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Jul 21, 2011

Smart Company: Group buying giants make peace, Fruit and vegetable leader seeks overseas expansion after stake sale, COSBOA eyes super relief, Zara heads to SA

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How I
How I created a thriving online community
KidSpot's Katie May reveals the crucial ingredient to her company's online success – building a vibrant community. BY PATRICK STAFFORD.
How I

Exit Strategies
The professional legal firm
When dealing with large corporate buyers, calling in the legal experts is paramount in order to be well prepared for the negotiations. BY TOM MCKASKILL.
Legal firm

Aunty B
I just marched our DNA out the door. Help!
I think you might suffer from a syndrome common to poor managers: pick a victim syndrome.
Aunty B

Selling strategies
Trent Leyshan
If customers really knew what was going on behind the scenes many would be reluctant to buy.
Trent Leyshan

Gen-Y Millionaire
Kirsty Dunphey
When you have a master problem solver in your team it's easy to lay everything at their feet. But this can create it's own set of problems.
Kirsty Dunphey

Female Entrepreneur
Naomi Simson
As the notion of how work takes place evolves, I believe that the investment made in ensuring people are connected, aligned and have a shared sense of purpose is critical to peoples' wellbeing.
Naomi Simson

Entrepreneur Watch
James Thomson
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t get jokes, but he does appear to get leadership.
James Thomson

The Australian Business Briefing: Default expected in Greek deal.

Default expected in Greek deal
Christine Lagarde Costas Paris GREECE is expected to be placed on "selective default status" soon by rating agencies after agreement on a new bailout.
Wall St jumps on Greek relief
Wall Street Brendan Conway US stocks surged closer to multi-year highs today as efforts to contain Europe's debt crisis whetted risk appetites.
Microsoft profit soars 30pc
Microsoft John Kell MICROSOFT'S fourth-quarter earnings improved 30 per cent, led by the entertainment and devices and online units.
Obama's Aussie tells it like it is
110722 b Liveris Tracy Lee TOO many years of Greek coffee are to blame for a BlackBerry habit that typically only stops when Andrew Liveris breaks for some sleep.
Telstra sends 300 jobs to India
Telstra Tracy Lee TELSTRA will push ahead with cost-saving initiatives under its Project New efficiency program, which could include further outsourcing.
China slows amid Oz doubts
China Scott Murdoch THE Chinese economy is showing signs of slowing down after industrial production shrank for the first time in a year.
ASIC moves on fringe lenders
ASIC Andrew Main ASIC has completed an initial crackdown on dodgy lending practices in Australia.
All eyes on Asia in QBE shake-up
QBE Insurance CEO chief executive Frank O'Halloran Mitchell Bingemann QBE has split its Australian and Asia-Pacific operations as it focuses on new growth opportunities in the booming Asia region.
Financial Markets
Default expected in Greek deal
Christine Lagarde Costas Paris GREECE is expected to be placed on "selective default status" soon by rating agencies after agreement on a new bailout.
Wall St jumps on Greek relief
Gold drops for third day
Financial Markets Coverage

The Australian Capital Circle: Malaysia deal offers Labor hope

Capital Circle Newsletter

Malaysia deal offers Labor hope
Labor looks set for a rare win on asylum-seekers as it struggles to win back disenchanted voters.

Julia Gillard is in Townsville. She's being interviewed by local radio stations and was to attend an event sometime this morning.
Tony Abbott is in Tasmania. He'll visit Premium Fresh Tasmania at 9.30am.
Done deal: It appears the government has clinched its five-for-one refugee swap deal with Malaysia. Chris Bowen's office won't confirm it, but Fairfax reports the agreement is set to be signed on Monday. If it comes off, it seems very likely the deal will slow or stop the flow of asylum boats to Australia, removing a politically toxic issue for the government. The Immigration Minister deserves full credit for the innovative approach. But the Malaysian Solution carries a heavy cost for Labor.
Risky: By doing the deal with a non-signatory to the UN refugee convention, Labor relinquishes its moral authority on the issue of asylum-seekers. On the Left, it stands to lose votes to the Greens. On the Right, it's open to claims of hypocrisy. There's also the very real risk asylum-seekers will be mistreated in Malaysia, which would carry serious political consequences for the government.
Around the shows: Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten, independent Andrew Wilkie and TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon will appear on Sky's Australian Agenda on Sunday. Climate Minister Greg Combet and climate scientist Will Steffen will be on Ten's Meet the Press.
Friendly fire: Malcolm Turnbull continues to expose the flaws in Coalition climate change arguments. Last night, he reminded colleagues it was Liberal policy to accept the scientific consensus. As Labor points out, Tony Abbott refers to it as the "so-called settled science of climate change".
Taunts: There's clearly no love lost between the country independents and the Nationals. But we're intrigued to hear
Peter Brent
Peter Brent
Get well soon Kevin
Kevin Rudd is booked in for a heart “grease and oil change” in about ten days. The expected recuperation period is around eight…
More Peter Brent

MarketWatch | Personal Finance Daily: More control over your credit report, coming soon

Personal Finance Daily
JULY 21, 2011

More control over your credit report, coming soon

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:

Good news for consumers on the credit-report front.

Credit-reporting companies compile the data that generate the credit reports and scores that affect just about every financial move a person makes — from whether you get approved for a loan to how high your interest payments will be. For decades, consumer advocates have railed against the fact that consumers have little recourse in fighting these firms on credit-report errors. These errors can wreak havoc on your financial life — but it can be difficult, to say the least, for consumers to get errors removed.

Case in point: A relative of mine with a relatively common name discovered this problem when her credit file was mixed with someone else's — a person with a similar name who wasn't paying her bills. It took months of work on the part of my relative to get the problem fixed (and to deal with her credit-card company, which was eager to close down her credit), and that error still kept reappearing years later.

But maybe, just maybe, these types of stories soon will become less frequent, because today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau takes on the role of supervising such companies.

Read Ron Orol's story today for more on that. Plus don't miss Robert Powell's comprehensive look at online calculators that help you figure out when to claim Social Security, and read Kristen Gerencher's Vital Signs column on seven ways to be smart about your ice-cream consumption.

The bad news is: There's a lot we still don't know as to how much power the CFPB will have to regulate various financial firms — and given Senate Republicans' angry rhetoric about the agency, it may be a while before a director is put in place. For consumers, it's a waiting game.

Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor

Credit-report firms to face more scrutiny

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau gains new powers on Thursday, including oversight of the companies that compile the credit reports from which credit scores are generated. That could be good news for consumers.
Read more: Credit-report firms to face more scrutiny.


Social Security tools can help maximize benefits

Trying to get a handle on when to claim Social Security can be a chore, partly because there are few online resources. Now, however, a growing number of organizations are launching tools designed to help Americans decide when to claim benefits. But these calculators have their pros and cons.
Read more: Social Security tools can help maximize benefits.


Ice cream is good for you (with 7 caveats)

As a summer treat, ice cream is hard to beat. But it also can be a vehicle for unhealthful fat and calories if you don't watch the quality and quantity of what you consume. Heed these 7 rules of smart ice-cream consumption.
Read more: Ice cream is good for you (with 7 caveats).


‘Just-in-time' hiring behind pause: Manpower CEO

One answer to the puzzle of the recent rapid deterioration of the U.S. labor market is that companies are quickly able to pause hiring if they do not like conditions on the ground, according to the chief executive of ManpowerGroup.
Read more: ‘Just-in-time' hiring behind pause: Manpower CEO.

Why we'll have 10% unemployment soon

There aren't enough jobs to go around now and there will be even fewer jobs a few months down the road. All this points to significantly higher unemployment in the near future, possibly over the 10% mark.
Read more: Why we'll have 10% unemployment soon.

Applications for U.S. jobless benefits rise

New applications for unemployment benefits rose last week in another sign of persistent weakness in the U.S. labor market, government data showed.
Read more: Applications for U.S. jobless benefits rise.


Both sides deny U.S. debt deal reached

Talks continue but the rebuttals followed a report that Obama and Boehner were starting to close in on a major solution to reducing the deficit and raising the borrowing limit.
Read more: Both sides deny U.S. debt deal reached.

One year on, most Dodd-Frank changes still to come

A year after the passage of sweeping financial reform, the biggest changes to the regulatory landscape are still to come.
Read more: One year on, most Dodd-Frank changes still to come.

Banks didn't strangle small businesses

Contrary to conventional wisdom, banks didn't strangle small businesses during the Great Recession; it was lack of demand, reports Rex Nutting.
Read more: Banks didn't strangle small businesses.

Audit of Fed finds conflict-of-interest weakness

A long-awaited audit of the Federal Reserve's emergency lending programs recommended several areas that need reform, including the central bank's conflict-of-interest policies.
Read more: Audit of Fed finds conflict-of-interest weakness.

Factory activity rebounds in Philly region

Factory activity rebounded in the Philadelphia region in July, suggesting the weakness in the region seen in June might have been temporary.
Read more: Factory activity rebounds in Philly region.

June leading indicators point to slow expansion

Economic activity should slowly expand in coming months, the Conference Board says as it reports that its index of leading economic indicators grew 0.3% in June, matching estimates from economists polled by MarketWatch.
Read more: June leading indicators point to slow expansion.


Apple REIT investors could trade bad for worse

Investors who are facing losses will do almost anything to get off the hook, but for investors in these real-estate investment trusts, the cure being offered could be worse than the problem that ails them.
Read more: Apple REIT investors could trade bad for worse.

S&P frets about Kaplan's prospects

Washington Post unit sparks fresh concerns.
Read more: S&P frets about Kaplan's prospects.

N.Y. Times prompts investment questions

Now that the company finally has taken the plunge on charging for online content, the Street wants to see if it was all worth the wait, writes Jon Friedman.
Read more: N.Y. Times prompts investment questions.

Morgan Stanley: big business, big liabilities

Morgan Stanley turned in one of Wall Street's best post-financial crisis quarters on Thursday. Too bad it won't be remembered that way, writes David Weidner.
Read more: Morgan Stanley: big business, big liabilities.

Common-cold remedy is key to firm's health

After Ted Karkus took over a small pharmaceutical company, he discovered he needed to completely turn the company around, writes Al Lewis.
Read more: Common-cold remedy is key to firm's health.

Canadian energy company faces pipeline battle

It's hard enough building a new oil pipeline today. But when you want to build what a major magazine headlines as a "Pipeline Through Paradise?" That's as sticky as the Alberta tar sands, where most of Canada's oil is located.
Read more: Canadian energy company faces pipeline battle.

Happy Birthday, Richard Russell

Dow Theory Letters' Richard Russell will be 87 on Friday. He's had a dark decade, but with a gold lining, reports Peter Brimelow
Read more: Happy Birthday, Richard Russell.

Depressed about the sad demise of Borders

Therese Poletti explains why she's depressed about the drawn-out death of the bookseller Borders, a (gasp) chain that's gone under, and how she's part of the problem.
Read more: Depressed about the sad demise of Borders.

Kitco New York Market Close Report

New York Market Close Jul 21/11 05:20 PM EDT

Reuters Technology Report: Google boosts federal lobbying


Microsoft reported a greater-than-expected 30 percent increase in fiscal fourth-quarter profit, helped by sales of its Office software, but profit from its core Windows product fell on soft PC sales. Microsoft posted net profit of $5.87 billion, or 69 cents per share, compared with $4.52 billion, or 51 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. That easily beat Wall Street's average estimate of 58 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"These are great results given a slower PC environment and it highlights how the company has multiple revenue streams. The $17 billion unearned revenue, which is a forward indicator of business, shows they signed a lot of deals this quarter," said BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis.

After a brief hiatus and an FBI takedown of several alleged "hacktivists," two groups that claimed responsibility for a recent wave of cyber vandalism said they are back. A statement was posted online on Thursday jointly by the groups, Anonymous and Lulz Security, after U.S. authorities arrested 16 people earlier this week for several attacks, most prominently Anonymous' attempt to cripple eBay's PayPal site after it stopped accepting donations to the WikiLeaks organization.

Groupon's privacy and data-collection policies came under congressional scrutiny, the latest sign of regulatory pressure on the largest online daily deals company. Representatives Joe Barton and Edward Markey, co-chairmen of the House Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, said they sent a letter on Thursday to Groupon CEO Andrew Mason asking about the company's new privacy and data collection policy. Groupon unveiled new policies earlier this month in an email to its more than 80 million subscribers. The company said it collects subscribers' contact details and information on their Groupon transactions, financial accounts, location and relationships and shares that data with merchants in some instances.

RIM's PlayBook received the green light for use in U.S. federal government agencies, the BlackBerry maker said. It is the first tablet computer to receive Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 certification, RIM said in a statement. FIPS 140-2 is used to judge the security of mobile devices, servers, routers and firewalls, for use by federal agencies such as the FBI. Apple has applied for certification for both the iPhone and the iPad.

Reuters - Daily Investor Update: S and P says 50-50 chance of U.S. downgrade

U.S. and EU upbeat debt news fuels rally
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks climbed on Thursday as signs of progress on the U.S. debt talks and concrete action from Europe on its own debt crisis heartened investors. | Full Article

Microsoft profit up, Windows lag
July 21, 2011 04:29 PM ET
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp reported a greater-than-expected 30 percent increase in fiscal fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, helped by sales of its Office software, but profit from its core Windows product fell on soft personal computer sales. | Full Article
S&P says 50-50 chance of U.S. downgrade
July 21, 2011 02:55 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Standard & Poor's reiterated on Thursday it sees a real risk that future U.S. government deficits may meaningfully miss discussed targets and that there is a 50-50 chance the U.S. AAA credit rating could be cut within three months, perhaps as soon as August. | Full Article
Geithner gave Fed official waiver on AIG holdings
July 21, 2011 03:24 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, while head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, granted a waiver that allowed a senior New York Fed official to hold on to investments in firms getting emergency help, a congressional watchdog agency said on Thursday. | Full Article
Exclusive: Paulson says bets were too aggressive
July 21, 2011 03:50 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A humbled John Paulson told investors on Thursday he was "too aggressive" with some of the stock bets in his flagship funds and he is trimming back some of his riskiest holdings. | Full Article

NYT: Afternoon Business News: Surveys Point to Slowdowns in Euro Zone and China


Express Scripts to Buy Medco for $29 Billion

Express Scripts, the pharmacy benefits manager, is buying Medco Health Solutions for $29.1 billion, a major consolidation for a health care industry in transition.

Morgan Stanley Posts $558 Million Loss but Beats Expectations

Despite showing improvement in its major divisions, Morgan Stanley reported a loss of $558 million on Thursday, as it continued to deal with the aftereffects of the financial crisis.

Surveys Point to Slowdowns in Euro Zone and China

One survey showed that growth stalled in the euro zone's manufacturing and service sectors, while in China another index showed that attempts to slow a red-hot economy are working.

Nokia to Cut Costs More After Loss

Nokia announced plans to accelerate cost-cutting efforts as it reported a loss of €368 million in the second quarter, while Ericsson took a charge for restructuring costs.

Consumer Bureau Finds Support on Its First Day

Consumer and liberal groups rallied around the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as it opened for business, despite Republican complaints.

Money Show Investors Daily Alert: A Baker’s Dozen of Growth Picks

Investors Daily Alert 

Read the top stories and watch the latest videos on for today, July 21...
Today's guest on The Daily Guru needs no introduction, but you can read or listen as he introduces a whopping 13 top performers in otherwise downtrodden sectors. Speaking of surprises, Jim Jubak highlights a strong and growing bank, Tom Aspray spots an equally trend-beating airline, and Igor Greenwald explains why Warren Buffett may be dead wrong on gold. All this and much more are available now...

NEW! THE DAILY GURUCandid Daily Interviews with Top Market Experts
A Baker’s Dozen of Growth Picks, Jon Markman

Jim Jubak on
One of These Banks Is Not Like the Others

Today's Top Pros' Top Picks
This Secondary Offering Is Worth a Look, Paul McWilliams
Skip the Volatility…Buy this Bond ETF, Doug Fabian

Today's Gurus' Views & Strategies
Expect the Unexpected, Paul Justice
Who’s Right on Gold: Buffett or Dalio?, Igor Greenwald

Today's Charts in Play
Weak Airlines Weigh Down Transports, Tom Aspray Exclusive Interviews
Everyone Should be a Risk-Averse Investor, Ken Kam

Global Investing Ideas
2 European Gems with Rock-Solid Yields, Paul Tracy

Today's Featured Videos
One Theory Income Investors Must Understand, Kelley Wright
Small Caps Could Lead Summer Rally, Michael Murphy

CBS NEWS Political Hotsheet Top Stories: Boehner: GOP knows it has to compromise.

The CBS News Political Hotsheet newsletter


Speaker says he told GOP that debt deal will involve compromise, says he expects majority of House Republicans to accept that premise
Read full story
Boehner: GOP knows it has to compromise

The Drive: Perry could shake up 2012 campaign Brian Montopoli discusses the impact of the Michele Bachmann migraine revelations, Perry's potential and the rest of the GOP presidential candidates

WH, Boehner shoot down report of debt deal Washington leaders today said they're still not close to a deal to raise the debt ceiling, even as the Aug. 2 deadline nears

Jon Huntsman campaign manager resigns Huntsman campaign casts Susie Wiles' departure as natural progression; GOP presidential candidate struggling in polls to become "more aggressive"

West denies sexism, calls DNC chair In ongoing drama over e-mail, Allen West fires back against charges of sexism, accuses Debbie Wasserman Schultz of "immature" behavior