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Jul 7, 2011

PING Newsletter: Samuel says Optus was warned

Ping Newsletter
Samuel says Optus was warned
IN July 2009, ACCC chief Graeme Samuel warned telco chiefs about the standard of broadband and mobile advertising.
 
Ex-CFO on way to lead NineMSN
THE digital joint venture's hunt for a new boss is over.
 
Team McKinsey bags major e-health deal
A MCKINSEY and Co-led consortium has bagged a key e-health for the government's $467 million personally controlled e-health record project.
 
AFACT 'courts' internet service providers
AFACT has launched a last ditch effort to avoid a copyright showdown in court by inviting ISPs to the negotiating table.
 
Optus fined $5m for adverts
OPTUS was fined $5.2 million today for broadband commercials the federal court deemed misleading and deceptive.
 
NSW unveils government ICT board
THE NSW government has unveiled its highly anticipated ICT governance framework that will be championed by a new and influential board.

Click here for all headlines

More IT Business

CSC questions CBA core banking upgrade  

More shoppers lured online  

Smartphone pay systems on hold 

Computer servers float by 

More Exec Tech

Tweaking needed as MS gets on the cloud 

Gamers show way on demise of pet products 

Small matter of size and weight big factor 

HP's new tablet falls a bit flat 

Cattle blowback and carbon compo plague Labor: The Australian Capital Circle

Capital Circle Newsletter


Cattle blowback and carbon compo plague Labor
 
The wait is almost over for the carbon tax package, but a restive caucus means Labor has much to do.

The PM's Day: Julia Gillard is presenting the Prime Minister's literary awards at the National Library in Canberra.
Tony Abbott will visit the Bradken Foundry in Brisbane today to campaign against the carbon tax. In his weekly appearance on the Today show, Mr Abbott warned again the carbon tax would go "up and up and up".
It's worth noting shares in Bradken, an Australian mining equipment supplier, rose by nearly four per cent yesterday after it announced it will spend $222 million on two acquisitions which the company says will boost earnings by $28 million. And the most recent register of members interests reveals Liberal backbench MP John Alexander believes in the future of the company, having recently purchased shares in Bradken.
Mr Abbott will attend the up to $500-a-head Sir A.W. Fadden Forum gala dinner fundraiser for Liberal MP Stuart Robert in Brisbane tonight. Guests will be treated to a three course dinner and a performance by singer Rhonda Burchmore and her band. (more here)
Across the Shows: Meet the Press will feature Trade Minister Craig Emerson and ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson interviewed by Paul Bongiorno, Tim Lester and Jessica Wright.
Australian Agenda will be broadcast out of Canberra on Sunday to coincide with the carbon tax announcement. The usual morning show will run, as well as post lock up analysis. And look out for a special appearance by Mark Latham on the Contrarians today.
Movements: Labor MP Andrew Leigh is losing media adviser Shobaz Kandola to Climate Change Minister Greg Combet's office. He'll work in a policy roll. The Sunday Age's Melissa Fyfe is returning to Melbourne and will be replaced by Misha Schubert, who is returning from maternity leave.
***Read more...

 Mumble
Peter Brent
Peter Brent

On Libs putting the Greens last
Should the Liberal party preference Labor ahead of the Greens at the next federal election? This is what some inside and outside the…

More Peter Brent

Retail, tech lead Wall Street rally before jobs data: Reuters - Daily Investor Update:


News


LATEST NEWS
Retail, tech lead Wall Street rally before jobs data
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks closed sharply higher and the Nasdaq notched an eighth day of gains on Thursday as improved labor market and retail sales data added to optimism a day before the critical June payrolls report. | Full Article

Murdoch stuns critics, shuts down scandal-hit paper
July 07, 2011 03:56 PM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - In a breathtaking response to a scandal engulfing his media empire, Rupert Murdoch moved on Thursday to close down the News of the World, Britain's biggest selling Sunday newspaper. | Full Article
Analysis: Treasury market weeps as Fed waves goodbye
July 07, 2011 03:37 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve's $600 billion Treasury buying spree is over and the bond market is growing nervous now that its biggest bidder has stepped aside. | Full Article
Tax hike, amnesty plan boost Illinois revenue
July 07, 2011 04:29 PM ET
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Illinois' fiscal 2011 revenue jumped nearly $3.4 billion over fiscal 2010 collections due mainly to a big income tax rate hike and a tax amnesty program, a legislative commission reported on Thursday. | Full Article
JPMorgan wins dismissal of Madoff conspiracy suit
July 07, 2011 03:57 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court threw out a lawsuit accusing JPMorgan Chase & Co of violating U.S. racketeering law by conspiring with Bernard Madoff to further his Ponzi scheme. | Full Article

NYT: Afternoon Business News: European Central Bank Raises Rates as Expected:



BUSINESS

European Central Bank Raises Rates as Expected

By JACK EWING and JULIA WERDIGIER
The bank is continuing to nudge the cost of money back to pre-crisis levels, despite heightened fears about Greek debt.

Data Point to Growth in Jobs in June

By CHRISTINE HAUSER
A day ahead of the government's monthly unemployment report, surveys of jobless benefit claims and new-job creation give economists some reason for optimism.

Stocks Gain on Potential Jobs Improvement

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Dow Jones industrial average advanced after two reports signaled optimism on the jobs front before Friday's release of unemployment data for June.

Retailers Beat Expectations for June

By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD
Consumers were spending well, despite gas prices, the economy and the weather, analysts said.
DealBook

One Vote Down, One to Go for N.Y.S.E. and Deutsche Borse Merger

By MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED
NYSE Euronext shareholders approved the deal with Deutsche Borse. But the German exchange operator must still wait for its investors to tender their shares.

Bachmann vote contradicts debt ceiling stance: CBS NEWS | Political Hotsheet Top Stories

The CBS News Political Hotsheet newsletter

   





CBS POLITICAL HOTSHEET TOP STORIES
Bachmann vote contradicts debt ceiling stance GOP presidential candidate says she wouldn't vote to raise debt ceiling, but she backed GOP budget that requires just that

Obama: debt talks President Obama asks congressional leaders to come back to debt talks Sunday with "bottom line" ready

Report: Obama's father spoke of adoption for son New report says Barack Obama's father told the INS he planned on giving future president up for adoption

GOP decries Backers of guidelines for marketing food to kids seek to combat obesity epidemic; critics and industry complain of government overreach

CFTC Enforcement Actions Update: Mark E. Rice, d/b/a/ Financial Robotics, Inc.

 


The following enforcement action has been released:
Mark E. Rice, d/b/a/ Financial Robotics, Inc.
  • Complaint: CFTC v. Financial Robotics, Inc, et al.
  • Order: CFTC v. Financial Robotics, Inc, et al.
  • CFTC Press Release 6067-11 provides further details on this action.

U.S. stocks close higher on tech, bank gains: MarketWatch : U.S. Stock Market At Close


By Wallace Witkowski
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks rallied to close higher Thursday led by the technology and financial sectors on the back of a more optimistic jobs outlook. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.74% closed up 93.47 points, or 0.7%, at 12,719.49. Intel Corp. INTC +2.11% and Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO +2.19% shares both closed up more than 2%, and shares of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM +1.87% and Bank of America Corp. BAC +1.68% climbed 1.9% and 1.7%, respectively. The S&P 500 Index SPX +1.05% closed up 14 points, or 1.1%, at 1,353.22, and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP +1.36% increased by 38.64 points, or 1.4%, to close at 2,872.66.

Beware latest schemes to steal your identity: MarketWatch | Personal Finance Daily


MarketWatch

Personal Finance Daily
JULY 07, 2011

Beware latest schemes to steal your identity

By MarketWatch



Don't miss these top stories:

You get an unexpected text on your phone. It's from a local bank or credit union and it says, "ALERT: Your CARD starting with 4237 has been DEACTIVATED. Please contact us at … " Maybe one of your credit or debit cards does begin with those four numbers. Something doesn't seem quite right, but do you want to take a chance that one of your cards has been suspended, especially right before a summer weekend? Yet your instincts tell you ... Stop. Your instincts are right and somebody's trying to scam you, Chuck Jaffe writes in his column this week. This texting bank-card scam happened to his daughter, and to Chuck as well. And they both figured out pretty quickly that it was a clever attempt to steal their identities. Turns out this is one of the latest in a long string of schemes to steal your money and your personal information. Chuck explains how it works and how to defend yourself.

Also in today's Personal Finance lineup, Robert Powell writes in his Your Portfolio column about the horrors of investing in the 3-D world of debt, deficits and demographics. You'll want to read about the potential for debt, deficits and demographics to lead to high inflation rates, high costs for credit, low growth rates and weakening developed country currency value.

Anne Stanley , Managing Editor, Personal Finance

Beware new attacks on your identity

For consumers hit with any kind of financial email or message that's unexpected, the key is to not respond. Level the playing field by initiating contact with the institution by going into an office or using online access provided in a statement.
Read more: Beware new attacks on your identity.


Baseball, margaritas make a potent mix

The rise of sports-sponsorship deals shows spirits are reaching a mainstream previously occupied mainly by beer.
Read more: Baseball, margaritas make a potent mix.


3-D investor horror: Debt, deficit, demographics

The headwinds of debt, deficits and demographics threaten to derail the lukewarm economic recovery. Investors should protect themselves against inflation and have adequate liquidity, experts say.
Read more: 3-D investor horror: Debt, deficits, demographics.


Should you save for your kids' retirement?

No doubt, your kids are probably in need of some serious retirement savings help — eight in 10 Gen Y workers, for example, will not be able to meet all of their financial needs in retirement unless they "significantly" improve their saving and investing behaviors, according to a 2010 study by HR consulting firm Aon Hewitt. But the question is: Should you be the one to give it to them?
Read more: Should you save for your kids' retirement?


How to beat higher theme park prices

Just in time for summer: Big theme parks and resorts are jacking up ticket prices. For parents, this means finding new ways to whisk the kids away without breaking the bank.
Read more: How to beat higher theme park prices.


INVESTING

Jobs data not good just because stocks rise

It's all well and good that Wall Street liked the data coming from Automatic Data Processing and the Labor Department Thursday morning, but that doesn't mean the figures are evidence of a strong recovery.
Read more: Jobs data not good just because stocks rise.


5 money moves one stock chartist is making now

For Richard Ross, global technical strategist at brokerage Auerbach Grayson & Co., the U.S. stock market nowadays is less well-oiled than oil-slicked.
Read more: Five money moves one stock chartist is making now.


How to predict the market's next moves

If you ask many traders which market indicator they'd use if they could only choose one, it would be moving averages.
Read more: How to predict the markets next moves.


What will replace the dollar as global currency?

If there is one big call investors need to get right in the next few years, it is surely answering the question of what will replace the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency, writes Matthew Lynn.
Read more: What will replace the dollar as global currency?


ECONOMY AND POLITICS

Mortgage rates inch up during holiday week

Mortgage rates move higher week to week, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hitting an average 4.6%, according to Freddie Mac's latest survey.
Read more: Mortgage rates inch up during holiday week.


Social Security cuts weighed in deficit talks

Changes in Social Security and Medicare are being weighed as President Obama and congressional Republicans try to broker an agreement to raise the debt ceiling and cut long-term budget deficits.
Read more: Social Security cuts weighed in deficit talks.


U.S. requests for jobless benefits decline

The U.S. government says new applications for unemployment benefits fell 14,000 last week to 418,000, but the number of people filing claims remains at levels associated with subpar hiring trends.
Read more: U.S. requests for jobless benefits decline.


Private payrolls rise by 157,000 in June: ADP

Growth in private-sector employment for June more than doubles expectations, jumping 157,000, according to a sampling of ADP-processed payrolls.
Read more: Payrolls rise by 157,000: ADP.


China's market-oriented reforms in retreat

China's "market forces have regressed" as government agencies have started to play a more obstructive role in resource allocation, says one of China's foremost economists Wu Jinglian, Caixin Online reports.
Read more: China's market-oriented reforms in retreat.


3 high-cost tech stocks worth every penny

The word is out on these hot stocks and some big gains are already in the rearview mirror. But in this volatile market you may do well to "settle" for double-digit gains in these big-name stocks — even if they are already household names.
Read more: Three high-cost tech stocks worth every penny.

The Economist | BusinessThis Week: Highlights Of New Coverage From 2nd. - 8th July 2011

The EconomistBusiness This Week

Highlights from The Economist online's Business this week

» The WTO and China: Hands slapped
» Competition policy in Brazil: Too little, too late


The Economist Politics This Week: Highlights of new Coverage From 2nd - 8th July 2011


The Economist
Politics This Week

 


Highlights from The Economist online's Politics this week
» Thailand's election: A precious chance
» Politics in Venezuela: The Bolivarian patient
» Morocco's referendum: A very small step
» South Sudan: Ready, steady, invest
» Shutdown in Minnesota: A sign of things to come
» America's debt: Shame on them
» Britain's phone-hacking scandal: Street of shame
» France and Dominique Strauss-Kahn: He can't hide, but can he run?
» Italy and austerity: Berlusconi's bung

» The Pheu Thai party won an election in Thailand. Led by Yingluck Shinawatra, the younger sister of Thaksin Shinawatra, who was deposed as prime minister in a military coup in 2006, the party won a majority in the lower house of parliament and added coalition partners to form a government. It is the fifth consecutive victory for a pro-Thaksin party and is a sharp rebuke to the governing elites. The army indicated that it would not challenge the result. See article
» Australia resumed exports of live cattle to Indonesia, just a month after suspending them because some Australian cows were being slaughtered inhumanely. Export agents are supposed to assume responsibility for the cattle they sell.
» A court in Bangladesh issued a warrant for the arrest of a son of Khaleda Zia, a former prime minister, charging him with having organised a grenade attack that killed 24 people at a political rally in 2004. Sheikh Hasina, the apparent target of that attack and nemesis of Mrs Zia, is now prime minister.
» Vaults containing vast quantities of gold and jewellery from the 18th-century kingdom of Travancore were found under a Hindu temple in the capital of the Indian state of Kerala. One conservative estimate put the hoard's value at one trillion rupees ($22 billion). This is equal to half Kerala's GDP.
» The 2018 winter Olympics were awarded to Pyeongchang in South Korea, which will be only the second Asian country to host the winter games.

Hugo home Click Here!
» Hugo Chávez, Venezuela's president, announced that his recent surgery in Cuba was for cancer. Mr Chávez returned to Caracas after three weeks abroad, but did not take part in person in the celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the country's independence. See article
» Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) handily won three governor's races, including the contest in heavily populated Mexico state. The governor of that state, Enrique Peña Nieto, is the front-runner to win the PRI's presidential nomination next year.
» The United States and Mexico signed an agreement that will allow lorry drivers to deliver cross-border shipments all the way to their final destinations, implementing a long-overdue requirement of the countries' 1994 free-trade deal. In 2009 Mexico imposed tariffs on $2.3 billion of American goods, after the United States stopped letting Mexican lorries past the border area.
» Brazil's transport minister resigned amid allegations that employees in his department had skimmed money from infrastructure projects. He is the second member of Dilma Rousseff's cabinet to quit within a month over corruption claims.

An unwanted sight
» Two bombs in Taji, a town north of Baghdad, killed at least 35 people. Violence in Iraq is on the rise six months before the scheduled departure of American troops.
» Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, the former dictator of Tunisia now resident in Saudi Arabia, was again convicted in absentia, this time of illegally possessing drugs and weapons. Last month a court sentenced Mr Ben Ali and his wife to 35 years on theft charges. He fled Tunisia in January.
» The German parliament questioned the recent sale of 200 tanks to Saudi Arabia because of the country's human-rights record, including its participation in the crackdown on protesters in Bahrain in March.
» Around 98.5% of Moroccan voters approved a new constitution in a referendum proposed by King Mohammed VI, who faced pro-democracy protests earlier this year. See article
» South Sudan prepared to celebrate its secession from Sudan following decades of political infighting and civil war. It officially gains independence on July 9th. See article

The lessons of Saint Paul
» Minnesota's state government was shut down, affecting non-urgent services, after the Democratic governor and Republicans in the legislature failed to agree on a plan to plug a $5 billion budget deficit. As well as cutting spending Democrats want to raise taxes on Minnesota's wealthiest residents. See article
» With the Treasury's deadline to avoid a default of August 2nd looming into view, the pace picked up in negotiations in Washington over raising the federal debt ceiling. Barack Obama held private talks with John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House, and asked Democratic and Republican leaders to attend discussions at the White House. See article
» The Transport Security Administration warned that recent intelligence indicated that terrorists linked to al-Qaeda were looking at ways to conceal bombs on aircraft by surgically implanting them into an operative's body. The agency said there was no imminent threat, but introduced extra security at airports.

Red-faces at a red-top
» In Britain the scandal surrounding phone-hacking by the News of the World, a Sunday tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch's News International, forced an emergency debate in the House of Commons, after allegations surfaced that the phones of young murder victims and people killed in 2005's terror attack in London had been hacked. Allegations also emerged that police officers had been paid by the newspaper for providing information on stories. David Cameron, the prime minister, promised a public inquiry but not until the police end their investigation. See article
» The DSK scandal continued to enthrall France. After prosecutors in New York admitted that the alleged victim had lost credibility in an attempted-rape case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the IMF, some speculated that he might return to the French presidential race. But another attempted-rape case against Mr Strauss-Kahn was pursued by a complainant in France, which may dim his prospects. See article
» A court in the Netherlands ruled that the Dutch state was responsible for three deaths in the Srebrenica massacre in 1995. Dutch peacekeepers were meant to be protecting Bosnian Muslims at the time.
» Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's prime minister, was forced to withdraw a clause he had slipped into an emergency budget. The clause would have helped his Fininvest holding company to delay for some years compensation it had been ordered by a court to pay to Carlo De Benedetti, a business rival. See article
 

Conservatives rebel against possible debt deal: The Washington Post | PostPolitics Afternoon Edition

The Washington Post
Politics Afternoon Edition

HEADLINES

  1. Conservatives rebel against possible debt deal

    A small group of Republicans are rebelling against GOP leaders as they form what they hope is an impenetrable firewall against a debt-limit deal.
    » Read full article
  2. Obama team meddles with GOP race

    Obama's political machine is taking shots at Republican candidates.
    » Read full article
  3. Obama calls debt meeting constructive; negotiators to reconvene Sunday

    President offers Social Security cuts in exchange for new taxes.
    » Read full article
  4. The Fix: Tilting at windmills helps Bachmann

    Bachmann hasn't accomplished much in Congress. And that's a good thing for her presidential chances.
    » Read full article
  5. Senators push to end ethanol subsidies

    A trio of senators announced Thursday that they have reached an agreement to end ethanol subsidies by the end of the month.
    » Read full article

CMI | NY Trading - Spot Prices at Close

CMI - Gold & Silver

Spot Prices as of the close of trading in New York
As of: Thursday July 07, 2011


  Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
Gold $1,530.75   +$1.20 $1,502.35 $1,544.00 $1,198.40
Silver      $36.58   +$0.64      $34.83       $37.12       $18.03
Platinum $1,746.10 +$11.90 $1,729.30  $1,834.00 $1,528.00
Palladium    $789.90 +$17.90    $761.60     $811.05    $441.50

Money Show Investors Daily Alert | Today's Top Pros' Top Picks: 3 Hot Stocks for a Fickle Market



Top Pros' Top Picks
It’s important to understand market forces, but you don't have to let it handcuff your investing, says Joseph Pames of Shortex.

Our real deficit is being manifested by already shrinking discretionary spending, to the tune of 25%. Alas, the scale of cuts suggested could do real damage not only to the economy, but jeopardize various quality of living standards, safety, education, and the seeds of future economic growth.
Despite waning economic data, corporate earnings could rise by 20%. The disconnect between economic data and corporate earnings expectation could be construed as an aberration, due to Japanese shortages of parts, high gasoline prices, and turmoil in Greece.
Commodity prices are softening after a recent surge, home prices continue to fall, manufacturing growth is slowing, and job growth is weakening.
However, investors and traders are being encouraged by recent reversals and surges in the major indices. The economic soft patch, deficit fears, the EU's debt dilemma, and the length of the bull market are the concerns that led to the recent market drop.
And technicians are relying on the historic follow-through of the past ten years, reflective of the movements of the market for the months of June and July.

Agrium (AGU) is a producer and marketer of agricultural nutrients and products. It's being sought after due to high food prices and demand.
In correction/retraction mode since early March, shares reversed with heavy volume, penetrating the 50- & 200-day moving averages. Volatile, but could hit $95 in the near term.
Buy AGU between $80 and $85, and set a stop loss at $77. [Shares have been just over the buying zone, in the $87 range, so a dip in the next few days could be a buying opportunity—Editor.]
A.O. Smith (AOS) makes residential and commercial water heaters. The company reported first-quarter earnings of $41 million, or 88 cents per share, on revenue of $417.4 million against the consensus of 47 cents a share on revenue of $409M.

Continued geographic expansion and specialty strong selling of its brand a culprit. Shares rocketed with heavy volume through the primary resistance line at $39 to $40. A challenge of the secondary resistance line of $42 to $43 is in the offing.
Buy AOS between $39 and $41, and set a stop loss at $36. [Again, shares are just barely out of the zone on Wednesday afternoon, hovering around $43—Editor.]
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) is a diversified global research-based pharmaceutical company. Its big project is seeking to extend its exclusivity on the little blue pill (Viagra) until 2019.

The stock has been trading over its 50- & 200-day moving averages since February. A correction could see primary support at $19 to $21, but the longer-term uptrend should continue.
Buy PFE between $19 and $21, and set a stop loss at $18.60. [Shares are trading in the high end of the buy range at press time, near $20.75—Editor.]


Related Reading:

Kitco London Fix Market Report



London Fix Thu Jul 07 00:00:00 EDT 2011
Metals Gold Silver Platinum Palladium
  AM PM AM PM AM PM AM PM
USD 1526.25 1527.50 35.86 1724.00
1734.00
770.00 779.00
UK 954.80 955.76 22.45 1077.85
1085.10
481.40 487.50
EURO 1066.86 1066.62 25.10 1204.75
1215.15
538.10 545.90

SEC Charges J. P. Morgan Securities with Fraudulent Bidding Practices Involving Investment of Municipal Bond Proceeds

https://service.govdelivery.com/banners/USSEC/sec_seal.jpg



J.P. Morgan to Pay $228 Million to Settle Charges By SEC, Others

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2011-143

Washington, D.C., July 7, 2011 – The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (JPMS) with fraudulently rigging at least 93 municipal bond reinvestment transactions in 31 states, generating millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains.
To settle the SEC’s fraud charges, JPMS agreed to pay approximately $51.2 million that will be returned to the affected municipalities or conduit borrowers. JPMS and its affiliates also agreed to pay $177 million to settle parallel charges brought by other federal and state authorities.
“JPMS improperly won bids by entering into secret arrangements with bidding agents to get an illegal 'last look' at competitors’ bids,” said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement. “Municipal issuers and investors didn't stand a chance against the fraudulent strategies JPMS and others used to guarantee profits."
Elaine C. Greenberg, Chief of the SEC's Municipal Securities and Public Pensions Unit, added, “When powerful financial institutions like JPMS conspire with each other to intentionally violate regulations designed to ensure fair investment prices, the integrity of the municipal marketplace becomes corrupted. Rather than playing by the rules, the rules got played.”
Typically, when investors purchase municipal securities, the municipalities temporarily invest the proceeds of the sales in municipal reinvestment products until the money is used for the intended purposes. Under relevant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations, the proceeds of tax-exempt municipal securities generally must be invested at fair market value. The most common way of establishing fair market value is through a competitive bidding process in which bidding agents search for the appropriate investment vehicle for a municipality.
The SEC alleges that from 1997 through 2005, JPMS’s fraudulent practices, misrepresentations and omissions undermined the competitive bidding process, affected the prices that municipalities paid for reinvestment products, and deprived certain municipalities of a conclusive presumption that the reinvestment instruments had been purchased at fair market value. JPMS’s fraudulent conduct also jeopardized the tax-exempt status of billions of dollars in municipal securities because the supposed competitive bidding process that establishes the fair market value of the investment was corrupted. The employees involved in the alleged misconduct are no longer with the company.
According to the SEC’s complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, JPMS, acting as the agent for its affiliated commercial bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., at times won bids because it obtained information from the bidding agents about competing bids, a practice known as “last looks.” In other instances, it won bids set up in advance for JPMS to win (“set-ups”) because the bidding agent deliberately obtained non-winning bids from other providers, and it facilitated bids rigged for others to win by deliberately submitting non-winning bids.
Without admitting or denying the allegations in the SEC’s complaint, JPMS has consented to the entry of a final judgment enjoining it from future violations of Section 15(c)(1)(A) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and has agreed to pay a penalty of $32.5 million and disgorgement of $11,065,969 with prejudgment interest of $7,620,380. The settlement is subject to court approval.
In a related enforcement action, the SEC barred former JPMS vice president and marketer James L. Hertz from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization, and from participating in any penny stock offering. This sanction is based on Hertz’s December 6, 2010 guilty plea to two counts of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud for engaging in misconduct in connection with the competitive bidding process involving the investment of proceeds of tax-exempt municipal bonds. The Commission recognizes Hertz’s cooperation in the SEC’s investigation and investigations conducted by other law enforcement agencies.
This is the SEC’s third settlement with a financial institution stemming from its ongoing investigation into corruption in the municipal reinvestment industry. On December 7, 2010, the SEC charged Banc of America Securities LLC (BAS) with securities fraud for similar conduct. BAS agreed to pay more than $36 million in disgorgement and interest to settle the SEC’s charges, and paid an additional $101 million to other federal and state authorities for its misconduct. On May 4, 2011, the SEC charged UBS Financial Services Inc. (UBS) with securities fraud for fraudulently rigging bids as both a provider and a bidding agent. UBS agreed to pay $47.2 million in disgorgement, interest and civil penalties to settle the SEC’s charges and to pay $113 million to other federal and state authorities in connection with their parallel cases.
Deputy Chief Mark R. Zehner and Assistant Municipal Securities Counsel Denise D. Colliers, who are members of the Municipal Securities and Public Pensions Unit in the Philadelphia Regional Office, conducted the SEC’s investigation into this matter.
The SEC thanks the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their cooperation and assistance in this matter. The SEC is bringing this enforcement action in coordination with the Department of Justice, the IRS, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and 25 State Attorneys General.


The SEC’s investigation is continuing.

Money Show Traders Daily Alert: The Best Time Frames for Trend Trading

MoneyShow.com®
Traders Daily Alert 


Tips for Traders
The Best Time Frames for Trend Trading, Gabe Velazquez

Options Idea
Last-Minute Put Buying Targets ZAGG, Elizabeth Harrow

Charts in Play
Has Apple Lost Its Leadership Role?, Tom Aspray

Currency Corner
EUR/AUD Pattern Offers Great Trade, Walker England

Trading Idea of the Day
New Cloud Computing ETF Launches, Michael Johnston

Daily Market Studies
Trading Outlook for Today: July 7, Daniel Gramza

MoneyShow.com Exclusive Interviews
Gauging the Sentiment of Traders, Jackie Ann Patterson

Today's Featured Videos
Learn to Profit Using Harmonic Numbers and Repetitive Swings, Leslie Jouflas
Wheat/Corn Spread Trade Is on Now, John Person

A secret debt deal between Boehner and Obama? The Washington Post | Ezra Klein's Wonkbook



It's hard to know what to make of today's round of debt-ceiling negotiations. My instinct is to write them off as theatre. We're likely seeing the White House make a show of their interest in a compromise even though there's no compromise on the table. That fits with their general plan here: if the debt ceiling is going to cave in, they're going to make sure it does so on the Republicans. And the best way to get Democrats out of the way is to show that they did everything possible to make a deal while Republicans elevated the repetition of the word "no" into something approaching performance art. But last night, the New York Times posted a peculiar story saying that President Obama wants to shoot for a $4 trillion deal, rather than the $2 trillion deal currently on the table, and that John Boehner secretly told the president that he was willing to consider up to $1 trillion in new revenues if they came through comprehensive tax reform.
The report on Boehner's bid was, of course, anonymously sourced. Meanwhile, Eric Cantor is on the record in the article opposing net increases in new revenues, and saying that he's happy to close loopholes but only if the savings are pumped into "offsetting tax cuts somewhere else." And David Krone, Senator Harry Reid chief of staff, says the deal “has to be balanced between spending and revenues, in terms of timing, specificity and dollars.” Including the words "timing" and "specificity" in there would seem to specifically reject a deal in which Democrats agree to massive spending cuts in return for vague tax increases that come through some future legislative vehicle.
So, for now, I'm sticking with my initial cynicism. If the relevant players can't agree on $2 trillion in spending cuts alongside $400 billion in new revenues, it doesn't seem likely that $3 trillion in cuts -- including major changes to Social Security and Medicare -- and $1 trillion in revenues will be an easier lift, particularly given how close we are to cracking through the debt ceiling. But I've been wrong before.
Five in the morning

1) Obama is open to a broader debt deal and John Boehner might -- might -- be open to higher taxes, reports Carl Hulse and Mark Landler: "Heading into a crucial negotiating session on a budget deal on Thursday, President Obama has raised his sights and wants to strike a far-reaching agreement on cutting the federal deficit as Speaker John A. Boehner has signaled new willingness to bargain on revenues. Mr. Obama, who is to meet at the White House with the bipartisan leadership of Congress in an effort to work out an agreement to raise the federal debt limit, wants to move well beyond the $2 trillion in savings sought in earlier negotiations and seek perhaps twice as much over the next decade, Democratic officials briefed on the negotiations said Wednesday...One source familiar with the talks said the speaker had put forward options on how to proceed, including making a commitment to a tax code overhaul...to generate substantial new revenue."
2) That bigger deal could include Social Security and Medicare cuts, reports Lori Montgomery: "President Obama is pressing congressional leaders to consider a far-reaching debt-reduction plan that would force Democrats to accept major changes to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for Republican support for fresh tax revenue. At a meeting with top House and Senate leaders set for Thursday morning, Obama plans to argue that a rare consensus has emerged about the size and scope of the nation’s budget problems and that policymakers should seize the moment to take dramatic action. As part of his pitch, Obama is proposing significant reductions in Medicare spending and for the first time is offering to tackle the rising cost of Social Security, according to people in both parties with knowledge of the proposal."
3) Senate Democrats are embracing Kent Conrad's debt plan, reports Alexander Bolton: "Senate Democrats on Wednesday embraced a budget proposal that is significantly to the left of President Obama’s plan on raising new tax revenues. The prospects of the blueprint passing the Senate are bleak, but its emergence after months of negotiation is aimed at countering GOP criticisms that Democrats haven’t passed a budget in two years. Democrats believe some of the proposal could be merged into a bipartisan agreement on raising the debt ceiling. The budget plan would reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years, according to the baseline used by its author, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.). Using the benchmark assumptions of Obama’s fiscal commission, Conrad said his budget would reduce the deficit by nearly $5 trillion."
4) Obama dismissed the constitutional option on the debt limit, reports Zachary Goldfarb: "Law professors, Democratic senators and liberal commentators have recently raised a tantalizing possibility for ending the congressional wrangling over raising the federal limit on borrowing: President Obama could simply declare the debt ceiling unconstitutional and be done with it...On Wednesday at a White House question-and-answer session held via the Web service Twitter, Obama said the debate over raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling shouldn’t become a constitutional question. 'I don’t think we should even get to the constitutional issue. Congress has a responsibility to make sure we pay our bills. We’ve always paid them in the past,' Obama said. 'The notion that the U.S. is going to default on its debt is just irresponsible.'"
5) The GOP isn't preparing an escape hatch if talks collapse, report Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan: "When Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was huddling this spring with top Democrats during the 2011 budget battle, House GOP aides were quietly engaged in a furious backroom effort to draft bills to ensure a shutdown of the federal government never happened. But as high-profile talks over raising the U.S. debt limit reach a critical stage, there isn’t any escape hatch this time, at least not yet. The House GOP leadership isn’t drafting alternative bills to boost the debt ceiling, and they’ve ruled out any short-term agreement to forestall a default by the U.S. government on its $14.4 trillion debt, an option that one House Republican lawmaker said could not muster more than 100 GOP votes."
Cover interlude: Bat for Lashes plays "Solsbury Hill" by Peter Gabriel.
Got tips, additions, or comments? E-mail me.
Still to come: Obama admits he didn't do enough to combat the housing crisis; health exchange implementation is going slowly; states are opting for budget cuts over tax hikes; an ethanol deal could be done as soon as today; and a cupcake-shaped pillow.
Economy

Obama admitted he didn't do enough to address the housing crisis, report Peter Wallsten and Cecilia Kang: "President Obama made a rare admission of a policy misstep Wednesday, acknowledging that his administration failed to provide enough support to struggling homeowners and recognize the scope of the nation’s housing crisis...Obama first raised the issue Wednesday when a questioner during a town hall event asked what mistakes the president had made in handling the economy. 'The continuing decline in the housing market is something that hasn’t bottomed out as quickly as we expected,' Obama responded. Later, he added, that his administration’s efforts to help struggling homeowners were 'not enough.' 'And so we’re going back to the drawing board,' he said."
The recovery is going better for men than women, report Neil Irwin and Brady Dennis: "In a rare turnabout, men are outpacing women in getting jobs as the economy struggles back to life -- and they’re doing it partly by taking work in fields long dominated by women. Men are accounting for a growing proportion of jobs in the private education and health-care industries -- economic bright spots of the past two years. Simultaneously, women are losing teaching and other local government jobs at a disproportionately high rate as municipalities cut back, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center. The trend is a partial reversal of the recession of 2007 to 2009, when men experienced a much higher rate of job loss than women...It also defies the historical trend; women fared better in the job market than men in the aftermath of each of the past five recessions."
The administration's head antitrust enforcer is leaving, reports Jia Lynn Yang: "President Obama’s top antitrust cop, Christine Varney, is stepping down from her post next month, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. Varney came into her job with high expectations that she would launch landmark cases against increasingly dominant firms such as Google. But she leaves for a senior position at the prestigious law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore amid disappointment from some antitrust watchers and consumer advocates who say the Justice Department was too soft on industry giants during her tenure. Under Varney, the Justice Department approved a number of high-profile, controversial deals, including the marriage of Ticketmaster and LiveNation, Google’s acquisition of a powerful travel software firm, and NBC’s merger with Comcast."
Business needs to step up on the debt, writes Mark Warner: "Business leaders all tell me the same thing: Failing to raise the debt ceiling will increase interest rates, gut consumer confidence, and drag down business investment and job creation. Every one-point increase in interest rates increases the national debt by $1.3 trillion over a 10-year period, and who knows how much rates could increase. Yet with few exceptions, our business leaders have not demanded an end to the political brinkmanship. Wall Street, too, has been strangely silent. Two years after a near-collapse of our financial markets, even with ominous credit-watch pronouncements issued last month by Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s, many business leaders yawn as some elected officials prepare to punt on the full faith and credit of the United States."
The difference between tax breaks and spending is often semantic, writes David Wessel: "The line between taxes and spending is clearer in rhetoric than in reality. For years, antipathy toward 'spending' and affection for 'tax cuts' have pushed Congress and presidents to pursue what lately has been labeled 'spending through the tax code.' Social Security beneficiaries didn't get a cost-of-living adjustment in 2011 because measured inflation was too low. When Mr. Obama wanted to give them each $250, the government didn't send checks.The $250 was fashioned as a tax cut, reducing taxes owed or increasing refunds sent. Voila, spending that didn't count as a spending increase. All the talk about 'tax reform' and stripping the tax code of its barnacles means eliminating some 'spending through the tax code' cherished by businesses and households who benefit."
The "carried interest" loophole has to go, writes Nicholas Kristof: "What’s at stake is the 'carried interest' loophole, and President Obama is pushing to close it. The White House estimates that this would raise $20 billion over a decade. But Congressional Republicans walked out of budget talks rather than discuss raising revenues from measures such as this one...This carried interest loophole benefits managers of financial partnerships such as hedge funds, private equity funds, venture capital funds and real estate funds -- who are among the highest-paid people in the world...These fund managers are compensated mostly with a performance bonus of 20 percent or more of the profits they make. Under this carried interest loophole, that 20 percent is eligible to be taxed at the long-term capital gains rate...of just 15 percent rather than the regular personal income rate of 35 percent."
Adorable animals getting along interlude: This cat and dog really like each other.
Health Care

States are moving slowly in setting up health care exchanges, reports Sam Baker: "State insurance exchanges are not being set up fast enough to meet the 2014 deadline set by the healthcare law, advocates and policy experts say. The delay means that a number of state legislatures are at risk of handing over the central component of the reform effort to the federal government, which will set up the exchanges for states that fail to do so. Governors in 10 states have signed laws that establish an insurance exchange -- a new marketplace where individuals and small businesses will be able to buy insurance. 'I think that a year ago, many of us who work with states would have predicted that more states would have passed legislation,' said Anne Gauthier, senior program director at the National Academy of State Health Policy."
Health insurance makes people healthier, writes Ezra Klein: "In 2002, about 110,000 people were enrolled in Oregon’s Medicaid program. By 2008, budget cuts had reduced that number to 19,000. In fact, so many people were driven out that the state realized it had the money to cover 10,000 more residents. In the interest of fairness, officials set up a lottery -- and, quite accidentally, kicked off the most important health-care policy experiment since the 1970s...Compared with the uninsured group, those in the Medicaid sample got 30 percent more hospital care, 35 percent more outpatient care and 15 percent more prescription-drug care. There were similar gains for preventive care; mammograms were up 60 percent and cholesterol monitoring rose 20 percent."
Domestic Policy

States have largely opted for cuts rather than tax hikes, report Leslie Eaton and Kris Maher: "Forty-six states began a new fiscal year Friday after lawmakers spent the spring hashing out budgets that largely avoid big tax increases in favor of budget cuts and curbs on pay and benefits for public employees. While budget woes continued to dominate statehouses, issues such as abortion, immigration and voter identification also drove legislative action. And lawmakers continued to wrestle with soaring state obligations to help fund Medicaid, which pays for health care for low-income Americans. Political winds have shifted sharply in statehouses in the wake of the 2010 election. Republicans now control 25 legislatures, the most in at least five decades. Democrats prevail in 16, down from 27 in 2009, the last time all states tackled their budgets."
The parties are split sharply on infrastructure spending, reports Josh Mitchell: "House Republicans and Senate Democrats rolled out competing bills to pay for highway and other infrastructure projects, illustrating the divide between the two parties as Washington grapples with its fiscal crisis. The two-year, $109 billion Senate bill calls for finding some $12 billion in new tax money--from an unspecified source--to maintain existing funding levels for construction of roads, bridges and mass transit. The six-year, $230 billion House measure would slash transportation spending by about a third from existing levels, but its author said his bill would encourage private investors to make up the difference. Enacting big, multiyear highway bills was once a reliable ritual in Washington."
Sleeping accessory interlude: A working cupcake-shaped pillow.
Energy

An ethanol deal could be done today, report Darren Goode and Robin Bravender: "A trio of senators should be able to reach a deal on ethanol subsidies by Thursday, a key Republican said. 'We should have something we will be able to report to you tomorrow about that,' Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said Wednesday afternoon. Thune has been in talks with fellow corn ethanol backer Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and ethanol subsidy critic Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) about ending an existing tax credit for blending ethanol in gasoline but keeping alive for now other incentives for the gasoline additive. 'It needs to be worked on today,' Thune said, adding he is optimistic that "we're going to have, I think, everybody signed off on some final details" by Thursday."
A GOP spending bill includes another attempt to stop EPA regulation of climate change, reports Ben Geman: "A fiscal 2012 spending bill unveiled Wednesday by House Republican appropriators includes a policy rider that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and refineries for one year. It is the latest effort by the House GOP to delay the agency’s climate regulations, which Republicans and some Democrats argue will impose huge costs on the economy. 'The bill reins in out-of-control regulation and provides the certainty that our economy needs to make a strong recovery,' said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s Interior, Environment and Related Agencies panel."
EPA administrator Lisa Jackson isn't wavering in response to GOP pressure, reports John Broder: "In the next weeks and months, Lisa P. Jackson, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, is scheduled to establish regulations on smog, mercury, carbon dioxide, mining waste and vehicle emissions that will affect every corner of the economy. She is working under intense pressure from opponents in Congress, from powerful industries, from impatient environmentalists and from the Supreme Court, which just affirmed the agency’s duty to address global warming emissions, a project that carries profound economic implications...Ms. Jackson describes the job as draining but says there are certain principles she will not compromise, including rapid and vigorous enforcement of some of the most far-reaching health-related rules ever considered by the agency."
 
Closing credits: Wonkbook is compiled and produced with help from Dylan Matthews and Michelle Williams.