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Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:02 PM

STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Wednesday, 25 January 2012


STOCK MARKET WATCH, Wednesday, 25 January 2012


SMW for 24 January 2012

AT THE CLOSING BELL ON 24 January 2012

Dow Jones 12,675.75 -33.07 (-0.26%)
S&P 500 1,314.65 -1.35 (-0.10%)
Nasdaq 2,786.64 +2.47 (0.09%)



10 Year 2.05% +0.01 (0.49%)
30 Year 3.15% +0.04 (1.29%)

















Market Conditions During Trading Hours






Euro, Yen, Loonie, Silver and Gold
















Handy Links - Government Issues:

LegitGov
Open Government
Earmark Database
USA spending.gov





Financial Sector Officials Convicted since 1/20/09 =
12










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.



73 replies, 7794 views

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Reply STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Wednesday, 25 January 2012 (Original post)
Tansy_Gold Jan 2012 OP
Demeter Jan 2012 #1
Demeter Jan 2012 #2
Demeter Jan 2012 #3
TalkingDog Jan 2012 #40
Demeter Jan 2012 #55
TalkingDog Jan 2012 #67
Demeter Jan 2012 #4
Demeter Jan 2012 #5
Fuddnik Jan 2012 #12
Demeter Jan 2012 #14
Tansy_Gold Jan 2012 #16
DemReadingDU Jan 2012 #37
westerebus Jan 2012 #29
Demeter Jan 2012 #6
Demeter Jan 2012 #7
Demeter Jan 2012 #8
Tansy_Gold Jan 2012 #15
Demeter Jan 2012 #56
Demeter Jan 2012 #9
Demeter Jan 2012 #10
Demeter Jan 2012 #11
Demeter Jan 2012 #13
Ghost Dog Jan 2012 #17
Ghost Dog Jan 2012 #54
Demeter Jan 2012 #18
Demeter Jan 2012 #19
Demeter Jan 2012 #20
Demeter Jan 2012 #21
Demeter Jan 2012 #22
xchrom Jan 2012 #23
Tansy_Gold Jan 2012 #26
xchrom Jan 2012 #24
Tansy_Gold Jan 2012 #27
xchrom Jan 2012 #31
xchrom Jan 2012 #25
Demeter Jan 2012 #28
Demeter Jan 2012 #30
xchrom Jan 2012 #35
Ghost Dog Jan 2012 #66
Demeter Jan 2012 #32
Demeter Jan 2012 #34
xchrom Jan 2012 #36
AnneD Jan 2012 #41
Loge23 Jan 2012 #58
Roland99 Jan 2012 #33
xchrom Jan 2012 #38
xchrom Jan 2012 #39
Demeter Jan 2012 #57
xchrom Jan 2012 #59
xchrom Jan 2012 #42
xchrom Jan 2012 #43
xchrom Jan 2012 #44
xchrom Jan 2012 #45
xchrom Jan 2012 #46
xchrom Jan 2012 #47
xchrom Jan 2012 #48
xchrom Jan 2012 #49
xchrom Jan 2012 #50
xchrom Jan 2012 #51
Demeter Jan 2012 #72
xchrom Jan 2012 #52
Ghost Dog Jan 2012 #53
xchrom Jan 2012 #62
xchrom Jan 2012 #60
Demeter Jan 2012 #71
xchrom Jan 2012 #61
xchrom Jan 2012 #63
xchrom Jan 2012 #64
xchrom Jan 2012 #65
Tansy_Gold Jan 2012 #69
DemReadingDU Jan 2012 #73
Ghost Dog Jan 2012 #68
xchrom Jan 2012 #70

Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:32 PM

1. Bill Black Tells Us HOW: Bill Black: What I'd Demand of the Fed

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Response to Demeter (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:35 PM

2. BILL BLACK: Regulations on Speculation Weak, But Better Than Nothing

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Response to Demeter (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:17 AM

40. Good read. You should x-post it to same.

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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #40)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:32 PM

55. You Have My permission

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Response to Demeter (Reply #55)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 02:47 PM

67. Danke

n/t

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:40 PM

4. UniCredit plans €25bn covered bond issue


UniCredit is planning to raise up to €25bn through the issue of so-called covered bonds as Italy’s largest bank by assets seeks to open up a new stream of funding amid ongoing pressures on bank liquidity in the eurozone

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/NA70KK/30Y4J2/87I64/TUGFC0/XHMJHX/SN/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=24

IS THIS WHAT YOU CALL A "HAIL MARY" PASS?

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:41 PM

5. Apple blows past Wall Street expectations


Apple has blasted past Wall Street expectations with record quarterly revenues of $46.33bn, powered by sales of 37m iPhones in its December quarter.

The Silicon Valley company also reported record quarterly net profits of $13.06bn, or $13.87 per share, well ahead of analyst expectations of $10.07 per share and Apple’s guidance of $9.30.

Wall Street had expected revenues of $38.8bn helped by sales of around 30m iPhones.

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/LVA6WW/08X743/IEP5S/WTOPG1/VLZ9UX/MQ/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=24

BOYCOTT APPLE! BRING DOWN THE WORST OF THE WORST.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 09:43 PM

12. Your subject line is four words too long.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 10:05 PM

14. DULY NOTED

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Response to Demeter (Reply #14)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 11:20 PM

16. I think it should also be duly noted

That Steve Jobs' widow -- don't know her name, don't care -- was invited to sit with Mrs. Obama for the SOTU tonight, a "special guest" following in a tradition established by St. Ronnie in 1982, when he so honored Lenny Skutnik. Skutnik, for those too young to recall, had leaped into the icy Potomac following the crash of an Air Florida jet, in an attempt to help one of the very few survivors of the crash. The crash had occurred just a few days before the SOTU.

The irony is appalling. Skutnik retired in 2010, after 31 years working for the Congressional Budget Office. He never sought fame, certainly never fortune, never asked "what's in it for me?" before he literally dove into a river filled with huge chunks of floating ice and jet fuel to help a frozen and traumatized flight attendant.

What is Obama thinking? or is he thinking? He gives a state of the union address about a union that is economically crippled, and it's crippled because of men like the aforementioned Steve Jobs. Men who are so greedy, so fucking selfish, that they care nothing about their fellow human beings either in this country or in China. They have beggared this country and enslaved the people of China, all in the name of wealth. Wealth that they can't take with them, as perhaps Steve Jobs now knows. But his estate passes intact to his heirs and his widow is feted by the president.



Steve Jobs widow isn't worthy to cut the toenails of Lenny Skutnik.


(edited because I'm so angry I missed a typo on proofing)

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:04 AM

37. +++


I remember that incident, thanks for the video


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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:15 AM

29. Oatmeal--computer screen---nuff said

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:44 PM

6. Cameron insists on limit to Hester bonus


David Cameron has insisted that the chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland should receive a bonus of no more than £1m this year – half of last year’s award – as the UK prime minister attempts to tighten his clamp down on executive pay

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/QM42II/KQBUU6/4VXHZ/L93DKZ/ZG4RTN/6C/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=24

THIS COULD GET VERY INTERESTING....PLACE YOUR BETS! 2:1 ODDS ON THE PSYCHOPATH OVER THE CRAZY POL.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:46 PM

7. Watchdog to protect ‘irrational’ investors


Investors cannot be counted on to make rational choices so regulators need to “step into their footprints” and limit or ban the sale of potentially harmful products, the head of the UK’s new consumer protection watchdog said on Tuesday

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/DHGUVV/IIT3RF/7ZY85/IIRW4C/B5R8ZM/ZH/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=24


THERE IS NO NEED TO INSULT INVESTORS...JUST SO REGULATIONS PREVENT FRAUDULENT FINANCIAL PRODUCTS.

----------

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:49 PM

8. Shake-up in US fixed income research rules


New rules to deal with conflicts of interest in fixed income research are set to be proposed by US financial industry regulators, bringing regulation of bond market coverage more in line with equity analysis.

The move comes nearly a decade after a group of the largest US banks agreed to abide by stricter rules separating stock analysts from investment bankers who market securities, and just as elected officials in Washington are actually seeking to loosen those rules to spur capital raising.

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/G8OTZZ/XH52L6/HI3M9/SPBJYL/FKPC7M/XL/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=24


CAN IT BE? REGULATION? IN AMERICA?

I THOUGHT REGULATION WAS EXTINCT!

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Response to Demeter (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 10:45 PM

15. Don't be a

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:34 PM

56. Lately, Every Time I See a Bird, I Look for the Dinosaur Within

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:51 PM

9. ECB under pressure over Greek bond hit


The International Monetary Fund has turned up pressure on European officials to take on more of the burden of filling a widening gap in Greece’s budget by pressing the European Central Bank to take a hit on its €40bn in Greek bond holdings, eurozone officials said

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/0QSDPP/JEH3XS/87I64/16ATN0/C4F62F/4O/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=24

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:55 PM

10. Robert Zoellick - Blueprint for Germany to save eurozone



For almost 60 years, Germans have maintained that it is their responsibility to participate in a modern Europe. Today, Germany’s responsibility is to lead in saving that Europe. This shift is not easy for Germans, who have often been urged to step forward, only then to be criticised for aggressiveness. But no other country can lead Europe out of crisis and into revival

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/CTBPCC/62QXLF/Z87P0/FK9MUW/WT79R1/SN/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=24



CUE THE WAGNER!


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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:17 PM

11. Zbigniew Brzezinski:World Uprising the antidote to the New World Order

&feature=player_embedded#!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 10:04 PM

13. Obama bid to set tax agenda for election


Barack Obama laid down the battle lines for the presidential election on Tuesday night as he promised a “fairer” tax regime on the day Mitt Romney, the leading Republican contender, revealed that he paid federal income taxes at an effective rate of just 13.9 per cent in 2010.

The comparatively low rate reflects the fact that most of Mr Romney’s income is taxed as capital gains, an issue that Mr Obama tackled head-on in his State of the Union address.

The US president said tax reform and budget reduction should be guided by the principle that anyone with annual income of more than $1m should pay a minimum effective tax rate of 30 per cent.
Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/S4XZQQ/PF0BX4/6ADGM/4CM8NI/VLZ9BI/28/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=24

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:09 AM

17. UK Economy heads for recession with fall in Q4 GDP

(Reuters) - Britain's economy edged closer to recession in the last three months of 2011, after output contracted for the first time in a year, official data showed on Wednesday...

... The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product fell 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter after growing by 0.6 percent in the third quarter of 2011 - worse than economists' forecasts for a 0.1 percent contraction...

... On the year, fourth-quarter output was 0.8 percent higher, flattered by a sharp fall in output in the year-ago quarter due to heavy snow. The fourth-quarter contraction in output follows a 0.25 percent decline in German GDP, and if UK output falls in the first three months of 2012, Britain will enter its second recession in three years.

The figures increase the chance that the Bank of England will approve a further 50 billion pounds of quantitative easing in February, once the current 75 billion pounds of purchases started in October are complete.

/... http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/01/25/uk-britain-economy-idUKTRE80N0KE20120125

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #17)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:16 PM

54. Unemployment to soar as UK heads back into recession

Research by the Bank of England found that companies in Britain’s dominant services sector, which accounts for three quarters of the economy, are planning to reduce headcount.

“Having already pared back non-labour costs as much as possible during the recession, many business services contacts now felt that they would be forced to reduce staff numbers,” the report said.

Bankers, lawyers, accountants, retailers and hauliers are all expected to be caught up in the “shakeout”. Even manufacturers, which have been enjoying strong growth, have “reported that they were taking a pause from further recruitment, in light of heightened uncertainty about the outlook and a slowing in orders”.

The warning came after official figures confirmed that the economy has begun to contract again at a faster rate than expected, raising the prospect of a lurch back into recession.

/... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9038781/Unemployment-to-soar-as-UK-heads-back-into-recession.html

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:16 AM

18. ECB under pressure over Greek bond hit


Bonds with estimated yields in excess of 7% will provide a big return if Greece does not default and they are held to maturity

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/LVA6WW/30YWQZ/T10SH/WTOUAK/IILZTV/MQ/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=25

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:25 AM

19. Soak or swim: How to raise the highest rates without doing too much damage

http://www.economist.com/node/21543184

DOES raising taxes on those who are doing well economically stifle growth and slow down the recovery? That depends on how rich people behave when their taxes rise. Do they work less when they are allowed to keep a smaller chunk of their income? Do they move their money offshore? Do they take a larger share of their earnings in forms that are more lightly taxed? Economists have looked at the effects of many past changes in tax rates to try to answer such questions.

Martin Feldstein, a Harvard economist, found that the taxable income of the rich adjusted dollar-for-dollar with tax rates when America cut its highest tax rate from 50% to 28% in 1986, so that tax revenues stayed the same. This would suggest that raising top tax rates is likely to produce little extra revenue, while distorting economic behaviour further. But others have found that this adjustment in taxable income is driven largely by people altering when and how they take their income in order to minimise their tax burden. For instance, there was a big fall in taxable income after tax rates rose in 1993; but most of this seems to have come from a few rich people hurrying to cash in their stock options before taxes rose.

Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics, Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, and Stefanie Stantcheva of MIT argue in a new paper that this is why few studies have been able to show any significant long-term effect from raising top tax rates. But such avoidance, they say, is merely a symptom of a poorly designed tax system. It is silly to have a high tax rate while simultaneously giving people many ways to avoid paying it. So the first task of tax reformers must be to minimise such opportunities by having a broader tax base, better enforcement and similar tax rates for different kinds of income.

That is relatively uncontroversial. But their other finding is likely to raise a few eyebrows. They reckon that if the tax system were reformed to make evasion impossible, the top tax rate might be able to rise to as much as 83%—that is, to levels last seen in the 1960s—without hurting the economy. This is because people do not seem greatly to adjust how much they work when tax rates change. Higher top rates may also discourage big earners from spending too much of their time trying to bargain for a larger share of the overall pie.

Now all that remains is to remove the loopholes. On past experience, America’s rich need not lose sleep over that.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:27 AM

20. IEA Sees 2035 Crude at $247 Barrel, Almost Twice OPEC’s Forecast

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-24/iea-sees-2035-crude-at-247-barrel-almost-twice-opec-s-forecast.html

The International Energy Agency expects nominal crude prices to reach $247 a barrel by 2035, almost twice the $133 assumed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, even as expectations for demand converge.

The IEA, which represents 28 oil-consuming nations, bases its assumptions on increasing marginal costs as more supply is needed to balance higher demand, according to a report received by e-mail today. OPEC, supplier of 40 percent of the world’s oil, said in the joint statement it expects prices to be much lower, based on “the behavior of marginal costs, the impact of dollar exchange-rate movements on recent prices and potential future developments, and signals from futures prices.”

“Uncertainty affecting the global economy in the short term associated with price volatility witnessed over the past years has fogged structural development making energy forecasting more difficult than ever,” the IEA said.

Both agencies expect demand for crude at about 74 million barrels a day by 2035, according to the report, prepared by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum before a meeting of the IEA and OPEC this week in the Saudi capital. The IEF is a group of nations accounting for more than 90 percent of global oil and natural-gas supply and demand, established as a forum for producing and consuming countries to discuss international energy security....

OR MAYBE, DRIVEN BY IMPROVEMENTS IN ALTERNATE FUELS AND REDUCED DEMAND, CRUDE PRICES CRASH AND THEY CAN'T GIVE IT AWAY...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:31 AM

21. Big banks to avoid sovereign debt

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/01/24/uk-banks-sp-idUKTRE80N1MP20120124

Europe's biggest banks are unlikely to use the funding made available through the European Central Bank's (ECB) three-year lending facility to buy sovereign bonds because of concern about their volatility, a Standard & Poor's bank analyst said on Tuesday. European banks' widespread use of cheap three-year funding by the ECB has boosted speculation in some quarters that the extra liquidity provided could -- as French President Nicolas Sarkozy has suggested -- be used to buy government bonds. That would help ease a euro zone debt crisis which has seen borrowing costs soar for countries from Portugal to France.

But Scott Bugie, Standard and Poor's global head of banking industry country risk, told Reuters there is no sign of any broad movement of funds gained in the ECB programme into sovereigns. "The top-tier banks don't want to buy government bonds because they don't like the volatility in value," he said on the sidelines of an Economist conference, adding that smaller institutions with "nothing to lose" might be less discriminating. European banks' exposure to the sovereign debt crisis helped spark a sell-off in their shares and added to pressure on profits in 2011.

S&P earlier cut the long-term counterparty credit ratings of France's BPCE, Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) to "A" from "A+." Risk-averse larger banks have continued to park much of their spare liquidity with the ECB itself and are hanging on to much of the rest to pay off maturing term debt. "There's lots of it to pay off," said Bugie. He added that the ECB market liquidity programme could slow the pace of large banks' sales of government bonds already in their portfolio. Recent quarters have seen banks like BNP Paribas dump billions of euros of exposure to countries such as Italy. "This may slow down the sales or stop the sales but we don't anticipate an increase in purchases by the larger banks like BNP or ING," he said.

More broadly, Bugie said that while he welcomed the Long Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) programme, it should not be seen as a panacea to European banks' woes. "When you think about the business model, it's not solving the business model of financial institutions," he said.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 07:08 AM

22. How to Turn Up the Heat on Democrats Occupy Obama by JOHN STAUBER FROM OCTOBER

http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/10/21/occupy-obama/

President Barack Obama is no longer running unchallenged in all the major primary states, thanks to activists in Iowa who are focusing their Occupy Wall Street activism onto the headquarters of the Obama for President campaign office Saturday, October 22, in Des Moines. The “Occupy Obama” event is being organized in part by veteran rabble rouser Hugh Espey and his highly effective Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, a grassroots force that has been fighting for economic and social justice since the 1970s. CCI members are already participating in Occupy Wall Street actions in nine Iowa towns. Occupy Obama seems a logical next step to escalate the movement further into national view and create the potential for debate and organizing within the Iowa presidential caucuses in January.

Espey criticized Obama by name in a Des Moines Register guest editorial of October 6, 2011 announcing CCI’s support for Occupy Wall Street actions in Iowa. “Our political leaders are too busy asking big banks and Wall Street corporations for campaign contributions to push the ‘put people first’ policies that this nation needs,” he wrote. CCI will march on Obama’s campaign headquarters in Des Moines on Saturday. This Occupy Obama action could catch fire nationally, especially given the frustration widely voiced that not one prominent Democrat is willing to oppose Obama in the Democratic Party’s primary races. Occupy Obama could partly fill that void. “We’ll deliver a simple, powerful message to Obama staffers, and do a speak-out as well. We want regular folks telling the Obama staffers what they think. We want Obama to understand that the 99% demand action from him to put communities before corporations and people before profits,” says CCI.

Obama’s social and economic justice rhetoric, and his opposition to the war in Iraq, won him the 2008 Democratic nomination and the presidency. Millions of independents, young and ethnically diverse voters found him a compelling agent for the “Change” and “Hope” he extolled as a mantra. But the failure of Obama’s policies to adhere to his campaign rhetoric should not really be surprising. Candidate Obama in 2008 beat every other Democrat in collecting the most campaign contributions from the wealthiest funders of the Democratic Party, the 1% as opposed to the 99%, aka Wall Street. He has announced his goal for 2012 of raising one billion dollars which again will require the firm support of the very wealthiest Democratic Party interests.

President Obama has been a huge disappointment on issues across the board, yet he was running unchallenged in the primaries until CCI announced its Occupy Obama action. Don’t be surprised if this Des Moines event is the start of a successful nation-wide Occupy Obama movement. In Iowa an Occupy Obama movement has real potential because it could choose to become a player in the Iowa caucuses in a way that is much more than symbolic. Occupy Obama activists could show up at the caucus meetings in January, for instance, and organize support for an Uncommitted slate of Occupy Obama convention activists. These Uncommitted delegates could provide a critical voice on the floor of the Obama convention in the summer of 2012...

INTERESTING SPECULATIONS AND PREDICTIONS FOLLOW...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 07:26 AM

23. SORRY! i didn't mean to drop my morning all over in here -- i'll clean it up...

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Response to xchrom (Reply #23)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:00 AM

26. ;-)

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 07:28 AM

24. That’s Obama’s Jobs Plan?

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2012/01/state_of_the_union_president_obama_s_muddled_plan_to_boost_employment_by_hindering_trade_.html

The bold, transformative Barack Obama, painter of grand vistas, is gone, replaced in his State of the Union address by a Clinton-esque figure, reciting laundry lists of small-bore proposals. There were some very good ideas for attacking the crisis of mass unemployment. Extending the payroll tax cuts without another round of policy riders and protracted negotiations should be a no-brainer. Legislation to make it easier for millions of Americans to refinance their mortgages at today’s low interest rates is a great idea that should bolster consumer demand and make it easier for the entrepreneurially inclined to start businesses. His call to avert a massive spike in student loan debt interest payments is sound, and the promise to create a federal task force on foreclosure fraud seems very smart.

But framing the entire economic message of the speech was a strikingly retrograde, self-contradictory, and confused agenda of reviving American prosperity through mercantilism.

Think of it this way. One idea for putting Americans back to work would be to raise the gasoline tax and use the proceeds to buy manufactured goods that we then dump into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. This would, I promise you, work perfectly well. The previously unemployed folks with the new factory jobs would thank us for our trouble. But it would be a curiously prosperity-destroying way of bolstering the economy. When Obama brags that “over 1,000 Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tires,” he’s implementing a small-scale version of a similar idea. Blocking an influx of cheap Chinese tires does, indeed, preserve jobs for tire-makers. But tire-buyers pay higher prices and presumably curtail their purchases of some other goods or services in exchange. Meanwhile, Chinese tire-makers have lost jobs and are now less likely to buy American soybeans or DVDs of our movies.
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There’s no doubt that globalization has inflicted massive harms on individual American families and even whole communities. The reality that Chinese economic growth—in many ways the greatest success story of our time—has been painful for many should be a great teachable moment for a progressive president to make the case for a generous social safety net. The conservative article of faith that hard work and determination guarantee economic security is a now a cruel lie. People lose jobs because of shifts in global trade patterns, because of new technologies, and because of macroeconomic currents beyond their control. This is the nature of a dynamic capitalist economy, and to acknowledge it and the need for government countermeasures is in no way to repudiate the considerable virtues of the system.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #24)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:07 AM

27. Please excuse me while I go



The conservative article of faith that hard work and determination guarantee economic security is a now a cruel lie. People lose jobs because of shifts in global trade patterns, because of new technologies, and because of macroeconomic currents beyond their control. This is the nature of a dynamic capitalist economy, and to acknowledge it and the need for government countermeasures is in no way to repudiate the considerable virtues of the system.

Am I the only one to see how inherently contradictory this statement is?

The planet is finite. We're not going to be opening markets on Mars or Saturn in the next couple of generations, if ever. The time to "repudiate the considerable virtues of the system" is NOW, because all the problems this person has stated are part and parcel of "dynamic capitalism." Those "macroeconomic currents" that are beyond the workers' control ARE capitalism/corporatism/unrestrained greed.

Sheesh.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #27)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:36 AM

31. it jumped right out at me as well.

it's hard to find good Post Growth critiques of anything economic.

i know there are Post Growthies out there -- but they don't get space.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 07:40 AM

25. How Larry Summers' Memo Hobbled Obama's Stimulus Plan

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/01/25-2

The Obama administration's economic blueprint was fatally flawed: it led to a weak stimulus and premature deficit reduction
by Dean Baker

Those still wondering why the Obama administration surrendered so quickly on the drive for stimulus and joined the deficit reduction crusade, got the smoking gun in an article by the New Yorker's Washington correspondent Ryan Lizza. Lizza revealed a 57-page memo drafted by Larry Summers, the head of the National Economic Council, in the December of 2008, the month before President Obama was inaugurated.

The memo was striking for two reasons. First, it again showed the economic projections that the administration was looking at when it drafted its stimulus package. These projections proved to be hugely overly optimistic.

They showed that even without stimulus, job loss would peak at around 5 million in the 4th quarter of 2009. They projected that the economy would then begin to add jobs at a fairly rapid pace, regaining all the lost jobs by the end of 2011. In this non-stimulus baseline scenario, the unemployment rate never rose above 9.0%, which it would hit in the winter of 2010.

In reality, the economy had already lost almost 7 million jobs by May of 2009, the month when the first stimulus dollars were going out the door. The job loss didn't stop until February of 2010, at a point where the economy had lost 8.5m jobs. Even with the benefit of the stimulus, the economy is still down by more than 6m jobs from its pre-recession level.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:15 AM

28. Billionaires at Davos Bemoan Inequalities

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-24/billionaires-occupy-davos-as-0-01-bemoan-economic-inequalities.html

Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk wants to talk about income inequality. So does Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien and Indian billionaire Vikas Oberoi.

The three are among a contingent of at least 70 billionaires who are joining more than 2,500 business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, this week, according to a list of attendees and promotional materials obtained by Bloomberg News. A half-dozen of the richest participants, interviewed in advance of the conference, say economic disparity needs to be addressed.

“Many who will be in Davos are the people being blamed for economic inequalities,” Oberoi, 42, chairman of Oberoi Realty Ltd. (OBER), India’s second-biggest real estate developer by market value, said in an interview earlier this month by mobile phone from his car in Mumbai. “I hope it’s not just about glamour and people having a big party.”

Oberoi, who’s attending Davos for the first time, and like- minded billionaires may have trouble finding the subject of income inequality on the agenda. While the forum’s Global Risks 2012 report, published this month, describes “severe income disparity” as the world’s top risk over the next 10 years, tied with fiscal imbalances and ahead of greenhouse-gas emissions, the word “inequality” appears only once in the event’s 130- page program, and that’s in the title of a panel about art...

THE SMELL OF FEAR IN THE MORNING, TAINTED WITH A WHIFF OF HYPOCRISY...

THEY STILL DON'T GET IT, BUT THE HERD IS RESTLESS....

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:19 AM

30. Mic check! Occupy Wall Street offers a rebuttal to State of the Union

http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2012/01/24/mic-check-occupy-wall-street-offers-a-rebuttal-to-state-of-the-union/

Everybody’s got a response to the State of the Union these days — including Occupy Wall Street. Or at least a branch of Occupiers in D.C. do. They were supposed to deliver it live post-State of the Union in McPherson Square in Washington.

(By the way, in yet another sign that the Occupy movement is maturing — or at least is becoming more mainstream media friendly — we received this text from their publicist, marked “embargoed” until after the SOTU. Really.)

The following was designed to for Occupiers to take turns reading a couple lines at a time, then the crowd repeating them, “People’s Mic”-style.

Mic check! Mic check!
Fellow Americans, good evening!

We are men and women of the 99 percent
Many of us have spent many months at Occupy Wall Street

and at other Occupations across the country and around the world
We are here tonight to report on the State of the 99 percent in America

Of course most Americans know the state of the 99 percent very well
But sometimes the one percent, on Wall Street and in Washington, need a reminder

Financially, the state of the 99% is not strong
That is an understatement.

Never in our lifetimes have so many hard-working Americans
Faced so many difficulties, so many uncertainties, so many indignities

In Occupy camps around the country
We find Americans from all walks of life



Some of us have had it rougher than others
And it turns out living in camps is no picnic either

But we do not give up easily
And we take inspiration from the brave Americans who came before us

From Dr. King, who gave his life fighting for economic justice
From the Suffragettes, who insisted the voice of women be heard

From all of those brave or foolish enough to believe in America’s defining idea

theidea of democracy

That we are all created equal

And we all have an equal voice in shaping the laws we all live by

America
Let’s be honest.

When our courts tell us corporations have more right to speak than we the people do
That’s not democracy.

When pepper spray and midnight raids make a joke of the 1st Amendment right to assemble.
That’s not democracy.

When defrauding clients, blowing up our economy, forging thousands of documents and seizing people’s homes illegally is not a crime
but protesting all that is a crime

That’s not democracy.
Our America is not a democracy, not yet.

We all know why: Wall street owns Washington.
Bribery is legal, and the laws we live by are for sale to the highest bidder

That is why our government serves the very rich and powerful
at the expense of the rest of us

It protects the bonuses of bankers and Wall Street executives,
while failing to keep hard-working families in their homes;

It shields offshore tax havens for the very wealthy,
while letting our bridges, schools, and infrastructure fall apart;

There have been dark periods in our nation’s history, when corruption became the norm
when grave injustices stood in the way of America living up to its best ideals.

But time and time again, Americans stepped up to take back their government and correct our course.
Today Occupy Wall Street and the 99% movement step into this proud American tradition.

But fear not, one percent!
We are not here just to help the 99% at your expense.

We are here to help you too.
For when you’ve begun to think rigging the game is fair game

When you regard hard-working Americans as undeserving of a middle-class life
and unworthy of the profit their own work creates

When you treat the people who build your buildings and serve your food and raise your children and patrol your streets
without respect

You have not only lost touch with our humanity
You have lost touch with your own humanity

You need to find it again, for everyone’s sake
Real democracy will do you good

We are the 99%
We are here to create the democracy we have all been promised.

We are the 99%.
Our finances are weak, but our spirit is strong.

We are the 99%.
Our spring is coming.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #30)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:59 AM

35. ...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #30)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 02:39 PM

66. America. Let’s be honest.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:43 AM

32. Has Ex Goldman Sachs Staff turned Democrat Campaigner Infiltrated Occupy?

http://newsjunkiepost.com/2012/01/22/has-ex-goldmann-sachs-staff-turned-democrat-campaigner-infiltrated-occupy/





Ali Savino was the initiator of Occupy DC’s Research and Policy Development Committee (RPD). This committee is responsible for not only policy development within the Occupy community, but, through the Occupy 2.0 committee, a sub group of RPD, plays a key role in establishing the future direction of the movement. Ms. Savino works for NGP VAN in Washington, DC. Her Linkedin profile states that she works in ‘product design’ at the firm. NGP VAN’s product is political campaigns. Their web site boasts deep ties with the Democrat Party. Their Clients Page states:

NGP VAN is honored to power the fundraising, field, and new media activities for many of the leading Democratic and progressive organizations. Our software powers the Obama campaign’s voter contact, volunteer, fundraising and compliance operations in all 50 states. Clients include:


  • - The Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Governors Association, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, almost all the Democratic State Parties, and international parties like the Liberal Party of Canada

  • - Almost all the Democrats in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House, as well as thousands of other candidates for offices ranging from Governor to State Legislator to City Council

  • - Many labor unions including the AFL-CIO and their affiliates, the Service Employees International Union, and a number of other U.S. based and international unions

  • - America Votes and hundreds of participating progressive public interest organizations

  • - State Voices and hundreds of participating non-profit civic engagement groups

  • - Leadership and progressive PACs, and non-partisan corporations and trade associations (A branded version of Campaign Office is available to Corporate and Trade Association PACs from CQ-Roll Call Group)

  • - Many of the leading field, fundraising, new media, and other consulting companies


While Ms. Savino’s Facebook and Linkedin pages neglect to mention the extent of her Democrat Party campaign involvement, or her employment with Goldman Sachs, her Bio at American Progress is somewhat more comprehensive:

Ms. Savino had worked with several progressive campaigns and organizations in a number of capacities. Starting with the Dean campaign in 2003, she has been a part of an assorted array of campaigns in various positions. She has worked in numerous states such as Iowa, South Carolina, and New Jersey. Mostly recently she was responsible for developing an Internet strategy for the Democracy Alliance, and blogosphere analysis for Media Matters for America. Previous to Ms. Savino’s work in the political and advocacy world, she held software programming positions with companies such as Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Strategic Forecasting and Netegrity.


On January 22, 2012, Ms. Savino organized a meeting on behalf of Change.org. The meeting was held at the Change.org offices at 419 7th Street NW, in Washington, DC. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how to use the Occupy Movement. Considering Ms. Savino’s employment with the firm that runs the Obama campaign, as well as most other Democrat Party campaigns, it seems clear what she wants the Occupy Movement to be used for.

Those in attendance were not necessarily part of the organization of the meeting, or even in agreement with the agenda. That role seemed to rest solely with Ms. Savino, and perhaps political counterparts she has that have also involved themselves in the Occupy Movement in Washington and other cities.

There were several individuals, purportedly occupiers, in attendance that have involved themselves in the Occupy Movement in Chicago, Boston, Wall Street, Portland, and Oakland. They may be colleagues, or counterparts, of Ms. Savino. Two other individuals that have become deeply involved in the Occupy Movement in DC were also at this invitation only meeting...

Ricky Lehner was the first to arrive after Ms. Savino. He waited expectantly at the door until she admitted him. Ricky at one time had agreed to be an SEIU (Service Employees International Union) operative within the Occupy Movement. He participated in a secret action team, called a S.E.A.L. team, under the direction of a staffer in the SEIU political department. Mr. Lehner’s willingness to subvert Occupy DC on behalf of political organizations meant that his participation in this meeting was anticipated, and, seeing that he was first in line to enter was no surprise. Ms. Savino, like the SEIU political staffer, seemed to know who would be willing to cooperate.

Hillary Lazar has spent countless hours in the Occupy DC library. Despite having a long history with the Washington Anarchist community, with whom her relationship now seems strained, is also, strangely enough, a ghostwriter for Heads of State and other public figures. Go figure. Ms. Lazar is also a Cornell University Class of 2000 Alumni. The same graduating class as Alexandra ‘Ali’ Savino. It’s a small world.

This meeting to discuss how to use the Occupy Movement was never publicized. It was never posted at McPherson Square in DC, or any other Occupation. Notice of the meeting was never communicated through DC’s General Assembly, or any other Occupation GA. There was nothing on the OccupyDC.org website regarding the meeting, and nothing was found on any other Occupation website, including those of the purported Occupiers involved with Wall Street, Oakland, Portland, Chicago, or Boston.

It was a closed meeting. It was by invitation only. Apparently Occupiers were not welcome unless they were working for the establishment or had shown an interest in doing so. The only posting of the meeting went up once the meeting began. It was a sign put on the door of the Change.org office so that any stragglers could gain admittance. It simply stated “Change.org office,” and gave their telephone number.

Occupy DC, and likely many other Occupy locals, certainly those listed above that happened to notice some key members were absent over the weekend, specifically if they were on trips to the DC area, have some serious house cleaning to do… and not just in their tents. Infiltration is no longer a theoretical fear. It is a reality. Not only have they become infiltrated by individuals collecting information, but they have allowed these individuals to assume key roles in policy development and the future planning of the Occupy Movement.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #32)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:44 AM

34. People Got Some 'splainin' to do

I LOVE the Internet!

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Response to Demeter (Reply #32)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:02 AM

36. at least they know they've been infiltrated.

and the minute the movement lasted beyond 5 days was pretty much to be expected.

i guess the interesting thing is going to be to watch how they mitigate the effects of the infiltration.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #32)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:33 AM

41. Someone just lost their street cred....

This is why I like the amorphic nature of OWS. Leaders can be bought, sell out or be assinated. Me thinks she might be jettisoned with the other waste product.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #32)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:42 PM

58. Lead, not follow.

I think the best take-away from OWS is that we (the 99%), like an abused person, admit that we are abused and take action to protect ourselves. That doesn't mean we have to follow anything or anybody. It's about empowering ourselves and - goddamn it - not taking it anymore!
Any organized movement will suffer from leadership limitations.
This is about continuely telling the story, staying as educated as one can about the truth of inequity, and pushing back on the elite however and whenever possible. The elite are no longer the coveted "pets" of our society - to be ogled, envied, and worshipped as surrogates to our own ambitions. True, not all elites are evil. But those that are - and there are plenty - need to be constantly exposed and abhored by as many 99%'ers as can be.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:44 AM

33. Oil moving down again today. But gas has been steadily rising

Up about $0.25/gal in the last couple of weeks.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:05 AM

38. Sevenly hopes to change the world one T-shirt at time

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-charity-firm-20120125,0,6517893.story


Sevenly co-founders Dale Partridge, 26, left, and Aaron Chavez, 19, the Fullerton company's headquarters. The pictures in the bottles signify each cause the company supports: anti-slavery, hunger relief, clean water, medical help, disaster relief, anti-poverty and miscellaneous aid. (Gary Friedman, Los Angeles Times / January 5, 2012)

At Sevenly, a business started by young entrepreneurs in Orange County, a key to the operation is the number seven.

Each line of T-shirts and hoodies designed by the company goes on sale for exactly seven days. No more, no less.

The Fullerton company donates to seven causes: anti-slavery, hunger relief, clean water, medical help, disaster relief, anti-poverty and miscellaneous aid.

And for every item sold, Sevenly donates — you guessed it — $7.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:07 AM

39. Obama's attack on Chinese trade practices mostly ignored in China

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-china-sotu-20120125,0,402484.story

Reporting from Beijing—

President Obama fired a shot across China's bow during his State of the Union address Tuesday, pledging to lure offshore jobs back to the U.S. and target unfair Chinese trade practices with a special enforcement unit.

The response in China, however, was muted at best -- perhaps drowned out by the barrage of fireworks across the country as it continues to celebrate the weeklong Spring Festival national holiday.

"What's worth noting is that Obama mentioned China five times in his State of Union speech," wrote the Beijing-based Legal Evening News, one of the few Chinese newspapers to acknowledge the mention of China in the president's address. "Every time it was about the economy. He repeatedly attributed the struggle of the U.S. economy to China's rapid growth."

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was closed and did not respond to a request for comment. But judging by past reactions, Beijing will likely dismiss the moves as posturing for political advantage.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #39)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:37 PM

57. Then It's Unanimous

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Response to Demeter (Reply #57)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:07 PM

59. ...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:40 AM

42. Scott Walker’s Plutonomy: An Economy for the One Percent

http://www.prwatch.org/news/2012/01/11254/scott-walker%E2%80%99s-plutonomy-economy-one-percent

While volunteer after volunteer from each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties marched into the state’s election board to deposit over one million signatures for the recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Walker was nowhere to be found.

At the hour petitions were being deposited on January 17, Mother Jones revealed that Walker was scheduled to attend a high-dollar fundraiser in the heart of the New York’s financial district at 339 Park Avenue -- the towering headquarters for global financial giant CitiGroup. The $5,000 per couple fundraiser was hosted by none other than Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, former CEO of AIG.

Walker’s choice to be on Wall Street the day of the recall filing is so astounding, for many it goes far beyond the notion of a tin ear. "Walker could not have sent a clearer signal to Wall Street, that he is on the side of the 1 percent ready to do their bidding and take the heat," said Scot Ross of the Wisconsin group, One Wisconsin Now. Ross points to the data his group compiled to support his claim that Walker is constructing an economy that only the 1 percent could love.

CitiGroup and AIG


Citi is the original too-big-to-fail bank. Citi’s merger with Travelers Group in 1998 blew apart the Glass-Steagall protections that had kept the U.S. financial system safe from major financial crises for 60 years.

Citi was a primary driver of the subprime mess. A top Citi official testified before Congress that the firm was betting that the housing market would go sour as early as 2006, yet it remained the nation’s top lender of subprime mortgages and continued to underwrite billions in subprime mortgage-backed securities. It hedged risk by taking out insurance in the form of credit default swaps with firms like AIG.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:46 AM

43. Merkel's Fiscal Pact a 'Waste of Time and Energy'

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,811155,00.html

Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn is sharply critical of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's push for an EU fiscal pact. In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, he says it won't hold up. Furthermore, big countries like Germany and France threaten the currency union with their egotism, he says.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Increasing numbers of people are losing their trust in the European Union and euroskeptic parties are gaining in popularity. Meanwhile politicians are caught up with petty bickering over rules. What is going wrong in Europe?

Asselborn: A few things are going wrong. But the European Union as a historic peace project is not in question. The motivation for its founding was to prevent the Europeans from waging war against each other. But the political dimension -- that is the entire economic, social, environmental or foreign policies -- these are currently not convincing the people.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Why not?

Asselborn: The things that are discussed and agreed upon in the EU are communicated to the people incorrectly or at least ambiguously through their government filters. Many governments present themselves to the voters as defenders of their national interests against the others. This way citizens often have the feeling that the EU and other EU members want to harm them or take something from them. The financial crisis has once again fatally brought this misunderstanding to a head.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Martin Schulz, the freshly inaugurated president of the European Parliament, says that faith in the European project is threatened.

Asselborn: If things continue this way, certainly. Who can be expected to view Europe as good thing when, outside of a few nice words, most politicians make no argument for the collective cause? On the contrary, they use the EU as a comfortable scapegoat when things are going wrong back home. But the European Union will have no stability if the European people identify themselves only by their national interests. Without Europeans there is no Europe in the long run.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:50 AM

44. Commerzbank Seeks To Avoid Nationalization

http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,809332,00.html

German bank Commerzbank is exploring possible tricks it can use to avoid having to turn to the state for aid. Time is running out for the bank, too, with Jan. 20 set as the deadline for European banks to submit plans to the European Banking Authority for how they will improve their cash on hand in order to meet stringent new capital requirements aimed at ensuring the banks can survive if euro-zone countries go bankrupt. Among the measures being considered by Commerzbank are remunerating staff in part through company stock and reducing its lending to other businesses.

In order to prevent a government handout from Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and further nationalization, Commerzbank, which is Germany's second largest private bank, needs to increase its capital level by €5.3 billion ($6.7 billion).

During the Lehman crisis, the bank had to be saved using taxpayer money, with the German state acquiring 25 percent of the bank. To avoid a repeat, Chief Executive Martin Blessing's bankers are calculating models that would enable the bank to prevent nationalization.

A tidy sum could be generated if, for example, employees would accept a variable part of their salary in the form of Commerzbank stock -- a proposal that is being discussed seriously by the board. In 2010, the company paid out €437 million in salaries, but that figure could be significantly lower this year.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:54 AM

45. Angela Merkel casts doubt on saving Greece from financial meltdown

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/25/angela-merkel-greece-financial-meltdown

Angela Merkel has cast doubt for the first time on Europe's chances of saving Greece from financial meltdown and sovereign default, conceding that Europe's first ever multibillion bailout coupled with savage austerity was not working after two years of crisis that has brought the single currency to the brink of unravelling.

In an interview with the Guardian and five other leading European newspapers, the German chancellor also insisted – against widespread resistance elsewhere in the eurozone and in the UK – that the European court of justice (ECJ) be empowered to police the public spending and budget policies of the 17 countries in the euro.

She also called for the eventual creation of a European political union, with many more national powers ceded to a central government, a strengthened bicameral European parliament, and the ECJ assuming the role of Europe's supreme court.

Days before the latest crucial EU summit, which – at Merkel's insistence and evoking scant enthusiasm elsewhere – is to finalise an international treaty between eurozone governments entrenching German-style fiscal and budgetary rigour in all single currency countries, the chancellor admitted to having doubts about the strategy she has pursued throughout the crisis.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:16 AM

46. Poles prosper after opening up German labour market

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/25/europa-poles-german-labour-market-border


A public transport bus sets off during celebrations at the German-Polish border at Ahlbeck-Swinemuende, northeast of Berlin, December 21, 2007 as the EU is opened up. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/Reuters

For the inhabitants of the Polish city of Zgorzelec and its German neighbour, Goerlitz, the opening of the border and the liberalisation of the labour market have made life much easier.

Zgorzelec and Goerlitz were one city before the second world war, but afterwards the Nysa river, which divides them, became an official border.

In 2004, work that had begun in the 90s on a bridge joining them was completed. That year Poland became a member of the European Union.

Today Polish children go to German schools, there are buses between the two cities and German theatres provide Polish subtitles during plays.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:40 AM

47. J.C. Penney gets rid of hundreds of sales

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_PENNEY_PRICE_OVERHAUL?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-01-25-10-30-34

NEW YORK (AP) -- J.C. Penney is permanently marking down all of its merchandise by at least 40 percent so shoppers will no longer have to wait for a sale to get the lowest prices in its stores.

Penney said Wednesday that it is getting rid of the hundreds of sales it offers each year in favor of a simpler approach to pricing. On Feb. 1, the retailer is rolling out a three-tiered strategy that offers "Every Day" low pricing daily, "Monthly Value" discounts on select merchandise each month and clearance deals called "Best Price" during the first and the third Friday of each month when many shoppers get paid.

The plan is similar to Wal-Mart Store Inc.'s iconic everyday low pricing strategy except that Penney's goal isn't to undercut competitors. Instead, Penney aims to take the guesswork out of shopping in its stores by offering customers fewer sales and more predictable pricing.

Penney's plan comes at a time when stores are struggling to wean shoppers off the profit-busting bargains that they have come to expect in the weak economy. The move is risky because shoppers who love to bargain-hunt may be turned off by the absence of sales.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:46 AM

48. Ailing Portugal's bond yields hit record highs

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_PORTUGAL_FINANCIAL_CRISIS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-01-25-10-23-27

LISBON, Portugal (AP) -- The yield on Portuguese bonds in the secondary market climbed to euro-era records Wednesday amid market fears that the bailed-out country won't be able to break free of its financial crisis in the near future.

The yield on 3-year bonds reached 19.4 percent Wednesday. The rate on 5-year bonds was 18.7 percent and on 10-year bonds was 14.6 percent.

Portugal needed a euro78 billion ($101 billion) rescue package last year as its high debt load and feeble growth pushed it towards bankruptcy. A three-year program of austerity measures and economic reforms is aimed at restoring investor confidence in the eurozone country, but a deepening recession, with a 3.1 percent contraction forecast for this year, is undermining market faith in Portugal.

Standard & Poor's recently joined the two other major ratings agencies Fitch and Moody's in downgrading Portuguese debt to junk status.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:48 AM

49. Ireland in first test of bond markets since 2010

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_IRELAND_FINANCIAL_CRISIS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-01-25-10-43-34

DUBLIN (AP) -- Ireland tapped the bond markets Wednesday for the first time in 16 months in a significant test of investor sentiment toward the bailed-out nation.

The National Treasury Management Agency asked holders of euro11.8 billion ($15.2 billion) of bonds due for repayment in January 2014 - the month after Ireland's EU-IMF loans are supposed to run out - to swap them for new government bonds maturing in February 2015.

Analysts welcomed the move as likely to be the first of many to kick 2014 bond repayments farther down the fiscal road. They forecast that between euro1 billion and euro2 billion in 2014 securities would be swapped in Wednesday's offer.

Cathal O'Leary, an analyst at NCB Stockbrokers in Dublin, called the surprise exercise "a very smart move by the NTMA (because) it lessens the 2014 funding cliff."

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:03 AM

50. Japan's first trade deficit since 1980 raises debt doubts

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/25/us-japan-economy-idUSTRE80O01120120125

(Reuters) - Japan's first annual trade deficit in more than 30 years calls into question how much longer the country can rely on exports to help finance a huge public debt without having to turn to fickle foreign investors.

The aftermath of the March earthquake raised fuel import costs while slowing global growth and the yen's strength hit exports, data released on Wednesday showed, swinging the 2011 trade balance into deficit.

Few analysts expect Japan to immediately run a deficit in the current account, which includes trade and returns on the country's huge portfolio of investments abroad. A steady inflow of profits and capital gains from overseas still outweighs the trade deficit.

But the trade figures underscore a broader trend of Japan's declining global competitive edge and a rapidly ageing population, compounding the immediate problem of increased reliance on fuel imports due to the loss of nuclear power.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:26 AM

51. Exclusive: Senate investigating HSBC for money laundering

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/25/us-hsbc-probe-idUSTRE80O1FH20120125

(Reuters) - HSBC Holdings PLC is under investigation by a Senate panel in a money-laundering inquiry, the latest step in a long-running U.S. effort to halt shadowy money flows through global banks, according to people familiar with the situation and a company securities filing.

The inquiry being conducted by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations could yield a report and congressional hearing later this spring, these people said. The subcommittee has a history of conducting high-profile hearings that have proved embarrassing for the world's biggest banks.

The intensifying scrutiny of HSBC is the latest in a series of investigations by U.S. officials into how global banks have processed -- and in some cases, intentionally hidden -- financial transactions on behalf of countries which allegedly support terrorism, corrupt foreign officials, drug gangs and criminals. Since 2008, European and U.S. banks have signed deferred prosecution agreements and paid more than $1.2 billion in penalties for alleged violations of anti-money laundering regulations.

The specific focus of the Senate probe of HSBC isn't known. A Reuters review of legal documents and prior regulatory probes, though, points to a number of alleged breakdowns in HSBC's anti-money laundering systems.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #51)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:44 PM

72. Why Not Treasury or the FBI?

In a word---Corruption

The Executive is AWOL.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:48 AM

52. Inflation tests stability in Vietnam

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/NA26Ae01.html

HANOI - Buffeted by persistent double-digit inflation, slowing economic growth and rising worker unrest, Vietnam's economic reforms are at risk of coming undone. While Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung emphasized this month the need to maintain ''quick and sustainable'' growth, questions are rising whether Vietnam can have both amid global economic and financial turbulence.

Consumer prices were up over 17% year-on-year in January, marking one of the highest inflation rates in emerging Asia. At the same time, once rapid economic growth is tapering off, falling to 5.9% last year from 6.8% in 2010. While other regional countries have lowered interest rates to spur growth and cushion their economies from an extended slowdown in the US and Europe, high inflation means Vietnam's policymakers have less space to



loosen monetary policy. Vietnam's benchmark interest rate is now 15%.

Pham Chi Lan, a Vietnam economy expert, noted in a recent academic article that the government invested 253 trillion dong (US$12.3 billion) in just 22 public enterprises last year in a bid to pump prime the economy. That was three times more than the 81 trillion dong cut in state spending announced but never implemented by the National Assembly, according to Lan.

Meanwhile, the central bank estimates overall credit grew by 7% last year; independent analysts believe that figure was considerably higher. While the government ramped up spending, the currency, the dong, fell against the US dollar, dipping by more than 7% at a time many other regional currencies appreciated against the greenback. Central bank governor Nguyen Van Binh has warned that the dong could weaken further in 2012.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:02 PM

53. Spain’s Home Prices to Fall With Bank Cleanup

A cleanup of real estate on the books of Spanish banks will contribute to a decline in property prices that will make homes available to more people, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said.

Spanish banks are “filling up” with real-estate assets such as apartments that aren’t going to market because they’re not being priced properly, de Guindos said in an interview with state broadcaster TVE today. When they are priced at their real value “we’ll find that the price of housing in Spain will fall more, there’ll be an adjustment and it will be available for a lot more people,” he said...

... House prices, which more than doubled in the decade through 2007, turned negative in the first quarter of 2008 and have since fallen by about 17 percent, according to the Ministry of Development and Public Works. Prices fell 8.2 percent in 2011, accelerating their slide, and sellers should brace for further declines this year, the property website Idealista.com said last month.

/... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-25/spain-s-de-guindos-says-home-prices-to-fall-with-bank-cleanup.html

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s proposal to force banks to recognize further losses from real estate holdings may backfire by saddling healthy lenders with the bill...

... Rajoy wants to make banks accurately value assets piled up on their books as part of his efforts to lower Spain’s borrowing costs and free up the flow of credit in the economy. Investors demand about 763 basis points more yield to hold Bankia SA (BKIA)’s senior unsecured bonds maturing in 2017 than similar German bunds, up from about 46 basis points when the securities were sold in 2007...

... Rajoy wants to avoid committing public funds as he battles to bring down a deficit that was 8 percent of gross domestic product in 2011, exceeding the 6 percent target from the outgoing Socialist government. He announced 15 billion euros of immediate spending cuts and tax increases last month to narrow the gap...

... Rajoy’s reluctance to deploy public money compares with the strategy of the U.K., where taxpayers provided 1 trillion pounds ($1.56 trillion) for bailouts and guarantees to shore up the financial system. As part of the U.S. response to bolster its banking industry, the Congress authorized the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008, of which $411 billion was dispersed.

/... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-25/spanish-cleanup-plan-may-backfire-on-banks.html

I cannot fault this move from the new 'rightwing' government, now that the banks and savings banks should have been shored-up enough to face reality and mark these assets to market. I reckon overall residential (and holiday-home) property prices have another 15% or 20% at least to fall before we're through, depending on the duration of the depression. This move could stimulate some employment in the sector, too, where a great many skilled and experienced workers have already been layed-off two years or more now.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #53)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:31 PM

62. Recession will see Spain miss deficit goals, says IMF

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/english/Recession/will/see/Spain/miss/deficit/goals/says/IMF/elpepueng/20120124elpeng_8/Ten

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday predicted Spain would fall way short of its deficit reduction targets, just hours after the government reiterated its determination to meet the goals despite an impending recession.

In the latest update of its World Economic Outlook report, the IMF concurred with the government's estimate for the shortfall in its finances for last year of eight percent of GDP, two percentage points above target. But for this year, it predicted a deficit of 6.8 percent, well above the government's goal of 4.4 percent. For 2013 it sees a slight fall to 6.3 percent, well off the three percent pledged by Spain to Brussels.

Speaking earlier to reporters, after a meeting of European Union finance ministers in Brussels but prior to the release of the IMF report, Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said: "The government's current deficit objective is 4.4 percent of GDP and there has been no change in that respect."

Finance Minister Cristóbal Montoro last weekend suggested the European Commission could allow Spain to delay meeting the target by a year. Asked if Spain would request an extension of the deficit-reduction deadlines, De Guindos replied: "That is absolutely not on the agenda at this time."

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:15 PM

60. Merkel pours cold water on euro firewall boost

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/25/us-davos-merkel-idUSTRE80O1TW20120125

(Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel questioned on Wednesday whether an increase in the euro zone's rescue funds would reassure markets and said Europe has already lost a lot of confidence by failing to deliver on its promises.

"Now they say... 'it should be twice as big'," she said in a speech in Davos, referring to calls on her to back increases in euro zone rescue funds.

"'If it were twice as big, we'd believe you'. Some say 'it should even be three times as big, then we'd really believe you.' And I always ask myself how long is that credible and when is that no longer credible.

"What we don't want (in Germany) is a situation in which we promise something we can't back up in the end because if Germany... promises something that can't be kept if markets attack it hard, then Europe is really vulnerable."

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Response to xchrom (Reply #60)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:39 PM

71. What do you Know! Angela Has Learned about Danegeld!

Good job, Ange.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:23 PM

61. Soros: Austerity fomenting Europe tensions

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/soros-austerity-fomenting-europe-tensions-2012-01-25

DAVOS, Switzerland (MarketWatch) — Billionaire investor George Soros warned on Wednesday that the austerity Germany wants to impose on other euro-zone nations “will push Europe into a deflationary debt spiral.”

Germans “have been traumatized by inflation and they don’t understand the threat that deflation can cause,” Soros told reporters at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. “There’s a shift in German thinking recognizing this isn’t working, but we’re quite far yet from abandoning this emphasis on inflation as the only threat to stability.”

he euro zone’s sovereign-debt crisis is a major topic this year, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel due to give the opening address this evening and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi set to speak later in the week.

Investors are closely watching talks between debt-laden Greece and private-sector creditors in which the two sides are trying to agree on a writedown of Greek debt that will be voluntary.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:40 PM

63. Merkel Makes Appeal for Time to Solve Crisis

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-25/merkel-makes-davos-appeal-to-investors-for-time-to-solve-europe-s-crisis.html

German Chancellor Angela Merkel appealed to business leaders at the World Economic Forum to give policy makers the space they need to tackle the debt crisis, pledging that Europe will pull together and restore confidence.

“I would like to ask all of you who are here as the representatives of the business community” to recognize how democratic governments work and to “please take the long-drawn- out processes with a degree of acceptance,” Merkel said in a question-and-answer session after opening the forum today in Davos, Switzerland.

Merkel’s comments underscore her shift in approach to taming the debt crisis now in its third year, having ditched rhetoric about conducting a “battle” between markets and politicians. At the same time, Merkel rejected adding any new money to fight the crisis and reiterated the need to curb debt and deficits while boosting competitiveness as the main thrust of her strategy to keep the 17-nation euro area together.

“Europe will become more attractive once we have conquered this crisis, and I’m absolutely convinced that we will be able to master this crisis,” she said. European leaders will discuss measures to raise competitiveness and create growth and jobs at their Jan. 30 summit and again in March, she said.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:54 PM

64. Elizabeth Taylor’s Hals Sells for $2.1 Million at Christie’s in New York

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-25/elizabeth-taylor-s-hals-stars-in-194-million-old-master-sales.html



A Frans Hals formerly owned by Elizabeth Taylor fetched $2.1 million at Christie’s Old Masters sale in New York.

“Portrait of a Gentleman, Half-Length, in a Black Coat” was expected to sell for $700,000 to $1 million.

Painted in the early 1630s, the work was likely a gift from the actress’s father, art dealer Francis Taylor. It hung over a fireplace in her Bel Air home. Previously thought to be by a Hals follower, it was attributed to the Dutch master in 2011, Christie’s said.

Christie’s and Sotheby’s Old Master auctions in New York are estimated to total as much as $194 million. Sotheby’s sale is tomorrow.

“The Old Masters are dirt cheap compared to modern pictures,” said New York-based art dealer Richard Feigen. “There are very few great paintings coming up anymore; people won’t sell them.”

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:59 PM

65. Newsnight on 'responsible capitalism', Prof Eric Hobsbawm {must see}

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Response to xchrom (Reply #65)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 05:24 PM

69. Absolutely terrific. Ditto on the "must see."

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Response to xchrom (Reply #65)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 07:56 PM

73. +++

Hobsbawn: What happens if there are no more jobs?
Most likely a very stormy period for the next 20-30 years.




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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 03:59 PM

68. Bernanke: More easing possible if economy weakens

(Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signaled on Wednesday the U.S. central bank may consider further monetary easing, after the central bank announced interest rates would remain near zero until late 2014.

Bernanke also suggested the Fed might be willing to tolerate inflation above its newly unveiled official target of 2 percent if it means putting a dent in high unemployment.

Speaking at a press conference, Bernanke was cautious about recent improvement in the U.S. economy.

"I don't think we're ready to declare that we've entered a new, stronger phase at this point," Bernanke told reporters.

/... http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/01/25/uk-usa-fed-idUKTRE80O1DR20120125

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #68)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:08 PM

70. Tip toeing around the issue of 'wage inflation'.

What TPTB call when American workers see better wages.

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