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STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Monday, 25 March 2013

STOCK MARKET WATCH, Monday, 25 March 2013


SMW for 22 March 2013

AT THE CLOSING BELL ON 22 March 2013

Dow Jones 14,512.03 +90.54 (0.63%)
S&P 500 1,556.89 +11.09 (0.72%)
Nasdaq 3,245.00 +22.40 (0.70%)


10 Year 1.94% +0.01 (0.52%)
30 Year 3.17% +0.02 (0.63%)









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 -- Monday, 25 March 2013 (Original post)
Tansy_Gold Mar 2013 OP
Demeter Mar 2013 #1
Demeter Mar 2013 #2
Demeter Mar 2013 #3
Demeter Mar 2013 #5
Demeter Mar 2013 #6
Demeter Mar 2013 #7
Demeter Mar 2013 #11
Demeter Mar 2013 #12
Demeter Mar 2013 #13
Demeter Mar 2013 #48
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Demeter Mar 2013 #8
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bread_and_roses Mar 2013 #37
Demeter Mar 2013 #10
Demeter Mar 2013 #14
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Demeter Mar 2013 #16
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Demeter Mar 2013 #18
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xchrom Mar 2013 #31
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just1voice Mar 2013 #49
xchrom Mar 2013 #33
AnneD Mar 2013 #42
xchrom Mar 2013 #43
xchrom Mar 2013 #34
Hotler Mar 2013 #35
Fuddnik Mar 2013 #36
xchrom Mar 2013 #38
Demeter Mar 2013 #44
DemReadingDU Mar 2013 #39
DemReadingDU Mar 2013 #41
Demeter Mar 2013 #45
DemReadingDU Mar 2013 #40
Demeter Mar 2013 #46
Demeter Mar 2013 #47
Fuddnik Mar 2013 #50
Fuddnik Mar 2013 #51
bread_and_roses Mar 2013 #52

Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 06:01 AM

1. History is Written by the Victorious

and so far, my friends, we progressive, liberal Democrats are NOT on the winning side.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 06:29 AM

2. Fed pushes banks to ignore rivals when setting bonuses YEAH, THAT'LL WORK

http://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-fed-pushes-banks-ignore-rivals-setting-bonuses-191416744--sector.html

The Federal Reserve is pushing banks to ignore competitors' performance when awarding bonuses, and focus squarely on their own profitability, according to pay consultants and other people familiar with the matter.

The central bank is hoping to change a deeply ingrained habit on Wall Street: awarding bonuses to senior executives based in part on whether the company's performance lagged or beat rivals.

The Fed fears that these relative performance measures encourage executives to take big risks to keep up with stronger competitors and reward executives even when their banks aren't performing well, the sources said. Regulators also fear that banks may be paying executives large sums at precisely the time when they should be reining in compensation to conserve capital.

The Dodd-Frank financial reform law charged the Fed with implementing new rules about Wall Street pay. At this point, the Fed is just talking to banks, and has not yet issued formal rules or directives...

THE FED IS SCARED TO REGULATE THEIR BUDDIES AND THEIMSELVES

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 06:32 AM

3. Anastasiades tells Rehn: 'I told you tax wouldn't pass. Regards to Mrs Merkel'

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades held a telephone conversation with European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn on LAST Monday night to inform him that there might not be enough parliamentary support for a deposit tax on the island.

Cypriot MPs were due to debate on Tuesday a tax on deposits but it looks like Anastasiades will not be able to get enough votes to approve the one-off levy, which was decided at Eurogroup meeting in the early hours of Saturday.

Anastasiades is also reported to have spoken to German MEP Elmar Brok, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party who is close to the German leader.

According to Mega TV, Anastasiades is reported to have said to Rehn and Brok: “When I warned you that there would not be a parliamentary majority to pass the agreement, you didn’t want to listen. Give my regards to Mrs Merkel.”

The Cypriot president’s reported comments have not been confirmed.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_18/03/2013_488440

ONE OF THOSE AMUSING VIGNETTES OF HISTORY...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 06:36 AM

5. Financial Markets Haven’t Freaked Out over Cyprus (Yet?)

http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2013/03/financial-markets-havent-freaked-out-over-cyprus-yet.html

...European policy seems to follow a common path. There is some sort of crisis that results in one group or another having to take a large loss, and the moralizing and fighting over who that should be leads to brinksmanship until, just before things really fall apart, someone steps in with a temporary, kick-the can down the road fix of some sort. This is starting to look similar -- I hope -- but one of these times they are going to misjudge where the brink actually is.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 06:38 AM

6. Will Cyprus Become Creditanstalt 2.0?

The cheery view that Europe had moveD past its crisis now looks to have been a tad premature. The astonishing weekend revelation that Cyprus had struck a deal for a Eurozone rescue of the island nation’s banks that hinged on a deposit grab, um, tax, of 6.75% of deposits below €100,000 and 9.9% for those above €100,000, sends a message that anyone in a weak bank in a periphery country, particularly a large deposit holder, is at risk. The one thing that America learned in the Great Depression is that to prevent debilitating bank runs, depositors need to be sure their holdings are safe. And if you need to extend government guarantees to provide that reassurance, then government bloody well better keep the banks on a short leash to make sure you don’t have to pay out on those guarantees all that often. The recklessness of letting financiers talk governments out of constraining bank activities is coming home to roost.

Creditanstalt, an Austrian bank that collapsed in 1931, precipitated a financial panic that led to a series of bank failures and a currency crisis, a classic combination of contagion worsened by poor official responses. The Cyprus deposit-seizure scheme has the potential to kick off a similar broad-based financial unraveling, but whether it does depends on both customer and official reactions...

The Greek blog Clockwork Project (hat tip George P) says, per Google Translate:

An angry phone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin received early Sunday morning, Nikos Anastasiadis.

The Putin reportedly said verbatim in-Cypriot President

-Better to put the German flag at the Presidential Palace. Do not you understand that this decision destroy your country?


Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/03/will-cyprus-become-creditanstalt-2-0.html#VpuHBXhgH9svFVIc.99

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Response to Demeter (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 06:41 AM

7. How German fears of underwriting Russian oligarchs pushed Cyprus to crisis

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2013/0318/How-German-fears-of-underwriting-Russian-oligarchs-pushed-Cyprus-to-crisis

...For months, eurozone finance ministers have been debating how to help Cyprus, whose banks, exposed to large amounts of bad Greek debt, are in dire need of recapitalization. Cyprus is the fourth eurozone country to apply for financial aid from the European Union, the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), after Greece, Portugal, and Ireland.

It is also by far the smallest, and the amounts needed to keep it afloat are relatively modest, around 10 billion euros ($13 billion). So, late last week the ministers at a meeting in Brussels finally decided on a bailout package. But for the first time, at the insistence of the German government, private account holders were being asked to shoulder a part of that bailout, around 5.8 billion euros ($7.5 billion), through a special levy on their savings.

“The German taxpayer is willing to help Cyprus,” says Michael Fuchs, a member of Parliament for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. “But the Cypriots have to help themselves and pay a tax on their deposits.”

An ashen-faced Nicos Anastasiades, president of Cyprus, told his fellow countrymen in a televised statement that it was either this deal or state bankruptcy...

I'M HOPING CYPRUS PUTS GERMANY OUT OF JOINT

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Response to Demeter (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 07:07 AM

11. Euro back above $1.30 after Cyprus deal; Several analysts remain wary

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/euro-back-above-130-after-cyprus-deal-2013-03-25?siteid=YAHOOB

PAPERING OVER YET ANOTHER TBTF BANK...AND USING CHEWING GUM TO HOLD THE EURO TOGETHER

The euro rose against the dollar and other major currencies Monday as news of Cyprus’s bailout agreement with its international lenders eased worries of its exit from the common currency bloc and led investors to take on more risk...Despite the relief rally in risk assets on Monday, several analysts remained wary about the implications from the agreement.

“This deal calls into question the safety of bank deposits, as the next time one of these countries asks the European Central bank for funding, the bank could come back and tap them on the shoulder with a similar deal Cyprus has now agreed to,” said Evan Lucas, a strategist at IG Markets.

“Risk premiums will increase on this deal, as will market fragmentation this Band-Aid deal will have ramifications,” he added.


The broad terms of the agreement cleared the path for Cyprus to receive up to €10 billion, while sparing depositors with less than €100,000 in their bank accounts from any losses. The Eurogroup also announced a restructuring of the two largest Cypriot banks, with the Popular Bank of Cyprus — also known as Laiki Bank — to be split into a “good” and a “bad” bank. The good bank will then be folded into Bank of Cyprus, along with all of its insured deposit accounts of under €100,000 and all performing assets. Deposits of more than €100,000 would be retained in the residual, so-called bad bank. Details of how much of a haircut larger deposit-holders would have to take weren’t disclosed...

OF COURSE NOT! CUTTING A DEAL WITH RUSSIA...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #11)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 07:14 AM

12. Banks drive gains for Europe after Cyprus deal

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/banks-drive-gains-for-europe-after-cyprus-deal-2013-03-25?siteid=YAHOOB

"HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN..."

European stock markets advanced on Monday, with banks in the driver’s seat, after Cyprus and its international lenders early in the morning struck a deal to save the country from bankruptcy...


Last-minute Cyprus deal to close bank, force losses

http://news.yahoo.com/cyprus-eu-imf-agree-draft-proposal-rescue-banks-002707963.html

Cyprus clinched a last-ditch deal with international lenders to shut down its second-largest bank and inflict heavy losses on uninsured depositors, including wealthy Russians, in return for a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout. The agreement came hours before a deadline to avert a collapse of the banking system in fraught negotiations between President Nicos Anastasiades and heads of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Swiftly endorsed by euro zone finance ministers, the plan will spare the Mediterranean island a financial meltdown by winding down the largely state-owned Popular Bank of Cyprus, also known as Laiki, and shifting deposits below 100,000 euros to the Bank of Cyprus to create a "good bank". Deposits above 100,000 euros in both banks, which are not guaranteed under EU law, will be frozen and used to resolve Laiki's debts and recapitalize Bank of Cyprus through a deposit/equity conversion. The raid on uninsured Laiki depositors is expected to raise 4.2 billion euros, Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijssebloem said.

Laiki will effectively be shuttered, with thousands of job losses. Officials said senior bondholders in Laiki would be wiped out and those in Bank of Cyprus would have to make a contribution. An EU spokesman said no across-the-board levy or tax would be imposed on deposits in Cypriot banks, although the hit on large account holders in the two biggest banks is likely to be far greater than initially planned. A first attempt at a deal last week collapsed when the Cypriot parliament rejected a proposed levy on all deposits.

Cyprus government spokesman Christos Stylianides said: "We averted a disorderly bankruptcy which would have led to an exit of Cyprus from the euro zone with unforeseeable consequences." Asked about the level of losses on uninsured depositors on Bank of Cyprus, he told state radio it was not possible to be specific at this stage. "The assessment is that it will be under or around 30 percent. But that is a bit of an arbitrary estimate."

THIRTY PERCENT! HOLEY MOLEY, BATMAN!


MORE AT LINK. THIS IS SHOCKING

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Response to Demeter (Reply #12)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 07:15 AM

13. Oil futures climb in wake of Cyprus deal

GREED TAKING THE HAND-OFF FROM FEAR...

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-futures-climb-in-wake-of-cyprus-deal-2013-03-25?siteid=YAHOOB

Crude-oil futures extended their advance Monday, with a rise for U.S. equity futures and a drop for the dollar underpinning buying interest after Cyprus secured a last-minute bailout...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #12)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 01:44 PM

48. Estimate now 40%

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-03-25/mainstream-media-says-cyprus-salvaged-eu-deal-i-say-cyprus-sacrificed-said-de

Mainstream Media Says Cyprus Salvaged By EU Deal, I Say Cyprus Is Sacrificed By Said Deal - Thrown Into Depression by Reggie Middleton

...I was curious to see how they could impose losses on insured accounts in the first place, after all the accounts were insured basically (through implied backstop) by the same entities (EU/EC/ECB) that were attempting to force the loss, no?

It imposes losses that two EU officials said would be no more than 40 percent on uninsured depositors at Bank of Cyprus Plc, the largest bank, which will take over the viable assets of Cyprus Popular Bank Pcl (CPB), the second biggest.

Losses of 40% are outrageous, particularly considering this is the most liquid and presumably the most sacrosanct tier of the capital structure. How can one assume that this will not have extremely negative repercussions?

Cyprus Popular Bank, 84 percent owned by the government, will be wound down. Those who will be largely wiped out include uninsured depositors and bondholders, including senior creditors. Senior bondholders will also contribute to the recapitalization of Bank of Cyprus.

Here we see the bondholders, both junior and senior taking losses. This is interesting, like in Ireland, all of the market risk takers are assuming losses, many of these losses are absolute. Of even greater interest is what happens when the depositors are added into the fray. Now, junior and senior bondholders, as well as depositors are on guard. The ONLY likely scenario to occur when these banks re-open is capital flight, capital controls or not!

Banks in Cyprus, which have been shut for the past week, will remain closed until further notice. Lawmakers in Cyprus voted last week to impose capital controls to prevent a run on deposits when they reopen. “This solution we reached tonight doesn’t have the downsides that the solution of last week did,” said Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, chairman of the euro ministers’ panel.


Yeah, they can try to prevent the run on deposits, and even with some limited success, but now that you have wiped out (or nearly wiped out) junior and senior creditors as well as depositors, you have a lot more holes to plug in that liquidity dam, don't you?

MORE WONDER AND DEBASEMENT AT LINK

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



Using this European bank as a proxy for Bear Stearns in January of 2008, another bank collapse situation that I warned of months in advance (see Is this the Breaking of the Bear?). The tall stalk represents the liabilities behind the bank's illiquid level 2 and level 3 assets (including the ill fated mortgage products). Equity is destroyed as the assets leveraged through the use of these liabilities are nearly halved in value, leaving mostly liabilities. The maroon stalk represents the extreme risk posed by capital flight through a depositor run, which Cypriot officials feel they have controlled through capital controls, still there is the excessive reliance on very short term liabilities to fund very long term and illiquid assets that have depreciated in price. Wait, there's more!

The green represents the unseen canary in the coal mine, and the reason why Bear Stearns and Lehman ultimately collapsed. As excerpted from "The Fuel Behind Institutional “Runs on the Bank" Burns Through Europe, Lehman-Style":

The modern central banking system has proven resilient enough to fortify banks against depositor runs, as was recently exemplified in the recent depositor runs on UK, Irish, Portuguese and Greek banks – most of which received relatively little fanfare. Where the risk truly lies in today’s fiat/fractional reserve banking system is the run on counterparties. Today’s global fractional reserve bank get’s more financing from institutional counterparties than any other source save its short term depositors. In cases of the perception of extreme risk, these counterparties are prone to pull funding are request overcollateralization for said funding. This is what precipitated the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, the pulling of liquidity by skittish counterparties, and the excessive capital/collateralization calls by other counterparties. Keep in mind that as some counterparties and/or depositors pull liquidity, covenants are tripped that often demand additional capital/collateral/ liquidity be put up by the remaining counterparties, thus daisy-chaining into a modern day run on the bank!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 06:35 AM

4. Three Reasons the GOP Ironically Remains the Best Hope for Protecting Social Security

http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2013/03/18/three-reasons-the-gop-ironically-remains-the-best-hope-for-protecting-social-security/

President Obama wants to cut Social Security benefits as part of a grand bargain and he is working hard to get Congressional Democrats behind his proposal. The only thing preventing the program from being cut is House Republicans’ unwillingness to accept a deal. Fortunately, for people who care about Social Security there are three main reasons to hope the GOP will indirectly continue to prevent any cuts.

1. Republicans really hate taxes – President Obama says any grand bargain must include new revenues, and at every turn House Republicans have made it clear that they take their no new tax pledge seriously. They rejected several past deals because they included tax increases and top House Republicans have repeatedly said they would not accept more taxes in a future deal. Republicans have constantly shown that keeping taxes low, especially on rich people, is their top policy goal.

2. Republicans depend on older voters – Senior citizens are the most important voting bloc for Republicans. The GOP depends on old white people for getting elected, which helps explain the GOP’s behavior. Republicans often talk about “entitlement reform” in general but rarely act on it. The last time the Republican Party fully controlled Washington they didn’t cut Medicare, they expanded it via Part D. Their big attack against Obamacare was that it cut Medicare. Being dependent on the senior vote is probably why Republicans promised to protect everyone 55 and older from their Medicare voucher plan. The GOP has actually shown little interest in cutting benefits for current retirees. For the chained-CPI to really save money in the ten year budget window it would need to be adopted right away.

3. Chained-CPI is a inherently a tax increase – Currently the only idea really being discussed for cutting Social Security benefits is adopting the Chained-CPI. This would also change how tax brackets are calculated and that would end up being a significant tax increase on almost everyone. This means even if Obama tried dropping his demand for other new taxes in an attempt to get Republicans on board, any plan that cuts Social Security would also inherently be a tax increase. There is a good chance that Republicans opposition to tax increases would stop them from even accepting a “clean” bill that adopted the Chained-CPI.

The driving force behind trying to cut Social Security benefits right now is not Republicans, it is President Obama. Obama has likely already whipped up enough Congressional Democrats behind his proposal that all he is waiting for is Speaker Boehner to give him a yes. The best hope for the vast majority of the country who do not want Social Security to be cut is for these reasons to keep the House Republicans from saying yes to Obama’s Grand Bargain.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 06:43 AM

8. Secrets of the right-wing conspiracy playbook

http://www.salon.com/2013/03/23/secrets_of_the_right_wing_conspiracy_playbook/

The extremist right in America has always fed on real grievances that go either unaddressed or are mishandled by the mainstream system—by government, and in particular the federal government. In the 1980s and ’90s, they channeled discontent with badly malfunctioning federal farming and land-use policies in rural America into uprisings like the Posse Comitatus and Patriot/militia movements and their various offshoots, such as the Montana Freemen. This led to armed standoffs with federal agents and varying waves of domestic terrorism, all of it emanating from the American heartland.

What these extremists always tell their audiences is that there are simple reasons for their current miseries—inevitably, it is a combination of a secret cabal of elite conspirators running society like a puppet show at the top, crushing the middle-class working man from above, while a parasitic underclass saps his strength from below. This usually plays out, in the worldview of right-wing extremists, as being part of a secret conspiracy to enslave ordinary working people and destroy America.

What gives them special traction, however, is their knack for finding unaddressed grievances and exploiting them as examples of this conspiracy, thus manipulating working-class people who have legitimate problems. Their agenda comes wrapped in an appeal telling people that they not only feel their pain but have the answers to end it. And their strategy works, time and again.

In the twenty-first century, right-wing extremists became focused on a similarly dysfunctional immigration system as a means to recruit believers, in part because nativism is part of the genetic structure of the racist American right, dating back to the heyday of the Ku Klux Klan, and in part because it was such a ripe opportunity target. After all, American immigration policy in the past forty years and more has time and again proven a colossal bureaucratic bungle that no one has been able to untangle, which presents an opening for right-wing extremists to jump in and offer their toxic solutions. Moreover, as is always the case in such vacuums, it is ordinary working-class people who wind up paying the price for the problems that ensue from such bungles, and extremists have long honed their appeals to reach those disgruntled citizens. This was nowhere more evident than in the desert landscape of Arizona in the first decade of the new millennium. It was there that these misbegotten policies came home to roost, embodied in a flood of border-crossing immigrants who defied both death and the law—sometimes not successfully—in a desperate attempt to reach work north of the border, and who in the process trampled on people’s ranches and yards and inflamed not only resentment but the increasingly paranoid fears of the people already living there...

MORE AT LINK

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 06:51 AM

9. 6 Ways to Fuel the Cooperative Takeover By Sven Eberlein

http://www.nationofchange.org/6-ways-fuel-cooperative-takeover-1364051929

... The International Cooperative Alliance's recently published "Blueprint for a Cooperative Decade" lays out a long-term vision to make cooperatives not only the fastest-growing form of business but the acknowledged leader in environmental, social, and economic sustainability. From now on, the global mantra for filling market gaps and new demands, according to Eric DeLuca of the National Cooperative Business Association, is going to be, "There's a co-op for that." But co-ops—like any kind of business—need customers, money, training, political support, and help from their communities. How do we shift from business as usual to the work of cooperation? Here are a few strategies.

1. Find Money
Where do you get the money to finance a new co-op? Traditional banks are loath to lend to co-ops, often because they are unfamiliar with them or do not trust that a cooperative business model can yield profits. But there are institutions that can help. The National Cooperative Bank (NCB) has become a leading funder for new housing, business, and consumer cooperatives. Chartered by Congress in 1978 and privatized as a member-owned financial institution in 1982, it has provided more than $4 billion in loans and investments to co-ops all over the country—from a New York City housing co-op to an organic grocery in San Francisco to a solar project at Denver International Airport. Most recently, NCB has been working with PNC Bank in Pittsburgh to allocate $13 million in loans to local co-ops. AND THEY WANT THEIR POUND OF FLESH, FOLKS...OUR CO-OP DEALT WITH THEM. TRY SOMETHING ELSE, FIRST....The nonprofit Heartland Capital Strategies Network—allied with NCB and other credit unions—is another rapidly growing source of funding for cooperatives, especially for the union co-op movement. The organization has committed billions of investment dollars to profitable projects in green construction, manufacturing, affordable housing, and transportation.



2. Convert to a Co-op
Some cooperatives get their start from traditional sole proprietorships or corporations. This can happen, for example, when a business owner wants to retire or move on and the employees buy the business. Franklin Community Cooperative (FCC) in Greenfield, Mass., acquired McCusker's Market, in nearby Shelburne Falls, when the owner of the longstanding natural foods store was ready to retire. A third of FCC's members lived near McCusker's. The purchase allowed FCC to keep its commitment to serve downtown Greenfield while solving its space problem at its popular flagship store. All of McCusker's Market's staff were rehired and retrained, and sales went up 15 percent during the store's first year as a cooperative. Since the purchase, the cooperative has attracted many more members all over the region.

3. Hook Up With Big Partners
Bring co-op business to the mainstays of your community—hospitals, schools, government services—which are already committed to community-scale investment and the public good. It's a mutually beneficial relationship: The co-op keeps money circulating in the community; the institution provides stable demand for the co-ops services or products.
"If you can get even a small bit of a university's goods and services devoted to your co-op," says Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz, "you can go to any bank, and they'll be happy to finance you, because you've got a market."
The Evergreen Cooperative Initiative, a group of local, sustainable, and worker-owned co-ops in Cleveland, is built on a strong partnership between the co-ops and local institutions—such as Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and Case Western Reserve University—which have a combined annual buying power of more than $3 billion...Ohio Cooperative Solar, another Evergreen business, is in the process of installing photovoltaics at these three institutions and has also placed nearly 700 solar panels on the city hall and library rooftops in nearby Euclid. Evergreen Cooperative Laundry (a green cleaning operation) washes bed linens for Judson Retirement and McGregor Homes, two large nursing homes in the area.



4. Be Co-op Curious
You can learn more about the business of sharing—how co-ops work, why they're important, how to support them, and how to start and manage one—from organizations across the country working to promote cooperative enterprise. The Bay Area group Women's Action to Gain Economic Security (WAGES) was founded in the 1990s to help immigrant women form cooperative housecleaning services. Now they are creating toolkits for anyone looking to start a green cleaning co-op. "With all the emphasis on co-ops coming on the heels of the Occupy movement, we're seeing an increased interest right now," says Elena Fairley, who is working with WAGES as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. College and university programs are also training the next generation of cooperative entrepreneurs. The Cooperative Teach-In is a nationwide initiative that has connected colleges, universities, and programs like AmeriCorps VISTA with cooperatives across rural and urban America...The Teach-In uses creative tools to help participants learn the importance of cooperative economics. For example, the "Democracy Rating Warm-up Exercise," an interactive survey, allows participants to "rate the level of democracy in the institutions they interact with on a daily basis," and group discussions explore how the cooperative model differs from typical business models. And a fun way to gear up for a cooperative future is to play a round of Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives. As interest in cooperative business has grown, some young entrepreneurs have taken it upon themselves to learn more. For example, Co-cycle is a group of 15 undergraduates who crossed the country last year on their bicycles, visiting more than 70 co-op organizations and building a network of like-minded communities. "A year ago I didn't know what a cooperative was," writes Co-cycle participant Riko Fluchel on the riders' blog. "Now, after the nine weeks of touring cooperatives across the continental United States, I know first-hand that cooperatives empower people's lives." The Co-cycle journey is chronicled by a team of filmmakers from New York University in the forthcoming feature-length film To The Moon, which will introduce viewers to the ideas that guide cooperatives and Co-cycle—like teamwork and dedication to a new shared economy.



5. Shop Co-op
By buying from co-ops or using cooperative services, you can create local jobs, keep wealth in your community, and shop according to your values. The most comprehensive directory of U.S. cooperatives is CooperateUSA. You can also find your local food co-op through the Cooperative Grocer Network. Looking for a co-op starting near you? The Food Co-op Initiative maintains a map of co-ops still in the organizational stage. The new Data Commons Cooperative is building a "Stone Soup" directory, find.coop, created by members.

6. Make Co-op Friendly Laws
Cooperatives are often at a financial and technical disadvantage in an economy dominated by quarterly profits and shareholder returns. The United Nations recently resolved "to encourage governments and regulatory bodies to establish policies, laws, and regulations conducive to cooperative formation and growth." In 2012, the United Nations celebrated the "International Year of Cooperatives," noting that co-ops "build a better world" and "empower people." At the federal level, supporters of cooperatives are pushing for the National Cooperative Development Act (H.R. 3677) (NCDA), which would create a national development center designed to bring federal resources to cooperative development. From loans and seed capital for start-ups to funding for technical assistance providers, passage of the NCDA would not only help level the playing field for co-ops but increase economic development and create much-needed jobs in underserved areas of the country. A different bill would raise the cap on small business loans from another type of co-op: credit unions. Fifteen years ago, the banking industry lobbied for and obtained this cap to throttle its competition. The Credit Union Small Business Jobs Bill (S. 2231) would more than double the limit to nearly 30 percent of assets. According to the Credit Union National Association, this would enable credit unions to loan an extra $13 billion of their $300 billion lending capacity to small businesses in the first year alone, helping to create as many as 140,000 jobs.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #9)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 09:56 AM

37. "partnership between the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation and the United Steel Workers"

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/03/24-1

Published on Sunday, March 24, 2013 by Common Dreams
Labor Unions in the New Economy
by Atlee McFellin

... Perhaps the most innovative and inspiring development by unions in 21st century U.S. is the partnership between the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation and the United Steel Workers union. The intent of the partnership is to expand what they call “union coops” around the country. This leverages successful worker ownership strategies like Employee Shared Ownership Plans (ESOP) to transfer full ownership of companies to workers through worker cooperative structures, while having a union committee that ensures safe working conditions and builds the national power of worker self-determination on a grander scale. This partnership has been around since late October 2009 and has recently started to help launch start-up worker cooperative development in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.


There are other suggestions, many related to using financial instruments, that may be of interest to some here. I'm afraid I'm too - old, tired, whatever - to learn enough to evaluate them. I can't even follow the Cypress story line.

I know that my hero Noam Chomsky has reservations about Mondragon, which I'm not smart enough to evaluate either. I feel very sure though that Professor Chomsky would not be one to claim he's 100% right 100% of the time - that would surely be impossible - even for a polymath - for someone who covers the ground he does. I do know he's the best we have. However, Mondragon sounds pretty good compared to what we have here in the good ol' United Corporate States of America.

Good article on him here http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/03/23-2

Published on Saturday, March 23, 2013 by The Guardian/UK
How Noam Chomsky Is Discussed
The more one dissents from political orthodoxies, the more the attacks focus on personality, style and character
by Glenn Greenwald


and within it a link to a really interesting article on him here

http://www.salon.com/2012/06/17/when_chomsky_wept/

Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 12:00 PM EDT
When Chomsky wept
I first met Noam Chomsky in Laos, where I showed him the devastating effects of U.S. air raids
By Fred Branfman


Sorry I wasn't around for the weekend - just too tired.
minor edit for clarity

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 07:01 AM

10. Luring Young Web Warriors Is a U.S. Priority. It’s Also a Game. UNCLE SAM WANTS YOU TO HACK CHINESE

DON'T DO IT, GEEKS!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/technology/united-states-wants-to-attract-hackers-to-public-sector.html?_r=0

In the eighth grade, Arlan Jaska figured out how to write a simple script that could switch his keyboard’s Caps Lock key on and off 6,000 times a minute. When friends weren’t looking, he slipped his program onto their computers. It was all fun and games until the program spread to his middle school. “They called my parents and told my dad I was hacking their computers,” Mr. Jaska, 17 years old, recalled. He was grounded and got detention. And he is just the type the Department of Homeland Security is looking for.

The secretary of that agency, Janet Napolitano, knows she has a problem that will only worsen. Foreign hackers have been attacking her agency’s computer systems. They have also been busy trying to siphon the nation’s wealth and steal valuable trade secrets. And they have begun probing the nation’s infrastructure — the power grid, and water and transportation systems. So she needs her own hackers — 600, the agency estimates. But potential recruits with the right skills have too often been heading for business, and those who do choose government work often go to the National Security Agency, where they work on offensive digital strategies. At Homeland Security, the emphasis is on keeping hackers out, or playing defense.

“We have to show them how cool and exciting this is,” said Ed Skoudis, one of the nation’s top computer security trainers. “And we have to show them that applying these skills to the public sector is important.”


One answer? Start young, and make it a game, even a contest. This month, Mr. Jaska and his classmate Collin Berman took top spots at the Virginia Governor’s Cup Cyber Challenge, a veritable smackdown of hacking for high school students that was the brainchild of Alan Paller, a security expert, and others in the field. With military exercises like NetWars, the competition had more the feel of a video game. Mr. Paller helped create the competition, the first in a series, to help Homeland Security, and likens the agency’s need for hackers to the shortage of fighter pilots during World War II. The job calls for a certain maverick attitude. “I like to break things,” Mr. Berman, 18, said. “I always want to know, ‘How can I change this so it does something else?’ ”

It’s a far different pursuit — and a higher-minded one, enlightened hackers will say — than simply defacing Web sites...It’s no coincidence that the idea of using competitions came, in part, from China, where the People’s Liberation Army runs challenges every spring to identify its next generation of digital warriors...asked about their dream job, both said they wanted to work in the private sector.

“The problem with going into the government is you’re going to make a lot less,” said Mr. Berman.

“Everything’s slower, there’s budget cuts and bureaucracy everywhere and you can’t talk about what you do,” Mr. Jaska added. “It just doesn’t seem like as much fun.”


SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD PLACE TO BUILD A CO-OP TO CONTRACT OUT...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 07:18 AM

14. For the College-Bound, Are There Any Safe Bets?

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/03/24/for-the-college-bound-are-there-any-safe-bets

SUSTAINABLE, OFF THE GRID LIVING, PERHAPS...BUT THEY DON'T TEACH COURSES LIKE THAT!

Once, a graduate degree in a practical field like law or medicine was seen as a ticket to a stable career. Now they’re no sure bet.

So in today’s economy, what should ambitious young people pursue? Which majors and careers have a reliable “return on investment”?

5 DIFFERING OPINIONS AT LINK--ALL THE STANDARD BS OF HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELORS...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 07:25 AM

15. Hot Money Blues By PAUL KRUGMAN

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/opinion/krugman-hot-money-blues.html

Whatever the final outcome in the Cyprus crisis — we know it’s going to be ugly; we just don’t know exactly what form the ugliness will take — one thing seems certain: for the time being, and probably for years to come, the island nation will have to maintain fairly draconian controls on the movement of capital in and out of the country. In fact, controls may well be in place by the time you read this. And that’s not all: Depending on exactly how this plays out, Cypriot capital controls may well have the blessing of the International Monetary Fund, which has already supported such controls in Iceland... it may also mark at least the beginning of the end for something much bigger: the era when unrestricted movement of capital was taken as a desirable norm around the world.

It wasn’t always thus. In the first couple of decades after World War II, limits on cross-border money flows were widely considered good policy; they were more or less universal in poorer nations, and present in a majority of richer countries too. Britain, for example, limited overseas investments by its residents until 1979; other advanced countries maintained restrictions into the 1980s. Even the United States briefly limited capital outflows during the 1960s. Over time, however, these restrictions fell out of fashion. To some extent this reflected the fact that capital controls have potential costs: they impose extra burdens of paperwork, they make business operations more difficult, and conventional economic analysis says that they should have a negative impact on growth (although this effect is hard to find in the numbers). But it also reflected the rise of free-market ideology, the assumption that if financial markets want to move money across borders, there must be a good reason, and bureaucrats shouldn’t stand in their way.

As a result, countries that did step in to limit capital flows — like Malaysia, which imposed what amounted to a curfew on capital flight in 1998 — were treated almost as pariahs. Surely they would be punished for defying the gods of the market! But the truth, hard as it may be for ideologues to accept, is that unrestricted movement of capital is looking more and more like a failed experiment. It’s hard to imagine now, but for more than three decades after World War II financial crises of the kind we’ve lately become so familiar with hardly ever happened. Since 1980, however, the roster has been impressive: Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile in 1982. Sweden and Finland in 1991. Mexico again in 1995. Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Korea in 1998. Argentina again in 2002. And, of course, the more recent run of disasters: Iceland, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Cyprus. What’s the common theme in these episodes? Conventional wisdom blames fiscal profligacy — but in this whole list, that story fits only one country, Greece. Runaway bankers are a better story; they played a role in a number of these crises, from Chile to Sweden to Cyprus. But the best predictor of crisis is large inflows of foreign money: in all but a couple of the cases I just mentioned, the foundation for crisis was laid by a rush of foreign investors into a country, followed by a sudden rush out.


...And it’s not just Europe. In the last decade America, too, experienced a huge housing bubble fed by foreign money, followed by a nasty hangover after the bubble burst. The damage was mitigated by the fact that we borrowed in our own currency, but it’s still our worst crisis since the 1930s...Now what? I don’t expect to see a wholesale, sudden rejection of the idea that money should be free to go wherever it wants, whenever it wants. There may well, however, be a process of erosion, as governments intervene to limit both the pace at which money comes in and the rate at which it goes out. Global capitalism is, arguably, on track to become substantially less global. And that’s O.K. Right now, the bad old days when it wasn’t that easy to move lots of money across borders are looking pretty good.

DOES THIS MEAN THE END OF FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS? LET'S HOPE SO!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 07:37 AM

16. BP to return $8 billion to shareholders from TNK-BP sale

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/22/us-bp-buyback-idUSBRE92L05S20130322

British oil company BP (BP.L) announced on Friday an $8 billion share buy-back program, acting swiftly on its promise to reward investors after it sold its stake in its Russian unit, TNK-BP (TNBP.MM).

BP, which completed the sale of the half-owned TNK-BP to Russian state oil firm Rosneft (ROSN.MM) on Thursday, said the move, designed to increase the value of remaining shares, was an amount equivalent to the value of the company's original investment in TNK-BP in 2003.

The British company had already flagged that it planned to distribute to shareholders some of the $12.48 billion it netted from the Russian sale, first announced last October...

MORE DETAILS AT: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-22/bp-to-buy-back-8-billion-of-shares-after-completing-tnk-bp-sale.html

MY ALERT SYSTEM IS RINGING LIKE CRAZY...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 07:39 AM

17. Disrepair Forces Closure of Vital Shipping Lane GERMANY MARCH 8TH

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/repairs-force-sudden-closure-of-vital-german-kiel-canal-shipping-lane-a-887759.html

The Kiel Canal, one of Europe's most vital shipping lanes, was shut down this week when two neglected locks broke down. The closure threatens to cause major disruption to shipping in Northern Europe, but Germany's Transport Ministry has promised rapid repairs.

It's the world's most heavily trafficked man-made shipping lane, but since Wednesday few ships have been seen on the 100-kilometer (62-mile) long Kiel Canal, which cuts through the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein to form a roughly 450-kilometer shortcut between the North and Baltic Seas.

Although the canal is under the jurisdiction of the federal government, it has been the subject of financial disputes for years between Berlin and the state. Last year, the German government even reduced the money available for maintaining the canal from €60 million ($78 million) to just €11 million, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported Friday. Years of neglect have led some of the locks on the canal to fall into such disrepair that it had to be closed on Wednesday to most ship traffic.
As the Süddeutsche noted, the shipping lane was planned during the 19th century under Kaiser Wilhelm in order to ensure that ships "could get from the Baltic Sea to the North Sea without having to pass by Danish canons." The canal first opened in 1895, and, with relations far friendlier today, it forms a vital link for trade within the European Union and to Russia....Officials hope to reopen the canal to larger ships again in two weeks. In the meantime, large container ships, the heart of the local economy in Hamburg, will have to make an expensive, 450-kilometer detour through Skagerak, Denmark. The Süddeutsche Zeitung estimates it will cost a shipping company €70,000 more for each ship than it would to travel through the canal.

IT APPEARS THAT THE CANAL IS NOT YET OPEN...IT'S BEEN TWO WEEKS ON FRIDAY

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 07:47 AM

18. Phase-in of EU derivatives rules may drag on into 2014

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/03/11/uk-eu-derivatives-idUKBRE92A0WO20130311

Implementing new European Union rules to reduce risks in the $640 trillion (428.5 trillion pounds) derivatives business could stretch into next year, because the regulation needs to be phased in gradually, a senior EU regulator said on Monday.

"It is a phasing-in and this is only logical, because it is such an enormous change to the whole sector," European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) Chairman Steven Maijoor told Reuters in an interview.


After the financial crisis, the European Union, United States and other G20 economies have been trying to devise new regulation to improve transparency and safety in derivatives, which include instruments such as interest rate swaps. These are traded privately between investment banks and other finance firms rather than on exchanges. The new rules aim to ensure that derivative trades are properly recorded, traded on electronic platforms and backed by a central clearing house with the resources to step in if there were a default.

Maijoor said the first phase of implementation in the EU would be to register the central counterparties (or clearing houses) and assess whether they met the new requirements.
"Then, in the fall of this year, we will decide which kind of products have to be centrally cleared and which can continue to be bilaterally cleared. This will easily continue into 2014," Maijoor said.
He said regulators from Europe and the United States were trying to minimise cross-border clashes from their new regulation but that some differences would remain.

"We are trying to align as much as possible to avoid regulatory competition, regulatory gaps," Maijoor said. But he said the U.S. rules under the Dodd Frank Act were very different from Europe's. And he noted there was little progress made on the cross-border reach of some of the new U.S. rules.

"We are trying to convince the Americans to say, once the systems are broadly equivalent to each other, let's rely on each other instead of doubling up," he said. "This is still a difficult issue, there is some good progress, but there is still a gap."


Under the U.S. Dodd Frank Act, foreign banks and firms who want to transact derivatives with American counterparties will also have to comply with U.S. trading and clearing rules. The U.S. derivatives rules are being phased in from this week....The EU and the United States account for the bulk of derivative trading. Asia is watching how they will mesh new rules together to avoid fragmenting a global market.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 07:51 AM

19. Republican U.S. Senate Economist Said to Be Vetted for SEC / MORON AND OXYMORON

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-18/republican-u-s-senate-economist-said-to-be-vetted-for-sec-1-.html

Michael Piwowar, the chief Republican economist for the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, is being vetted for an appointment to the Securities and Exchange Commission when a slot opens later this year, according to four people briefed on the matter. Piwowar would be nominated for the seat held by Republican Commissioner Troy Paredes, whose term ends in June, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions aren’t public. Paredes, who was a professor at the Washington University School of Law before he joined the SEC in 2008, has told people he is eager to return to academia.

If Piwowar were nominated and confirmed he would be the only economist on a five-member commission that historically is made up of lawyers. OH YEAH? IS HE REALLY AN ECONOMIST, OR JUST AN ECONOMIC HITMAN? Having an economist as a member can bring “an overall appreciation of economic analysis in developing and implementing rules, and more specifically, an understanding of robust cost- benefit analysis,” said Cynthia A. Glassman, who was a Republican commissioner at the agency from 2002 to 2006 and the last economist appointed to the SEC. Earlier in his career, Piwowar was a staff member in the SEC’s office of economic analysis. The people said he could help sharpen Republicans’ focus on measuring the costs of new regulations as the agency completes rules from the 2010 Dodd- Frank Act. OKAY, HE'S A HITMAN....

Lost Cases

The SEC has lost a number of challenges in federal court on rules that opponents argued didn’t properly take into account the regulatory costs. Business groups are making similar arguments in other cases that are pending, including Dodd-Frank requirements that companies disclose whether they use metals from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and that oil, gas and mining firms report payments made to foreign governments...


Before going to work for the Senate Banking Committee, Piwowar was a senior economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers staff in both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, according to the website of the College of Business at Iowa State University, where Piwowar was an assistant professor from 1998 to 2004. During part of that time, he was also a visiting academic scholar in the SEC’s office of economic analysis, where he co-authored a study on municipal bond pricing, according to a resume posted online from a previous employer, Securities Litigation and Consulting Group, Inc. Piwowar became a senior financial economist at the SEC in 2004, according to the resume. His research has involved some of the central issues the agency is now confronting, including market structure and computerized trading. He also analyzed ill-gotten gains and investor harm in securities fraud enforcement matters, inadequate disclosure and best-execution stock pricing violations. He left the agency in 2006. A 1990 graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Piwowar has an MBA from Georgetown University and a Ph.D in Finance, also from Penn State.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 07:57 AM

20. Fannie, Freddie to start new securitization firm, regulator says

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/04/us-usa-housing-idUSBRE92318O20130304

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will build a new joint company for securitizing home loans as a stepping stone toward shrinking the government's role in the mortgage market, the regulator of the U.S. government-controlled firms said on Monday.

"The overarching goal is to create something of value that could either be sold or used by policymakers as a foundational element of the mortgage market of the future," Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, told the National Association for Business Economics.


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were bailed out by the government in 2008, help finance about two-thirds of new U.S. home loans. DeMarco is seeking to shrink their footprint and reduce risks to the taxpayers that support the mortgage giants. Since they were seized by the government, the companies have drawn nearly $190 billion from the U.S. Treasury to stay afloat. By creating a new securitization company, FHFA intends to pave the way for a single securitization platform and force Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to abandon their separate systems. The aim is to shrink the role the two government-sponsored enterprises play in the housing system in the absence of legislation from Congress or direction from the Obama administration on their future.

DeMarco said the goal is to build a single infrastructure to support the mortgage credit business. The new company will be structured as a joint venture that is owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, DeMarco told reporters on a conference call to discuss FHFA's plans. He said the new joint venture is not expected to begin securitizing loans next year. Instead, the focus will be on creating the business and hiring staff. The company will have a separate chief executive and board. DeMarco expects Congress will ultimately decide how the securitization platform is operated and whether it should be privatized.

"We are on a path to replace the outdated proprietary operational systems of Fannie and Freddie," DeMarco told reporters. "It could be turned to some form of a market utility."

MORE OMINOUS RUMBLING AT LINK

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 08:00 AM

21. Berkshire's BNSF Railway to Test Switch to Natural Gas

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324539404578342540494619344.html?mod=dist_smartbrief

BNSF Railway Co., one of the biggest U.S. consumers of diesel fuel, plans this year to test using natural gas to power its locomotives instead. If successful, the experiment could weaken oil's dominance as a transportation fuel and provide a new outlet for the glut of cheap natural gas in North America. The surplus, spurred by new technologies that unlock the fuel from underground rock formations, has sent natural-gas prices plummeting. That has prompted industries from electric utilities to tugboat operators to switch to gas. If freight rail joins the parade, it would usher in one of the most sweeping changes to the railroad industry in decades.

"This could be a transformational event for our railroad," BNSF Chief Executive Matt Rose said of the plan, which hasn't been publicly announced. Shifting to natural gas would "rank right up there" with the industry's historic transition away from steam engines last century, he said.

Freight railroads overwhelmingly are powered by diesel fuel refined from crude oil. BNSF, the largest railroad in the U.S., estimates it is the second-biggest user of diesel in the country, after the U.S. Navy. A potential shift to gas faces many hurdles, however, including getting approval from federal regulators on fuel-tank safety. Introducing gas also will require different fuel depots, special tanker cars to carry the fuel and training for depot workers. That won't come cheaply. Just retrofitting a diesel locomotive and adding the tanker car could add 50% to a locomotive's roughly $2 million price tag, though that increase would diminish as economies of scale take hold.

Mr. Rose said his company nevertheless would quickly move to a "retrofit of existing road locomotives" if the pilot locomotives prove reliable. The pilot trains are expected to get rolling this fall in the hopes retrofitting could begin about a year later...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #21)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 08:03 AM

22. Shell to push natural gas for trains, vehicles

http://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Shell-to-push-natural-gas-for-trains-vehicles-4328096.php

Moving to establish itself as the leading U.S. provider of cutting edge fuel for trucks, trains and vessels, Royal Dutch Shell will announce plans Tuesday for two new plants it says will double the nation's supply of liquefied natural gas. The oil giant's planned facilities in Louisiana and the Canadian province of Ontario will liquefy and supply natural gas to truck stops, railroads and waterways, according to materials reviewed in advance by the Houston Chronicle.

Shell did not disclose the cost of the projects, but said the effort is aimed at advancing the use of natural gas and becoming a dominant force in the emerging transportation market. Natural gas must be compressed or liquefied to be practical in mobile fuel tanks.

"We see LNG as tomorrow's fuel available today and we want to be seen and act as the leader in this space," said James Burns, Shell's general manager overseeing its liquefied natural gas for transportation business.


Although few vehicles now run on natural gas, Shell expects its fuel to provide a 30 percent savings on energy costs for long-haul trucks and other heavy diesel users, Burns said.

"Our customers are asking for it," Burns said. "We've sold diesel to these folks and for various reasons they are looking at natural gas as a fuel and we want to be the fuel provider for them."


Shell plans to build what it calls small-scale plants to liquefy natural gas, each taking up about 10 acres and producing about 400,000 gallons a day, Burns said. One of the new plants will be located in Geismar, La., adjacent to a Shell chemical plant. Another will serve the U.S. from a site on Lake Huron in Sarnia, Ontario, located along the Michigan border, he said. Shell previously announced another plant of similar size and capacity meant mainly to serve Canadian markets from its location west of Calgary, Alberta. Each site will have large cold storage tanks for the fuel, which will keep its temperature at minus 256 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Gulf Coast site in Geismar will be able to supply liquefied natural gas along the Mississippi River, the Intra-Coastal Waterway and to offshore oil and gas facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. It will produce liquefied natural gas that can be used at truck refueling stations and in oil fields, where it could run drilling rigs and large engines that burn through millions of gallons of diesel. According to data from Calgary-based oil and gas producer Encana Corp., the industry consumes more than 1.2 billion gallons of diesel annually just for hydraulic fracturing - injecting water, sand and chemicals under pressure into oil and gas formations to free the hydrocarbons.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #22)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 08:12 AM

23. CHINA BUYS CANADIAN OIL AND GAS CO. IN FEBRUARY

CNOOC closes $15.1 bln acquisition of Canada's Nexen

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/25/nexen-cnooc-idUSL1N0BPF1B20130225

Chinese state-owned firm CNOOC Ltd. is now officially in control of Calgary oil and gas producer Nexen Inc. (TSX:NXY). CNOOC's $15.1 billion takeover of Nexen, first announced last July, was completed on Monday, marking China's largest-ever successful overseas acquisition. Kevin Reinhart, who had been serving as interim CEO since January 2012, will remain in charge of Nexen's operations in the oilsands, B.C. shale fields, North Sea, West Africa and Gulf of Mexico. CNOOC Ltd. CEO Li Fanrong will serve as chairman of Nexen's new board of directors, which includes members from both the Chinese and Canadian companies.

All of Nexen's existing assets, as well as CNOOC's North and Central American operations, will be managed out of Nexen's Calgary headquarters. Nexen shares are expected to be delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange in a few trading days. They will cease being traded on the New York Stock Exchange before markets open Tuesday, and will subsequently be delisted.

The CNOOC-Nexen deal touched off a great deal of controversy about what degree foreign state-owned control of Canadian resources is acceptable. That the deal came from a Chinese company, in particular, raised concerns in some quarters about doing business with a non-democratic state. But there was also acknowledgment that Canada does not have the capital necessary to develop its own resources alone, and that overseas investment is needed.

The Conservative government finally decided in December that the deal would be of "net benefit" to Canada under the Investment Canada Act, but that future deals of that type would be held to greater scrutiny. Ottawa has signalled that deals that give state-owned enterprises control over the oilsands would only be allowed in "exceptional circumstances" from now on, but that partnership deals would continue to bring capital into the sector.

About two weeks ago, Nexen received U.S. government approval...



Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/CNOOC+completes+billion+takeover+Calgary+producer+Nexen/8014366/story.html#ixzz2OYL70SKA

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 08:15 AM

24. Consolidated Audit Trail Requirements Published

http://www.securitiestechnologymonitor.com/news/consolidated-audit-trail-requirements-published-31616-1.html

The nation’s equities and options exchanges IN FEBRUARY published a request for proposals on how to build a consolidated audit trail of all market activity every night, overnight. The system will take in roughly 50 billion records every day and place the details of options and equities trades in a repository that will allow the Securities and Exchange Commission to monitor what is going on in the nation’s markets, on a next-day basis. The national market system plan to create the audit trail is an outgrowth of a proposal made by former SEC chairman Mary L. Schapiro to create a database of all trade activity, in the wake of the May 6, 2010 flash crash. In that case, it took the staffs of the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission five months to recreate that one day’s activity and find a trigger that caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to plunge 600 points in a few minutes and bounce back nearly as quickly.


Producing the document, choosing the winning bidder and ultimately developing the audit trail plan that will be submitted to the SEC are the BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; BATS Z-Exchange, Inc.; BOX Options Exchange LLC; C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc.; EDGA Exchange, Inc.; EDGX Exchange, Inc.; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; NASDAQ OMX PHLX, Inc.; NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; National Stock Exchange, Inc.; New York Stock Exchange LLC; NYSE Arca, Inc.; and NYSE MKT LLC. Also involved is the independent regulator of brokers, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

These “self-regulatory organizations” have been charged by the SEC to come up with the plan.

But NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq OMX Group both are suppliers of technology to exchanges around the world; and FINRA operates what could be a pre-cursor to the audit trail, a collection of quotes and trade information called the Order Audit Trail System. Using an existing system and technologies, where possible. Since October, that system has kept track of trades on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Arca, NYSE MKT, BATS Exchange and the Chicago Stock Exchange.

The organizations say, in the RFP, that they “are seeking a stand-alone bid that addresses all of the technology, business and operational requirements” involved in building the trail and the repository housing all details on orders, quotes and transactions.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 08:18 AM

25. It was impossible to spot Libor rigging: UK watchdog FEBRUARY

I WONDER IF HE'S STILL GOT HIS JOB...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/27/us-libor-britain-fsa-idUSBRE91Q0NX20130227

Regulators could not have spotted the "lowballing" of Libor interest rates during the financial crisis even if they had looked, Britain's Financial Services Authority said.

The watchdog's chairman, Adair Turner, told a parliamentary commission on banking standards on Wednesday it was much easier to see abuses in share trading by using computers.

Manipulation of the London interbank offered rate (Libor) during the 2008 crisis, for which three banks - Barclays BARC.L, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) and UBS (UBSN.VX) - have been fined so far was far harder to see, he said.

"There was no information on the trader manipulation," Turner told the commission. Libor is used to price trillions of dollars of financial products from derivatives to mortgages...

NOPE!

Adair Turner: Bankers 'no longer in denial'

Lord Turner took charge of the FSA just as the financial world fell apart. As he prepares to leave the regulator, the man who once described banks as 'socially useless’ tells Kamal Ahmed that behaviour has improved, why the bail-out was right, and reveals his next project - a book .

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9934819/Adair-Turner-Bankers-no-longer-in-denial.html

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 08:29 AM

26. "Posting is hard work"..."W" Demeter

It makes me hungry, at least.

I'm so far behind, the inbox is about to explode.

Hope this keeps you all happy for a bit. I gotta deal with Reality, now. Reality is gray and raw, 31F with windchill of 20F and 30% chance of snow...

gonna make me some groundhog stew...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 08:39 AM

27. Ex-Stanford executives get 20 years over roles in $7 billion fraud FEBRUARY

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/14/us-stanford-execs-sentencing-idUSBRE91D1GW20130214

The final two defendants convicted for helping the former Texas billionaire financier Allen Stanford swindle investors were each sentenced on Thursday to 20 years in prison over their roles in his $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme. Gilbert Lopez, the former chief accounting officer of Stanford Financial Group, and former controller Mark Kuhrt were sentenced by U.S. District Judge David Hittner in Houston.

Jurors in November had convicted both defendants on nine counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy after a five-week trial. Each was also found not guilty on one wire fraud count. Lopez, 70, and Kuhrt, 40, were jailed in downtown Houston following the sentencing...Prosecutors said evidence at Lopez's and Kuhrt's trial showed that the men knew Stanford was misusing the bank's assets, helped him conceal this misuse, and helped him deceive customers into believing he had infused hundreds of millions of dollars into the bank during the 2008 financial crisis...Jack Zimmermann, a lawyer for Lopez, said he had asked for a three-year prison sentence for his client, who plans an appeal..."We're very disappointed," Zimmermann said in a phone interview. "Gil Lopez was sentenced to four times longer in prison than (former chief financial officer James) Davis, yet he earned nothing from the fraud, only his mid-level wages and bonuses for working as an accountant."

In September, Stanford's former chief investment officer Laura Pendergest-Holt was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to an obstruction charge...Last month, former chief financial officer James Davis was sentenced to five years in prison, after he had pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges and was the top government witness in Stanford's trial. Davis had made about $13 million over 21 years working for Stanford, a former college roommate...Stanford, 62, is appealing his March 2012 conviction and 110-year prison sentence over what prosecutors called a massive fraud centered on the sale of bogus certificates of deposit by his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 08:41 AM

28. Foreclosure Filings Drop to 6-Year Low on California Law FEBRUARY

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-14/foreclosure-filings-drop-to-6-year-low-on-california-law.html

U.S. foreclosure filings fell 28 percent JANUARY from a year earlier to the lowest level since April 2007, as a new California law slowed first-time defaults in the most-populous state, according to RealtyTrac. Filings across the nation dropped 7 percent from December to 150,864, with one in 869 U.S. households receiving a notice, according to the data provider. New homeowner protections in California played an outsized role in the national decrease, as notices of defaults there slid 62 percent from a year earlier to an 87-month low, RealtyTrac said.

“The U.S. foreclosure landscape in January was profoundly altered by the effects of new legislation that took effect in California on the first of the year,” Daren Blomquist, vice president at Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac, said in the report. A slowdown in the state’s defaults “accelerated into hyper speed.”


A drop in foreclosures is helping to fuel a U.S. housing recovery that’s even more pronounced in California. Prices increased in 88 percent of U.S. metropolitan areas in the fourth quarter, with five cities in the state ranking among the 20 costliest, the National Association of Realtors said this week. In Southern California, sales last month were the highest for a January in six years, while the median price of a property jumped almost 24 percent from a year earlier to $321,000, research firm DataQuick reported yesterday. The number of purchases between $300,000 and $800,000 in the six-county region soared almost 50 percent from January 2012, according to the San Diego-based company.

New Law

The new California law includes stricter standards for mortgage servicers such as a prohibition on “dual tracking” -- simultaneously pursuing a foreclosure while borrowers are in the process of applying for a loan modification -- and fines of as much as $7,500 per loan for filing unverified foreclosure documents, according to Blomquist.

“In the short-term, the new law will probably prop up prices by restricting inventory, but it’s artificially holding back supply that would otherwise be listed for sale,” Blomquist said in an interview. Sellers, however, may be persuaded to “move off the fence” with less competition from distressed inventory, he said.


Nationwide, tight supply and borrowing costs near record lows may drive prices higher this year and reduce the inventory of distressed homes, according to a Feb. 12 report from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Falling Inventory

“We could see home prices improve in states like Florida by as much as 10 percent as investors compete for property and the distressed sale discount diminishes,” analysts led by John Sim in New York wrote in the report
.

Florida led the U.S. with the most foreclosure filings in January, the first month since 2007 that California hasn’t held the top spot. Florida also had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for the fifth straight month, at one in 300 households, RealtyTrac said. First-time default notices increased in states without court supervision of the process, led by a more than sixfold gain in Arkansas, a 179 percent increase in Washington and an 87 percent rise in Nevada, said RealtyTrac, which sells default data from counties representing 90 percent of the U.S. population.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 08:43 AM

29. Tax havens: The missing $20 trillion

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21571873-how-stop-companies-and-people-dodging-tax-delaware-well-grand-cayman-missing-20

CIVILISATION works only if those who enjoy its benefits are also prepared to pay their share of the costs. People and companies that avoid tax are therefore unpopular at the best of times, so it is not surprising that when governments and individuals everywhere are scrimping to pay their bills, attacks are mounting on tax havens and those that use them.

In Europe the anger has focused on big firms. Amazon and Starbucks have faced consumer boycotts for using clever accounting tricks to book profits in tax havens while reducing their bills in the countries where they do business. David Cameron has put tackling corporate tax-avoidance at the top of the G8 agenda. America has taken aim at tax-dodging individuals and the banks that help them. Congress has passed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which forces foreign financial firms to disclose their American clients. Any whiff of offshore funds has become a political liability. During last year’s presidential campaign Mitt Romney was excoriated by Democrats for his holdings in the Cayman Islands. Now Jack Lew, Barack Obama’s nominee for treasury secretary, is under fire for once having an interest in a Cayman fund.

Getting rich people to pay their dues is an admirable ambition, but this attack is both hypocritical and misguided. It may be good populist politics, but leaders who want to make their countries work better should focus instead on cleaning up their own back yards and reforming their tax systems.

Dodgy of Delaware

The archetypal tax haven may be a palm-fringed island, but as our special report this week makes clear, there is nothing small about offshore finance. If you define a tax haven as a place that tries to attract non-resident funds by offering light regulation, low (or zero) taxation and secrecy, then the world has 50-60 such havens. These serve as domiciles for more than 2m companies and thousands of banks, funds and insurers. Nobody really knows how much money is stashed away: estimates vary from way below to way above $20 trillion...

A MUST READ ARTICLE!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 08:49 AM

30. NOTABLE QUOTABLES

"It is sheer folly to expect justice from the unprincipled": Proverb

"Much law, but little justice": Proverb

"Where might is master, justice is servant": Proverb

"Justice is itself the great standing policy of civil society; and any eminent
departure from it, under any circumstances, lies under the suspicion of being no
policy at all": Edmund Burke

"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and
actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people": Martin
Luther King Jr.

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious
stupidity": Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 08:59 AM

31. Big Five UK banks see profits for 2012 'wiped out'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21916653


The major UK banks saw a 45% rise in core profits in 2012, but that hike was wiped out by a mix of regulation and their own mistakes, a KPMG report says.

Its performance report looks at Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and Standard Chartered.

It says the banks' combined core profits last year were £31.5bn.

But this was eliminated by the "cost of past mistakes and increased creditworthiness of their own debt", the audit firm's report says.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 09:01 AM

32. Stock markets rise as Cyprus deal eases crisis fears

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21920574

European stock markets have risen after officials agreed a bailout deal for Cyprus following a week of uncertainty.

The main markets in France and Germany were both up by about 1.5% in the first hours of trading. The euro was also up against other major currencies.

The rises followed a rally in Asian shares earlier in the day.

Investors are hopeful that the deal struck between Cyprus, European authorities and the IMF will prevent the crisis escalating further.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #32)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 02:00 PM

49. "Investors" could care less about Cyprus, it's corrupt bank propaganda

 

that you're repeating. Anyone with any money to invest, which is a small group of people outside of huge corrupt banks, knows that the entire EU, ECU and World Bank/IMF are corrupt to the core so there is no "easing fear".

Oprah f-ing Winfrey could bail out Cyprus herself so it's not about Cyprus either. What the big bank propagandists do with all their lies is create distractions like "the Cyprus bailout" so people hopefully won't recognize the massive number of crimes they are getting away with around the world.

The entire world of investments is a fraud of massive proportions that has everything to do with the less than 10 "too big to prosecute" banks and nothing to do with Cyprus.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 09:15 AM

33. Euro Bailouts: Savers Be Warned - Your Money's Not Safe

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/commentary-on-impact-of-euro-crisis-on-european-savers-a-890789.html

Nearly half of all Germans fear for their savings -- and with good reason. At times like these, the only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain.

Not even savings accounts are safe, as was recently seen in Cyprus. Such deposits are actually guaranteed to up to €100,000, but the euro rescuers cared little about this as they desperately searched for funds. Cypriot small savers may have escaped this time around, but the realization remains, even beyond Cyprus, that a state teetering on the edge of bankruptcy will resort to all available means to raise money -- and a guarantee is only worth something as long as the entity that stands behind it remains solvent.

Nothing is safe from being seized by the state, no savings account, but also no house or apartment. The Germans experienced this after World War II, when they were charged an extra real estate tax in the form of compulsory mortgages. Governments have even banned the possession of gold during currency crises, forcing citizens to exchange the precious metal for the national currency.

So far, people in the debt-ridden countries of the euro zone haven't had such levies imposed on them. But why not? According to a recent study by Germany's central bank, the Bundesbank, for instance, Spaniards hold more wealth, on average, than Germans.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #33)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 01:09 PM

42. This seems to be....

another divide and conquer strategy in the part of the bankster's.

"Blame it on the ---- (choose adjective: rich, lazy, greedy) (choose nationality) for not contributing their fair share to the EU. They don't (choose verb: work, sacrifice, save) as much as we do. Why if they only taxed their citizens more and stopped subsidizing (choose a government subsidy: heating oil, health care, low cost rental for the poor, food, electricity, unemployment insurance), they could easily balance their books and get out of debt."

They are doing all they can to distract us form the slight of hand trick they are doing....converting private bank debts into public obligations and giving themselves a handsome bonus in the process as a reward for their criminality.

The more I see banks getting away with this theft, the greater my desire to keep most of my wealth geographically close and portable.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #42)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 01:14 PM

43. +1

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 09:19 AM

34. Last-Minute Deal : The End of the Cypriot Banking Sector

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/cyprus-to-shrink-bank-sector-under-last-minute-bailout-deal-a-890731.html

In the end, despite all his pleading, threats and horsetrading, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades had no option but to bow to the terms of international lenders. Early on Monday morning, the Euro Group of euro-zone finance ministers agreed a bailout of €10 billion ($13 billion) for the tiny Mediterranean island. In return, the Cypriot government agreed to radically scale down its oversized banking sector. Bank customers with deposits of over €100,000, including wealthy Russians who had deposited funds in Cyprus, will lose a large part of their assets.

Anastasiades caved in after days of resistance. "We have a deal that is in the interest of the Cypriot people and the EU," the conservative politician said after the meeting in Brussels. His finance minister, Michalis Sarris, said the agreement would prevent a disastrous exit from the euro zone.

The other 16 euro finance ministers breathed a sigh of relief that the cliffhanger was finally over. "We have a better solution than that reached last week," said Euro Group Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said: "This is bitter for Cyprus, but we now have the result that the (German) government always stood up for."

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 09:50 AM

35. Senate approves Keystone pipeline.

Did I expect any different? No. I did invest a little hope that it would get shut down and now that little bit of hope is used up and long lost. I don't know why I still care any more?

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Response to Hotler (Reply #35)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 09:56 AM

36. Nobody could have possibly forseen.......

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 09:57 AM

38. As Obama signs sequestration cuts, his economic goals are at risk

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/as-obama-signs-sequestration-cuts-his-economic-goals-are-at-risk/2013/03/24/110f7104-9096-11e2-9cfd-36d6c9b5d7ad_story.html

With his signature this week, President Obama will lock into place deep spending cuts that threaten to undermine his second-term economic vision just four months after he won reelection.

Obama has repeatedly championed a set of government investments that he argues would expand the economy and strengthen the middle class, including bolstering early-childhood education, spending more on research and development, and upgrading the nation’s roads and railways. He has said his comfortable reelection victory in November shows the country is with him.

But none of those policies have come close to being enacted. Instead, after returning this weekend from a trip to the Middle East, Obama is set to sign a government funding measure that leaves in place the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration — a policy that undermines many of the goals he laid out during the 2012 campaign.

Obama thinks the cuts are, in his words, “dumb,” and he says they will slow the economy and harm priorities by cutting spending on education, research and development, and many other programs. Yet Obama now finds himself enacting a broad domestic policy that he doesn’t support and that he believes will harm the country.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #38)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 01:14 PM

44. Yeah, how sick is that?

Not much of a moral force, our Hokey Pokey P. Let alone a political one.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 11:39 AM

39. Cyprus is new template for resolving EuroZone banking problems


3/25/13
A rescue program agreed for Cyprus on Monday represents a new template for resolving euro zone banking problems and other countries may have to restructure their banking sectors, the head of the region's finance ministers said.

"What we've done last night is what I call pushing back the risks," Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, told Reuters and the Financial Times hours after the Cyprus deal was struck.

"If there is a risk in a bank, our first question should be 'Okay, what are you in the bank going to do about that? What can you do to recapitalize yourself?'. If the bank can't do it, then we'll talk to the shareholders and the bondholders, we'll ask them to contribute in recapitalizing the bank, and if necessary the uninsured deposit holders," he said.

more...
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/25/us-eurogroup-cyprus-dijsselbloem-idUSBRE92O0IU20130325

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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #39)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 11:58 AM

41. ZeroHedge: "Cyprus a Template For EU"

3/25/13
Perhaps the best example of a "word out of place" comes from the new Eurogroup head, Dijsselbloem, also phonetically known as Diesel-BOOM, who just may have ushered in the next, next wave of the Eurozone crisis:

"Cyprus a Template For EU"

Er... wasn't it a special case, inside a unique case, wrapped in a one-time case? We will ignore the rather hilarious Freudian slip, and focus on what he was explicitly talking about with Reuters, which is the resolution model which was just put in place in Cyprus:
.
.
Translation: it now officially sucks to be an unsecured creditor in Europe. In other words: an uninsured depositor.

Why this ad hoc dramatic shift in the European approach to bank solvency, which if anything makes the link between bank and sovereign closer than ever, and crushes all that Draghi achieved in the summer of 2012?
Simple: because what Cyprus allowed was the effective usurpation of democracy - the only reason the Cypriot bailout "passed" (at least so far) is because it was structured as a bank restructuring, a financial system "resolution", not a tax, and thus not in need of a parliamentary, democratic vote. Because as Cyprus also showed, votes to deprive depositors of cash, whether insured or uninsured, simply won't fly. Hence the shift.

However, there is a problem: it means that depositors are now fair game everywhere, and that the ESM or EFSF, with their unlimited scope but "democratic" impleention pathway, are on the backburner.
And now, the scramble to pull uninsured deposits out of banks everywhere begins. Thanks to the new Eurogroup head.
"You ask for miracles, Theo. I give you Diesel-BOOM"

And now, every European depositor is going to their local financial dictionary to look up the definition of General Unsecured Claims, only to see a picture of... themselves.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-03-25/word-out-place-sends-europe-tumbling

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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #39)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 01:15 PM

45. If one totally discounts the risk of Mother Russia coming after one...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 11:42 AM

40. Banks In Europe May Now Seize Deposits To Cover Their Gambling Losses

3/25/13 Banks In Europe May Now Seize Deposits To Cover Their Gambling Losses
.
.
Although deposits under 100,000 euros will be spared, deposits over 100,000 euros will be seized and subjected to an as-yet undetermined haircut--with the confiscated money going to bail out the gambling losses of the aforementioned reckless idiots who run some of Cyprus's banks.

"The Europeans are not putting any money into the bank recapitalization, which means, that as far as I can tell, there is nothing in this deal that could not have been done by the Cypriots last year or the year before," says Buchheit.

This seizure, needless to say, will dampen the enthusiasm of rich depositors for keeping money in banks that get themselves into financial trouble. And because many, many banks in Europe have gotten themselves into financial trouble, this will create a general state of unease among rich depositors throughout the Eurozone.

more...

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/banks-europe-may-now-seize-deposits-cover-gambling-134036516.html



Are there any reported bank runs in other EU countries?



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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 01:17 PM

46. Finally, a Market to Match My Mood.

Brought to you by the Euro (tm), a synthetic, inauthentic, eccentric currency, at a bank near Germany....

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 01:23 PM

47. ITYS! As Qualified Men Dwindle, Military Looks For A Few Good Women

http://www.npr.org/2013/03/25/174966070/as-qualified-men-dwindle-military-looks-for-a-few-good-women?ft=1&f=1001

When the Pentagon said earlier this year that it would open ground combat jobs to women, it was cast in terms of giving women equal opportunities in the workplace — the military workplace.

But the move has practical considerations, too. The military needs qualified people to fill its ranks, and it's increasingly harder to find them among men.

"It's fairly common knowledge that our population of military-age young men, who qualify for the military, is declining," Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said in an interview with NPR just after the Pentagon announced that women no longer be excluded from ground combat jobs.

Too many potential male recruits have criminal records, drop out of high school or have drug problems. In addition, the rising obesity rate is also a factor...Less than 25 percent of young people — both male and female — can actually meet the standards for military enlistment today. Those standards disqualify more men than women. Young men account for three-fourths of all arrests, and in all 50 states, males have a higher high school dropout rate than females....AND THEY ARE STILL TESTING WOMEN TO MEN'S PHYSICAL STANDARDS...

AN EMPIRE WITHOUT AN ARMY...WILL NOT BE AN EMPIRE FOR VERY LONG...HENCE THE DRONING....

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 03:10 PM

50. The 147 People Destroying the World


The 147 People Destroying the World
How the usual suspects perpetuate economic injustice.

JPMorgan Chase's board "strongly" endorsed Jamie Dimon, pictured June 19, 2012, to continue serving as both chairman and chief executive despite last year's embarrassing $6.2 billion trading loss in the "London Whale" debacle.
March 25, 2013 |




Can 147 people perpetuate economic injustice – and make it even worse? Can they subvert the workings of democracy, both abroad and here in the United States? Can 147 people hijack the global economy, plunder the environment, build a world for themselves that serves the few and deprives the many?

There must be some explanation for last week’s economic madness. Take a look:

Cyprus: The European Union acted destructively – and self-destructively – when it tried to seize a portion of the insured savings accounts of the citizens of Cyprus. They were telling anyone with a savings account in the financially troubled nations of the Eurozone: Forget your guaranteed deposits. If we need your money in order to bail out the big banks – banks which have already gambled recklessly with it – we’ll take it.

That didn’t just create a political firestorm in Cyprus. It threatened the European Union’s banking system, and perhaps the Union itself. The fact that the tax on deposits has been partially retracted doesn’t change the basic question: What were they thinking?

The Grand Bargain: The President and Congressional Republicans reportedly moved closer to a deal that would cut Social Security and Medicare while raising taxes – mostly on the middle class – without doing more to create jobs. A “Grand Bargain” like that would run counter to both public opinion and informed economic judgement.

Who would impose more economy-killing austerity when there’s so much evidence of the harm it does? Why would the White House want to become the face of a deal to cut Social Security, killing its own party’s political prospects for a generation?

There’s more:

http://www.alternet.org/147-people-destroying-world

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Methinks we need about 147 of these. A few sets of them.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #51)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 06:49 PM

52. thanks,I'll go read the transcript

he is always worth reading/listening

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