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Tue Feb 19, 2013, 06:36 PM

STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Wednesday, 20 February 2013

STOCK MARKET WATCH, Wednesday, 20 February 2013


SMW for 19 February 2013

AT THE CLOSING BELL ON 19 February 2013

Dow Jones 14,035.67 +53.91 (0.39%)
S&P 500 1,530.94 +11.15 (0.73%)
Nasdaq 3,213.59 +21.56 (0.68%)


10 Year 2.03% +0.03 (1.50%)
30 Year 3.22% +0.04 (1.26%)









Market Conditions During Trading Hours






Euro, Yen, Loonie, Silver and Gold
















Handy Links - Essential Reading:

Matt Taibi: Secret and Lies of the Bailout





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 -- Wednesday, 20 February 2013 (Original post)
Tansy_Gold Feb 2013 OP
Demeter Feb 2013 #1
Tansy_Gold Feb 2013 #30
Demeter Feb 2013 #2
Demeter Feb 2013 #4
Demeter Feb 2013 #3
Demeter Feb 2013 #5
Demeter Feb 2013 #6
Demeter Feb 2013 #18
Demeter Feb 2013 #19
westerebus Feb 2013 #28
Demeter Feb 2013 #7
Demeter Feb 2013 #8
Demeter Feb 2013 #9
DemReadingDU Feb 2013 #11
DemReadingDU Feb 2013 #10
xchrom Feb 2013 #12
DemReadingDU Feb 2013 #15
Demeter Feb 2013 #16
xchrom Feb 2013 #21
kickysnana Feb 2013 #29
Hotler Feb 2013 #22
westerebus Feb 2013 #25
Tansy_Gold Feb 2013 #31
DemReadingDU Feb 2013 #13
Demeter Feb 2013 #17
Demeter Feb 2013 #14
Demeter Feb 2013 #20
Demeter Feb 2013 #23
Demeter Feb 2013 #24
Fuddnik Feb 2013 #34
Demeter Feb 2013 #26
westerebus Feb 2013 #27
Demeter Feb 2013 #32
Tansy_Gold Feb 2013 #37
westerebus Feb 2013 #39
Demeter Feb 2013 #40
DemReadingDU Feb 2013 #41
Fuddnik Feb 2013 #35
Hotler Feb 2013 #33
Fuddnik Feb 2013 #36
Demeter Feb 2013 #38

Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:27 PM

1. What! Who Dares Impugn the Sage of Omaha?

Is nothing sacred?

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Response to Demeter (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:40 AM

30. No, nothing is sacred. n/t

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:33 PM

2. The Trouble With Online College

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/opinion/the-trouble-with-online-college.html?_r=0

Stanford University ratcheted up interest in online education when a pair of celebrity professors attracted more than 150,000 students from around the world to a noncredit, open enrollment course on artificial intelligence. This development, though, says very little about what role online courses could have as part of standard college instruction. College administrators who dream of emulating this strategy for classes like freshman English would be irresponsible not to consider two serious issues.

First, student attrition rates — around 90 percent for some huge online courses — appear to be a problem even in small-scale online courses when compared with traditional face-to-face classes. Second, courses delivered solely online may be fine for highly skilled, highly motivated people, but they are inappropriate for struggling students who make up a significant portion of college enrollment and who need close contact with instructors to succeed.

Online classes are already common in colleges, and, on the whole, the record is not encouraging. According to Columbia University’s Community College Research Center, for example, about seven million students — about a third of all those enrolled in college — are enrolled in what the center describes as traditional online courses. These typically have about 25 students and are run by professors who often have little interaction with students. Over all, the center has produced nine studies covering hundreds of thousands of classes in two states, Washington and Virginia. The picture the studies offer of the online revolution is distressing. The research has shown over and over again that community college students who enroll in online courses are significantly more likely to fail or withdraw than those in traditional classes, which means that they spend hard-earned tuition dollars and get nothing in return. Worse still, low-performing students who may be just barely hanging on in traditional classes tend to fall even further behind in online courses. A five-year study, issued in 2011, tracked 51,000 students enrolled in Washington State community and technical colleges. It found that those who took higher proportions of online courses were less likely to earn degrees or transfer to four-year colleges. The reasons for such failures are well known. Many students, for example, show up at college (or junior college) unprepared to learn, unable to manage time and having failed to master basics like math and English. Lacking confidence as well as competence, these students need engagement with their teachers to feel comfortable and to succeed. What they often get online is estrangement from the instructor who rarely can get to know them directly. Colleges need to improve online courses before they deploy them widely. Moreover, schools with high numbers of students needing remedial education should consider requiring at least some students to demonstrate success in traditional classes before allowing them to take online courses.

Interestingly, the center found that students in hybrid classes — those that blended online instruction with a face-to-face component — performed as well academically as those in traditional classes. But hybrid courses are rare, and teaching professors how to manage them is costly and time-consuming. The online revolution offers intriguing opportunities for broadening access to education. But, so far, the evidence shows that poorly designed courses can seriously shortchange the most vulnerable students.


"highly skilled, highly motivated people" CAN LEARN ANYWHERE, AND DO. WHAT THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IS TRYING TO DO IS DESTROY THE TEACHER-STUDENT PARTNERSHIP IN ALL ITS FORMS, TO ELIMINATE THE ROLE AND PAY OF TEACHERS.

THIS IS INSANE, BUT IT WILL TAKE A LOST GENERATION OR MAYBE TWO BEFORE THEY GIVE IT UP.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:39 PM

4. What a REAL Paradigm Shift in Education Would Look Like

http://www.alternet.org/education/what-real-paradigm-shift-education-would-look?akid=10072.227380.06n5uK&rd=1&src=newsletter796377&t=20&paging=off

Long before corporate America began its assault on public schooling, American education was in trouble. Educators were, however, increasingly aware of the problems and were working on them. When Bill Gates, Jeb Bush, Mike Bloomberg, Arne Duncan,Michelle Rhee, and other big name non-educators took over, that worked stopped.

What I want people to understand is that the backbone of education — the familiar math-science-language arts-social studies “core curriculum” — is deeply, fundamentally flawed. No matter the reform initiative, there won’t be significant improvement in American education until curricular problems are understood, admitted, addressed, and solved.

Few want to hear that. Reformers are sure America’s schools would be fine if teachers just worked harder and smarter, and reformers are sure the teachers would do that if merit pay programs made them compete for cash. They seem incapable of understanding that classroom teachers are doing something so complicated and difficult that even the best of them are hanging on by their fingernails. If they knew how to do better, they’d be doing it. Would surgeons operate differently if they were paid more? Would commercial airline pilots make softer landings if they made more money? Would editorial writers write better editorials if their salaries were raised?

Teachers are doing the best they can with the curriculum they’ve been given. Here (in regrettably abstract language) is the curricular problem at the top of my list:

Change is in the nature of things; it is inevitable. Human societies either adaptto change or die. The traditional core curriculum delivers existingknowledge, but adapting to an unknown future requires new knowledge. Newknowledge is created as relationships are discovered between parts ofreality not previously thought to be related. The arbitrary walls betweenschool subjects, and the practice of studying them in isolation from eachother, block the relating process essential to knowledge creation....

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:36 PM

3. Harvesting Justice: Transforming the Global Food Supply Chain -- Food Sovereignty By Beverly Bell

http://www.nationofchange.org/harvesting-justice-transforming-global-food-supply-chain-food-sovereignty-1361118189


"Over a half-century ago, Mahatma Gandhi led a multitude of Indians to the sea to make salt in defiance of the British Empire's monopoly on this resource critical to people's diet. The action catalyzed the fragmented movement for Indian independence and was the beginning of the end for Britain's rule over India. The act of 'making salt' has since been repeated many times in many forms by people's movements seeking liberation, justice and sovereignty: César Chávez, Nelson Mandela, and the Zapatistas are just a few of the most prominent examples. Our food movement -- one that spans the globe -- seeks food sovereignty from the monopolies that dominate our food systems, with the complicity of our governments. We are powerful, creative, committed and diverse. It is our time to make salt."

So began a statement from the People's Movement Assembly on Food Sovereignty from the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit in 2010, which launched a national movement. So, too, begins a weekly blog series adapted from Other Worlds' hot-off-the-press, 140-page book: Harvesting Justice: Transforming Food, Land, and Agriculture Systems in the Americas. The book is the result of five years of interviews and on-site research from throughout the hemisphere, describing strategies to win food justice and food sovereignty. It draws from more than 100 cutting-edge successes, grassroots alternatives, and inspiring models. An appendix offers hundreds of ways to get involved.

From community gardens to just global policy, a national and global movement is growing to reclaim food, land, and agricultural systems from agribusiness and put them back in the hands of citizens. A common thread links innovations and successes happening simultaneously around the globe: a vision of a society that values life and the earth over profit. In the U.S., the parts of the movement have often worked in isolation from each other, but in fact they are all pieces of an inseparable whole. Together, they address:

The ability of all to eat adequate and healthy food;
The well-being of the land, air, and waters;
The fair wages, rights, and health of those who plant, harvest, produce and prepare our food;
The need to restore and protect small farms and local food systems;
The ability of Native and traditional peoples to control their own land, grow their own food, and preserve their own cultures;
The need to privilege the rights and needs of women, as the world's primary food producers and providers;
The right of every nation to control its own food and agriculture; and
An end to corporate control of food and agriculture, including an end to trade rules and international agreements that put profit first.

The group that released the "make salt" manifesto has since formalized itself into the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance. A mix of farmers, farm workers, organizers, Native community leaders, Washington policy analysts, and immigrants' rights advocates, the group brings to the U.S., for the first time, a political demand that has long been seminal in the global South and parts of Europe: food sovereignty. Food sovereignty is a prerequisite for health and justice for all people, food, agriculture, and Mother Earth. It is an expansive set of principles, policies, and practices which ensure the right of everyone to ecologically sound, sustainably produced and harvested food. They also ensure the right of people and nations to democratic control over their food and agriculture systems....

RIGHT ON!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:44 PM

5. GAO Report: Cost of the Financial Crisis — Your Retirement By Pam Martens

http://wallstreetonparade.com/2013/02/gao-report-cost-of-the-financial-crisis-your-retirement/

...On April 25 of last year, the GAO released a study specifically looking at just the toll on workers. (GAO-12-445.) Among the findings:

Long-term unemployment rose substantially, and at a greater rate for older than younger workers. By 2011, 55 percent of unemployed older workers had been actively seeking a job for more than half a year (27 weeks or more).

Long-term unemployment can put older workers at risk of deferring needed medical care, losing their homes, and accumulating debt.

The GAO identified out-of-date skills, discouragement and depression, and inexperience with online applications as reemployment barriers for older workers.

Long-term unemployment can substantially diminish an older worker’s future retirement income in several ways. First, it can force a worker to stop working and stop saving for retirement earlier than the worker had planned. Second, long-term unemployment can lead individuals to draw down their retirement savings to cover living expenses while they are unemployed, which was a common life experience described by GAO’s focus group participants.

GAO illustrated how a hypothetical worker who had $70,000 in retirement savings at age 55 and withdrew 50 percent of those savings during a 2 year period of unemployment, would need about another 5 ½ years of work and saving to rebuild the retirement account to the level it had been before unemployment began.

Long-term unemployment can motivate older workers to claim early Social Security retirement benefits, which will result in lower monthly benefits for workers and their survivors for the rest of their lives....

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:41 AM

6. Gold broke 1600: Gold tumbles, losses build moving into U.S. open

Last edited Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:03 AM - Edit history (1)

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-inches-higher-ahead-of-fed-minutes-2013-02-19?siteid=YAHOOB

Gold futures took a tumble in electronic trading on Wednesday, with prices dropping below the key $1,600-an-ounce level as markets awaited a hefty data calendar from the U.S. Gold for delivery in April fell $14.20 to $1,589.50 an ounce in electronic trading in the middle of Europe’s day.

The precious metal fell $5.30, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,604.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday for its fourth straight loss, although it managed to hold above $1,600 through the trading session.

HSBC metal analysts said that gold’s fall on Tuesday came as U.S. stock indexes headed back to all-time highs.
Besides a shift in investor preference towards risk assets over gold, uncertainty surrounding the Federal Open Market Committee’s quantitative-easing program may have also added pressure to bullion,” the analysts said.


The Fed’s FOMC will release the minutes of its Jan. 29-30 meeting later Wednesday, and the HSBC analysts said that gold may see more downside if the minutes show the central bank continued a discussion from its December meeting over whether quantitative easing may either slow or stop well before the end of 2013. “Bullion may face further pressure should the Fed reinforce their earlier statement towards quantitative easing, in our view. We see gold as likely to face further near-term pressure until physical bullion buying from Asia improves,” the analysts said...


SO THE REAL PROBLEM IS ASIA STOPPED BUYING...AND THE SUCKERS ARE LOADING UP ON STOCKS (OR THEY WANT THE SUCKERS TO LOAD UP ON STOCKS, SO GOLD PRICES ARE BEING SUPPRESSED)

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Response to Demeter (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:07 AM

18. Stock futures flat before housing starts, PPI Gold takes another tumble, along with platinum

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stock-futures-steady-before-housing-starts-ppi-2013-02-20?siteid=YAHOOB

U.S. stock-market futures were little changed Wednesday, ahead of data expected to show a small fall in housing starts and a sharp rise in wholesale prices. Later in the day, the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting will draw eyeballs.

On the corporate front, shares of Dell Inc. and Herbalife Ltd. could be active in the premarket after the companies reported results late Tuesday. MGM Resorts International is among companies due to report. Toll Brothers swung to a fiscal-first-quarter profit. One of the day’s top economic data points will be housing starts, due at 8:30 a.m. U.S. Eastern time. Economists polled by MarketWatch are forecasting starts declined to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 914,000 in January from 954,000 in December, a month that delivered the highest level of starts since June 2008.

Also at 8:30 a.m., the Labor Department is expected to report a sharp rise in wholesale prices. Producer prices are estimated to have risen the most since last fall, by 0.4% in January, or by 0.2% excluding food and energy, according to economists.

At 2 p.m. Eastern, the Fed will release minutes from its latest meeting. Economists will be poring over the summary for comments about the risks of a third round of quantitative easing and of an eventual exit strategy for the Fed...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #18)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:10 AM

19. Europe stocks waver ahead of data deluge

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/europe-stocks-waver-ahead-of-data-deluge-2013-02-20?siteid=YAHOOB

“This week we have the Italian election over the weekend and I think there’s 30%-40% change of a market unfriendly outcome. That would be bad for the euro and bad for Italian bonds. I think it would be very wise to keep risk low over the weekend,” said Nick Beecroft, senior market analyst at Saxo Capital Markets in London. ...

BE AFRAID...BE VERY AFRAID....

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Response to Demeter (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:25 AM

28. I think this has more to do with the Yen deal.

Not that banks would ever interfere with a market.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:53 AM

7. Prosecutors, Shifting Strategy, Build New Wall Street Cases

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/02/18/prosecutors-build-a-better-strategy-to-go-after-wall-street/

Criticized for letting Wall Street off the hook after the financial crisis, the Justice Department is building a new model for prosecuting big banks.

In a recent round of actions that shook the financial industry, the government pushed for guilty pleas, rather than just the usual fines and reforms. Prosecutors now aim to apply the approach broadly to financial fraud cases, according to officials involved in the investigations.

Lawyers for several big banks, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they were already adjusting their defenses and urging banks to fire employees suspected of wrongdoing in the hope of appeasing authorities...So far, the Justice Department has extracted guilty pleas only from remote subsidiaries of big foreign banks, a move that has inflicted reputational damage but little else....

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:01 AM

8. Private Debt – Not Government Debt – Will Destroy America

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/14566-private-debt-%E2%80%93-not-government-debt-%E2%80%93-will-destroy-america

There are two kinds of debt. One that’s relatively harmless. And one that can destroy us all. There’s public sector debt – or government debt – which is over $16 trillion. This is the sort of debt that politicians scream and holler about when they demand austerity. And then there’s private sector debt – the debt owned by you and me and millions of Americans across the nation in the form of credit cards, home and auto loans, along with America's corporate debt. This sort of debt doesn’t seem to bother politicians at all, even though total private sector debt is $38 trillion, more than double government debt.

Now here’s what you need to know. Public sector debt is not a problem at all. Our national debt, despite the big number, is not a threat to the nation. Currently, our national debt is roughly 100% of GDP. After World War 2, it was much higher – over 120% of GDP. But, rather than freaking out in the 1950’s and demanding austerity spending cuts, both Republican and Democratic Presidents and lawmakers grew our nation out of this so-called debt problem with government spending. There were massive government investments to build the Interstate Highway System, send returning GIs to college, and to grow the social safety net.

And it worked. With more government investments, more Americans were put to work, which meant they had more money to spend, which meant more businesses hired more people to keep up with the higher demand, which meant Americans all around were earning more money and paying more revenue into the government through taxes. Our debt-to-GDP ratio plummeted from its peak of over 120% in the 1950’s to around 20% in the 1970’s. Then Reagan came in, gave billionaires a massive tax cut, increased defense spending, and our national debt exploded again. But, two Presidents later, Bill Clinton had the budget balanced and the nation on track to completely eliminate the national debt within ten years. George W. Bush blew up that plan with his tax cuts, wars, corporate giveaways, and his economic crash, so now we have a pretty massive debt, although not as big as the one Truman and Eisenhower faced and beat...Our nation has a long history, from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to World War II of dealing with our national debt, and reducing debt levels that are much higher than we see today. That’s why government debt is not a problem right now. With just a small amount of political will, it can be solved pretty easily: more government investments to put people to work and more taxes on the rich so that they pay their fair share again have always solved it in the past.

On the other hand, private sector debt is a huge problem. Not only is it devastating the livelihoods of millions of Americans around the nation, but it’s also pushing our economy toward collapse. After World War 2, total private debt was below 50% of GDP. Today, it’s more than 250% of GDP, which is even higher than it was during the Great Depression....

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:05 AM

9. Unfortunately, that IS the Point!

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Response to Demeter (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:10 AM

11. +++

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:07 AM

10. U.S. Banks Bigger Than GDP as Accounting Rift Masks Risk

2/19/13 U.S. Banks Bigger Than GDP as Accounting Rift Masks Risk

Warning: Banks in the U.S. are bigger than they appear. That label, like a similar one on automobile side-view mirrors, might be required of the four largest U.S. lenders if Thomas Hoenig, vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., has his way. Applying stricter accounting standards for derivatives and off-balance-sheet assets would make the banks twice as big as they say they are -- or about the size of the U.S. economy -- according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “Derivatives, like loans, carry risk,” Hoenig said in an interview. “To recognize those bets on the balance sheet would give a better picture of the risk exposures that are there.”

U.S. accounting rules allow banks to record a smaller portion of their derivatives than European peers and keep most mortgage-linked bonds off their books. That can underestimate the risks firms face and affect how much capital they need.

Using international standards for derivatives and consolidating mortgage securitizations, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. would double in assets, while Citigroup Inc. would jump 60 percent, third- quarter data show. JPMorgan would swell to $4.5 trillion from $2.3 trillion, leapfrogging London-based HSBC Holdings Plc and Deutsche Bank AG, each with about $2.7 trillion. JPMorgan, Bank of America and Citigroup would become the world’s three largest banks and Wells Fargo the sixth-biggest. Their combined assets of $14.7 trillion would equal 93 percent of U.S. gross domestic product last year, the data show. Total assets of the country’s banking system would be 170 percent of economic output, still lower than 326 percent for Germany.

U.S. accounting rules for netting derivatives allow banks to erase about $4 trillion in assets, the data show. The lenders also can remove from their books most mortgages they package into securities, trimming an additional $3 trillion.

Off-balance-sheet assets and derivatives were at the root of the 2008 financial crisis. Mortgage securitizations kept off the books came back to haunt banks forced to repurchase home loans sold to special investment vehicles. The government had to rescue American International Group Inc. with a bailout that ballooned to $182 billion after the insurer couldn’t pay banks on derivatives tied to those bonds. Derivatives are financial contracts whose value depends on stocks, bonds, currencies or other securities. Because two parties agree to swap cash or collateral at the end of a pre- determined period, that value also depends on the existence of the counterparty when it’s time to pay.

more...
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-20/u-s-banks-bigger-than-gdp-as-accounting-rift-masks-risk.html

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:11 AM

12. Well I gotta go into the hospital today.

They gotta 'look' at me.

I hate being 'looked' at by drs.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:18 AM

15. No one likes to goto hospital

Hope things go well


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Response to xchrom (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:43 AM

16. Oh, NO!

Take someone with you...intimidate the staff! Nobody should go to the hospital without at least one buddy, to run interference or cover for the shock...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:24 AM

21. Yeah - thanks D. I gotta buddy.

About to head out the door.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:33 AM

29. Amen n/t

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Response to xchrom (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:29 AM

22. I hope all is well. Peace. n/t

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Response to xchrom (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:56 AM

25. Looking forward to your return. n/t

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Response to xchrom (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:09 PM

31. All good and beautiful thoughts headed your way, X





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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:14 AM

13. Office Depot, OfficeMax to Merge to Compete With Staples


2/20/13 Office Depot, OfficeMax to Merge to Compete With Staples

Office Depot Inc. agreed to buy OfficeMax Inc. for $1.17 billion in a bid to revive a retailer that has been losing sales to online rivals and Staples Inc., the largest U.S. office-supplies chain.

Office Depot will issue 2.69 new shares for each outstanding OfficeMax common share, according to a statement today on its website. That’s equal to $13.50 a share, based on yesterday’s closing price, a premium of about 26 percent to Feb. 15 before reports the companies were in talks to combine.

The merger will combine companies with revenue totaling about $18 billion compared with more than $24 billion in sales last year for Staples. The company may accelerate the closing or selling hundreds of stores after Starboard Value LP, an activist fund that became Office Depot’s largest shareholder in September, pushed for expense reductions.

“Consolidation is needed in an overstored and secularly declining industry,” Greg Melich, an analyst at International Strategy & Investment Group LLC in New York, wrote in a note Feb. 19. “We see two fundamental shifts that continue to hurt demand: digitization of the workplace (that is reducing the demand for traditional office products) and a shift to e- commerce.”

more...
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-20/office-depot-officemax-to-merge-to-compete-with-staples.html?alcmpid=breakingnews

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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #13)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:45 AM

17. We have all three of these big box stores in this little town

I never could understand how they all survived...even the University couldn't keep them all going (not that the U would buy retail, but there are a lot of students...)

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:17 AM

14. The World of Wonders: Monetary Magic applied to cure America’s economic ills

A COMPENDIUM OF COMMENTARY AND HISTORY AT LINK:

http://fabiusmaximus.com/2013/02/20/monetary-policy-qe4-48930/

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:15 AM

20. Administration developing penalties for cybertheft

http://news.yahoo.com/administration-developing-penalties-cybertheft-080315950--finance.html

Evidence of an unrelenting campaign of cyberstealing linked to the Chinese government is prompting the Obama administration to develop more aggressive responses to the theft of U.S. government data and corporate trade secrets. The Obama administration is expected to announce new measures Wednesday, including possible fines and other trade actions against China or any other country guilty of cyber-espionage. Officials familiar with the administration's plans spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the threatened action.

The Chinese government denies being involved in the cyberattacks cited in a cybersecurity firm's analysis of breaches that compromised more than 140 companies. On Wednesday, China's Defense Ministry called the report deeply flawed.

Mandiant, a Virginia-based cybersecurity firm, released a torrent of details Monday that tied a secret Chinese military unit in Shanghai to years of cyberattacks against U.S. companies. Mandiant concluded that the breaches can be linked to the People's Liberation Army's Unit 61398. Military experts believe the unit is part of the People's Liberation Army's cybercommand, which is under the direct authority of the General Staff Department, China's version of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As such, its activities would be likely to be authorized at the highest levels of China's military.

The release of the Mandiant report, complete with details on three of the alleged hackers and photographs of one of the military unit's buildings in Shanghai, makes public what U.S. authorities have said less publicly for years. But it also increases the pressure on the U.S. to take more forceful action against the Chinese for what experts say has been years of systematic espionage....

HOW MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE THE MANDIANT FIRM? HOW MANY THE CHINESE?

IF THE THREAT IS CHINESE, WHY ARE AMERICANS GETTING THE RESTRICTIONS?

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:34 AM

23. Al Gore: Democracy Needs to Trump Capitalism or the Global Elite Will Triumph

AL GORE FINALLY SPEAKS THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH! TOOK HIM LONG ENOUGH.

http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/17815-al-gore-democracy-needs-to-trump-capitalism-or-the-global-elite-will-triumph

The former vice president of the United States and rightful winner of the 2000 presidential election has a new visionary book just published that will largely be ignored by the mainstream media.

Why? Because it values democracy over capitalistic excesses. Because it proclaims that the elected officials in DC are just lackeys, in essence, for the moneyed elite. Because it details how the global corporations and financial institutions are now more powerful than nation states. And that's just the beginning of why you won't read much in the media about Gore's "The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change."

As Brad Blog quotes from a Jon Stewart interview with Gore on "The Daily Show" (one of the few outlets that will allow Gore free rein to state his anti-status quo viewpoints), Gore doesn't hold back:

Our democracy has been hacked. It's been taken over. It no longer operates the way our founders intended it to, because of anonymous donors, big money, corporations as people, might makes right. The lobbyists and special interests are now in control. They can't do anything without begging permission from the powerful special interests and it is time that we take our democracy back and it can be done.


But there's so much more in the interview and the book, the kind of enlightened perspective – untainted by corporate and jingoistic propaganda – that it makes you feel like you've found on an oasis after nearly dying from thirst...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #23)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:42 AM

24. Corporations Write Our Laws and Profit From Our Misery By Chris Hedges

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/14639-corporations-write-our-laws-and-profit-from-human-misery

A TOXIC BREW OF UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS, CORPORATE PRISONS, CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS, AND PRISON TERMS FOR NON-VIOLENT "OFFENSES"

..."Repentance is more than merely being sorry," the Rev. Joyce Antila Phipps, the executive director of Casa de Esperanza, a community organization working with immigrants, told the gathering. "It is an act of turning around and then moving forward to make change."The majority of those we incarcerate in this country—and we incarcerate a quarter of the world's prison population—have never committed a violent crime. Eleven million undocumented immigrants face the possibility of imprisonment and deportation. President Barack Obama, outpacing George W. Bush, has deported more than 400,000 people since he took office. Families, once someone is seized, detained and deported, are thrown into crisis. Children come home from school and find they have lost their mothers or fathers. The small incomes that once sustained them are snuffed out. Those who remain behind often become destitute.

But human beings matter little in the corporate state. We myopically serve the rapacious appetites of those dedicated to exploitation and maximizing profit. And our corporate masters view prisons—as they do education, health care and war—as a business. The 320-bed Elizabeth Detention Center, which houses only men, is run by one of the largest operators and owners of for-profit prisons in the country, Corrections Corporation of America. CCA, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, has annual revenues in excess of $1.7 billion. An average of 81,384 inmates are in its facilities on any one day. This is a greater number, the American Civil Liberties Union points out ina 2011 report, "Banking on Bondage: Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration," than that held by the states of New York and New Jersey combined. The for-profit prisons and their lobbyists in Washington and state capitals have successfully blocked immigration reform, have prevented a challenge to our draconian drug laws and are pushing through tougher detention policies. Locking up more and more human beings is the bedrock of the industry's profits. These corporations are the engines behind the explosion of our prison system. They are the reason we have spent $300 billion on new prisons since 1980. They are also the reason serious reform is impossible.

The United States, from 1970 to 2005, increased its prison population by about 700 percent, according to statistics gathered by the ACLU. The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, the ACLU report notes, says that for-profit companies presently control about 18 percent of federal prisoners and 6.7 percent of all state prisoners. Private prisons account for nearly all of the new prisons built between 2000 and 2005. And nearly half of all immigrants detained by the federal government are shipped to for-profit prisons, according to Detention Watch Network...U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which imprisons about 400,000 undocumented people a year, has an annual budget of more than $5 billion. ICE is planning to expand its operations by establishing several mega-detention centers, most run by private corporations, in states such as New Jersey, Texas, Florida, California and Illinois. Many of these private contractors are, not surprisingly, large campaign donors to "law and order" politicians including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

In CCA's annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission for 2011, cited by the ACLU, the prison company bluntly states its opposition to prison reform. "The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by criminal laws," it declares. CCA goes on to warn that "any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration" could "potentially demand for correctional facilities," as would "mak more inmates eligible for early release based on good behavior," the adoption of "sentencing alternatives ... could put some offenders on probation" and "reductions in crime rates."...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #23)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:01 PM

34. Thanks. I just ordered that book.

I got the hard cover version.

As much as I love my Nook, there's just some books that you really want to share with people. This sounds like one of them. After I read Democracy Incorporated, I decided I need to order a physical version to share.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:58 AM

26. I'm trying to make up for my recent absences

but frankly, my friends, the news I'm finding is so thoroughly depressing, I can't inflict any more of it on you or me....

As a diversion, I am watching Abbott and Costello in "Jack and the Beanstalk" (on a very bad videotape from the thrift store. The Kid refuses to go out in the cold again). Who knew they could sing? Of course, vaudevillians could do anything!

We need to bring vaudeville back...to Congress, at least. Maybe then some real government would occur....

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Response to Demeter (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:21 AM

27. Far too many clowns... in congress...etc..etc..

Glad your computer is back in action.

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Response to westerebus (Reply #27)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:25 PM

32. Clowns are entertaining, they have skills people pay to see

Congress is none of the above.

My computer is rather jury-rigged at the moment...It's going to take months to sort out the 3 rooms upstairs. Wiring, sheetrock, paint, carpet and rugs, furniture, closet sorting...and that's not including any wall moving, which I'd love to do at some future date...(cheap and lousy, wasteful floor plan...that's why it won a design award, I reckon.)

And if we survive that, there's the downstairs....

I have great delusions.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #32)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:10 PM

37. Clowns are frightening

I have never liked clowns.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #32)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:45 PM

39. We the People pay Congress. Though they are owned by and operate for a select few.

They have a unique talent of pissing off half the country on any given day they are in session. Grant them that at least.

I've painted the kitchen and had a hardwood floor installed and they will measure for the new counter tops next week. The living room is also painted so some progress is being made. The two upstairs bathrooms were newly tiled and new toilets int stalled, the hall bath was painted after I removed the wall paper. Next are the two bedrooms for painting and then the master, but I don't have a color for that room picked out yet. When I finish with the painting the carpet comes which I have picked out.

Come spring there are some repairs and some painting to the outside that needs attending to. And there's two landscaping projects I want to do. No rest for the weary. Or the wicked...

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Response to westerebus (Reply #39)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:25 AM

40. We are fellow renovators, fellow sufferers

My, those floors look nice! Now I have to do the ceiling, walls and the wiring...

I'm not messing with the baths or kitchen, not this time.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #40)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:46 AM

41. That's great!

I wish I had the energy or the initiative to even begin looking for new furnishings for this house. Basically, I do not like shopping for anything. Unfortunately, everything is really really old, carpet is threadbare, and numerous other maladies that need undertaking. Sometimes, I think it would be cheaper just to move to a new place.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:04 PM

35. I'm spending some time reading some fictional novels.

Too much overload on politics and economics will push you over the edge. I'm having oral surgery tomorrow (implants), and plan on pending the week-end buried in Ken Follett. And maybe pop in the WEE.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 02:59 PM

33. More Republican family values....

Former Sen. Pete Domenici of New Mexico revealed Wednesday that he fathered a child outside his marriage three decades ago with the daughter of another former senator.

Domenici, 80, a Republican who served six terms in the Senate before retiring in 2008, and the mother of the child each released statements to the Albuquerque Journal acknowledging Domenici’s fatherhood.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/20/17031901-former-senator-reveals-he-fathered-a-child-with-daughter-of-another-senator?lite&ocid=msnhp&pos=1

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Response to Hotler (Reply #33)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:07 PM

36. Well, I guess it beats getting diapered ans spanked by hookers.

Like some of his colleagues.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:21 PM

38. I take it the news from the Fed wasn't good, based on the DOW since 2 PM

ITYS

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