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Sep 9, 2011

“Expect the Unexpected”. | CFTC: Speech of Commissioner Bart Chilton to the Oversight of Derivatives Roundtable



Speech of Commissioner Bart Chilton to the Oversight of Derivatives Roundtable, University of Maryland

September 9, 2011
Introduction

It’s good to be with you today. Thanks for having me. Thanks especially to Susan Ferris Wyderko, the Executive Director of the Mutual Fund Directors Forum for the kind invitation and to both the Forum and the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business Center for Financial Policy for their sponsorship of this roundtable.


It is fitting that we are having this event in the Ronald Reagan building for two reasons. First, as I think most people know, President Reagan had a great sense of humor. These days in Washington, it seems like we’ve lost our sense of humor. What you may now know is that in this very building on every Friday and Saturday night, there is a performance by a troupe called the Capitol Steps. You don’t need to like politics to enjoy their humor. They are completely bipartisan. They make fun of the President. They make fun of Speaker Boehner. They make fun of Sarah Palin and on and on. So, I encourage you to go to the show. And, if I talk long enough, you can go straight there tonight.


The second reason it is appropriate to be in the Reagan building is that we are going to discuss regulations. I’m not sure if I can add much humor, but I’ll try to make it interesting.


Reagan and Regulation

President Reagan was a big believer that government was too big and that we needed only limited regulation. He said government is not the solution to problems. Government is the problem. What a sound bite: government is the problem.

In 1985, President Reagan visited the New York Stock Exchange. He was the first sitting president to do so. Here is what he said when he was there:


Trust the people. This is the one irrefutable lesson of the entire post-war period, contradicting the notion that rigid government controls are essential to economic development. The societies that have achieved the most spectacular, broad-based progress are neither the most tightly controlled, nor the biggest in size, nor the wealthiest in natural resources. No, what unites them all is their willingness to believe in the “magic of the marketplace.”

The magic of the marketplace—gosh he had a way with words. Unfortunately, what we have witnessed leading up to the economic meltdown was that government got out of the way and we did see a lot of magic in the marketplace, but not the good kind. What we have seen is a lot of sleight of hand and smoke and mirrors.


Where are We and How Did We Get Here?

People, and particularly politicians, bashing government isn’t anything new. Governments of all sorts are easy targets. Talking about the evil regulations, that is a good (although shallow) applause line too.


By the way, I believe most Americans like a lot of regulations, they just need to be reminded of them. Think food safety, child safety, car and truck and airline safety, and drug testing regulations. I think those are pretty popular regulations that folks would not want to see go away.


But, when people talk about the evils of regulation in the financial sector, the first thing I do is a little remedial history. I try to remind them how we got here. How we got into this financial mess that President Obama spoke about last night. Earlier this year, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) issued a report, and in it they ask this question:


“How did it come to pass that in 2008 our nation was forced to choose between two stark and painful alternatives—either risk the collapse of our financial system and economy, or commit trillions of taxpayer dollars to rescue major corporations and our financial markets, as millions of Americans still lost their jobs, their savings and their homes?”


That’s a good question. FCIC concluded that the entire mess never had to take place. They noted widespread failures in financial regulation, excessive risk-taking on Wall Street, policymakers who were ill-prepared for the crisis, and systemic breaches in accountability and ethics at all levels. The bulk of the blame went to regulators and the captains of Wall Street. The high-wire magic of the marketplace deal makers and regulators with a “do not disturb” sign on their door got us into the mess.

The deregulated environment had gutted our system of checks and balances, and as a result, we became a system of just checks. Checks to AIG and many checks totaling hundreds of trillions of dollars to the largest banks in the country. That Gordon Gekko greed is good mentality put us in an economic tailspin that we’re still trying to stop. But then, in my opinion, came the good news.

Along Comes Financial Reform

We now have the most sweeping set of financial reforms in our history—the Dodd-Frank law. It was necessary if we were ever going to protect ourselves again from the kind of financial meltdown that occurred, and now, we regulators are trying to do the right thing as we write all the new rules associated with the law.

Now, there are still the naysayers out there. Some of the folks who aren’t so happy want to defund the regulatory reforms by starving financial regulators’ funding. Others want to repeal Dodd-Frank altogether. Some just want to slow it down in the hopes that if they run the clock out, perhaps there will be a political change in Washington. Pretty constantly we hear from the usual suspects, about the big bad government and the big bad regulations and how they stifle innovation and competition and that the level of the earth in the U.S. is actually rising because of the lifted weight of businesses that are leaving in droves for foreign shores. Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion even if it’s contrary to my own. After all, somebody has to be wrong. I’m just kidding—kind of.

Expect the Unexpected

Oscar Wilde, the flamboyant and quick-witted cultural commenter, had a great quote – “To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” (He also said, “I can resist everything but temptation,” but I’m trying to be intellectual here, so let’s go back to the first quote). “To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.”


He made this statement about the “modern intellect” in the late 1800’s, so perhaps his idea of modernity was a bit different from ours. Back then, people rode around in buggies drawn by horses, houses didn’t have electricity, and heck, their idea of indoor plumbing was a bucket.

On the other hand, some events occurred in the late 1800s that you might not have expected. For example, it might surprise you to learn that the principles behind fiber optics were first presented to the Royal Society in 1854, when John Tyndal, using a curved stream of water, proved that a light signal could be bent. And building on this concept, in 1880 William Wheeler invented a system of what he called “light pipes,” coated with a highly reflective coating, to send indoor lighting throughout homes from a single light source. As early as 1888, medical doctors in Vienna were using similar technology to illuminate body cavities to perform complicated surgeries, and in 1885, the same types of bent glass rods were used to guide light images in the first attempt at an early television.

You all probably know that pasteurization was invented in the 1850s, but did you know that the first plastic was made in 1862? (And we all thought it was relatively new when “The Graduate” came out. Nope—it had been around about 100 years by that time). Typewriters, airbrakes, metal detectors, escalators, contact lenses, radars, dishwashers, washing machines, cash registers, seismographs, rayon and tungsten steel—all invented in the last half of the 19th century. Amazing. Think about what it must have been like to live back then, when the Industrial Revolution was turning the world on its head—and these changes were felt not only by the rich and privileged, but also by average folks. It was just at this time that Wilde made his comment to expect the unexpected—and all of these things were certainly “unexpected”—indicating a modern intellect. I think that must have been an incredibly exciting time and a time when to have a “modern intellect” meant to be open not only to exciting to new inventions, but also—almost by definition—to new ways of thinking. I mean, some of these inventions were probably pretty scary to people. Think about radar, for example, probably considered devilish by some—but to those with a “modern intellect,” with open and inquiring minds that want to know, these new inventions opened up new pathways of thinking and ultimately manifold opportunities for economic growth.

My point is—O ye, those of little faith who thought I didn’t have one—my point is this: we’re at a similarly exciting time right now with regard to financial reform regulations. I’m going to invite you to do something similar—to expect the unexpected. Hear me out on a new way of thinking.

This is what I want to propose to you today—to “expect the unexpected” with regard to the new regulations on financial market regulatory reform. By the way, this fits exactly into what President Obama was talking about last night with regard to doing only regulations that make sense. Here is the thought: rather than producing overly burdensome rules that stifle innovation (the arguments that President Reagan made in the 1980’s and that you still hear today) or constructing weak rules that compromise consumer protections (the argument from the left), I think this new set of rules will do something absolutely unique. I believe these rules will actually create jobs. They will create new sectors within sectors. They will create new opportunities for economic growth on American soil. Let me explain why.

For the first time, we are not writing rules and regulations for an exchange-trading market that is already in existence—like the securities and commodities markets. This new exchange-trading marketplace is being built from the ground up. To be sure, there is a vibrant OTC swaps market in this country, and as I’ve said many times, we don’t want to do anything to hurt legitimate business but at the same time we need to fix what got us into the mess in 2008. We’ve got real, tangible and extremely important reasons to continue to move forward to implement financial reform. Folks who are upside-down on their mortgages will tell you that. But again, let me get back to my original point: why these regulations will be a positive good for the American economy.

As I said, this industry, this exchange-trading of swaps, will be built from the ground up. The Dodd-Frank law instituted clearing requirements for swaps—the fundamental provisions to address transparency and systemic risk issues. Along with those statutory dictates are new requirements for “swaps execution facilities”—platforms on which to trade swaps. In addition, there will be “swaps data repositories,” to warehouse swaps data. All of these entities—and the participants—will be registered with the Commission and will require staff to ensure compliance with federal mandates. As this new industry develops, I am fully confident that “better mousetraps” will be developed. People will devise new and innovative—and better—ways of doing business, and we as regulators are going to need to be nimble and responsive to ensure that we accommodate that growth and at the same time protect markets and consumers. All of this is a Herculean task, and all of it takes putting people—lots of people—to work. I have no doubt that these new regulations—instituting new types of clearing, trading, and reporting platforms—will foster a landslide of hiring in the financial sector.

In addition, there is another factor to consider, equally important as an economic generator. All of this new trading activity with new regulatory oversight requirements will require the development of new technologies, both in the private and public sectors. And I think the competition here has already begun. We have seen high frequency traders abound in recent years, and we are going to see, I believe, new types of technologies that will be needed, both in the marketplace and by regulators, to effectively do business and oversee the conduct of that business. The “language” of algorithmic trading will become the legal definition of how financial market activity is done, and new technologies will be needed to develop the methods with which we speak to each other. The possibilities for economic growth and competition here are mind-boggling. And I have great faith in the ability of American computer scientists, physicists, logicians, statisticians—inventors of all kinds—to come up with the best, the fastest, the most capable, and the best financial market technologies in the world.

On top of all that, Dodd-Frank is kind to the nation’s deficit. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will reduce the deficit by $3.2 billion in the next ten years.


Can this all be done? I’ve been involved with government for 25 years. Maybe I’m part of the problem, but I don’t think so. I see how government operates and how it can change. Sure, we need to do better and I can tell you we have already made good progress. That’s why we haven’t done the rules by the date Congress told us to do them—by July. We are taking our time and being thoughtful. We are doing them correctly. We are getting them right, and we have already started what I’m talking about. We did two rules last month that will help create economic activity. It can be done. It is being done.


When President Obama spoke last night about regulation, he said that, while there are some who advocate simply throwing out all regulation and letting everyone write their own rules, “that’s not who we are.” That’s not what it means to be an American. He noted that yes, we’re strong and self-reliant, and yes, we have an economic engine that has been the envy of the world, but he also correctly stated that there are some things “we can only do together” that we are guided by a belief that we are connected. He noted that, while some are already 

complaining about his proposal for an American Jobs Act and regulatory reform, and some would like to simply wait it out until the next presidential election in 14 months, there are those who don’t have jobs, who are suffering, who don’t have the luxury of waiting 14 months. That’s why instituting sensible, appropriate regulations, to put people to work and create jobs is so incredibly important, right here, right now. That’s why I’d like you to think differently about our regulations, to expect the unexpected.


Just like Wilde’s vision of a modern intellect, in the financial arena I see countless possibilities, innovative horizons, unbounded opportunities that this new and novel marketplace will bring to the American economy and ultimately to the American consumer. And the new regulations framing the market’s existence—and providing needed guidelines and protections—will be the foundation for a new generation of economic growth. So, let’s expect the unexpected.


American Idol

Let’s shift gears now. I don’t have a great transition here, so I’ll use that old line from Monty Python, when the great comic John Cleese would say, “And now, for something completely different.”


American Idol is the most watched television show ever. I told you I didn’t have a good transition—just go with me here. The May 25th American Idol show had 124 million votes, just 5,000 shy of the number of votes cast in the 2008 presidential election. To be fair, for those of you who don’t know about the show, you can vote more than once for the American Idol. Sort of like they joke folks did in Chicago years ago. The point is that whatever American Idol has been doing has worked. You know what hasn’t worked very well recently? Financial ratings agencies. So what’s the difference between rating agencies and American Idol? Let’s contrast and compare a bit, shall we.

As you will recall, on August 5th, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) rating agency unexpectedly downgraded the United States from AAA to AA+. Since the early 1900s when ratings began, this was the first time the U.S. wasn’t rated AAA.

The downgrade was based upon S&P’s view that Washington politics remain unstable and therefore deficit-reduction measures will not be attainable. Washington—unstable, tell me it ain’t so. I mean, gridlock in Washington is hardly a shocker. I guess we will all have to continue to look at the way Capitol Hill responds to the President’s call to action last evening. However, the S&P decision was also fueled by what they called a $2 trillion calculation error—a $2 trillion calculation error. The direct impact of this ratings downgrade on markets was enormous. The Monday following the release of the rating, the Dow dropped 635 points! I have a problem with that, with a ratings agency being so powerful.

Remember, some of these agencies are the ones who got ratings so incredibly wrong in 2008. Not only did they give favorable ratings to firms that ultimately went under during the economic fiasco, they maintained AAA ratings on pools of junk mortgages packaged by Wall Street banks, trading away credible ratings for the bottom line of the ratings agencies. Do we really want to continue to rely upon such agencies?

Now, bring in Steven Tyler, the new Idol judge and the flamboyant Aerosmith front man. He provides insightful commentary based upon his music and performance experience. What he says colors contestant performances with a professional texture viewers might not otherwise notice. What he and the other American Idol judges do not do, however, is render the final judgment. Unlike the ratings agencies, the American Idol judges aren’t that powerful. Final determinations are left up to the viewers.

Maybe ratings agencies need to get a little more like American Idol. We shouldn’t treat the rating agencies as idols themselves. We shouldn’t have to bow down to them and accept that the fate of our markets will hinge upon their every word. Instead, the rating agencies should provide (like American Idol judges) premium and high-quality information. What they should not do is make final judgments that drastically influence markets. They should be more informative and insightful, but not deterministic. They've become excessively powerful and create a self-fulfilling prophesy about what markets will do.

In addition, three agencies comprise 97% of all ratings. Three—talk about too much concentration! There are smaller agencies out there and a little competition would seem to be a very good thing. As a final point, all these agencies should work for consumers, not deal makers. That’s a flawed business model that incentivizes agencies to provide favorable ratings. The American Idol judges don’t get paid by the contestants.

We need to change the way the raters operate. You may say, as Tyler sings, “Dream On,” but we have seen the damage the raters can create. We should not simply accept the status quo.

Conclusion

I want to leave some time for questions, if I haven’t already used all of that. If so, I guess you can go directly to the Capitol Steps. But before I go, I want to reiterate that we need to think more positively about where we are headed. We need to not only look for bad things that could happen, but potentially good things that can happen. Businesses need to be looked at as partners in this effort, and to the extent we can do better in government and do the jobs that we are supposed to be doing, we can make great strides. That’s good for market participants, for business and especially for the consumers who depend on these markets for the price discovery of just about everything they purchase. I know it is a tough challenge, but I am optimistic that we can meet it.


So, maintain your sense of humor, and most importantly, expect the unexpected, it will demonstrate your thoroughly modern intellect.

Last Updated: September 9, 2011

Reuters -Technology Report: AOL CEO Approaches Private Equities Funds to gauge interest in a deal with Yahoo


News
AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong has reportedly approached private equity firms to gauge interest in a deal with Yahoo that would place Armstrong as the head of the combined company, according to a Bloomberg report.

CNBC later reported that a source close to Yahoo said the company had no interest in a deal with AOL.

AOL shares closed down 5.3 percent at $14.72 while Yahoo inched up 0.3 pct to $14.48.

Both former tech powerhouses have fallen on tough times and Reuters.com columnist John C. Abell says: "It’s impossible to know if anything short of IBM-like reinvention could have altered the course of these two companies so that the music playing now would still be more jazz than dirge."

In other AOL-related news, Xconomy blogger Wade Roush argues that the "explosion of criticism" over TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington's plans to create a startup seed fund has finally convinced Armstrong that "yoking a formal venture fund to a journalistic operation would make the (real or perceived) conflicts wholly unmanageable."

Apple Inc scored a symbolic legal victory in efforts to keep its lead spot in the tablet computer market when a German court upheld a ban barring Samsung's local unit from selling its Galaxy 10.1 tablets in Europe's biggest economy.

A new iPhone application aims to make social networking truly social, with the help of geo-location technology.

Evernote, which makes a popular app for taking notes and storing data on tablets, phones and personal computers, is considering filing for an initial public offering by the end of next year, its chief executive told Reuters on Friday.

Reuters - Daily Investor Update: Wall Street tumbles as ECB discord stirs broad fears.


News
LATEST NEWS
Wall Street tumbles as ECB discord stirs broad fears
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks tumbled more than 2 percent on Friday after the top German official at the European Central Bank resigned in protest of the bank's bond-buying program, which has been a major tool in fighting the region's debt crisis. | Full Article

Top German quits ECB over bond-buying row
September 09, 2011 02:17 PM ET
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The top German official at the European Central Bank resigned out of the blue on Friday in conflict with the bank's policy of buying government bonds to combat the euro zone's debt crisis. | Full Article
Insight: Extreme makeover BofA: An asbestos solution
September 09, 2011 01:04 PM ET
By Matthew Goldstein, Jennifer Ablan, Daniel Wilchins and Kristina Cooke | Full Article
Obama tries to sell jobs plan and end gridlock
September 09, 2011 02:20 PM ET
RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - President Barack Obama began an uphill battle on Friday for support for a $447 billion jobs plan he hopes will rescue a faltering economy and his own re-election prospects. | Full Article
U.S. demands action from Europe's strongest at G7
September 09, 2011 01:28 PM ET
MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) - The United States pressed Europe's strongest economies on Friday to give "unequivocal" financial support to weaker euro zone states to overcome a debt crisis that threatens the world economy. | Full Article
US TOP NEWS
New York cracks down after "credible" 9/11 threat
September 09, 2011 03:20 PM ET
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New York police amassed a display of force on Friday including checkpoints that snarled traffic in response to intelligence about a car or truck bomb plot linked to the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. | Full Article
Strong quake off Vancouver, no damage seen: witness
September 09, 2011 04:13 PM ET
VANCOUVER (Reuters) - A strong earthquake off the coast of Vancouver shook buildings downtown in the Canadian city but there were no immediate signs of damage, a witness said. | Full Article
How to play it: Potential winners on Obama's Jobs Act plan
September 09, 2011 02:32 PM ET
* THE ISSUE: President Barack Obama called on Congress late Thursday to pass a $447 billion package of spending initiatives and tax cuts to boost economic growth and generate jobs. Here are several investment ideas based on his proposals. | Full Article
Yields fall to 60-year lows on Europe worries
September 09, 2011 01:04 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Treasury debt prices rose on Friday, taking benchmark yields to the lowest in at least 60 years as investors looked for a safe haven on revived worries a European debt crisis could have a significant global impact. | Full Article
Decade after September 11, New Yorkers ready to move on
September 09, 2011 03:51 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The attacks of September 11, 2001 changed life in the United States forever, but 10 years after the devastating hit, New Yorkers have learned to live in a more dangerous world and are ready to move on. | Full Article
HEALTH NEWS
Analysis: Prognosis poor for U.N. chronic disease meeting
Female smokers have more bladder symptoms
Parent sleep counseling may improve kids' shut-eye
FDA advisers consider time limit for bone drugs
Study clouds picture on omega-3s and heart health

Obama takes jobs plan on the road: The Washington Post | Politics Afternoon Edition

The Washington Post
Politics Afternoon Edition

HEADLINES

  1. Obama takes jobs plan on the road

    A day after imploring Congress to pass his jobs bill, President Obama launched a strategic campaign to win public support with an impassioned call to thousands of college students to help him convince Congress that “the time for action is now.”
    » Read full article
  2. New York, Washington tighten security

    Federal and local officials tightened security Friday in New York and Washington as investigators probed a possible al-Qaeda plot to detonate a vehicle-borne bomb around Sunday’s 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
    » Read full article
  3. What Giuliani could teach Huntsman

    Despite his early frontrunner status in the 2008 race, the former New York mayor crashed and burned in a major way, and now almost nobody is taking him seriously as a 2012 contender.
    » Read full article
  4. Haley Barbour to join "super PAC" American Crossroads

    American Crossroads, the well-funded conservative group that played a crucial role in the Republican wave election last year, is bringing rainmaker Haley Barbour on board and doubling its fundraising goal for the 2012 contest, the group announced late Thursday.
    » Read full article
  5. Republican leads in N.Y. race to replace Weiner

    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee just poured half a million dollars into the contest.
    » Read full article

The Economist | Selected New Articles: Free Exchange / Babbage / Daily Chart .. and more



Free exchange: A call to action
With the economy and his presidency in the balance, President Obama urges Congress to pass a $447 billion stimulus package
read more »

Babbage: Shining beacons
Stem cells offer hope for men facing life without hair
read more »

Newsbook: An Israeli spring?
Demands for better living conditions are unlikely to unseat Israel's government
read more »

Babbage: Venice turns green
La Serenissima hopes to turn algae into power
read more »

Audio: Russia's disgruntled middle class
Our correspondents on why despite oil wealth and a growing economy, almost a quarter of middle-class Russians want to leave the country
listen »

Daily chart: Global economic dominance
By 2030 China's economy could loom as large as America's in the 1970s
read more »

Online debate: Peace and justice
Can there be peace without justice?
read more »

NYT: Afternoon Business News: AOL Shares Fall; Report of Possible Yahoo Tie-Up



BUSINESS
 

Latest News At Time of Posting

1 minute ago
AOL Shares Fall; Report of Possible Yahoo Tie-Up
3 minutes ago
Small Businesses Mildly Hopeful on Obama Jobs Plan
4 minutes ago
Credit Suisse Hires Greenhill Insurance Banker: Memo
 

Resignation at European Central Bank Hints at Split

By JACK EWING AND NICHOLAS KULISH
The departure of Jürgen Stark, described as the European Central Bank's chief economist, brought discord over the response to Europe's sovereign debt crisis into full view.

G-7 Faces Calls for Urgent Action to Spur Growth

By LIZ ALDERMAN
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner warned that headwinds from Europe's deepening debt crisis risked exacerbating problems in the United States.

I.M.F. Chief Urges Bold Action to Steady Global Economy

By LANDON THOMAS Jr.
Ahead of a G-7 meeting, Christine Lagarde said unified action was needed to steer economies through "this dangerous phase."
DealBook

Yahoo Is Said to Look to Allen & Co. for Strategic Options

By MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED
As it explores options for its future, Yahoo has formally hired Allen & Company as its investment bank, according to a person briefed on the matter.
DealBook

VW and Porsche Shares Slip as Deal Hopes Are Dashed

By DEALBOOK
Shares of Volkswagen and Porsche slipped on Friday, on news the automakers' merger could not be completed by the end of the year.

CBS NEWS | Political Hotsheet Top Stories: Race for Anthony Weiner's old seat heats up

The CBS News Political Hotsheet newsletter


CBS POLITICAL HOTSHEET TOP STORIES    



   
A new poll shows the Republican slightly ahead in the race for the heavily-Democratic district formerly represented by Anthony Weiner
Read full story
Race for Anthony Weiner's old seat heats up

Hot mic catches Boehner, Biden talking golf Vice president, House speaker were joking and chatting about golf before Obama's speech to Congress on his jobs plan

Can Obama get his jobs bill passed? It's unlikely the GOP-led House will accept the entirety of the president's $447 billion package, but they are likely to pass at least some of it

Obama's confidence game Obama brings back campaign confidence and spirit of hope

Obama sells jobs plan in key Republican district President Obama tells audience in Richmond, Virginia, home of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, to "tell your congressperson the time for gridlock and games is over."



MarketWatch |Personal Finance Daily : Stinkbug invasion: Bane to most, bonanza for some


MarketWatch

Personal Finance Daily
SEPTEMBER 09, 2011

Travel rewards with the best value

By MarketWatch



Don't miss these top stories:

Many of us don't know what our credit-card travel rewards points are worth until we go to redeem them. And boy, that can be a surprise. But Jennifer Waters writes today in her Consumer Confidential column about research that actually values those reward points and miles according by how much money they're worth. She looks at a new study that helps identify the card programs with the best dollar value per point or mile. Though accumulating rewards can be a test of patience, rewards are good incentives for credit-card users who manage their accounts well, she notes. Travel safely.

Anne Stanley , Managing Editor, Personal Finance

PERSONAL FINANCE

The credit-card travel rewards worth the most cash

Racking up those reward points is the easy part; determining their true value is tough. But a new study from NextAdvisor helps shed some light on the best credit-card travel-rewards programs.
Read more: The credit-card travel rewards worth the most cash.


Getting started in trust-deed investing

Lew Sichelman gives the basics on investing in trust deeds.
Read more: Getting started in trust-deed investing.


After 9/11, most employers still stress security

The Sept. 11 attacks forced employers to rethink their security plans, and a new survey finds that companies' vigilance when it comes to keeping employees safe hasn't waned much over the past 10 years.
Read more: After 9/11, most employers still stress security.


Stinkbug invasion: Bane to most, bonanza for some

The reviled brown marmorated stink bug has made its nasty presence known throughout the Mid-Atlantic, eating fruit and vegetable crops and invading homes, but there's been one good thing about the pest. It's created jobs.
Read more: Stinkbug invasion: Bane to most, bonanza for some.


Unhurt by lockout, NFL roars back

The National Football League appears to have suffered no ill effects from a protracted labor dispute that once threatened the season, as ratings and revenues are set to grow.
Read more: Unhurt by lockout, NFL roars back.


INVESTING

Wall Street reactions to Obama jobs plan

A roundup of reactions on Wall Street to President Barack Obama's jobs plan.
Read more: Wall Street reactions to Obama jobs plan.


Low interest rates don't help sputtering economy

The answer to the major economic problems we face is not to continue to deficit-spend our way out of it or to artificially reduce long-term interest rates, writes Brian Edmonds of Cantor Fitzgerald
Read more: Low interest rates don't help sputtering economy.


ECONOMY & POLITICS

Congress may take only tax cuts from Obama plan

President Barack Obama's jobs plan is unlikely to survive intact as Congress will likely strip out and pass tax breaks while leaving other proposed spending programs on the cutting room floor, analysts say.
Read more: Congress may take only tax cuts from Obama plan.


Cutting taxes or red tape won't create jobs

You can throw money at corporations, and cut all the red tape, and drill for oil everywhere, but it won't fix our economy.
Read more: Cutting taxes or red tape won't create jobs.


3 big myths about the U.S. debt crisis

There's a lot of confusion about our debt problem. So consider this column an effort to correct that by addressing three big myths about the national debt.
Read more: 3 big myths about the U.S. debt crisis.

CGX Trading Halt



Marketwire

 
 
CGX Energy Inc.
TSX VENTURE:OYL


Other Recent News
September 9, 2011
CGX Trading Halt
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 9, 2011) - CGX Energy Inc. (TSX VENTURE:OYL) ("CGX" or the "Company") announces that trading in the Company's shares was halted this morning following the reaction to an announcement by Tullow Oil plc of oil discoveries in their Zaedyus well offshore French Guiana. CGX does not have any interest in the Zaedyus well.

Kerry Sully, Chairman of CGX, stated, "CGX is a 25% partner with Tullow, Repsol and YPF in the Georgetown Petroleum Prospecting Licence offshore Guyana in which the partners are preparing to drill a Turonian test in the Jaguar well later this year. Investors are cautioned that Jaguar is located over 500 km from Zaedyus and the risk remains high."

CGX Energy is a Canadian-based oil and gas exploration company focused on the exploration for oil in the Guyana. CGX is managed by a team of experienced oil and gas and finance professionals from Canada, U.S.A. and the UK. CGX is financed internationally and has thousands of shareholders worldwide.

Shares Outstanding: 194,778,663

Fully-Diluted: 209,428,663


NEITHER TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATION SERVICES PROVIDER (AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN THE POLICIES OF THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE) ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.

CONTACT INFORMATION: CGX Energy Inc.
Kerry Sully
Chairman
(604) 733-9647
ksully@cgxenergy.com

or

CGX Energy Inc.
Stephen Hermeston
President and CEO
(281) 644-0139
shermeston@cgxenergy.com

or

CGX Energy Inc.
Charlotte May
Communications Manager
(416) 364-3353
cmay@cgxenergy.com

INDUSTRY: Energy and Utilities - Oil and Gas

CMI | NY Trading - Spot Prices at Close

CMI - Gold & Silver

Spot Prices as of the close of trading in New York
As of: Friday September 09, 2011

  Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
Gold $1,857.85 +$0.50 $1,796.35 $1,741.10 $1,250.25
Silver $41.62 -$0.93 $41.02 $37.91 $19.87
Platinum $1,840.10 -$17.30 $1,829.40 $1,758.00 $1,551.70
Palladium $739.50 -$24.00 $759.70 $738.00 $523.10

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GATA - THE GATA DISPATCH: Hard currency goes soft in a flash; and Faber disputes Krugman

Hard currency goes soft in a flash; and Faber disputes Krugman

11:20a ET Friday, September 9, 2011
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

In his daily commentary at Ireland's Goldcore, Mark O'Byrne notes the instant dissolution of the former "hard currency," the Swiss franc, adds that devaluations of any currency can happen in a flash, and concludes that gold is the only hard currency left. His commentary is headlined "Global Currency War Sees Swiss Franc Devalue 8.5% Against Gold This Week" and you can find it at Goldcore here:
http://www.goldcore.com/goldcore_blog/global-currency-wars-sees-swiss-fr...
Meanwhile at King World News market analyst and financial letter write Marc Faber disputes the "broken window" school of economics pursued by New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman. Unchecked government debt is destroying the middle class, Faber says. An excerpt from his interview at King World News is posted here:

http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/KWN_DailyWeb/Entries/2011/9/9_Mar...
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.