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Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:20 PM

STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Monday, 17 March 2014

STOCK MARKET WATCH, Monday, 17 March 2014


SMW for 14 March 2014

AT THE CLOSING BELL ON 14 March 2014

Dow Jones 16,065.67 -43.22 (-0.27%)
S&P 500 1,841.13 -5.21 (-0.28%
Nasdaq 4,245.40 0.00 (0.00%)


10 Year 2.65% +0.03 (1.15%)
30 Year 3.60% +0.03 (0.84%)









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.
02/14/13 Gilbert Lopez, former chief accounting officer of Stanford Financial Group, and former controller Mark Kuhrt sentenced to 20 yrs in prison for their roles in Allen Sanford's $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme.
03/29/13 Michael Sternberg, portfolio mgr at SAC Capital, arrested in NYC, charged with conspiracy and securities fraud. Pled not guilty and freed on $3m bail.
04/04/13 Matthew Marshall Taylor,fmr Goldman Sachs trader arrested, charged by CFTC w/defrauding his employer on $8BN futures bet "by intentionally concealing the true huge size, as well as the risk and potential profits or losses associated."
04/04/13 Matthew Taylor admits guilt, makes plea bargain. Sentencing set for 26 June; faces up to 20 years in prison but will likely only see 3-4 years. Says, "I am truly sorry."
04/11/13 Ex-KPMG LLP partner Scott London charged by federal prosecutors w/passing inside tips to a friend in exchange for cash, jewelry, and concert tickets; expected to plead guilty in May.
08/01/13 Fabrice Tourré convicted on six counts of security fraud, including "aiding and abetting" his former employer, Goldman Sachs
08/14/13 Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout charged with wire fraud, falsifying records, and conspiracy in connection with JP Morgan's "London Whale" trade.
08/19/13 Phillip A. Falcone, manager of hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners, agrees to admit to "wrongdoing" in market manipulation. Will banned from securities industry for 5 years and pay $18MM in disgorgement and fines.
09/16/13 Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout officially indicted on charges associated with "London Whale" trade.
02/06/14 Matthew Martoma convicted of insider trading while at hedge fund SAC (Stephen A. Cohen) Capital Advisors. Expected sentence 7-10 years.














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, 17 March 2014 (Original post)
Tansy_Gold Mar 2014 OP
Demeter Mar 2014 #1
jtuck004 Mar 2014 #9
Demeter Mar 2014 #28
Demeter Mar 2014 #2
tclambert Mar 2014 #32
Demeter Mar 2014 #3
jtuck004 Mar 2014 #10
Demeter Mar 2014 #4
Demeter Mar 2014 #5
Ghost Dog Mar 2014 #12
Demeter Mar 2014 #27
proverbialwisdom Mar 2014 #33
DemReadingDU Mar 2014 #34
Demeter Mar 2014 #6
Demeter Mar 2014 #7
Demeter Mar 2014 #8
Ghost Dog Mar 2014 #11
xchrom Mar 2014 #13
xchrom Mar 2014 #14
xchrom Mar 2014 #15
Demeter Mar 2014 #29
xchrom Mar 2014 #30
xchrom Mar 2014 #16
xchrom Mar 2014 #17
xchrom Mar 2014 #18
Demeter Mar 2014 #26
xchrom Mar 2014 #19
xchrom Mar 2014 #20
xchrom Mar 2014 #21
xchrom Mar 2014 #22
xchrom Mar 2014 #23
xchrom Mar 2014 #24
xchrom Mar 2014 #25
Demeter Mar 2014 #31

Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:46 PM

1. It's not lost. It crashed and burned

On Aug. 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired 11,345 air traffic controllers after a two-day strike....

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865560028/This-week-in-history-Ronald-Reagan-fires-11345-air-traffic-controllers.html?pg=all

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Response to Demeter (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 04:29 AM

9. Shot out of the sky. n/t

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #9)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 09:09 AM

28. You got it in one.

I forgot to mention the intentionality of it: the Class War aspect.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:53 PM

2. Buddhist economics: oxymoron or idea whose time has come?

http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2014/03/13/buddhist-economics-oxymoron-or-idea-whose-time-has-come/

UC Berkeley economist Clair Brown acknowledges that “Buddhist economics” may seem like an oxymoron. Nevertheless, she’s teaching a sophomore seminar on the topic this semester — the campus’s second such offering over the past year. Brown said she created the one-unit Buddhist Economics course after students in her Introductory Economics (Econ 1) class expressed frustration with the relentless Madison Avenue message that more is better, economic growth paves the path to a better life and “retail therapy” is a quick trip to nirvana.

Nicholas Austin, an economics major from Laguna Beach, Calif., and a student this spring in Brown’s Buddhist Economics class, said he was hungry for some fresh ideas about economics after seeing so many students in the field pursue finance careers and “moving money rather than creating a product that will help the world.”

What would Buddha do?

Brown said she mulled over her students’ unease in light of her experiences as an economics professor for more than 30 years and her research on poverty, the U.S. standard of living over time and today’s high-tech workers. Also taking into consideration her experience as a practicing Buddhist for the past six years, she asked herself, “How would Buddha teach Econ 1?” The idea of Buddhist economics appears nowhere in standard economic textbooks, and Brown could find no such course offering in other top economics departments in the United States. So she relied on recent innovative and broader approaches in economics, including models based on human development and freedom and the exploration of the psychological underpinnings of economic choices. She also looked at ecological models based on sustainability to develop her new course, which is being offered separately from Econ 1. Brown also looked to Columbia University’s Earth Institute, a leader in sustainable development programs headed by economics professor Jeffrey Sachs. In a recent talk at Yale University — titled “Economics and happiness: Can the two reconnect?” — Sachs promoted a process for measuring economic success according to broad-based happiness, rather than the Gross Domestic Product.

‘Economics as if people mattered’

With that in mind, Brown assembled a more holistic undergraduate economics seminar that compares the basic neoclassical economics model to Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen’s view of an ideal economy as one that promotes individual freedoms and capabilities. The term Buddhist economics first appeared in E.F. Schumacher’s 1966 essay, “Buddhist Economics,” which is required reading in Brown’s class and is a chapter in Schumacher’s 1973 book Small is Beautiful: Economics as If People Mattered. His writings are required reading in other UC Berkeley courses dealing with technology and poverty, and political economy. The British economist said that applying Buddhist principles to the way an economy operates would produce an economy designed primarily to meet the needs of people. In accord with the Buddhist concept of “right livelihood,” Schumacher called for jobs that are valued for their psychological and spiritual values, as well as for what they produce. He wrote that Buddhist economics also would bring sustainability into economics, while helping the neediest and encouraging citizens to be happy with enough, instead of more....Her students are also learning about the Bhutan Gross National Happiness index that measures human wellbeing, and the United Nations’ World Happiness Report, which was influenced by Sen. And they’re being introduced to ecological economics by UC Berkeley agricultural economics professor – and Buddhist – Richard Norgaard....Brown assured her students that Buddhist economics wouldn’t require a vow of poverty. “Buddha tried to live in poverty for seven years,” but “it didn’t work,” she said.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 07:34 PM

32. "Economics as if people mattered"

Surely they meant only rich people. I mean, they can't possibly think little people matter, can they? Little people exist just to amuse the privileged class . . . and pay taxes. All the business schools teach that making profit is the only thing that matters. (Pretend you never heard of non-profit businesses like credit unions and certain insurance companies and co-ops, and the existence of the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. )

I keep telling people lately that the human race did not invent businesses in order to make profit. That came later, as a sort of side effect. And it is not a necessary side effect.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:55 PM

3. How Finance Gutted Manufacturing

http://www.bostonreview.net/forum/suzanne-berger-how-finance-gutted-manufacturing

In May 2013 shareholders voted to break up the Timken Company—a $5 billion Ohio manufacturer of tapered bearings, power transmissions, gears, and specialty steel—into two separate businesses. Their goal was to raise stock prices. The company, which makes complex and difficult products that cannot be easily outsourced, employs 20,000 people in the United States, China, and Romania. Ward “Tim” Timken, Jr., the Timken chairman whose family founded the business more than a hundred years ago, and James Griffith, Timken’s CEO, opposed the move.

The shareholders who supported the breakup hardly looked like the “barbarians at the gate” who forced the 1988 leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco. This time the attack came from the California State Teachers Retirement System pension fund, the second-largest public pension fund in the United States, together with Relational Investors LLC, an asset management firm. And Tim Timken was not, like the RJR Nabisco CEO, eagerly pursuing the breakup to raise his own take. But beneath these differences are the same financial pressures that have shaped corporate structure for thirty years.

Urging Timken shareholders to vote for the split, Relational Investors argued that they should want “pure-play” companies, focused on a single industrial activity. Investors would then be free to balance their portfolios by selecting businesses in industrial sectors with varying degrees of risk and sensitivity to different phases of economic cycles. A firm such as Timken—about one-third a steel company (a materials play) and about two-thirds a bearings and power transmission business (an industrial components play)—would lock investors into a mix that, Relational Investors claimed, leads to a discount on share price.

Timken management argued that making both materials and products enabled them to bring to market higher-quality goods that met customers’ needs: for example, their ultra-large bearings for windmill towers, which measure two meters in diameter, weigh four tons, and have to stand up to extreme wind and temperature conditions. Controlling the entire value chain, they said, allowed them to fine-tune the attributes of the steel in order to make superior products. Nonetheless, the financial calculation about how to maximize quarterly returns won out....


Since the 1980s, financial market pressures have driven companies to hive off activities that sustained manufacturing.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 05:08 AM

10. Interesting roadmap on how to kill off a country. Bascially, take the companies that

are doing the most to to create other companies, invest in their community, invest in training and research, split it up so that neither of the entities that remain are likely at all to do this, and even if they were there would be no money because profit is being taken off the table and debt added to the company.

And the teacher's union, along with an investment firm, is at the heart of it. - Is there a smilie for irony?

So they kill off the company that used to provide jobs at the school and at their business, a place to work when people graduated, investment in new ideas, tax base for the schools. Gone to put profit in people's pockets.

The teachers need to retire, but they are burning the seed corn of the people left behind. And, frankly, they may not outlive what this does to their city, state, and country. This may rid the place of the jobs for their kid's kids, along with some of the wealth of the town, home for their families and education for the kids...

FYI - this teacher's union is just part of the subject of this article. They are hardly alone - this has been going on for years. It's the breakup of the companies, motivated by easy finance and taxation policies that let them profit from such a maneuver that drive this.

As it continues it will be the ruin of tens of millions of people, and perhaps the country, despite pathetically small attempts at doing anything.

From the article:

...
The solution may be out of reach. Today California teachers need to protect their pensions by dismantling Ohio manufacturers. The structures of U.S. capital markets and fiscal policy reward investors whose decisions are based on maximizing returns over the short-term. While the Dodd-Frank financial reforms may cut down on some of the riskiest securitization-based investment strategies, new regulations have not created real incentives for the more patient investment that growing production in America requires.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:25 PM

4. Bitcoin’s Evolution toward Self-Destruction By Dan Kervick

http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2014/03/bitcoins-evolution-toward-self-destruction.html

John Gapper, writing in the Financial Times, argues that Bitcoin enthusiasts need to grow up, and that Bitcoin itself needs to grow out of its obsessive adolescence. He writes in the aftermath of last week’s Newsweek story purporting to identify Bitcoin’s creator, and following the recent collapse and bankruptcy filing of the Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange. In regard to the first event, which has sparked an outburst of hysterical resentment from the Bitcoin community, Gapper writes:

The hysteria undermines Bitcoin’s chances of graduating from a hobbyists’ obsession to a mainstream technology. You cannot challenge fiat currencies and disrupt the global payments industry while reacting to any uninvited scrutiny like an adolescent whose parent has opened the bedroom door without knocking. It does not work that way.


And Gapper also has some advice about the evasions of Bitcoiners in response to the Mt. Gox debacle:

In the case of other exchanges, and perhaps Mt Gox, Bitcoin payments were settled as intended but hackers then altered identifying information on the transactions to fool exchanges into believing that Bitcoins had not changed hands. Mt Gox, the argument goes, was a victim of its own sloppy online bookkeeping rather than a Bitcoin flaw.


To the average consumer, this is a distinction without a difference. Being able to trust “Bitcoin” as a technology but not to be sure that your own Bitcoins are safe does not mean much. The basic function of a bank is to store its depositors’ cash more securely than keeping it under the mattress and if Bitcoin cannot match it, little else matters.

Gapper’s piece is a plea to Bitcoin fans to act like grownups, and to get to work restoring Bitcoin’s credibility. But I’m afraid the non-grownup features of the crypto-currencies that Gapper now bemoans are not just remediable accidents of their current stage of development, but are inherent in their basic setup, which has always reflected a very naive understanding of the social and institutional nature of currencies and monetary systems, and a juvenile affection for the online virtual world of masks and shadows. The processes by which the crypto-currencies might be rendered more safe, stable, well-regulated and legally transparent are the very same processes which are gradually removing whatever features once separated those would-be currencies from conventional currencies, and which will destroy them as viable alternative systems for anything but a small residual volume of black market transactions.

Any advantages cryptographic currency platforms might provide over conventional digital currency platforms employing state-backed, third party bank currencies and public currencies will eventually be mimicked or absorbed by conventional systems, or else out-competed by equally low-cost, but more conventional alternatives. The fact is that in the long-run most honest people don’t want to use a weakly-regulated peer-to-peer “crypto” currency which offers less security, stability and legal verifiability than conventional currencies. Also, since Bitcoin will never achieve its dream of becoming an all-purpose medium of exchange that people are willing to hold and save, and not just used for spot exchanges on an as-needed basis, there will remain transaction costs at both ends of Bitcoin transactions as its users convert out of and then back into the conventional currencies that they really want to hold. Finally, the lack of formal, institutionalized accounting in the small Bitcoin economy based on the transactors’ names and other legal identifiers – a feature the enthusiasts see as Bitcoin’s greatest virtue – is ultimately going to add another layer of reporting costs and potential legal liabilities for users, since governments are clearly not going to allow a massive tax evasion and money laundering system to flourish unencumbered by verifiable record-keeping and reporting. Once governments fully catch up to the technology, and all of those required regulatory features are built into the more mature version of the Bitcoin economy, it is hard to see what benefits will remain...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:26 PM

5. NOT QUITE ACCURATE



Putin didn't break Ukraine...the neoNazis in the West, with US funding, broke it. He's just buying it cheap at a knock-down price, you should pardon the expression.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 05:48 AM

12. Yes indeed. The West broke it in a tantrum

and/or according to a machiavellian neocon/lib plan.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #12)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 09:07 AM

27. Some references for the skeptical

Corporate Interests Behind Ukraine Putsch By JP Sottile

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/03/16/corporate-interests-behind-ukraine-putsch/

Behind the U.S.-backed coup that ousted the democratically elected president of Ukraine are the economic interests of giant corporations – from Cargill to Chevron – which see the country as a potential “gold mine” of profits from agricultural and energy exploitation, reports JP Sottile...

On Jan. 12, a reported 50,000 “pro-Western” Ukrainians descended upon Kiev’s Independence Square to protest against the government of President Viktor Yanukovych. Stoked in part by an attack on opposition leader Yuriy Lutsenko, the protest marked the beginning of the end of Yanukovych’s four year-long government. That same day, the Financial Times reported a major deal for U.S. agribusiness titan Cargill. Despite the turmoil within Ukrainian politics after Yanukovych rejected a major trade deal with the European Union just seven weeks earlier, Cargill was confident enough about the future to fork over $200 million to buy a stake in Ukraine’s UkrLandFarming. According to Financial Times, UkrLandFarming is the world’s eighth-largest land cultivator and second biggest egg producer. And those aren’t the only eggs in Cargill’s increasingly-ample basket. On Dec. 13, Cargill announced the purchase of a stake in a Black Sea port. Cargill’s port at Novorossiysk — to the east of Russia’s strategically significant and historically important Crimean naval base — gives them a major entry-point to Russian markets and adds them to the list of Big Ag companies investing in ports around the Black Sea, both in Russia and Ukraine. Cargill has been in Ukraine for over two decades, investing in grain elevators and acquiring a major Ukrainian animal feed company in 2011. And, based on its investment in UkrLandFarming, Cargill was decidedly confident amidst the post-EU deal chaos. It’s a stark juxtaposition to the alarm bells ringing out from the U.S. media, bellicose politicians on Capitol Hill and perplexed policymakers in the White House.

It’s even starker when compared to the anxiety expressed by Morgan Williams, President and CEO of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council — which, according to its website, has been “Promoting U.S.-Ukraine business relations since 1995.” Williams was interviewed by the International Business Times on March 13 and, despite Cargill’s demonstrated willingness to spend, he said, “The instability has forced businesses to just go about their daily business and not make future plans for investment, expansion and hiring more employees.” In fact, Williams, who does double-duty as Director of Government Affairs at the private equity firm SigmaBleyzer, claimed, “Business plans have been at a standstill.”

Apparently, he wasn’t aware of Cargill’s investment, which is odd given the fact that he could’ve simply called Van A. Yeutter, Vice President for Corporate Affairs at Cargill, and asked him about his company’s quite active business plan. There is little doubt Williams has the phone number because Mr. Yuetter serves on the Executive Committee of the selfsame U.S.-Ukraine Business Council. It’s quite a cozy investment club, too...


THE ROVING EYE: Russia 1, Regime Changers 0 By Pepe Escobar

http://atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-01-170314.html


Let's cut to the chase - short and sweet.

1. The Obama administration's "strategic" gambit to subcontract the State Department's "Khaganate of Nulands" to extricate Ukraine from the Russian sphere of influence - and ultimately annex it to NATO - by instrumentalizing a coalition of willing neo-nazis and fascists with a central bank veneer (prime minister "Yats"), is in utter shambles.

2. Moscow's counterpunch was to prevent in Crimea - as intercepted by Russian intelligence - a planned replay of the putsch in Kiev. The referendum in Crimea - 85% of turnout, roughly 93% voting for re-joining Russia, according to exit polls - is a done deal, as much as the oh-so-democratic European Union (EU) keeps threatening to punish people in Crimea for exercising their basic democratic rights. (By the way, when the US got Kosovo to secede from Serbia, Serbians were offered no referendum).

3. The main rationale for the whole US "strategic" advance - to have their proxies, the regime changers in Kiev, cancel the agreement for the Russian naval base in Sevastopol - is up in smoke. Moscow remains present in the Black Sea and with full access to the Eastern Mediterranean.

And the rest is blah blah blah. BUT YES, THERE'S MORE!


Here's the record. Dubya launched two wars. He (miserably) lost both.

Obama attempted to launch two wars (Syria and Ukraine). He - lucky for him - lost both even at the "attempt" stage. Assorted neo-cons and the whole exceptionalist brigade are predictably livid. Expect the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal to go ballistic. And expect US ambassador to the UN Samantha "R2P" Power to wish she were Sinead O'Connor singing Nothing Compares to You.


AND STILL MORE...SEE LINK


Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #27)

Fri Mar 21, 2014, 02:07 PM

33. Consortium News article (top) repost at theecologist via gmwatch link.

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Response to proverbialwisdom (Reply #33)

Fri Mar 21, 2014, 06:24 PM

34. Ukraine - It's about greedy profits for the big corporations



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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:30 PM

6. The Wall Street product that could corrupt your investing soul

http://www.theguardian.com/money/us-money-blog/2014/mar/09/unbearable-lightness-options-wall-street-retail-investor?CMP=ema_565

Wall Street wants you to buy options, which are like derivatives with training wheels – and dangerous when mishandled...Let’s be frank: there’s no such thing as an investment product that is absolutely safe. Not, that is, if you want to actually make money on your investment...There are products that add too much risk to our portfolios, even though they’re being offered to regular investors with no special expertise.

The same way the military refers to those outside its ranks as “civilians” and priests call anyone outside the religious order the “laity”, Wall Street also has its name for the kids not in its club: “retail”. If you’re not a financial institution, and you have less than $1m in investable assets, you’re a retail investor.

And if you’re a retail investor, there are some products you should never even think about.

A big one is the category of products that can be lumped together under the label of derivatives, aka what Warren Buffett called “weapons of mass financial destruction”. How you can identify them: most of them are unpronounceable. They range from straightforward options on the S&P 500 index to highly complex structured notes, such as – to pick one example at random – the constant proportion debt obligation or CPDO.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:38 PM

7. HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY, EVERYONE!



I'm off to get some sleep: more precious than gold, impossible to live without.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 02:08 AM

8. Who is the jerk here?

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 05:43 AM

11. China Unveils Urbanization Plan

BEIJING (dpa-AFX) - China unveiled measures to speed urbanization in a bid to provide impetus to economic growth through lifting income and consumption among rural residents.

In its urbanization plan for 2014-2020, the government said Sunday it will reform 'hukou' registration, and improve water safety as well as air quality.

The 'hukou' a complex household registration system discourages rural residents to move and settle in urban areas. Easing controls on residency status will unlock huge income potential and raise domestic demand.

'Domestic demand is the fundamental impetus for China's development, and the greatest potential for expanding domestic demand lies in urbanization,' state news agency Xinhua said citing the plan from China's State Council...

... In an another release, Xinhua said the government will increase funding for railways, civil aviation network and improve connectivity among cities. The regular railways will cover cities with more than 200,000 residents by 2020...

/... http://www.finanznachrichten.de/nachrichten-2014-03/29704959-china-unveils-urbanization-plan-020.htm

... It's been a long time coming. A change is gonna come...


... A baby hatch in southern China has been forced to suspend work after hundreds of infants were abandoned, overwhelming the centre, its director says. More than 260 children had been left at the welfare home in Guangzhou since 28 January, director Xu Jiu added...

... China introduced the centres so parents could abandon infants safely rather than leaving them in the streets...

... All the abandoned infants had illnesses, such as cerebral palsy, Down's syndrome and congenital heart disease, the bureau added.

It is thought that many parents abandon ill babies because they fear they cannot afford the medical care required...

/... http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-26607505

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 07:00 AM

13. IMF Urges Redistribution To Tackle Growing Inequality

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/22496-imf-urges-redistribution-to-tackle-growing-inequality

Washington - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is wading strongly into the global debate over the impact of growing income inequality, offering a series of controversial findings that push back on long-held economic orthodoxy – of which the fund itself has long been a key proponent.

The IMF, arguably the world’s premiere financial institution, is stating unequivocally that income inequality “tends to reduce the pace and durability” of economic growth. In a paper released Thursday, the fund also suggests that a spectrum of approaches to “progressive” redistribution – national tax and spending policies that are purposefully tilted in favour of the poor – would decrease inequality and hence “is overall pro-growth”.

“This is the final judgment on inequality being bad for growth,” Nicolas Mombrial, a spokesperson for Oxfam, a humanitarian group, told IPS in a statement.

“The IMF’s evidence is clear: The solutions to fighting inequality are investing in health care and education, and progressive taxation. Austerity policies do the opposite, they worsen inequality … We hope this signals a long-term change in IMF policy advice to countries – to invest in health and education and more progressive fiscal policies.”

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 07:04 AM

14. The Chieftains & Alison Krauss - Molly Ban

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 07:25 AM

15. Regulator to start sending “spies” to check up on banks{spain}

http://elpais.com/elpais/2014/03/13/inenglish/1394722818_325044.html

Stock market watchdog CNMV is planning to send undercover inspectors posing as customers to bank branches across Spain as part of a new effort to ensure that financial institutions are complying with regulations when they offer their products to customers.

CNMV chief Elvira Rodríguez explained that the plan, which she proposed at the end of 2013, will be put into action this year. She made the announcement on Wednesday at a presentation of the regulator’s goals for the coming year.

The findings by these “spies” will serve as “evidence” to be used in disciplinary action against financial institutions caught violating regulations, she explained. However, it remains unclear how the system will actually be put into place given that changes to the Securities Exchange Law must be made to define the legality of the work conducted by these inspectors.

Because of the CNMV’s lack of resources, Rodríguez said that the inspectors could be hired from outside the agency but under the supervision of her office.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #15)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 09:10 AM

29. Mystery Shoppers, Inc. pick up your phone!

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Response to Demeter (Reply #29)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 09:13 AM

30. i think they should send you!

in fact -- i think you should be the supervisor and train these surprise regulators.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 07:28 AM

16. WORLD STOCK MARKETS MOSTLY SHRUG OFF CRIMEA VOTE

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/W/WORLD_MARKETS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-03-17-05-24-59

HONG KONG (AP) -- World stocks drifted Monday as investors largely shrugged off a weekend vote in which Crimeans opted to leave Ukraine and join Russia.

Safe-haven assets such as the Japanese yen got a boost after results showed an overwhelming number of voters in the Ukrainian region approved splitting off and joining Russia in Sunday's vote.

The U.S. has threatened Russia with sanctions should it annex Crimea. President Barack Obama and other top U.S. officials warned Moscow against making further military moves toward southern and eastern Ukraine.

In early European trading, Germany's DAX edged up less than 0.1 percent to 9,062.63 while France's CAC 40 added 0.2 percent to 4,224.13. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.1 percent to 6,537.59.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 07:30 AM

17. EUROZONE INFLATION IN SURPRISE FALL TO 0.7 PERCENT

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_EUROPE_ECONOMY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-03-17-07-01-13

LONDON (AP) -- Pressure on the European Central Bank to do more to prevent prices from falling in the 18-country eurozone ratcheted up Monday after figures showed inflation across the region unexpectedly fell in February to its lowest level since October.

Figures released Monday by the Eurostat statistics agency showed consumer prices were 0.7 percent higher in February than the year before. That was lower than the 0.8 percent initial estimate and took the annual rate down to the level it was in October, which was the lowest level since late 2009.

The figures are likely to reinforce concerns in the markets that the eurozone risks suffering a bout of deflation, or falling prices. Deflation can hurt an economy by encouraging consumers and businesses to delay spending in the hope of cheaper bargains further down the line.

The inflation rate, which is way below the level the ECB's target of just below 2 percent, also comes at a time when the euro has been buoyant in currency markets. A higher currency can pressure inflation downwards in two ways: It can make imports cheaper and weigh on economic activity by making exports more expensive on international markets.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 07:34 AM

18. JACK DANIEL'S OPPOSES CHANGING TENN. WHISKEY LAW

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_WHISKEY_WAR?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-03-17-05-04-33

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- If it isn't fermented in Tennessee from mash of at least 51 percent corn, aged in new charred oak barrels, filtered through maple charcoal and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof, it isn't Tennessee whiskey. So says a year-old law that resembles almost to the letter the process used to make Jack Daniel's, the world's best-known Tennessee whiskey.

Now state lawmakers are considering dialing back some of those requirements that they say make it too difficult for craft distilleries to market their spirits as Tennessee whiskey, a distinctive and popular draw in the booming American liquor business.

But the people behind Jack Daniel's see the hand of a bigger competitor at work - Diageo PLC, the British conglomerate that owns George Dickel, another Tennessee whiskey made about 15 miles up the road.

"It's really more to weaken a title on a label that we've worked very hard for," said Jeff Arnett, the master distiller at the Jack Daniel's distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn. "As a state, I don't think Tennessee should be bashful about being protective of Tennessee whiskey over say bourbon or scotch or any of the other products that we compete with."

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Response to xchrom (Reply #18)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 08:27 AM

26. Just as the French protect their wines and cheeses

I think it would be a mistake to change it.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 07:37 AM

19. CHINA ANNOUNCES PLANS TO EXPAND CITIES

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_CHINA_URBANIZATION?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-03-17-06-51-31

BEIJING (AP) -- China has announced plans to expand its cities and improve public services to support economic growth by allowing millions more rural residents to migrate to urban jobs.

The Cabinet plan issued Sunday calls for raising the share of China's population of almost 1.4 billion people living in cities to 60 percent from 53.7 percent now, a shift of about 90 million people.

The ruling Communist Party sees allowing people to migrate into cities for higher-paid jobs as a pillar of more sustainable growth based on domestic consumption instead of trade and investment.

China's evolution from a mostly rural society began with market-oriented economic reform in the 1980s. Cities such as Beijing and Shanghai have grown to become among the world's largest but migrants are hampered by a household registration system that binds them to their hometowns. That limits access to schools, health care and pensions even for those who live in cities for years.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 07:51 AM

20. U.S. Banks’ $75 Billion Payout at Stake in Fed Tests

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-17/u-s-banks-75-billion-payout-at-stake-in-fed-tests.html

The biggest U.S. banks are about to learn whether they can pay out more than $75 billion in excess capital to investors as the Federal Reserve completes stress tests of their ability to survive new economic calamities.

Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) would lead a 69 percent increase in dividends and stock buybacks over the next 12 months after the central bank releases results of its annual tests on March 20 and March 26, according to analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That’s assuming the companies pass, which some of the analysts say is less than assured.

“We know the banks have enough capital, that’s not the question,” Todd Hagerman, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. in New York, said in an interview. “It’s more about whether there is something in the capital-planning process that the Federal Reserve might object to.”

Investors and analysts including Hagerman are confident the six biggest firms will pass because of the capital cushions and experience they’ve amassed since stress tests began in 2009. There’s more concern that some of the 12 smaller banks taking part for the first time might not pass and speculation the Fed could reject one or more firms of any size for flawed planning.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 07:53 AM

21. Fannie Mae Wind Down Deemed Threat to Home Recovery: Mortgages

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-17/fannie-mae-wind-down-deemed-threat-to-home-recovery-mortgages.html

A U.S. Senate plan to dismantle Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (FMCC) may deliver an unintended blow to a fragile housing recovery.

A draft of the measure, which Senate Banking Committee leaders released yesterday, would replace the two financiers with a government-backed mortgage-bond insurer. It would cover losses only after private capital bears the first 10 percent, leading to higher mortgage rates, according to Credit Suisse (CSGN) AG analysts. The plan also would eliminate a mandate that a percentage of mortgages go to lower- and middle-income families, threatening to decrease America’s homeownership rate.

Senator Tim Johnson, a Democrat from South Dakota, and Senator Mike Crapo, an Idaho Republican, are trying to pass the measure this year. Outside the Senate chambers, the housing market is showing signs of cooling as tighter lending and higher prices shut out increasing numbers of first-time buyers.

“It certainly slows the rate of recovery,” said Kevin Chavers, a managing director at BlackRock Inc. and a member of its government relations and public policy group in New York. “It raises the question of what the implications are for the recovery as you raise costs and reduce the universe of people eligible to participate.”

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 07:54 AM

22. Swedes Losing Jobs Are Focus of Union Push for Regime Change

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-16/-devastating-swedish-job-losses-spur-lo-calls-for-regime-change.html

Sweden’s biggest blue-collar union is preparing for a regime change after September elections and says it wants the next government to borrow more and raise taxes to save jobs.

Sweden, where unemployment is the highest in Scandinavia, should elect a Social Democratic-led coalition to ensure more is invested in education, elderly care, railways, roads and housing, Tobias Baudin, first vice president at the Swedish Trade Union Confederation, known as LO, said in a March 13 interview in Stockholm.

Scandinavia’s biggest economy “must start to invest in what creates jobs” to “reduce the mass unemployment that’s so devastating in so many ways,” said Baudin, whose union represents 1.5 million workers. He wants the next government to raise income taxes on high wage earners, he said.

LO is throwing its weight behind a campaign to remove the four-party Conservative-led government of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt in Sept. 14 elections after it failed to live up to pledges to cut unemployment, Baudin said. Reinfeldt’s coalition is trailing by more than 15 percentage points in some polls amid voter concerns that multiple rounds of tax cuts since 2006 have led to a deterioration in education and health-care standards.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 08:09 AM

23. Chance of Wage Rise So Remote Lobbyists Pay Little Heed


Chance of Wage Rise So Remote Lobbyists Pay Little Heed

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-17/chance-of-wage-rise-so-remote-lobbyists-pay-little-heed.html

The odds that Congress will pass an increase in the U.S. minimum wage before the November elections are so low that even the nation’s lobbyists are largely ignoring it.

The AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest union group, won’t gear up a push in Congress until a vote on an increase is scheduled in the Senate, said chief lobbyist Bill Samuel. His group, and business organizations that oppose raising hourly pay, are giving more attention to wage proposals in the states.

The National Retail Federation’s lobbying in Congress “has been at most a modest stab,” said David French, chief lobbyist for the Washington-based industry group that opposes the legislation. “When it is really around the corner, you’ll see the lobbying pick up, but it’s not going to require an all-out blitz.”

The proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour from $7.25 is being pushed by President Barack Obama, by U.S. Senate candidates in at least six states, and in campaign commercials in four states. Still, little pressure is being applied in Congress, nine senators said in interviews.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 08:12 AM

24. Antwerp Aims to Sell 12 Million Carats of Gems From Zimbabwe

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-16/antwerp-aims-to-sell-12-million-carats-of-diamonds-from-zimbabwe.html

The Antwerp World Diamond Centre wants to sell 12 million carats of diamonds from Zimbabwe this year, which would make the southern African country one of the six biggest suppliers to the Belgian-based trading group.

Zimbabwe conducted two auctions at Antwerp, in December and in February, realizing $10.5 million from sales of 279,723 carats and $70 million from 959,931 carats, according to the country’s Ministry of Mines. The center has also proposed a memorandum of understanding with the government to clean and sort the precious stones, leading to the creation of a diamond hub in the country, Chief Executive Officer Ari Epstein said in a March 13 interview in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital.

Diamonds are becoming an increasingly important source of revenue for the government after the European Union lifted sanctions on the Marange field in the east of the country on Sept. 24 last year. Zimbabwe probably mined 16.9 million carats last year, according to the Ministry of Mines, versus 8 million carats in 2011. Figures for 2012 weren’t available.

Before sanctions were lifted against the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp., Zimbabwe sold its diamonds at an average of $47 per carat while other centers were selling at $76 a carat, Epstein said.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 08:14 AM

25. Yen Retreats as Russian Stocks Gain After Crimea

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-16/yen-holds-gains-as-crimea-vote-condemned-by-u-k-.html

The yen fell for the first time in six days against the dollar as a rally in Russian stocks damped concern Crimea’s vote to leave Ukraine will lead to an immediate increase in tensions between Russia and the West.

Japan’s currency weakened versus all of its 16 major counterparts as Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc said the Bank of Japan may be embarking on dovish rhetoric, helping to cap recent gains in the currency. China’s yuan slid to an 11-month low versus the dollar after the central bank widened its trading band. The Australian dollar strengthened after Westpac Banking Corp. dropped its forecast for more interest-rate cuts. A gauge of currency volatility declined.

“We’re waiting to see what the response will be from the European Union, what the response from the United States is,” David Bloom, head of global currency strategy at HSBC Holdings Plc in London, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse,” with Francine Lacqua and Guy Johnson. The currency “market seems to be very calm. The market is not joining the dots and saying there’s a global problem. The market’s saying these are local isolated problems.”

The yen depreciated 0.4 percent to 101.78 per dollar as of 7:03 a.m. New York time after strengthening 1.9 percent last week. Japan’s currency dropped 0.3 percent to 141.47 per euro, the biggest decline since March 7. The euro weakened 0.1 percent to $1.3899.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #25)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 06:35 PM

31. The Response is: "Checkmate!"

Never play chess of any kind with a Russian.

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