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Feb 12, 2010

NYT: Afternoon UpdateS, Business, February12, 2010


Wall Street Struggles as China Tightens Bank Rules
U.S. markets recovered some ground after falling on reports that the European recovery slowed sharply late last year and that China had taken new steps to curb lending.


Credit Card Limits for Youth Can Be Opportunity for Parents

Rules that limit access to credit cards until the age of 21 go into effect this month, which is good news and bad for parents.

As Imports Fall, So Does the U.S. Trade Deficit
The recession produced the largest decline ever in America’s trade gap with the rest of the world.

In Japan, the Hummer Is Now Officially Green
Starting this week, Japan’s new, looser fuel-efficiency standards for imported cars will provide a subsidy to buyers of the hulking power machines.

Growth in Europe Slows to a Crawl
The economic recovery in the euro area almost ground to a halt in the last quarter of 2009, data showed Friday, with the economy of the 16-nation group growing by 0.1 percent.

More Business News

Forbes: Eight New ETFs Investors Should Avoid

Eight New ETFs Investors Should Avoid
David K. Randall
ProShares launches eight triple-leveraged funds.

Small Luxuries
A. Gary Shilling
Half of affluent Americans are fretting about future financial losses. Making a virtue out of necessity, many of these people are consuming luxury but less conspicuously. Back To Normal
John W. Rogers
Experts are saying Americans will put 20% of their pay in piggy banks and curtail spending. I don't believe personal behavior will shift so radically.
Delay Sought In California Web Tax
William P. Barrett
Tax agency board member calls for small businesses to be given more time to comply.
Unintended Consequences
Richard Lehmann
A likely outcome of all the bailouts is a recurrence of inflation. Position yourself for it with converts, commodities and adjustable-rate preferreds.

USA Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Calendar Highlights
March 22, 2010
Deadline for public comments concerning proposed regulations regarding retail forex transactions

April 5, 2010
Deadline for public comments concerning proposed questionnaire pursuant to Regulation 30.10.

April 26, 2010
Deadline for public comments concerning proposed speculative position limits for futures and option contracts in certain energy commodities.

What's New at the CFTC

Get the Latest Information on...

Registration of Intermediaries
Commitments of Traders: The Commitments of Traders (COT) reports provide a breakdown of each Tuesday’s open interest for market reports in which 20 or more traders hold positions equal to or above the reporting levels established by the CFTC.
Industry Filings: The Industry Filings search tool provides access to information about, and filings by, both U.S. and foreign trading facilities and clearing organizations.
Federal Register Releases: CFTC Federal Register releases, available in html and pdf formats, may be searched by year, type of release, or subject.
Public Comments: Proposed rules and industry filings open for comments, and instructions on how to file public comments.
Case Status Reports: The CFTC provides Case Status Reports to inform the public of the current status of ongoing legal cases brought against defendants accused of committing futures trading violations.
Fraud Awareness & Prevention: Before you trade in commodities or futures, know the kinds and signs of fraud and the basics of futures trading.
Last Updated: February 8, 2010

Forbes. com . Intelligent Investing February 12, 2010

Intelligent Investing with Steve Forbes


Intelligent Investing
Soar High With Boeing And Friends
Boeing and its multitudinous supplier base are on an upswing thanks to both the military and the Dreamliner.
With Rick Whittington
Intelligent Investing
Dobbs: We Need Debates
Radio host Lou Dobbs believes reasoned debate, not partisan politics, will shape America's future.
With Steve Forbes

Video: Intelligent Investing With Steve Forbes

Intelligent Investing With Steve Forbes
Lou Dobbs: Too Big To Fail Is Nonsense
Radio host Lou Dobbs wants a return of Glass Steagall and says "too big to fail" is nonsense.

The Economist Alerts : Economics, World Bank and World Trade Organisation, February 12th, 2010

Articles-by-subject alert: Economics, World Bank and World Trade Organisation From, Friday February 12th 2010

The following have been newly published on
Brazil's recovering economy
The government will be less abstemious than it claims ... more

Rebalancing America's economy
Barack Obama's advisers lay out some steps to a rebalanced economy. Others are out of his hands ... more

The economic downturn and the centre-right
In many prosperous democracies, a crisis-driven backlash against the political right failed to materialise. Why so? ... more

Number-crunchers crunched
The uses and abuses of mathematical models ... more

FDIC : Meeting the Credit Needs of Creditworthy Small Business Borrowers , February 12,2010

Financial Institution Letter

Meeting the Credit Needs of Creditworthy Small Business Borrowers FIL-5-2010
February 12, 2010

Summary: The federal financial regulatory agencies and the state supervisors (collectively, the regulators) are issuing the attached statement to restate and elaborate their supervisory views on prudent lending to creditworthy small business borrowers. The statement builds on the principles in existing guidance for prudent lending to creditworthy borrowers and strives to ensure that supervisory policies and actions do not inadvertently curtail the availability of credit to sound small business borrowers. Further, while the regulators expect institutions to effectively monitor and manage credit concentrations, institutions should not automatically refuse credit to sound borrowers because of a borrower's particular industry or geographic location. Financial institutions that engage in prudent small business lending after performing a comprehensive review of a borrower's financial condition will not be subject to criticism.

Money Morning: It's Time for Banks to stop high -risk trading

February 12, 2010

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It's Time For "Banks" to Stop High-Risk Trading

By Shah Gilani, Contributing Editor, Money Morning

When members of the Senate Banking Committee recently asked Paul A. Volcker how regulators would identify banks engaged in excessive, high-risk trading, the former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman quipped:  "It's like pornography - you know it when you see it."

Volcker wants to make it illegal for banks to engage in such high-risk activities as "proprietary trading" - when an institution trades for its own accounts, as opposed to making trades for customer accounts. But as Volcker's comment illustrates, the proposal - known as "Volcker's Rule" - the whole concept of high-risk trading is pretty hazy and hard to define.

Just as hazy is the definition of what now constitutes a bank.

Long gone are the elegant subtleties of form and finesse that once defined the bank. In recent years, the entire concept has been che apened by the vulgar obviousness of grossly enhanced compensation schemes.

No company better embodies this transformation than Goldman Sachs.

To find out why high-risk trading should be banned, read on...

Gilani on...
- Warning: This is Not Another Wall Street Conspiracy Theory, These are the Facts

- Wall Street's Stranglehold on the Economy Is Choking Americans

Investing Strategies: How to Decode the New Option Symbols That Take Effect Today

By Larry D. Spears, Contributing Writer, Money Morning

If you're a veteran options trader, you'll find that a major change to the rules of the game takes effect today (Friday). Today was the deadline for quotation systems, order-entry platforms and other electronic programs around the globe to begin referring to option contracts by entirely new identifying symbols.

The old option symbols - simple four- or five-character letter codes that have been in use since the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) first started trading standardized listed options back in 1973 - are being replaced with new, more-definitive codes containing a combination of up to 22 letters and numbers.

The new symbols are designed to provide a complete description of each individual option - one that can be universally understood by everyone in the markets, and by the data-transmission computers and electronic quotation systems.

The idea for a new option quotation format was first put forth back in 2005 by securities-industry insiders whose companies were struggling to find ways to deal with the steadily growing number of optionable stocks, index options, short-dated "serial" options, long-term issues such as LEAPs, etc. - and with the expanding strike-price ranges for all of them.


Are there topics you'd like to see better coverage of Money Morning? Editors that you'd like to hear more from?

Send your editorial suggestions attention to "MM Mailbag" here.

All other customer service inquiries can be addressed

Eurozone Action on Greece Fails to Defuse the Ticking Global "Debt Bomb"

By Don Miller, Associate Editor, Money Morning

European leaders said yesterday (Thursday) that they were prepared to take a "determined" action to stave off the worst crisis in the euro currency's 11-year history. But their plan was short on details and is unlikely to totally dispel fears of a possible default by Greece.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said assistance for Greece would be forthcoming. But his speech lacked specifics about exactly what form that assistance would take and he offered no timeline for when aid for Greece would be initiated.

The statement seemed to be primarily aimed at reassuring markets that the EU wouldn't allow Greece's ballooning deficit to spark a debt crisis. It simply ordered Greece to clean up its accounts and gave the International Monetary Fund (IMF) a monitoring role.

"Markets seem to be happy that they are doing something. The problem is if they come out with an ad hoc temporary solution for Greece then people wonder what happens when the next country comes into trouble," Nick Kounis, chief European economist at Fortis Bank Nederland NV in Amsterdam, told Bloomberg News. "This whole thing needs to be institutionalized."

Read full article...

The Economist Alerts:Banking, pensions and financial regulation

Articles-by-subject alert: Banking, pensions and financial regulation From, Friday February 12th 2010

The following have been newly published on
Sovereign risk and the banks
Governments used to worry about their banks. Now the reverse is also true ... more

Risk after the crisis
Moneymen need saving from themselves ... more

Evaporating liquidity
The perils of a sudden evaporation of liquidity ... more

Banks and risk management
Why some banks did much better than others ... more

The role of the risk manager
Risk managers to the fore ... more

Taming financial risk
Financial risk got ahead of the world's ability to manage it. Matthew Valencia asks if it can be tamed again ... more

Financial regulation in America
Bipartisan talks break down in the Senate as time gets tight ... more

The economic downturn and the centre-right
In many prosperous democracies, a crisis-driven backlash against the political right failed to materialise. Why so? ... more

The future of financial regulation
What regulators should do now ... more

Number-crunchers crunched
The uses and abuses of mathematical models ... more

Forbes Daily Opinions: February 12, 2010

Daily Opinions

Friday, February 12th, 2010
Latest Stories

Is It Safe To Do Business In China?

Gordon G. Chang
Here's a technique to resist Beijing pressure.
More by Gordon G. Chang Read More

Iran On The Brink

Melik Kaylan
The country's regime faces a long, hard season of adversity.
More by Melik Kaylan Read More

Paul Ryan's Budgetary Holy Grail

Bruce Bartlett
Major spending cuts are the only way to avoid higher taxes.
More by Bruce Bartlett Read More


Jens F. Laurson and George A. Pieler
The German government's auto-industry nightmare.
More by Jens F. Laurson and George A. Pieler Read More

China: Boom Or Bust?

Gady Epstein
Foreign pundits have had their say. Two prominent Chinese economists weigh in.
More by Gady Epstein Read More

Monsanto's Seeds Of Growth

Ronald A. Cass
Don't punish innovation with antitrust law.
More by Ronald A. Cass Read More

Can Genetic Engineering Protect The Environment?

Matthew Herper
Are genetically modified crops eco-friendly?
More by Matthew Herper Read More

The Blind Side

Rich Karlgaard
Liberals are more insular than conservatives.
More by Rich Karlgaard Read More

There Is No Keynesian Miracle

Paul Johnson
Keynes is still dead.
More by Paul Johnson Read More

Trouble In Turkey

Emre Deliveli
As Greece pleads for a bailout from the E.U., a financial storm is brewing across the Dardanelles.
More by Emre Deliveli Read More

Bigger Budget = Smaller Economy

Steve Forbes
The late Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman once famously observed that he would prefer a federal government budget of $1 trillion.
More by Steve Forbes Read More

No Edifices Needed

Steve Forbes
What to do about Haiti in the aftermath of its horrific earthquake?
More by Steve Forbes Read More

Lively Truth-Teller

Steve Forbes
"The 5 Big Lies About American Business: Combating Smears Against the Free-Market Economy" by Michael Medved (Crown Forum, $26.99).
More by Steve Forbes Read More

Mineweb : Top Stories , February 12, 2010

TOP STORIES | Friday , 12 Feb 2010                                                     

Haywood ups precious metals forecasts, anticipates strength in base metals

Haywood Securities has adjusted target and commodity price forecasts upward, citing demand in both precious and base metals.    Friday , 12 Feb 2010

A purple year for Australia's top gold miner

Proof of the pudding for Newcrest in the second half of 2009 was the strong underlying profit of A$266.6 million (US$237.2 M) - a lift of 10% on the corresponding 2008 half and a statutory profit of A$176.2 M (US$156.7 M).    Friday , 12 Feb 2010

At last, Rio Tinto buries the Alcan debacle

The Panglossian miner delivers a surprisingly fine set of numbers for 2009, with good freedom on the dividends front.    Thursday , 11 Feb 2010

Nevada miners sue to stop constitutional changes to increase mining taxes

Nevada Mining Association attorneys have sought an injunction to stop an initiative petition aimed at changing the methods and increasing the rate of mining taxation in the top U.S. gold-producing state.    Friday , 12 Feb 2010

China's massive Sovereign Wealth Fund buys into SPDR gold ETF

A confluence of technical factors suggest gold price support between $1,019/oz and $1,025/oz as outlook remains bearish, but CIC's purchase of SPDR Gold Trust shares may represent the start of a more long term strategy.    Thursday , 11 Feb 2010

Does Vale need a cash top up?

During 2009, financial metrics compressed all round for "the only truly global supplier of iron ore".    Thursday , 11 Feb 2010

Old money puts De Beers back on track

Three shareholders recycle a billion dollars of dividends, received over the past four years, back into the world's biggest diamond digger.    Thursday , 11 Feb 2010

Mining sector M&A to pick up speed in 2010 - PwC

A report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers says M&A activity should begin to get livelier as producers shift from focusing on cost cutting to growth.    Friday , 12 Feb 2010

Pan American Silver Q3 profit almost triples

The group says the expansion of two mines boosted both silver and gold production    Friday , 12 Feb 2010

Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-operative buys GrowMax stake for potash project

The organizations head said the group plans to scour the globe for other low cost potash projects    Friday , 12 Feb 2010

Aquarius Platinum announces swing to first half profit

The platinum producer says it will resume dividend payouts, expects better second half, but cut production guidance    Thursday , 11 Feb 2010

Yesterday's Top Story: India getting back into gold buying mode as prices fall

Initial estimates suggest that Indian gold imports in January were the strongest for three months and sharply higher than a year ago.    Wednesday , 10 Feb 2010



The New York Times

February 12, 2010

My Alerts 

February 12, 2010 Compiled: 1:01 AM


Athens faces a struggle to reassure jittery markets and overcome investor skepticism after Greece underestimated its enormous deficit.


Sergey Aleynikov is accused of stealing the software that Goldman Sachs uses to make rapid-fire trades in the financial markets.


The bank reported profit that fell short of analysts’ expectations and said its performance was affected by weakening in the investment bank business.


The French automaker’s chief predicts that 2010 will remain difficult with a 10 percent drop in the European market,.


As the domestic drink market slumps, PepsiCo depends on snacks and overseas beverage sales.