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Dec 6, 2010

Predictions 2011: Markets and Economy in the Coming Year: CNBC Evening Brief


LATEST STORIES


»click here to see the latest top stories from CNBC.com

Marijuana USA
CNBC 360 Wednesday 9:00 PM ET/PT
CNBC first took you inside the one-hundred billion dollar underground marijuana industry in the most watched CNBC Original ever-- Marijuana Inc. Now Trish Regan takes you back to the garden, where cannabis meets capitalism, as a new generation of marijuana entrepreneurs has emerged across America. Go inside America's fastest growing cash crop in this all-new CNBC Original, Marijuana USA.
»more info


LATEST VIDEO

»click here to see the latest top video from CNBC.com

Public Roundtable on Capital an Margin Swaps / Feasibility of Standardized Computer-Readable Complex Derivatives




Two important  Press Releases from The CFTC Next:

I
CFTC, SEC Staff to Host Joint Public Roundtable to Discuss Issues Related to Capital and Margin for Swaps and Security-Based Swaps
Mon, 06 Dec 2010 13:37:00 -0600
Staff from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will hold a public roundtable on Friday, December 10, 2010, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., to discuss issues related to capital and margin requirements for swap dealers, security-based swap dealers, major swap participants and major security-based swap participants.

II
CFTC Seeks Public Input for a Joint CFTC-SEC Study on the Feasibility of Requiring the Adoption of Standardized Computer-Readable Descriptions of Complex and Standardized Derivatives
Mon, 06 Dec 2010 13:47:00 -0600
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has approved for publication in the Federal Register a request for comment that is expected to assist in the preparation of a study on the feasibility of requiring the derivatives industry to adopt standardized computer-readable algorithmic descriptions that may be used to describe complex and standardized derivatives and calculate net exposures.

NFA bars Robert F. Gray of Forex Liquidity LLC from membership for 10 years 1 Financial & Forex Info News | NFA Sanctions


Stocks End Mixed On Light Trading Day - U.S. Commentary : RTTNews .- Evening Market Wrap


Evening Market Wrap Mon Dec 6  2010

Commentary

Dec 6, 2010 Stocks End Mixed On Light Trading Day - U.S. Commentary Stocks ended a choppy session on a mixed note Monday, with the absence of first-tier economic reports restraining movement in the markets. Some early downside came amid unfavorable reaction to commentary from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who indicated that the Fed may stretch its latest stimulus program past initial parameters. Full Article

Corporate News

Dec 6, 2010 Retiring Kellogg CEO Mackay To Be Replaced By COO; Company Backs OutlookCereal maker Kellogg Co. (K) announced Monday the promotion of Chief Operating officer John Bryant to president, chief executive officer and director of the company, effective January 2, 2011. Bryant succeeds David Mackay, who plans to retire from the positions on New Year's Day. Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 Kraft Foods Seeks Injunction Against Starbucks In Deal Violation - Update Packaged food company Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) Monday said it is seeking a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Starbucks Coffee Co. of Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) for violating terms of their roast and ground coffee agreement. Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 Dollar General Profit Rises, Beats Street ViewDollar General Corp. (DG), one of the largest discount retailers in the U.S., Monday reported higher third-quarter profit, driven by sales growth in all its business segments and margin expansion. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share topped analysts' estimate. The company also raised its adjusted earnings and sales growth outlook for fiscal 2010. Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 MetLife Expects Strong Growth In Q4Life insurer MetLife Inc. (MET) said Monday it projects strong double-digit growth in operating earnings for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2010, mainly on anticipated increase in premiums, fees & other revenues, as well as the recent purchase of American International Group, Inc.'s (AIG) Alico. The company also provided targets for fiscal 2011. Full Article

Political News

Dec 6, 2010 Civil Nuclear Deal For French Reactors In India SignedFrance will build two nuclear reactors in India to help the latter meet its soaring energy demand. An agreement in this regard and six other pacts were signed by the two countries on Monday to boost their trade, energy, defense and cultural relations. Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 Fraud Task Force Has Taken Action Against More Than 500 PeopleU.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the results of a nationwide operation to target investment fraud on Monday, with the probe leading to criminal or civil charges against more than 500 people. The operation, which was organized by the Obama administration's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, has resulted in enforcement actions against 343 criminal defendants and 189 civil defendants for fraud schemes that harmed more than 120,000 victims across the country. Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 Supreme Court To Review Wal-Mart Sex Discrimination SuitThe U.S. Supreme Court on Monday revealed that it has agreed to hear an appeal from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) regarding a sex discrimination lawsuit against the retail giant. The Supreme Court announced that it would conduct a limited review of an April 2010 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granting class certification of the case. Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 Obama Calls China's President Hu To Discuss North KoreaU.S. President Barack Obama called his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao Sunday evening to discuss the recently escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, as China is North Korea's only major ally. The White House said Obama and Hu agreed on the importance of the U.S. and China working together to achieve peace and stability in Northeast Asia and ensure the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Full Article

Stocks To Watch

Dec 6, 2010 Fashion in focus…A recent IPO, this specialty retailer delivers “exciting fashions at compelling value” to women in their late teens and twenties – a fast growing demographic. A strong quarter, multi-channel sales str Full Article

Wall Street ends flat on euro zone debt woes | Financial & Forex Info | Reuters Daily Investor Update



FROM: REUTERS - DAILY INVESTOR UPDATE

Wall Street ends flat on euro zone debt woes
Wal-Mart class-action appeal goes to Supreme Court
Lacker says Fed policy risky, should be reviewed
Kraft slaps Starbucks with court injunction
Pfizer CEO switch may mean new strategy, shares up
Taylor says U.S. headed for recession
Special report: Legal woes mount for a foreclosure kingpin
Morgan Stanley hires advisers from UBS
SEC sees financial fraud cases increasing
Microsoft offers Salesforce users money to switch

Germany Reluctant to Expand Bailout Fund :NYT: Afternoon Business News .-


BUSINESS:

Germany Reluctant to Expand Bailout Fund

By STEPHEN CASTLE
Germany moved to close off debate on an increase to a 750 billion euro bailout fund, or the more radical step of issuing common euro-zone bonds.
DealBook

Ackman Offers to Finance a Borders Bid for Barnes & Noble

By MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED
The hedge fund run by William A. Ackman has offered to finance a $960 million takeover bid by Borders for its larger rival, Barnes & Noble.
Bucks Blog

Minnesota Sues Discover Card for Deception

By JENNIFER SARANOW SCHULTZ
The Minnesota Attorney General has sued Discover Bank, accusing it of enrolling cardholders in its payment protection plans and similar programs.
Itineraries

Hotel Rooms With the All Comforts of Work

By MARTHA C. WHITE
Hotel chains are adding more ergonomic work chairs, bigger desks and more outlets to help business travelers who need to work in their rooms.

Google Opens Doors to E-Bookstore

By JULIE BOSMAN
The Google eBookstore may be a boon to independent bookstores that have signed on to sell e-books on their Web sites through Google.

The dangers of re-regulation. | Financial & Forex Info News | The Australian Capital Circle



Capital Circle Newsletter

The dangers of re-regulation
As cabinet works its way through a mountain of submissions, Labor and the Coalition are deadlocked in Newspoll.

First off: THE doyen of competition policy, Fred Hilmer, has rejected the PM's claim that the NBN policy is finishing the job on his landmark reform principles. Professor Hilmer yesterday rejected the claimed competition benefits of both Labor's structural separation of Telstra and its offspring, the NBN government network monopoly. (more from Michael Stutchbury and Annabel Hepworth)
Top talker: THE federal Labor MP Craig Thomson's mobile phone records, driver's licence details and credit card vouchers with his signature show he used a Health Services Union credit card to pay for the services of a Sydney escort agency, the Supreme Court was told yesterday. (Geesche Jacobsen reports)
What does it mean for the federal ALP? CRAIG THOMSON'S alleged actions and their impact on his political future will be watched keenly by the political establishment because should there be a byelection, it will double as a fight for who governs the nation. And in this political environment, you wouldn't back Labor, especially in a marginal seat. (more from Phillip Coorey).
Newspoll: Labor and the Coalition are tied 50-50 on the two party perferred vote in the latest Newspoll. And as Dennis Shanahan reports, Australians are evenly split over whether they would pay more for energy to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
"Three in four Australians believed climate change was occurring, with 77 per cent convinced and 18 per cent not. Twenty-three per cent believed climate change was caused entirely by human activity and 71 per cent said it was "partly caused" by humans. But when it comes to putting a price on carbon, which will put up the price of petrol, electricity and gas, Australians were evenly split over whether they would be in favour of paying more for energy to slo
Read more...

The Washington Post Afternoon Edition: Today's Most Read Articles

Washington Post


1) Fast-casual Indian fare, recipe for a dream

During last week's opening day for Merzi, a fast-casual Indian restaurant in the District, owner Qaiser Kazmi estimates, he served up rice bowls and naan rolls to some 350 people. That's more than triple the crowds he used to attract at the Chevron mini-mart in Anne Arundel County, where he start...

2) U.S. steps up pressure on China to rein in North Korea

The United States has stepped up diplomatic pressure on China by accusing its leaders of "enabling" North Korea to start a uranium-enrichment program and to launch attacks on South Korea, a senior U.S. administration official said this weekend.

3) Thomas Boswell: Albert Haynesworth must be let go - now

The silly saga that is Albert Haynesworth was on display once again on Sunday, and it's clearly time for the Redskins to send the defensive lineman packing.

4) Can Democrats step up their game?

Observations from three Democrats who were defeated last month.

5) Court to decide if one class-action suit is proper in massive Wal-Mart discrimination case

The Supreme Court on Monday accepted what will likely become the highest-profile business case of the year, agreeing to decide whether 1.5 million female employees of Wal-Mart can pursue job discrimination claims in the largest employment class-action suit in the country's history.

6) Incoming GOP freshmen rapidly embracing big-money fundraisers

After Francisco "Quico" Canseco beat Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-Tex.) as part of the Republican wave on Nov. 2, the tea party favorite declared: "It's going to be a new day in Washington."

7) Woman rushing grandchild to hospital dies in crash

WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Authorities say a North Carolina woman whose 1-year-old grandchild was bitten in the face by a pit bull was rushing the child to a hospital when she ran a red light and was hit by another vehicle, killing her.

8) Sarah Palin is wrong about John F. Kennedy, religion and politics

Sarah Palin has found a new opponent to debate: John F. Kennedy.

9) 5 killed when SUV rolls over on I-95 in Florida

PALM COAST, Fla. -- Five adults have died and four children were injured after an SUV blew a tire and flipped over on Interstate 95 near central Florida.

10) Unusual methods helped ICE break deportation record, e-mails and interviews show

For much of this year, the Obama administration touted its tougher-than-ever approach to immigration enforcement, culminating in a record number of deportations.

Five surprising stock picks from Europe. MarketWatch - Personal Finance Daily

MarketWatch

Personal Finance Daily
DECEMBER 06, 2010

Monday's Personal Finance Stories

By MarketWatch



Don't miss these top stories:

Most car owners who have taken their wheels in to the shop have known that sinking feeling at some point. The tab for a routine oil change balloons after a car mechanic convinces you to have your oil filters or brake pads swapped for new ones, and you can't help thinking it probably wasn't time yet. As a matter of fact, you're not even sure you needed the oil changed as early as you did. But how do you know for sure when the auto mechanic tells you one thing and the owner's manual tells you something else?

In her Consumer Confidential column today, Jennifer Waters breaks down ways to protect your pocketbook as car mechanics look to survive in the modern era of better-performing automobiles that require less frequent maintenance. Arming yourself with information — sometimes by reaching for the trusty manual in the glove compartment — is on the list. But other tips such as knowing when free diagnostic tests are the norm and even controlling your temper when your car breaks down may surprise you.

Plus, don't miss two stories on the relative performance and potential of gold investments. And reporting from Spain, Barbara Kollmeyer takes a look at some surprising European stocks to consider. Hint: It might pay to find out what the Greek equivalent of Wal-Mart is.

A scene from the 1983 comedy and family road-trip movie "National Lampoon's Vacation" sums up our collective auto-repair anxiety. When Chevy Chase's character gets out his wallet and asks how much the fixes to his damaged vehicle will cost him, the crooked mechanics he's found in the middle of the desert aren't joking when they retort, "How much you got?"

Kristen Gerencher , Reporter/Health-Care columnist

What car mechanics don't want you to know

Here's a secret that mechanics don't want you to know: You really don't need to have your oil changed every 3,000 miles.
Read more on what car mechanics don't want you to know,

Global warming heats oil and coal sectors

Crude oil is pushing past $89-per-barrel, right around the resistance level it's encountered several times this year. Expect resistance to hold again, as there are powerful forces in the Middle East and elsewhere that do not want to allow prices to rise to the level at which demand will be destroyed, as it was in mid-2008.
Read more on global warming heats oil and coal sectors.

Silver ETFs outshining gold in 2010

Silver isn't just good as gold — it's doing even better. Exchange-traded funds tracking silver have outperformed gold ETFs in 2010 with gains topping 70%, even though the yellow metal tends to hoard the headlines.
Read more on silver ETFs outshining gold in 2010.

Five surprising stock picks from Europe

Investing in Europe now seems a recipe for a mess. Sovereign debt worries continue to sap investors' confidence about the soundness of the European Union and the euro.
Read more on five surprising stock picks from Europe,

Target-date fund disclosures miss the point

The federal government wants investors to have better information about the mutual funds in their retirement plans. Washington has the right idea, but the wrong solution.
Read more on targ

Is gold in a perfect (bullish) storm?

A good week for gold — especially because China finally seems to be chiming in.
Read more on is gold in a perfect (bullish) storm?

Gold Closes at record high of U.S. $1416 an ounce: Financial & Forex Info News



(MarketWatch).- Gold Closes at record high of 1416 an ounce. To read full article  click :


Googgle Throws Down Gaunlet With eBooks: MarketWatch Special Financial Services

MarketWatch
 Special Financial Services
 
Google throws down gauntlet with eBooks
 
By Rex Crum MarketWatch


New, cloud-based offering viewed as threat to Amazon and Apple. 

NovaBay in the watchlist : Daily Stocks to Watch

Daily Stocks to Watch Mon Dec 6  2010

Stocks To Watch

Dec 6, 2010 NovaBay in the watchlist – Stocks To watchClinical stage biotechnology company NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NBY) said it is expanding its multi-year collaboration deal with Galderma, a global pharma company. The new agreement gives NovaBay Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 RTT Growth & Value Stocks - Our Picks Have Returned an Avg. Gain Of 44%The Growth & Value Stocks service is designed with a disciplined approach of extensive fundamental analysis to cater swing traders and investors. The service identifies growth stocks that are generally overlooked and value stocks that are usually undervalued by the market. The growth and value stocks we select have significantly outperformed the broader market indices with avg. gains of 44%. Full Article

Stocks Headed For Modest Losses To Open Week - U.S. Commentary. RTTNews.- Morning Market Briefing


Morning Market Briefing Mon Dec 6  2010

Commentary

Dec 6, 2010 Stocks Headed For Modest Losses To Open Week - U.S. Commentary Stock futures are pointing to modest losses Monday morning, as the markets are digesting hints of further stimulus from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Profit taking may also be in the cards for today after the major averages gained 2-3 percent last week, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq rising to its best closing level in three years. Full Article

Economic News

Dec 6, 2010 Bernanke Says More Fed Easing 'Certainly Possible'The Federal Reserve could expand its new $600 billion quantitative easing program if the economy fails to revive as anticipated, its Chairman Ben Bernanke has said. Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 Recovery Labor Not LostA ray of hope is sneaking in from among the dark clouds, as most economic data released during last week offered some solace. Although the monthly non-farm payrolls report for November disappointed, a few other reports released last week were surprisingly positive. Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 Australia Inflationary Pressures Rising A gauge measuring consumer price inflation in Australia rose at a faster pace in November led by price rises for fruit and vegetables and communication, suggesting inflationary pressures are on the rise. Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 UK Manufacturing 'Powering Ahead' The U.K. manufacturing sector is powering ahead into the end of the year, led by strong overseas demand, and is all set to outperform the rest of the economy in 2011, a fresh survey suggested on Monday. Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 Taiwan's Inflation Rises More Than Forecast In November Taiwan's inflation accelerated more than expected in November, largely driven by higher prices of fuel and clothing, data from the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics showed Monday. Full Article

Earnings News

Dec 6, 2010 Metlife sees Higher Operating earnings for FY10, FY11Insurance provider Metlife Inc. (MET), Monday said it expects 5% year-over-year growth in premiums, fees and other revenues for fiscal 2010, with operating earnings per share increasing significantly. Also, the company said it anticipates a sharp growth in operating profit next year, citing the benefits from its recent acquisition of AIG's Alico. Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 Dollar General Q3 EPS Tops View; Raises FY10 OutlookLow-price retailer Dollar General (DG), Monday reported a higher third-quarter earnings that topped expectations on the back of an increase in revenues. With strong, “top-tier” results, the company lifted its guidance for fiscal 2010. Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 Kellogg names Bryant to succeed Mackay as CEO; confirms FY10, FY11 ViewKellogg Co. (K), a cereal maker, reported Monday the retirement of President and CEO David Mackay effective January 1, 2011, following which John Bryant will take his place. The company also reaffirmed its outlook for fiscal 2010 and 2011. Full Article

Corporate News

Dec 6, 2010 Kraft to roast Starbucks over coffee agreement violationKraft Foods Inc. (KFT), Monday reported seeking an preliminary injunction in court against Starbucks (SBUX) for violating the terms of a roast and ground coffee agreement, by which Kraft has the exclusive sales, marketing and distribution rights for Starbucks' roast and ground coffee. Starbucks, it is alleged, is trying to unilaterally end this contract after Kraft rejected its earlier buy-out offer as being inadequate. Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 Verigy gets $12.15/shr Cash unsolicited offer from AdvantestVerigy Ltd. (VRGY), Monday said it had received an “unsolicited” acquisition proposal from Advantest, whereby Advantest offered $12.15 per Verigy share in cash for all of Verigy's shares. While Verigy's Board determined this was not superior to the outstanding offer made by LTX-Credence (LTXC), it will pursue Advantest's proposal in the hope that LTX-Credence might offer even better terms. Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 Ericsson Chairman Michael Treschow to resign in 2011 or 2012Swedish telecommunication company, LM Ericsson Company (ERIC), Monday said that its Chairman of the Board of Directors, Michael Treschow would resign in 2011 or 2012. His replacement will be proposed at the corresponding Annual General Meeting. Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 HSBC sued for abetting Madoff Ponzi Scheme; Trustee seeks at least $9 blnHSBC Holdings plc (HBC, HSBA.L), HSBC Bank and their affiliates are the defendants in a complaint filed by Irving Pickard, trustee for liquidation of Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities, or BLMIS, for allegedly enabling Madoff's Ponzi scheme via fund feeder networks. The trustee seeks to recover at least $9 billion from the defendants for unjust enrichment and fraudulent transfers in a suit to be adjudicated by a New York Bankruptcy Court. Full Article
Dec 6, 2010 Pfizer picks Read to replace retiring President & CEO KindlerHealthcare company Pfizer Inc. (PFE), Sunday said the board has named Ian Read to be the next President and Chief Executive Officer, following the retirement of Jeffrey Kindler. Read, at present, heads Pfizer's global biopharmaceutical operations. Full Article

Todays WS Events

Dec 6, 2010 Time Warner To Present At UBS Global Conference; Webcast At 12:30 PM ET Time Warner Inc. (TWX) will participate in the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York City. The event is scheduled to begin at 12:30 PM ET on December 6, 2010. To access the live webcast, log on at www.timewarner.com/investors
Dec 6, 2010 Wal-Mart Stores To Present At Credit Suisse Conference; Webcast At 11:00 AM ET Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) will present at the 2010 Credit Suisse Holiday Conference. The event is scheduled to begin at 11:00 AM ET, December 6, 2010. To access the live webcast, log on to www.walmartstores.com/investors
Dec 6, 2010 MetLife Annual Investor Day At 8:00 AM ET MetLife Inc. (MET) will host its Annual Investor Day on December 6, 2010. The event is scheduled to begin at 8:00 AM ET. To access the live audio webcast, log on at www.metlife.com
Dec 6, 2010 Interpublic Group To Present At UBS Media Conference; Webcast At 10:00 AM ET Interpublic Group (IPG) will present at the UBS 38th Annual Media & Communications Conference. The event is scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM ET, December 6, 2010. To access the live webcast, log on to http://investors.interpublic.com
Dec 6, 2010 McGraw-Hill To Present At UBS Global Conference; Webcast At 2:30 PM ET McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. (MHP) CEO, Harold McGraw, will present at the UBS 38th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference in New York City. The event is scheduled to begin at 2:30 PM ET, December 6, 2010. To access the live webcast, log on to http://investor.mcgraw-hill.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=96562&p=irol-EventDetails&EventId=3544951

Bernanke: More Fed bond buys "certainly possible". Financial And Forex Info News | Reuters - Before The Bell



FROM: REUTERS - BEFORE THE BELL

Futures off after Bernanke comments, euro pressure
Bernanke: More Fed bond buys "certainly possible"
Rio Tinto in talks on $3.5 billion bid for Riversdale
BofA says it has satisfied TARP exit condition: report
MetLife expects sharp 2011 earnings growth
Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler retires, replaced by Read
Morgan Stanley may cut bonus payouts: report
Moody's cuts Hungary close to junk, warns of risks
Merkel rebuffs IMF call to raise euro zone fund
EADS has civil liability in Concorde crash: court

Likely deal will extend tax cuts and unemployment insurance; South Korea and U.S. finalize trade pact; Romer on uncertainty: The Washington Post : Ezra Klein's Wonkbook



Top Stories

Senate Republicans successfully filibustered middle-class tax cuts, reports Shailagh Murray: "The Senate on Saturday rejected two Democratic proposals to let tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire, a symbolic but bitter defeat that now forces the Democratic majority to compromise with Republicans or risk allowing tax breaks to lapse for virtually everyone at year's end. Efforts quickly shifted to negotiations that would temporarily extend the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans, an outcome that seemed increasingly likely. The pair of nearly party-line votes - one to preserve the tax cuts for only the first $250,000 of family income, and the other for the first $1 million of income - also represented a final stand for Democrats."
A likely compromise would extend all of the tax cuts as well as unemployment insurance, report David Brown and Lori Montgomery: "The Senate Republican leadership telegraphed on the Sunday morning talk shows that a compromise to extend unemployment compensation and the George W. Bush-era tax cuts is in the offing. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), the Republican whip, told different interviewers that they expect Congress to vote for the tax cuts, which have been in effect for a decade, to continue unaltered for at least several years in exchange for an agreement to extend jobless benefits that are about to expire for millions of workers."
David Leonhardt names nine other things we could buy with the $60 billion-a-year it'll take to extend the tax cuts for the rich: http://nyti.ms/gg7IiB
The Bush tax cut fight isn't the main source of economic uncertainty, writes Christina Romer: "The biggest question is whether the top tax rate will be 35 or 39.6 percent. That is not the degree or kind of uncertainty that is likely to cause businesses and consumers to put hiring and spending decisions on hold. The more genuine source of tax uncertainty is related to the government’s long-run budget deficits. Congressional Budget Office projections show that the current budget trajectory is grossly unsustainable...The only way to resolve this fundamental uncertainty is to enact a credible long-run deficit reduction plan that shows what spending will be cut and what taxes will be raised, once the economy returns to full employment."
The US and South Korea have finalized a free trade pact, reports Howard Schneider: "U.S. and South Korean negotiators agreed Friday to a free-trade deal that the Obama administration hopes will increase American exports by billions of dollars annually and create momentum for a broader push on free trade in 2011. The pact is the administration's first major foray into the arena of free-trade politics, and officials said it may be followed by efforts to have Congress approve pending deals with Panama and Colombia, and reinvigorate the larger Doha round of global trade talks. The deal marks a victory for President Obama, who was widely criticized after failing to secure the pact during his Asia trip after last month's midterm elections."
Got tips, additions, or comments? E-mail me.
'90s flashback interlude: Pavement play "Kennel District" live.
Still to come: Wall Street is issuing bonuses now in case the Bush tax cuts lapse; Republicans plan to make Democrats choose between funding public health and funding a "doc fix"; the Department of Homeland Security is juking the stats on immigration; a Mexican draft proposal is starting off the Cancun climate summit; and dogs using laptops improperly.
Economy

Wall Street is moving up bonuses in case the Bush tax cuts do not expire, report Louise Story and Gretchen Morgenson: "Worried that lawmakers will allow taxes to rise for the wealthiest Americans beginning next year, financial firms are discussing whether to move up their bonus payouts from next year to this month...If Congress does not extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the highest income levels, a typical worker who earns a $1 million bonus would pay $40,000 to $50,000 more in taxes next year than this year, depending on base salary. Goldman Sachs is one of the companies discussing how to time bonus season, according to three people who have been briefed on the discussions. Pay consultants who work with major Wall Street companies say that just about every other large bank has also considered such a move in recent weeks."
Fed chair Ben Bernanke hinted more quantitative easing may be coming, reports John Maggs: "Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is defending the Fed’s decision to borrow $600 billion to help stimulate the struggling economy, saying it's possible the Fed might spend even more...One reason why more economic stimulus might be needed is that the recovery is weak, said Bernanke. Asked whether the recovery was 'self-sustaining,' he replied 'It may not be. It’s very close to the border -- it takes about two and a half percent growth just to keep unemployment stable. And that’s about what we’re getting. We’re not very far from the level where the economy is not self-sustaining.'"
Elizabeth Warren could end free bank accounts, reports Tom Braithwaite: "Elizabeth Warren, the US administration’s consumer financial protection supremo, is working on a deal with banks that would lead to more transparent products but could spell the end of free bank accounts. Ms Warren is seeking - through transparency rather than prohibition - to wean the industry off 'hidden' fees, such as overdraft charges, which can represent up to a third of core revenues for some banks. She is pushing the industry to adopt a shorter mortgage form and clearer disclosure for credit cards."
Democrats should let the Bush tax cuts expire, writes Paul Krugman: "Think about the logic of the situation. Right now, the Republicans see themselves as successful blackmailers, holding a clear upper hand. President Obama, they believe, wouldn’t dare preside over a broad tax increase while the economy is depressed. And they therefore believe that he will give in to their demands. But while raising taxes when unemployment is high is a bad thing, there are worse things. And a cold, hard look at the consequences of giving in to the G.O.P. now suggests that saying no, and letting the Bush tax cuts expire on schedule, is the lesser of two evils."
European governments could learn from the 2008 American bailouts, writes Alistair Darling: http://nyti.ms/ifpmlt
Adorable, computer-illiterate animals interlude: 31 puppies use laptops incorrectly.
Health Care

Republicans will force Democrats to choose between Medicare or health-care reform's public health initiative, reports Sarah Kliff: "Congressional Republicans are hoping to put Democrats in a no-win new year's jam: defund a big chunk of their health care overhaul or slash Medicare payments instead. Despite rampant repeal rhetoric, Republicans have so far struggled to dismantle any part of health reform. Now, they see a new path forward: pilfer health reform dollars to pay for the next 'doc fix,' the must-pass patch to Medicare doctor payments. Republican Senate aides familiar with the issue told POLITICO they are seriously looking at the new law's $15 billion public health commitment to finance a one-year doc fix in the next session of Congress."
The federal government is compiling a database of federal employees' health records: http://wapo.st/f0ndee
Arizona is leading the country in health care cuts, reports Kevin Sack: "The options available to states for cutting Medicaid have been limited because the federal stimulus package and the health care law have required them to maintain eligibility levels. That has left states to cut payments to providers and trim benefits not required by federal regulations. Many states, including Arizona, have done both. A September report by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 39 states cut provider payments and 20 cut optional benefits in their 2010 fiscal years, with similar numbers planning to do so in 2011. Arizona reduced Medicaid payments to doctors by 5 percent last year and has frozen payments to hospitals and nursing homes for two years. All providers will undergo another 5 percent cut on April 1, Ms. Carusetta said."
Domestic Policy

The Senate will vote Wednesday on the DREAM Act: http://politi.co/fQfYQ4
The GOP wants to use tax-exempt bonds to force disclosures about pension funding, reports Michael Corkery: "A bill introduced last week by three prominent House Republicans to deny states and localities the ability to sell tax-exempt bonds—the lifeblood for many governments—unless they report their pension-fund liabilities to the Treasury Department...The goal, the congressmen say, is to get a better handle on funding woes of public pensions, which they say are not always forthcoming about the true extent of their financial exposure."
The Obama administration will require cars to have rear-view video cameras and monitors: http://on.wsj.com/g0t08w
SNES interlude: A guy proposes via EarthBound.
Energy

The Mexican government has issued a draft climate proposal at the Cancun summit, reports Fiona Harvey: "At the weekend, the Mexican hosts published a draft negotiating text that would require countries to try to prevent global warming of more than 2ºC above pre-industrial levels - viewed by scientists as the safety limit - while giving options for providing funding to developing countries and protecting forests. Jake Schmidt, of the US environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council, said: 'This text sets the stage for an agreement, but only if countries find ways to compromise. Narrowing down the differences that remain will not be easy.'"
Republicans are resisting attempts to regulate "fracking" http://politi.co/gjZYXA
Billions in ethanol subsidies could pass in the lame duck session, reports Darren Goode: "Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) undoubtedly gave comfort to backers of the corn-based gasoline additive when he included a sought-after one-year extension of a key expiring ethanol tax credit as part of a much-larger middle class tax cut package he unveiled Thursday...The credit cost taxpayers an estimated $5 billion this year and lowering it to 36 cents would bring the annual cost down to $3.8 billion. Baucus also proposed extending for a year the 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol, as well as extending a small ethanol producer’s tax credit through next year at 8 cents per gallon."
Rep. Joe Barton is gaining conservative support in his bid to chair the Energy and Commerce committe: http://politi.co/ff9Wmb
Closing credits: Wonkbook is compiled and produced with help from Dylan Matthews, Mike Shepard, and Michelle Williams.

INDICATIONS - Stocks Futures Lower / U.S. Payrolls, Fed Focus in Asia. / London Markets- Stocks Edge Lower

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Indications: Stock futures slip after Bernanke interview

By Simon Kennedy MarketWatch

U.S. stock-market futures point lower Monday after strong gains in the previous week, with comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and a change in leadership for Pfizer in the spotlight. 

By V. Phani Kumar MarketWatch

U.S. payrolls data and weekend comments from Ben Bernanke weigh on some Asia markets, although Chinese stocks rise. 


By Aude Lagorce MarketWatch
12/6/2010 04:33:53 AM


U.K. stocks slipped on Monday as a downgrade of Tesco pressured the retail sector though a report that Vodafone may be about to sell its SFR stake helped the U.K. mobile operator to outperform.