford sentenced to 110 years without parole.
6/15/12 Rajat Gupta, former Goldman Sachs director, found guilty of insider trading. Could face a decade in prison when sentenced later this year.
6/22/12 Timothy S. Durham, 49, former CEO of Fair Financial Company, convicted of one count conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud, and one count of securities fraud.
6/22/12 James F. Cochran, 56, former chairman of the board of Fair, convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, one count of securities fraud, and six counts of wire fraud.
6/22/12 Rick D. Snow, 48, former CFO of Fair, convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, one count of securities fraud, and three counts of wire fraud.
7/13/12 Russell Wassendorf Sr., CEO of collapsed brokerage firm Peregrine Financial Group Inc. arrested and charged with lying to regulators after admitting to authorities he embezzled "millions of dollars" and forged bank statements for "nearly twenty years."
8/22/12 Doug Whitman, Whitman Capital LLC hedge fund founder, convicted of insider trading following a trial in which he spent more than two days on the stand telling jurors he was innocent











This thread contains opinions and observations. Individuals may post their experiences, inferences and opinions on this thread. However, it should not be construed as advice. It is unethical (and probably illegal) for financial recommendations to be given here.



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Reply STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Thursday, 27 September 2012 (Original post)
Tansy_Gold Sep 2012 OP
AnneD Sep 2012 #1
Demeter Sep 2012 #2
Demeter Sep 2012 #3
Demeter Sep 2012 #4
Demeter Sep 2012 #5
Fuddnik Sep 2012 #9
Tansy_Gold Sep 2012 #15
DemReadingDU Sep 2012 #17
AnneD Sep 2012 #23
Loge23 Sep 2012 #36
AnneD Sep 2012 #64
dixiegrrrrl Sep 2012 #63
Demeter Sep 2012 #16
AnneD Sep 2012 #24
Warpy Sep 2012 #18
jtuck004 Sep 2012 #19
Demeter Sep 2012 #20
tclambert Sep 2012 #68
Demeter Sep 2012 #70
Demeter Sep 2012 #14
bread_and_roses Sep 2012 #25
tclambert Sep 2012 #32
Demeter Sep 2012 #6
Demeter Sep 2012 #8
Demeter Sep 2012 #10
Demeter Sep 2012 #11
Demeter Sep 2012 #7
Demeter Sep 2012 #12
Demeter Sep 2012 #13
AnneD Sep 2012 #65
Demeter Sep 2012 #21
Demeter Sep 2012 #22
xchrom Sep 2012 #26
Demeter Sep 2012 #40
xchrom Sep 2012 #43
xchrom Sep 2012 #27
xchrom Sep 2012 #28
xchrom Sep 2012 #29
xchrom Sep 2012 #30
xchrom Sep 2012 #31
xchrom Sep 2012 #33
xchrom Sep 2012 #34
Demeter Sep 2012 #41
xchrom Sep 2012 #44
Roland99 Sep 2012 #35
xchrom Sep 2012 #37
xchrom Sep 2012 #38
xchrom Sep 2012 #39
Demeter Sep 2012 #42
xchrom Sep 2012 #45
Demeter Sep 2012 #46
xchrom Sep 2012 #47
Ghost Dog Sep 2012 #71
Ghost Dog Sep 2012 #72
Demeter Sep 2012 #48
Demeter Sep 2012 #49
Demeter Sep 2012 #50
Roland99 Sep 2012 #51
Roland99 Sep 2012 #53
Roland99 Sep 2012 #54
Roland99 Sep 2012 #55
Po_d Mainiac Sep 2012 #59
xchrom Sep 2012 #52
xchrom Sep 2012 #56
Demeter Sep 2012 #57
Demeter Sep 2012 #58
kickysnana Sep 2012 #75
Demeter Sep 2012 #60
Demeter Sep 2012 #61
AnneD Sep 2012 #74
Demeter Sep 2012 #62
AnneD Sep 2012 #66
Demeter Sep 2012 #67
tclambert Sep 2012 #69
AnneD Sep 2012 #73

Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 07:16 PM

1. I bumped heads

With some one. I never focused much on the senior Romney, but I always got the distinct impression that he went home from the hospital with the wrong baby.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 07:25 PM

2. My prayers are answered! Thank you Tansy!

gotta do some SMW before I'm called to deliver....

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 07:28 PM

3. This Presidential Race Should Never Have Been This Close MATT TAIBBI

The mere fact that Mitt Romney is even within striking distance of winning this election is an incredible testament to two things: a) the rank incompetence of the Democratic Party, which would have this and every other election for the next half century sewn up if they were a little less money-hungry and tried just a little harder to represent their ostensible constituents, and b) the power of our propaganda machine, which has conditioned all of us to accept the idea that the American population, ideologically speaking, is naturally split down the middle, whereas the real fault lines are a lot closer to the 99-1 ratio the Occupy movement has been talking about since last year.

Think about it. Four years ago, we had an economic crash that wiped out somewhere between a quarter to 40% of the world's wealth, depending on whom you believe. The crash was caused by an utterly disgusting and irresponsible class of Wall Street paper-pushers who loaded the world up with deadly leverage in pursuit of their own bonuses, then ran screaming to the government for a handout (and got it) the instant it all went south.

These people represent everything that ordinarily repels the American voter. They mostly come from privileged backgrounds. Few of them have ever worked with their hands, or done anything like hard work. They not only don't oppose the offshoring of American manufacturing jobs, they enthusiastically support it, financing the construction of new factories in places like China and India. They've relentlessly lobbied the government to give themselves tax holidays and shelters, and have succeeded at turning the graduated income tax idea on its head by getting the IRS to accept a sprawling buffet of absurd semantic precepts, like the notions that "capital gains" and "carried interest" are somehow not the same as "income."

The people in this group inevitably support every war that America has even the slimmest chance of involving itself in, but neither they nor their children ever fight in these conflicts. They are largely irreligious and incidentally they do massive amounts of drugs, from cocaine on down, but almost never suffer any kind of criminal penalty for their behavior.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/this-presidential-race-should-never-have-been-this-close-20120925#ixzz27caNpXTX

ACTUALLY, GIVEN THAT IT'S A MERE 3 WEEKS AFTER LABOR DAY, IT NEVER WAS A CLOSE ELECTION. PEOPLE DON'T THINK ABOUT VOTING UNTIL AFTER THE HOLIDAY, AND EVERYONE KNOWS THAT.

IT WAS JUST THE MONEY-BAGS, BUYING THE MSM AND SPREADING A FILM OF DENIABLE CREDIBILITY, OR SOME SUCH SPOOK-TALK.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 07:32 PM

4. I SAW A DISCREET LITTLE "MITT" BUMPER STICKER TODAY (THAT'S ALL IT SAID)

The fact that Barack Obama needed a Himalayan mountain range of cash and some rather extreme last-minute incompetence on Romney's part to pull safely ahead in this race is what really speaks to the brokenness of this system. Bruni of the Times is right that the process scares away qualified candidates who could have given Obama a better run for all that money. But what he misses is that the brutal campaign process, with its two years of nearly constant media abuse and "gotcha" watch-dogging, serves mainly to select out any candidate who is considered anything like a threat to the corrupt political establishment – and that selection process is the only thing that has kept this race close.

Barack Obama is hardly a complete Wall Street stooge. The country's most powerful bankers seem genuinely to hate his guts, mainly because they're delusional and are sincerely offended by anyone who dares to even generally criticize them for being greedy or ethically suspect, as Obama has with his occasional broadsides against "fat cat bankers" and so on.

On the other hand, Obama's policy choices in the last four years have made it impossible for him to run aggressively against the corruption and greed and generally self-obsessed, almost cinematic douchiness that Romney represents.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/this-presidential-race-should-never-have-been-this-close-20120925#ixzz27cbQbHwT

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Response to Demeter (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 07:36 PM

5. Subliminal Message: Rahm Lost

NO SURPRISE THERE. RAHM'S A LOSER, AND ALWAYS WAS ONE. THANK GOD HE GOT STUCK IN CHICAGO, WHERE THEY KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH LOSERS (FIRST THEY ELECT THEM, THEN THEY CONVICT AND IMPRISON THEM. I'M NOT SURE WHY THEY GO THROUGH THE FIRST STEP, THOUGH...)

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11790-subliminal-message-rahm-lost

Mayor Emanuel “knows he lost” in the recent showdown with the teachers union “and finds it necessary to rehabilitate himself,” political analyst Don Rose told Newstips last week.

That’s his take on the TV ad blitz by an arm of Democrats for Education Reform – which has cost “an astronomical amount of money,” according to a campaign finance analyst.

With only 19 percent thinking he handled the situation well – “the first time the mayor has been upside down in any polling” – Emanuel “believes he needs damage control,” Rose writes in a letter to the Sun-Times on Tuesday.

“What is most distressing,” Rose writes, is that Emanuel accepts financing “from anti-union advocacy groups whose acknowledged goal is the destruction of teachers unions and the eventual breakup of public education itself.”

BUT THAT'S WHAT RAHM DOES! IT'S NO BIG SURPRISE!

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Response to Demeter (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 07:59 PM

9. I drove through a neighborhood of Romney supporters the other day.

It's the first time I've seen any of his signs.

It's a secluded, but not gated neighborhood along the Gulf. A friend of mine lives there, amongst the former million dollar homes. I drove by the other day to pick up the pressure washer I loaned him over a month ago. Romney signs all over the place.

But, there were other, funnier signs up next to them. "Socialism is a system that has never worked any place it was tried". These people really are delusional.

My friend used to have two houses in the neighborhood, but he had to sell one at a steep loss, after he lost the rest of his money day trading. I was telling him way back when, to get the hell out of the market and stay out for a couple of years. Now he barely has a pot to piss in.

He hates Obama, Obamacare, and everything else. Even though he's a Scottish national. Has no job or healthcare. Is 63 years old, and needs a hip replacement badly.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #9)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 08:28 PM

15. On the other hand

Driving home from my favorite coffee shop one morning last week I saw a single "Rmoney/Ryan" sign along the highway, at a major intersection were there are lots of signs for the local races. Just one little green (what's that about?) sign amongst all the rest.

And this is Arizona.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #15)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 09:47 PM

17. Rmoney


exactly, that is all they want

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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #17)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 06:04 AM

23. I almost threw up yesterday...

I saw a small pink women for Mitt sticker. It was hard to read pink with white writing.

Heard from my daughter yesterday. She is going green party. She said she was disappointed in Obama. She said they were the only party addressing the serious issues. This is her second national election vote. I was impressed with her reasoning, and I seriously grilled her. If more voters were so thoughtful, we might have a better world. I have hope-in my daughter.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #23)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 07:55 AM

36. They are the real change

I don't have children but I work in an environment where I frequently interact with younger people. I really see a completely different mindset in this generation. It gives me hope as well that maybe - finally - we will see an end to the two party monopoly in American politics.
I recently mentioned to a colleague that the country seems to be moving on from the traditional restraints of racism, ignorance, and intolerance that divide us and impede any real progress. She reminded me that a huge section of the country still disagree with that assessment. Maybe, but the real change we anticipated will have to come with the changing demographic tide. Let's hope it's a positive change.

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Response to Loge23 (Reply #36)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 12:22 PM

64. Speaking of demographic tide....

Texas will soon change to purple and then to deep blue...FOR MANY YEARS. We are getting younger and browner.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #15)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 12:03 PM

63. Not one Romney sign in my mostly Republican neighborhood.

Last election there were McCain signs all over the place.
2 neighbors are realtors, and staunch republicans. Not a sign to be seen.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 08:33 PM

16. 2 Major Views About Why Romney is Losing, and Why the 2nd is More Convincing By Robert Reich

http://www.nationofchange.org/two-major-views-about-why-romney-losing-and-why-second-more-convincing-1348582886


...There are two major theories about why Romney is dropping in the polls. One is Romney is a lousy candidate, unable to connect with people or make his case. The second is that Americans are finally beginning to see how radical the GOP has become, and are repudiating it. 



Many Republicans — including some of the right-wingers I’ve been debating — hold to the first view, for obvious reasons. If Romney fails to make a comeback this week, I expect even more complaints from this crowd about Romney’s personal failings, as well as the inadequacies of his campaign staff. But the second explanation strikes me as more compelling. The Republican primaries, and then the Republican convention, have shown America a party far removed from the “compassionate conservatism” the GOP tried to sell in 2000. Instead, we have a party that’s been taken over by Tea Partiers, nativists, social Darwinists, homophobes, right-wing evangelicals, and a few rich people whose only interest is to become even wealthier. These regressives were there in 2000, to be sure. They lurked in the GOP in the 1990s, when Newt Gingrich took over the House. They were there in the 1980s, too, although Ronald Reagan’s sunny disposition gave them cover. In truth, they’ve been part of the GOP for more than half a century — but never before have they held so much sway in the party, never before have they called the shots.

The second view about Romney’s decline also explains the “negative coat-tail” effect — why so many Republicans around the country in Senate and House races are falling behind. Scott Brown, for example, is well-liked in Massachusetts. But his polls have been dropping in recent weeks because he’s had to carry the burden of the public’s increasing dislike of the Republican Party. The same is true with regard to Republican senate races in Florida, Virginia, and every other battleground state.

Romney’s failing isn’t that he’s a bad candidate. To the contrary, he’s giving this GOP exactly what it wants in a candidate. And that’s exactly the problem for Romney — as it is for every other Republican candidate — because what the GOP wants is not at all what the rest of America wants.

WELL, YES, AND NO. ALL THAT REICH SAYS IS TRUE, BUT PERHAPS THE GREATEST PROBLEM IS THE LOSS OF ANY KIND OF "PUBLIC SERVANT" ATTITUDE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE POLITICAL EQUATION.

TOO MANY PEOPLE HAVE DIVIDED THE COUNTRY INTO "US' AND "THEM", OR AS ONE OF MY EUCHRE PLAYERS CALLS IT: TEAM EVIL.

THAT'S NO WAY TO RUN A COUNTRY, ESPECIALLY NOT A REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY.

AND OCCUPY IS OFFERING THE ALTERNATIVE....AN "US" THAT WE CAN BELONG TO, AND A "THEM" THAT NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD SUPPORT.


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Response to Demeter (Reply #16)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 06:21 AM

24. GOP.....

Traditionally blame the messenger not the message. With the exception of Nixon, ex candidates are relegated to the dust bin of history. Both parties need to do some serious rethinking. The GOP will do it after this cycle if they lose. If the Dems win, if they are smart, they will rethink their message and not look for another candidate in the mold of Obama. Clinton and Obama are not center enough. Both parties are too right of center and suffer from the delusion they speak for middle America. If they were representing middle class middle America, we wouldn't be in the sorry state we find ourselves in.

As I mentioned earlier, I found my daughter's choice illuminating.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 09:52 PM

18. I was watching the Mythbusters marathon today

and there came a commercial that was the video equivalent of Freak Republic, really cheesy lettering while some voice over in a "danger, Will Robinson!" kind of voice warned people that the only way to stop SOCIALISM was to send money to Romney and they'd get this handy dandy bumper sticker if they did so! SOCIALISM! I tell you! Obama has out raised Romney in contributions (ignoring Citizens United, I guess) and the SOCIALISTS had to be stopped EEEEEEKKK!!!!

While I'm not sure how much business they'll generate from people who watch science shows, I found the whole thing amusing and I know some idiots will send them money and the handy dandy bumper stickers are on the way.

The whole thing screamed "LOW BUDGET" though and I did find that part a little amusing, we're all so used to slickly produced stuff from both sides. This was even below the level of a tractor pull, more like they were advertising wrestling in a town of under 15,000.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 10:24 PM

19. Saw one of those. I want one that says MUTT, and has dogsagainstromney.com underneath, n/t

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #19)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 12:35 AM

20. Sounds like a business opportunity to me!

Short-term, yes, but definitely a collectible!

Mutt bumperstickers, with a doggie on the roof....brilliant!

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Response to Demeter (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 04:03 PM

68. I want one that says "Stench"

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Response to tclambert (Reply #68)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 04:31 PM

70. Seems a bit too obscure for the public to comprehend

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Response to Demeter (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 08:12 PM

14. Citizens United Ruling Accounts for 78 Percent of Outside Campaign Spending

http://truth-out.org/news/item/11766-citizens-united-ruling-accounts-for-78-percent-of-campaign-spending

The ruling opened the floodgates to fill campaign coffers with corporate cash and "enabled outside groups to run shadow campaigns for or against candidates of their choice," according to a new study that analyzes where the money has come from so far in 2012. The landmark 2010 Supreme Court ruling that struck down longstanding prohibitions on corporate political spending now accounts for 78 percent of spending by outside groups trying to influence the outcome of the 2012 election, according to a study conducted by the non-profit and non-partisan Sunlight Foundation.

About $365 million of the $465 million SuperPACs, unions, corporations, trade associations and non-profit groups spent this year opposing or supporting political candidates can be directly traced to the High Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, nearly double of what was spent in 2010 immediately following the ruling, says the analysis written by the Sunlight Foundation's managing editor Kathy Kiely....According to the breakdown, Super PACs have spent about $272 million and unions, nonprofit organizations, corporations and trade associations have funneled about $93 million into campaign coffers. The latter are groups the Supreme Court said can spend unlimited amounts of funds and do not have to disclose the identities of their donors to the Federal Election Commission because of their tax status.

"This money enabled outside groups to run shadow campaigns for or against candidates of their choice," according to the study. The spending also includes about"$4.1 million in expenditures for 'electioneering,' the term used for ads and political activities that focus on issues and policies in ways that not-so-subtly encourage voters to support or oppose a particular candidate."

The study noted that a "deeper dive" into the data tracked by the Sunlight Foundation "shows that the latest uptick in outside spending is focused on congressional races: Even in presidential battleground states, almost all the spending by outside groups is focused on House and Senate candidates."

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Response to Demeter (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 06:49 AM

25. And Romney as Prince Humperdink is priceless (n/t)

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Response to Demeter (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 07:27 AM

32. Now, see, I thought that headline could go the other way . . .

Sheldon Adelson complaining, "I gave you millions, MILLIONS!, and you're not winning! Stench, you're fired!!"

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 07:51 PM

6. Romnesia: The Ability of the Very Rich to Forget the Context in Which They Made Their Money

http://www.alternet.org/economy/romnesia-ability-very-rich-forget-context-which-they-made-their-money?akid=9449.227380.9Kru20&rd=1&src=newsletter716901&t=7

We could call it Romnesia: the ability of the very rich to forget the context in which they made their money. To forget their education, inheritance, family networks, contacts and introductions. To forget the workers whose labour enriched them. To forget the infrastructure and security, the educated workforce, the contracts, subsidies and bail-outs the government provided.

Every political system requires a justifying myth. The Soviet Union had Alexey Stakhanov, the miner reputed to have extracted 100 tonnes of coal in six hours. The United States had Richard Hunter, the hero of Horatio Alger’s rags-to-riches tales(1).

Both stories contained a germ of truth. Stakhanov worked hard for a cause in which he believed, but his remarkable output was probably faked( 2). When Alger wrote his novels, some poor people had become very rich in the United States. But the further from its ideals (productivity in the Soviet Union’s case, opportunity in the US) a system strays, the more fervently its justifying myths are propounded.

As the developed nations succumb to extreme inequality and social immobility, the myth of the self-made man becomes ever more potent. It is used to justify its polar opposite: an unassailable rent-seeking class, deploying its inherited money to finance the seizure of other people’s wealth...The crudest exponent of Romnesia is the Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart. “There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire,” she insists. “If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain; do something to make more money yourselves – spend less time drinking, or smoking and socialising and more time working … Remember our roots, and create your own success.”( 3) Remembering her roots is what Rinehart fails to do. She forgot to add that if you want to become a millionaire – in her case a billionaire – it helps to inherit an iron ore mine and a fortune from your father, and to ride a spectacular commodities boom. Had she spent her life lying in bed and throwing darts at the wall, she would still be stupendously rich. The rich lists are stuffed with people who either inherited their money or who made it through rent-seeking activities: by means other than innovation and productive effort. They’re a catalogue of speculators, property barons, dukes, IT monopolists, loansharks, bank chiefs, oil sheikhs, mining magnates, oligarchs and chief executives paid out of all proportion to any value they generate.

Looters, in short...

References:

1. The Ragged Dick series.

2. http://www.nytimes.com/1985/08/31/world/in-soviet-eager-beaver-s-legend-works-overtime.html

3. http://www.ipa.org.au/sectors/northern-australia-project/publication/2081/let%27s-get-back-to-our-roots


********************************************************

George Monbiot is the author Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning. Read more of his writings at Monbiot.com. This article originally appeared in the Guardian.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 07:57 PM

8. Let Them Eat Crow By DAVID BROOKS and GAIL COLLINS

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/26/let-them-eat-crow/

...Gail: Replacement referees have done what Barack Obama couldn’t do – bring the nation together.

I hate to drop the subject, but it’s time to go back to disagreeing. Let’s talk about Social Security, which we haven’t heard much about during the campaign. I have a suspicion that Mitt Romney and President Obama aren’t actually all that far apart on this one – and they are equally unwilling to let us see what they’re thinking.

Paul Ryan, meanwhile, is on an entirely different planet. In the past he’s called Social Security “collectivist” and “a welfare transfer system.” Perhaps that’s one of the reasons the campaign is so unwilling to let Ryan be Ryan.

David: I don’t know. It seems to me that Ryan has been pretty sensible about Social Security. Plus, he had the courage to go to AARP and make his case. When future generations curse us for bankrupting them, I suspect they will view AARP as the epicenter of 21st-century greed....

ONE OF THE MORE BIZARRE OFFERINGS OF THE NYT.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 07:59 PM

10. The ‘Self-Made’ Myth and Our Hallucinating Rich By Sam Pizzigati

http://ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2012093823/self-made-myth-and-our-hallucinating-rich

In real life, working hard only takes you so far. Those who go all the way — to grand fortune — typically get a substantial head start. So documents an entertaining, baseball-themed new analysis of the Forbes 400.

Let’s cut Mitt Romney some slack. Not every off-the-cuff comment the GOP White House hopeful made at that now infamous, secretly taped $50,000-a-plate fundraiser last May in Boca Raton reveals an utterly shocking personal failing. Take, for instance, Mitt’s remark that he has “inherited nothing.” A variety of commentators have jumped on Romney for that line. They’ve pointed out that Mitt, the son of a wealthy corporate CEO, has enjoyed plenty of privilege, everything from an elite private school education to a rolodex full of rich family friends he could tap to start up his business career. On top of all that, the young Mitt also enjoyed $1 million worth of stock his father threw his way to tide him over until big paydays started arriving.

Not quite “nothing.” But no reason to pick on Mitt either. Most really deep pockets, not just Mitt, consider themselves entirely “self-made.” The best evidence of this predilection to claim “self-made” status? The annual September release of the Forbes magazine list of America’s 400 richest. Each and every year Forbes celebrates the billionaires who populate this list as paragons of entrepreneurial get-up-and-go. The latest top 400, Forbes pronounced last week, “instills confidence that the American dream is still very much alive.”

Of America’s current 400 richest, gushes Forbes, 70 percent “made their fortunes entirely from scratch.”

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Response to Demeter (Reply #10)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 08:01 PM

11. SOME REAL FACTS

Those “born on first base” — in upper-class families, with inheritances up to $1 million — make up 22 percent of the 400. On “second base,” households wealthy enough to run a business big enough to generate inheritances over $1 million, the new UFE study found another 11.5 percent.

On “third base,” with inherited wealth over $50 million, sit 7 percent of America’s 400 richest. Last but not least, the “born on home plate” crowd. These high-rollers, 21.25 percent of the total Forbes list, all inherited enough to "earn" their way into top 400 status.

Last year, a rich American had to be worth at least $1.05 billion to make the Forbes 400. This year’s entry threshold: $1.1 billion, the highest ever.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 07:54 PM

7. Freddie Mac Didn't Harm Homeowners, Inspector General Says

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/09/26/161828415/freddie-mac-didn-t-harm-homeowners-inspector-general-says?ft=1&f=1001



In January, NPR and ProPublica reported on a potential conflict of interest at Freddie Mac, a mortgage giant sponsored by the federal government. The stories noted that even as Freddie Mac was writing rules making it harder for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, it also was stepping up investments in securities that gain when homeowners remain stuck in high-rate loans.

Today, a federal Inspector General released a report that evaluated those investments and concluded they were just "a small portion" of the portfolio held by Freddie, formally called the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Moreover, the inspector found "no evidence" that Freddie "obstructed homeowners' abilities to refinance their mortgages in an effort to influence" the profitability of the investments, known as inverse floaters.

The NPR and ProPublica reports underlined the potential for a conflict within Freddie Mac. On one hand, the government-sponsored enterprise holds investments that make money when homeowners are unable to refinance. And on the other hand, it has a public mission to make homeownership more affordable. The stories did not assert that Freddie had specifically changed its refinance policies to boost the value of its inverse floaters. The inspector general's examination, which relied on the word of the Freddie employees it interviewed, found no evidence of improper collusion between Freddie's investment side and its mortgage-credit side. It also said the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Freddie Mac, made "ambiguous" public statements about the investment strategy. Those statements "could have been more clearly articulated," it said.

The inspector general's report was requested by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 08:07 PM

12. HOW'S THAT BIKINI LINE?

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Response to Demeter (Reply #12)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 08:08 PM

13. NOT LOOKING SO BAD NOW, IS IT?

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Response to Demeter (Reply #13)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 01:23 PM

65. How is that Bikini line....

I feel like we all got a brazillian....with the exception of the 1%. A little off the top, shave the bottom....ouch.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 12:45 AM

21. CFPB finds discrepancies in credit scores provided by credit bureaus

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT THEY COULDN'T GET ANY MORE SLEAZY...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/cfpb-finds-discrepancies-in-credit-scores-provided-by-credit-bureaus/2012/09/25/32f9fd9a-0728-11e2-858a-5311df86ab04_story.html



Credit bureaus sometimes provide Americans with credit scores that are different from those that lenders use in deciding whether to offer a loan and at what interest rate, the government’s consumer watchdog found in a study released Tuesday.

Researchers at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that the discrepancy happens for as many as one in four people
.

The consumer agency issued the study five days before it will begin supervising credit-reporting firms. That will give the bureau oversight of about 30 companies that make up the majority of the $4 billion industry.

Credit agencies have come under greater scrutiny as consumer advocates question the accuracy of the scores, which affect the ability to get a mortgage, car loan, credit card and sometimes even a job...Given the widespread use of the scores, even small variations can have huge consequences. Discrepancies could lead some lenders to deny applicants student loans or mortgages, or offer terms that are worse than warranted, the study concluded...Consumer advocates said borrowers are unlikely to know about any discrepancy in their credit scores, although reporting firms should make them aware...The advocates called on Congress to grant Americans free access to the score most widely used by lenders, FICO. In some cases, consumers are provided scores different from the FICO measure. If they ask, consumers can pay to see their FICO scores from TransUnion and Equifax. Experian does not make the FICO score available...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 12:47 AM

22. There's lots of chatter about the Eurozone, But I have Eurofatigue

Maybe because it's after midnight? See you all in the morning....

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 06:56 AM

26. my outfit for Apres Revolution

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Response to xchrom (Reply #26)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 08:38 AM

40. What is it made of? Recycled Plastic Bags?

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Response to Demeter (Reply #40)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 08:43 AM

43. you have to work with what you have...and look Fabulous doing it...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 07:00 AM

27. Dior duels with YSL at Paris Fashion Week

http://www.france24.com/en/20120926-dior-ysl-paris-fashion-week-raf-simons-hedi-slimane-christiaens-vaccarello-france



Yhe launch of Paris Fashion Week saw the battle lines drawn between iconic houses Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior on Tuesday, as the fashion world braced for the long-awaited collections of new creative directors Hedi Slimane and Raf Simons.
By Priscille LAFITTE (text)

It might be raining and grey in Paris, but the launch of Fashion Week on Tuesday promised a whirlwind of excitement in the French capital as two of its biggest rival fashion houses are set to go head-to-head with their respective new creative directors.

The last time the world’s designers, models and fashionistas filed into Paris expecting to feast on the delights of Dior, the party turned sour before it even started following the emergence of video footage showing Dior’s then chief designer, John Galliano, praising Adolf Hitler.

This time, Dior is back under a more favourable spotlight with new director Raf Simons, and facing off against long-time rival Saint Laurent Paris (YSL), which enters the fray with its own new direction in the form of Hedi Slimane.


*** i love raf simons -- i don't know much about hedi slimane.
one day -- just once before i die -- i would love to attend the paris fashion show.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 07:04 AM

28. Unemployment in France surpasses three million

http://www.france24.com/en/20120927-france-unemployment-tops-surpasses-3-three-million-economy-hollande-jobless

The number of unemployed people in mainland France surpassed three million for the first time since 1999, new labour ministry data showed Wednesday, as French President François Hollande prepares to unveil his 2013 budget this week.

French unemployment topped three million for the first time in over a decade, data showed Wednesday, as the country faces a yawning budget gap like those plaguing its southern eurozone neighbours.

The number of jobless in mainland France swelled to 3.011 million in August, 23,900 more than in July, Labour Ministry figures showed, the first time since 1999 that the figure has breached the three million mark.

Some 4.494 million people, including some who are partially employed, have registered themselves as actively looking for work on the French mainland. This is 40,800 more than in July and a record since the ministry began collecting comparable data in 1991.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 07:06 AM

29. Former Credit Suisse trader Kareem Serageldin arrested

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19740403


A former senior trader from Credit Suisse, Kareem Serageldin, has been arrested in London and faces extradition to the US on fraud charges.

Two of his former subordinates pleaded guilty in February to charges of wire fraud and falsifying books and records.

They admitted to having manipulated prices of mortgage-backed securities to cover up losses at Mr Serageldin's direction.

Mr Serageldin, a US citizen, will appear before magistrates on Thursday.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 07:08 AM

30. UK economy shrank less than thought

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19740370


The UK economy contracted by less than thought in the second quarter, official figures have shown.

The economy shrank by 0.4% in the April-to-June period, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in its third estimate of gross domestic product (GDP).

The ONS had initially estimated a contraction of 0.7%, before revising that to 0.5% last month.

Analysts had been expecting no change to the second estimate.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 07:11 AM

31. China's Baoshan suspends steel plant as demand slows

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19739418


The plant in Shanghai mainly produces steel plates used in ships and manufacturing


Baoshan Iron and Steel, the fourth biggest steel producer in the world, has suspended production at a plant in China as demand slows.

Baosteel, as it is known, said it closed the plant in Luojing, Shanghai, to avoid increasing operating losses.

China is the world's biggest producer of steel and prices have fallen this year.

Steel makers in China have been struggling as Beijing puts curbs on the property sector to bring down prices.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 07:30 AM

33. Orders for U.S. Durable Goods Probably Slumped on Airplanes

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-27/orders-for-u-s-durable-goods-probably-slumped-on-airplanes.html

Orders for U.S. durable goods probably plunged in August, reflecting a slump in demand for aircraft and slowing business investment, economists said before a report today.

Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years decreased 5 percent, the most since January 2009, after surging 4.1 percent in July, according to the median forecast of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. A gain in orders for capital equipment such as machinery was probably not large enough to make up for the prior month’s fall, the data may also show.

Manufacturing, once a pillar of the economic recovery, has cooled, hurting companies like Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) as concern about the fiscal cliff of tax increases and government spending cuts that may take effect next year causes businesses to pull back. Slowing growth from Europe to China is also putting a dent in exports, another headwind for American factories.

The figures may reflect “cautious spending by businesses in response to signs of slowing global growth and the unsettled budget situation in the U.S.,” Michael Moran, chief economist at Daiwa Capital Markets America Inc. in New York, said in a note to clients.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 07:42 AM

34. Euro Can Bear Fewer Members as Czech Leader Calls Greeks Victims

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-26/euro-can-bear-losing-members-as-czech-leader-says-greece-victim.html

The exit of one or more member states from the euro won’t destroy the monetary union or the project of European integration, Czech President Vaclav Klaus said.

And a Greek departure from the currency would be a “victory” for that country, which has been a victim of the monetary system, Klaus said yesterday in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York.

The Czech Republic, which pledged to adopt the euro as part of its agreement to join the European Union in 2004, is under no official deadline to do so and the question of joining the common currency is a “non-issue” in the country, said Klaus, whose second term as president expires in March.

“I don’t think the euro as a currency disappears,” Klaus, 71, said. “The issue is whether all of the 17 countries and potentially a few others should be or will be in this system or not.”

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Response to xchrom (Reply #34)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 08:40 AM

41. What an ignorant idiot

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Response to Demeter (Reply #41)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 08:46 AM

44. Ignorant Idiots seem to get all the good jobs. nt

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 07:50 AM

35. US Futures - party time!

DJIA INDEX 13,407.00 +62.00
S&P 500 1,433.80 +6.90
NASDAQ 100 2,785.75 +11.50


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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 08:14 AM

37. Stocks Rise With Commodities as Spain’s Bonds Gain Before Budget

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-27/asian-stocks-drop-to-two-week-low-on-growth-concern-won-climbs.html

Stocks rose around the world and commodities rebounded from a seven-week low amid speculation China’s government will do more to support economic growth. Spain’s bonds advanced as ministers met to approve a 2013 austerity budget.

The MSCI All-Country World Index (MXWD) climbed 0.3 percent at 12:32 p.m. in London, and futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 0.5 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index jumped the most in three weeks, while the S&P GSCI gauge of 24 commodities gained 0.8 percent as aluminum added 1.3 percent. New Zealand’s dollar led gains among higher-yielding currencies. Spanish 10-year yields dropped for the first time in three days.

Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has committed to cutting the deficit by at least 18 billion euros ($23.2 billion) next year, defying demonstrators who fought with police in Madrid this week. Chinese stocks surged after Shanghai Securities News, operated by the Xinhua News Agency, said there was speculation the government would announce market-boosting measures. The U.S. Commerce Department will report the biggest drop in orders for durable goods since January 2009, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

“Equities have rallied and commodity prices are higher,” said Peter Frank, a currency strategist at Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA in London. “The market is waiting to see what slippage there is relative to Spain’s targets and if the slippage is small, then that’s good news.”

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 08:17 AM

38. VW SALES CHIEF: EUROPEAN MARKETS REMAIN "TENSE"

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_PARIS_AUTO_SHOW_VOLKSWAGEN?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-09-27-06-14-33

PARIS (AP) -- Volkswagen's marketing chief says car companies are going to have to live with tough markets, especially in crisis-hit southern Europe.

VW's sales and marketing boss, Christian Klingler, told reporters at the Paris Auto Show that Spain's overall market has fallen by half since 2007 and Italy is down too.

Klingler said Thursday that "it's a development that we all have to live with" and that nothing like this has confronted auto makers "for 20 or 30 years."

It's an opportunity for the company to show its strength, he said, as VW has built market share.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 08:21 AM

39. i would say you can't squeeze blood from a turnip -- apparently i'm wrong...

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_GREECE_FINANCIAL_CRISIS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-09-27-07-56-35

GREEK COALITION HAS 'BASIC AGREEMENT' ON AUSTERITY

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- After weeks of fruitless efforts, the heads of the three parties in Greece's governing coalition have struck a basic deal on a new round of harsh austerity measures required for the country to continue getting vital rescue loans, officials said Thursday.

Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras said the long-delayed agreement placed him in a stronger negotiating position ahead of talks Monday with representatives of the country's bailout creditors, who will have the final word on the cutbacks.

He said Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' deliberations with the heads of his two junior coalition partners resulted in "a basic agreement" on the measures intended to ax some (EURO)11.5 billion ($14.8 billion) off state spending in 2013-14.

Under its bailout commitments, Athens must also boost state revenues by an additional (EURO)2 billion over the next two years through tax reform and improved tax collection.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #39)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 08:41 AM

42. Cue the torches and pitchforks

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 08:48 AM

45. Merkel highlights mistakes made with Spanish banks

http://elpais.com/elpais/2012/09/25/inenglish/1348583996_878834.html

German Chancellor Angela Merkel held up the situation of Spain’s banks as an example of how not to proceed as Europe seeks to put the euro crisis behind it.

Merkel was referring to the stress tests carried out by the European Banking Authority (EBA) in 2011 that failed to uncover the full extent of the problems facing some Spanish lenders because of their exposure to the ailing real estate sector. A number of banks, most notably Banco Financiera y de Ahorros-Bankia, were nationalized prompting the Spanish government to seek a loan of up to 100 billion euros to recapitalize the sector.

The German leader said she backed greater supervision of the banks but cautioned against too much haste in setting up a pan-European overseer. “I am in favor of creating a supervisory authority for the euro zone, but we have seen how the EBA was incapable of seeing the problems the Spanish financial system was suffering from in the bank stress tests,” Merkel told a meeting with German business people.

Merkel was due to meet later Tuesday with European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi. She insisted it was premature to talk of the European rescue funds lending directly to euro-zone banks without a supervisor for lenders in the single currency area being in place.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 08:50 AM

46. EU Panel to Back Derivatives Rules

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444358804578018270961058476.html?mod=dist_smartbrief

European lawmakers are set to agree on new rules Wednesday to tighten regulation over opaque derivatives markets, force delays on high frequency trading and restrict the commissions brokers can accept for selling financial products.

The rules, called the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, aim to create a regulated trading environment for over-the counter derivatives and other off-market financial products. They are part of an effort by nations of the Group of 20 large economies to bring transparency to "dark pools" where financial instruments are traded away from public exchanges...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 08:50 AM

47. Budget for 2013 to include €25bn in austerity measures {spain}

http://elpais.com/elpais/2012/09/27/inenglish/1348747684_050126.html

The Cabinet is due Thursday to approve a state budget for 2013 that includes belt-tightening measures worth 25 billion euros to meet the deficit target for the central government and the Social Security system of 3.8 percent of GDP.

Spending at government ministries is to be slashed by 12.2 percent in order to save 4.3 billion euros, while wages of public sector workers will be frozen for the third year in a row. However, the administration will bring back the Christmas bonus payment for civil servants, which was eliminated this year.

Outlays on public investments and current costs will be cut by 15 percent.

At the same time, the government is looking to raise a further 15.069 billion euros from tax hikes, particularly from the increase in the standard value-added tax rate to 21 percent from 18 percent, which came into effect at the start of this month.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #47)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 05:01 PM

71. Spain Pledges Cuts to Meet Deficit Target as Bailout Looms

Spain announced a detailed timetable for economic reforms and a tough 2013 budget based mostly on spending cuts on Thursday in what many see as an effort to pre-empt the likely conditions of an international bailout.

Ministry budgets were slashed by 8.9 percent for next year and public sector wages frozen for a third year as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy battles to trim one of the euro zone's biggest deficits while unemployment benefit costs rise in a recession.

"This is a crisis budget aimed at emerging from the crisis ... In this budget there is a larger adjustment of spending than revenue," Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told a news conference after a marathon six-hour cabinet meeting.

Beset by anti-austerity protests and threats of secession by the wealthy northwestern region of Catalonia, Rajoy is resisting market and diplomatic pressure to apply for a rescue, partly out of concern for national sovereignty but also because EU paymaster Germany insists Spain doesn't need help...

/... http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/09/27/uk-spain-budget-reforms-idUKBRE88Q15020120927

... The measures reflect Rajoy’s attempt to balance the demands of his European Union counterparts with voters demonstrating on the streets of the capital. He’ll raid the pension reserve fund to boost payments for retirees while unveiling a parcel of 43 separate measures that Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said exceed everything the EU has demanded for increasing growth.

Spain’s plan “responds to country-specific recommendations and goes even beyond them in some areas,” European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said in an e-mail sent while the ministers were speaking...

/... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-27/spain-pledges-cuts-to-meet-2013-deficit-target-as-bailout-looms.html

... So, Spain has, in effect, already agreed to the conditions for financial aid, without agreeing to the conditions for financial aid. The presentation of the reforms before a begging trip to Brussels should make the bailout an easier sell domestically. ESM and ECB support will be seen more as a reward for government efforts and less as a punishment for fiscal and structural laxity. However, the Spanish government still thinks it should wait before requesting help. Question is, how long?

/... http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-09-27/summarizing-what-spain-just-announced-and-what-was-left-unsaid-hint-cash


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Response to xchrom (Reply #47)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 05:09 PM

72. Europe's betrayal of Spain (Evans-Pritchard)

Last edited Thu Sep 27, 2012, 05:42 PM - Edit history (1)

... The Spanish bubble was after all a joint venture. Spain was flooded with cheap capital from Germany and Holland that it could not prevent or control under the EMU system. Did the German and Dutch regulators recognise the danger, or try to stop the excesses? Not really. They were complicit.

The ECB’s uber-loose money (to help Germany when it was in slump) led to negative real interest rates for Spain – minus 2pc for years – that fuelled a massive credit boom. Policy was far too lax for a fast-growing Tiger economy.

Did the Spanish make big mistakes? Of course. But the ECB and the European Commission did not make that critique at the relevant moment. They too were smoking weed.

Be that as it may, Mr Rajoy now learns that the AAA trio will not permit direct recapitalisation of the Spain’s "legacy" banks by the ESM, even after the new European bank regulator is up and running.

The burden will fall entirely on Spain, or so it seems. Spain must raise €60bn in fresh debt on the capital markets to plug the hole, or nearer €150bn if City sceptics are right...

/... http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ambroseevans-pritchard/100020401/europes-betrayal-of-spain/

...

The plan to recapitalise banks was meant to be the easy part of the latest scheme to save the euro. Didn't everybody agree that breaking the link between weak sovereigns and weak banks was a vital and urgent step? Wasn't the central European Stability Mechanism (ESM) deemed the perfect vehicle to strengthen the balance sheets of teetering banks and thus offer a helping hand to the governments of the likes of Spain and Ireland?

Yes and yes. But now comes a powerful "no" in the form of a joint statement from the German, Dutch and Finnish finance ministries. The critical paragraph began with the words "regarding longer-term issues", a giveaway that a classic piece of foot-dragging was on the way.

The ESM, declared the trio, can only go to work on bank recapitalisations "once the single supervisory mechanism is established and its effectiveness has been determined". That latter could take years. Further, "legacy assets" should remain the responsibility of national governments. So are saying there should be no central hand-outs to cover past government-funded bailouts of banks.

The statement is a shocker. Even if there had not been riots in euroland yesterday, stock markets would have slumped on the news and bond yields in the periphery would have soared. If the will of the trio of northern objectors prevails, the €60bn (£47.8bn) needed to save the Spanish banking system will go directly on the Spanish government's books, thereby making the arithmetic of the inevitable bailout of Madrid bigger and uglier. And poor old Ireland – the one country that the austerity disciplinarians could promote as a story of recovery – would get a slap in the face.

More fundamentally, the row over the role of the ESM damages the already-fragile notion that the eurozone countries are capable of acting quickly. Germany and the others seem guilty of sharp practice here – they are attempting to re-write an agreement whose general meaning had seemed clear. The time to argue these points was when use of the ESM was being debated by all.

But, if that's the true picture of the state of eurozone relations, you can't blame investors for wondering what other agreements could be challenged in future. It is a terrible climate in which to negotiate the conditions of the Spanish bailout. The backdrop to those delicate talks will now be poisonous...

/... http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/nils-pratley-on-finance/2012/sep/26/eurozone-crisis-spain-european-stability-mechanism

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 08:51 AM

48. BBA agrees to be stripped of role in setting Libor

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9565940/BBA-agrees-to-be-stripped-of-role-in-setting-Libor.html

Britain's banking lobby has said it will support any plans to strip it of responsibility for Libor following revelations that the world’s key borrowing rate could have been manipulated by major lenders.

The British Bankers’ Association said it would agree with any recommendation by Martin Wheatley, the head of financial conduct at the Financial Services Authority, to hand over control of Libor to another body.

In a statement, the BBA said it had been co-operating with Mr Wheatley’s review of Libor ahead of the publication of his report on Friday.

“If Mr Wheatley’s recommendations include a change of responsibility for Libor, the BBA will support that,” it said...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #48)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 08:55 AM

49. British Bankers' Association to be stripped of Libor rate-setting role

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/sep/25/bba-libor-setting-role-stripped-banks

The British Bankers' Association is to be stripped of its role of setting the Libor interest rate – used as the benchmark for the cost of borrowing for households and businesses around the world – following the rate-rigging scandal which resulted in Barclays being fined £290m for its attempts to manipulate the rate. In what will be viewed as an attempt to rebuild confidence in financial markets, the banking lobby group is to be replaced by a formal regulator that will oversee the rate that is used to set prices on $300tn of financial products from New York to Tokyo....The BBA has been involved with the Libor rate setting since 1986. It has now emerged the system has been vulnerable to manipulation since at least 2005.

The end of the current Libor regime is expected to be formally announced on Friday by Martin Wheatley, the top City regulator appointed by the Treasury to review the way the market operates. He has already branded the existing system "no longer fit for purpose" and is expected to recommend changes to the way the rate is calculated...The BBA's council voted a fortnight ago to give up its role in setting the rate. On Tuesday, a spokesman for the BBA said only that it was "working with" the Wheatley review team, and added: "If Mr Wheatley's recommendations include a change of responsibility for Libor, the BBA will support that."

Wheatley, who is to head the Financial Conduct Authority when it is spun out of the FSA next year, has reached his conclusions after a month-long consultation in which he considered whether the individuals involved in setting Libor should be formally regulated by the FSA. This would make it easier to fine and reprimand any wrongdoing.

He may also change in the way Libor is calculated in an effort to make it more difficult to manipulate...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 08:58 AM

50. France wants FTT in place ‘before the end of the year’

http://www.euractiv.com/euro-finance/france-pushes-ftt-year-news-514989



Paris hopes to clinch an agreement before the end of the year to launch an ‘enhanced cooperation’ mechanism allowing a small group of at least nine EU countries to move forward on a financial transaction tax (FTT), French European Affairs Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said yesterday (24 September). Cazeneuve was speaking at the European Policy Centre (EPC), a Brussels think tank, just after he emerged from a meeting with the 26 other European affairs ministers, where the EU budget for 2014-2020 was discussed. The French minister-delegate for European affairs admitted that the minimum number of countries had not been reached to launch and "enchanced cooperation" on the FTT, which his government strongly supports.

According to EU law, at least nine countries are needed to launch an enhanced cooperation procedure, which allows a smaller group of nations to break ranks and move forward on an issue that fails to gather the required majority.

The minister explained that France's objective was "to hit two targets with only one gun" – namely having a strong EU budget as an aggregate of national contributions, and ensuring that countries keep strict budget balances. That’s why France was keen on supplementing the EU budget with “own resources”, he said.

...In September 2011 the Commission published a detailed proposal for a levy on financial transactions. According to the proposal, the FTT would apply to any transaction in financial instruments, excluding primary market issuance, and bank loans. Share and bond transactions would be taxed at 0.1% of the higher of consideration and market value and derivatives at 0.01% of their notional amount. The FTT would be due if at least one party to a transaction is based in the EU. Germany and France, the main proponents of tax convergence, first pushed for EU-wide implementation from the beginning of 2014, but then agreed to resort to the enhanced cooperation mechanism. In this case, France wants to introduce the FTT this year...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 09:17 AM

51. Today's Reports

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #51)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 09:20 AM

53. US August Durable Goods Orders (largest drop since Jan 2009) >>>>

* U.S. AUG DURABLE GOODS DROP LARGEST SINCE JAN 2009 (-14.3 PCT)

* U.S. AUG DURABLES EX-DEFENSE -12.4 PCT (CONS -1.2 PCT) VS JULY +4.7 PCT (PREV +5.6 PCT)

* U.S. AUG DURABLES EX-TRANSPORTATION -1.6 PCT (CONS +0.3 PCT) VS JULY -1.3 PCT (PREV -0.6 PCT)

* US AUG DURABLES ORDERS -13.2 PCT (CONSENSUS -5.0 PCT) VS JULY +3.3 PCT (PREV +4.1 PCT)

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #51)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 09:21 AM

54. Weekly Unemployment claims >>>>

* US CONTINUED CLAIMS FELL TO 3.271 MLN (CONS. 3.285 MLN) SEPT 15 WEEK FROM 3.275 MLN PRIOR WEEK (PREV 3.272 MLN)

* US JOBLESS CLAIMS 4-WK AVG FELL TO 374,000 SEPT 22 WEEK FROM 378,500 PRIOR WEEK (PREVIOUS 377,750)

* US JOBLESS CLAIMS FELL TO 359,000 SEPT 22 WEEK (CONSENSUS 378,000) FROM 385,000 PRIOR WEEK (PREVIOUS 382,000)

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #51)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 09:21 AM

55. US Final Q2 GDP >>>>

* US FINAL Q2 GDP +1.3 PCT (CONSENSUS +1.7 PCT), PREV +1.7 PCT;

* FINAL SALES +1.7 PCT (CONS +2.0 PCT), PREV +2.0 PCT

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #55)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 10:13 AM

59. Talk about stats that just don't make sense. n/t

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 09:18 AM

52. EUROPEAN INTEGRATION Looking beyond market and power

http://www.presseurop.eu/en/content/article/2762531-looking-beyond-market-and-power

In the nineteenth century, the public’s imagination played a crucial role in the development of national communities in the European continent, as reflected in publications like Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities. The theory of this book is that citizens associate with one another at an imaginary level, although they have no personal relationship with one another and pursue entirely different interests of their own.

This sort of community spirit has to be conceived, expressed and made tangible. We in Europe, however, have yet to reach this stage. Numerous leaders harp on about the economic benefits of European integration, while steering well clear of any mention of the cultural differences, and rarely point out that the European project also has its intellectual and moral aspects.

It is no easy matter. Europe has a substantial amount of social and cultural differences. I should like to place the spotlight on two particular contrasts. The first is of a horizontal nature, and applies to the Northwest and the Southeast. One of the primary differences is that the former features a high level of secularisation. Many even fear that this may have disastrous consequences for society. When people renounce their faith in God, then the general opinion is that they also care very little about others. The facts, however, paint an entirely different picture. Voluntary work, for example, is the most highly developed in countries like Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

High trust societies


Another difference is that citizens in the Northwest more often feel involved in public matters. They take a greater interest in politics and are given more opportunity to speak their minds or exercise some sort of influence. Furthermore, all manner of social, cultural and recreational ventures are launched there, while it also has a highly developed civil society.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 09:25 AM

56. Rising Star Pledges Sweeping Change in Italy

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/matteo-renzi-pledges-sweeping-change-in-italy-a-858162.html




Last Monday, he was in Rome. A week earlier, he ploughed through northern Italy. In just two days, he made stops in 20 cities -- from Mantua and Monza to Bergamo and Brescia -- logging 3,250 kilometers (over 2,000 miles) in the process. Everywhere he went, the rooms were packed and the crowds were enthusiastic. Now his journey is taking him to southern Italy, starting with Naples.

The journey is being made in a white camper with the word "Adesso!", or "Now!", written in big letters on the exterior. Inside sits Matteo Renzi, the 37-year-old mayor of Florence. He is confident, relatively young for an Italian politician -- and sparking fear within the establishment. He is determined to win this spring's parliamentary election on his own, to become prime minister and to lead Italy for the next five years.
The resonance has been massive. More than anyone, young, Internet-savvy Italians are excited that someone is finally sounding the call to the barricades. After all, the older generation has yoked them with unemployment and debts. Even older conservatives who used to vote for former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi are jumping on the bandwagon. Fausto, for example, a self-employed construction engineer in his mid-50s, says: "If Renzi runs, he'll get my vote!"

Fighting the Party Elders

Many of Renzi's supporters are former left-wing voters who had stopped voting because they were disappointed by their parties. But now they are suddenly enthusiastic again. Many have donated to his online "Fai il pieno al camper" ("Fill Up the Camper") campaign, which collects small donations in small increments starting at €5 ($6.50) to help bankroll his tour through Italy. By mid-Wednesday, the campaign had already collected almost €33,000 in donations.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 09:50 AM

57. BOJ further eases monetary policy as it downgrades economic assessment

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120919p2g00m0bu062000c.html

The Bank of Japan decided Wednesday to further ease its monetary policy to support the nation's economic recovery as it downgraded its assessment of the domestic economy amid concern about a slowdown in overseas economies. The BOJ's Policy Board voted unanimously to expand its asset purchase fund to 80 trillion yen from 70 trillion yen, while keeping its key short-term interest rate at around zero to 0.1 percent.

The move came amid speculation from some market participants that the Japanese central bank may take additional easing measures after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced additional quantitative easing last week, though the BOJ was initially seen to forgo further easing at this meeting.

IT'S A PISSING MATCH, IN OTHER WORDS. IT'S OUR LIVES THEY ARE PISSING ON...

In downgrading its assessment of the domestic economy, the BOJ said in a statement, "the pickup in economic activity has come to a pause," reflecting conditions of overseas economies that have "moved somewhat deeper into a deceleration phase...There remains a high degree of uncertainty about the global economy" including the prospects for the European debt problem and a recovery of the U.S. economy, the central bank said.

It is the first time since April 27 that the central bank has decided to take additional monetary easing steps. At the April policy meeting, the BOJ decided to expand its asset buying program by 5 trillion yen to 70 trillion yen.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 09:56 AM

58. Launderers Anonymous

http://www.economist.com/node/21563286

A study highlights how easy it is to set up untraceable companies...SHELL companies—which exist on paper only, with no real employees or offices—have legitimate uses. But the untraceable shell also happens to be the vehicle of choice for money launderers, bribe givers and takers, sanctions busters, tax evaders and financiers of terrorism. The trail has gone cold in many a criminal probe because law enforcers were unable to pierce a shell’s corporate veil.

The international standard governing shells, set by the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF), is clear-cut. It says countries should take all necessary measures to prevent their misuse, such as ensuring that accurate information on the real (or “beneficial”) owner is available to “competent authorities”. More than 180 countries have pledged to follow it. A study* scrutinises the level of compliance worldwide. The results are depressing. Posing as consultants, the authors asked 3,700 incorporation agents in 182 countries to form companies for them. Overall, 48% of the agents who replied failed to ask for proper identification; almost half of these did not want any documents at all. Contrary to conventional wisdom, providers in tax havens, such as Jersey and the Cayman Islands, were much more likely to comply with the standards than those from the OECD, a club of mostly rich countries. Even poor countries had a better compliance rate, suggesting the problem in the rich world is not cost but unwillingness to follow the rules (see chart). Only ten out of 1,722 providers in America required notarised documents in line with the FATF standard. Providers were often strikingly insensitive even to clear criminal risks. The authors sent three main types of e-mail: the first from a low-risk alias from a country such as Norway or Australia; the second from a high-corruption-risk individual purporting to work in government procurement in such places as Kyrgyzstan and Equatorial Guinea; the third a terror-financing risk, working for a Muslim charity in Saudi Arabia. Providers were less likely to respond to the corruption category than the low-risk one, but also less likely to ask for identification when they did reply. Finding takers for the terrorist financier was harder, but not impossible: one in every 17 providers was willing to set up an anonymous shell for him.

Informing the incorporators of the international rules they should be following made them no more likely to do so, even when penalties were mentioned. When the undercover authors offered to pay a premium to flout the rules, the rate of demand for identity documents fell precipitously. “Your stated purpose could well be a front for funding terrorism,” one American provider replied—and then indicated he would consider establishing and administering the shell for $5,000 per month.



This study, by far the most thorough of its kind, makes sobering reading for anyone who worries about the link between financial crime and corporate secrecy. OECD countries show little willingness to tackle their own weaknesses and end their hypocrisy. In America, by some measures the least compliant of all, the incorporation-friendly states and business groups opposing reform continue to have the upper hand, despite valiant attempts by Senator Carl Levin to push through legislation that would require the registration of beneficial owners. Movers of dirty money know where the best shells are to be had, and it is not on a Caribbean island.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #58)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 03:53 AM

75. Now you tell me...

I tried to set up a National non-profit for fundraising for the recovery of missing children internationally three years ago. I had done a couple NPs years ago. It became obvious we would need a lawyer and accountant but since I couldn't open a bank account to receive money to pay them I had to give up and let someone of means have a crack at it. I could not get an answer to why, (to start raising money to pay them). Sure could not runt hat money through a personal account. (Sorry if this sentence is unintelligible I am too tired to be doing this. LOL)

The starting rate is $75,000 for one recovery attempt after the parents go through all the hoops of declaring them abducted, missing and provide proof they have already tired on their own to work through the civil system.Tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. I never asked how much that was but I do know that all parents live hand to mouth trying to get their kids back and the money goes to suits who often fail to get results.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 11:34 AM

60. No, Virginia, Mitt Romney Did Not Pay 14.1% in Taxes in 2011 as He Claims, He Paid Less

I know this site may seem to be going hard and heavy after Romney in the last 24 hours, but truth be told, it’s just too much fun. And we’ve been shooting at Obama for so long that even this brief interlude of close scrutiny of Romney would not come close to achieving “balance” if “balance” as opposed to trying to get past the PR, were our objective.

Tax maven Lee Sheppard has a new piece up at Forbes on Romney’s tax returns, which I suggest you read in full. It has juicy discussions of Romney’s investments, and the sus-looiking grantor trusts (which appear to be making investments in funds that are taking the tax position that they are engaged in a trade or business, which seems really unusual, to put it politely). And Sheppard looks to have scored a personal win. She flagged Ann Rommey’s horse Raflaca as not credible as a business, and lo and behold:


Expense for Raflaca didn’t show up on the Romneys’ 2011 return. The campaign admitted that the expenses were regarded as personal.


But her discussion at the top really caught my eye. Mitt did not pay 13.7% in taxes in 2011. He paid a lower rate and made a voluntary contribution, which tax law does not consider an extra tax. Yet he’s been characterizing this donation as a tax. This is a misrepresentation.

And if he chooses to, he can change his mind about that voluntary contribution. He has three years to amend his returns. What do you bet he won’t take that gimmie back if he loses his Presidential bid?

Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/09/no-virginia-mitt-romney-did-not-pay-14-1-in-taxes-in-2011-as-he-claims-he-paid-less.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NakedCapitalism+%28naked+capitalism%29#EUTLQsRqKEkzmCRy.99

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 11:44 AM

61. Wall Street braces for an Obama win

YEAH, IT WILL BE SO HARD FOR WALL ST. GETTING ALL THAT GEITHNER PAYOLA AND BERNANKE PAYOLA AND EVERY OTHER REGULATOR / INSPECTOR GENERAL PAYOLA...

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81738.html?hp=t2_3

Mitt Romney was Wall Street’s dream candidate, a former private equity executive committed to lower taxes and less regulation who would never rip bankers as “fat cats” as President Barack Obama famously did. But now many masters of the universe concede they may not get their man. Across Wall Street and the broader landscape of corporate America, even strong supporters of Romney acknowledge that swing state polling numbers and the direction of economic data and markets suggest it’s time to brace for a second Obama term.

“It looks right now like it’s probably going to be Obama, so you have to start planning for that, even if it’s not what you would prefer,” said the chief executive of one of the largest companies in the United States who has criticized the president and spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to give a frank assessment of the state of the race. The executive added that plans were under way to work with a second Obama administration on selling a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff with major tax and entitlement reform that includes some new revenues. “We don’t really care if our taxes go up a little if we can just get this done and take this threat away from the economy,” the executive said, adding that support from CEOs could give cover to Republicans in Washington concerned about supporting any new taxes and angering tea party hardliners and anti-tax advocates such as Grover Norquist...It makes for an uncomfortable moment for Wall Street, which came out much more aggressively for Romney than Obama this year, after Obama made significant inroads with the finance sector in 2008.

The shift in tone among executives toward Obama was on display at the Clinton Global Initiative this week, where several CEOs softened their criticism of the president. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein acknowledged there had been widespread “disappointment” with Obama within his firm and across Wall Street. But he also said that it was time to move on and finally deal with rising debt and unsustainable entitlement programs. “People who have been pouting and holding their breath aren’t going to want to do that for four more years,” he said....The Obama administration has already begun laying ground work for improving its soured relationship with corporate America in a possible second term...I'LL BET THEY ARE!

....All three so-called prediction markets, in which people bet on the election outcome, give Obama between 70 and 80 percent odds. PredictWise, which averages the three major indices, has Obama at 77.1 percent. It’s a remarkably large spread according to Justin Wolfers, a University of Pennsylvania Wharton School economics professor who has published research on the subject. “It’s not unusual for the incumbent to be ahead by a few points this far out. What is unusual is the view that there is unlikely to be any large movement between now and Election Day,” Wolfers said. He added that the surveys suggest Obama is mostly viewed as a lock by investors with 20 or so percent betting on some major event between now and Nov. 6 destabilizing the race in Romney’s favor.

AN AMAZING INSIGHT INTO HOW THE 1% THINKS (IF YOU CAN CALL THAT THINKING)

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Response to Demeter (Reply #61)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 12:52 AM

74. Yeah...

Like they have done so poorly under Obama. Payola and no prosecutions for blatant crimes.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 11:57 AM

62. Sweet times for cows as gummy worms replace costly corn feed

http://news.yahoo.com/sweet-times-cows-gummy-worms-replace-costly-corn-121437982.html

Mike Yoder's herd of dairy cattle are living the sweet life. With corn feed scarcer and costlier than ever, Yoder increasingly is looking for cheaper alternatives -- and this summer he found a good deal on ice cream sprinkles. "It's a pretty colorful load," said Yoder, who operates about 450 dairy cows on his farm in northern Indiana. "Anything that keeps the feed costs down."

As the worst drought in half a century has ravaged this year's U.S. corn crop and driven corn prices sky high, the market for alternative feed rations for beef and dairy cows has also skyrocketed. Brokers are gathering up discarded food products and putting them out for the highest bid to feed lot operators and dairy producers, who are scrambling to keep their animals fed. In the mix are cookies, gummy worms, marshmallows, fruit loops, orange peels, even dried cranberries. Cattlemen are feeding virtually anything they can get their hands on that will replace the starchy sugar content traditionally delivered to the animals through corn. "Everybody is looking for alternatives," said Ki Fanning, a nutritionist with Great Plains Livestock Consulting in Eagle, Nebraska. "It's kind of funny the first time you see it but it works well. The big advantage to that is you can turn something you normally throw away into something that can be consumed. The amazing thing about a ruminant, a cow, you can take those type of ingredients and turn them into food."

PRICING VARIES

Feed is generally the largest single production expense for cattle operators. Whatever is fed needs to supply energy and protein levels that meet the animals' nutritional needs. High prices for soy has operators seeking alternatives for both corn and soy. Corn alternatives are in particular demand as supplies are so tight that in some areas of the country, feed corn is not available at any price. Pricing and availability of the many different "co-products" as they are called, varies from place to place, but buyers report savings of 10 percent to 50 percent. The savings for operators are shrinking, however, as savvy resellers tie pricing for their alternative offerings to the price of corn, which surged to record highs this summer due to drought damage.

....

Operators must be careful to follow detailed nutritional analyses for their animals to make sure they are getting a healthy mix of nutrients, animal nutritionists caution. But ruminant animals such as cattle can safely ingest a wide variety of feedstuffs that chickens and hogs can't. The candy and cookies are only a small part of a broad mix of alternative feed offerings for cattle. Many operators use distillers grains, a byproduct that comes from the manufacture of ethanol. Other common non-corn alternatives include cottonseed hulls, rice products, potato products, peanut pellet. Wheat "middlings," a byproduct of milling wheat for flour that contain particles of flour, bran, and wheat germ, also are fed. And every now and then, there is a little chocolate for the hungry cows. Hansen Mueller Grain out of Omaha, Nebraska, which markets chocolate bars alongside oats and peanut pellets, said it all comes down to fat, sugar and energy...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #62)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 01:42 PM

66. I have visions...

of cows so hopped up on sugar they are giving milkshakes. Sorry farm humour.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #66)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 03:08 PM

67. Turning junk food into nutrition...

sounds like a win-win to me.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #62)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 04:09 PM

69. Froot Loops? For dairy cows? Rainbow colored milk!

One nitpick: Hogs can eat pretty much anything we can, including ham. I hear they love ham. (I guess nobody's explained it to them.)

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Response to tclambert (Reply #69)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 12:47 AM

73. That blows it as far as...

Telling kids that junk food is not healthy for them. I can just hear some wisenheimer kid like my daughter when she was younger, argue with me. Why is milk so healthy? Cow eat junk food huh!

And about hogs...they eat human flesh too. I guess no one has had a talk with them about that either. Moral of the story, never have a heart attack while feeding the pigs or miss when you go hunting feral hogs.

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