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Wed Dec 19, 2012, 05:30 PM

STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Thursday, 20 December 2012

STOCK MARKET WATCH, Thursday, 20 December 2012


SMW for 19 December 2012

AT THE CLOSING BELL ON 19 December 2012

Dow Jones 13,251.97 -98.99 (-0.74%)
S&P 500 1,435.81 -10.98 (-0.76%)
Nasdaq 3,044.36 -10.17 (-0.33%)


10 Year 1.80% -0.01 (-0.55%)
30 Year 2.99% 0.00 (0.00%)









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. . .
11/20/12 Hedge fund manager Matthew Martoma charged with insider trading at SAC Capital Advisors, and prosecutors are looking at Martoma's boss, Steven Cohen, for possible involvement.










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, 20 December 2012 (Original post)
Tansy_Gold Dec 2012 OP
tclambert Dec 2012 #1
Demeter Dec 2012 #2
DemReadingDU Dec 2012 #5
Demeter Dec 2012 #23
tclambert Dec 2012 #28
Demeter Dec 2012 #31
Demeter Dec 2012 #3
Fuddnik Dec 2012 #4
AnneD Dec 2012 #34
Ghost Dog Dec 2012 #6
Ghost Dog Dec 2012 #7
Demeter Dec 2012 #10
Ghost Dog Dec 2012 #39
Demeter Dec 2012 #8
Ghost Dog Dec 2012 #40
Demeter Dec 2012 #9
Demeter Dec 2012 #11
Demeter Dec 2012 #16
Demeter Dec 2012 #12
Demeter Dec 2012 #13
Demeter Dec 2012 #14
Demeter Dec 2012 #15
xchrom Dec 2012 #17
Demeter Dec 2012 #32
rusty fender Dec 2012 #35
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2012 #37
xchrom Dec 2012 #38
xchrom Dec 2012 #18
Demeter Dec 2012 #24
Demeter Dec 2012 #25
xchrom Dec 2012 #19
mahatmakanejeeves Dec 2012 #20
DemReadingDU Dec 2012 #21
Demeter Dec 2012 #22
Demeter Dec 2012 #26
Demeter Dec 2012 #27
Hotler Dec 2012 #29
Demeter Dec 2012 #33
Roland99 Dec 2012 #30
kickysnana Dec 2012 #36

Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:18 PM

1. So if the world ends Friday, I shouldn't bother starting that diet.

Are you sure the Mayans weren't just predicting the end of the Twinkies?

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Response to tclambert (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:22 PM

2. Well, that's ONE interpretation

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Response to Demeter (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:02 PM

5. and the markets will rally to the moon!


If the world ends, who cares how high, or low, the markets go.


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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:49 AM

23. Gold takes another plunge

Nothing makes sense any more...the Big Boys have a new scam, just in time for the holidays.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #23)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:11 AM

28. If the world were going to end, you should sell off all your investments and go to Disney World.

Let's see how many investors act like that's their plan.

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Response to tclambert (Reply #28)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:51 AM

31. DOW opened to fibrillation, much worse than yesterday

There was rumor of a Santa Claus rally yesterday. I think it's been scotched by now.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:45 PM

3. Hopes across Wall Street crushed when Obama Rejects GOP advances

aka: someone shot the fairies.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:21 PM

4. Nah, they're just indefinitely detained.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:34 AM

34. In Guantanamo....

no doubt....

Maybe that accounts for the fibrillations in the market as of late.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:49 AM

6. Spain's surge in exports and foreign corporate investment...

As labor costs fall and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s legislation makes it easier for companies to cut wages and reorganize staff, carmakers including Ford Motor Co. (F), Renault SA (RNO) and Peugeot are boosting production in Spain. Rajoy says the increase in investment and rising exports will translate into jobs as he battles an unemployment rate of 26 percent, the highest in Europe.

A surge in exports and foreign corporate investment indicates Spain is quietly being transformed within the constraints of the single currency. Rajoy is emulating the policies Germany carried out a decade ago to overhaul its then- sluggish economy, and the euro’s chances of hanging together may hinge on his success.

“Circumstances may be more dramatic in Spain now but it is going through the same kind of internal devaluation as Germany did,” said Nicolas Doisy, an economist at CA Cheuvreux in Paris and a former French Treasury official.

Merkel Advice

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has reaped the rewards of the measures that cost her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder his public support, advised Rajoy to learn from her country’s experience. She said in a Sept. 6 press conference with Rajoy in Madrid that while “no country wants to impose anything on another for the sake of it,” Germany’s efforts had cut its ranks of jobless to fewer than 3 million from 5 million.

Spain’s labor overhaul, which prompted two general strikes this year, makes it cheaper for companies suffering a downturn to fire workers, reduces severance pay and prevents unions from being able to cling to wage deals made during the boom.

/... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-19/rajoy-drives-spanish-revolution-with-low-cost-manufacture.html

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:51 AM

7. Irish Bargain Hunters Follow Blackstone Sifting Over Bank Debris

At the height of Ireland’s real- estate boom five years ago, Mervyn Chamney failed with an 8 million-euro ($11 million) bid for land 16 miles from Dublin. Last month, he bought the site for about 550,000 euros.

“I was lucky that I was an unsuccessful bidder,” the 40- year-old said in an interview two days ago. “If I’d been successful, I would be ruined today.”

Chamney, who stayed solvent because he only ended up losing money in the stock market rather than owing banks millions, expects to get a quick return from the 4.5 acres (1.8 hectares) and the unfinished homes in Blessington, Wicklow, after already taking deposits on five agreed sales.

Bargain hunters like Chamney are joining U.S. firms in sifting through the debris of western Europe’s worst banking crisis. In the last three months, Blackstone Group LP (BX), Apollo Global Management and Gordon Brothers Group LLC have bought property, while New York-based securities firm Cantor Fitzgerald LP acquired Dublin-based Dolmen Stockbrokers.

/... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-20/irish-bargain-hunters-follow-blackstone-sifting-over-bank-debris.html

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:31 AM

10. Vultures picking over the bones of Europe

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Response to Demeter (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:05 PM

39. Yes. But also Phoenix

rising out of ashes.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:28 AM

8. Does this make sense to anyone?

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:30 AM

9. Unfortunately, this DOES make sense

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:44 AM

11. UBS admits fraud in $1.5 billion Libor rigging deal

http://news.yahoo.com/ubs-set-1-5-billion-fine-rigging-libor-000236306--sector.html

Swiss bank UBS was hit with a $1.5 billion fine on Wednesday, admitting to fraud, paying bribes to brokers and "pervasive" manipulation of global benchmark interest rates by dozens of staff in a deal with international authorities.

The penalty agreed with U.S., UK and Swiss regulators is more than three times the $450 million fine levied on Britain's Barclays in June, also for rigging the Libor benchmark rate used to price financial contracts around the globe.

It is the second-largest fine paid by a bank and comes a week after Britain's HSBC agreed to pay the biggest ever penalty - $1.92 billion - to settle a probe in the United States into laundering money for drug cartels.

The revelations are another blow to UBS, which has had a tough 18 months after suffering a $2.3 billion loss in a rogue trading scandal, management upheaval and thousands of job cuts...MORE

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Response to Demeter (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:12 AM

16. Added blow for UBS in Italy derivatives trial verdict

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/12/19/uk-italy-banks-trial-idUKBRE8BI0XI20121219

An Italian court on Wednesday found Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), Depfa Bank, JP Morgan (JPM.N) and UBS (UBSN.VX) guilty of fraud for mis-selling derivatives to Milan in a case that could set a precedent for hundreds of local governments.

The court ordered the seizure of just under 90 million euros from the lenders which were each fined 1 million euros ($1.3 million). Nine bank employees were handed suspended jail sentences of up to eight months.

The verdict, coming on the same day that UBS was fined $1.5 billion for manipulating global interest rates, related to a swap contract signed by Milan city council when it issued a 1.68 billion euro, 30-year bond in 2005.

The four banks were accused of making 100 million euros in illicit profit and lying about the risks linked to the deal.

"This is an historic sentence because it has recognised the principle that banks' dealings with the public administration must be transparent," prosecutor Alfredo Robledo told reporters after the verdict.


Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and UBS said they had done nothing wrong and would appeal....

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:50 AM

12. GM to buy stake from Treasury, government plans full exit

http://news.yahoo.com/gm-buy-stake-treasury-plans-full-exit-holdings-131103066--finance.html

General Motors Co said on Wednesday it will buy back 200 million of its shares from the U.S. Treasury, which intends to sell the rest of its GM stake over the next 15 months, bringing to an end ownership that led to the nickname "Government Motors." Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann said GM will pay $5.5 billion, or $27.50 a share, for the Treasury stake in a deal expected to close by year-end. That represents a 7.9 percent premium on Tuesday's closing price.

GM shares rose about 10 percent to $28.05 in premarket dealings.

Treasury said it will sell its remaining stake of about 300.1 million shares "through various means in an orderly fashion" over the next 12 months to 15 months, and could begin the process as soon as January.

GM received about $50 billion from the U.S. Treasury as part of its 2009 bankruptcy restructuring in 2009 under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The government bailed out GM and Chrysler Group in a move to protect jobs - a number it put at more than 1 million.

"TARP was always meant to be a temporary, emergency program. The government should not be in the business of owning stakes in private companies for an indefinite period of time," Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Timothy Massad said in a statement.

"Moving to exit our investment in GM within the next 12 to 15 months is consistent with our dual goals of winding down TARP as soon as practicable and protecting taxpayer interests."


Ammann said the move and resulting Treasury plans will remove an "overhang" on the stock that has hurt sales and bring an "element of closure" to the bailout. Ammann said GM will end the year with estimated liquidity of about $38 billion, even after the deal. That will add to earnings per share by reducing the number of outstanding shares by about 11 percent. GM will take a charge of about $400 million in the fourth quarter tied to the buyback...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #12)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:00 AM

13. Tesla will need more loans to stay afloat in 2013

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla-will-need-more-loans-to-stay-afloat-in-2013-2012-12-20?siteid=YAHOOB

It’s a lucky thing for Tesla Motors shareholders that the U.S. Department of Energy loves the company’s loan applications. Without the hundreds of millions of dollars Tesla TSLA +0.06% has received from the federal government this year, the electric-car maker’s financials would be gasping for air as 2012 winds down. Given the ugly state of Tesla’s finances — and the company’s sky-high valuation of almost $4 billion — it will rank among the top candidates in Silicon Valley for a 2013 stock collapse, unless it receives significantly more cash next year. The Palo Alto, Calif., company’s financials are, in fact, in worse shape even than such high-profile Internet IPO flameouts as Zynga and Groupon. As of Sept. 30, Tesla had cash and short-term securities of $86 million, down from $280 million at the start of the year. That leaves Tesla with less than six months’ worth of cash, given that it burned through almost $200 million during the first nine months of 2012.

Including its $159 in automobiles — and much smaller items such as accounts receivable and restricted cash — the company’s total current assets were worth $285 million at the end of the third quarter. That’s down 24% from $373 million at the start of 2012.

CEO Elon Musk had thus burned through a quarter of his tank (so to speak) by the end of September, even while failing to deliver the production numbers promised to both customers and investors. That failure forced Musk in late September to slash by 40% Tesla’s 2012 revenue-forecast range, from one with a midpoint of $580 million to one whose midpoint is $420 million.

Including its factories and other longer-term assets, the company held $809 million in assets at the end of the third quarter. At the same time, its liabilities stood at $837 million.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:03 AM

14. Medicare premiums could rise for many retirees

http://news.yahoo.com/medicare-premiums-could-rise-many-retirees-075849995--finance.html

It's a health care change that President Barack Obama and Republicans both embrace: Expand a current, little-known law so more retirees the government considers well-off are required to pay higher Medicare premiums. That plan is likely to be part of any budget deal to reduce the overhang of federal debt, raising $20 billion or more over 10 years. It could come as a shock to many seniors who will have to pay the higher premiums even though they consider themselves solidly middle-class, and by no means wealthy. That's what happened to Tom James. He and his wife recently got an official notice that they will have to start paying more for Medicare next year, about $1,000 for the two of them. James is among the 5 percent of beneficiaries currently facing higher "income-related" premiums. If the budget change goes through, that number will grow to 25 percent....

First, the current income-based monthly premiums for Medicare's outpatient and prescription drug coverage would be ratcheted up. Those surcharges now are assessed on a sliding scale, and kick in for individual beneficiaries making more than $85,000, or $170,000 for couples.

Second, the number of beneficiaries who have to pay those higher monthly premiums would gradually expand by a few hundred thousand people each year. That would be done by extending a temporary freeze on the income thresholds at which the higher premiums are assessed.

Without adjusting those thresholds for inflation, 1 in 4 beneficiaries would be on the hook eventually, compared with about 1 in 20 now.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:09 AM

15. Auditor finds IMF was pressured by U.S. to fault China

WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/auditor-finds-imf-was-pressured-by-us-to-fault-china/2012/12/19/64979dae-4a11-11e2-ad54-580638ede391_story.html

The International Monetary Fund, at the urging of the United States, shaped recent research to pressure China over its economic policies, according to a study released Wednesday by the fund’s in-house watchdog.

The report by the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office provides an unusual look at how the political priorities of the fund’s major members can influence what is ostensibly objective analysis by an apolitical organization.

Divisions within the IMF, largely between industrialized countries and an influential group of developing nations including China and Brazil, have been heightened since the 2008 financial crisis spilled across the world out of the U.S. housing market...More recently, IMF efforts to aid Europe were criticized by some emerging-market officials as more generous than programs established in response to financial crises in Asia and Latin America.

In this case, the evaluation office concluded, the fund’s staff opened a new line of research on the accumulation of foreign reserves around the world in “response to frustration” among “influential shareholders” that China was not allowing its exchange rate to fluctuate more freely. A steady rise in foreign reserves — a country’s holdings of dollars, yen or other major world currencies — can be the result of large trade surpluses. But it can also stem from an undervalued exchange rate, something that the United States has long accused China of maintaining to give its products a more attractive price on world markets. The findings of that research showed China with perhaps double the recommended level of foreign currency holdings — its roughly $3 trillion stash is the largest in the world — and IMF officials suggested that excessive reserve holdings were a risk to global financial stability. But the fund’s work was “not persuasive,” the evaluation office concluded, and characterized it as “addressing the symptom rather than the cause.” The audit report said that IMF staff overlooked some of the reasons for countries to accumulate reserves, and ignored related threats to financial stability that stemmed more from policies in the United States and other developed countries. In particular, China and Brazil have both argued that loose monetary policy in the United States has created a global glut of dollars that has distorted markets worldwide.

The fund “should have placed greater emphasis on more pressing issues than reserves, for example the growth in global liquidity and capital flow volatility,” the evaluation office concluded.


MORE

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:57 AM

17. ok -- i'm just a Tad Fermisht - but i'm dressed and ready to go shopping

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Response to xchrom (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:54 AM

32. I'm shopping AFTER Xmas

I have no time or energy before. Plus, I haven't deposited the tip money.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 12:11 PM

35. Now that's what I call big hair!

Brava!

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Response to xchrom (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 01:54 PM

37. OH...MY....

Looks like you have been to Juanitia Jean's Hair Parlor.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #37)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 02:23 PM

38. she just started a delivery service -- any wig -- color of your choice. nt

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:59 AM

18. Fed’s $4 Trillion Rescue Helps Hedge Fund as Savers Hurt

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-20/fed-s-4-trillion-rescue-helps-hedge-fund-as-savers-hurt.html


Deepak Narula’s mortgage-bond fund is up 39 percent this year. George Sanchez’s monthly annuity payout is down 41 percent.

The near-zero interest rate the Federal Reserve charges financial firms, as well as securities purchases that will balloon the central bank’s balance sheet to almost $4 trillion next year, have made it easier for Narula’s $1.6 billion fund to thrive and more difficult for Sanchez, a former college library director, to enjoy retirement.

Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s efforts to energize the U.S. economy since 2008 have been credited with rousing the housing market from a six-year funk, lowering the jobless rate and putting more money in the pockets of both mortgage lenders and borrowers. At the same time, Fed policy has been blamed for starving money-savers of income and boosting certain asset prices, widening the gap between the rich and the rest of the country, said Joseph E. Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning Columbia University economist.

“Monetary policy has been indirectly, surreptitiously helping the top and hurting the bottom,” Stiglitz said.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:51 AM

24. You can say that again

but until we occupy the FED, it's not going to get any better.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:55 AM

25. Fed rejects idea of consensus forecasts, "maybe forever": Fisher

BECAUSE THEY PLAY IDEOLOGY, NOT ECONOMICS

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/19/us-usa-fed-consensusforecast-idUSBRE8BH16H20121219

The U.S. Federal Reserve, which last week for the first time adopted specific economic guideposts to help shape expectations for how long rates will stay low, has for now dropped the idea of coming up with a collective forecast for the economy. Fed policymakers will instead continue to make their individual best guesses on what's ahead for inflation, unemployment, and GDP growth, which the Fed publishes quarterly in a so-called summary of economic projections, or SEP.

"It's an exercise that we have played with as a committee," Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher told reporters after a speech here, when asked about the Fed's efforts to develop a consensus forecast. "And we have for the time being -- and maybe forever, maybe -- decided to keep with this SEP exercise that we have."


The Fed spent time at least two meetings looking at the mechanics of developing a joint view on the economic outlook. But Fed officials seem to have concluded that coming to a consensus on overall policy is hard enough, let alone getting all 19 policymakers to agree to every nut and bolt on the thinking that goes into it. Each forecast in the SEP has its own underlying assumptions on the appropriate path of policy.

The Fed last Wednesday said it would keep interest rates near zero until unemployment - now at 7.7 percent - falls at least to 6.5 percent, as long as inflation does not rise above 2.5 percent. The vote was 11 to 1, with only Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker dissenting; several non-voters, including Fisher, also objected.

At least one top Fed official, Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota, has said that having a collective Fed view on inflation and other important economic metrics would be an essential part of adopting thresholds. If there is no known collective view on the economy from Fed policymakers, he worried before last week's meeting, investors will be unable to judge whether the Fed believes its thresholds have been breached, and therefore will find it difficult to anticipate when rates will rise. Fisher, however, suggested that the market can rely on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to show the way, even without consensus forecasts. Bernanke gives quarterly press conferences that give him the chance to explain and expand on policy decisions.

"Ben's press conferences are the most important, in my view," Fisher told Reuters.

GOOD OLD UNCLE BEN.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:12 AM

19. BofA’s Moynihan Said to Kill Proposal to Cut Pay for Brokers

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-20/bofa-s-moynihan-said-to-kill-proposal-to-cut-payouts-for-brokers.html

Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan blocked a proposal to cut the main component of most brokers’ pay for 2013, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The plan would have reduced the so-called grid payout for Merrill Lynch financial advisers by two percentage points, the person said, requesting anonymity because it wasn’t made public. The changes, which would have affected advisers generating less than $1 million in commissions, were seen as a way to cushion the costs of new bonuses, the person said.

Bank of America, the second-biggest U.S. lender, proceeded with introducing the new awards for advisers who steer clients to use more of the bank’s products. In the month before that incentive was unveiled internally last week, Moynihan decided to overrule John Thiel, head of the Merrill Lynch brokerage, and prevent changes to the grid, the person said.

“If any one firm steps significantly out of the pack, and two percentage points is significant, that becomes a deal- killer,” said Mindy Diamond, president of Diamond Consultants LLC, a Chester, New Jersey-based executive-search firm.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:32 AM

20. ETA News Release: Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report (12/20/2012)

Source: Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Read more: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/ui/eta20122458.htm

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending December 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 361,000, an increase of 17,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 344,000. The 4-week moving average was 367,750, a decrease of 13,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 381,500.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5 percent for the week ending December 8, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending December 8 was 3,225,000, an increase of 12,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,213,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,240,500, a decrease of 33,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,274,000.

UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 400,422 in the week ending December 15, a decrease of 28,766 from the previous week. There were 421,103 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011.
....

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending December 8 were in California (+5,952), Florida (+749), Ohio (+743), Rhode Island (+197), and Colorado (+161), while the largest decreases were in New York (-11,295), Pennsylvania (-11,247), North Carolina (-8,564), Wisconsin (-5,726) and Georgia (-5,317).

-- -- -- -- --

Good morning, Freepers and DUers alike. I ask you to put aside your differences long enough to read this post. Following that, you can engage in your usual donnybrook.

Hmm. The number is up again this week, and the states with the biggest increases were nowhere near Hurricane Sandy.

I have been posting the number every week for at least a year. I seriously do not care if the week's data make Obama look good. They are just numbers, and I post them without regard to the consequences. I welcome people from Free Republic to examine the numbers as well. They paid for the work just as much as members of DU did, so I invite them to come on over and have a look. "The more the merrier" is the way I look at it.

I do not work at the ETA, and I do not know anyone working in that agency. I'm sure I can safely assume that the numbers are gathered and analyzed by career civil servant economists who do their work on a nonpartisan basis. Numbers are numbers, and let the chips fall where they may. If you feel that these economists are falling down on the job, drop them a line or give them a call. They work for you, not for any politician or political party.

The word "initial" is important. The report does not count all claims, just the new ones filed this week.

Note: The seasonal adjustment factors used for the UI Weekly Claims data from 2007 forward, along with the resulting seasonally adjusted values for initial claims and continuing claims, have been revised. These revised historical values, as well as the seasonal adjustment factors that will be used through calendar year 2012, can be accessed at the bottom of the following link: http://www.oui.doleta.gov/press/2012/032912.asp

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:39 AM

21. Amazon Has Another Huge Security Hole


12/19/12 Amazon Has Another Huge Security Hole by Chris Cardinal

You may recall that Amazon was implicated as the weak link in the Mat Honan iCloud hack (see 2nd link), wherein a gadget blogger had his entire online identity nuked from orbit because Amazon gave up the secondary identifying information necessary to issue a password reset over at Apple. (The last four of your credit card, incidentally.) I'm sad to say that Amazon has clearly not improved their authentication protocols in any meaningful way, but this time it's hurting them directly.

Someone has devised a relatively simple way of defrauding Amazon.com and they require very little hard information to pull it off. While this story is still developing, I'm writing this up in an effort to make Amazon aware of the problem and hopefully help them tighten their call center and live chat security.

lots more, must read!
http://gizmodo.com/5969981/two+for+one-amazons-socially-engineered-replacement-order-scam?



8/6/12 How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking by Mat Honan
In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed. First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter account was compromised, and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages. And worst of all, my AppleID account was broken into, and my hackers used it to remotely erase all of the data on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.

more...
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/08/apple-amazon-mat-honan-hacking/




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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:48 AM

22. German Business Confidence Rises for a Second Month

THE GERMANS ARE DELUSIONAL...YOU CAN'T SELL STUFF TO IMPOVERISHED PEOPLE

German business confidence increased for a second month in December, signaling Europe’s largest economy may support a euro-area recovery next year.

The Ifo institute’s business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, climbed to 102.4 from 101.4 in November. That’s the second straight increase after sentiment dropped to a 2 1/2 year low in October. Economists predicted a gain to 102, according to the median forecast of 43 economists in a Bloomberg News survey.

German factory orders and exports rose in October as shipments to countries outside Europe offset weaker demand in the 17-nation currency bloc, which is battling recession after governments cut spending to rein in excessive deficits. The Bundesbank said this week it expects the German economy to grow next year after shrinking markedly in the fourth quarter.

“Recent survey evidence suggests sentiment is bottoming out in Germany, providing further support to our view that the weakness in German economic outlook is not to last long,” said Gizem Kara, European economist at BNP Paribas in London. The fourth quarter “will prove to be the bottom of the downturn,” with the first quarter “already shaping up much better.”

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:58 AM

26. Watchdog estimates Fannie, Freddie lost $3 bln on Libor

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/libor-banking-scandal-may-have-cost-us-mortgage-agencies-3-billion/2012/12/19/eb41f488-49eb-11e2-820e-17eefac2f939_story.html

...The ma­nipu­la­tion likely caused Fannie and Freddie to lose billions of dollars on their holdings of more than $1 trillion in interest-rate swaps, floating-rate bonds, mortgage-backed securities and other assets linked to Libor from September 2008 to 2010, according to a memo from the inspector general for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator that oversees Fannie and Freddie. The Washington Post obtained the memo Wednesday. The inspector general recommended that FHFA conduct a thorough review and consider suing the banks involved in the scheme. The memo was reported earlier in the day by the Wall Street Journal.

Although a FHFA spokeswoman said the regulator “has not substantiated any particular Libor-related losses for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” she said the agency is considering the inspector general’s findings and will “continue to evaluate issues associated with Libor.”

UBS is now the second international bank — Barclays being the first — to own up to its role in the rate-fixing. They are among 16 banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase, that submit data to set the daily Libor rate. Prosecutors say a cadre of traders and senior managers at the Swiss banking giant colluded with at least four other banks and pressured brokers to spread false data to manipulate multiple global interest rates. The changes could have caused banks to appear healthier than they really were during the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 by suggesting that they were trading with low interest rates. But the actions also could have allowed banks to manipulate financial trades to create profits...criminal indictments are being brought against two former UBS traders — one in Britain and one in Switzerland — for conspiracy to manipulate Libor. One of them is also being charged with wire fraud in New York federal court. The traders are the first individuals to face criminal charges in the banking scandal to date, but may not be the last as federal prosecutors ramp up efforts to clamp down on banking misconduct.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:00 AM

27. ECB Eases Greek Banks’ Access to Cash as Reform Efforts Rewarded

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-19/ecb-eases-greek-banks-access-to-cash-as-reform-efforts-rewarded.html

The European Central Bank acted to ease Greek banks’ access to funding by accepting the country’s bonds in exchange for cash for the first time since July.

The Frankfurt-based ECB said today it will take debt instruments issued or guaranteed by the Greek government as collateral again, citing “the wide range of measures already implemented by the Greek government in the areas of fiscal consolidation, structural reforms, privatization and financial sector stabilization.”

Greek banks had been reliant on more expensive emergency funds from their own central bank since the expiry of a temporary guarantee on July 25. An agreement by European officials last week to pay Greece a 49.1 billion euro ($65 billion) slice of European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout loans has boosted optimism that the debt-stricken country will be able to push through economic reforms and stay in the euro.

Standard and Poor’s yesterday raised Greece’s credit rating to B-, the highest since June 2011, after a bond buyback helped reduce its debt burden. Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said today the upgrade was a “great success” for his country....

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:43 AM

29. Just dropped in to say hi. Have a good day everyone. n/t

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Response to Hotler (Reply #29)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:56 AM

33. Hi Hotler!

Stay warm and dry and celebrate the Solstice (turn on all the lights in the house and give the electric meter a spin)

Hope the New Year treats you better.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:50 AM

30. US markets tentative, down slightly. Oil taking a breather. US Q3 GDP revised up to 3.1%

uhhhh...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 12:59 PM

36. Watching the blizzard on the news just south of here.

Warm enough for me to bundle up and walk the half a block over to the drugstore and bank one more time this year.

x Shopping done
x Cards mailed
\ Decorating half done.
\ Cleaning half done.
Christmas phone calls (pending)

Looks like I might finish the marathon before Christmas this year.

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