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Mar 23, 2011

The Economist |Selected Articles : Wonders | Blighty | Banyan | Eastern Approaches | Americas View | Prospero Talks | Daily Chart | Online Debate

Prospero talks to Miranda July, film-maker

Financial And Forex Info | The Australian Business Briefing: Gold price strikes new record

update for Thu Mar 24 ,2011
Gold price strikes new record
gold Matt Whittaker INVESTORS clamouring for safe places to put their money sent gold futures to a record high and silver to a fresh 31-year peak today.
Wall St in late rally on resources
Wall St UPDATED Brendan Conway US stocks staged a late rally today, led by materials companies, though investors continued to eye several overseas trouble spots warily.
Portugal crisis deepens as PM resigns
Jose Socrates Patricia Kowsmann and Jeffrey Lewis PORTUGAL'S PM has tendered his resignation after a new austerity plan was rejected, increasing pressure on the country to accept a bailout.
Tsunami may lift Japan from slump
Japan earthquake Paul Cleary OPTIMISTS think, or hope, that Japan's tsunami will be a catalyst for economic renewal for the world's third-biggest economy.
Lindsay Maxsted appointed to BHP board
Lindsay Maxsted Alex MacDonald BHP Billiton says Alan Boekmann will retire from the board, with Lindsay Maxsted being appointed as an independent non-executive director.
Chinese ready to help out troubled Oakajee
Oakajee port Andrew Burrell CHINESE metals giant Sinosteel has expressed alarm over cost blowouts and delays at the $6 billion-plus Oakajee port and rail development.
OPR letters: more funding requested
Colin Barnett Andrew Burrell WEST Australian Premier Colin Barnett insists the developers of the troubled Oakajee port project have not asked for more state funds.
Rio shuns yesterday's 'dogs' in asset search
Rio Tinto Scott Murdoch RIO Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese has declared the world's second-largest miner is keen to use its surplus cash on asset acquisitions.
Financial Markets
Wall St in late rally on resources
Wall St UPDATED Brendan Conway US stocks staged a late rally today, led by materials companies, though investors continued to eye several overseas trouble spots warily.
Oil climbs as Mideast unrest deepens
Gold price strikes new record
Financial Markets Coverage
Mining & Energy
Lindsay Maxsted appointed to BHP board
Lindsay Maxsted Alex MacDonald BHP Billiton says Alan Boekmann will retire from the board, with Lindsay Maxsted being appointed as an independent non-executive director.
Oil climbs as Mideast unrest deepens
Gold price strikes new record
More Mining & Energy Coverage

Financial & Forex Info | The Australian Capital Circle: Commission carbon warning for PM Gillard

Capital Circle Newsletter
Commission carbon warning for PM Gillard
As the PM calls for moderate voices to lead the carbon tax debate, the Productivity Commission has delivered a stark warning.

The PM's diary: Julia Gillard is in Canberra today for the parliamentary sitting day. She will meet with Climate Scientists Australia at 9am this morning. The PM writes today that Australia must reject the extremes of the carbon tax debate.
Tony Abbott is in Canberra for the final day of sitting. He launched the pollie pedal this morning, an annual bike ride of about 1000km that raises money for charity. You can donate to the charity here.
Forget the people's revolt - there is a new uprising in the suburbs. Capital Circle hears Dungeons and Dragons players have their noses out of joint after Labor MP Nick Champion compared them to extremists. At least one angry phone call was placed after Champion said yesterday's no carbon tax rally "had all the credibility of a Dungeons and Dragons convention''. Reports that D&D addicts are rolling 20-sided dice to see if they will revolt may be slightly exaggerated.
Spotted on the Queen's Terrace: Queensland prodigy Wyatt Roy, making a bee-line for former prodigy Natasha Stott-Despoja. We wonder what they talked about.
Congratulations to Sky News' Ashleigh Gillon, winner of the Wallace Brown award for young press gallery journalist of the year. Congratulations also to runner up Peter Veness.
Vale Sydney MP Alex Hawke's Bear Grylls beard. Gone, but not forgotten.
***Sign up to Capital Circle -- news from the beltway to your inbox***
The Australian leads with a report from Sid Maher that Productivity Commission chairman Gary Banks  has warned Australia needs carbon pollution reduction targets that allow it to compete wit

Financial & Forex Info | Reuters Daily Investor Update: Materials lead Wall Street higher but turmoil remains

Materials lead Wall Street higher but turmoil remains
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks advanced on Wednesday as materials shares rose, but rising commodities prices due to turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa could keep rallies modest. | Full Article

Goldman's Blankfein says ex-director broke rules
March 23, 2011 04:23 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc chief Lloyd Blankfein told jurors at Raj Rajaratnam's insider trading trial that a former director at Wall Street's most powerful bank violated boardroom confidentiality in discussions with the accused hedge fund manager. | Full Article
New home sales plumb record lows, prices stumble
March 23, 2011 04:28 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sales of new homes sank to a record low in February and prices were the weakest in just over seven years, underscoring the housing market's lingering malaise, which could slow the economic recovery. | Full Article
Bernanke says new rules benefit smaller banks
March 23, 2011 01:00 PM ET
SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - New financial regulatory reforms should help reduce the edge that large banks have over smaller ones because of their implicit support from government, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday. | Full Article
Fed tells Bank of America to rein in dividend plan
March 23, 2011 01:05 PM ET
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve objected to Bank of America Corp's plans to boost the dividend and told the bank to revise its proposal, in a sign that regulators still view the lender as being weaker than its rivals. | Full Article
Air strikes silence Gaddafi guns at besieged city
March 23, 2011 03:51 PM ET
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Western warplanes silenced Muammar Gaddafi's artillery and tanks besieging the rebel-held town of Misrata on Wednesday after an American admiral warned that the Libyan leader's armor was now in the cross-hairs. | Full Article
Japan nuclear crisis still a serious concern
March 23, 2011 03:12 PM ET
TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo residents were warned not to give babies tap water because of radiation leaking from a nuclear plant crippled in the earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeast Japan in the world's costliest natural disaster. | Full Article
Bombing near Jerusalem bus stop kills woman, 30 hurt
March 23, 2011 03:39 PM ET
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A bomb planted in a bag exploded near a bus stop in a Jewish district of Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing a woman and injuring at least 30 people, in an attack police blamed on Palestinian militants. | Full Article
Israel will act aggressively to preserve security: PM
March 23, 2011 02:55 PM ET
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Israel will act aggressively and responsibly to preserve quiet and security after violence with Palestinians escalated over the past week. | Full Article
Portugal government may collapse before EU summit
March 23, 2011 04:05 PM ET
LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's parliament started a key debate on Wednesday on government austerity measures which opposition parties were expected to reject, setting the stage for the possible collapse of the minority Socialist administration a day before a European summit. | Full Article

CBS Evening News Top Stories

The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric newsletter


Hi everyone,
She was Hollywood royalty-known by millions simply as "Liz." Elizabeth Taylor died today at 79. I'll look back at her life and legend, which included two Oscars and seven husbands, as well as her commitment to the fight against AIDS. Japan's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis is now the world's costliest disaster, according to experts. Today, authorities warned parents in Tokyo not to let their babies drink tap water, after high levels of radiation from the damaged Fukushima plant were found in the drinking water supply. Allied warplanes forced Qaddafi loyalists to stop shelling civilians in Misarata today. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he can't predict how long the air strikes over Libya will continue. Mark Phillips reports tonight from Tripoli. As the price of oil and gasoline keeps going up, a lot of people are asking who's getting all of that money? Tonight, Senior Business Correspondent Anthony Mason has the answer. Check out the latest @katiecouric episode, Tim Pawlenty.

Katie Couric

Is there nuclear waste in your state? Interactive map shows 35 states store 145 million pounds of spent fuel rods, in tanks that were never meant as a permanent solution

Colleges coach students to stay in academic game With only 42 percent of American college students graduating, states look for ways to increase that number

Arab world watching U.S.-Libya action closely Success in Libya, i.e. Qaddafi's departure, is crucial if the U.S. wants to be seen in positive light in Arab world

CBS Political Hotsheet Top Stories: Does Puerto Rico deserve to be a state?

The CBS News Political Hotsheet newsletter


Commonwealth's Republican governor tells Puerto Ricans have sacrificed for U.S. and deserve a seat at the table
Read full story
Does Puerto Rico deserve to be a state?

Bolivian leader: Obama should lose Nobel Prize After air strikes in Libya, some world leaders are saying President Obama no longer deserves his Nobel Peace Prize

Could medicinal marijuana sales dwarf Viagra? New study shows potentially lucrative market value for medicinal marijuana

Onetime booster Bill Kristol sours on Sarah Palin Influential editor who pushed Palin on national stage says she "probably shouldn't be the Republican nominee for president"

GOP group crowdsources Obama administration info Crossroads GPS launches website to put together information collected through freedom of information requests, spotlight unfulfilled requests

MarketWatch | Personal Finance Daily: Health law's perks help some, but future is murky

Personal Finance Daily
MARCH 23, 2011

Wednesday's Personal Finance stories

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:

About half of Americans say they're confused about the health-reform bill that President Barack Obama signed into law exactly one year ago. The same portion say they don't know what the law means for them personally.

Here's what the health-care overhaul already means to some people: Insurers can no longer cancel coverage because a policyholder gets sick; some Medicare beneficiaries got a $250 rebate to help pay their steep drug costs; and 1.2 million adult children who otherwise would have been pushed off their parents' health plan got a few years' reprieve from facing the uncertainty of the individual insurance-plan market.

Still, some major pieces of the law aren't slated to start for a few years — and the results of the presidential election in 2012 could mean a wholesale gutting of some provisions.

Read Kristen Gerencher's Vital Signs column for a look at how far the landmark health-reform law has come in its first year, as well as its potentially bumpy road in the years ahead.

Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor


Health reform, age 1, faces tough challenges

As the hotly contested health-reform law turns a year old, it faces major political hurdles before its biggest features are slated to take effect in 2014.
Read more: Health reform, age 1, faces tough challenges.

Health-reform law will protect workers in next recession

The one-year anniversary of Obama's signing the health-reform bill into law is bringing out predictable slings and arrows from those who oppose it, whether they think it goes too far or not far enough in trying to address the significant cost and access problems faced by Americans.
Read more: Health-reform law will protect workers in next recession.

With strokes, knowing the symptoms pays off

Strokes happen to people of all ages, and even mild ones can cause serious disabilities.These two often-overlooked facts underscore the importance for everyone to recognize symptoms quickly and get prompt medical attention when stroke is suspected.
Read more: With strokes, knowing the symptoms pays off.


Retirement 101: How to figure out what you'll need

Millions of Americans fear retirement. They fear the unknown. They fear not having enough money to live comfortably. They fear that they are going to end up living in poverty and eating cat food, as the cliché goes.
Read more: Retirement 101: How to figure out what you'll need.


Elizabeth Taylor's life and movies: a pictorial

From "Cleopatra" to "Giant," Elizabeth Taylor's presence on the silver screen made her one of the most enduring movie stars. She died Wednesday at age 79 of congestive heart failure.
See Elizabeth Taylor's life and movies: a pictorial.


Sales of new U.S. homes tumble 16.9% to record low

Sales of new homes collapsed in February, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday, as a combination of high unemployment, tumbling prices and a glut of cheaper alternatives brought activity to a near-standstill.
Read more: Sales of new U.S, homes tumble 16.9% to record low.

Dismal home-sales data tell us nothing new

Markets overreacted to dismal data on U.S. home sales, which didn't tell us anything we didn't already know about the painfully slow recovery in housing.
Read more: Dismal home-sales data tell us nothing new.


Divide the stock market to conquer it

Active investors long have tried to outperform the market by overweighting individual sectors as their sweet spots roll up on the business cycle. But is there anything here for indexed investors?
Read more: Divide the stock market to conquer it.

How corporate insiders reacted to Japan

Just when it looked like the stock market would crumble under the weight of insider selling, the insiders retreated. The ratio of their selling to their buying is now the lowest it's been since last September.
Read more: How corporate insiders reacted to Japan.

First single-country bond ETNs launched

Deutsche Bank and Invesco PowerShares roll out ETNs tracking sovereign-bond markets in Germany, Italy and Japan.
Read more: First single-country bond ETNs launched.

Looking for opportunities in Japan

Investors, reacting to the still-unfolding crisis in Japan, are placing bets on whether stocks in that country have now fallen further than warranted or deserve their rock-bottom valuations.
Read more: Looking for opportunities in Japan.


Regulator berates bankers for overdraft fees

A top bank regulator charged that some community banks abuse overdraft-protection programs to the detriment of consumers who don't realize they have better credit options.
Read more: Regulator berates bankers for overdraft fees.

Time to stop the Fed-bashing

Because the Fed is so key to our economy, the public debate about its personnel and policy must be open and honest, and not a political football.
Read more: Time to stop the Fed-bashing.

Bribing businesses doesn't work

State and local governments spend billions every year trying to lure businesses, but all those bribes don't create any jobs.
Read more: Bribing businesses doesn't work.


Japan quake could cost $308 billion: Tokyo

The Japanese government says the economic cost of the earthquake and tsunami could reach $308 billion.
Read more: Japan quake could cost $308 billion: Tokyo.

MarketWatch | Market Pulse: Euro extends losses after Portugal parliament rejects government's austerity plan

By Claudia Assis 
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- The euro fell further against the dollar after Portugal's opposition lawmakers shot down a government austerity plan. The euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd (EURUSD 1.4103, -0.0095, -0.6691%) recently bought $1.408, compared to $1.403 earlier. Portugal, considered the next domino to drop in Europe after bailouts for Greece and Ireland, faces a political crisis and the potential resignation of Prime Minister Jose Socrates. Socrates is scheduled to speak to the nation later Wednesday, and has said he wouldn't be able to run the country without the plan.

MarketWatch: Dow industrials finish up 67 points after late turnaround; gold rises to record $1,438

By Laura Mandaro

SAN FRA) NCISCO (MarketWatch-- U.S. stocks closed moderately higher Wednesday after a midday turnaround helped by expectations industrial and mining companies would get more business from rebuilding Japan after its massive earthquake and tsunami. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 12,086, +67.39, +0.56%) ended up 67.39 points, or 0.6%, to 12,086.02, led by a 3% rise in Alcoa Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!aa/quotes/nls/aa (AA 16.95, +0.50, +3.04%) shares. The S&P 500 /quotes/comstock/21z!i1:in\x (SPX 1,298, +3.77, +0.29%) gained 3.77 points, or 0.3%, to 1,297.54, led by a 1.4% jump in materials stocks. The Nasdaq Composite /quotes/comstock/10y!i:comp (COMP 2,698, +14.43, +0.54%) gained 14.43 points, or 0.5%, to 2,698.30.

The Washingto Post | Politics Afternoon Edition: Poll: Obama trounces generic GOP candidate in 2012

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
1) Poll: Obama trounces generic GOP candidate in 2012
President Obama runs ahead of an unnamed Republican opponent by 47 to 37 percent in a new Pew poll.
» Read full article

THE FIX: The case against Tim Pawlenty
On Tuesday we made the case for why former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty could end up as the Republican presidential nominee in 2012. Today, we argue the opposite case.
» Read full article

2CHAMBERS: GOP prediction: High Court will kill health-care law next spring
Even as Republicans are predicting its demise, Democrats are defending the law and touting its benefits in a number of events ahead of the one-year anniversary.
» Read full article

Poll: Majority say hike taxes, cut spending to fix the budget
A sizable majority of all Americans — and nearly half of Republicans — say the best way to slice the federal budget deficit is by cutting spending and increasing taxes.
» Read full article

Obama to head home early
President Obama has trimmed his itinerary in El Salvador in order to deal with the events in Libya.
» Read full article

CFTC: Sanctions Hernando Chovil of McLean, Virginia, for Fraud in Connection with Operating a Commodity Pool.

RELEASE: pr6008-11

  • March 22, 2011

    CFTC Sanctions Hernando Chovil of McLean, Virginia, for Fraud in Connection with Operating a Commodity Pool

    Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today filed and simultaneously settled charges that Hernando Chovil of McLean, Va., committed fraud in connection with operating a commodity pool. Chovil has never been registered with the CFTC.
    The CFTC order, entered on March 22, 2011, finds that in or about August and September 2008, Chovil fraudulently solicited at least seven individuals he knew as acquaintances and from business dealings to trade commodity futures and options through a commodity pool. The order finds that Chovil failed to establish and operate the pool as a separate legal entity as required by CFTC regulations, commingled pool participants’ funds with his personal funds and sustained consistent trading losses, eventually losing all of the pool participants’ funds. To conceal his trading losses, the order finds that Chovil told one participant that the account had made a small profit and told another participant that there was “no problem” with the account, that he was “doing okay” and that “we’re going to make money.”
    Eventually, Chovil’s participants asked for their principal back, and Chovil admitted that he had lost their money. Chovil paid back some, but not all, of the pool participants’ funds, the order also finds.
    The CFTC order requires Chovil to pay a $10,000 civil monetary penalty and restitution to defrauded pool participants totaling $7,345. The order also permanently bars Chovil from engaging in any commodity-related trading activities, including trading and registering with the CFTC, and requires him to cease and desist from further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations.
    CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Alan Edelman, James H. Holl, III, Gretchen L. Lowe and Vincent A. McGonagle.
    Last Updated: March 22, 2011
    Media Contacts
    Dennis Holden
    Office of Public Affairs

Financial & Forex Info | KIitco New York Market Close Report

New York Market Close Mar 22/11 05:20 PM EDT