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May 8, 2010

The Wall Street Journal: FAA Issues Safety Directives for 960 Bombardier Regional Jets. May 8th, 2010

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

U.S. aviation regulators on Monday are slated to propose enhanced inspections and fixes of anti-icing systems and stall-warning devices on hundreds Bombardier regional jets.
The FAA moves follow safety recommendations by the manufacturer and subsequent directives issued by Canadian regulators. They affect more than 960 airliners and include most Bombardier jet models manufactured since the early 1990s.
On about one-third of the jets, the FAA is seeking to prevent malfunctions of devices that help warn pilots of an impending aerodynamic stall. On the rest of the planes, the FAA is proposing stepped-up maintenance of heating elements intended to prevent ice buildup on the wings.
Improper operation of these safety systems, especially if pilots aren't aware of breakdowns, can be particularly dangerous in icing conditions when aircraft typically stall at a higher speed than normal. The FAA said the result in both cases could be "reduced controllability of the aircraft," though there haven't been any reports of accidents.
For more than 360 of the larger twinjet CRJ 700-series models built by Canada's Bombardier Inc. and flown by U.S. carriers, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to inspect, and in some cases replace, various parts that measure the upward angle of wings during flight. According to the agency, defective parts can result in early or late activation of stall-warning and stall-prevention devices in cockpits that alert pilots when planes are in danger of losing lift. The airworthiness directives go beyond previous U.S., Canadian and European safety directives covering the same parts.
Bombardier's regional jets are used around the world, including fleets that fly commuter routes for Delta Air Lines Inc., AMR Corp.'s American Airlines and UAL Corp.'s United Airlines.
Previously, regulators from all three jurisdictions issued similar mandates covering the same parts used on certain Bombardier Q400 turboprops. And in February, European regulators mandated inspections and replacement of the same type of parts provided by the same supplier but installed on wide-body Airbus jets. All the affected parts are supplied by a unit of France's Thales SA, according to Bombardier officials.
For about 600 older versions of Bombardier jets used by U.S. carriers, the FAA is proposing new safeguards to ensure proper operation of systems that use hot air to keep ice from accumulating on the front edges of wings. FAA officials and their Canadian counterparts have identified several in-service incidents when the system failed to work properly and didn't alert pilots about potentially dangerous ice buildup on a portion of the wings. The FAA is proposing stepped-up inspections, along with modification or replacement of portions of these systems
A Bombadier spokeswoman said that Thales supplies so-called angle-of-attack vanes for both its Q400s and the CRJ family of aircraft. She said most of the planes operating in North America have been inspected in advance of regulatory deadlines, and Thales has provided parts to speed up the process.
The spokeswoman added that "safety is Bombardier's top priority" and the plane-maker responded with its own safety alerts "well in advance" of moves by regulators
Over roughly the last two decades, Bombardier jets have suffered at least eight accidents or serious incidents stemming from loss of lift caused by ice buildup on their wings, according to aviation safety experts. Some versions of the jets are particularly vulnerable to such icing because they lack slats — movable panels at the front of the wings that increase lift during takeoffs, landings and maneuvers at slow speeds.
Bombardier has said that starting last year it acted proactively to investigate icing-related defects with angle-of-attack sensors as soon as it learned about similar problems on Airbus jets.
Write to Andy Pasztor at andy.pasztor@wsj.com
Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Gereld Celente: Predicted The Revolt as it is, starting Now.

American Banking News: Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) and Citigroup, Inc (NYSE: C) to Pay $865 Million in U.K. Bonus Taxes. May 8th, 2010

Posted: 08 May 2010 05:30 AM PDT
Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) and Citigroup, Inc (NYSE: C) will pay a combined $865 million to cover a new U.K. tax on employee bonuses as the British government seeks to mitigate public outcry over its bank bailout.
Bank of America which will pay $465 million in the tax said that the charge should appear in the second quarter in a federal filing.
Both companies said that its numbers are estimates. Citigroup, Inc (NYSE: C) said that its number has not taken into effect corporate charges and Bank of America said that it is still awaiting additional guidance from government officials.
The United Kingdom’s government imposed a one-time tax on bonuses greater than 25,000 pounds or about $37,000 USD. The tax covers bonuses made between December 9th, 2009 and April 5th, 2010.
The British Treasury, which had initially said the tax would raise 550 million GBP, has now estimated it may gain as much as 2 billion pounds, according to a report from Bloomberg Business Week.
This article (Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) and Citigroup, Inc (NYSE: C) to Pay $865 Million in U.K. Bonus Taxes) was originally developed by and is property of American Banking News. Checkout American Banking News for up-to-date banking news and peer to peer lending news.

The Wall Street Journal : Real Time Economics.-Bernanke Offers a Lesson on Happiness. May 8th, 2010

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Real Time Economics
Economic insight and analysis from The Wall Street Journal.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, in a departure from the complicated mechanics of modern central banking, dives into the economics profession’s very long-running discussion of happiness in a commencement speech at the University of South Carolina today.
Economics is, at its very roots, a study of how to improve human happiness and sense of satisfaction in life. Jeremy Bentham and John Stewart Mill, 18th and 19th century philosophers, were consumed in “felicic calculus” and developing a theory of utility. And Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, wrote “The Theory of Moral Sentiments,” which began like this: “How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortunes of others, and render their happiness necessary to him.”
Happiness research, as Mr. Bernanke points out, has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years, with a growing body of research aimed at uncovering its underpinnings and contradictions.
( One study shows that commuting is a big detractor from happiness, while activities like sex or dining with friends add to it greatly.)
Mr. Bernanke, a former Princeton professor who was raised in South Caroina, offers a nice tour through the modern body of work, with a personal touch. Some interesting observations:

MONEY MATTERS:
“Richer countries have more resources to devote to medical care, to good nutrition and sanitation, and to workplace safety, and for these and other reasons rich countries have higher life expectancies, lower infant mortality rates, and generally better health indicators than poor countries. Likewise, as the United States has grown richer over time, longevity and other measures of health have improved. Another thing that most people value is a clean environment. Air and water quality are not included in the broadest measure of economic activity emphasized in government statistics, the gross domestic product (GDP), although some economists have worked on ways to do so. But again, rich countries have more resources to devote to maintaining a clean environment and do tend to have better air and water quality than poor and middle-income countries, notwithstanding the fact that rich countries by definition produce more goods and services. Rich countries also generally provide people more leisure time, less physically exhausting and more interesting work, higher education levels, greater ability to travel, and more funding for arts and culture.”
BUT MONEY ISN’T EVERYTHING: “Some years ago the economist Richard Easterlin showed that, just as would be expected, wealthier people in any given country are more likely to tell a survey-taker that they are happy with their lives than are poorer people in the same country. However, Easterlin also found … that as countries get richer, beyond the level where basic needs such as food and shelter are met, people don’t report being any happier. For example, although today most Americans surveyed will tell you they are happy with their lives, the fraction of those who say that they are happy is not any higher than it was 40 years ago, when average incomes in the United States were considerably lower and few could even imagine developments like mobile phones or the Internet…once you get above a basic sustenance level—on average, people in rich countries don’t report being all that much happier than people in lower-income countries. The finding that people in rich countries don’t report much greater happiness than those in lower-income countries–even though, in any given country, the rich say they are happier than the poor do–is called the Easterlin paradox, after its discoverer…life satisfaction among Americans are similar to reported levels among Costa Ricans, who have about one-quarter the per capita income.” [For a twist on Easterlin’s paradox,  see an RTE post from earlier this week. ]
STUDIES SHOW WHAT YOUR NEIGHBOR MAKES MATTERS TO YOU TOO: “People’s happiness depends less on their absolute wealth than on their wealth compared with others around them. If I live in a country in which most people have only one cow, and I have three cows, then I will have lots of social status and self-esteem and will thus feel happy. But if everyone around me has a luxury car, and I am hung up on status, I won’t feel very special unless I have both a luxury car and an SUV. This relative-wealth hypothesis can explain why rich people are happier than poor people in the same country, but also why people in richer countries are not on average much happier than people in poorer countries. It’s the big fish in a little pond phenomenon.”
BUT SOCIAL CLIMBING AND REACHING FOR RICHES CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR PSYCHIC HEALTH: “We all know that getting a better-paying job is one of the main reasons to go to college, and achieving economic security for yourself and your family is an important and laudable goal. But if you are ever tempted to go into a field or take a job only because the pay is high and for no other reason, be careful! Having a larger income is exciting at first, but as you get used to your new standard of living, and as you associate with other people in your new income bracket, the thrill quickly wears off … by itself, money is not enough. Indeed, taking a high paying job only for the money can detract from happiness if it involves spending less time with your family, stress, and other such drawbacks.”
SO LOOK FOR MORE IN LIFE: “Happy people tend to spend time with friends and family and put emphasis on social and community relationships. We are social creatures … Another factor in happiness, perhaps less obvious, is based on the concept of “flow.” When you are working, studying, or pursuing a hobby, do you sometimes become so engrossed in what you are doing that you totally lose track of time? That feeling is called flow. If you never have that feeling, you should find some new activities–whether work or hobbies … [And} Happiness can be promoted by fighting the natural human tendency to become entirely adapted to your circumstances. One interesting practical suggestion is to keep a “gratitude journal,” in which you routinely list experiences and circumstances for which you are grateful.”
AND DO THE RIGHT THING: “I am reminded of a story about Abraham Lincoln. According to the story, Lincoln was riding with a friend in a carriage on a rainy evening. As they rode, Lincoln told the friend that he believed in what economists would call the utility-maximizing theory of behavior, that people always act so as to maximize their own happiness, and for no other reason. Just then, the carriage crossed a bridge, and Lincoln saw a pig stuck in the muddy riverbank. Telling the carriage driver to stop, Lincoln struggled through the rain and mud, picked up the pig, and carried it to safety. When the muddy Lincoln returned to the carriage, his friend naturally pointed out that he had just disproved his own hypothesis by putting himself to great trouble and discomfort to save a pig. “Not at all,” said Lincoln. “What I did is perfectly consistent with my theory. If I hadn’t saved that pig, I would have felt terrible.”

The Wall Street Journal: EUROPE BUSINESS: BP has suffered a setback in the installation of the containment dome. May 8th, 2010


The Wall Street Journal

BP Suffers Setback on Containment Dome 

BP executives say progress has stalled in their effort to place a containment dome over the leaking rig in the Gulf of Mexico and are considering their options.

BP Suffers Setback on Containment Dome

1:39
BP's effort to place a containment dome over the leaking rig in the Gulf of Mexico has stalled. Video courtesy of Fox News.
BP lowered a concrete-and-steel structure known as a containment dome almost a mile to the seafloor in an effort to stop the flow of oil from the drilling site. But gas hydrates, ice-like solids that form when methane gas combines with water under certain conditions, clogged the opening at the top of the dome, preventing oil from being funneled to the surface, said Doug Suttles, BP's chief operating officer, on a media conference call. "I wouldn't say it has failed," Mr. Suttles said at a news conference. "What I would say is what we attempted to do last night wasn't successful."
The April 21 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, about 41 miles off the Louisiana coast, killed 11 workers and created a major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The cause of the blast is under investigation. The rig, owned and operated by Transocean Ltd., was leased to BP.
Mr. Suttles said BP anticipated the formation of hydrate crystals, but not to this extent. The dome has been laid beside the leaking rig "while we evaluate what options we have" to somehow apply a heat source to the crystals "or find some other method to capture the flow," Mr. Suttles said.
"We thought the size of the opening on the top of the dome would be large enough" not to get clogged by the hydrate, Mr. Suttles said. "Unclogging the hydrates is not that difficult. The issue is how to prevent it from forming again."
The company plans to take two days to remove the hydrates and determine next steps. One option includes injecting methanol, a chemical used as antifreeze, to prevent hydrates from forming, Mr. Suttles said. Containment dome technology has never been used at such depths before. "We're looking at every option, and that's what we need the next two days for."
A damaged underwater pipe near the site of the sunken rig is leaking oil into the Gulf at an estimated rate of 5,000 barrels a day. BP has been using floating barriers called booms in an effort to prevent the oil from reaching the shore, but Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry said Saturday in the news conference that oil has been found near Louisiana's Chandeleur Islands. Three dead birds and three dead porpoises have also been found along the state's coastlines, and officials are working to determine whether oil was a factor in their deaths, Adm. Landry said.
Adm. Landry, as she has repeatedly over the past week, cautioned that the "dome is no silver bullet to stop the leak. We continue to work on all fronts."
Numerous private companies, local government and states are all ordering and laying booms. Ms. Landry said the Coast Guard is assisting in the effort, procuring the protectant from across the world.
"We're assembling a massive amount of boom. ...We're hoping to assemble 300 million feet. I think ultimately we're going to try to deploy every single bit of boom we can find," she said.
On Friday, U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander for the Deepwater Horizon incident, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that he wan't certain whether enough boom exists to meet the pressing need in the Gulf of Mexico.
But on Saturday, Doug Suttles, the BP chief operating officer, said the prospect of running out of boom is "premature."
Separately, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced Saturday that the state is considering a plan to rebuild barrier islands off its marshy coast in an effort to protect wildlife and fish, the latter an important source of the U.S. seafood industry.
The plan, which hasn't been formalized and was announced with state and local officials in a news conference Saturday, would initially ask BP to pay $200 million to dredge up 43 miles of new barrier islands, a process that would take as long as six months to complete but would begin to provide protection immediately, said Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser.
Gov. Jindal said officials will continue to oversee a skimming of thousands of gallons of oil and to lay boom while BP works on the containment dome.
"We hope for the best and prepare for the worst," Gov. Jindal said. "We hope they get the coffer dam to work. We have to assume the worst."
—Christine Buurma contributed to this article Write to Corey Dade at corey.dade@wsj.com

THE GATA DISPATCH: News media notice of metals market manipulation growing, Butler tells King. May 8th, 2010

News media notice of metals market manipulation growing, Butler tells King

12:45p ET Saturday, May 8, 2010
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold (and Silver):
Silver market analyst Ted Butler, in his weekly interview with Eric King of King World News, reports that last week's plunge in silver was a paper market manipulation, as there was only buying in real metal. Butler adds that there is increasing notice in the mainstream financial media of complaints of precious metals market manipulation. He cites particularly the recent CNBC appearance of Omnis Inc. executive James M. Rickards, in which Rickards noted the confirmation e-mail a Butler newsletter subscriber received from the U.S. Justice Department that J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is under investigation in connection with silver market manipulation. (See http://www.gata.org/node/8605.) The King World News interview with Butler is seven minutes long and you can find it here:
http://www.kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/Broadcast_Gold+/Entries/2010/...
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
Support GATA by purchasing a colorful GATA T-shirt: http://gata.org/tshirts
Or a colorful poster of GATA's full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal on January 31, 2009:
http://gata.org/node/wallstreetjournal
Or a video disc of GATA's 2005 Gold Rush 21 conference in the Yukon:
http://www.goldrush21.com/
* * *
Help keep GATA going
GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at:
http://www.gata.org
To contribute to GATA, please visit:

http://www.gata.org/node/16

THE GATA DISPATCH: Criminal and civil probes under way into Morgan silver trading.May 8th, 2010

Criminal and civil probes under way into Morgan silver trading

11:25a ET Saturday, May 8, 2010
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold (and Silver):
The New York Post tomorrow will report that the U.S. Justice Department has begun a criminal investigation of JPMorgan Chase & Co. in regard to trading in the precious metals markets and that the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has begun a civil investigation.
The forthcoming Post story was disclosed by its reporter, Michael Gray, at his Internet blog last night:
http://mgray12.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/feds-probe-jp-morgans-silver-tra...
On April 11 Gray reported extensively on GATA's disclosure at the March 25 hearing of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission that a London silver trader had alerted the CFTC in advance to a silver market manipulation by Morgan Chase traders:
http://www.gata.org/node/8529
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
Support GATA by purchasing a colorful GATA T-shirt: http://gata.org/tshirts
Or a colorful poster of GATA's full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal on January 31, 2009:
http://gata.org/node/wallstreetjournal
Or a video disc of GATA's 2005 Gold Rush 21 conference in the Yukon:
http://www.goldrush21.com/
* * *
Help keep GATA going
GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at:
http://www.gata.org
To contribute to GATA, please visit:

http://www.gata.org/node/16

MarketWatch: No imminent resolution seen in U.K. government. May 8th, 2010

MarketWatch
  (INDUSTRY: FINANCIAL SERVICES)
No imminent resolution seen in U.K.government By Steve Gelsi MarketWatch
5/8/2010 3:38:00 PM


No agreement on a new government is likely soon, according to reports. See full story

Telegraph: Finance.-General Election 2010: Hung parliament sparks market chaos


Finance  
 
 
General Election 2010: Hung parliament sparks market chaos The pound plunged up to 4½ cents against the dollar during a roller coaster 24 hours of trading as the prospect of coalition Government prompted investors to ditch UK assets.
 
 
 
Greek clashes - Eurozone leaders agree debt crisis deal European Union leaders have agreed to create an intervention mechanism to calm markets rattled by the Greek debt crisis.
 
 
 
RBS bad debts continue to push bank into the red A continuing reduction in bad debts was not enough to push Royal Bank of Scotland back into profit as it continued its loss-making run with a first-quarter loss of £248m.
 
 
 
Lloyd Blankfein faced calls from shareholders to resign as he attempted to regain the trust of investors and clients by promising a "rigorous self-examination" of Goldman Sachs' activities.
 
 
 
BP has given up on using robots to stop its leaking Gulf of Mexico oil well, but hopes that a giant dome lowered over the well could stem most of the flow by Monday.
 
 
 
Santander, Europe's second largest bank, has been caught in the sovereign debt storm that has swept through Greece and is now threatening the Iberian peninsula.
 
 
 
telegraph.co.uk today  
 
 
 
2010 General Election aftermath...Prime Minister Gordon Brown 
leaves 10 Downing Street, Westminster, London to deliver a statement to 
the media. As Gordon Brown clings on to power, his biographer Anthony Seldon delivers his damning verdict on our flawed prime minister

BBC: Business News and Videos. May 8th, 2010


Page last updated at 09:22 GMT, Saturday, 8 May 2010 10:22 UK

Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel (7 May 2010)
Eurozone leaders approve an 110bn euro ($145bn; £95bn) loan to Greece to prevent its debt crisis from spreading.

Global shares fall on Greece debt
Shares in the US and Europe fall amid investor fears over Greek debt, as sterling slumps during the British general election count.

US watchdog to probe share drop
The US financial watchdog says it will look into stock market activity which saw the Dow Jones share index plummet 9%.


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