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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:48 PM

STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Friday, 22 February 2013

STOCK MARKET WATCH, Friday, 22 February 2013


SMW for 21 February 2013

AT THE CLOSING BELL ON 21 February 2013

Dow Jones 13,880.62 -46.92 (-0.34%)
S&P 500 1,502.42 -9.53 (-0.63%)
Nasdaq 3,131.49 -32.92 (-1.04%)


10 Year 1.98% +0.01 (0.51%)
30 Year 3.18% 0.00 (0.00%)









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 -- Friday, 22 February 2013 (Original post)
Tansy_Gold Feb 2013 OP
Wellstone ruled Feb 2013 #1
Fuddnik Feb 2013 #2
Demeter Feb 2013 #3
Demeter Feb 2013 #43
amandabeech Feb 2013 #46
Demeter Feb 2013 #4
Demeter Feb 2013 #5
BlueStreak Feb 2013 #6
Demeter Feb 2013 #7
Demeter Feb 2013 #8
Demeter Feb 2013 #9
Demeter Feb 2013 #10
Demeter Feb 2013 #12
Demeter Feb 2013 #13
Demeter Feb 2013 #24
Demeter Feb 2013 #33
Demeter Feb 2013 #11
Demeter Feb 2013 #14
Fuddnik Feb 2013 #15
DemReadingDU Feb 2013 #21
xchrom Feb 2013 #16
Demeter Feb 2013 #25
xchrom Feb 2013 #27
Demeter Feb 2013 #29
xchrom Feb 2013 #32
Demeter Feb 2013 #37
xchrom Feb 2013 #39
siligut Feb 2013 #41
xchrom Feb 2013 #42
xchrom Feb 2013 #17
xchrom Feb 2013 #18
Demeter Feb 2013 #30
xchrom Feb 2013 #35
Demeter Feb 2013 #38
xchrom Feb 2013 #19
xchrom Feb 2013 #20
Demeter Feb 2013 #28
xchrom Feb 2013 #22
xchrom Feb 2013 #23
xchrom Feb 2013 #26
Demeter Feb 2013 #31
Demeter Feb 2013 #34
Demeter Feb 2013 #36
Demeter Feb 2013 #40
Demeter Feb 2013 #44
DemReadingDU Feb 2013 #45
Fuddnik Feb 2013 #47
Demeter Feb 2013 #48

Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 07:41 PM

1. And the Hedgies are taking the market down

just to cover their losses on Oil Futures.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:03 PM

2. What the hell happened to oil today?

I've been out in La-La land all day, since oral surgery this morning, and pain-killers the rest of the day.

Gas has been at $3.79 all week, and yesterday I headed down to St. Pete, and stopped at Costco on the way back, and filled up for $3.58.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:40 PM

3. Well good for you. It's been north of $3.90 for nearly 2 weeks here

which means people stopped buying, I expect. Hope it drops tomorrow, I'm nearly empty.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:50 AM

43. Gas was $3.70 today...down 20 cents overnight

Such a bargain...not.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:52 PM

46. Might the drop be related to the FOMC minutes that came out yesterday?

There seemed to be more opposition to QE than past minutes.

Of course, as people here know, if there's no QE, the economy will go through a period of "adjustment."

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:42 PM

4. Elizabeth Warren - PAC for a Level Playing Field

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/levelplayingfield?refcode=20130221em

Elizabeth Warren has started a new Leadership PAC to support candidates who believe in consistent accountability, investing in opportunity, and fighting for families and small businesses.

Using our historic fundraising efforts and the single best grassroots army that any Senate campaign has ever seen, the PAC for a Level Playing Field will fight for candidates who will fight for families across Massachusetts and around the country.

DONATE AT LINK

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:45 PM

5. Detroit named most miserable U.S. city in Forbes ranking

THE 1% ARE SO PROUD OF THEIR CREATION DESTRUCTION...
I'D STILL BET NEW JERSEY BEATS US OUT, THOUGH.

http://news.yahoo.com/detroit-named-most-miserable-u-city-forbes-ranking-222711800.html

With its violent crimes, high unemployment, dwindling population and financial crisis, Detroit was named on Thursday as the most miserable city in the United States.

It toppled Miami, which held the title last year, and surpassed Flint, Michigan, Rockford and Chicago in Illinois and Modesto, California, which rounded out the five most unhappy urban areas.

"Detroit's problems are hardly news. It has been in a four-decade decline paralleling the slide in the U.S. auto industry," according to Forbes.com, which compiles the yearly ranking...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:51 PM

6. There is no mystery at all here.

Last edited Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:53 PM - Edit history (1)

On Weds, the Fed said maybe it wasn't all that serious about keeping with the aggressive money expansion. The market dropped immediately and has stayed down at the lower level.

And nobody will be in a buying mood until after this sequester crap gets cleared out for another 2 months.

Nothing more than that. Pretty simple actually.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:58 PM

7. Wall Street ends lower on growth worries

http://news.yahoo.com/stock-futures-lower-flurry-data-tap-123208226--sector.html

U.S. stocks fell for a second straight day on Thursday and the S&P 500 posted its worst two-day loss since November after reports cast doubt over the health of the U.S. and euro-zone economies. But a late-day rally helped stocks erase some of their losses with most of the pullback concentrated in the technology- heavy Nasdaq. The move suggested investors were still willing to buy on dips even after the sharp losses in the last session.

In Europe, business activity indexes dealt a blow to hopes that the euro zone might emerge from recession soon, showing the downturn across the region's businesses unexpectedly grew worse this month.

"The PMI numbers out of Europe were really a blow to the market," said Jack De Gan, chief investment officer at Harbor Advisory in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. "The market was expecting signs that recovery is still there, but the numbers just highlighted that the euro-zone problem is still persistent."

U.S. initial claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week while the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said its index of business conditions in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region fell in February to the lowest in eight months...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:00 PM

8. EITC Isn't The Alternative to a Minimum Wage, This Is By Matthew Yglesias

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/02/17/guaranteed_basic_income_the_real_alternative_to_the_minimum_wage.html



A higher minimum wage, with its possible disemployment effects, is often counterposed with wage subsidy schemes like the Earned Income Tax Credit as an alternative for helping low-wage workers. But as Mike Konczal and Arindrajit Dube explain, it's better to think of them as complementary policies. Wage subsidies help low-wage workers, but also serve in part as a subsidy to low-productivity employers, and they have the benefit of inducing more people to join the workforce. Minimum wages (within reason) also help low-wage workers, but serve in part as a tax on employers, and have possible downsides in terms of discouraging employment. So you want to try to do some of both.

But I still think minimum wage regulations are far from optimal. The real policy mix you're looking for is a blend of wage subsidies (to encourage work) and something like a Guaranteed Basic Income program that just hands out cash to people regardless of what they do.

A GBI helps people by giving them money, obviously. It also serves as a kind of de facto minimum wage, since if people can earn money doing nothing, in practice you're going to need to offer them higher pay to get them to work. But it's much more flexible than a minimum wage. In a GBI world, an employer has to make work somehow appealing enough to get employees even though everyone's guaranteed a basic minimum whether they work or not. But that "appealing" factor could be high wages, could be valuable skills and training, could just be a pleasant work atmosphere, or could be some combination of the three. Current minimum wage policies sort of try to achieve these goals by having exemptions for educationally rewarding internships or vocational programs. But these exemptions manage to be simultaneously too prone to abuse and too inflexible to capture the full range of possible scenarios that arise in human life.

Obviously, real-world politicans and activists operate within constraints, but when I'm dictator that's what we're going to do. No minimum wage rule, no sloppy enforcement, and no weird loopholes. But everyone gets a check every month, and employers need to offer a proposition that's more attractive than leisure even though pure leisure won't necessarily lead to immiseration. I'd also add in a progressive payroll tax that's somewhat negative at low levels to prevent the disemployment effects from getting out of hand.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:05 PM

9. MEANWHILE: Raise That Wage By PAUL KRUGMAN

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/18/opinion/krugman-raise-that-wage.html?_r=0

President Obama laid out a number of good ideas in his State of the Union address. Unfortunately, almost all of them would require spending money — and given Republican control of the House of Representatives, it’s hard to imagine that happening. One major proposal, however, wouldn’t involve budget outlays: the president’s call for a rise in the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9, with subsequent increases in line with inflation. The question we need to ask is: Would this be good policy? And the answer, perhaps surprisingly, is a clear yes.

Why “surprisingly”? Well, Economics 101 tells us to be very cautious about attempts to legislate market outcomes. Every textbook — mine included — lays out the unintended consequences that flow from policies like rent controls or agricultural price supports. And even most liberal economists would, I suspect, agree that setting a minimum wage of, say, $20 an hour would create a lot of problems. But that’s not what’s on the table. And there are strong reasons to believe that the kind of minimum wage increase the president is proposing would have overwhelmingly positive effects. First of all, the current level of the minimum wage is very low by any reasonable standard. For about four decades, increases in the minimum wage have consistently fallen behind inflation, so that in real terms the minimum wage is substantially lower than it was in the 1960s. Meanwhile, worker productivity has doubled. Isn’t it time for a raise?

Now, you might argue that even if the current minimum wage seems low, raising it would cost jobs. But there’s evidence on that question — lots and lots of evidence, because the minimum wage is one of the most studied issues in all of economics. U.S. experience, it turns out, offers many “natural experiments” here, in which one state raises its minimum wage while others do not. And while there are dissenters, as there always are, the great preponderance of the evidence from these natural experiments points to little if any negative effect of minimum wage increases on employment. Why is this true? That’s a subject of continuing research, but one theme in all the explanations is that workers aren’t bushels of wheat or even Manhattan apartments; they’re human beings, and the human relationships involved in hiring and firing are inevitably more complex than markets for mere commodities. And one byproduct of this human complexity seems to be that modest increases in wages for the least-paid don’t necessarily reduce the number of jobs.

What this means, in turn, is that the main effect of a rise in minimum wages is a rise in the incomes of hard-working but low-paid Americans — which is, of course, what we’re trying to accomplish. Finally, it’s important to understand how the minimum wage interacts with other policies aimed at helping lower-paid workers, in particular the earned-income tax credit, which helps low-income families who help themselves. The tax credit — which has traditionally had bipartisan support, although that may be ending — is also good policy. But it has a well-known defect: Some of its benefits end up flowing not to workers but to employers, in the form of lower wages. And guess what? An increase in the minimum wage helps correct this defect. It turns out that the tax credit and the minimum wage aren’t competing policies, they’re complementary policies that work best in tandem. So Mr. Obama’s wage proposal is good economics. It’s also good politics: a wage increase is supported by an overwhelming majority of voters, including a strong majority of self-identified Republican women (but not men). Yet G.O.P. leaders in Congress are opposed to any rise...The good news is that not many Americans share that disdain; just about everyone except Republican men believes that the lowest-paid workers deserve a raise. And they’re right. We should raise the minimum wage, now.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:08 PM

10. 40 Percent of Americans Now Make Less than 1968 Minimum Wage By Dave Johnson

http://www.nationofchange.org/40-percent-americans-now-make-less-1968-minimum-wage-1361362370

You may have seen the charts showing how working people’s wages stopped going up along with productivity gains:

This means the gains went … somewhere else. See if you can guess who got them? (Hint: it’s the 1%; this is one driver of the terrible income and wealth inequality.) This breakoff of wages from productivity growth is partly (largely?) the result of trade agreements that pit Americans against exploited workers in non-democracies. This weakened the bargaining power of unions, moved factories and industries out of the country, devastated entire regions of our country — and gave the giant multinational corporations, Wall Street and the billionaires the leverage they needed…



Economist Dean Baker describes one effect of this in Minimum Wage: Who Decided Workers Should Fall Behind?

“If the minimum wage had risen in step with productivity growth , it would be over $16.50 an hour today. That is higher than the hourly wages earned by 40 percent of men and half of women.”

Baker is referring to this CEPR study: The Minimum Wage and Economic Growth.

40% Of Americans Now Make Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage

Read what Baker wrote again. The minimum wage would be $16.50 an hour — $33,000 a year — if it had kept up with the growth of productivity since 1968. To put the effect of this a different way, 40% of Americans now make less than the 1968 minimum wage, had the minimum wage kept pace with productivity gains...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:16 PM

12. Southern poverty pimps By Michael Lind

http://www.salon.com/2013/02/19/southern_poverty_pimps/?utm_source=Daily+Digest&utm_campaign=147d7e116c-DD_2_20_132_20_2013&utm_medium=email

Contemporary American politics cannot be understood apart from the North-South divide in the U.S., as I and others have argued. Neither can contemporary American economic debates. The real choice facing America in the 21st century is the same one that faced it in the 19th and 20th centuries — Northernomics or Southernomics?

Northernomics is the high-road strategy of building a flourishing national economy by means of government-business cooperation and government investment in R&D, infrastructure and education. Although this program of Hamiltonianism (named after Washington’s first Treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton) has been championed by maverick Southerners as prominent as George Washington, Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln (born in Kentucky to a Southern family), the building of a modern, high-tech, high-wage economy has been supported chiefly by political parties based in New England and the Midwest, from the Federalists and the Whigs through the Lincoln Republicans and today’s Northern Democrats.

Southernomics is radically different. The purpose of the age-old economic development strategy of the Southern states has never been to allow them to compete with other states or countries on the basis of superior innovation or living standards. Instead, for generations Southern economic policymakers have sought to secure a lucrative second-tier role for the South in the national and world economies, as a supplier of commodities like cotton and oil and gas and a source of cheap labor for footloose corporations. This strategy of specializing in commodities and cheap labor is intended to enrich the Southern oligarchy. It doesn’t enrich the majority of Southerners, white, black or brown, but it is not intended to.

Contrary to what is often said, the “original sin” of the South is not slavery, or even racism. It is cheap, powerless labor.

Before 1900, the cheap labor was used to harvest export crops like cotton and lumber. Beginning around 1900, Southern states sought to reap benefits from the new industrial economy by supplying national manufacturing companies with pools of cheap, powerless labor as well. For a century now, Southern state economic development policies have sought to lure companies from high-wage, high-service states, by promising low wages and docile workers. Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s recent appeals to California businesses to relocate to the Lone Star State are the most recent example.

The essence of the Southern economic model is not low taxation, but a lack of bargaining power by Southern workers of all races. Bargaining power at the bottom of the income scale is created by tight labor markets; unions; minimum wage laws combined with unemployment insurance; and social insurance, such as Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid....MORE

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Response to Demeter (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:23 PM

13. Obama Administration Aims To Fix Loophole Letting Home Health Workers Make Less Than Minimum Wage

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/02/20/1614551/obama-administration-aims-to-fix-loophole-letting-home-health-workers-make-less-than-minimum-wage/?mobile=nc

The Obama administration is reviving its push to provide labor protections to home health workers who are often excluded from traditional labor law. According to The Hill, the administration will offer a final rule governing the home health industry soon:

Enactment of the regulations, which are under final review at the White House, would represent a major victory for unions that have fought for decades to win higher pay for direct-care aides.

In recent days, the White House has held multiple meetings with groups that have a stake in the proposal, according to participants and logs maintained by the Office of Management and Budget.

Involved parties on both sides said they expect the White House to issue the rule soon.


Home health workers are not subject to minimum wage or overtime pay laws because the Fair Labor Standards Act exempts those “who provide ‘companionship services’ to people with disabilities and the elderly,” a definition that has been applied to home health workers. But as Sarah Jane Glynn noted, “Home care workers today provide everything from help with eating and dressing to monitoring blood pressure and vital signs,” making them far from simple companions.

The Big Business community is, predictably, opposing the new rule, and Congressional Republicans tried to block it the last time it surfaced. But with the home health industry set to explode in the coming decades, ensuring that those workers get the bare minimum when it comes to labor protections is a no-brainer.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:37 AM

24. Do More Than the Minimum on the Minimum Wage By Jim Hightower

http://www.nationofchange.org/do-more-minimum-minimum-wage-1361457722



“In the wealthiest nation on earth,” President Obama declared in his State of the Union speech, “no one who works full time should have to live in poverty.”

Right! Way to go! Not only does his call to raise America's minimum wage put some real pop in populism, but it could finally start putting some ethics back in our country's much-celebrated (but rarely honored) “work ethic.” Kudos to Obama for putting good economics and good morals together — and for putting this long overdue increase on the front burner. But then came the number: $9 an hour. Excuse me, Mr. President, but if you're going to bother making the fight, why start out with a number so low that many minimum-wage employees would still “have to live in poverty”?

About 60 percent of America's lowest-paid workers are women, including single moms struggling awfully hard to make ends meet. Yet, at your $9 an hour level, a single woman with two children, would, in fact, be paid a poverty wage. And, since you would slowly phase-in the increase, she wouldn't even be paid that until nearly two years from now. Yes, nine bucks is a buck-seventy-five better than the current low wage of high misery, but it doesn't even elevate the buying power of our nation's wage floor back to where it was in 1968. Nor, by the way, does it match the $9.50-level you pledged to push in 2008 when you were running for president. This is not merely about extending a badly needed helping hand to people struggling to work their way out of poverty, but it's also about enabling them to give a bottom-up jolt of new energy to our economy, which it desperately needs.

Ironically, while super-rich corporations are hoarding trillions of dollars in offshore accounts, refusing to invest in our nation, minimum-wage workers will invest every extra dollar they get in America — spending it right where they live on clothing, food, transportation, health care and other needs. A 2011 Federal Reserve study found that a $1 hike in the minimum wage produces an additional $2,800 a year in spending by each of those households — so this is no time to shortchange these workers.

Yes, I know that congressional Republicans' idea of governing is, first, to snap a sharp "No," and only then ask what the proposal is. So, at the direction of corporate lobbyists, they were bleating a loud negative to any wage hike — and when Obama proposed $9, GOP House leader John Boehner jumped on it like a gator on a poodle. Incredibly, he claimed that raising the wages of our country's most poorly paid workers would hurt — guess who? — America's most poorly paid workers! This disingenuous pitting of poor people against themselves is derived from a corporate manufactured political myth that hiking the minimum pay squeezes small-business owners to the breaking point, "forcing" them to fire employees or even go bankrupt. "When you raise the price of employment," Boehner grumped, "guess what happens: You get less of it." Well, guess again, John. That "job killer" fable has been debunked again and again by real world experience. Over decades, the pay floor has constantly been elevated by Congress, states and cities, and the great preponderance of studies show that it causes little to zero negative impacts on job numbers, but very positive results for employee morale, productivity and turnover. It also tends to generate a nice income boost for — guess who — small businesses, as wage earners spend their increase in pay in the local economy...While those power elites say "no," the American people overwhelmingly say "yes." A poll last June found that seven out of 10 of us — including a majority of Republican women (but not men) — favor raising the minimum wage above $10 an hour. So, Mr. President, this is not a time for meek proposals. Think big, and take it to the people.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #24)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:56 AM

33. Nine Economic Facts That Will Make Your Head Spin By Lynn Parramore

http://truth-out.org/news/item/14673-nine-economic-facts-that-will-make-your-head-spin

1. Recovery for the rich, recession for the rest.

2. Half of us are poor or barely scraping by.

3. Unhappy meal.

4. Old age and poverty.

5. Incarceration nation.

6. The cost of gender inequality.

7. College degrees still pay off, big-time.

8. A retired couple needs a quarter million for retirement – just for healthcare.

9. The looting of America.

DETAILS AT LINK

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:12 PM

11. Reagan Revolution Home To Roost — In Charts

http://blog.ourfuture.org/20120318/reagan_revolution_home_to_roost_-_in_charts

It seems that you can look at a chart of almost anything and right around 1981 or soon after you’ll see the chart make a sharp change in direction, and probably not in a good way. And I really do mean almost anything, from economics to trade to infrastructure to … well almost anything. I spent some time looking for charts of things, and here are just a few examples. In each of the charts below look for the year 1981, when Reagan took office.

Conservative policies transformed the United States from the largest creditor nation to the largest debtor nation in just a few years, and it has only gotten worse since then:



...intense concentration of wealth at the top:



...MORE MISERY IN GRAPHIC FORM...

Sometimes it can be so obvious where a problem comes from, but very hard to change it. The anti-government, pro-corporate-rule Reagan Revolution screwed a lot of things up for regular people and for the country. Some of this disaster we saw happening at the time and some of it has taken 30 years to become clear. But for all the damage done these “conservative” policies greatly enriched a few entrenched interests, who use their wealth and power to keep things the way they are. And the rest of us, hit so hard by the changes, don’t have the resources to fight the wealth and power...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:46 AM

14. Governors Fall Away in G.O.P. Opposition to More Medicaid

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/us/politics/gop-governors-providing-a-lift-for-health-law.html

Under pressure from the health care industry and consumer advocates
, seven Republican governors are cautiously moving to expand Medicaid, giving an unexpected boost to President Obama’s plan to insure some 30 million more Americans...The Supreme Court ruled last year that expanding Medicaid to include many more low-income people was an option under the new federal health care law, not a requirement, tossing the decision to the states and touching off battles in many capitols. The federal government will pay the entire cost of covering newly eligible beneficiaries from 2014 to 2016, and 90 percent or more later. But many Republican governors and lawmakers immediately questioned whether that commitment would last, and whether increased spending on Medicaid makes sense, given the size of the federal budget deficit. Some flatly declared they would not consider it.

In Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott reversed his position and on Wednesday announced his support for expanding Medicaid, proponents say that doing so will not only save lives, but also create jobs and stimulate the economy. Similar arguments have swayed the Republican governors of Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota and Ohio, who in recent months have announced their intention to expand Medicaid.

The shift has delighted supporters of the law.

“I think this means the dominoes are falling,” said Ronald F. Pollack, the executive director of Families USA, a consumer group. “The message is, ‘Even though I may not have supported and even strongly opposed the Affordable Care Act, it would be harmful to the citizens of my state if I didn’t opt into taking these very substantial federal dollars to help people who truly need it.’ ”


Nationwide, Medicaid covers 60 million people, most of them low-income or disabled. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 17 million more people could be enrolled if all states took the expansion option. So far, 22 states have said they will expand the program, 17 have opted against it, and 11 have not yet decided, according to Avalere Health, a consulting firm...Some Republican governors remain firmly opposed to the expansion of Medicaid. In her State of the State address, Gov. Nikki R. Haley said, “As long as I am governor, South Carolina will not implement the public policy disaster that is Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.” Gov. Rick Perry affirmed that “Texas will not expand Medicaid” and said he was proud that Texas did not follow other states “scrambling to grab every tax dollar they can.”

The change of heart for some Republican governors has come after vigorous lobbying by health industry players, particularly hospitals. Hospital associations around the country signed off on Medicaid cuts under the health care law on the assumption that their losses would be more than offset by new paying customers, including many insured by Medicaid.
MORE

WHOLE BUNCH OF HORSE-DEALING GOING ON

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Response to Demeter (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:11 AM

15. Does that mean "avoid Burger King"?

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Response to Demeter (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:32 AM

21. Somebody is going to benefit with a big bonus from out tax dollars




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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:21 AM

16. i am a hot mess today...

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Response to xchrom (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:39 AM

25. Well, I'm in a blizzard

Thinking of canceling the morning, at least....

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Response to Demeter (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:41 AM

27. let's cancel the week.

we're getting freezing rain -- and my recovery doesn't too much better than my being sick.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #27)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:44 AM

29. Yes, it's obviously scrambled your syntax

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Response to Demeter (Reply #29)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:49 AM

32. they gave me good drugs. nt

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Response to xchrom (Reply #32)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:04 AM

37. Please take care!

Can't imagine this thread without you.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #37)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:11 AM

39. oh shucks... me? ... you'll make me blush

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Response to xchrom (Reply #27)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:18 AM

41. Stay warm, life goes on

You take care of you and the week will take care of itself.

Time stops for no one, not even one dressed in really awesome nun drag.

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Response to siligut (Reply #41)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:26 AM

42. ...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:22 AM

17. GOV'T DOWNSIZES AMID GOP DEMANDS

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AP_US_SHRINKING_THE_GOVERNMENT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-02-22-06-24-42

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans and other fiscal conservatives keep insisting on more federal austerity and a smaller government. Without much fanfare or acknowledgement, they've already gotten much of both.

Spending by federal, state and local governments on payrolls, equipment, buildings, teachers, emergency workers, defense programs and other core governmental functions has been shrinking steadily since the deep 2007-2009 recession and as the anemic recovery continues.

This recent shrinkage has largely been obscured by an increase in spending on benefit payments to individuals under "entitlement" programs, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and veterans benefits. Retiring baby boomers are driving much of this increase.

Another round of huge cuts - known in Washington parlance as the "sequester" - will hit beginning March 1, potentially meaning layoffs for hundreds of thousands of federal workers unless Congress and President Barack Obama can strike a deficit-reduction deal to avert them.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:24 AM

18. EU SAYS EUROZONE ECONOMY TO SHRINK AGAIN IN 2013

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_EUROPE_ECONOMY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-02-22-07-43-56

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union predicted Friday that the economy of the 17 member countries that use the euro will shrink again in 2013 even though it will see its fortunes improve in the second half of the year.

In its winter forecast, the EU Commission, the EU's executive arm, said the eurozone is likely to shrink a further 0.3 percent this year, in contrast to November's prediction of 0.1 percent growth.

Across the eurozone, it said the debt crisis and the associated belt-tightening are weighing on activity - official figures showed the eurozone contracted 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2012 from the previous three-month period. The eurozone has been in recession - officially defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth - since the second quarter of 2012, when concerns about the future of the euro were particularly acute.

Many countries are in deep recessions, such as Greece and Spain, as they push spending cuts and tax increases to deal with their public finances. Others have suffered in the fallout, such as export powerhouse Germany, Europe's largest economy, which contracted by a quarterly rate of 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2012.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:46 AM

30. Get a Clue, ECU!

What a bunch of maroons...

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Response to xchrom (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:02 AM

35. Eurozone downturn and deficits to persist, Commission says

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21544328


Spain, France and Portugal have failed to cut overspending to agreed targets, the European Commission has said.

Spain's government deficit was 10.2% of the country's economic output in 2012, well above the agreed 6.3% target, and will stay far above target into 2014.

Meanwhile, the Commission joined other major international organisations in admitting that the eurozone economy would contract in 2013.

It is forecast to shrink 0.3%, making the governments' task even harder.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #35)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:06 AM

38. That's not a clue, that's an obsession based on ideology

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:27 AM

19. Japan’s economic turmoil may provide an opening for the U.S.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/japans-economic-turmoil-may-provide-an-opening-for-the-us/2013/02/21/7536a32a-7b7c-11e2-9a75-dab0201670da_story.html

Japan’s economic troubles may be pushing the country toward free-trade negotiations with the United States, a goal long sought by American officials who see it as a potential boon to two of the world’s industrial giants and to the U.S. presence in Asia.

Japan’s new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, meets with President Obama on Friday for their first face-to-face talks since Abe took office last year and launched an ambitious program to revive his country’s stalled economy.

Much about Abe’s plan is undefined, but it is already controversial. An expected monetary easing has prompted major nations to warn Japan against any moves aimed at devaluing the yen. Proposals for new government stimulus spending have led the International Monetary Fund to caution that those efforts should be short-lived and quickly give way to a taming of the government’s seemingly runaway debt.

What Abe calls the “third arrow” of his plan involves reviving growth in an economy that is aging and, since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear complex disaster, confronts both rising energy costs and a potential migration of its industrial base to places less prone to tsunamis and earthquakes. Those pressures, U.S. and Japanese
officials and analysts say, have built momentum behind the idea of Japan joining the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations — a politically controversial step in which Abe would have to open several highly regulated local markets in return for the prospect of new investment, cheaper food prices and a potential energy lifeline in the form of natural gas imported from the United States. Nations that have signed a free-trade agreement with the United States have easier access to its energy exports.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:31 AM

20. Banks make progress on mortgage settlement

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/banks-make-progress-on-25-billion-mortgage-settlement/2013/02/21/e06eeed6-7c35-11e2-a044-676856536b40_story.html

A year has passed since state and federal authorities reached a $25 billion settlement with five of the nation’s largest banks over fraudulent foreclosure practices that were commonplace after the housing bust.

On Thursday, the court-
appointed monitor of the settlement issued a report showing that more than half a million homeowners have received about $46 billion worth of loan modifications, short sales, refinancings and forbearance. The activity spans from March through December and was self-reported by the banks involved in the agreement: Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Ally Financial and Citigroup.

“The servicing settlement has contributed to a recovery in our housing market and has already exceeded our expectations,” said Shaun Donovan, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, during a call with reporters. He noted that authorities initially anticipated about $34 billion in assistance but now expect consumer relief to exceed $50 billion.

The news arrives as the housing industry is reporting a sharp decline in seriously delinquent residential mortgages. Home loans that were 90 days or more past due fell to 7 percent in the fourth quarter, the lowest level since 2008, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Struggling homeowners are catching up on payments or benefiting from alternatives to foreclosure as the economy improves.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #20)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:43 AM

28. Banks Provide $19 Billion in Debt Write-Downs Under Foreclosure Settlement

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323549204578317780908731780.html

Five of the largest U.S. banks have provided $19 billion in mortgage debt write-downs to some 240,000 borrowers under the terms of a federal and state settlement of foreclosure-processing violations reached one year ago, according to a watchdog's report released Thursday. Bank of America Corp., which was required to provide the majority of relief under the foreclosure pact, has accounted for the lion's share of principal write-downs, with about $13.5 billion in homeowner debts written off. The Charlotte, N.C., lender reported that another $2.2 billion in loan forgiveness modifications were in a trial stage as of Dec. 31. The figures were released Thursday by the independent monitor established to ensure that banks were meeting the terms of their deal. Thursday's figures were reported by the banks to the monitor, Joseph A. Smith Jr., earlier this month and haven't yet been independently verified by his office.

Under the settlement, completed last March, banks must provide at least $10 billion in loan write-downs and $10 billion in other homeowner aid, such as short sales, where banks allow borrowers to sell their house for less than the amount owed. Overall, the report said that banks had provided various forms of aid worth $45.8 billion to more than 550,000 borrowers. Banks receive varying amounts of credit depending on which loans they modify, and the figures reported on Thursday don't necessarily receiver dollar-for-dollar credit to count towards the settlement's targets. Mr. Smith's office said it hasn't yet scored how any completed relief counts towards those targets.

Mr. Smith last week certified to a District of Columbia judge that one of the banks subject to the deal, Ally Financial Inc., had satisfied the terms of the settlement.

The settlement with Bank of America, Ally, and three other large banks—Citigroup Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo Co. —resolved state and federal investigations related to questionable foreclosure practices. Attorneys general from 49 states and the District of Columbia agreed to the settlement. So far, short sales account for the vast majority of relief tabbed under the settlement, with banks forgiving around $19.5 billion on more than 168,000 properties. Many of those short sales might have happened without the settlement because banks generally lose less money on those than they do on foreclosures. Banks wrote down around $7.4 billion in first mortgages for more than 70,000 homeowners through December, and they forgave another $11.6 billion in second-lien mortgages for around 170,000 borrowers.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:34 AM

22. Families could use real help with the high cost of college

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/michelle-singletary-families-could-use-real-help-with-the-high-cost-of-college/2013/02/22/7d9e9f06-7ad0-11e2-9a75-dab0201670da_story.html

With my 17-year-old daughter headed to college, I tried out the new college scorecard tool launched by the Obama administration after the president’s State of the Union address.

I was not impressed. Some links didn’t work, and certain information I wanted wasn’t there. Overall, the tool just didn’t do much to help our family figure out which college would be the most affordable.

The tool, which you can find at whitehouse.gov, is too general when it comes to the real price of college, what the academic industry calls the “net price.”

“Net price is what undergraduate students pay after grants and scholarships (financial aid you don’t have to pay back) are subtracted from the institution’s cost of attendance,” the scorecard tells us.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:36 AM

23. Walmart profits rise but flat sales continue to trouble retail giant

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/feb/21/walmart-profits-rise-weak-sales


Walmart. Revenue rose 3.9% to $127.92bn. Photograph: Damian Dovarganes/AP


Walmart said on Thursday that US sales weakness persisted into early February, as Americans absorbed the impact of higher payroll taxes and gasoline prices, along with slow tax refunds that put some spending on hold.

The weakness came even as the world's largest retailer reported a bigger-than-expected profit increase, which was helped by a lower-than-anticipated tax rate. Walmart also raised its dividend payout.

Walmart's shares rose 1.6% to $70.38 in early trading.

Walmart US, the firm's largest unit by far, has had a slow start to February, which Walmart US chief executive Bill Simon attributed largely to a delay in income tax refunds. The company expects sales at Walmart US stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, to be about flat during the current first quarter. A year earlier, such sales rose 2.6%.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:39 AM

26. The Shift From Apple To Google Is Part Of A Much Larger Economic Development

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-the-big-shift-from-apple-to-google-is-part-of-a-huge-economic-development-2013-2



Google is the new Apple.

Well, not necessarily, but while Apple's stock continues to grind lower, Google's stock is on a tear.

And now analysts are jumping over themselves to get more bullish on Google.

Just yesterday, two separate analysts put $1,000 price targets on the stock.

What gives? Well, of course people can make up all kinds of stories about the momentum of either company, and their products and so forth.


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-the-big-shift-from-apple-to-google-is-part-of-a-huge-economic-development-2013-2#ixzz2LdQutWbQ

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:48 AM

31. I have a Weekend theme and a full afternoon

so don't despair if I 'm a little tardy tonight....

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:58 AM

34. Revelation by Lindsey Graham: 4,700 killed in drone strikes BUT WHO'S COUNTING?

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:03 AM

36. 5 Outrageous Revelations from Matt Taibbi's Takedown on HSBC's Drug Money Laundering

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/5-outrageous-revelations-matt-taibbis-takedown-hsbcs-drug-money-laundering?akid=10070.227380.jKGmA7&rd=1&src=newsletter795789&t=7&paging=off


1. By HSBC’s December settlement, the bank had already received two cease-and-desist letters.

2. HSBC covered its tracks when helping oppressive regimes avoid sanctions

3. HSBC ran offshore branches designed specifically for money laundering

In what Taibbi calls the “pinnacle innovation in the history of sleazy banking practices,” HSBC created a so-called “Cayman islands” branch in Mexico that let customers sidestep routine screening when opening accounts. The writer says clients “barely had to submit a real name and address, much less explain the legitimate origins of their deposits.” A 2002 audit revealed that 41 percent of accounts didn’t have complete client information.

When it turned out that American companies used these accounts to sell aircraft to drug cartels, HSBC Mexico finally shutout some of the “Cayman islands branch” clients—but not all of them. Taibbi notes that, “As late as 2012, when HSBC executives were being dragged before the U.S. Senate, the bank still had 20,000 such accounts worth some $670 million.”

4. HSBC did direct business with “the worst trafficking organizations imaginable.”

5. An entire HSBC department was tasked with quickly clearing suspicious behavior


MORE DETAILS AT LINK

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:14 AM

40. Fat-Cat Pay Makes Swiss So Mad Wages Face National Vote

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-13/fat-cat-pay-makes-swiss-so-mad-ceo-salaries-facing-national-vote.html

Swiss company chief executive officers, including Roche Holding AG’s Severin Schwan and Nestle SA’s Paul Bulcke, earn some of the world’s highest salaries. That may soon change. With more than 100,000 Swiss citizens having signed a petition to limit “fat-cat” pay, voters will decide at a March 3 referendum whether top executives should have their compensation set by shareholders. While a poll shows a majority may vote yes, the industry’s lobby group warns that it will drive out tax-paying companies and is campaigning for a softer counter proposal.

“If you have this kind of limitation on executive pay, why should an American company put their European headquarters into Switzerland,” Philip Mosimann, CEO of Bucher Industries AG, a Swiss maker of street sweepers with a market valuation of 2.1 billion francs ($2.3 billion), said in an interview. “They would leave. I’m certain of that.”

The vote is the brainchild of Thomas Minder, a Swiss lawmaker and managing director of herbal toothpaste business Trybol AG, whose petition blames highly-paid “fat cats” -- “Abzocker” in German -- for the financial crisis. If successful, the proposal will give shareholders an annual ballot on executives’ pay and block big payouts for new hires and for managers when they leave companies...

GO SWISS!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:58 AM

44. 3 inches of very light snow

Driveway shoveled, just waiting for the ice storm to follow...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #44)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:08 PM

45. The ice is here


it made the grass crunchy

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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #45)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:11 PM

47. Make cocktails.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #47)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:18 PM

48. I'll drink to that

as soon as I finish the next useless task and can stay home and stew. I may never get to the weekend, at this rate....

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