• Теги
    • избранные теги
    • Компании167
      • Показать ещё
      Сферы1
      Страны / Регионы9
      • Показать ещё
      Разное4
      Международные организации1
      Люди1
      Издания2
E.Sun Financial
27 марта 2013, 00:22

The Sun joins Telegraph in charging website users

News International says offering free content is 'just untenable', while Telegraph announces erection of metered paywallBritain's biggest selling daily newspaper, The Sun, is to start charging for its online content in the second half of 2013 as part of a radical shift in thinking about readers getting its journalism for free.Mike Darcey, the chief executive of News International, said the parent company's current position – which allowed millions of readers to get the Sun's content for free – was "untenable".The Sun online is read by about 30 million users every month – more than 10 times its 2.4m daily print circulation.At an informal press event on Tuesday night, Darcey said "the second half of 2013 is a fairly safe bet" for the erection of a paywall. That would coincide with the launch of the publisher's new Premier League deal, allowing it to show clips of goals and match highlights .The Daily Telegraph is also to charge for access to its website, becoming the first UK general interest national newspaper to use a metered paywall system.Its publisher, Telegraph Media Group, will allow telegraph.co.uk users free access to 20 online articles a month. After that, readers will be charged £1.99 a month (or £20 a year) for access to further online content and to the Telegraph's smartphone apps.It will also offer what it describes as a full digital pack, which also includes access to Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph content on tablet devices plus loyalty club membership for £9.99 a month (or £99 per year).With both packages, readers will be offered a one-month free trial before they are asked to commit to a subscription.The metered model is favoured by newspapers across the US – notably the New York Times – and Canada. It is used in Britain by the Financial Times. By contrast, the Times and Sunday Times site is protected by a full paywall, restricting all access unless users pay for a subscription.The Telegraph's decision comes after its launch, in November, of the metered model on its international website. According to its press release for the UK launch, nine out of 10 people who take a month-long free trial go on to subscribe.Existing print and digital subscribers in Britain will enjoy unlimited access to the website as part of their current package, at no extra cost.The Telegraph's editor, Tony Gallagher, said: "We want to develop a closer rapport with our digital audience in the UK, and we intend to unveil a number of compelling digital products for our loyal subscribers in the months ahead."PaywallsNewspapers & magazinesDigital mediaThe SunNational newspapersNewspapersDaily TelegraphTelegraph Media GroupSunday TelegraphNews InternationalInternetRoy GreensladeLisa O'Carrollguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

18 марта 2013, 23:54

Press regulation at risk as newspaper groups refuse to endorse deal

Publishers of Daily Mail, Sun and Telegraph taking high-level legal advice before deciding whether to join new watchdogThe political consensus over a new system of press regulation is running into difficulty with some of the country's key newspaper groups, including the publisher of the Daily Mail and the Sun, refusing to endorse it.One senior source said the groups were taking "high-level legal advice" before deciding if they could join the new watchdog or not.In a statement signed by Associated Newspapers, News International, the Telegraph Media group and the Express publishers, Northern & Shell, they said the deal included "several deeply contentious issues which have not yet been resolved with the industry".It is understood the group has issues with the statute that would be laid down to guarantee no change to the royal charter, along with concerns over the proposals to give the regulator the power to force apologies.A refusal to back the deal would set the newspapers at odds not only with the three main political parties, but with many of the victims of hacking and the anti-hacking pressure group Hacked Off.The newspapers strongly oppose the proposal that, for the first time, people from outside the industry would be involved in drawing up the newspaper code of practice, a code that has been widely praised and has been adapted by regulators in other countries."This is a political deal between the three parties and Hacked Off. It is not a deal with the newspapers," said a senior executive in one newspaper group.Trevor Kavanagh, the associate editor of the Sun, said it was worrying "when three political parties get together and their final verdict is welcomed so enthusiastically by Hacked Off which is definitely seeking to shackle and gag the free press. We simply do not want politicians to have control whatsoever in what goes in or doesn't go into newspapers."Associated Newspapers, News International and the Telegraph Media Group had been exploring the possibility of boycotting the government-sanctioned regulator and setting up their own if they believed it could threaten freedom of the press. One source said this was still "very much a live discussion"."Nobody is threatening it, or saying we will do it, but we won't be making a decision before we have had high-level legal advice," said the insider, who claimed that the existence of a "no change" statute to guarantee the royal charter could not be amended by the privy council still opened the door to political interference."The whole concept of a royal charter as sold to the industry has been undermined by the idea that it needs a parliamentary decision to change it. That's the anxiety," the source said.A second senior executive said the industry had already been advised that the proposal that the regulatory body could force newspapers into making apologies would be illegal as it would be contrary to article 10 of the European convention of human rights, which protects freedom of speech."No courts impose apologies on newspapers. Statements and apologies are always agreed by both sides. We have got legal opinion this could be against article 10 because it forces people to write something they don't agree to," the source said.The Financial Times said the onus was on the industry to make the regulation work but its leader comment expressed reservations about the "no change statute" for the royal charter. "This is either artful or downright disingenuous," it said adding that "legislation, even in a simple clause, sets a worrying precedent".Jonathan Dimbleby, who chairs Index on Censorship, condemned the royal charter statute, saying the board had "the gravest anxiety at the residual political powers the now-expected outcome and system will give to politicians".Press regulationNewspapers & magazinesRegulatorsNewspapersLeveson reportLeveson inquiryNews InternationalNational newspapersTelegraph Media GroupAssociated NewspapersDaily Mail & General TrustRegional & local newspapersNorthern & ShellLisa O'Carrollguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

11 марта 2013, 23:01

Who Spends The Most Dollars Lobbying Washington, DC?

Oil? Financials? Aerospace? When someone asks who the biggest sources of lobby dollars for DC's politicians-for-purchase are, these are the three usual suspects that come to mind. Some may, therefore, be surprised to learn according to the database kept by OpenSecrets between Pharmaceutical and health product industry, hospital and nursing homes, health professionals and health services, HMOs, or more broadly Pharma/Healthcare/HMO, the total lobby dollars spent between 1998 and 2012 was a staggering $5.3 billion, or nearly three times greater than the second most generous industry: insurance, and well above Oil and Gas at $1.4 billion, and Securities and Investment at $1.0 billion. Is it becoming clearer why the US government has few qualms about unsustainable taxpayer funded healthcare spending, especially when there are so many current benefits accruing to the politicians who see so many billions in benefits from passing lobby-friendly laws now (by which we mean generous taxpayer funding, the bulk of which benefits the healthcare industry's bottom line)? As for the costs: who cares - just dump them on future generations. It's not like anyone expects the $16.7 trillion in US debt to be ever repaid. Why is this important? Because as we showed nearly a year ago, the IRR on lobbying is by and far the highest of any investment return under the sun. From: Presenting The Greatest ROI Opportunity Ever The dream of virtually anyone who has ever traded even one share of stock has always been to generate above market returns, also known as alpha, preferably in a long-term horizon. Why? Because those who manage to return 30%, 20% even 10% above the S&P over the long run, become, all else equal (expert networks and collocated flow-frontrunning HFT boxes aside), legendary investors in the eyes of the general public, which brings the ancillary benefits of fame and fortune (usually in the form of 2 and 20). This is the ultimate goal of everyone who works on Wall Street. Yet, ironically, what most don't realize, is that these returns, or Returns On Investment (ROI), are absolutely meaningless when put side by side next to something few think about when considering investment returns. Namely lobbying. Because it is the ROIs for various forms of lobbying the put the compounded long-term returns of the market to absolute shame. As the following infographic demonstrates, ROIs on various lobbying efforts range from a whopping 5,900% (oil subsidies) to a gargantuan 77,500% (pharmaceuticals). How are these mingboggling returns possible? Simple - because they appeal to the weakest link: the most corrupt, bribable, and infinitely greedy unit of modern society known as 'the politician'. Yet who benefits from these tremendous arbitrage opportunities? Not you and I, that is for certain. No - it is the faceless corporations - the IBM Stellar Sphere, the Microsoft Galaxy, Planet Starbucks - which are truly in the control nexus of modern society, and which, precisely courtesy of these lobbying "efforts", in which modest investments generate fantastic returns allowing the status quo to further entrench itself, take advantage of this biggest weakness of modern "developed" society to make the rich much richer (a/k/a that increasingly thinner sliver of society known as investors), who are the sole beneficiaries of this "Amazing ROI" - the stock market is merely one grand (and lately broken, and very much manipulated) distraction, to give everyone the impression the playing field is level.

21 февраля 2013, 03:02

Daniel Wagner: Are We About to Repeat 2008?

The stock markets are frothy -- once again -- and it sure is starting to feel like 2008. Just 5 years ago the markets were partying like there was no tomorrow -- ignoring the bubbles that had developed, having failed to learn lessons from the plethora of previous financial crises, and pretending that if they just kept saying everything was fine long enough, everything would indeed be just fine. Well, it appears that after all that has happened, investors and markets have learned rather little. Consider the challenges that remain to be tackled, and the new ones awaiting us. Apart from the chronically high unemployment and ongoing fiscal malaise, intractable policy gridlock, and inexcusable partisanship in Washington, sequestration is just around the corner. Given that Congress went on recess anyway, and that there are just 3 working days left for Congress to wave a magic wand upon its return before the spending cuts kick in, it certainly seems likely that at least some of the spending cuts will indeed be implemented. Wall Street is starting to pay attention, but only after the stock markets reached a post-2007 high last week. What justified the rise in the first place? Relief that a depression did not occur and the economy did not fully implode at least partially explains it. But so does the new lean and mean corporate world, which has learned to do more with less, and has reclaimed profitability. Lost in translation on Wall Street is the continuing malaise of the middle and lower class, and the powerlessness of the government to kick start the economy. Wall Street has become adept at dodging bullets, over emphasizing good news, and ignoring bad news - and investors are allowing it to happen. Consider also Europe's ongoing economic malaise, which is growing worse, with the average EU unemployment rate rising to nearly 12%, and youth unemployment in Spain and Greece approaching 60%. Government spending as a percentage of GDP exceeds 50% in much of Europe, and is unsustainable. Just as the U.S. government has found it difficult to turn things around, European governments are in an even deeper hole, with no end in sight. In all likelihood, Europe faces at least another 3 to 5 years of austerity before the pain will start to ease. That does not bode well for the prospect of a sustainable global recovery. The global political landscape does not provide any real reason to feel better, either. With North Korea having tested its third nuclear weapon, Syria continuing to implode, and the possibility of war with Iran looming larger now than at any time in the past, there is real reason to be concerned. This comes at a time when the U.S. is withdrawing from its military engagement in Afghanistan and is retreating into a more isolationist paradigm. Even if there were a desire to change this going forward, our new budgetary realities, combined with a war weary public, make this difficult to achieve. It would be far more sensible for investors to remain cautious about the future, rather than to assume that the sun will continue to shine indefinitely. What got us into the mess we are slowly emerging from is a combination of short memories, lax risk management, and good old fashioned greed. It doesn't appear that much has changed in the past 5 years. For that reason, it's probably just a matter of time until we see a repeat of version of 2008. History has a strange way of repeating itself. If we continue to ignore the warnings signs, we will have earned it. *Daniel Wagner is CEO of Country Risk Solutions, a cross-border risk advisory firm based in Connecticut, and author of the book "Managing Country RIsk".

14 февраля 2013, 09:18

CAI International's CEO Discusses Q4 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

CAI International, Inc. (CAP) Q4 2012 Earnings Conference Call February 13, 2013 17:00 ET Executives Timothy Page - Chief Financial Officer Victor Garcia - President and Chief Executive Officer Analysts Bob Napoli - William Blair Gregory Louis - Credit Suisse Michael Webber - Wells Fargo Doug Mewhirter - Sun Robinson Humphrey Daniel Furtado – Jeffries Steven Kwok – KBW Helane Becker - Dahlman Rose James Woods - FBR Capital Markets Sal Vitale - Sterne Agee Brian Hogan - William Blair Presentation Operator Good day, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the CAI International Fourth Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will have a question-and-answer session and instructions will follow at that time. (Operator Instructions) I would now like to turn the conference over to your host for today, Mr. Timothy Page, Chief Financial Officer. Sir, you may begin. Timothy Complete Story »

14 февраля 2013, 08:27

Sun Life Financial Inc (SLF) declares $0.36/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous. Forward yield 4.81%. For shareholders of record Feb. 27. Payable Mar. 28. Ex-div date Feb. 25. (PR)

Sun Life Financial Inc (SLF) declares $0.36/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous. Forward yield 4.81%. For shareholders of record Feb. 27. Payable Mar. 28. Ex-div date Feb. 25. (PR) Post your comment!

02 февраля 2013, 00:32

How To Debate Paul Krugman

On Saturday Mish wrote a really awful article with those words in it's title. The article borrows these words and includes a quote from an even more awful article by Austrian school economist and author Detlev Schlichter.  Part of that quote is presented here. What makes him [PK] so annoying is his unquestioning, reflexive and almost childlike enthusiasm for state intervention, even in the face of its obvious failure, and his apparent unwillingness to probe any deeper into the real causes of our present economic problems or to show any willingness to investigate the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of his particular medicine. I want to make something perfectly clear before we go any further.  It is fine to disagree with Krugman, or me, or the Pope, or anyone else, as long as you bring facts, data, and some basic skill in rational discourse.  What is not fine is misrepresenting someone's position and then holding the misrepresentation up to ridicule.  That is both vile and stupid. Back to the quote: does that sound anything like the Paul Krugman who puts his ideas out there for the world to see on a daily basis?  What I see in Krugman is thoughtful analysis, and deep probing into both the causes of our problems and the consequences of economic policy decisions.  You don't have to agree with his assesments, but you cannot validly deny that he is making them. When the opportunities smack me in the face like this, I put on my Krugman Truth Squad hat. Schlichter offers us a standard issue stale Austrian anti-Krugman diatribe. You have to wonder if he has ever bothered to read anything that Krugman has written.  His wordy, repetitive, rambling, semi-coherent, desperate-sounding article - which I cannot recommend highly enough - is an impressive exercise in partial-truths, distortions, make believe, and straw man stuffing.  He then hints that we should go back to the gold standard and totally unfettered free markets. Schlichter lists Krugman's alleged assumptions, condensed here: 1)   Recessions, depressions and crises are the result of the unhampered market. 2)   The Great Depression was caused by uncontrolled markets.3)   Recessions, depressions and crises are practically the result of one problem: a lack of aggregate demand.  .  .  .   It is the role of government to get people spending again. This is done by printing money and causing inflation so that people spend.  4)   The Great Depression was solved by the government spending lots of money and the central bank printing lots of money. Let's pause here for a moment and set aside the redundancy.  I'm not sure points 1 and 2 represent PK's view with any degree of accuracy.  Certainly they are gross oversimplifications and neglect other factors.  But if they are true, then point 3 can't be.  Let's set that aside, as well.  Points 3 and 4 are reasonably close to the truth, though if you read the original, point 3 runs off the rails as it continues.  From there it only gets worse. 5)   This explains ALL economic problems. So, according to Schlechter, Keynes taught, Krugman believes - and would have us believe - that loose money policies and causing inflation are the right policy measures not only for recessions, but for boom times, and periods of inflation, hyper-inflation, stag-flation, or any other problem you can think of.  Even I know enough about Keynes to call that out as false. The redundency continues to pile up.  I'll extract one more point. [#'s 6,7, and 8 are repetitions of #4 with various degrees of elaboration and snark.] 7)   If after many rounds of money printing and deficit spending, there is still a recession, then only one conclusion is permissible: There was obviously not enough money printing and deficit spending. We need more of it. I don't claim to know everything, but I'm not aware of any situation in recent history that has played out like this, so it looks like a Schlichterian fantasy.  In the post WW II era, the combination of loose money and fiscal expansion has generally kept recessions rather short, leading to V-shaped recoveries, and putting the brakes on too quickly has occasionally led to a double dip.  England has recently experienced an austerity-induced double dip recession.  In the current U. S. doldrums, Krugman tells us fiscal frugality has led to a slow and limping recovery.  This is credible since spending is flat and GDP growth is anemic. [Graph 1] Graph 1, Current Expenditures and GDP (log scale) Has any modern major economy had a recession persist after "many rounds of money printing and deficit spending"?  Even in the Great Depression things turned around pretty quickly once New Deal policies were implemented.  But, as PK also tells us, recessions brought on by a financial crisis are different from the typical post WW II recession. Schlichter doesn't let up. Though this statement [emphasis added], "Krugman is the one who should be made to explain his policy recommendations and who has to answer the criticism that policies like the ones he is recommending got us into this mess in the first place and that his policy ideas have been implemented for years to no effect, at least no positive effect." is hard to beat for sheer negation of reality [and for channeling Ron Paul],  the real capper is this: "Krugman is practicing Keynesianism as a religion." It is because of statements like this that I lose patience with people who use words like "disingenuous." You can supply your own alternative vocabulary   Check Krugman's Op-Eds and blog posts, where he repeatedly demonstrates reality with graphs and tables, shows how austerity is failing right now with real-world examples, and admits it when he gets something wrong.  When is the last time you saw a Krugman-hater do that? Mish, to his eternal discredit, says of this nonsense: " Moreover, it appears to be 100% accurate." But, Mish continues, the real way to debate Krugman is demonstrated by Economist Hans Hermann-Hoppe in this one minute video. This is genuinely awesome.   That an economist can be so thoroughly wrong - wrong in general and wrong in every particular - about what Keynesianism is and does, leaves me speechless, and that's saying something. OK - almost speechless.  Any child can see that the earth is flat and the sun revolves around it.  So let's forget the trivially unimportant technical details and ask simple-minded, allegedly probing questions that in this case are totally unrelated not only to the policies Keynes and Krugman propose, but to anything else in the real world, and then point and stare when these questions cannot be answered - by anyone, while your minions nod approvingly. But would it work?  Mish concludes this way: Krugman would respond with incomprehensible gibberish "for wonks only" as well as typical Keynesian nonsense about how paying people to dig holes and other people to fill them up would start a chain reaction of growth. A child would see the answer was preposterous, but not a trained economist, politician, or brainwashed academic. Paul Krugman, keynesian economists in general, politicians wanting a free lunch, and most academics are all incurable. Nonetheless, Hans Hermann-Hoppe's answer is indeed the correct one. By asking questions a child will understand, some non-brainwashed people will see Keynesian and Monetary stimulus for what they really are: economic stupidity. In a follow up article [with a 5 point list that includes 2 naked assertion and 3 irrelevancies {seriously - Zimbabwe?!?}] Mish makes it clear that in his view monetary and fiscal stimulus are BOTH stupid.   So, at this point it looks as if he - with his straw man army and blatant intellectual nihilism -  and I have devolved into a schoolyard game of calling each other stupid. But I'm quite sure Mish is not stupid, and I'm fairly certain I'm not either.  The real questions are these: who is paying attention to reality, whose policies make things better or worse in a given situation [absolutism, anyone?] and whose concepts have had some predictive power over the last several years.  [Here's a hint: it's not the Austerians.] So, maybe a better way to phrase it is, "Who is practicing their economics as a religion?"

28 января 2013, 17:51

Maryland Same Sex Weddings = Dollar Signs

When Maryland merchants talk about the recent legalization of same-sex marriage, they sometimes talk of broad, lofty themes: Equality. Justice. Civil rights. But there's another practical concept at work: Dollar signs. The financial motivation was on display Sunday at the second annual Gay and Lesbian Wedding Expo at the Tremont Suites Hotel & Grand Historic Venue in downtown Baltimore, where dozens of vendors competed for the attention of dozens of couples whose weddings now carry the official blessing of the state of Maryland. The event was sponsored by RainbowWeddingNetwork.com. "We are happy to know that whoever we choose, they're going to be a supportive company," said Jessica Crow, 33, of Abingdon, who was attending her first wedding expo with her fiance, Michele Girolamo, 29. "It's good to know there are so many supportive people out there." Crow, a Texas transplant, and Girolamo, a lifelong Baltimorean -- accompanied by Girolamo's sister and mom -- spent the afternoon checking out same-sex-friendly bakers, photographers and designers. There were photo booth operators suitably dressed in Ravens attire and chefs of Chinese noodles. There was even, somewhat perplexingly, a man on stilts. As the couple walked from booth to booth, there was always a smile, an outstretched hand and a stack of business cards. None of this, of course, should be surprising. A year ago, an analysis by the University of California Los Angeles' Williams Institute suggested that legalizing same-sex marriage would provide a boost to Maryland's economy. Over three years, the institute predicted, weddings by resident Maryland couples alone will generate between $40 million and $64 million for the state economy, and $2.5 million to $4 million in new sales and lodging tax revenues. Those figures didn't factor in any out-of-state couples that might travel to Maryland to get hitched, the institute noted. Standing in front of an elegant blue and white altar backdrop, wedding planner Drew Vanlandingham, the owner of Vanlandingham Design Studio, was hoping to get in on it. Vanlandingham said his business is experiencing a "boom" since voters approved same-sex marriage in November. He's attended three gay-focused expos this month, and signed up three new same-sex couples just this week, he said. Recently, he noted, his clients have been asking for smaller, more intimate weddings. "They're wanting something simple," Vanlandingham said, gesturing to the display before talking up some more prospective clients. Several booths over, Annette Drew, owner of Annette's Cakery in Severna Park, is hoping to jump start business in the new year. January is traditionally a slow time for weddings, she said, and if she can start landing customers now, she'll be off to a good start for the year. Drew said she's noticed an uptick in phone calls from same-sex couples since the law passed. She can make cupcake towers, she pitches, and will personalize any cake to the wildest whims of a customer's imagination. "We can make anything a customer wants," Drew said, offering a guest a piece of her raspberry-almond cake. Nearby, Jessica Taylor White, operations manager for Charm City Catering, was offering samples of her crab dip to couples who walked by. "We are seeing more and more same-sex couples reach out for our catering," she said with a smile. As they traversed the crowded expo, Crow and Girolamo weren't sure where they will get married-- they've narrowed it down to several locations in the city limits -- or which vendors they will use. But they know this: There is no shortage of firms to choose from. Girolamo held up a plastic bag loaded down with free handouts, samples, brochures and advertising information she'd received within minutes of arriving. "These bags are getting very heavy with information," she said. The couple looked around, smiled, and then went off to sample more cake. [email protected] twitter.com/lukebroadwater ___ (c)2013 The Baltimore Sun Visit The Baltimore Sun at www.baltimoresun.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

28 января 2013, 08:14

Terence Smith: Now to Work

With a splendid second inauguration behind him, Barack Obama sits down at his desk to grapple with a huge agenda of problems and opportunities, challenges and openings, dangers and adventures at home and abroad. "America's possibilities are limitless," the president proclaimed beneath a blue sky and bright sun, "for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive, diversity and openness, an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention." We will need all of that and more, and so will he. Speaking from the West Front of the Capitol, the president sounded like the most confident lame duck in recent memory (think George W. confronting the morass in Iraq, Bill Clinton already tempted by Monica, Ronald Reagan, tiring and already embroiled in the early stages of Iran-Contra.) Obama was unapologetic about his agenda, from immigration reform to lgbt rights, and once again invited Congressional Republicans to join him in pursuing it. The GOP Speaker of the House, John Boehner, squinted into the sun with a sour look. The contrast between the two men spoke volumes. Looking back over the last six months or so, say, since the nomination of Mitt Romney, the most striking development in American politics is not the reelection of the president or the relative status quo in Congress, it is the virtual disintegration of the Republican Party. Who leads that party today and what does it stand for? Is it Boehner, who cannot control his own caucus? Is it Senator Mitch McConnell, who sat expressionless in the crowd of faces behind the president on inauguration day? Four years ago, he laid down a marker by declaring his number one objective to be confining President Obama to a single term. Is it Eric Cantor, who looked none too happy himself on the dais? Is it the Tea Party, with its response of "No" to virtually everything the president proposes? What does the GOP stand for? Smaller government, yes; reduced debt, yes. But is less really more? Is it an answer to persistent unemployment and sluggish growth? To persistent challenges abroad? What is the affirmative Republican strategy and who will articulate it, not just now but in the run-up to 2016? Paul Ryan? Marco Rubio? Who will reach out to an increasingly diverse America? Never have there been so many unanswered questions about the policies and future of a major American political party. And yet, history illustrates that political fortunes are cyclical, that a party that reaches its nadir will come back up, that politics abhors a vacuum. Republicans remain powerful in statehouses, especially in the south and southwest, and their financial backers are far from tapped out. So the status quo will change. But it is hard, in the first weeks of a new presidential term, to see when and how and who will lead that change. Terence Smith is a journalist. His website is terencefsmith.com

13 января 2013, 13:25

Sun Life, Khazanah to buy Aviva's Malaysian operations - sources

Canada's Sun Life Financial and Malaysian state investor Khazanah have agreed to buy Aviva's Malaysian insurance joint venture with lender CIMB for about 1.7 billion ringgit , sources said on Sunday. The ...

08 января 2013, 03:48

You'll Never Believe This Man's Excuse For Using The Carpool Lane

The legal classification of corporations as people allows for a whole host of things, from making lawsuits simpler to justifying why Goldman Sachs was able to donate some $4.7 million to American political campaigns during the last election cycle. But if corporations are people, can one of them ride in your car? And if so, does that qualify you to use the carpool lane? That's the question Northern California political activist Jonathan Frieman hoped to have answered when he was pulled over driving in the carpool lane last October on Highway 101 in Marin County. The police officer issued Frieman a nearly $500 ticket for driving by himself in the carpool lane, and Frieman countered that he wasn't solo because he had stack of documents in the car representing a corporation he had co-founded. It turns out that Frieman, who has a history of snarkily causing trouble in local politics, had more on his mind than just trying to worm his way out of paying a ticket. The 59-year old San Rafael resident is hoping to use this case a way to challenge the whole idea of corporate personhood. While corporate personhood has been settled law in the United States for nearly 200 years, it recently became a flashpoint issue after the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision allowed corporations to donate unlimited amounts of cash to political campaigns. "The case is kind of complex. What I want [the judge] to do is say 'no' so that I can appeal," Frieman explained to Mill Valley Patch, noting that he could foresee the issue going as far as the U.S. Supreme Court. "I don't want corporations to be defined as persons." "When a corporation is present in one's car, it is sufficient to qualify as a two-person occupancy for commuter lane purposes," Ford Greene, a San Anselmo city councilmember who is also acting as Frieman's lawyer at his impending court date, told the Pacific Sun. "When the corporate presence in our electoral process is financially dominant, by parity it appears appropriate to recognize such presence in an automobile." According to a blog post he wrote in mid-2011 for San Rafael Patch, Frieman had been driving around with his corporate imaginary friend hoping to get pulled for over a decade before it finally happened late last year--making him probably the first person in existence actively trying to get a traffic ticket. In the article, which took the form of an imagined dialogue with a judge, Frieman wrote: Your honor, according to the vehicle code definition and legal sources, I did have a 'person' in my car. But Officer 'so-and-so' believes I did NOT have another person in my car. If you rule in his favor, you are saying that corporations are not persons. I hope you do rule in his favor. I hope you do overturn 125 years of settled law. On the other hand, your honor, if you dismiss the ticket and say I am right, that means anyone can go into the carpool lane alone during restricted hours. That is, you are saying that everyone, riding alone in an automobile in the carpool lane during restricted hours, also has on board a corporation, or, under California law, a 'person' other than them. And we couldn't have that, could we? University of San Francisco law professor Robert Talbot seemed unconvinced that Frieman's strategy would ultimately prove successful because its too far away from the spirit in which the carpool laws were conceived. "A court might say, 'Well, it says person, and a corporation is a person, so that'll work for the carpool lane,'" Talbot told NBC Bay Area. "It's possible, but I doubt it." Section 470 of the California Vehicle Code defines a person as "natural person, firm, copartnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation." What do you think? Should corporations qualify for the carpool lane? Should papers from newly formed corporations have to ride in booster seats?

08 января 2013, 03:48

You'll Never Believe This Man's Excuse For Using The Carpool Lane

The legal classification of corporations as people allows for a whole host of things, from making lawsuits simpler to justifying why Goldman Sachs was able to donate some $4.7 million to American political campaigns during the last election cycle. But if corporations are people, can one of them ride in your car? And if so, does that qualify you to use the carpool lane? That's the question Northern California political activist Jonathan Frieman hoped to have answered when he was pulled over driving in the carpool lane last October on Highway 101 in Marin County. The police officer issued Frieman a nearly $500 ticket for driving by himself in the carpool lane, and Frieman countered that he wasn't solo because he had stack of documents in the car representing a corporation he had co-founded. It turns out that Frieman, who has a history of snarkily causing trouble in local politics, had more on his mind than just trying to worm his way out of paying a ticket. The 59-year old San Rafael resident is hoping to use this case a way to challenge the whole idea of corporate personhood. While corporate personhood has been settled law in the United States for nearly 200 years, it recently became a flashpoint issue after the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision allowed corporations to donate unlimited amounts of cash to political campaigns. "The case is kind of complex. What I want [the judge] to do is say 'no' so that I can appeal," Frieman explained to Mill Valley Patch, noting that he could foresee the issue going as far as the U.S. Supreme Court. "I don't want corporations to be defined as persons." "When a corporation is present in one's car, it is sufficient to qualify as a two-person occupancy for commuter lane purposes," Ford Greene, a San Anselmo city councilmember who is also acting as Frieman's lawyer at his impending court date, told the Pacific Sun. "When the corporate presence in our electoral process is financially dominant, by parity it appears appropriate to recognize such presence in an automobile." According to a blog post he wrote in mid-2011 for San Rafael Patch, Frieman had been driving around with his corporate imaginary friend hoping to get pulled for over a decade before it finally happened late last year--making him probably the first person in existence actively trying to get a traffic ticket. In the article, which took the form of an imagined dialogue with a judge, Frieman wrote: Your honor, according to the vehicle code definition and legal sources, I did have a 'person' in my car. But Officer 'so-and-so' believes I did NOT have another person in my car. If you rule in his favor, you are saying that corporations are not persons. I hope you do rule in his favor. I hope you do overturn 125 years of settled law. On the other hand, your honor, if you dismiss the ticket and say I am right, that means anyone can go into the carpool lane alone during restricted hours. That is, you are saying that everyone, riding alone in an automobile in the carpool lane during restricted hours, also has on board a corporation, or, under California law, a 'person' other than them. And we couldn't have that, could we? University of San Francisco law professor Robert Talbot seemed unconvinced that Frieman's strategy would ultimately prove successful because its too far away from the spirit in which the carpool laws were conceived. "A court might say, 'Well, it says person, and a corporation is a person, so that'll work for the carpool lane,'" Talbot told NBC Bay Area. "It's possible, but I doubt it." Section 470 of the California Vehicle Code defines a person as "natural person, firm, copartnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation." What do you think? Should corporations qualify for the carpool lane? Should papers from newly formed corporations have to ride in booster seats?

07 января 2013, 23:50

GE Facilitates Genesis' Purchase - Analyst Blog

GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services has recently facilitated the acquisition of the Sun Healthcare Group Inc. by Genesis HealthCare.

Выбор редакции
14 ноября 2012, 02:07

Diamond Sells For $21.5 Million, Setting Record

GENEVA — Geneva's jewelry auctions, held in five-star hotels along its elegant lakefront, can seem a continent if not a world away from the grim austerity gripping much of Europe. Two out-of-this-world diamonds are being auctioned off this week, joining a long list of other fabulous jewels, watches and other luxury goods sold in Geneva. Here's a look at the city's most eye-popping diamonds: PERFECTLY TRANSPARENT On Tuesday night, Christie's auctioned off the Archduke Joseph Diamond for $21,474,525 including commission, a world auction record price per carat for a colorless diamond. That was well above the expected $15 million and more than triple the price paid for it at auction almost two decades ago. The 76.02-carat diamond, with perfect color and internally flawless clarity, came from the ancient Golconda mines in India. The seller, Alfredo J. Molina, chairman of California-based jeweler Black, Starr & Frost, said immediately afterward that there were two main bidders and that he was delighted with the result. Molina said the winning bidder, who wished to remain anonymous, is going to donate the diamond for display at a museum. "It's a great price for a stone of this quality," Molina told The Associated Press. "It's one of a kind, so it's like saying `Are you pleased when you sell the Mona Lisa?' Or `Are you pleased when you sell the Hope Diamond?' It's all what the market will bear, and the stone sold for a very serious price." Named for Archduke Joseph August of Austria, the great-grandson of both a Holy Roman emperor and a French king, the diamond passed to his son, Archduke Joseph Francis, who put it in a bank vault, then to an anonymous buyer who kept it in a safe during World War II. From there it surfaced at a London auction in 1961, then at a Geneva auction in 1993, when Christie's sold it for $6.5 million. It wasn't the only mega-diamond to go under the hammer at Tuesday's auction in the hotel room packed with well-heeled bidders. Beneath a row of three enormous chandeliers that cast panther-like shadows on the ceiling, the participants eagerly pounced at the jewels while competing with bidders from around the world calling in to Christie's employees seated in rows on both sides of the room. But perhaps the buyers weren't entirely immune to the harsh financial climate in Europe – or at least some Geneva version of it. Two plus-sized diamonds did not sell Tuesday night. A yellow diamond with 70.19 carats failed to sell because the final bid was 2.8 million Swiss francs, just slightly below the reserve price. A 12.16 carat pink diamond didn't sell because the final bid was 1.8 million francs, well under the reserve price. FANCY DEEP BLUE Sotheby's on Wednesday will auction what it calls an exceptionally rare fancy deep blue briolette diamond of 10.48 carats expected to get up to $4.5 million. Also on the block: a conch pearl, enamel and diamond Cartier bracelet that formerly belonged to Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain that's expected to sell for up to $1.4 million. ROYAL CONNECTIONS In May 2012, Sotheby's sold the 34.98 carat Beau Sancy diamond to an anonymous bidder for $9.7 million. Marie de Medici had worn it at her coronation as Queen Consort of Henry IV in France in 1610. Then the diamond passed among the royal families in France, England, the Netherlands and Prussia. It was sold by the Royal House of Prussia. Sotheby's also sold for $3.87 million the Murat Tiara, a pearl-and-diamond tiara created for the marriage of a prince whose ancestors included the husband of Caroline Bonaparte, Napoleon's sister. Christie's auctioned off a 32.08-carat Burmese ruby and diamond ring that sold for $6.7 million, a world record price for a ruby sold at auction. PEAR-SHAPED In November 2011, the Sun-Drop Diamond of South Africa, a giant pear-shaped yellow gem weighing 110.3 carats, sold for more than $10.9 million at auction, beating previous records for a jewel of its type. Including commission, the unidentified telephone bidder paid almost $12.4 million for the gem. Other lots at the $70 million sale included a white cushion-shaped diamond weighing 38.88 carats that sold for almost $7 million, including commission. HEART-SHAPED In May 2011, Christie's fetched $10.9 million for a 56-carat heart-shaped diamond that was internally flawless and $7.1 million for a 130-carat Burmese sapphire. Sotheby's got $12.7 million for a rare emerald-and-diamond tiara that a fabulously wealthy German prince, Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck, commissioned for his second, Russian-born wife around 1900. An intensely pink 11-carat diamond from the mines of India sold for $10.8 million. INTENSELY PINK In November 2010, a rare pink diamond smashed the world record for a jewel at auction, selling for more than $46 million to well-known London jeweler Laurence Graff. Four bidders competed for the pink diamond, which was last sold 60 years earlier by New York jeweler Harry Winston. The seller chose to remain anonymous. The 24.78-carat "fancy intense pink" diamond immediately became known as "The Graff Pink."

12 ноября 2012, 23:48

Clueless Bankers Know Nothing of Finance

Watch the full Keiser Report E366 here: http://youtu.be/ZyNN1PYQ1kw In this episode, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss foul mouthed foreigners with banker tourettes in Singapore, while in America, traders at Barclays send each other expletive-filled emails admitting to manipulating energy prices down in order to have their big bets on declining prices pay off. They also discuss financial activists creating a rolling jubillee reverse vulture fund designed to liberate the population from unpayable debts. In the second half, Max Keiser talks to Teri Buhl about the investigation into fraud at Sun Trust Bank where whistleblowers allege the bank mis-sold mortgages to Fannie Mae, the government sponsored enterprise. Max and Teri also talk about recent developments in the case of residential mortgage back securities fraudulently sold to investors by JP Morgan's Bear Stearns holding and Teri proposes a million man march on the SEC and the NY Fed. Follow Max Keiser on Twitter: http://twitter.com/maxkeiser Watch all Keiser Report shows here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL768A33676917AE90 (E1-E200) http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC3F29DDAA1BABFCF (E201-current) RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaToday Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnews Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_com Follow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RT RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 500 million YouTube views benchmark.

Выбор редакции
04 ноября 2012, 06:26

Paul Abrams: Romney, Change? "From the People Who Brought You Economic Collapse and Iraq"

Romney has hired the George W. Bush team of economic and foreign policy advisers. The Romney campaign has now decided to adopt the mantle of "change." This hands the Obama campaign another opportunity to let the sun shine on the truth. It certainly is "change", but one usually associates "change" with something new, not with re-instituting disastrously failed policies. (Einstein did not call that change; he called it insanity). If Romney and the Republicans take over, not only will Medicare's guarantee be gone -- forever -- but we will experience the same financial, housing and general economic collapse as we did under George W Bush. Because the truth is that Romney's economic advisers, led by Glenn Hubbard, were also George W Bush's economic advisers. Not surprisingly, they have the same plan: tax cuts for the wealthy, de-regulation, subsidies for oil companies, ending subsidies for alternative energy, tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas and skyrocketing defense spending. Lurking not too deep behind the surface are plans to hand Social Security to Wall Street. But, this time the collapse will be worse. We start from a far less secure position than when President Clinton handed the Republicans surpluses "as far as the eye could see," and, this time, there is no stomach in the Republican party to do anything but let it all fall. The Obama campaign should be very clear, e.g.,: "So, my fellow Americans, if you want another financial meltdown, Mitt Romney has hired the people who gave the last one to you. If you want another housing collapse, Romney has the right people primed to give you another. If you want another economic catastrophe, Romney's people know how to make that happen too. If you want to see income inequality continue to skyrocket, Romney's advisers are the experts." "You know from your own recent experience not only that it does not work, but that it leads directly to catastrophe. And, we now know, from a report by the Congressional Research Service, that Romney's entire program does not work to create jobs. We know how true it is because the Republicans have suppressed the report -- as the Romney campaign said, 'we are not going to let fact-checkers get in the way of our campaign'. It is also fair to conclude that Romney will continue the Afghanistan War well beyond 2014. Although the neoconistas have allowed him to agree with President Obama's timetable without publicly objecting during the campaign, it is difficult to believe that they will not be pushing for an escalation, aka, a "surge for as long as the eye can see." It is not in their nature to do otherwise. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has proposed as much. And there is an unsettling clue from a Romney advisor, Dan Senor, who in the same breath adopted the Obama withdrawal timetable and criticized it. After all, "circumstances" might just "change" after the election. Do you think? Then, of course, there is Iran. The neoconistas have wanted to topple the government in Iran for a long time. Iraq was just supposed to be a steppingstone. President Bush was unable to get Russia and China to join in crippling economic sanctions. President Obama did. After Romney's references to Russia, how long after a Romney election is President Putin likely to stick with the sanction regime? And, once it falls apart, whom do you think will be pretending to be distraught that the only alternative to war has now been removed? Just take a gander at Romney's foreign policy/national security advisers. Seventeen of 24 have origins in the Bush Administration who helped lie us into Iraq. Since neither Romney nor Ryan knows anything about foreign policy, the ability of this neocon cabal to get its way is almost unchallenged. [But, don't worry. None of the Romney sons will be fighting]. There has not been very much specific from the Romney campaign other than wild swings in his positions depending on what sentiment he is pretending to convey. One is, however, justified in concluding what Romney will actually do if he became president. Just look at the people he has hired for advice.