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Jun 7, 2011

The Washington Post | breaking News Alert: Billions of dollars in Afghanistan development programs at risk

Breaking News Alert: Billions of dollars in Afghanistan development programs at risk
June 7, 2011

The hugely expensive U.S. attempt at nation-building in Afghanistan has had only limited success and may not survive an American withdrawal, according to the findings of a two-year congressional investigation to be released Wednesday. The report, by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Democratic staff, calls on the administration to rethink its assistance programs as President Obama prepares to begin drawing down the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan this summer.

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MarketWatch | Personal Finance Daily: A little investor knowledge is dangerous

Personal Finance Daily
JUNE 07, 2011

A little investor knowledge is dangerous

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Robert Powell writes today in his Your Portfolio column that it's time to re-think how we approach investor education in America. Powell spoke with experts in the field recently at a savings and investing conference at Boston University and it turns out they think most financial education currently in use isn't all that effective. It seems to increase investors' confidence without improving their ability, leading them to make even worse decisions. Various studies, he writes, suggest investors are buying high and selling low, or trading frequently and at the wrong times. Oops. Turning things around may require several different approaches, and suggestions include different types of learning programs and even financial entertainment or games.

Anne Stanley , Managing Editor, Personal Finance

It's time to change how we teach investors

Americans, by and large, aren't faring well as investors and savers, and personal-finance classes don't seem to be helping. It might be time to change how we educate people about money, some experts say.
Read more: It's time to change how we teach investors.

Why you need more international stocks

The U.S. market, while still the biggest, now accounts for 42% of the world's total market value of stocks, down from 55% in 2001-2002. That means more investment opportunities exist outside the United States than within its borders.
Read more: Why you need more international stocks.

Charting a sluggish summer

Cracks continue to widen in the U.S. markets' technical backdrop. Michael Ashbaugh shows them in charts in this free edition of The Technical Indicator newsletter.
Read more: Charting a sluggish summer.

Why it's time to buy real estate — if you can

Despite all the gloom in the real-estate market, there are growing indications that it is a good time to buy. Mortgage rates are near 50-year lows. Homes have become more affordable than they have been in years. And a historic glut of homes, meanwhile, has created a buyer's market.
Read more: Why it's time to buy real estate — if you can.


Gold traders strangely subdued

Gold bullion is now trading within a few dollars of its record closing high, set in early May. And yet the average gold timer is no where close to being as bullish today as then. This suggests to contrarian analysts that gold's rally has further to go.
Read more: Gold traders strangely subdued.

Vanguard to enter Canadian mutual-fund market

Canadian investors could be the beneficiaries of a price war on fees in response to the entry (finally) of Vanguard into the Canadian market, writes Bill Mann.
Read more: Vanguard to enter Canadian mutual-fund market.

Read our lips: Forget about the debt

Irwin Kellner has this message for deficit cutters: Main Street America is more worried about jobs these days than about Washington's debt.
Read more: Forget about the debt.

Wall Street's biggest secret

Wall Street has a wide array of mutual funds it wants to sell you. Many brokers, advisers and salesmen will tell you that just the right mix will give you a portfolio that's "right for you." Phooey, writes Brett Arends.
Read more: Wall Street's biggest secret.

CFTC | Press Releases - Enforcement Actions

Tue, 07 Jun 2011 15:12:00 -0500
The CFTC revoked the registrations of M25 Investments, Inc. and M37 Investments, LLC , of Waxahachie, Texas, as registered Commodity Trading Advisors.

The following enforcement action has been released:
Neal E. Hall
Tue, 07 Jun 2011 10:08:00 -0500 The CFTC filed a complaint against Neal E. Hall, of Reidsville, N.C., charging him with failure to register as a commodity trading advisor and failure to include required cautionary statements on his trading system’s website,

SEC | Litigation Relrase Update: Litigation Release No. 21992 / June 7, 2011


Litigation Release No. 21992 / June 7, 2011

Securities and Exchange Commission v. David Ronald Allen, et al., Civil Action No. 3:11-CV-822-O (N.D. Tex.)


On June 5, 2011, the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a preliminary injunction against multiple defendants in a case involving the co-founder of China Voice Holding Corp. The Commission also received additional relief it sought, including an order freezing the assets of multiple defendants and relief defendants.
The Commission filed an emergency action on April 28, 2011, alleging that China Voice’s co-founder and former Chief Financial Officer, David Ronald Allen, with the assistance of two associates, Alex Dowlatshahi and Christopher Mills, and numerous related entities, launched what became an ongoing fraud that sought to raise at least $8.6 million from investors across the country. The Commission alleged that, contrary to what investors were told, proceeds were used to pay back earlier investors; to make payments to Allen, Dowlatshahi, and Mills; and to make payments to Allen-affiliated business, including China Voice.
On June 5, the Honorable Judge Reed O’Connor, United States District Judge, entered a preliminary injunction, which, along with freezing the assets of multiple defendants and relief defendants, prevents the defendants from violating certain provisions of the securities laws, orders the preservation of documents, and requires the defendants to provide an accounting to determine the disposition of investor funds.
The SEC’s complaint charges Allen, Dowlatshahi, Mills, and various related companies with violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC’s complaint also charges China Voice, its former chairman and CEO William Burbank IV, and Allen for a series of fraudulent statements about China Voice’s financial condition and business prospects, as well as Gerald Patera, Ilya Drapkin, and Robert Wilson for their roles in the scheme, including violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. In addition to the preliminary relief, the SEC’s complaint seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and financial penalties against all defendants, as well as penny stock bars against Allen, Burbank, Patera, Drapkin, and Wilson, and officer and director bars against Allen and Burbank.

SEC: Litigation Release: One or More Unknown Purchasers of Securities of Telvent GIT S.A.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Litigation Release No. 21991 / June 6, 2011

Securities and Exchange Commission v. One or More Unknown Purchasers of Securities of Telvent GIT S.A., 11 Civ. 3794 (TPG) (S.D.N.Y.) (filed June 3, 2011)

Court Freezes Assets Linked to Suspicious Securities Purchases Ahead of Telvent GIT S.A. Acquisition Announcement

On June 3, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a Temporary Restraining Order freezing assets and trading proceeds of certain unknown purchasers of the securities of Telvent GIT S.A. (the “Unknown Purchasers”). The Commission filed a complaint alleging that the Unknown Purchasers engaged in illegal insider trading in the days preceding the June 1, 2011 announcement that Schneider Electric S.A., a French company, and Telvent, a company based in Madrid, Spain, had entered into an agreement under which Schneider would offer to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Telvent at a price of $40 per share, a 16% premium over the previous day’s closing price. The Commission’s complaint alleges that the Unknown Purchasers, through their insider trading, violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The complaint seeks permanent injunctive relief, the disgorgement of all illegal profits, and the imposition of civil money penalties.
The Commission’s complaint alleges that between April 29, 2011 and May 27, 2011, the Unknown Purchasers bought 1,200 Telvent call option contracts through an account at Pershing LLC. About two-thirds of the call option contracts were purchased within five calendar days (or two trading days) before the acquisition announcement and comprised as much as 52% of the volume of that series of call options that day. The price of the call options held by the Unknown Purchasers rose dramatically. In one instance, the price of the options increased by about 480%. The complaint alleges that, as a result, the Unknown Purchasers realized total profits of approximately $475,000 from the sale of the call options.
In addition to freezing the assets relating to the trading, the Temporary Restraining Order requires the Unknown Purchasers to identify themselves, imposes an expedited discovery schedule, and prohibits the defendants from destroying documents.

SEC |Enforcement Actions: Suspends Trading in 17 Companies in Proactive Effort to Combat Microcap Stock Fraud

06/07/2011 09:30 AM EDT
The Securities and Exchange Commission today suspended trading in 17 microcap stocks because of questions about the adequacy and accuracy of publicly available information about the companies, which trade in the over-the-counter (OTC) market.

 SEC Suspends Trading in 17 Companies in Proactive Effort to Combat Microcap Stock Fraud

Joint Release: Agencies Extend Comment Period on Risk Retention Proposed Rulemaking

Press Release

Joint Release
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Federal Housing Finance Agency
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Securities and Exchange Commission

For Immediate Release
June 7, 2011

Agencies Extend Comment Period on Risk Retention Proposed Rulemaking

Six federal agencies have approved and will submit a Federal Register notice that extends the comment period on the proposed rules to implement the credit risk retention requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The comment period was extended to August 1, 2011, to allow interested persons more time to analyze the issues and prepare their comments. Originally, comments were due by June 10, 2011.
The proposed rule generally would require sponsors of asset-backed securities to retain at least 5 percent of the credit risk of the assets underlying the securities and would not permit sponsors to transfer or hedge that credit risk. The proposal was issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Attachment: Credit Risk Retention - Joint Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Extension - PDF (PDF Help)

# # #
Media Contacts:

Federal Reserve Barbara Hagenbaugh (202) 452-2955
FDIC David Barr (202) 898-6992
FHFA Stefanie Johnson (202) 414-6376
HUD Melanie N. Roussell (202) 708-0980
OCC Dean DeBuck (202) 874-5770
SEC Office of Public Affairs (202) 551-4120
FDIC: PR-101-2011

Financial & Forex Info | The Australian Capital Circle

Capital Circle Newsletter

Labor caves on live cattle exports
The government has finally banned live cattle exports to Indonesia, eight days after a documentary that shocked Australia.

The PM's Diary: Julia Gillard's three day tour of the top end continues with a visit to the Gove region. There she will witness mining giant Rio Tinto signing an agreement with traditional owners from the region. The PM met cattle industry representatives in Darwin last night ahead of the government's announcement of a ban on live cattle exports today.
Tony Abbott will deliver a speech at the Lowy Institute at 10am arguing Labor's dismantling of the Howard government's Pacific Solution policy attracted people-smugglers. The current government had taken "a long time to learn" the alternative to border protection was "tacit encouragement" for people to risk their lives at sea. "The government can't be held responsible for the deaths of people in unseaworthy boats, but it is responsible for putting temptation in their way," Mr Abbott will say. The Opposition Leader will travel to Nauru later this week for talks about re-opening the asylum-processing centre set up by the Howard government.
Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig will hold a press conference at 10am in Brisbane about live cattle exports. He confirmed an immediate ban on live exports to Indonesia this morning which will last for at least six months.
Top of the papers: The Sydney Morning Herald reports the order was signed last night and will stay in place until new safeguards have been adopted. The paper also said the decision to suspend the $318 million-a-year-industry was taken by cabinet on Monday night and has the potential to upset Indonesia, the cattle industry and the federal opposition.
What were Julia Gillard's chief of staff Ben Hubbard and ex-Victorian Premier John Brumby (the PM's former boss) chatting about at the trough (AKA the staff cafeteria) yesterday - surely not just old times?
Tony Abbott will meet his Holiness the Dalai Lama next week, but Julia Gillard is yet to confirm she will meet him. (via @adamgartrell)
British American Tobacc

Peter Brent
Peter Brent
The Barnaby supremacy
Barnaby Joyce has the gift of the gab. His favourite topic is the carbon tax, before that the ETS, and he excels at constructing descriptions...

Financial & Forex Info | Kitco New York Close Report

New York Market Close Jun 07/11 05:22 PM EDT

MarketWatch | Market Pulse: Bernanke tells Dimon no rule-impact study done

By Steve Goldstein
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Responding to a question and detailed list of new rules from J.P. Morgan Chase JPM -0.12% Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said no comprehensive study of the new rules on credit has been conducted. "It's been the most comprehensive financial reform since the 1930s, we don't have quantitative tools to do that," Bernanke said. "There is going to be some trade-off here," he said, adding the rules could be tweaked later.


Financial & Forex Info | Reuters - Daily Investor Update: Wall Street Closes Lower On Bernanke Comments

Wall Street closes lower on Bernanke comments
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks fell for a fifth day on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged a slowdown in the economy, but offered no suggestion of further monetary stimulus to support growth. | Full Article

Obama presses Europe, pledges help for Greek crisis
June 07, 2011 04:06 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged European countries and bondholders to prevent a "disastrous" default by Greece and pledged U.S. support to help tackle the country's debt crisis. | Full Article
Negotiators eye $2.4 trillion debt limit hike: Kyl
June 07, 2011 04:36 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House and congressional negotiators are considering a $2.4 trillion rise in the U.S. debt limit to carry through to the end of 2012, which would require at least $2.5 trillion in savings over a decade or more, Republican Senator Jon Kyl said on Tuesday. | Full Article
EU must make tough decisions on Greek rescue: IMF
June 07, 2011 12:29 PM ET
ATHENS (Reuters) - Europe must take tough decisions before the IMF can release its next block of aid for Greece, the Fund warned on Tuesday, while ratings agencies and German banks cast doubt on whether private investors can be expected to help. | Full Article
GM CEO warns on playing games with national debt
June 07, 2011 03:55 PM ET
DETROIT (Reuters) - Politicians should not "play chicken" with the country's credit rating, but need to focus urgently on finding ways to reduce the rising budget deficit, according to the head of General Motors Co. | Full Article

Gaddafi vows to fight on as NATO jets pound Tripoli
June 07, 2011 03:13 PM ET
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Waves of NATO aircraft hit Tripoli on Tuesday in the most sustained bombardment of the Libyan capital since Western forces began air strikes in March. | Full Article
U.S. and Pakistan authorities dispute militant's death
June 07, 2011 01:04 PM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. and Pakistani officials disagree sharply over claims that senior al Qaeda leader Ilyas Kashmiri was killed in a recent missile strike, suggesting strains persist between the often uneasy allies. | Full Article
Obama's rating on economy hits new low: poll
June 07, 2011 03:54 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans' disapproval of how President Barack Obama is handling the economy and its growing budget deficit has reached new highs amid broad frustration over the slow pace of economic recovery, according to a Washington Post-ABC New poll released on Tuesday. | Full Article
Slow going on West's plan for post-Gaddafi Libya
June 07, 2011 04:25 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The West's ferocious bombing campaign could spell doom for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, but what happens when he goes, Europe and America do not know. | Full Article
Congressman Weiner admits online affairs
June 07, 2011 10:19 AM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Representative Anthony Weiner on Monday tearfully admitted having a number of inappropriate relationships with women over the Internet, saying he was deeply ashamed but would not resign. | Full Article

Special Report: Inside Germany's E.coli hunt
U.S. cancer drugs shortage has doctors scrambling
Rate of German E.coli cases slows, tests inconclusive
Minorities see bottled water as safer, buy more
'Active' video games may be better for kids' weight

The Washington Post | Post Politics Afternoon Edition.

The Washington Post
Politics Afternoon Edition


  1. Weiner gets no love from Hill Democrats

    Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) faces a battle on two fronts: within his caucus and inside the ethics committee.
    » Read full article
  2. The Fix: Is this the Obama economy?

    Recent poll numbers taken collectively create a major potential political problem for a president who has, by and large, escaped considerable blame from the electorate for the state of the economy.
    » Read full article
  3. Ezra Klein: Why Austan Goolsbee is leaving

    This can't be a fun time to serve as a White House economist.
    » Read full article
  4. The Fix: Romney's money men (and women)

    Mitt Romney is working actively to expand his fundraising network from the 2008 campaign.
    » Read full article
  5. Pawlenty talks taxes in major speech

    Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty (R) offered what he called a dramatic alternative to President Obama's "big government and heavy-handed regulations" in an economic address at the University of Chicago on Tuesday morning.
    » Read full article

CBS NEWS | POlITICAL HOTSHEET: Republicans Call For Anthony Wiener To Resign

The CBS News Political Hotsheet newsletter

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus say New York congressman must go after admission of online relationships
Read full story
Republicans call for Anthony Weiner to resign

Scandal puts Weiner's wife in the spotlight Huma Abedin, an aide to Hillary Clinton, was conspicuously absent during Rep. Anthony Weiner's press conference on Monday

Club for Growth critical of Mitt Romney Conservative group doesn't spare any punches in analysis of economic plans of the GOP presidential candidates

Obama not worried about double-dip recession At a press conference today, the president said he's concerned about slow job growth but says it's unclear whether the economic slow-down is a long-term problem

Will Anthony Weiner be able to keep his seat? Democratic congressman vows to stay in office, but the pressure could rise for him to step aside