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Mon Mar 18, 2013, 07:27 PM

STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Tuesday, 19 March 2013

STOCK MARKET WATCH, Tuesday, 19 March 2013


SMW for 18 March 2013

AT THE CLOSING BELL ON 18 March 2013

Dow Jones 14,452.06 -62.05 (-0.43%)
S&P 500 1,552.10 -8.60 (-0.55%)
Nasdaq 3,237.59 -11.48 (-0.35%)


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









Market Conditions During Trading Hours






Euro, Yen, Loonie, Silver and Gold
















Handy Links - Essential Reading:

Matt Taibi: Secret and Lies of the Bailout





Handy Links - Government Issues:

LegitGov
Open Government
Earmark Database
USA spending.gov





Partial List of Financial Sector Officials Convicted since 1/20/09
2/2/12 David Higgs and Salmaan Siddiqui, Credit Suisse, plead guilty to conspiracy involving valuation of MBS
3/6/12 Allen Stanford, former Caribbean billionaire and general schmuck, convicted on 13 of 14 counts in $2.2B Ponzi scheme, faces 20+ years in prison
6/4/12 Matthew Kluger, lawyer, sentenced to 12 years in prison, along with co-conspirator stock trader Garrett Bauer (9 years) and co-conspirator Kenneth Robinson (not yet sentenced) for 17 year insider trading scheme.
6/14/12 Allen Stanford sentenced to 110 years without parole.
6/15/12 Rajat Gupta, former Goldman Sachs director, found guilty of insider trading. Could face a decade in prison when sentenced later this year.
6/22/12 Timothy S. Durham, 49, former CEO of Fair Financial Company, convicted of one count conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud, and one count of securities fraud.
6/22/12 James F. Cochran, 56, former chairman of the board of Fair, convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, one count of securities fraud, and six counts of wire fraud.
6/22/12 Rick D. Snow, 48, former CFO of Fair, convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, one count of securities fraud, and three counts of wire fraud.
7/13/12 Russell Wassendorf Sr., CEO of collapsed brokerage firm Peregrine Financial Group Inc. arrested and charged with lying to regulators after admitting to authorities he embezzled "millions of dollars" and forged bank statements for "nearly twenty years."
8/22/12 Doug Whitman, Whitman Capital LLC hedge fund founder, convicted of insider trading following a trial in which he spent more than two days on the stand telling jurors he was innocent
10/26/12 UPDATE: Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta sentenced to two years in federal prison. He will, of course, appeal. . .
11/20/12 Hedge fund manager Matthew Martoma charged with insider trading at SAC Capital Advisors, and prosecutors are looking at Martoma's boss, Steven Cohen, for possible involvement.










This thread contains opinions and observations. Individuals may post their experiences, inferences and opinions on this thread. However, it should not be construed as advice. It is unethical (and probably illegal) for financial recommendations to be given here.



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Reply STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Tuesday, 19 March 2013 (Original post)
Tansy_Gold Mar 2013 OP
Demeter Mar 2013 #1
Tansy_Gold Mar 2013 #3
Demeter Mar 2013 #2
Ghost Dog Mar 2013 #4
Ghost Dog Mar 2013 #5
Ghost Dog Mar 2013 #6
Demeter Mar 2013 #11
xchrom Mar 2013 #7
Demeter Mar 2013 #12
xchrom Mar 2013 #8
xchrom Mar 2013 #9
jtuck004 Mar 2013 #29
Demeter Mar 2013 #32
jtuck004 Mar 2013 #34
xchrom Mar 2013 #10
Demeter Mar 2013 #13
xchrom Mar 2013 #14
Demeter Mar 2013 #23
xchrom Mar 2013 #15
xchrom Mar 2013 #16
xchrom Mar 2013 #17
Demeter Mar 2013 #21
xchrom Mar 2013 #18
xchrom Mar 2013 #19
westerebus Mar 2013 #24
xchrom Mar 2013 #25
westerebus Mar 2013 #33
xchrom Mar 2013 #20
xchrom Mar 2013 #22
Demeter Mar 2013 #26
Ghost Dog Mar 2013 #28
bread_and_roses Mar 2013 #27
DemReadingDU Mar 2013 #30
Demeter Mar 2013 #31

Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 18, 2013, 07:31 PM

1. What a funny, witty 'toon!

and it has the virtue of being true for ALL religions!

I am really tired after Monday's misadventures...maybe some midnight posting after a little nap...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 18, 2013, 08:00 PM

3. So many of the toons lately

have been either Paul Ryan, Kim Jong Un, or the new pope, and most of 'em haven't even been funny. Clay Bennett has some of the cleverest and often the most compassionate and poignant.


I've had a pretty wearying day, too, and it won't get much better this week, I'm afraid. But at least I don't have snow!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 18, 2013, 07:38 PM

2. Cyprus banks will stay closed until Thursday

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21823432

Banks in Cyprus will remain closed until at least Thursday while talks continue over controversial plans to put a levy on savers' deposits. The news that bank accounts face a one-off tax to help fund the country's bailout saw depositors rush to cash machines, which soon ran out of funds. Politicians want to finalise the bailout terms before banks re-open, as fears mount of a bank run.

Plans for a levy unnerved investors, sending shares and the euro lower.

Cyprus's banks were closed on Monday for a Bank Holiday, and the country's central bank said they would now remain shut until Thursday at least. On Saturday, the government, the European Union and International Monetary Fund agreed an outline deal for a levy on bank deposits in return for a bailout worth 10bn euros ($13bn; £8.6bn). The move sparked protests in Cyprus, and criticism from Russia, many of whose nationals hold large bank deposits on the island. Politicians in Cyprus are continuing talks in a bid to agree final details of levy, and there are reports that eurozone finance ministers are due to hold a teleconference later on Monday to review the bailout terms.

News that Cyprus is to tax savers' money to help fund the bailout unsettled investors. The Spanish and Italian stock markets were down 2%, with bank shares the hardest hit. The euro lost 1% against both the pound and the dollar, leaving it at 85.6p and $1.295 respectively. Earlier, Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 2.7%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng and Australia's ASX 200 dipped 2%. Many major banks in Italy, France and Spain, some of the eurozone's most indebted countries, were down between 4% and 5%. In France, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale were the worst affected, losing about 4.5%, while Spain's BBVA lost a similar amount.
In Germany, Deutsche Bank was down 3%, while Commerzbank was 1.3% lower.

..............................................................................................

David Cumming of Standard Life told BBC News he thought the wider impact would be limited. "I don't think it will have a lasting impact, I think it's an excuse for a correction after a strong run-up." He said people trusted the EU's mechanisms for maintaining stability in the eurozone: "I don't see a destabilisation of bank deposits across Europe. I don't see any impact for more than a few days in the market." The European Central Bank board member, Joerg Asmussen, also said he did not think Cyprus's problems would spread to other eurozone countries: "I do believe that the situation of Cyprus and the Cypriot banking sector is indeed unique." The movement in major government bond yields - the implied interest rate that countries pay to borrow money - was small - an indication that bond investors saw limited risks at the moment. Cyprus was hardest hit, with its seven-year bond yield jumping by more than 1.5 percentage points to just over 10%. Italian and Spanish government bond yields rose by far less - and after rising by more than 0.1 percentage points, 10-year yields for Italy were at 4.65%, while Spanish 10-year yields were at 4.9%.

Some see it as undermining the credibility of European authorities who, in other bailouts, such as in Spain, have demanded that it is the large financial institutions that lent money to the governments and banks which should incur losses when things go wrong, not depositors.

MORE WHAT IFS AT LINK

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Response to Demeter (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 05:37 AM

4. Cyprus rescue breaks all the rules

Reform of how to mend broken banks, which has been negotiated globally and in Europe since the Crash of 2007-8, has been based on two central principles.

First, that the savings of ordinary people should be protected, up to a high threshold - or 100,000 euros in the European Union for example.

And that financial institutions which lend to banks by buying their bonds should incur losses when banks are bailed out: bondholders should, to use the jargon, be bailed in, as part of resolution plans.

The logic behind these tenets is simple: financial institutions ought to be sophisticated enough and informed enough to assess the risks of lending to a bank, and therefore deserve to be punished when their judgement is awry; most of the rest of us can't possibly know if our high street banks are making reckless gambles.

The hope is that the kind of big investors which buy bonds would put pressure on banks to stick to the straight and narrow. And that retail savers are so confident that their money is safe that they never feel the urge to behave like the customers of Northern Rock in September 2007 by descending in a mob on branches and withdrawing every last cent.

So what is seen by many as profoundly shocking about the terms of the rescue of Cyprus by the rest of the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund is that both of these principles have been broken...

/... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21827922

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Response to Demeter (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 05:53 AM

5. Eurozone ministers urge Cyprus to shield small savers

Since the start of the financial crisis there has been a guarantee that deposits under 100,000 euros in banks in the EU would be protected.

Many observers believe the Cypriot levy breaks the spirit of that agreement, and there is concern that it could also damage the confidence of depositors in other eurozone countries...

... Eurozone finance ministers - the Eurogroup - discussed the situation in a conference call on Monday evening.

Following the talks, its president Jeroen Dijsselbloem issued a statement saying the group "continues to be of the view that small depositors should be treated differently from large depositors and reaffirms the importance of fully guaranteeing deposits below 100,000 euros".

He said Cyprus would "introduce more progressivity in the one-off levy" - in other words, shift the burden away from small savers towards bigger depositors - provided that the same amount of funds, 5.8bn euros, was raised.

Mr Dijsselbloem urged "a swift decision by the Cypriot authorities and parliament to rapidly implement the agreed measures"...

/... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21839324

Cypriot and euro zone officials have sought to soften the initially proposed levy of 6.75 percent on depositors of up to 100,000 euros and 9.9 percent above 100,000 to ease the burden on small savers.

But passage of the bill in the 56-member chamber, where no party has a majority, was unlikely and it was not clear if the vote would even go ahead later on Tuesday if leaders were sure it would be rejected.

"It looks like it won't pass," Cypriot government spokesman Christos Stylianides told state radio.

The House of Representatives was expected to meet at 1600 GMT. Rejection of the measure would effectively block a bailout that Cyprus needs to keep its banks afloat and government paying wages and welfare...

/... http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/03/19/uk-eurozone-cyprus-idUKBRE92F07R20130319

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Response to Demeter (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 06:01 AM

6. Insight - How Europe stumbled into scheme to punish Cyprus savers

Hours before newly-elected president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, was due to attend his first European summit, he met Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and other new colleagues at a cocktail reception. At the meeting for centre-right politicians in a swanky hall opposite the Belgian king's palace, Merkel congratulated him on his election victory. According to one person who attended, Anastasiades asked his new friends to make sure any bailout for Cyprus was fair.

Less than 48-hours later, when the deal was finally announced by exhausted officials in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday morning, it seemed anything but...

... According to insiders who attended the negotiations, the big hit to ordinary Cypriot savers was an outcome that nobody seemed to be seeking but no one could find a way to prevent. Merkel's government and EU officials were determined to make depositors pay. Anastasiades was determined to cap the levy on the wealthiest depositors at no more than 10 percent. That meant that small savers in Cyprus were forced to pay a levy as high as 6.75 percent of their deposits, a move that effectively rips up the protection savers thought they enjoyed on insured deposits of up to 100,000 euros.

The opposition in Cyprus called the deal "bank robbery".

Anastasiades's government was scrambling on Monday to come up with a new formula that would put more of the burden on rich, uninsured depositors and prevent a full-scale run on the banks when they reopen after a holiday weekend.

Meanwhile, European and Cypriot officials are trading blame for a decision which threatens to undermine confidence in the financial system across the continent...

/... http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/03/18/uk-eurozone-cyprus-stumbled-insight-idUKBRE92H0RN20130318

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 07:34 AM

11. And what is the crime that ordinary savers have committed?

No crime.

They just operated under the social conventions and contract law.

The CRIMINAL here is Angela Merkel and the people who let her get away with this piracy.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 06:48 AM

7. HSBC faces new money laundering claims in Argentina

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21840052

Banking giant HSBC, which was hit with a US fine for money laundering last year, is facing fresh accusations of illegal activity in Argentina.

Argentina has alleged that the bank used "fake receipts" to facilitate money laundering and tax evasion, and launder 392m pesos ($77m; £50m).

The country's tax authority said it had filed criminal charges against HSBC.

HSBC said that it would cooperate with the investigation, adding that the allegations were "of great concern".

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Response to xchrom (Reply #7)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 07:36 AM

12. I think maybe it's time to shut HSBC down as the criminal enterprise it is

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 06:49 AM

8. India cuts interest rates for second time this year

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21840057

India has cut its main interest rate for the second time in three months as it looks to revive its sluggish economic growth.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) lowered its key rate to 7.5% from 7.75%.

India's growth rate dipped to 4.5% in the three months to end of December, the weakest pace in 15 quarters.

But the central bank, which has been under pressure to help stimulate growth, warned that there was limited scope for further easing.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 07:20 AM

9. Shortage of science graduates will thwart manufacturing-based recovery

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/mar/18/recovery-manufacturing-science-technology-graduates


Eminent geneticist Dr Anne McLaren at the Natural History Museum, with DNA samples from endangered species. Photograph: Fiona Hanson/PA

The government's hope that it can drive an economic recovery by growing the UK's manufacturing industry will be thwarted by a lack of science and technology graduates, a report suggests.

The report – which concludes that there is an annual shortfall of 40,000 science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) graduates – has been released amid calls for a national campaign to boost the number of women in science.

A spokesman for the Social Market Foundation (SMF) thinktank, said the number of home-grown graduates in STEM subjects needs to increase by half just to keep science-related industries at their current size.

If the government would like to grow these sectors to drive a recovery at the same time as reducing migration, the shortfall balloons even further.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #9)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 10:37 AM

29. The Never Ending Science & Technology Job Lie


The U.S. taxpayer invests in rehabbing the coursework, the buildings, the curriculum, and the student often goes into a whopping well of debt, and then who gets the majority of the jobs? I know the article above is UK, but I am hearing the same thing here as well...


Almost daily we have article plants by corporate lobbyists claiming a dire shortage in skilled labor, specifically Scientists, Technologists, Engineers and Mathematicians. These occupational areas are collectively known as STEM. Yet the Washington Post, normally a bastion of corporate drum beating propaganda and economic nonsense, called cash on the cry for more Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics workers. They point to the glut of PhDs in the United States, in part due to the offshore outsourcing of pharmaceutical research.
...
One of the more notorious and absolutely outrageous skills shortage claims involves job training programs, often funded by U.S. taxpayer money. Instead of training Americans, we have U.S. citizens being excluded from these jobs. Yes, these training jobs are inside the United States. Literally we have only foreigners getting these OPT jobs. OPT provides critical training in high skills occupational areas, very much needed by U.S. citizen students and recent college graduates. Science Magazine sums it up.

In the 19th century, American employers regularly posted signs warning that "No Irish need apply." Now, according to a report issued by a group called Bright Future Jobs, similarly blatant discrimination is rampant among certain tech employers in the United States. This time, however, the message is "No Americans Need Apply," which also happens to be the title of the report.

...
The best estimate we have is from 2009 gives a whopping 650,000 H-1B Visas. The H-1B is just one foreign guest worker Visa category out of many, but it is used extensively to displace advanced R&D STEM workers. Literally the H-1B is called the offshore outsourcing Visa by the India BPO industry.


More here

also

Congress Betrays The U.S. STEM Worker Once Again, here


...
The claim is STEM jobs create other jobs. This is true, these professional occupations can spawn other jobs, as is typical with an employment multiplier effect derived from more disposable income as well as advanced research and development itself. Although STEM's multiplier effect assumes manufacturing and supportive positions are in the United States, which these days isn't usually the case. The problem is these Science and Engineering jobs are not positions in addition to, but in place of. In other words, we have worker substitution going on where Americans are fired, employers continue with their institutionalized age, sex and U.S. citizen discrimination and simply replace the fired American with a young, typically male, foreign one. Displacing an American from that job with a foreign one does nothing to increase jobs, help the economy, or innovate. Either worker can innovate and in fact many U.S. patent and copyright holders have actually been displaced already. Innovation is work sponsored. If one doesn't have a job in R&D, odds are they will not get their ideas into the market place or even registered. Worker substitution generally hurts the economy and it obviously hurts the worker being displaced. That's what is currently happening.

The great STEM shortage lie has been going on for years, in spite of overwhelming statistics there is no shortage of Americans with STEM college degrees.
...
Even before the recession, less than a third of S&E degree holders were working in areas requiring or even closely associated with their degree. A full 65% of STEM graduates were in other occupations after just two years of graduating. By 2011, 53% of all college graduates couldn't either find any job or a position in their field of study. Clearly our statistics from before the 2008 recession imply things are much worse today. In fact, 70% of jobs created today require no college education at all.

H.R. 6429 targets computer and information sciences and support services, engineering, mathematics and statistics, and physical sciences occupations, the very middle class jobs most needed by Americans. Don't expect this to be the last of Congress passing laws to make sure U.S. workers are thrown out of the careers, it's their top priority of 2013, under the guise of comprehensive immigration reform. This is what politicians mean really by immigration reform. It's not humanitarian or even catering to special interest groups. Comprehensive immigration reform is all about flooding America with even more workers when we cannot employ the people who are already here.
...

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #29)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 05:15 PM

32. Since AT LEAST the 70's

when both the vietnam war and the moon shots ended, and there were no jobs for engineers at all....this has been the constant refrain.

All they are saying is, not enough CHEAP and DOCILE engineers. Not even the women...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #32)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 09:48 PM

34. Yeah, that's kinda what I am seeing. Ironically, when you look over at Mondragon,


the cooperative in Spain, (unemployment lower than any other area, with their own banks, which are in better shape than others, etc), they teach engineering and technology classes to their owner/employees in their own college, but unlike here they pair that with education about cooperative business and self (group) ownership and business.

While I think it might be a bit ambitious to think that small groups here could compete with the larger places, if the alternative is no job, or competing with people who will work for pesos in this country, it might be that a group could get together, scout the Internet for free or low-cost education (as well as libraries), self-study some locally derived engineering/technology/robotics/agriculture curriculum, pair that with learning about cooperative business, and perhaps build themselves into something that beats serving coffee or working security or home health care. And it might well beat running up an ever increasing pile of debt in student loans.

There are niches out there. There is a butcher who competes here with Walmart using regional beef, (better stuff, too), and small machine shops can do smaller projects faster than a larger place, often with less overhead. I try to buy from neighbors when I can, and I know I am not alone.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 07:26 AM

10. SocGen Predicts ‘Volcano Eruption’ for Debt: South Africa Credit

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-19/socgen-predicts-volcano-eruption-for-debt-south-africa-credit.html

South African bonds face the risk of a sell-off by foreign investors as the rand’s plunge dims the allure of the nation’s debt, according to Societe Generale SA. (GLE)

The rand’s 8.2 percent fall against the dollar this year is the worst of 25 emerging markets monitored by Bloomberg. South African 10-year yields have climbed 12 basis points this month, compared with a 13 basis-point drop for similarly-rated Mexico.

Risks for foreign investors have increased as South Africa posted a current-account deficit close to a four-year high in the fourth quarter after mining strikes and slower growth in Europe cut exports from Africa’s largest economy. A widening shortfall requires more foreign inflows to fund imports, a source of funds that has dwindled after record 2012 purchases.

“There is trouble brewing in South African markets,” Benoit Anne, the London-based head of emerging-markets strategy at SocGen, said in an e-mailed response to questions yesterday. “We may be getting closer to a real-money investor capitulation, the market equivalent of a volcano eruption.”

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 07:38 AM

13. It's two days till spring, and the windchill is 11F

I am beside myself.

It's also board meeting night.

There is no end to the pleasures around here....

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Response to Demeter (Reply #13)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 07:56 AM

14. ...

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Response to xchrom (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 09:17 AM

23. It's Warmer in ICELAND than it is here

of course, they are 3 hours ahead....but they jailed the banksters, stripped the 1%, and have a rule of law....and they are warmer!

Also, I sincerely doubt that they ignore the weather when forcing people to work.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 08:00 AM

15. JPMorgan Whale Pushed for ‘Young’ Trader Who Later Took His Job

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-18/jpmorgan-s-whale-advocated-young-trader-who-later-took-his-job.html

Bruno Iksil, the trader whose wagers cost JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $6.2 billion and led to his ouster, may have unwittingly helped pick his replacement.

Henry Kim, then trading high-yield indexes for the market- making desk at the firm’s investment bank, is “very young and very talented” and should be considered for a post in the chief investment office, Iksil said in a Jan. 30, 2012, e-mail to supervisor Javier Martin-Artajo, according to documents accompanying a report last week by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Kim “would like to know whether there is some opportunity for him here at CIO be it New York or London,” Iksil wrote. “I thought maybe he could try to meet with you while you are in New York even informally.”

Iksil wrote the message months before his souring bets spiraled into a public spectacle that Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, 57, attributed to “egregious,” self-inflicted mistakes. The e-mail, included among 598 pages of documents accompanying the Senate report, shows Iksil’s interest in taking talent from the company’s investment bank -- a division that CIO employees came to suspect of undermining the trades.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 08:02 AM

16. China Foreign Investment Rebounds as Confidence Returns: Economy

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-19/china-s-foreign-investment-gains-for-first-time-in-nine-months.html

China’s foreign direct investment rose for the first time in nine months in February, a sign confidence in the world’s second-biggest economy is improving amid optimism growth will keep rebounding.

Inbound investment gained 6.3 percent from a year earlier to $8.21 billion, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement today in Beijing. Non-financial outbound investment in the first two months of the year surged 147 percent to $18.4 billion, exceeding inbound spending of $17.5 billion.

Newly appointed Premier Li Keqiang’s pledge to spread the wealth from the nation’s economic expansion and increase the number of middle-income citizens may support government efforts to rely more on domestic demand for expansion. Li vowed to open the economy to more market forces and strip power from the government to achieve 7.5 percent annual growth through 2020.

“China’s attractiveness remain for foreign investors, from its relatively-developed infrastructure to stable macroeconomic growth,” said Sun Junwei, a Beijing-based economist with HSBC Holdings Plc. “As the global economy recovers, China may continue to see a steady inflow of investments this year, helping the overall China recovery story.”

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 08:05 AM

17. Bernanke Tightens Hold on Fed Message Against Hawks

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-19/bernanke-tightens-hold-on-fed-message-against-hawks.html

Ben S. Bernanke is tightening his control of Federal Reserve communications to ensure investors hear his pro-stimulus message over the cacophony of more hawkish views from regional bank presidents.

The Fed chairman, starting tomorrow, will cut the time between the release of post-meeting statements by the Federal Open Market Committee and his news briefings, giving investors less opportunity to misperceive the Fed’s intent. In recent presentations, he has pledged to sustain easing, defending $85 billion in monthly bond purchases during congressional testimony last month and warning that “premature removal of accommodation” may weaken the expansion

“Bernanke rightly views it as imperative to get out in front of any movement to quickly pull away from stimulus, and to signal that to markets,” said Jonathan Wright, an economics professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore who worked at the Fed’s division of monetary affairs from 2004 until 2008. Bernanke “felt he needed to take the wheel” of communications to dispel any misperception that the Fed will end bond purchases too soon.

Bernanke’s push to continue record stimulus faltered with the Jan. 3 release of minutes from the FOMC’s December meeting, which said several officials favored slowing or stopping bond buying well before the end of 2013. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose that day about 0.07 percentage point to 1.91 percent, the highest since May.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #17)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 09:03 AM

21. Ve Vill Haf Order!

Talk about losers.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 08:19 AM

18. US global leadership slumps, again

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/World/WOR-01-190313.html

An idealization is followed by some form of disillusionment. This psychological truism applies to politics as well, where an unspoken bond binds ordinary citizens to an extraordinary leader.

Not surprisingly, after almost four of years of unrelenting obstruction from the opposition on the domestic front, the toll of the drawdown of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the great global economic recession, the US approval around the world has slumped, according to the latest report by Gallup Polls.

After the high point of the 2008 election of Barack Obama, it is



somewhat surprising that the decline did not happen sooner. You might have thought that Barack Obama was made of kryptonite or that he was a Superman and a Jedi warrior. Today, people have a more realistic view of his powers in office, and a better understanding of the formidable powers of persuasion he possesses as a global leader.

In June 2012, Pew Global Poll reported “while many still hold Obama in high regard, general confidence in his foreign policy leadership has slipped by six percentage points or more in most countries since 2009.”

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 08:22 AM

19. Short sales surge in 2012, trend to continue in region

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/where-we-live/post/short-sales-surge-in-2012-trend-to-continue-in-region/2013/03/15/6f7facac-8cb5-11e2-b63f-f53fb9f2fcb4_blog.html

Since the depths of the housing crisis, homeowners who owed more on their mortgage than their homes were worth had few options. That has begun to change.

More homeowners are now turning to short sales, in which they sell their homes for less than what they owe in mortgage debt and the lender typically forgives the difference.

Nationally, short sales made up 22 percent of all residential sales in 2012, a 4 percent increase from the previous year, according to a report from RealtyTrac. It comprised a bigger portion of the market, 28 percent, in Maryland last year, up 16 percent from 2011. The District also saw an uptick last year, with short sales making up 16 percent of home sales, an increase of 10 percent from 2011. In Virginia, where distressed property sales decreased overall, short sales declined by 7 percent in 2012, making up 21 percent of all sales.

Short sales have become a popular alternative to foreclosures because they eliminate the time-consuming and difficult foreclosure process, said Daren Blomquist, vice president of research firm RealtyTrac.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #19)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 09:21 AM

24. They lie.

What's happened in Virginia is an influx of Sandy folks who have given up on the high taxes of the tri state area and the worsening social conditions vis a vie the schools, crime, and over crowding. There's still plenty of short selling going on. What the new buyer's are going into are new housing that offer a lot more for a lot less than just ten years ago.

Some folks have moved up here by buying short sales as the interest rates were so low and the net profit from there existing home made it very attractive. Even after the decline in the market, those who bought prior to 2000 are in pretty good shape.

I know people who bought here at the top of the market and are $100,000 plus under water. They have jobs and decided to ride it out with the expectation over twenty years they will get back to par or better.

It all comes back to jobs.

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Response to westerebus (Reply #24)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 09:23 AM

25. thanks for the info! nt

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Response to xchrom (Reply #25)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 08:12 PM

33. welcome...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 08:31 AM

20. For U.S.-E.U. deal, Europe will have its own negotiating to do

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/for-us-eu-deal-europe-will-have-internal-negotiating-to-do/2013/03/18/52e77fa6-8d88-11e2-b63f-f53fb9f2fcb4_story.html


LARRY DOWNING/REUTERS - U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande. The U.S. and Europe are engaged in historic talks about a sweeping trade pact. But the real challenge may be getting the member nations of the European Union to line up with each other, since all have vastly different needs from global trade.

U.S. trade talks with Europe seem, on the surface, like a slam-dunk. The world’s richest nations will sit across a bargaining table stacked with potential compromises on regulatory and other issues that may represent tens of billions of dollars in extra sales and jobs.

But there’s a big potential hitch: The European Union is far from a unified negotiator, and the competing economic and political interests of its 27 member nations may outweigh the difficulties of reaching a deal with the United States.

Europe’s struggle in recent years to contain a financial and sovereign debt crisis laid bare the region’s unfinished debate about local power vs. central authority. The issue has enraged Greeks who feel beset by German-enforced austerity and led the United Kingdom to threaten to leave the union altogether.

Now those same countries will be asked to compromise on sensitive trade and regulatory matters in a way that may be good for the region as a whole, and good for the transatlantic economy, but politically tough at a local level. With Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who holds the E.U.'s rotating presidency, due in Washington on Tuesday for meetings with President Obama, the prospect of a major trade deal poses tough questions.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 09:13 AM

22. Why Cyprus Matters: The Eurozone Strikes Again

http://www.thenation.com/blog/173395/why-cyprus-matters-eurozone-strikes-again

The kaleidoscope spins again; the shards are rearranged; this time, the fragment at the centre is Cyprus. Faced with yet another country needing an urgent bailout (and with the German election looming in September), Eurozone leaders and the IMF have come up with a new wheeze: make savers pay to rescue the banks that were meant to look after their money, in exchange for a bailout of 10 billion euros.

Not unreasonable, you might say: Why should the proverbial German taxpayer cough up for Russian oligarchs and shady foreign businessmen who’ve stashed billions on the island? But the plan will take a cut from everybody’s savings—farmers, pensioners, orphans, oligarchs and oil magnates—on a roughly graded scale. (The proposed levy on accounts under 100,000 euros—which were in theory guaranteed by the Cyprus government—will probably now be reduced from 6.7 percent to 3.5 percent, which reminds me of the sage Nasrudin Hoja’s advice to the man whose house was too small.) Over the weekend Cypriots queued at cash machines; one man drove his bulldozer up to the door of the bank.

As the newly elected government of President Nicos Anastasiades postponed a vote on the plan and closed the banks until Thursday, the blame-shifting began: Was it Anastasiades who sold out the small savers to keep the Russians sweet, or the Troika heavies who showed him the brass knuckles? (Answer: it’s complicated, but there were brass knuckles.) Vladimir Putin weighed in, calling the plan unfair, unprofessional and dangerous. Russia has loaned Cyprus 2.5 billion euros; the EU is hoping it will extend the terms.

Why does all this matter? One, because this is the first time the EU and IMF have decided to take money directly from people’s pockets rather than through the messy process of cutting wages and pensions and putting taxes up. You could perhaps read this as a tacit acknowledgment that austerity has failed, economically as well as politically: it’s messy, it’s unreliable, and it makes people vote for leaders who won’t play the game, like Italy’s Beppe Grillo. You could certainly read it as a sign of how profoundly Europe’s leaders have lost the plot. Though the market meltdown predicted over the weekend hasn’t materialized, howls of derision have issued from bankers and business leaders as well as Cypriot indignados: if guarantees on bank deposits aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on, if people’s savings can be siphoned off by fiat, then the world as we know it, or at least the banking system, will come to an end. (It’s worth remembering here that before the last Greek election a Syriza economist proposed tapping private deposits to fund public investment; he was pilloried as a dangerous radical who would destroy the principle of private property.)

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Response to xchrom (Reply #22)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 09:33 AM

26. They say that like it would be a bad thing

"the world as we know it, or at least the banking system, will come to an end. "

The Unsustainable must end. Time to build a Sustainable Banking System, to lead the way to a sustainable economy and sustainable government by the People....

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Response to xchrom (Reply #22)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 10:12 AM

28. Wall Street All Ears To Cypriot Bailout Talks

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Wall Street seems to anxiously await the developments on a Cypriot bailout. With the parliamentary vote on the bank tax proposal postponed and the bank holiday in Cyprus extended until Wednesday, traders in Asia regained some composure. Stocks in the region closed mixed, while European stocks are seeing weakness. Traders may also react to a domestic report on housing starts due before the markets open. Additionally, traders may prefer to adopt a cautious stance ahead of the Fed announcement on Wednesday following the conclusion of a 2-day FOMC meeting beginning today.

As of 6:15 pm ET, the Dow futures are moving down 13 points, while the S&P 500 futures are down 0.50 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are declining 1.75 points.

U.S. stocks extended their declines on Monday, as the developments in Cyprus provided a reason for traders to take profits in the overbought markets...

/... http://www.finanznachrichten.de/nachrichten-2013-03/26288538-wall-street-all-ears-to-cypriot-bailout-talks-020.htm

European Markets Fall Ahead Of Cyprus Vote

PARIS (dpa-AFX) - The European markets continued to languish in negative territory on Tuesday, ahead of a crucial vote in Cyprus' Parliament on the rescue package. The Asian markets recovered from the previous session's lows, after indications emerged that small depositors in Cyprus may be spared from the bank tax. Cyprus' Parliament will vote on the rescue package later today, after postponing it twice in the last two days. The government has declared a temporary bank holiday in Cyprus on March 19 and 20.

The Eurozone finance ministers had called for a 9.9 percent tax on bank deposits above 100,000 euros and a tax of 6.75 percent on deposits below that amount, inviting widespread criticism from Cypriots. However, the finance ministers Monday agreed that small Cypriot depositors should be given greater protection, signaling some flexibility over the proposed bank tax. Yet, the ministers reiterated that Cyprus should still raise 5.8 billion euros from the levy as planned.

The island nation may be able to meet the target by imposing a 15.6 percent tax on deposits of over 100,000 euros with no fee below that figure.

Meanwhile, economists at IHS Global Insight said the proposal to make bank depositors in Cyprus contribute to the planned bailout is likely to have drastic results, and could even threaten the stability of the Eurozone. According to the economists, with Cyprus' ruling party enjoying only a one-seat majority, there is a strong possibility of parliament rejecting the bank levy in its current form, while its structure is likely to change in order to garner parliamentary support.

Germany's economic confidence improved for the fourth successive month in March, and exceeded economists' expectations...

/... http://www.finanznachrichten.de/nachrichten-2013-03/26288755-european-markets-fall-ahead-of-cyprus-vote-020.htm

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 09:44 AM

27. "16 Giant Corporations That Have Basically Stopped Paying Taxes"

Not that there's anything new here ... we all know this but thought I'd put it up anyway. I'm reading a book (Sci-Fy) by Shari Tepper in which she postulates that "the human problem" is that we have no racial memory. So, for instance, when our Dear Leaders call us to war, we have forgotten the reality of the children blown to bits in the last one. Every generation has to repeat the same mistakes.

Racial memory - hell, I'd say we don't even have any working lifetime memory - how else is it that we have to keep fighting the same battles in our own lifetimes???????????????

http://www.alternet.org/corporate-accountability-and-workplace/16-giant-corporations-have-basically-stopped-paying-taxes

AlterNet / By Paul Buchheit
comments_image
16 Giant Corporations That Have Basically Stopped Paying Taxes -- While Also Cutting Jobs!
March 18, 2013 |

... Outside the stadium our nation's kids and seniors and low-income mothers may be dealing with food and housing cuts, but on the corporate playing floor new low-tax records are being set again this year. Just as this is a golden age for sports, this is also, as noted by the New York Times , "a golden age for corporate profits."

Corporations have simply stopped paying their taxes, perhaps using the 2008 recession as an excuse to plead hardship, but then never restoring their tax obligations when business got better. The facts are indisputable. For over 20 years, from 1987 to 2008, corporations paid an average of 22.5% in federal taxes. Since the recession, this has dropped to 10% -- even though their profits have doubled in less than ten years.

Pay Up Now just completed a compilation of corporate tax payments over the past five years, using SEC data as reported by the companies themselves. The firms chosen are top-earners who have filed 10-K reports through 2012. Their US Tax figures represent the five-year total of "current" payments.


Details on the usual at the link.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 01:45 PM

30. Haircuts proposed for New Zealand accounts


3/19/13
The National Government are pushing a Cyprus-style solution to bank failure in New Zealand which will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts, the Green Party said today.

Open Bank Resolution (OBR) is Finance Minister Bill English’s favoured option dealing with a major bank failure. If a bank fails under OBR, all depositors will have their savings reduced overnight to fund the bank’s bail out.

“Bill English is proposing a Cyprus-style solution for managing bank failure here in New Zealand – a solution that will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman. “The Reserve Bank is in the final stages of implementing a system of managing bank failure called Open Bank Resolution. The scheme will put all bank depositors on the hook for bailing out their bank.

“Depositors will overnight have their savings shaved by the amount needed to keep the bank afloat. “While the details are still to be finalised, nearly all depositors will see their savings reduced by the same proportions.

more..
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1303/S00306/national-planning-cyprus-style-solution-for-new-zealand.htm


Which country is next?



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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #30)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 03:46 PM

31. Après moi le déluge

I cannot imagine the hardy folks of New Zealand truckling down to this, any more than I can imagine Europe giving up with a yawn of boredom.

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