Search This Blog


Search Tool

Mar 11, 2010

MarketWatch: Personal Finance Daily, March 11th, 2010


Personal Finance Daily
MARCH 11, 2010

Thursday's Personal Finance stories

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:

Just a few months ago, my daughter bought her very first car: a 1989 Toyota Corolla. Soon after, Toyota recalled millions of vehicles, including some newer Corolla models.

It's enough to make anyone extremely nervous (especially the parent of a teenage driver), but as Shawn Langlois writes in his Ahead of the Curve column today, the highways are safer than they've ever been, with the rate of traffic fatalities in 2009 falling to its lowest level ever.

Why the good news? For one thing, in economic downturns, people drive less. No surprise there, particularly given how many people are unemployed and no longer commuting. Fewer people on the road mean fewer accidents.

Also, despite all the scary news of late, cars are safer than they've ever been. As Langlois points out in his story, 2,600 complaints of sudden acceleration were lodged against Toyota from 2000 through January 2010. This from a company that's produced many millions of cars in those years.

And, not that it really makes one feel safer, but Toyota is not alone in these types of complaints. Ford got close to 3,600 complaints for the same problem in that period; and General Motors received 2,250 complaints, according to Langlois's story.

Knock on wood, but so far the only problem we've had with my daughter's car is an occasionally unreliable starter. The car is 21 years old, after all.

-- Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor

Rampaging Toyotas obscure highway safety strides

For drivers living in fear of the rabid Toyotas prowling America's roadways, the horse-and-buggy era is looking pretty good. But, in reality, there has never been a safer time to get behind the wheel.
See Ahead of the Curve.


Three tips to help you find a 529 plan that's right for you

We need an eHarmony to help us find the right college savings program. It's like dating, only worse: You'll find states offering 529 programs, plus investment and brokerage firms, too, because they'd love to have those assets over 18 years.
See Jennifer Openshaw.


Bank of America padlocked wrong house, and took parrot

Bank of America Corp. apologized after its local contractor entered the home of a mortgage borrower when she was away, cut off utilities, padlocked the door and confiscated her pet parrot, Luke.
See story on bank padlocking the wrong house.

Keeping February foreclosure numbers in context

While we have seen "a decline across the board in various stages of foreclosures," Rick Sharga, senior vice president at RealtyTrac says "we have to keep the February foreclosure numbers in context."
 Listen to Radio Report.

February foreclosure filings off 2% from January

Foreclosure filings in the U.S. rose 6% from a year earlier and fell 2% from January 2010, RealtyTrac reported on Thursday. These filings -- default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions -- affected more than 308,500 U.S. properties in February.
See Mortgages.

Mortgage rates drop slightly

Mortgage rates dropped slightly this week, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 4.95% in Freddie Mac's weekly survey of conforming mortgage rates.
See Mortgages.


Debit and credit

Consumers soon can say goodbye to steep overdraft-protection fees on debit cards, but banks are busy coming up with new sources of revenue, particularly on credit cards. Personal Finance Editor Andrea Coombes shows you ways to keep costs under control.
 Watch Personal Finance Minute.


Airlines threaten to cancel flights

Airlines are pushing back against new rules that give fliers more rights. They are threatening to cancel scores of flights in response to a new rule that would prohibit airlines from keeping passengers on the tarmac for more than three hours without giving travelers the opportunity to get off the plane.
See story on airlines.


Why the bears are wrong

James Altucher, a managing partner at Formula Capital, tells the News Hub's Simon Constable and Barron's Stocks Editor Bob O'Brien that things are looking up, not down.
 Watch Video Report.

Market anniversaries

It's been a year since the stock market started to rebounded and 10 years since the Internet bubble burst. Each milestone has its lessons for investors, according to Money & Investing Editor Jonathan Burton.
 Watch Video Report.

Buy-and-hold is dead in a stop-and-go economy

Those pesky 1970s just won't seem to go away. Two weeks ago I wrote that government-proposed price-caps for health care could take us back to a 1970s-style economy.
See Simon Constable.

Emerging markets: A safe haven?

The traditionally risky asset class of emerging markets can offer investors a lower risk profile for the longer term. Riva Froymovich speaks with Jerome Booth, Head of Research at Ashmore Investment Management.
 Watch Video Report.


Health Minute: urgent-care centers

If you don't have a regular doctor, you've got a few different options for finding medical care. In this week's Health Minute, MarketWatch's Kristen Gerencher looks at the advantages and disadvantages of urgent-care centers.
 Watch Health Minute.

Hartford Hospital disputes Aetna's pay claims

In a previous blog post, Aetna President Mark Bertolini pointed to Hartford Hospital in Connecticut as an example of the health insurer pushing back against high rate-increase requests from powerful health-care providers in contract talks.
See Kristen Gerencher's Health Matters Blog.


Employee stole data on 24,000 Swiss accounts: HSBC

A former information-technology staffer at HSBC Holdings' Swiss private-banking arm stole data on 24,000 accounts, including around 15,000 current clients, the bank said Thursday.
See story on privacy breach at HSBC.


Democrats to use reconciliation to finish health care: Reid

Senate Democrats are planning to use the legislative process known as reconciliation to finish an overhaul of the U.S. health-care system, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told his Republican counterpart on Thursday.
See Health Care.

Republicans plan to skewer health bill

As Democrats approach a deal for passing the health bill, Republicans are saying that getting the bill past the Senate is not a given, Peter Landers reports on the News Hub.
 Watch Video Report.

Dodd set to go it alone on sweeping bank-reform bill

After months of efforts to craft a bipartisan bill, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd plans to introduce a revised version of sweeping bank reform legislation on Monday, most likely without Republican support.
See Capitol Report.

Commentary: Dodd quits dithering on bank reform

After months of trying to get Republican support for tougher regulations to prevent the next global financial crisis, Sen. Chris Dodd has decided to move ahead with or without bipartisan backing.
See MarketWatch First Take.

Bank reform in jeopardy?

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.) says he will introduce a plan to overhaul financial regulations on Monday, without any Republican support. WSJ's Matthew Rose explains Dodd's strategy and whether it will undermine bank-reform efforts.
 Watch Video Report.

Maverick lawmakers help create political gridlock

The political gridlock paralyzing Washington can, in part, be traced to lawmakers going it alone on key policy matters, says WSJ's Gerald F. Seib.
 Watch Video Report.

Weekly jobless claims dip

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell by 6,000 in the latest week, the second decline in a row, but the U.S. job market remains frail.
See Economic Report.

Debt grows at slowest pace on record

U.S. debt grew at the slowest pace on record during the fourth quarter, as households and businesses continued to deleverage, nearly offsetting another huge increase in federal debt, according to the quarterly flow of funds report released Thursday by the Federal Reserve.
See Economic Report.

Fed gets credit for economic turnaround

Economist say the Federal Reserve played a key role in rescuing the U.S. economy from the financial crisis, according to the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.
 Watch Video Report.

Trade gap narrows sharply in January

After widening dramatically for two months, the U.S. trade deficit reversed course and narrowed unexpectedly in January, as the government's latest data on imports and exports suggest that the global economic recovery remains tentative.
See Economic Report.

Treasury didn't protect taxpayers enough at GMAC, watchdog says

The Treasury Department missed valuable opportunities to protect taxpayers as part of its $17.2 billion bailout of auto-lending company GMAC, a congressional watchdog group said Thursday in its latest report.
See story on Treasury Department missing opportunity to protect taxpayers.


Anatomy of an aftershock

Thursday's big quake in Chile, with a magnitude of 6.9, is being called the strongest in a series of aftershocks of the deadly 8.8 quake that hit that country Feb. 27.
See story on Chile's aftershocks.

Chile rocked by big aftershocks as new president sworn in

Three strong aftershocks rocked Chile Thursday, forcing officials to curtail inauguration ceremonies for the new president.
See story on Chile's aftershocks.


Job seekers: Follow the money

Joe Watson, career strategist and author of "Where the Jobs Are Now" tells Kelsey Hubbard job seekers should focus on transferable skills and growth industries such as health care when looking for work.
 Watch Video Report.

Financial jobs abound in Hong Kong

For Hong Kong investment bankers, what a difference a year makes. While financial-services workers in the West are still reeling from the aftermath of the global economic crisis, Hong Kong's finance sector -- which was also hit by downsizing and pay cuts last year -- has seen a major change in fortune.
See story on growth in financial jobs in Hong Kong.


E-readers with Walt Mossberg

With so many e-readers on the market, what should you be looking for? Plus, Sony makes a move into Wii-like technology. Walt Mossberg and Dan Gallagher join Stacey Delo on Digits to discuss.
 Watch Digits.


Toyota complaints surged after first recall

Public records at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show complaints about speed-control problems with Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles have surged since the Japanese car maker announced in September it would recall millions of vehicles to fix floor mats that can pin the gas pedal in an open position.
See story on complaints surged after first recall.

U.S. plans new car-safety rules

The Obama administration is considering new rules on the design of automobiles, including possible requirements that cars be equipped with advanced-brake technology and "black boxes" that record crash data, the top U.S. highway-safety regulator said Thursday.
See story about new car-safety rules.

Forbes : Carlos Slim Helu Tops Buffet , Gates

The World's Billionaires
Edited by Luisa Kroll and Matthew Miller
For the third time in three years, the world has a new richest man.

Companies, People, Ideas

India's Telecom Giant Bharti Heads West
2.25.10, 5:00 PM ET - Shishir Prasad, Malini Goyal and Rohin Dharmakumar
Sunil Mittal's African adventure.
Companies, People, Ideas

Don't Read My Lips
2.25.10, 5:00 PM ET - Christopher Helman
President Obama's call for development in Ghana fell flat for a Houston firm.
Companies, People, Ideas

Keeping The Water Out
2.25.10, 5:00 PM ET - Kerry A. Dolan
Trying out a new form of concrete.
Digital Tools

Three Questions For Steve Jobs
2.25.10, 5:00 PM ET - Lee Gomes
The iPad has fewer capabilities than a netbook, in a similar size. Not a good start.
All The Latest Headlines From Forbes Asia
1.22.09, 6:13 PM ET - staff
For news updates throughout the Asian business day, bookmark Forbes' Asia home page.
Follow Forbes Asia On Twitter
1.15.10, 11:38 AM ET - Forbes staff
Forbes Asia is the world's largest business news publication for executives, entrepreneurs and professionals across Asia.

Complete Coverage: Forbes India
11.17.09, 7:12 PM ET - Forbes staff
Article from Forbes India, a Forbes Media licensee.
Complete Coverage

New Issue Forbes Asia
2.04.10, 6:00 PM ET - Forbes staff
With features on Taiwan's leading e-reader, Hashim Djojohadikusumo's return to Indonesia and Incat's high-speed ferries.

Real Clear Politics: ,11th March, 2010

Dem Leaders Face Tough Odds on Health Care Bill - Riley & Simon, CNN
Hurry Up and Wait? - Jonathan Cohn, The New Republic
Obama Sells Health Care Snake Oil - Michael Goodwin, New York Post
Health Plan Isn't a Government Takeover - Daniel Gross, Slate
ObamaCare is an Astonishing Misjudgment - Shikha Dalmia, Forbes
Rove's Revealing Memoir: An Act of Vengeance - Joe Klein, Time
Congress Should Focus on Green Jobs - Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, The Root
Does Iran Want to Start Mideast War? - Frida Ghitis, World Politics Review
America Can't Inflate Its Way Out of Debt - Jeanne Sahadi, CNN Money
Can Meg Whitman Govern? - Debra Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle
Gov. Patrick's Power of Positive Thinking - David Bernstein, Boston Phoenix
Obama Approval: Gallup: 46% | Rasmussen: 44% | RCP Average: 48.5%
RCP Blog: ACORN Out of Ohio | PN: Has Gillibrand Met Her Match?

CFTC : Actions Various , 11th march, 2010

The following enforcement action has been released:
Helmut H. Weber d/b/a Weber Capital Management

The following Enforcement press release has been published:
See the CFTC News Room for the latest news and events or News Room Archives for previous releases.

The following Opinions and Orders have been published.
March 2, 2010
Opinions and Adjudicatory Orders Fensterman v. Joseff, et al. , CFTC Docket No. 09-R033, Order Pursuant to Delegated Authority

The Cotton On-Call Report #10 is now available.
See previous weeks in Historical Cotton On-Call Reports.

CNBC: Evening Brief,, March 11th , 2010


»click here to see the latest top stories from

NYT. Afternoon Business Update, March 11th, 2010

         March 11, 2010
Patchwork Pension Plan Adds to Greek Debt Woes
Greece’s retirement plan, which lets 14 percent of its work force retire early, has

become divisive in Europe.

Finance Bill to Be Offered Without G.O.P.
Senator Bob Corker, a Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, called 

Senator Christopher J. Dodd’s announcement on Thursday “very disappointing.”

Obama to Create Export Task Force to Push Trade
The administration’s announcement comes as America’s trade deficit narrowed in

January, largely because of a drop in spending on oil and cars and a decrease in 
exports like airplanes.

Safety Regulator Plans Closer Look at Car Electronics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will also explore whether data 

should be mandatory in all cars.

The E.U. and U.S. Quarrel Over Hedge Funds
The European Union rebutted criticism by the U.S. of its plans to tighten the rules on hedge


More Business News

From The Desk of Nick Nicolaas ": Mining in Europe"

From the Desk of Nick Nicolaas (FDNN) #84
March 11, 2010
a publication of
E U R O P E A N   G O L D   C E N T R E
Once again here s Henk with Mining in Europe

* The European Perspective
* The Euro and the Dollar versus Gold
Dear Reader:
The February issue of MINING IN EUROPE is late, too late because of some technical delays in our new location for which I apologize, but here it is.
In this issue, you will find:
*** my EDITORIAL COMMENT, I could not ignore the developments of the Euro which of course is a factor also when you are mining and/or exploring in Europe or investing in it...... Also in the FEATURED ARTICLE you can read about the European currency but here more about the 'new' relationship the Euro is developing with gold. Guest writer Dian L. Chu gives some worthwhile food for thought.....
*** the introduction of a NEW SUPPORTING COMPANY which is developing its most advanced project in northern SWEDEN towards production. The company is now completing a full Feasibility Study after a very favourable Preliminary Economic Assessment study last year. All signs are here that a new iron ore concentrate producer is in the making at a time that the outlook for iron ore continues to be promising (read the new comment on the Kitco news that came out yesterday!). Read about this interesting company; I am very pleased that I can welcome it as a new SUPPORTING COMPANY....
I hope you will like what you read. Europe is more and more emerging as a worthwhile area for mining and exploration too. As always, your feedback is invited. I wish you good reading!
Best regards,
Henk J. Krasenberg.

As always - - Stay Tuned,

Nick L. Nicolaas
Mining Interactive "Ahead of the Pack"
Skype: nicknicolaas

MiningInteractive Videos
Click Here
Stay tuned for the most recent updates on leading junior exploration companies through the MiningInteractive Video & Radio Interviews.
Nick L. Nicolaas
(604) 657-4058

FT: This Month Highlights

EU hits back at Geithner
European officials respond to the US Treasury secretary's warnings over hedge fund and private equity regulation.

Toyota recall intensifies
The world's biggest carmaker is under scrutiny and faces a PR nightmare over its massive recall of faulty vehicles.

Eurozone Monetary Fund?
In the Greek debt aftermath, the Eurozone eyes sweeping new finance regulations, including a European Monetary Fund.

View from DC
In this edition, Edward Luce talks to Tom Daschle, former Senate majority leader, about healthcare reform prospects, midterm elections happening later this year, and the crisis of governance in America.
View the full video

The ethics of luxury goods companies
The movement towards 'responsible luxury' is gathering force, as companies come to recognise the advantages of talking publicly about their new-found ethical credentials.
Full story in How To Spend It

FT extension for Google Chrome
Download the FT extension and receive global news as it happens, right from your browser. Stay up to date with an authoritative voice on business and world affairs.
Find out more

Forbes: Financials IRS Torture By Mail

IRS Torture By Mail
Ashlea Ebeling
The IRS' computers and clerks grind out millions of notices demanding more tax. Here's how to deal with them.

Annuities Aren't All The Same
William P. Barrett
He isn't saying which is the good kind. So we will. Best Cities To Rent And Own
Stephane Fitch
New Forbes index shows many coveted neighborhoods favor tenants.
The Smart Money In Small Stocks
William Baldwin and Scott DeCarlo
To build a small-company portfolio, follow the lead of the best fund managers.
Billionaires' Bad Bets
Asher Hawkins and Duncan Greenberg
Investments that soured in 2009 for finance titans.

Forbes: Intelligent Investing, 11th arch, 2010

Intelligent Investing with Steve Forbes


Intelligent Investing
The Evolution Of EDGAR
Pipeline Financial Chairman Al Berkeley on the implications of the SEC's new XBRL technology.
With Steve Forbes
Intelligent Investing
Homebuilders: Stand Pat With Quality
Housing will return, and when it does these are the names you will want to own.
With David Serchuk

Video: Intelligent Investing With Steve Forbes

Intelligent Investing With Steve Forbes
Keep The Blocks In The Dark
Pipeline Financial Group Chairman Alfred Berkeley III says block orders need to remain dark to help retail investors.

BBC NEWS: Economy:, March 11th, 2010


Last Updated at 15:34 GMT Thursday March 2010

Planes of various airlines at Heathow Airport
The global airline industry will recover strongly this year, as passenger and freight numbers improve, its trade body says.

The US trade deficit narrowed unexpectedly in January as fewer foreign cars and less crude oil were imported.
Japan's economy grew by less than first estimated in the final quarter of 2009, revised government figures show.

New support for banks after the election?
Brazil exploits potential as web use spreads
Economic challenge for new president in quake-hit Chile .