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Oct 18, 2011

Stocks and Markets in The News | Asia

World News from MarketWatch

Smartcompany News & Analysis: Clothing retailer in administration, SA franchising bill to be amended, Economic outlook Q&A, Retailer hit with $1.3m back-pay bill

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Today on SmartCompany we look at last-minute amendments to South Australia’s controversial Small Business Commissioner bill, examine the collapse of a Melbourne-based clothing and accessories retailer and report on a retailer that’s been hit with a $1.3 billion back-pay bill. We’ve also got a special Q&A on the economic outlook and five reasons to be cheered by the NBN’s progress. Plus in Entrepreneur Watch, James Thomson tackles the question of whether Tony Abbott’s stances on the NBN and the Carbon Tax are making him a risk for business.

For all this and more, head to our home page.

Lunch with an Entrepreneur
The winning formula
John Winning reveals why customer service is so important to the growth of Appliance Online. BY MADELEINE HEFFERNAN.
John Winning

Industry Trends
The supermarket shelf wars
Intense competition between supermarkets has led to dropped prices and the burgeoning of private-label goods.
The supermarket shelf wars

Aunty B
Should I spruik products I don’t believe in just to get the ad dollars?
You turn the negative into a positive and you sell on that.
Aunty B

Profitable growth
Julia Bickerstaff
In a nutshell – strategic planning days are guilty of having eyes bigger than their stomach.
Julia Bickerstaff

Digital Bottom Line
Brendan Lewis
Forget industry doyens and professional directors, they are unlikely to be anything more than a distraction to a small growing business.
Brendan Lewis

Property Investor
Michael Yardney
One important factor that boosted the market in the past – consumer confidence – is now faltering.
Michael Yardney

Entrepreneur Watch
James Thomson
Business leaders are growing increasingly worried about the idea of carbon tax being repealed under an Abbott government. Could Abbott go from shoe-in to the risky option?

SEC | Enforcement Actions: SEC Charges Former CEO in Tulsa With Misleading Investors About Liquidity Risks


Washington, D.C., Oct. 18, 2011 – The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the co-founder of a Tulsa-based energy company with misleading investors in one of its subsidiaries about liquidity risks they faced from his energy trading.

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Tulsa, Thomas L. Kivisto was CEO and president of SemGroup L.P., which bought, transported and sold petroleum products and traded crude oil and related commodities and derivatives. Kivisto managed these trading activities. Meanwhile, Kivisto also was a director of SemGroup’s subsidiary, SemGroup Energy Partners L.P. (SGLP), which owns midstream oil and gas assets such as pipelines and storage facilities. SGLP issues publicly-traded limited partnership units, and Kivisto signed certain corporate filings that SGLP made with the SEC, including registration statements and its annual report.
The SEC alleges that SGLP’s filings assured investors that its revenue stream from SemGroup, which was its largest customer, was “stable and predictable” and protected from volatility in oil prices. However, unbeknownst to investors, Kivisto’s energy trading was increasingly draining SemGroup’s credit facilities and other liquidity sources and jeopardizing the company’s ability to fulfill its commitments to SGLP. Investors were never warned of these risks, which came to a head in July 2008 when SemGroup’s lenders cancelled the credit facility and the company filed for bankruptcy. The price of SGLP’s limited partnership units subsequently declined more than 60 percent.
“Investors have a right to know the risks that could imperil their investment,” said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Kivisto should have known that the SGLP filings he signed did not warn investors about the risks created by his energy trading, and investors were blindsided when those risks came to fruition.”
The SEC alleges that Kivisto should have known that certain SGLP public filings that he signed were misleading investors about the reliability of SGLP’s revenue stream and the risks that SGLP faced from Kivisto’s energy trading. SemGroup provided up to 89 percent of SGLP’s revenues and thus was critical to SGLP’s profitability. SGLP is now known as Blueknight Energy Partners L.P.

Kivisto agreed to settle the SEC’s charges without admitting or denying the allegations by paying a $225,000 penalty and forfeiting his rights to SGLP limited partnership units currently worth more than $1.1 million that were awarded to him under SGLP’s long-term incentive plan. He also consented to entry of a final judgment permanently enjoining him from violating the antifraud provisions of the Securities Act of 1933.

The SEC’s investigation was conducted by David Peavler, Robert Hannan, Keith Hunter, and David King in the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office. The SEC acknowledges the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

For full information click:

SEC Charges Former CEO in Tulsa With Misleading Investors About Liquidity Risks

SEC Enforcement Staff Awarded: Staff Recognized for TARP-Fraud Investigation


Washington, D.C., Oct. 18, 2011 – The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that eight members of its staff were part of a team that today received the 2011 Award for Excellence in Investigations by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE).
The award was presented for outstanding cooperation in uncovering and jointly investigating the $2.9 billion fraud scheme that contributed to the collapse in 2009 of Colonial BancGroup Inc. and Taylor, Bean &Whitaker Mortgage Corp. The SEC charged five individuals, including former Taylor, Bean & Whitaker chairman Lee B. Farkas, alleging he arranged to sell more than $1 billion of sham or worthless mortgage loans to Colonial Bank, and attempted to scam the U.S. Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Farkas was found guilty of related criminal fraud charges and was sentenced in June to 30 years in prison. This year, the SEC also charged Taylor, Bean & Whitaker’s former chief executive officer and former treasurer, and a former executive and former supervisor at Alabama-based Colonial Bank.
“We are extremely proud of our staff’s work on this important case, and delighted to see their efforts honored today,” said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “This award highlights the enormous individual and team effort to expose frauds stemming from the financial crisis and bring wrongdoers to justice.”
SEC employees receiving the award are:
  • Suzanne Ashley, Senior Counsel to the Director of Enforcement and former detailee to the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP)
  • Rhea Dignam, Regional Director, SEC Atlanta Regional Office
  • William Hicks, Associate Regional Director for Enforcement, Atlanta Regional Office
  • Barry Lakas, Staff Accountant, Atlanta Regional Office
  • Aaron Lipson, Assistant Regional Director, Atlanta Regional Office
  • M. Graham Loomis, Regional Trial Counsel, Atlanta Regional Office
  • Michael Mashburn, Senior Investigations Counsel, Atlanta Regional Office
  • Yolanda Ross, Senior Counsel, Atlanta Regional Office
Other federal entities whose staff were honored with the award are the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s Office of Inspector General, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General, the Justice Department, the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Information about SEC enforcement actions to address misconduct that led to or arose from the financial crisis is available here:

For full information click:  

SEC Enforcement Staff Recognized for TARP-Fraud Investigation

Kitco New York Market Close Report

New York Market Close Oct 18/11 05:21 PM EDT

The Australian | Business Briefing: Leighton warned of further rating cut

Leighton warned of further rating cut
Damon Kitney LEIGHTON Holdings has been put on notice that its credit rating could be further lowered.
Investors cheer Telstra vote
Annabel Hepworth INVESTORS hope Telstra will embark on an ambitious share buyback after they voted in favour of the $11 billion NBN deal.
ACCC chief 'controlled trust'
Richard Gluyas GRAEME Samuel exercised effective control of his family trust, Samfa, while he was ACCC chairman, a court has heard.
Bernanke sees policy evolution
Michael S. Derby and Luca Di Leo LESSONS learned during the financial crisis suggest the US Fed will need to revise how it approaches monetary policy.
Stokes pulls in the buyers
Geoff Elliott IN a falling stockmarket where media stocks tend to be the canary in the coalmine, Kerry Stokes pulled off a rare feat yesterday.
Financial Markets
Wall St rallies in wild trade
Steven Russolillo US stocks finished a turbulent session higher as conflicting reports on Europe's debt crisis whipped stock prices around.
Unease takes shine off gold
Copper falls on China data
Financial Markets Coverage
Mining & Energy
Unease takes shine off gold
Matt Day GOLD fell for a second day as weaker-than-expected growth in China and worries about the eurozone kept investors in cash.
Copper falls on China data
Ferrous ignores takeover talk
More Mining & Energy

Reuters - Daily investor Update: Intel's quarterly outlook beats Street

Wall Street surges into close on euro zone hopes
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks surged late in trading on Tuesday as buyers latched onto another report of agreements to strengthen the euro zone's rescue fund to bid up stocks aggressively. | Full Article

Apple revenue misses forecasts, shares fall
October 18, 2011 04:37 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc reported a rare miss in quarterly revenue that fell short of Wall Street expectations. | Full Article
Intel's quarterly outlook beats Street
October 18, 2011 04:34 PM ET
(Reuters) - Intel Corp forecast quarterly revenue above Wall Street's expectations, defying concerns that the growing popularity of tablets and a shaky economy are eating into demand for personal computers. | Full Article
Yahoo Q3 revenue, profit slip
October 18, 2011 04:24 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc's net revenue and profit slipped in the third quarter, as the Internet company struggled to revive its online advertising business. | Full Article
France, Germany near 2 trillion euro rescue fund deal: report
October 18, 2011 04:27 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - France and Germany have agreed to boost a euro zone financial rescue fund to two trillion euros ($2.76 trillion), part of a plan to resolve the bloc's debt crisis that should win support at Sunday's EU crisis summit, Britain's Guardian newspaper said on Tuesday. | Full Article

Central banks may need to burst bubbles: Bernanke
October 18, 2011 02:48 PM ET
BOSTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday that central banks may need to resort to monetary policy to combat asset bubbles, although regulation should be a first line of defense. | Full Article
Israeli soldier Shalit, Palestinians freed in captive swap
October 18, 2011 03:53 PM ET
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and hundreds of Palestinians crossed Israel's borders in opposite directions on Tuesday as a thousand-for-one prisoner swap brought joy to families but did little to ease decades of conflict. | Full Article
Goldman posts only its second quarterly loss
October 18, 2011 03:15 PM ET
(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc posted its second quarterly loss as a public company on Tuesday as its investment portfolio lost billions of dollars in value. | Full Article
RIM aims to rebuild franchise on new BBX platform
October 18, 2011 02:21 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Research In Motion will introduce souped-up operating software for its BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook tablet designed to make both more formidable competitors to Apple and Google devices. | Full Article
Clinton brings unity message on visit to new Libya
October 18, 2011 02:34 PM ET
TRIPOLI/SIRTE, Libya (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Libya on Tuesday to urge its disparate militias to unite around their new leaders, while loyalists of ousted Muammar Gaddafi launched a counter-attack in his hometown of Sirte. | Full Article

World's first malaria vaccine works in major trial
HHS loosens Medicare red tape as part of Obama plan
Malaria scientist celebrates success after 24 years
Infants should sleep on their backs, Pediatric group says
Girls' HPV vaccination rates falling short

The Australian Capital Circle: Coalition carbon scrutiny as Queen arrives

Coalition carbon scrutiny as Queen arrives
The debate over the carbon price will take a back seat as Canberra rolls out the red carpet for the Queen.

Julia Gillard may breathe a sigh of relief as politics is put on hold and Australia's greets its monarch over the next ten days. The PM began her day in Sydney. She'll return to Canberra this afternoon ahead of the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II. Ms Gillard will meet the monarch this evening.
Tony Abbott spent another night in Hopevale on Cape York. He finishes his visit to the Cape this morning and will return to Canberra for the Queen's visit.
Her Majesty: The Queen is expected to touch down in Canberra at 6pm. Upon her arrival, she'll be given an official welcome at the RAAF Fairbairn base this evening and then head to Governor-General Quentin Bryce's residence in Yarralumla. Tomorrow she'll have an official audience with the Governor-General and then visit the Floriade flower show. The Australian has the Queen's program in a special section here.
Diary: 2GB radio host Alan Jones is at the National Press Club today. He'll talk about "Australia’s national interest – food security and the protection of the Australian regional way of life". Kevin Rudd is in the top end and will appear at Charles Darwin University to talk about poverty at home and abroad at 3pm today. Treasurer Wayne Swan arrived back in Australia from Europe at about 6am and is in Sydney for a day of meetings. Senate estimates continue today. The Economics, Community Affairs, Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committees are up today. The daily program is here.
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The Sydney Morning Herald reports: THE average household will be much better off than the Gillard gover

DealB%K Afternoon Edition: Regulators Move to Rein In Speculative Trading

Regulators Move to Rein In Speculative Trading
Regulators Move to Rein In Speculative Trading But the battle over position limits on 28 commodities may continue if Wall Street, as expected, takes its complaints to the courts.

In Debt: Deutsche Bank's Lehman Claims What class the claims end up could mean a difference of more than $100 million to Deutsche Bank and other distressed debt investors.
Dropbox Confirms $250 Million Investment The latest fund-raising round values the online storage company at $4 billion.
Goldman Sachs headquarters in Manhattan.
Goldman Sachs Reports $428 Million Loss Goldman, weighed down by problems in its private equity portfolio and the broader global economic woes, reported a loss of $428 million, only the second quarterly loss since the investment bank went public in 1999.
Brian T. Moynihan, chief of Bank of America.
Bank of America Notches $6.2 Billion Profit Bank of America reported a $6.2 billion profit for the third quarter as gains from assets sales and positive accounting changes outweighed weaker results in its trading business and continued losses in its huge mortgage portfolio.
Bernanke Says Central Bank May Need to Burst Bubbles Ben S. Bernanke addressed the effects of the recession on central bank doctrine and practice. "The possibility that monetary policy could be used directly to support financial stability goals, at least on the margin, should not be ruled out," the Federal Reserve chairman said today at a conference at the Boston Federal Reserve Bank.
Bank of America's Mortgage Woes Continue While Bank of America's profit rose this quarter, the firm's mortgage woes appear far from over. The bank set aside a fraction of the money it had in the previous quarter for representations and warranties, but "the decline was not because new claims have dried up," writes Floyd Norris for The New York Times's Economix blog.
Economic Reports Data released on Wednesday will include the Consumer Price Index for September, housing starts for September and the Federal Reserve beige book.
Corporate Earnings Companies reporting results on Wednesday include Abbott Laboratories, AMR, Bank of New York Mellon, BlackRock, Morgan Stanley, United Technologies, U.S. Bancorp, American Express, eBay and E*Trade Financial.