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Feb 11, 2011

NYT: Afternoon Business News: Lack of Attention to Farming Is Catching Up With India


Lack of Attention to Farming Is Catching Up With India

Four decades after the Green Revolution, nearly half of Indian children under 6 are malnourished.

Administration Seeks Smaller Federal Role in Mortgages

A report on the future of housing finance from the Obama administration foresees abolishing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but offered few concrete details.
Your Money

When Love Outgrows Gift-Giving

Maybe it's time to consider alternatives to buying gifts for Valentine's Day.
Off the Charts

U.S. Exports Soar (and It's Not All Soybeans)

Data released on Friday showed the sharpest rise in American exports since 1988, with 74 percent of the total from manufactured goods.
Media Decoder Blog

Groupon Withdraws Contentious Super Bowl Spots

Groupon withdraws commercials that made their debut on Super Bowl Sunday, days after making changes in response to considerable criticism of the ads.

From freedom agenda to freedom doctrine(1): The Washington Post 10 Most Read Opinions Columns

Washington Post

1) From freedom agenda to freedom doctrine

Obama supports freedom in the abstract -- that's not enough.

2) Do Egypt's protests mean American decline?

The limits of U.S. influence in the Mideast have never been more obvious.

3) The Donald trumps the pols at CPAC

Republicans may not yet have the ideal candidate to take on President Obama in 2012. But at least they have an apprentice program.

4) Dear Hosni Mubarak . . .

In response to your truculent, deeply misguided speech.

5) U.S. must take the walk to democracy with Egypt

Mubarak's iron rule crumbles but will not go gently.

6) Who had the worst week in Washington? Rep. Chris "Craigslist" Lee.

They just never learn. Despite the abundance of sex scandals that have rocked Washington over the past few years, Republican Rep. Chris Lee decided it would be a good idea to respond to a Craigslist personal ad from a woman looking for single men in D.C. With a picture of himself. Shirtless.

7) The real Reagan legacy

The Gipper pushed unpopular economic policy, and it paid off.

8) Ron Paul's economic Rx: a Southern secessionist

Ron Paul used his first day as subcommittee chairman to usher in an unusual witness.

9) Why the U.S. shouldn't try Julian Assange

If the administration's goal is to deter future Assanges, there's a better option.

10) How biofuels contribute to the food crisis

Food prices should come down, if we can just limit biofuel growth.

Daily Market Update: Geopolitical Worries, Mixed Corporate News May Keep Sentiment Subdued .

Daily Market Analysis
Friday, February 11, 2011, 09:06

The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a lower opening on Friday, with a batch of negative earnings reports and the geopolitical tensions surrounding the political unrest in Egypt likely to keep sentiment subdued in the session. A domestic economic report released short while ago showed that the U.S. trade deficit widened in line with expectations. The dollar is gaining ground against the euro, pound and the yen. At the same time, crude oil is extending its yesterday's marginal advance and gold futures are also higher. Full Article

Forex Market Update

Forex Market Update
Friday, February 11, 2011, 09:06

Economic News

India's industrial production rose at a slower annual pace in December, raising concerns over the strength of the economic growth. Full Article

Estonia's economy recorded ebullient growth in the fourth quarter of 2010 helped by robust industrial activity and exports ahead of the nation's entry into euro area. Full Article

The Spanish economy resumed growth in the fourth quarter of 2010 after heavy austerity measures stalled growth in the previous quarter. Full Article

Taiwanese export growth eased for a third month running in January, but defied expectations for a much steeper slowdown on robust demand from mainland China and the U.S, figures showed Friday. Full Article

The People's Bank of China has asked some small and medium-sized banks to raise their reserve requirement ratio in a fresh effort to curb inflation and lending, official China Securities Journal reported Friday. Full Article
Forex Top Story

After narrowing unexpectedly in the previous month, the U.S. trade deficit widened in December, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday, with the value of imports increasing at a faster rate than the value of exports. Full Article

UK factory gate prices increased at a faster-than-expected pace in January, reflecting the persistence of inflationary pressure in the economy. Full Article

Led by higher energy prices, German annual inflation accelerated more than initially estimated in January and at its highest pace since October 2008. Full Article

The members of the Bank of Korea monetary policy board on Friday voted to keep interest rates on hold at the 2.75 percent. Full Article

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens on Friday said the price increases caused by cyclones may temporarily raise consumer price inflation, but price effects pose no serious threat to the achievement of the medium-term inflation goal. Full Article

The price of gold held steady above $1,360 Friday morning amid a strong U.S. dollar. Full Article

Feb 11, 2011 Crude Edges Up Near $87
The price of crude oil edged up Friday morning amid rising tensions in Egypt after Hosni Mubarak refused to step down, intensifying concerns over crude oil supply disruptions via Suez Canal. Full Article
Political News

A day after defiant Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak refused to step down, the country's military leadership has promised to lift the state of emergency, a key demand of the protesters, when the current impasse ends. Full Article

North Korea's Communist government is likely to resort to new acts of brinkmanship as the secretive nation prepares to hand over power to its heir apparent, the head of US National Intelligence has been quoted as saying in media reports on Thursday. Full Article

A key constitutional amendment that Thailand's Parliament adopted on Friday paves the way for snap polls this year. Full Article
Currency Alerts

The Canadian dollar has been extending its yesterday's gains against the currencies of Europe, Australia and Japan in Asian deals on Friday as crude oil price rose on Egypt worries. Full Article

During early Asian deals on Friday, the euro slipped to multi-day lows against some major currencies on reduced expectations for an interest rate hike by the European Central Bank. The euro also fell on concern that Egypt turmoil will deepen. Full Article

Friday morning in Asia, the Australian dollar declined against other major currencies amid a slide in regional stocks. The Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens comments that interest rates in the nation would be stable in the forseeable future also exerted selling pressure on the aussie. Full Article

U.K.'s sterling edged lower against its major rivals in early trading on Friday as a decline in European stocks propelled traders to stay away from higher-risk currencies. Full Article

The New Zealand dollar extended its previous session's downtrend against the currencies of the U.S. and Japan in early European trading on Friday Full Article
General News

Israel has issued a travel alert warning its citizens against traveling to nine countries deemed dangerous fearing attacks on the eve of the anniversary of the assassination of two senior Hezbollah leaders. Full Article

A Pakistani court has extended to another 14 days the judicial custody of an employee of the U.S. Consulate in the eastern city of Lahore, who was charged with murder in an incident that led to the killing of three Pakistanis last month. Full Article

The United States has pledged an additional $1.75 million to support efforts by Honduran law enforcement authorities to improve border and port security, prison management, and community policing programs focused on reducing gang-related violence. Full Article

The United States government has condoled the death of a local employee of the American Embassy in Egyptian capital Cairo. Full Article

A teenaged bank robber who unsuccessfully tried to pull off a heist at a North Carolina bank has been shot dead by police, reports said.Full Article

U.S. Deficit Increased 5.9 % in December / Imports Rose 2.6


Economics and Statistics Administration Logo
The international trade deficit increased 5.9 percent in December 2010, to $40.6 billion.  Exports grew 1.8 percent, to $163.0 billion, and imports rose 2.6 percent, to $203.5 billion.

Morning Market Briefing

Morning Market Briefing
Friday, February 11, 2011, 09:01

Stock futures are pointing to modest losses Friday morning, as the markets continue to keep an eye on flaring tensions in Egypt after yesterday's speech by President Hosni Mubarak failed to quell the unrest. The major index futures are all in negative territory, with the Dow futures down by 33 points. Full Article
Economic News
The members of the Bank of Korea monetary policy board on Friday voted to keep interest rates on hold at the 2.75 percent. Full Article
Led by higher energy prices, German annual inflation accelerated more than initially estimated in January and at its highest pace since October 2008. Full Article
UK factory gate prices increased at a faster-than-expected pace in January, reflecting the persistence of inflationary pressure in the economy. Full Article
After narrowing unexpectedly in the previous month, the U.S. trade deficit widened in December, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday, with the value of imports increasing at a faster rate than the value of exports. Full Article
Canada unexpectedly recorded its first trade surplus in ten months in December, as energy exports soared amid higher prices and harsh winter weather in the United States. Full Article
Earnings News
Biopharmaceutical company Cephalon Inc. (CEPH) Thursday reported a marginal dip in fourth-quarter net income, reflecting certain one-time items. Adjusted earnings, however, increased from last year on a 36% revenue growth - thanks to contribution from its cancer drug Treanda. Both adjusted earnings and revenues exceeded expectations. Cephalon also raised its 2011 sales and earnings guidance and both are expected to beat the Street view. Full Article
Media and entertainment company Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) Friday reported a higher fourth-quarter profit on a 7% increase in revenues. However, the results missed analysts' estimates. The company also issued an outlook for full year 2011. Full Article
Office properties manager Brookfield Properties Corp. (BPO, BPO.TO) said Friday fourth-quarter funds from operations, or FFO, increased marginally, corresponding to higher revenues. Full Article
Coca-Cola bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) announced Friday a slight increase in fourth-quarter profit, thanks to “solid” volume growth and a 1% increase in prices which saw revenues climb 12%. Pro forma earnings were in line with estimates, while revenues beat the market view. Full Article
Recycling and waste collection company Republic Services Group Inc. (RSG) said Thursday fourth-quarter profit surge, reflecting higher one-time charges last year. Adjusted earnings were in line with estimates, while revenues fell short. The company issued 2011 earnings guidance, which is below the Street view. Full Article
Online marketplace operator eBay Inc. (EBAY) Thursday said it expects both bottomline and topline results for the next three years to show double-digit growth, driven by “global momentum” at its online payments business PayPal, among other factors. Full Article
Online travel company Expedia Inc. (EXPE) said Thursday fourth-quarter profit fell 30% as a result of higher interest expense and an increased tax provision which offset a 16% revenue increase. Adjusted earnings fell short of estimates, while revenues surpassed the consensus. Full Article
Restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG) Thursday reported a 47% increase in fourth-quarter profit with revenues rising 24.5% on increased traffic in comparable restaurants as also revenues from new restaurants. The results exceeded expectations. Full Article
Tobacco company Philip Morris International Inc. (PM) reported Thursday a 15% rise in fourth-quarter profit largely due to higher pricing and favorable impact of acquisitions. While earnings exceeded analysts' estimates, the revenues disappointed. The company also issued its 2011 earnings outlook. Full Article
Destination casino resorts operator Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN) Thursday announced a fourth-quarter profit, making a turnaround from the prior-year period's loss, with a 79.4% increase in revenues from the Wynn Macau resort and lesser one-time charges. Both adjusted earnings and revenues beat analysts' estimates. Full Article
Dialysis service provider DaVita Inc. (DVA) said Thursday fourth-quarter profit declined from last year as one-time charges offset revenue growth. Adjusted earnings topped estimates, while revenues came in line. Full Article
Food products manufacturer Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) reported Thursday a 24% lower fourth-quarter profit, impacted mainly by costs related to the integration of the acquired British chocolate maker Cadbury. Revenues, benefiting by synergies from the acquisition, rose 30%. Adjusted earnings equaled the consensus estimate, while revenues topped the market view. Full Article
Corporate News
Mobile telephone manufacturer Nokia Corp. (NOK) announced Friday a strategic partnership with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) that will replace its native platform Symbian with Microsoft's Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy. Microsoft would integrate Nokia Maps with its search engine Bing. The Finnish company also introduced a new leadership team. Full Article
Todays WS Events
Feb 11, 2011 MetLife To Present At Credit Suisse Conference; Webcast At 9:30 AM ET
MetLife Inc. (MET) will present at the Credit Suisse 12th Annual Financial Services Forum. The event is scheduled to begin at 9:30 AM ET, February 11, 2011. To access the live audio webcast, log on to
Feb 11, 2011 Coca-Cola Enterprises Q4 10 Earnings Conference Call At 10:00 AM ET
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) will host a conference call at 10:00 AM ET, to discuss Q4 10 earnings results, on February 11, 2011. To access the live webcast, log on to
Feb 11, 2011 Unum Group To Present At Credit Suisse Forum; Webcast At 11:00 AM ET
Unum Group (UNM) CEO, Tom Watjen, will present at the Credit Suisse Financial Services Forum in Miami, Florida. The event is schedule to begin at 11:00 AM ET, February 11, 2011. To access the live audio webcast, log on to

Tea Party wins their first budget fight: Wonkbook | The Washington Post

That went fast. Yesterday's Wonkbook lede was about the $32 billion in cuts that the House Republican leadership had previewed for the rest of 2011. Today lede is about the $100 billion of cuts they're now searching to find for 2011. Why $100 billion? Because the campaign promise was to cut $100 billion in their first budget, and House conservatives revolted against efforts to cut even a dime less.
The argument the House leadership made was that it wasn't cutting less, and this wasn't really their first budget. These cuts were for the part of fiscal year 2011 which didn't get included in December's continuing resolution -- namely, March to September. Because that's much less than a full year, smaller cuts were equal, in terms of how much they slashed government services, than bigger cuts. The $32 billion was more like $74 billion, at least if you compared it to the full-year budget request Obama had made back in February of 2010. You had to annualize the cuts.
But "when I say 'ANNU,' you say 'LIZE,'" doesn't really get the crowd going at CPAC, or anywhere else. So now House leadership is stuck in a place it really didn't want to be: Making $100 billion in cuts to non-defense discretionary spending that have to be carried out in the next seven months. Boehner and his team came in determined to avoid the mistakes that newt Gingrich made. They were going to be humble, they wouldn't overread their mandate, they wouldn't go for draconian cuts in services that weren't defensible once they had to be explained. They lost. They're going to need to propose three times as many cuts now. And this comes alongside a new Pew poll (pdf) showing that the only category of federal spending that a majority of Republicans support cutting is foreign aid. On everything from Social Security to education to crime prevention to scientific research, more spending is preferred.
This loss, much more than the failed votes on the extension of the PATRIOT Act or funds for the United Nations (both of which were brought to the floor under a rule requiring a 2/3rd majority for passage) shows that the House GOP leadership has little sway and less control over the rank-and-file. The Republican Study Committee seems more powerful than the Republican leadership at this point. The budget proposal produced by Rep. Jim Jordan won out over the one favored by Rep. Paul Ryan. If I were a betting man, I'd say the odds of a government shutdown -- either over cuts or the debt ceiling -- just went up dramatically.
Top Stories

House Republican leadership bowed to conservative members' calls for more cuts, reports Lori Montgomery: "An already wobbly week for House Republicans turned chaotic Thursday as their unruly new majority flatly rejected a spending plan crafted by House leaders, saying its cuts fell far short of fulfilling a campaign pledge to slice $100 billion from federal programs. House leaders offered to redo the package but were struggling to identify the massive and unprecedented cuts that will be required to meet their goal. Dissatisfied conservatives, meanwhile, were pressing for even sharper reductions that could prove difficult to push through the House, much less the Democratic-controlled Senate. The uprising exposed serious divisions among Republicans bent on reducing the size of government."
A new Pew poll shows that the appetite for specific budget cuts is low, even among Republicans, writes Jon Cohen: "Across 18 areas of federal spending, a majority of Republicans support decreasing spending in just one: aid to the world's needy. In one other area, unemployment assistance, 50 percent of Republicans polled said they would decrease spending (far higher than the 11 percent who said they would increase it), but in all others the number saying funds should be cut is under the 50 percent mark. When it comes to three big ticket items - Social Security, Medicare and defense spending - more Republicans want increases than decreases in federal outlays. Support for budget cuts is, unsurprisingly, lower still among Democrats and independents.
Obama is promoting a plan to provide wireless internet to 98 percent of the US, reports Cecilia Kang: "President Obama outlined a plan Thursday to create similar economic stories through the expansion of super-fast wireless Internet connections. Speaking at Northern Michigan University, Obama said he would use $18 billion in federal funds to get 98 percent of the nation connected to the Internet on smartphones and tablet computers in five years. To get there, the federal government will try to bring more radio waves into the hands of wireless carriers to bolster the nation's networks and prevent a jam of Internet traffic. He said he hoped to raise about $27.8 billion by auctioning airwaves now in the hands of television stations and government agencies. And with that auction money, the government would fund new rural 4G wireless networks."
The administration's report on dismantling Fannie and Freddie will be released today, reports Zachary Goldfarb: The Obama administration is pushing ahead with a vast rewrite of the rules of the nation's mortgage market separately from the delicate task of devising options to abolish mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In a long-awaited report Friday on the future of home loans, the administration will address both efforts. Much of the focus is expected to be on determining the future of Fannie and Freddie, which rely on a massive taxpayer bailout to prop up the mortgage market. But perhaps equally important will be measures to protect borrowers against taking on loans they can't afford, draw private firms back into the mortgage finance business and prevent excessive risk-taking by financial companies."
The White House considered, and rejected, raising the payroll tax cap and slowing Social Security benefit increases in this year's budget, reports Laura Meckler: "The White House last month considered offering specific benefit cuts and tax increases to shore up Social Security's finances, but ultimately decided to back off. Officials weighed suggesting that Congress raise the ceiling on wages subject to the Social Security payroll tax and allow benefits to rise more slowly than under current law, according to three people familiar with the deliberations. The hope was to engage Republicans in talks. But aides decided against putting forward the ideas, sure to be unpopular, without a clear signal from Republicans that they were ready to talk."
Plastic figurine post-punk interlude: A Playmobil version of Joy Division plays "Transmission".
Got tips, additions, or comments? E-mail me.
Still to come: Fed governor Kevin Warsh is resigning; enrollment in health care reform's high-risk pools is lagging; Arizona is suing the federal government over immigration policy; Democrats are targeting oil subsidies for cuts; and a campaign to erect a statue of RoboCop in Detroit.

Federal Reserve governor Kevin Warsh is resigning, reports Neil Irwin: "Kevin Warsh, a Federal Reserve governor and key lieutenant to Chairman Ben S. Bernanke during the financial crisis, is leaving the central bank at the end of March, giving President Obama a chance to continue reshaping the Fed. Warsh's departure will leave the governing board of the powerful central bank almost entirely in the hands of Obama appointees. Obama will have named six of seven governors once the Senate confirms nominee Peter Diamond to a vacant slot and Warsh is replaced. Warsh has been a skeptic of Bernanke's policy to try to boost the economy by buying hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of Treasury bonds, and Fed watchers think it likely that a new Obama appointee would be more supportive of the strategy."
Voters are lukewarm on spending cuts:
Higher pay gains are expected this year, reports Mark Whitehouse: "U.S. workers have reason to hope for slightly better pay raises this year, a shift that could add momentum to the economic recovery. With corporate America sitting on large piles of cash and manufacturers seeing a surge in exports to fast-growing emerging markets, signs are mounting that some of the benefits will start trickling down to employees. This could mean average wage gains of as much as 3% in 2011, compared with 1.7% in 2010--enough to boost consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy, but not so much that it would stoke concerns of an inflationary spiral."
The SEC's watchdog is pleading for more cash:
The housing debate includes more than Fannie and Freddie, writes Bethany McLean: "Behind the scenes, there's another huge debate taking place, one that has every bit as much potential—maybe more—to shape the housing market. It involves a provision in last summer's Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, one that was inserted partly due to Lou Ranieri, the former Salomon Brothers bond trader and executive who helped create the modern mortgage market back in the 1980s. The provision is called the qualifying residential mortgage, or QRM. What is a QRM? Well, that's precisely the cause of the debate. The answer will play a big role in determining who can get a mortgage at what cost."
The House GOP isn't serious about currency policy, writes Paul Krugman: "'There is nothing more insidious that a country can do to its people than to debase its currency,' declared Representative Paul Ryan in one of two hearings Congress held on Wednesday on monetary policy...Start with that bit about debasing our currency. Where did that come from? The dollar’s value in terms of other major currencies is about the same now as it was three years ago. And as Mr. Bernanke pointed out, consumer prices rose only 1.2 percent in 2010, an inflation rate that, for the record, is well below the rate under the sainted Ronald Reagan. The Fed’s preferred measure, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, was up only 0.7 percent, well below the target of around 2 percent."
The key to saving good domestic programs is entitlement reform, writes David Brooks: "If people who care about this or that domestic program fight alone, hoping that their own program will be spared, then they will all perish alone. If they have any chance of continuing their work, they will have to band together and fight their common enemy, the inexorable growth of entitlement spending. The foreign aid people, the scientific research people, the education people, the antipoverty people and many others have to form a humane alliance. They have to go on offense. They have to embrace plans to slow the growth of Medicare, to reform Social Security and to reform the tax code to foster growth and produce more revenue."
Adorable animals rocking out interlude: A puppy air-drums to a metalcore song.
Health Care

Enrollment in high risk pools is lagging, reports Amy Goldstein: "More Americans have been signing up for special health plans designed for people with medical problems that caused them to be spurned by the insurance industry, according to new government figures. But enrollment continues to lag significantly behind original predictions. The number of people who have bought the plans, known as high-risk pools, has increased from slightly fewer than 8,000 nationwide as of early November to nearly 12,500 as of the beginning of this month, according to figures released Thursday by federal health officials. Several months ago, the special insurance pools became one of the earliest facets of the new health-care law to take effect. They are intended as a temporary coping mechanism for people with medical conditions that traditional insurance companies do not want to cover."
Medicare administrator Donald Berwick faced a hostile House hearing:
Domestic Policy

Arizona is suing the Obama administration over immigration, report Marc Lacey and Salvador Rodriguez: "Striking back at the Obama administration, Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona said Thursday that she will raise private funds to counter-sue the federal government for failing to enforce immigration laws. The claim will be filed in the Justice Department’s challenge to Arizona’s immigration law, the most controversial portions of which have been struck down by a federal judge. At a news conference outside federal court, Ms. Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne said the Obama administration had failed to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing the border in huge numbers and had stuck the state with the cost of dealing with its failed policies. 'Arizona did not ask for this fight with the federal government,' Ms. Brewer said."
States are preparing for federal assistance to decline, reports Sara Murray: "Both President Barack Obama and House Republicans are moving to rein in federal spending by reducing aid to states and cities, which would deepen their fiscal woes just as economic-stimulus funds from Washington are drying up. Mr. Obama's proposed cuts would take effect during the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. House Republicans are likely to accept the president's requested reductions and cut further. They are already seeking big reductions in state aid programs during the current year, as state and local governments are struggling to close record budget deficits. Together, the plans may herald a severe retrenchment in Washington's assistance to states and cities."
The US should avoid Britain's example on highly skilled workers, writes Edward Schumacher-Matos: "Last summer, the Conservative government of David Cameron imposed a temporary cap on immigration of high-skilled workers from outside the European Union. Indian and Chinese workers with the latest computer programming skills, for example, were turned away... Economists will say that high-skilled workers are the primary source of growth in a nation's per capita income. Immigrants with such skills have been central to the rise of almost every major empire in history, including the British Empire and America. Germany, Canada, Australia and others now compete for these immigrants, while India and China are trying to attract them back."
Great moments in online organizing interlude: The campaign to get Detroit a statue of RoboCop.

Democrats are proposing billions in cuts in oil subsidies, reports Darryl Fears: "House Republicans this week proposed to cut $40 billion from the EPA and social programs, hitting Democrats where it hurts. Not surprisingly, Democrats swung back Thursday, targeting a Republican soft spot: Big Oil. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduced a bill that would drain oil companies of $40 billion in federal tax breaks over the next five years. At least six other Democrats joined him, including Reps. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Lois Capps of California, John Conyers of Michigan and Peter Welch of Vermont. 'I think this is something consistent with what you're hearing in both parties,' said Blumenauer, who has no GOP co-sponsors."
"Public health" arguments for EPA regulations may be more effective than economic or climate-related ones:
Rep. Darrell Issa continued his attack on environmental regulations at a hearing yesterday, reports Peter Schroeder: "House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) continued his hunt for burdensome government regulations at a hearing Thursday, inviting business officials to discuss the hoops they must jump through to meet government rules. Leaders of several large business lobbies, as well as the heads of some small businesses, were invited to testify as to how government regulations make their professional lives more difficult...Harry Alford, chief executive officer of the Black Chamber of Commerce, described the administration's moratorium on deepwater oil drilling as punishing the entire oil industry for the mistakes of one bad actor. That ban was put in place in the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico."
Republican attempts to gut the EPA could lead to more action on the environment in Congress, writes Peter Appel:
Biofuels are adding to the world's food crisis, writes Tim Searchinger: "Each year, the world demands more grain, and this year the world's farms will not produce it. World food prices have surged above the food crisis levels of 2008. Millions more people will be malnourished, and hundreds of millions who are already hungry will eat less or give up other necessities. Food riots have started again. Nearly all assessments of the 2008 food crisis assigned biofuels a meaningful role, but much of academia and the media ultimately agreed that the scale of the crisis resulted from a 'perfect storm' of causes. Yet this 'perfect storm' has re-formed not three years later. We should recognize the ways in which biofuels are driving it. Demand for biofuels is almost doubling the challenge of producing more food."
Closing credits: Wonkbook is compiled and produced with help from Dylan Matthews and Michelle Williams.

Financial & Forex Info News: Reuters- Before the Bell: Egypt unrest sends stock futures lower.



Egypt unrest sends stock futures lower
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell on Friday as uncertainty gripped markets following Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's refusal to step down after more than two weeks of civil protests throughout the country. | Full Article

Nokia and Microsoft join forces in smartphone war
February 11, 2011 06:30 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - Nokia and Microsoft teamed up on Friday to build an iPhone killer in a desperate attempt to take on Google and Apple in the fast-growing smartphone market. | Full Article
Coke Enterprises profit rises; backs outlook
February 11, 2011 07:50 AM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Soft drink bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc reported a rise in quarterly profit, helped by higher volume, and backed its 2011 profit outlook. | Full Article
Hedge fund Elliott rejects DuPont's Danisco bid
February 11, 2011 06:07 AM ET
COPENHAGEN/LONDON (Reuters) - Elliott Associates, the $17 billion U.S. hedge fund, added its voice to demands that chemicals giant DuPont raise its $5.8 billion bid for Danisco, the Danish maker of food ingredients and enzymes. | Full Article
Deutsche Boerse-NYSE deal faces antitrust snags
February 11, 2011 12:58 AM ET
FRANKFURT/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Deutsche Boerse AG's planned takeover of NYSE Euronext faces intense scrutiny from German regulators and European antitrust authorities, potentially imperiling the blockbuster exchange tie-up. | Full Article

Long Term Stocks: Measuring Up To Expectations?

Long Term Stocks
Friday, February 11, 2011, 07:41

Metrology, which refers to the study of measurement, is a critical discipline that makes measurements valid, accurate and fit for purposes. Accurate measurements are very much essential in the production of high performance, reliable devices. Full Article

Financial & Forex Info News: Kitco Hourly Report

Market snapshot as of Fri Feb 11 07:02:17 EST 2011 New York time (GMT - 5)
 Bid 1359.8
 Ask 1360.8
 High 1366.4
 Low 1357.5
 Bid 30.01
 Ask 30.05
 High 30.26
 Low 29.9
 Bid 1826.0
 Ask 1836.0
 High 1841.0
 Low 1820.0
 Bid 819.0
 Ask 825.0
 High 828.0
 Low 813.0

London Fix
  Gold Silver Platinum Palladium
 $USD   1359.0  0.0  0.0  1830.0  0.0  820.0  0.0

Financial & Forex Info News: Reuiters- Morning Digest : Military moves to defuse crisis, Mubarak digs in



Military moves to defuse crisis, Mubarak digs in
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's powerful army stepped in on Friday to guarantee the lifting of 30-year-old emergency laws and free and fair elections in a bid to end a popular uprising as hundreds of thousands gathered in Cairo for a huge rally. | Full Article

Korea talks stalemated as U.S. warns of North's threat
February 11, 2011 04:25 AM ET
SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North and South Korea traded blame on Thursday for the breakdown of military talks, while in Washington the U.S. spy chief said nuclear-armed North Korea poses a serious threat to security in East Asia. | Full Article
Oil rises on Egypt tensions, stocks fall
February 11, 2011 04:50 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - World stocks fell for the third straight day on Friday partly on growing tensions in Egypt after President Hosni Mubarak disappointed protesters hoping he would resign, though oil and the dollar advanced. Partly because of the Egypt crisis, Asian stocks were on the course for their biggest weekly loss in nine months, but European shares were more resilient, on track for a second straight week of gains, and safe-haven Swiss francs fell against the dollar after Swiss consumer pr | Full Article
Nokia and Microsoft join forces in smartphone war
February 11, 2011 05:22 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - Nokia and Microsoft teamed up to build an iPhone killer on Friday in a desperate attempt to take on Google and Apple in the fast-growing smartphone market. | Full Article
European cargo rocket to supply Space Station
February 11, 2011 05:20 AM ET
PARIS (Reuters) - An unmanned Ariane rocket is scheduled to launch a cargo vessel into orbit on Tuesday in Europe's second mission to carry supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), space officials said on Friday. | Full Article
Lakers spoil Allen's record-setting game
February 11, 2011 01:14 AM ET
BOSTON (Reuters) - The Los Angeles Lakers spoiled Ray Allen's record-setting game with a second half comeback to earn a 92-86 win over the Boston Celtics on Thursday. | Full Article
Snooki voted nightmare celebrity Valentine's date
February 10, 2011 07:12 PM ET
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Outspoken, over tanned "Jersey Shore" star Snooki has topped a poll as the nightmare celebrity date for Valentine's Day. | Full Article
Barking dogs can land owner in jail
February 10, 2011 12:32 PM ET
ROME (Reuters) - If you live in Italy and if the barking of your dogs keeps the neighbors up at night, it's you who might wind up caged -- in a jail cell. | Full Article