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Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:27 PM

STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Wednesday, 21 November 2012

STOCK MARKET WATCH, Wednesday, 21 November 2012


SMW for 20 November 2012

AT THE CLOSING BELL ON 20 November 2012

Dow Jones 12,788.51 -7.45 (-0.06%)
S&P 500 1,387.81 +0.92 (0.07%)
Nasdaq 2,916.68 +0.61 (0.02%)


10 Year 1.67% +0.04 (2.45%)
30 Year 2.81% +0.05 (1.81%)









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
10/26/12 UPDATE: Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta sentenced to two years in federal prison. He will, of course, appeal. . .










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 -- Wednesday, 21 November 2012 (Original post)
Tansy_Gold Nov 2012 OP
Hugin Nov 2012 #1
Demeter Nov 2012 #2
bread_and_roses Nov 2012 #21
Ghost Dog Nov 2012 #48
Demeter Nov 2012 #3
Demeter Nov 2012 #4
Demeter Nov 2012 #5
Demeter Nov 2012 #9
Demeter Nov 2012 #6
Demeter Nov 2012 #7
Demeter Nov 2012 #8
Demeter Nov 2012 #13
Tansy_Gold Nov 2012 #20
Warpy Nov 2012 #57
Demeter Nov 2012 #10
Demeter Nov 2012 #11
Demeter Nov 2012 #12
Ghost Dog Nov 2012 #52
bread_and_roses Nov 2012 #24
Demeter Nov 2012 #14
Demeter Nov 2012 #15
Demeter Nov 2012 #16
Demeter Nov 2012 #17
xchrom Nov 2012 #18
Tansy_Gold Nov 2012 #26
xchrom Nov 2012 #28
rusty fender Nov 2012 #56
Demeter Nov 2012 #40
xchrom Nov 2012 #43
Demeter Nov 2012 #46
LineLineLineLineLineReply !
xchrom Nov 2012 #47
Fuddnik Nov 2012 #55
Demeter Nov 2012 #58
Fuddnik Nov 2012 #60
DemReadingDU Nov 2012 #62
Hugin Nov 2012 #61
xchrom Nov 2012 #19
xchrom Nov 2012 #22
xchrom Nov 2012 #23
Demeter Nov 2012 #41
xchrom Nov 2012 #25
Roland99 Nov 2012 #31
xchrom Nov 2012 #33
xchrom Nov 2012 #27
Roland99 Nov 2012 #29
Demeter Nov 2012 #42
Roland99 Nov 2012 #30
xchrom Nov 2012 #32
xchrom Nov 2012 #34
Roland99 Nov 2012 #35
Demeter Nov 2012 #44
bread_and_roses Nov 2012 #59
DemReadingDU Nov 2012 #36
xchrom Nov 2012 #37
Roland99 Nov 2012 #50
xchrom Nov 2012 #53
Ghost Dog Nov 2012 #63
xchrom Nov 2012 #38
xchrom Nov 2012 #39
Demeter Nov 2012 #45
Ghost Dog Nov 2012 #49
DemReadingDU Nov 2012 #51
Demeter Nov 2012 #54

Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:36 PM

1. OMG!

The USA is a hottie!

8)

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Response to Hugin (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:04 PM

2. I think I'll stick with the Big Lug in Green

He's the strong silent type. And it's not a cliff, dammit! A girl ought to be able to be swept off her feet once in a while....even if he does resemble Reagan....

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Response to Hugin (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:25 AM

21. and into kink, too!

LOL

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Response to Hugin (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:31 AM

48. Good one.



And... Y'All know damn well why...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:06 PM

3. Crude went right back down again

And look how hard the fairies had to pump on Tuesday! There oughta be a labor law....and wages and benefits for House Elves, while we're at it.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:20 PM

4. Why Anonymous’ Claims about Election-Rigging Can’t Be Ignored

http://truth-out.org/news/item/12871-why-anonymous-claims-about-election-rigging-cant-be-ignored

As laid out in the previous article, Anonymous, Karl Rove and the 2012 Election Fix?, http://truth-out.org/news/item/12871-why-anonymous-claims-about-election-rigging-cant-be-ignored it’s possible that Karl Rove used SmartTECH’s servers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to flip the vote totals in Ohio in 2004 and thus steal the election that year for George W. Bush – and just as possible that he tried to do the same thing this year on Romney’s behalf but was thwarted by the hacktivist group Anonymous.

Many people have responded to these claims with a variation on: “That’s impossible. A presidential candidate committing treason? That would never happen, and, if it did, it would be front-page news. Everybody would know about it, right?"

Wrong.

Consider some simple history.

In 1952 Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower won the presidency – and there’s not a hint of scandal associated with that election. Maybe that’s because he supported a 91% top marginal income tax rate on the rich and approved of very popular New Deal programs like Social Security and unemployment benefits. As he told his brother in a letter in 1954, “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things…a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

But Eisenhower was the last legitimately elected Republican president.

Richard Nixon, who won the 1968 election against Vice President Hubert Humphrey, followed Eisenhower. At the time, the Vietnam War was raging, millions of students were in the streets, and President Lyndon Johnson, throughout 1968, was working desperately to bring a negotiated end to that war. He’d gotten both the North and the South Vietnamese to agree to terms of peace, and, by late September, there was only a meeting in Paris to seal the deal. And then the CIA brought LBJ a wiretap they’d intercepted between the Nixon for President Campaign and the office of the President of South Vietnam, Nguyễn Văn Thiệu. Nixon basically told them that if they refused to go to the peace talks, or at least refused to go along with the peace agreement Johnson had worked out with them, then Nixon would give them a much better deal after the election.

LBJ was furious. This was treason, and because he could listen to the CIA phone intercepts, he knew that Richard Nixon was at the heart of it....MORE

AND IF ANYONE ASKS WHY YOU ARE A DEMOCRAT, THIS ARTICLE WOULD BE A GOOD STARTING POINT...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:24 PM

5. Occupy Eradicates Approximately $5 Million In Debt

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/11/19/occupy-eradicates-approximately-5-million-in-debt/

In the next few weeks, thousands of people will get surprise letters informing them that their medical or student loan debt has been eradicated thanks to the Rolling Jubilee Project. The plan is simple, use the laws for debt collection to instead help out the millions of being now suffering from debt. As covered earlier, the aim is to help as many people as possible. They purchase blocks of debt from the current holders and then proceed to forgive it. The original test used $500, which resulted in the forgiveness of $14,000 in debt.


By Friday, the group had raised $269,913, enabling them to forgive an estimated $5 million in medical and student debt. And they are continuing their efforts. For those unaware, debt is sold for pennies on the dollar. Debt collecting companies risk very little in up front costs and typically reap major windfalls. This system, however, is now being used to instead help people, instead of faceless corporations seeking to profit financially from the misfortune of others.

With over 90% of credit reports containing errors and over half of posted debt now found to be in error, the entire credit industry seems poised on the brink of worthlessness. The very nature of credit has been twisted over the years to the point that it no longer reflects the purpose for which it existed in the first place. The concept of credit is to allow for short-term bridges or for large-scale purchases to be paid on over time. The buying of a house is a prime example of a good use of credit. If having good credit becomes too easy, however, it can create inflation, as it adds incredible amounts of cash, as it were, in to the market. Properly used, it hasn’t, but the narrow-market inflation it can trigger is very real indeed. Access to credit in the housing market was made too easy and it helped cause the housing bubble. Now the skyrocketing cost of both the level of higher education demanded by a white-collar job culture (requiring insane levels of documentation) and a medical insurance system which has operated without proper oversight and regulation for decades has resulted in a credit system on the verge of collapse.

What Occupy is doing, properly, is saving the financial institutions from their own hubris. They could not regulate themselves, so we the people are doing it for them. While the $5 million worth of debt which was eliminated is but a fraction of the $1.8 trillion estimated in the student and medical debt fields, it is a start.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:55 PM

9. Occupy's Rolling Jubilee Has Raised Enough to Forgive Almost $7 Million of Debt

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:28 PM

6. Walmart rattled by growing unrest ahead of Black Friday's strike

REPORT FROM THE UK, AGAIN...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/20/walmart-unrest-black-friday-strike

On Friday, Americans by the millions will crowd into big-box retail shops to take advantage of bargains on wide-screen TVs and other electronics – necessities, as well as luxuries – all marked down in order to draw them in and have them line up outside in advance of the doors opening. And now, as we've learned, several chains plan to open at 8pm on Thanksgiving day itself.

The greatest irony of "Black Friday", as it's known, is that it's seen as a celebration of consumerism, instead of a sign of desperation: when a Walmart worker was crushed to death by a Black Friday crowd in 2008, the news was accompanied with moralizing about American greed, rather than any discussion about low wages in the US.

Would people be so desperate for bargain shopping at already dirt-cheap places like Walmart if they themselves were making a decent living?

THEY'VE GOT THE DIRT ON WALMART...SEE LINK!

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Response to Demeter (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:29 PM

7. Anatomy of the Walmart Strike: Walking Out, One Day at a Time

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12822-anatomy-of-the-walmart-strike-one-day-at-a-time

In the lead-up to Black Friday, Walmart workers - supported by a number of unions - have organized a series of work stoppages to protest low wages and unfair working conditions. Here is an inside account of a day in the life of the strike.

On past Black Fridays, the nation's annual post-Thanksgiving shopping celebration, Walmart stores have seen such a crush of shoppers that people have been trampled trying to get through the doors. On this coming Black Friday, however, shoppers are more likely to see protesting workers.

People have been criticizing the chain's low wages and unfair competition with local businesses for years. But for a long time the company has been able to keep its workers from joining the critics. Where it could, Walmart has tried to give itself a paternalistic, we're-all-one-big-family face. Where that hasn't worked, it's resorted to the age-old tactics of firings and fear.

But Walmart workers are waking up. Supported by a number of unions, they've organized a series of work stoppages, the latest and most extensive of which will take place on Black Friday. They call their organization OURWalmart (Organization United for Respect at Walmart)....

DETAILS AT LINK

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:39 PM

8. Insurance Schemer Cops a Plea By Jake Bernstein

http://www.nationofchange.org/insurance-schemer-cops-plea-1353402389

In a trial closely watched by the insurance industry, Rhode Island attorney Joseph Caramadre and his former employee Raymour Radhakrishnan pleaded guilty today to charges that they conspired to steal the identities of the terminally ill. ProPublica wrote about Caramadre's scheme last August in “Death Takes a Policy.” He recruited the terminally ill to sign up for products such as variable annuities and bonds that, upon the death of participants, could pay out handsome benefits to Caramadre, his family members and outside investors. Acting on Caramadre's behalf, Radhakrishnan signed up the people whose deaths would trigger the benefits.

In interviews with ProPublica before the trial, Caramadre described the scheme as a win-win. Caramadre or his investors put up the money and reaped the reward, but he paid the terminally ill several thousand dollars or more to participate. They themselves usually could not afford the annuities and bonds he purchased. In Caramadre's view, he was offering money to the needy that they had not expected to receive. Some family members of the terminally ill agreed, while others felt exploited.

The two men pleaded guilty to identity theft and wire fraud, two counts in a 66-count indictment a grand jury returned against them last year. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors will not ask for more than 10-year sentences for each man. Ultimately, it will be up to the judge's discretion how much prison time they receive. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 8.

As part of the plea agreement, Caramadre and Radhakrishnan agreed that the object of the scheme was to defraud the insurance companies and bond issuers. The two men did so by obtaining the identity information of terminally ill individuals through false explanations as to why their signatures were required. They also took steps to prevent the terminally ill from understanding the documents they were signing. In some cases, the signers never even saw the full documents to which Caramadre attached their signatures. As part of the bond purchasing part of the scheme, the two men opened a brokerage account with T.D. Ameritrade. They transferred $280,000 into the account, which constituted wire fraud, according to the plea agreement.

“This is a significant case of identity theft on a grand scale,” says Jim Martin, a spokesman for the United States Attorney in Rhode Island. In remarks outside the court house, U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha told the Associated Press that “today's message is that greed is not good.” A spokesman for Caramadre released a statement that he "has made a decision that acceptance of this plea agreement is in his best interests and the best interests of his family."

The plea agreement came unexpectedly on the second week of a trial that was expected to last for months.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:11 AM

13. YET ANOTHER FOR THE WALL OF SHAME: Ex-hedge fund manager Mathew Martoma accused of insider trading

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-insider-trading-martoma-20121121,0,5991456.story

Mathew Martoma and his then-employer, SAC Capital Advisors, liquidated holdings in two companies after Martoma received insider information, prosecutors allege.

YEAH, THAT WOULD BE KIND OF BLATANT...

After building a huge stake in two drug companies, hedge fund manager Mathew Martoma told his powerful boss on a Sunday morning that they had to immediately dump their position.

It was an unusual request even by the outsized standards of Wall Street, but the hedge fund quietly liquidated its $700-million position within days.

Federal authorities suggested Tuesday why Martoma was in such a hurry back in 2008 — he'd allegedly gotten an illegal tip about big problems with the companies' developmental Alzheimer's drug. It was the most profitable insider-trading scheme in U.S. history, netting $276 million in profit and avoided losses, according to prosecutors.

But it resulted in criminal charges against Martoma and a swirl of questions about his boss, Steven Cohen, who is one of the most celebrated figures on Wall Street...MORE

IT'S A DIRTY STORY, LIKE BETRAYUS, ONLY WITH LOTS MORE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

I NEVER DID LIKE THE WAY THE MEDIA DROOLED OVER PETRAEUS...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:23 AM

20. Oh, oh, oh, I may put those knitting needles to use yet!

Will add these to the Wall of Shame for Monday!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:23 PM

57. Yeah, mine are sharp and at the ready, too

I await the tumbrils with anticipation.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:04 PM

10. Ten Numbers the Rich Would Like Fudged By Paul Buchheit

http://www.nationofchange.org/ten-numbers-rich-would-fudged-1353335225


1. Only THREE PERCENT of the very rich are entrepreneurs.
According to both Market watch and economist Edward Wolff, over 90 percent of the assets owned by millionaires are held in a combination of low-risk investments (bonds and cash), personal business accounts, the stock market, and real estate. Only 3.6 percent of taxpayers in the top .1% were classified as entrepreneurs based on 2004 tax returns. A 2009 Kauffman Foundation study found that the great majority of entrepreneurs come from middle-class backgrounds, with less than 1 percent of all entrepreneurs coming from very rich or very poor backgrounds.

2. Only FOUR OUT OF 150 countries have more wealth inequality than us.
In a world listing compiled by a reputable research team (which nevertheless prompted double-checking), the U.S. has greater wealth inequality than every measured country in the world except for Namibia, Zimbabwe, Denmark, and Switzerland.

3. An amount equal to ONE-HALF the GDP is held untaxed overseas by rich Americans.
The Tax Justice Network estimated that between $21 and $32 trillion is hidden offshore, untaxed. With Americans making up 40% of the world's Ultra High Net Worth Individuals, that's $8 to $12 trillion in U.S. money stashed in far-off hiding places. Based on a historical stock market return of 6%, up to $750 billion of income is lost to the U.S. every year, resulting in a tax loss of about $260 billion.

4. Corporations stopped paying HALF OF THEIR TAXES after the recession.
After paying an average of 22.5% from 1987 to 2008, corporations have paid an annual rate of 10% since. This represents a sudden $250 billion annual loss in taxes. U.S. corporations have shown a pattern of tax reluctance for more than 50 years, despite building their businesses with American research and infrastructure. They've passed the responsibility on to their workers. For every dollar of workers' payroll tax paid in the 1950s, corporations paid three dollars. Now it's 22 cents.

5. Just TEN Americans made a total of FIFTY BILLION DOLLARS in one year.
That's enough to pay the salaries of over a million nurses or teachers or emergency responders. That's enough, according to 2008 estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN's World Food Program, to feed the 870 million people in the world who are lacking sufficient food. For the free-market advocates who say "they've earned it": Point #1 above makes it clear how the wealthy make their money.

6. Tax deductions for the rich could pay off 100 PERCENT of the deficit.
Another stat that required a double-check. Based on research by the Tax Policy Center, tax deferrals and deductions and other forms of tax expenditures (tax subsidies from special deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, and loopholes), which largely benefit the rich, are worth about 7.4% of the GDP, or about $1.1 trillion. Other sources have estimated that about two-thirds of the annual $850 billion in tax expenditures goes to the top quintile of taxpayers.

7. The average single black or Hispanic woman has about $100 IN NET WORTH.
The Insight Center for Community Economic Development reported that median wealth for black and Hispanic women is a little over $100. That's much less than one percent of the median wealth for single white women ($41,500). Other studies confirm the racially-charged economic inequality in our country. For every dollar of NON-HOME wealth owned by white families, people of color have only one cent.

8. Elderly and disabled food stamp recipients get $4.30 A DAY FOR FOOD.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) has dropped significantly over the past 15 years, serving only about a quarter of the families in poverty, and paying less than $400 per month for a family of three for housing and other necessities. Ninety percent of the available benefits go to the elderly, the disabled, or working households. Food stamp recipients get $4.30 a day.

9. Young adults have lost TWO-THIRDS OF THEIR NET WORTH since 1984.
21- to 35-year-olds: Your median net worth has dropped 68% since 1984. It's now less than $4,000. That $4,000 has to pay for student loans that average $27,200. Or, if you're still in school, for $12,700 in credit card debt. With an unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds of almost 50%, two out of every five recent college graduates are living with their parents. But your favorite company may be hiring. Apple, which makes a profit of $420,000 per employee, can pay you about $12 per hour.

10. The American public paid about FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS to bail out the banks.
That's about the same amount of money made by America's richest 10% in one year. But we all paid for the bailout. And because of it, we lost the opportunity for jobs, mortgage relief, and educational funding. Bonus for the super-rich: A QUADRILLION DOLLARS in securities trading nets ZERO sales tax revenue for the U.S.

The world derivatives market is estimated to be worth over a quadrillion dollars (a thousand trillion). At least $200 trillion of that is in the United States. In 2011 the Chicago Mercantile Exchange reported a trading volume of over $1 quadrillion on 3.4 billion annual contracts. A quadrillion dollars. A sales tax of ONE-TENTH OF A PENNY on a quadrillion dollars could pay off the deficit. But the total sales tax was ZERO. It's not surprising that the very rich would like to fudge the numbers, as they have the nation.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:18 PM

11. Why are we bailing out the banks? – Part Four – What happens now?

http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2012/11/why-are-we-bailing-out-the-banks-part-four-what-happens-now/

In part one of this series http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2012/10/why-are-we-bailing-out-the-banks-part-one-the-simple-answer/#comment-20703 I suggested that the simple reason we were bailing out the banks and simultaneously cutting public spending was because,

If the banks were to be wound up it is the wealthiest 10%'s credit/debt backed ‘money and the assets held in it, which would burn to ash….So the simple reason our rulers insist on bailing out the banks is that by doing so the wealthy and the powerful are simply bailing out themselves and guaranteeing the continuation of a system which suits them perfectly.


In part two http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2012/10/why-are-we-bailing-out-the-banks-part-two-theory-ideology-and-failure/ I argued that while the simple selfishness answer is true there are also theoretical justifications (albeit flawed ones) for the bail and cut policy.

The two aspects of their policy ‘bail and cut’, they will insist are not contradictory at all. Simply put, they will say they are loosening or increasing the money supply (QE) in order to invest in growth (classic Keynesian) while simultaneously cutting those expenditures which they feel do not generate growth and which are in fact ‘drains’ on productivity – in their view any ‘public’ expenditure (Classic Free-market). Growth, for them, equals the free-market/private sector, while drains on growth equal government, public spending….Basically – Private Debt good, Public Debt bad.


I argued that one of the legion problems with this world view is the fact that whatever the ideology says should happen, the reality is that giving money to the banks for them to invest has simply not worked. It was never going to work because it is founded on a misapprehension about the nature and business of modern banks. Namely – that they invest for growth. They do not – certainly not in the broader economy during a recession. Banks used to ‘invest’. Today they much prefer to speculate. Investing is long and slow and does not make big bonuses. Speculating on food prices, currency fluctuations and sovereign debt, lending for leveraged, debt ladened buy-outs - now these things can all provide the quick returns and big bonuses which old fashioned investment does not...The idea that ‘we are all in this together’ coupled with the other idea that the banks are there to help – or are ‘there for the journey’ as a UK bank advert claims, is wishful thinking at best. These notions may make snappy sound bites but that is all they make. Banks are not there to help. They are NOT a service industry. Banks exist to make a profit as fast and as often as possible for those who own them and large bonuses for those who run them. Which is fine. They are a business. As long as we remember that and treat them accordingly I have no problem. I have a massive problem when, in the good times, the banks insist on being recognized as a business in the free market, to be treated with a laissez faire, light touch. But then in bad times insist even more fervently that they are not just a business to be allowed to live and die by the rules of the market like any other business, but claim instead to be an essential, – no, THE essential public service which must be protected above all else. So essential, in fact, that all ‘other’ public services must be cut in in order to better save the banks....Let’s be clear the banks are not a public service. Banking – rather than the banks – could be a public service, but it is not run as such today. The banks are run as ruthless businesses. They exist according to an almost entirely selfish philosophy which extends from how they imagine human nature to be – no one, they think, would even turn up for work let alone do a good job unless rewarded more than anyone else – to justifying any and all fraud on the basis that if it makes a profit then who could blame you for trying. Be that as it may…

In part three http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2012/10/why-are-we-bailing-out-the-banks-part-three-lies-and-opposition/ I suggested that the official policy with its armature of ideological justifications and soundbite explanations was today’s Big Lie and looked at how and why Big Lies work.

In this last part, having looked at the origin and ideological justifications for the ‘bail the banks and cut everything else’ policy, I want to look at where the policy goes now. Because I believe the policies of the last four years have brought us to a critical and unstable juncture.

.......................................................................................................................


For the last four years our Dear Leaders, political and financial, have been labouring to push everything back up the hill from which it slipped. As they have neared the top, however, I think they have come to see that the policies they have forced upon us can do much more for them than simply restore what they had before. Why stop there, they now wonder? The top of a hill is a place of fantastic opportunity. l think our leaders have come to see that shoved hard in the ‘right’ direction they could propel our societies in almost any direction they desired. But this state of potential is also perilous. The top of a hill is the place and the moment when the forces are all finely balanced and almost any ‘unauthorized’ push could send the system off in a direction the Dear Leaders would not like. Victory for the powerful and wealthy seems so close at hand and yet the crisis, far from being over, is also at its most critical juncture. So many possibilities exist together, like overlaid quantum states, in this one moment.

Just as our rulers prepare for one last push, to enforce one more round of austerity and bank bail outs upon us, to propel us more firmly to their desired future, they find there is a building and spreading opposition to everything they are doing. I believe we are at, or very near, that place of maximum potential and maximum uncertainty where things could tumble down any number of quite different paths. Irreversible victory is within our leader’s reach. Yet at the same time they are only a stumble, a determined opposing push away, from irrevocable disaster.

MORE AT LINK

AND FOR THE RECORD, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS "IRREVERSIBLE VICTORY"

ALL THROUGHOUT HISTORY, WE HAVE SEEN SUCH EFFORTS FAIL. AND EACH TIME, THEY FAIL QUICKER, BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH, GREATER THAN "POWER" GREATER THAN "WEALTH" GREATER THAN ANYTHING, WITH THE POSSIBLE EXCEPTION OF CLIMATE CHANGE, ALTHOUGH I DO BELIEVE THAT WE CAN LEARN HOW TO DEAL WITH CLIMATE CHANGE, AND WE WILL HAVE TO. AND THAT WILL PUSH THE 1% OFF THEIR MOUNTAIN TOP FOREVER.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #11)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:22 PM

12. So, what would your plan for Greece be?

http://crookedtimber.org/2012/02/16/so-what-would-your-plan-for-greece-be/

THIS IS A MULTIPLE DECISION TREE TYPE OF ARTICLE, LIKE THOSE ADVENTURE BOOKS THAT CAME OUT DIFFERENTLY DEPENDING ON WHICH DECISION THE READER MADE AT THE END OF A PAGE...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:27 PM

52. What next for Europe? imho:

Be aware of the potential power of the rising tide of voices representing or claiming to represent the various 'nationalist' 'European/Christianist/White Supremecist/Far Right' social/political movements (yeah, look at what's happening in Greece for example), especially in France, under the leadership of experienced committed no-holds-barred political operators such as, for those who can read Spanish, some people have suggested, this recently-empowered character:

La Unión por un Movimiento Popular (UMP), el partido fundado por Jacques Chirac y Alain Juppé en 2002 para modernizar la reumática y biempensante ideología del gaullismo social, tiene desde anoche un jefe de filas “sin pelos en la lengua”, que no duda en lanzar proclamas populistas y cargas de profundidad xenófoba contra los musulmanes para enardecer a las asustadas bases populares en los mítines. Jean-François Copé, un hombre de baja estatura pero de una seguridad en sí mismo que asusta, se ha definido como el paladín de una “derecha sin complejos”, y con un discurso básico y esquemático en el que no caben matices se ha encaramado a la cúpula de la UMP para un interregno de tres años tras unas elecciones llenas de irregularidades batiendo en la línea de meta a su oponente, el liberal y apocado François Fillon, por solo 98 votos.

Copé, al que algunos medios franceses llaman “el pequeño Sarkozy”, ha imitado de punta a cabo la campaña feroz que el ya expresidente del partido y de la República protagonizó en mayo pasado, y se diría que incluso la ha superado al acusar a los niños musulmanes de robar los bollos de chocolate a los otros niños durante el Ramadán, acuñar la expresión “racismo antiblancos” y cargar contra los extranjeros y los homosexuales como si fueran el demonio...

... Bajo su coraza campechana, Jean-François Copé esconde un alma de intelectual en acción. Ya ha publicado media docena de libros, y el último, Manifiesto para una derecha sin complejos, es el que le ha dado más notoriedad. Ahí se describe como rompedor de tabús, lanza la fórmula racismo antiblancos, tiene la ocurrencia de los “pains au chocolate” y empieza a arrasar en los mítines por los pueblos de Francia. Cuando nadie daba un euro por su victoria ante Fillon, unas elecciones muy turbias, un escrutinio que pareció un vodevil, mil sospechas de fraude y 98 votos de diferencia sancionados por un comité electoral controlado por el jefe del aparato han decretado que Copé lidere la derecha gala hasta 2015. Viendo cómo se las gasta el personaje, no sería extraño que esto sea solo el principio...

/... http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2012/11/20/actualidad/1353413097_562308.html


Or, in English eg:

... Copé has no interest in centrism; he’ll try to steer the UMP toward the far-right voters who supported the ultra-nationalist National Front party in record numbers this May.

Copé made this clear when he published a controversial book, “Manifesto for an Uninhibited Right,” last month. In it, he argues that racism against white citizens has become a serious problem that most people are afraid to discuss.

“I know I’m breaking a taboo by using the term anti-white racism, but I do so intentionally, because it’s the reality some of our fellow citizens live with, and remaining quiet about it only aggravates their trauma,” he wrote.

When Copé claimed victory on Sunday before official results had been released, Fillon, who had been predicted to win, fired back a refusal to concede via television announcement. The vitriol between the two candidates and their supporters has reached new levels; it looked like a party implosion of the sort predicted by analysts when President Francois Hollande and his Socialists swept elections earlier this year...

/... http://www.ibtimes.com/frances-ump-party-leans-right-elects-jean-francois-cope-new-leader-890836




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Response to Demeter (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:37 AM

24. beat me to it ...

good article. Think e-mailing it to Obama and that Bankster Bud Schumer would do any good? nah. They know this stuff. Too bad most Americans don't, thanks to our pusillanimous Bankster-boot licking media.

I refer everyone to Chris Hedges article in Commondreams - too much truth in it to post even an excerpt here - even here, in our little walled garden/ghetto - I doubt there's a sentence in it that wouldn't get me thrown out. I'm tempted. But I like you guys, and what good would it do? Someone would just post a "list" - ROFL - of tinkerings and band-aids that supposedly justify everything ... feeling grim, here:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/11/12-8

"Published on Monday, November 12, 2012 by TruthDig.com
Once Again—Death of the Liberal Class
by Chris Hedges"

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:24 AM

14. What I Learned at a Conservative Think Tank: Propaganda Now, Facts Later!

http://www.alternet.org/what-i-learned-conservative-think-tank-propaganda-now-facts-later?akid=9704.227380.QdxL4Q&rd=1&src=newsletter748106&t=5&paging=off

...I am amused to report that my former colleagues at the Heritage Foundation have lost none of their willingness to sacrifice truth to propaganda. The Heritage Foundation has published an “Index of Dependence on Government” by William W. Beach and Patrick Tyrrell which seeks to bolster Mitt Romney’s theme that at least 47 percent of Americans are parasitic, government-dependent “takers” rather than “makers” (hat tip to Thomas B. Edsall):

Today, more people than ever before depend on the federal government for housing, food, income, student aid, or other assistance once considered to be the responsibility of individuals, families, neighborhoods, churches, and other civil society institutions. The United States reached another milestone in 2010: For the first time in history, half the population pays no federal income taxes. It is the conjunction of these two trends — higher spending on dependence-creating programs, and an ever-shrinking number of taxpayers who pay for these programs — that concerns those interested in the fate of the American form of government.


What caught me eye in this latest piece of Heritage agitprop was this sentence: The United States reached a milestone in 2012: For the first time in history, half the population pays no federal income taxes. This is not just wrong. It is an error embarrassing enough to shame even a shameless propaganda mill like the Heritage Foundation. Heritage implies that a majority of Americans paid federal income taxes throughout American history, presumably back to the 1790s. Nothing could be further from the truth. For much of American history, one hundred percent of the population paid no federal income taxes, because there were none. And the federal income tax began to fall on the middle-class masses, not just the upper classes, only in the 1940s.

The first federal income tax in the U.S. was enacted in 1861 to help pay for the Civil War. It was abolished afterward, but recreated in 1894. After the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional, because it was not “apportioned among the states” the constitution was amended by the 16th Amendment to give Congress the power to levy income taxation. But until World War II a majority of Americans did not pay any federal income tax, either because they made too little money to be required to file returns, or because exemptions like the standard deduction eliminated any federal income tax liability. According to the conservative Tax Foundation, which has a friendlier relationship with facts than does the Heritage Foundation, as recently as 1940 the percentage of those who filed (a group smaller than the working-age population) who owed federal income taxes was 49.4 percent. In that year, Republican presidential candidate Wendell Willkie missed the opportunity to sneer at “the 49 percent.”

It was only during World War II, with the institution of the income tax with-holding system, that a majority of Americans became subject to federal income taxation. If it were accurate, the sentence in the Heritage Foundation’s “Index of Dependence on Government” would read: The United States reached a milestone in 2012: For the first time since World War II, half the population pays no federal income taxes....

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:32 AM

15. DRONES: Privacy Death Stars Approved By Congress FEBRUARY

http://gawker.com/5883178/privacy-death-stars-approved-by-congress

Today, it is tricky for governments and corporations to constantly spy on people using drones. By 2015, it wil be much much easier, thanks to a Monday Congressional vote authorizing drones above 400 feet, in the same airspace as commercial airliners.

At last, we can be monitored around the clock by high-altitude Privacy Death Stars.

The Senate voted 75-20 Monday to approve an aviation overhaul bill that previously cleared the House and is now headed for the president's signature. Along with modernizing air traffic control to use GPS, it allows drones to go way up high where they can more easily loiter over and observe the highly suspect citizenry of this country. Says the Chicago Trib:



The FAA is... required under the bill to provide military, commercial and privately-owned drones with expanded access to U.S. airspace currently reserved for manned aircraft by Sept. 30, 2015. That means permitting unmanned drones controlled by remote operators on the ground to fly in the same airspace as airliners, cargo planes, business jets and private aircraft.


This opens up the possibility for an exciting LIVE version of Google Street View, as Forbes' Kashmir Hill points out, or for that private Facebook Air Force we warned you about at the close of 2011.

As the ACLU said before passage,"This bill would push the nation willy-nilly toward an era of aerial surveillance without any steps to protect the traditional privacy that Americans have always enjoyed and expected."


Right. That's the point.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:40 AM

16. QUERY: NOW THAT OBAMA HAS HIS SECOND TERM

obtained by using a SuperPAC as permitted by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, will the Dancing Supremes decide to reverse themselves?

Or will it take repeated failed attempts to stuff a camel through the eye of a needle to make that particular abomination go away?

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:45 AM

17. Some U.S. banks awash in ID theft tax-fraud proceeds as IRS cracks down FEBRUARY

http://blogs.reuters.com/financial-regulatory-forum/2012/02/03/some-u-s-banks-awash-in-id-theft-tax-fraud-proceeds-as-irs-cracks-down/

Despite a new federal crackdown announced this week aimed at combating tax refund fraud involving the use of stolen identities, current law enforcement efforts are not enough and fraudsters are still pumping massive sums of tax fraud proceeds through U.S. banks, sources told Thomson Reuters.

“IRS and Justice should have been doing this three years ago. This widespread criminal activity is more profitable than drug dealing,” said regulatory consultant and investigator Jim Dowling, a former Internal Revenue Service criminal investigator special agent who also acted as an anti-money laundering (AML) advisor to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The Internal Revenue Service this week said that in late January it worked with the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorneys’ offices across the country to target more than 100 people in 23 states suspected of involvement in the theft of thousands of identities and taxpayer refunds. The resulting indictments, arrests and raids were reportedly the result of investigations that had been underway for months or years.

Identity-theft tax fraud schemes typically involve using an unwitting victim’s name, social security number and date of birth to file an online tax return in his or her name and routing the resulting IRS refund payment to an untraceable bank account. The IRS says it has stepped-up its internal reviews, including by designing new identity-theft-screening filters, to spot such scams before refunds are issued. IRS Bank Secrecy Act compliance examiners and criminal investigators have also reportedly paid hundreds of visits to check-cashing businesses of late “to help ensure these check-cashing facilities aren’t facilitating refund fraud and identity theft.” The visits took place in nine “high-risk” areas in and around Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix, Tampa, Washington, D.C., and Birmingham, Alabama, according to the IRS.

“This unprecedented effort against identity theft sends a strong, unmistakable message to anyone considering participating in a refund fraud scheme this tax season,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We are aggressively pursuing cases … and people will be going to jail.”


“Too little, too late”

Dowling said that the recent IRS and Justice Department efforts are “too little, to late.” Identity theft-related tax fraud has grown so pervasive in the criminal world that rap songs have been written containing lyrics about it and some banks are inundated with related crime proceeds. Dowling said criminals know that if they file tax returns electronically on a certain day of the week the IRS will send out the refunds without verifying the legitimacy of the filing regardless of how much money is involved. He would not name the day for worry that he might inform criminals who do not already have the information. Kirk Nahra, a lawyer with Washington-based law firm Wiley Rein LLP who has expertise in privacy issues, said the IRS-driven expansion of electronic tax filing may have contributed to the growth of identity theft-related tax fraud. He said the government must find a way to balance ease-of-use considerations with security controls. “The government has encouraged electronic filing, but anytime you have something that is easy to use, quick and fast, that is a recipe for a problem,” he said. Fraudsters usually choose to have IRS refunds sent to bank accounts opened with stolen identities for direct deposit, Dowling said. Once the tax fraud proceeds are in the bank accounts, they are withdrawn as cash or cashier’s checks. The cashier’s checks are then negotiated at check-cashing businesses and the thoroughly laundered currency is loaded onto prepaid cards.


“The check-casher calls the bank, the bank says they are good checks, so the check-casher cashes them and the money is gone and completely untraceable. Depending on what city you are in, if you keep the fraud below several hundred thousand dollars, the government isn’t going to bother with you,” he said.


That purported lack of government focus on the crime has had implications for banks, Dowling said. He said some banks are detecting tax fraud activity — which is apparent when an account is receiving tax refunds for numerous people with different surnames — and are left with accounts containing large sums of fraud proceeds. Some have been left holding tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars, he said.

“After the bank has filed a suspicious activity report and called the government, the government should come with seizure warrants,” he said, adding that in some cases that has not occurred in a timely manner.


Dowling said he has done consulting work for two banks that were holding massive sums of tax fraud proceeds and were perplexed that the government seemed uninterested in collecting the funds. Dowling said pressure from Congress makes it hard to stop the problem. Lawmakers worry that their constituents will be unhappy if it takes too long to get their refunds, so they pressure the IRS to process refunds quickly, and as a result, information is not verified, he said. Another career IRS special agent, who spoke on condition of anonymity because his private-sector employer had not authorized his comments, offered a similar assessment when asked whether federal law enforcement officials have done enough to combat identity theft-related tax fraud.

“They haven’t done much, they haven’t done their jobs,” he said. “They’re too concerned about being friendly with the taxpayers.”


MORE

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:17 AM

18. i want to wish the SMW & WEE crew a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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Response to xchrom (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:43 AM

26. That's my kind of Thanksgiving dinner

Looks like root beer and pop corn!!!

YUM!!!

Many many thanks to you, Xchrom, and to Demeter and Hugin and AnneD and Po'd Mainiac and Fuddnik and Roland and our dear dear Hotler and Dem Reading DU and bread and roses and Ghost Dog and Warpy and jtuck and snot and kickysnana and tclambert and Egalitarian Thug and rusty fender and westerebus and zogofzorkon and to all the other wonderful SMW regulars I may have forgotten and the lurkers and drive-byers who keep this wonderful exercise in wisdom and frivolity going, day after day.

Special thanks
to Xchrom for our daily shot of pulchritude
to the indefatiguable Demeter for so much of the information posted here, not to mention our week-end extravaganzas
to Fuddnik for doggies
to Roland for the (mostly) daily stats and for his own story of perseverance
to Hotler, just because.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #26)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:49 AM

28. here's to you Mistress Tansy! thank you!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #26)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:20 PM

56. Ditto on all of that!

Good cheer to all and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Response to xchrom (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:53 AM

40. I Second That!

Sorry, still in Board Meeting mode....

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Response to Demeter (Reply #40)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:02 AM

43. Happy Thanksgiving Miss Demeter

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Response to xchrom (Reply #43)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:51 AM

46. A Pair of Turkeys!

We'll roast them this Weekend!

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Response to Demeter (Reply #46)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:21 AM

47. !

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Response to Demeter (Reply #46)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:25 PM

55. A pair? This place is a full house of turkeys!

It's almost cocktail time. I think I'll start off with desert. Pumpkin Pie.

2 oz of Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka.
2 oz of Pumpkin Pie Liquor.
Ice cubes.

Repeat as needed.

And, as a public service announcement, remember that turkey is toxic to dogs. Black Friday is also the busiest day of the year at the vets office.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #55)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:08 PM

58. Are you serious?

I heard chocolate was toxic for dogs, but turkey?

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Response to Demeter (Reply #58)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:29 PM

60. Milk Chocolate is pretty much harmless for dogs.

And this comes from my former vet in Ohio, who is a friend, but also the best vet in the state. People come from around the world to her clinic. http://www.northviewvet.com/


She says the darker the chocolate, the more toxic, with bakers chocolate being the worst. But milk chocolate is harmless. The Fudd and Stoli ate it every day of their lives, and lived to ripe old ages, and Rosco and Sara also get chocolate treats.

However, she says, that there is a chemical in turkey that is very toxic for dogs. They can have a little taste now and then, but anything more will make them very sick.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #60)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 06:52 AM

62. Thanksgiving is the favorite day for my pets


They love the smells and aromas of the cookin bird. They always get some of the leftovers, and never had any problems with poultry. I do know poultry bones are very bad for animals because the bones can splinter.

However, chocolate was a problem for one of my dogs. She found a package of Hershey kisses. She didn't take the time to remove the wrappers, and wolfed down perhaps 4 or 5 oz of milk chocolate. She got soooo sick, both ends. I called the vet's office and was told that 1 oz of milk chocolate per pound of dog weight is tolerable without lasting harmful effects. After a day, the dog was fine, but my yard was littered with small pieces of silver wrappers.


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Response to xchrom (Reply #18)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 05:55 AM

61. Thirded!

I wish a good day to all!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:22 AM

19. U.S. Stock Futures Fluctuate Amid Deadlock in Greek Talks

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-21/u-s-stock-futures-fluctuate-amid-deadlock-in-greek-talks.html

U.S. stock-index futures fluctuated between gains and losses amid a deadlock in Greek debt talks and as investors awaited reports on consumer confidence and initial jobless claims.

Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM) rose 1.8 percent in German trading after its forecasts for fiscal fourth-quarter sales and profit were in line with analysts’ estimates. Deere & Co. (DE), the world’s largest maker of agricultural equipment, decreased 1.2 percent as earnings missed estimates.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures expiring in December added less than 0.1 percent to 1,386.8 at 7:25 a.m. in New York, having earlier dropped as much as 0.7 percent and climbed 0.2 percent. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 4 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 12,763. U.S. markets will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow.

“Euro-zone ministers once again failed to throw a deal together, as talks over the latest rescue plan for Athens fell apart,” Chris Beauchamp, a market analyst at IG in London, wrote in e-mailed comments. “You might have thought that three years would be enough time to solve this crisis, but no, they have said they need more time to hammer out the details.”

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:33 AM

22. Deere Profit Misses Estimates After Sales Slow in Europe, Asia

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-21/deere-profit-misses-estimates-after-sales-slow-in-europe-asia.html

Deere & Co. (DE), the largest agricultural equipment maker, reported fourth-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ estimates after sales outside the U.S. and Canada declined.

Profit climbed to $1.75 a share in the three months through Oct. 31 from $1.62 a share a year earlier, the Moline, Illinois- based manufacturer said today in a statement. The average of 18 estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for $1.88.

Net income will be about $3.2 billion in the year through October 2013, Deere said. The average of 15 estimates was for $3.26 billion.

Deere said farm-equipment sales in Europe will be unchanged or 5 percent lower in fiscal 2013 and Asia will be little changed due to “softer” economic conditions in India and China. That may undermine the company’s effort to expand the share of sales made outside the U.S. and Canada to 50 percent by 2018.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:35 AM

23. Lira Beats Mark as Europe Suffers From Stronger Euro

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-21/lira-beats-mark-as-europe-suffers-from-stronger-euro-currencies.html

Europe’s economy, shrinking under the weight of a three-year debt crisis and rising unemployment, would be better off if its currency behaved more like the Italian lira than the deutsche mark.

At least that’s the view of a growing number of investors and analysts, who say the euro is too strong for Europe’s good. The shared currency trades 5.5 percent above its lifetime average of $1.2102, and is 2.6 percent higher than it should be against the dollar, data on purchasing power compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development show.

The euro has gained more in the past three months than any of its nine developed-market peers in Bloomberg Correlation- Weighted Indexes, even with the region’s unemployment rate at a record 11.6 percent. Instead of acting like the mark, the bulwark of Europe’s foreign-exchange markets before 1999, economies and companies would become more competitive if the euro echoed Italy’s lira, which weakened about 30 percent in the decade before countries did away with individual currencies.

“The euro is not sustainable at these levels in the medium-to-long run,” Ulrich Leuchtmann, the Frankfurt-based head of currency strategy at Commerzbank AG, Germany’s second- biggest bank, said in a phone interview on Nov. 19. “This has to be an economic area with a soft currency, more like the lira before 1999 than the deutsche mark. A weaker currency will help to contain some of the problems.”

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Response to xchrom (Reply #23)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:56 AM

41. Well, since the Germans are making the rules to their benefit

it is no wonder the euro acts like the deutschmark. Until it goes over the cliff, that is.

The deutschmark was nothing to write home about around June 1921 to January 1924...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:38 AM

25. Jobless Claims in U.S. Decreased 41,000 Last Week to 410,000

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-21/jobless-claims-in-u-s-decreased-41-000-last-week-to-410-000.html

Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week as damage to the labor market caused by superstorm Sandy began to subside.

Jobless claims decreased by 41,000 to 410,000 in the week ended Nov. 17, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The number of applications matched the median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

The level of claims reflects the economic drag associated with Sandy, which made landfall in the Northeast on Oct. 29, killing more than 100 in the U.S. and leaving about 8 million homes and businesses without power for days. Before the storm- related surge in unemployment applications, companies limited hiring in the wake of a global economic slowdown and uncertain U.S. fiscal outlook.
“The trend is still moving into a flattening out, with maybe a modest downtrend” in claims, Benjamin Reitzes, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto, said before the report. “We’re going to have to see less uncertainty before businesses are more willing to hire.”

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Response to xchrom (Reply #25)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:10 AM

31. So, is this from companies issuing temporary layoffs or what?

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #31)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:13 AM

33. i depend on you guys -- maybe demeter or tansy or others will know. nt

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:44 AM

27. European Stocks Decline Amid Deadlock in Greek Debt Talks

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-21/european-stock-futures-fall-greek-debt-talks-deadlocked.html

European stocks were little changed after policy makers meeting in Brussels failed to reach a decision on assisting debt-laden Greece. U.S. index futures and Asian shares were also little changed.

Johnson Matthey Plc slumped 6.3 percent after it reported a drop in first-half profit. Imagination Technologies (IMG) Group Plc slipped 2.1 percent as it said that it will monitor mobile chip designer CEVA Inc.’s counter bid for MIPS Technologies Inc. Veolia Environnement SA rose 2.2 percent after getting approval for the sale of its U.S. waste-management business.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) rose less than 0.1 percent to 269.51 at 11:20 a.m. in London. The gauge has still climbed 15 percent from its low on June 4, boosted by stimulus announcements from the European Central Bank and U.S. Federal Reserve as well as better-than-forecast economic data. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures lost less than 0.1 percent, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.1 percent.

“Now markets are affected by some delay of the Greek issue, which it seems won’t be finished until the beginning of next week,” Roger Peeters, chief executive officer at Close Brothers Seydler Research in Frankfurt, wrote in an e-mail. “As a logical consequence, investors become more and more upset.”

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:09 AM

29. US Futures - flat again...like the calm before the storm

S&P 500 +0.1%
DOW +0.0%
NASDAQ +0.2%


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Response to Roland99 (Reply #29)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:01 AM

42. It's a holiday lull

when the hive-mind of the 1% Borg get to mull things over, lubricated with alcohol, cholesterol, and bonhomie.

Things won't get crazy until after New Year, unless a black swan lands...or somebody intentionally pushes over the applecart.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:09 AM

30. November flash manufacturing PMI at 5-month high

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/november-flash-manufacturing-pmi-at-5-month-high-2012-11-21?link=MW_home_latest_news

Markit said its preliminary flash manufacturing purchasing managers index, which is based on around 85% of usual monthly replies, rose to 52.4 in November from 51.0 in October to indicate a moderate manufacturing expansion overall. Output, new orders and employment each accelerated and stayed above the 50 level indicating growth. The input price index surged to 63.6 from 57.1. "This is an encouraging sign that the slowdown in the goods-producing sector may have bottomed-out," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.


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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:12 AM

32. London Bankers Become Landlords as Rents Hit Record

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-21/london-bankers-become-landlords-as-rents-hit-record-mortgages.html

Vivek Jeswani became a landlord by accident when Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) transferred him to New York two weeks after he moved into a new home in central London. Now back in the U.K., Jeswani views the apartment in Baker Street, the fictional home of Sherlock Holmes, as one of his best assets and is about to buy another home to expand his rental business.

“There are no other investments as attractive and you’ve got some security if you’ve got an asset you can use yourself,” the 36-year-old risk officer at China Construction Bank Corp.’s U.K. unit said. “There’s a good yield over 5 percent and being in central London, you’ve got demand domestically and internationally.”


London rents have risen more than 6 percent in the past year to a record, even as job cuts by banks reduce employment in the financial-services industry to a 20-year low. Technology and media companies are drawing workers to the city, while lenders restrict mortgages to all but the most creditworthy customers. That’s encouraged individual investors and companies including KKR & Co. to enter the rental market as central banks push down yields on debt to record lows.

The average rent in greater London climbed to 1,240 pounds ($1,974) last month, according to an index compiled by HomeLet. That was up 32 percent from October 2009, when rents averaged 940 pounds per month. The cost of renting a property in the rest of the country increased 7 percent between 2009 and 2012, said Homelet, the U.K.’s largest referencing and rentals insurance company.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:16 AM

34. Dangerous Euro Zone-IMF Split Persists over Greek Debt

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/euro-zone-and-imf-fail-to-agree-on-path-forward-for-greek-debt-crisis-a-868463.html


A sign held by a protester earlier this month in Athens reading "IMF Get Out."

In recent years characterized by mammoth euro-zone bailouts and interminable European Union squabbling over the future of the bloc, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has become a master at downplaying differences. On Wednesday morning, after talks aimed at finally overcoming an impasse on efforts to artificially resuscitate Greece collapsed, he once again put his talent on display.

"Because the questions are so complicated, we were unable to find closure," Schäuble said after a 12-hour negotiation marathon. He added that a number of options were discussed.
What he didn't say is that the core of the debate is quite simple -- and highlights the serious, and potentially dangerous, divide which has opened up between the euro-zone member states and the International Monetary Fund. Both sides are eager to see Greece's overall debt load shrink to a level that Athens can shoulder on its own. But whereas the IMF believes that the only sure way to get there is by ushering in another partial Greek default, euro-zone leaders, Germany first among them, would like to avoid such a scenario at all costs.

With Greece having recently been granted two extra years to reach its budget deficit reduction targets, the debate is now focusing on overall debt reduction. The IMF insists that Athens reduce its debt load from a current level of around 170 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to a ratio of 120 percent by 2020. Based on measures in place today and current growth forecasts for the Greek economy -- combined with the two-year budget deficit delay -- that target is likely unreachable. As such, the IMF is insisting that Germany and other creditors forgive a portion of Greece's debt.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:25 AM

35. Hostess plans to liquidate

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-20/hostess-mediation-fails-liquidation-proceed-furious-former-workers-now-turn-labor-un

Last week, when discussing the next steps for the company, and specifically the hope that mediation may resolve the epic animosity between management and workers, we stated that "What makes a mediation improbable is that the antagonism between the feuding sides has certainly hit a level of no return: "Several unions also objected to the company's plans, saying they made "a mockery" of laws protecting collective bargaining agreements in bankruptcy. The Teamsters, which represents 7,900 Hostess workers, said the company's plan would improperly cut the ability of remaining workers to use sick days and vacation." Sure enough, moments ago we learned that mediation has now failed and the liquidation may proceed. And since in America nobody understands that proper sequence of events involved in a bankruptcy liquidation, where the valuable parts always end up being acquired by someone, in this case the Twinkie brand and recipe, let the pointless Ebay bidding wars over twinkies continue. As for what really happens next, if indeed Bimbo is prohibited from acquiring the assets in the Stalking Horse auction due to anti-trust limitations, then the buyer will almost certainly be a "financial", i.e., another PE firm, whose coming means the end of any hopes and dreams of preserving union status at fresh start Hostess, or whatever the new firm will be named.

From the WSJ:

Hostess Brands Inc. said Tuesday night it would proceed with liquidation plans after mediation fails.

Earlier Tuesday, the head of the bakers union whose strike precipitated Hostess liquidation plans didn't attend a last-ditch mediation session and wasn't hopeful about its prospects, he said.

"I'm not too optimistic about this mediation," Frank Hurt, president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, said when reached earlier Tuesday afternoon in Columbus, Ohio. He said he couldn't get to New York, where the session was taking place; instead, he said, the union's secretary-treasurer was attending.


...

ome Hostess workers in another union awaiting the
mediation results criticized Mr. Hurt, the 20-year president of the
bakers union, who defended his decisions and actions during the
company's bankruptcy process.

Scott Quenneville, a Hostess truck driver represented by the Teamsters, said he feels his colleagues were misled by Mr. Hurt into believing that a buyer would swoop in for the company. Mr. Hurt on Sunday said he thought there was a good chance a buyer would emerge who would give union members their jobs back.


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Response to Roland99 (Reply #35)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:04 AM

44. The union really needed good leadership attuned to modern practices

too bad they didn't find any. It's past the point of no return.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #44)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:25 PM

59. I think the union's back would have been to the wall under any leadership

It sure sounds to me like part of the company plan has been to neuter the union. After all, if all a union can do is retain jobs at any wages, any conditions - if it acquiesces to every give back until its members aren't even making a living wage - which was the direction this was headed if it hadn't gotten there yet - then what use is a union? If the members are never willing to strike, they've given up their power.

But then, I've come to believe that unions - for which I work, btw, and which I'll defend and support because they are at the moment still our best hope - are, in the end, an aberrant outgrowth of Capitalism, prone to its very corruptions and failings even as they stand in opposition to the owners/bosses.

Capitalism poisons everything it subsumes. The workers should "own" the means of production, period.

But - the time for that has passed. "Owning" and "production" are constructs of civilization, and are headed for the dust-bin of history as the death of the ecosystem will destroy civilization. If we're lucky, in a few hundred years a few tens of thousands of hunter-gatherers will have survived.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:26 AM

36. How The Government Set Up A Fake Bank To Launder Drug Money


11/20/12
One day in the early 1990s, a man walked into the U.S. embassy in Ecuador. He said he had information somebody would want to hear — information on how to go after some of the most powerful drug traffickers in the world.

The man worked as a money changer. He said he was getting a lot of requests from traffickers who had a problem: They had so much cash that they didn't know what to do with it. They couldn't figure out how to launder their money.

What they needed was an offshore bank to help them. On today's show, we hear how two U.S. agents — one IRS, one DEA — created a fake offshore bank to catch drug traffickers.

audio at link, appx 17 min

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/11/20/165590860/episode-418-how-the-government-set-up-a-fake-bank-to-launder-drug-money

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:32 AM

37. Thanksgiving Song - Mary Chapin Carpenter

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Response to xchrom (Reply #37)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:50 AM

50. Alice's Restaurant



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Response to Roland99 (Reply #50)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:28 PM

53. ...

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #50)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:13 AM

63. Just like Alice.



LONDON | Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:47pm GMT (Reuters) - The euro zone economy is on course for its weakest quarter since the dark days of early 2009, according to business surveys that showed companies toiling against shrinking order books in November.

Service sector firms like banks and hotels that comprise the bulk of the economy fared particularly badly this month, and laid off staff at a faster pace.

While the monthly rate of decline that manufacturers reported eased far more than economists anticipated, Markit's latest Purchasing Managers' Indexes (PMIs) pointed to little change overall for a recession-hit euro zone this month.

The flash service sector PMI fell to 45.7 this month, its lowest reading since July 2009, the survey showed on Thursday, failing to meet the expectations of economists who thought it would hold at October's 46.0.

It has been rooted below the 50 mark that divides growth and contraction for 10 months now, and survey compiler Markit said it was too soon to say if this marked the nadir...

/... http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/11/22/uk-poll-euro-zone-idUKBRE8AL08G20121122


( btw, latest LEAP/E2020 is here: http://www.leap2020.eu/GEAB-N-69-is-available-Katrina-Sandy-From-one-hurricane-to-another-the-end-of-America-as-we-knew-it_a12571.html

)

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:36 AM

38. This is America Charlie Brown, The Mayflower Voyagers Part 1

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:51 AM

39. This is America Charlie Brown, The Mayflower Voyagers Part 2

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Response to xchrom (Reply #39)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:07 AM

45. I wish the sound worked on my 'puter! I've never seen those.

I have too many broken things to fix: cell phone white screen of death, 'puter sound production, dishwasher, refrigerator shelving, flooring to lay, tires for winter, and no time or money.

The new freezer gasket has greatly improved that appliance, at least. And the new wheel bearing has eliminated the wobble in the front end of the car.

I'm working as fast as I can, it's just that planned obsolescence is faster...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:46 AM

49. Widening budget deficit casts fresh gloom on UK economy

... The figures published on Wednesday show weaker businesses - mostly in the oil and gas sector - paying less tax than expected and may undermine government efforts to shore up public support for its policies of spending cuts and tax rises (for the poor and lower-to-middle-middle 'classes' only, of course.., ed...)...

... Separately, minutes of the latest Bank of England meeting showed little appetite for more stimulus, cutting off for now that alternative avenue of support, at a time when BoE Governor Mervyn King anticipates weak growth and rising inflation.

The Office for National Statistics said the government's preferred measure, public sector net borrowing excluding financial sector intervention, came in at 8.6 billion pounds ($13.7 billion) in October, up from 5.9 billion pounds in October 2011.

This was well above economists' average forecast of 6 billion pounds, and higher even than the most pessimistic estimate in a Reuters poll of 19 analysts.

A large part of the increased deficit is due to a 10 percent drop in corporation tax receipts, driven by lower profits from energy companies after a 20 percent annual fall in oil and gas extraction in the 12 months to September due to extra maintenance and long-term decline in North Sea reserves...

/... http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/11/21/uk-oct-public-borrowing-idUKBRE8AK0FO20121121

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:21 PM

51. Video: Bionic Mannequins Spy on Shoppers, Catch Criminals


11/21/12 Bionic Mannequins Spy on Shoppers, Catch Criminals

Store mannequins are meant to catch your eye. Soon you may catch theirs. Benetton Group SpA is among fashion brands deploying mannequins equipped with technology used to identify criminals at airports to watch over shoppers in their stores.

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/bionic-mannequins-spy-on-shoppers-catch-criminals-ppfJTtnjTM6iuLDfXsRF4A.html

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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #51)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:37 PM

54. Shades of Maxwell Smart

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