NYT | Global Update -November 30, 2012.: Israel Pushing Controversial Settlements in East Jerusalem

The New York Times International Herald Tribune
November 30, 2012
Compiled 21:53 GMT

Global Update


Israel Pushing Controversial Settlements in East Jerusalem

A move toward building housing in a contentious area, coming immediately after the Palestinians won observer state status in the United Nations, was widely seen as retaliatory.

Approval of Draft Constitution Spurs Large Cairo Protest

Angered by President Mohamed Morsi's hurried effort to pass Egypt's new constitution, protesters massed in Tahrir Square for the second time in a week.

Alarming Picture as Rebels Prepare to Leave City in Congo

Human rights groups said that the rebels who captured Goma last week were now going on an assassination campaign as they prepared to leave, creating a vortex of crime and confusion.

Video: Religious Tensions in Myanmar

In western Myanmar, Muslims and Buddhists clash.

Global Agenda | History

Memory, Loss

Why aren't the Chinese ready to acknowledge the death of three million people in Henan in 1942?

After Vote, Palestinians and Israel Search for the Next Step

Even after Palestine gained recognition as a nonmember state at the United Nations, the two countries seemed stuck in the same stalemate.

Israel's Antimissile System Attracts Potential Buyers

Iron Dome's most salient feature, according to American experts now examining after-action reports from Gaza, may well be its software.

German Lawmakers Back Latest Round of Aid for Greece

The lower house of Germany's Parliament easily approved a deal struck by European finance ministers and international lenders.
Common Sense

H.P.'s Blunder for the Record Books

It seemed likely that a deal like AOL's acquisition of Time Warner would never be repeated, rivaled or surpassed, but the deal for Autonomy may qualify.

A Hospital War Reflects a Tightening Bind for Doctors Nationwide

As more physicians sell their practices to hospitals, they describe pressure to meet the financial goals of their new employers - often by performing unnecessary tests or by admitting patients who do not need a hospital stay.

Unemployment in Euro Zone Rises to a New High

The head of the European Central Bank tempered news of record joblessness by predicting that the region's economy would begin to recover next year.

Panel Approves a Bill to Safeguard E-Mail

A bill, approved by the Judiciary Committee, would require law enforcement officials to obtain a warrant from a judge before gaining access to messages in individual accounts.

Japan's Space Agency Says Rocket Information Was Stolen by Computer Virus

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said that the virus in a computer at its Tsukuba Space Center northeast of Tokyo was found to be secretly collecting data and sending it outside the agency.

Syrian Internet Connections Cut for Second Day

The cutoff fanned speculation among opponents of President Bashar al-Assad about the government's intentions in coming days.

From Start to Finish, a Racing Season Like No Other

Formula One somehow reinvented itself in 2012, coming up with a scenario that again defied all the predictions.

Battling for Triumph of the Youngest

Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso waged an epic fight all year to become the youngest three-time Formula One champion ever.

Co-Founder Is Bullish on Grand Prix in Texas

Q. and A. with Bobby Epstein, co-founder of the Circuit of the Americas, new home of the U.S. Grand Prix.

Tax Burden Is Lower for Most Americans Than in the 1980s

Despite their complaints, most Americans in 2010 paid far less in total taxes - federal, state and local - than they would have paid 30 years ago, according to an analysis by The Times.

Under One Roof, Building for Extended Families

Multigenerational living, a throwback to the past, is a growing trend in the struggling economy, and major homebuilders are designing flexible layouts.

End of the Line for an Oyster Farm

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar ended a longstanding dispute that pitted wilderness advocates against supporters of a Northern California oyster farm on National Seashore land.

Erdogan, the Not-So Magnificent

While the prime minister rails against a soap opera for desecrating Turkey's Ottoman past, he and his party are parodying that history with grandiose construction projects.
Op-Ed Contributor

United by a Catchy Acronym

The BRICs have too little in common to play a joint role on the global stage.
Op-Ed Columnist

Let's Talk About X

It's time to break out of the 1986 paradigm of closing loopholes and lowering tax rates. Here's a case for the consumption tax.

DealBook | P.M. Edition -November 30, 2012-.: Week in Review: Portraits of a Hedge Fund Titan

Friday, November 30, 2012
Week in Review: Portraits of a Hedge Fund Titan Even before Steven A. Cohen's very bad week, the media narrative surrounding the hedge fund billionaire was well known: an intimidating temper that has mellowed with age, a bad back enflamed by the same, a hedge fund with a track record better than the Yankees and partial ownership of a baseball team whose standing is decidedly less stellar. This week, we review the highlights.

Like many billionaires Mr. Cohen, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, shuns the media spotlight, but that hasn't stopped journalists and colleagues from painting colorful portraits that compare him to characters from Henry Melville and Miguel de Cervantes.
"It's a Darwinian and pressure-packed culture with ridiculous amounts of money at stake," a former employee of SAC Capital told DealBook last year.
The closest Mr. Cohen has gotten to a media grilling recently was a sit-down with Paul Tudor Jones, another hedge fund manager, at a Wall Street-sponsored conference. Mr. Cohen is "almost as secretive as Howard Hughes," one source told Businessweek in 2003. The comparison has stuck with the money manager despite his prominent forays into worlds of art, sports and politics.
In 2006, his hedge fund was focus of a widely criticized "60 Minutes" report on short sellers. His ex-wife, Patricia Cohen, told New York magazine that the television report was the impetus for her lawsuit over money involved in their 1990 divorce. The suit was later dismissed.
As the charges against former traders at his $14 billion hedge fund mounted, Mr. Cohen gave a rare interview in 2010 to Vanity Fair, saying that "in some respects I feel like Don Quixote fighting windmills."
Or perhaps Mr. Cohen is, as Reuters described last year, the Feds' Moby Dick, an allegory that would make Robert S. Mueller, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a modern-day empty-handed Captain Ahab.
In the end, the high-minded literary references may not capture Mr. Cohen's story as well as a man who inspired Bruce Springsteen, New Jersey's true poet laureate. It could be that Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, could write the hedge fund titan's final chapter.
A look back on our reporting of the past week's highs and lows in finance.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Two Firms Make Offers for Knight Getco and Virtu Capital are said to be keenly interested in Knight's market-making trading operations, though they may sell less desirable parts of the company, Michael J. de la Merced and Nathaniel Popper reported.
ConAgra to Buy Ralcorp, Solidifying Market Share ConAgra is betting that private-label goods - made for bakeries, grocery chains and other customers - will be a higher source of growth worldwide, Mr. de la Merced and Stephanie Strom reported.
Lehman Sells Property Firm in a Deal Worth $6.5 Billion The deal that helped sink Lehman Brothers will play an important role in paying off the failed investment bank's creditors, Mr. de la Merced reported.
MegaFon Shares Fall After I.P.O. "The new listing, which is the largest Russian I.P.O. since the aluminum maker Rusal raised $2.2 billion in 2010, comes at a difficult time for European financial markets," Andrew E. Kramer and Mark Scott reported.
Venture Capital
The venture capitalist Vinod Khosla at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco in September.
Despite Setbacks, Investor Is Bullish on Clean Tech His stakes, once worth as much as $1.3 billion, are now valued at roughly $378 million, but Vinod Khosla seems unwavering in his commitment to the clean energy industry, Randall Smith reported.
Steven A. Cohen, founder of SAC Capital Advisors. Several former SAC workers have been accused of breaking the law.
S.E.C. Weighs Suing SAC Capital Steven A. Cohen is defending his $14 billion hedge fund against an intensifying government investigation into insider trading, Peter Lattman reported.
SAC Capital to Try to Reassure Investors Only 40 percent of the money managed by the hedge fund comes from outside clients.
Former SAC Analyst Freed on Bail in Insider Case Mathew Martoma appeared in Federal District Court in Manhattan to face the charges against him.
DealBook Column: Knowledge Is Money, but the Peril Is Obvious Andrew Ross Sorkin says that so-called expert network firms link hedge fund investors with experts in various fields, but another insider trading case has brought scrutiny on a business model that some say is tailor-made to foster insider trading on Wall Street.
New Breed of SAC Capital Hire Is at Center of Insider Trading Case Former employees of Mr. Cohen said that the case against Mr. Martoma highlighted SAC's high-stress, pressure-packed culture.
As Official Drops Outs, Race Shifts for S.E.C. With Mary J. Miller, a senior Treasury Department official, withdrawing, Sallie L. Krawcheck, a longtime Wall Street executive, has emerged as a potential front-runner, Ben Protess and Susanne Craig reported.
Outgoing S.E.C. Leader Fortified Wall St. Watchdog Mary L. Schapiro "leaves behind a stronger S.E.C., an overhaul characterized by her attention to detail and meticulous preparation."
The Trade: Fledgling Monitor for Wall St. Risks an Early Compromise Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica says that the Office of Financial Research "is looking as if it will be a tool of the financial services industry, instead of a check on it."
Deal Professor: In Battle With Hedge Funds, a Small Victory for Argentina Steven M. Davidoff says that a stay of a federal judge's order on debt payment may provide an opportunity for Argentina's lawyers to raise questions that an appeals court may not have fully considered before.
Autonomy's Ex-Chief Calls on H.P. to Defend Claims
Autonomy's Ex-Chief Calls on H.P. to Defend Claims "In the fight between Hewlett-Packard and the founder of its Autonomy unit, the gloves are well and truly off," Mr. de la Merced reported.
News Analysis: A Tax Break Once Sacred Is Now Seen as Vulnerable "As President Obama and Congress try to hash out a deal to reduce the budget deficit, the mortgage interest deduction will likely be part of the discussion," Peter Eavis reported.
Cravath Sets the Tone for Law Firm Bonuses "Cravath kicked off bonus season by announcing year-end bonuses that were substantially higher than they had been the previous two years," Mr. Lattman reported.
Intrade Bars U.S. Bettors After Regulatory Action The Commodity Futures Trading Commission took aim at the Dublin company and an affiliate in a civil complaint filed in federal court in Washington, Mr. Protess reported.
UBS Fined $47.5 Million in Rogue Trading Scandal Britain's Financial Services Authority fined UBS £29.7 million for failing to prevent a $2.3 billion loss caused by a former trader, Mark Scott reported.

Berkshire Moves Into Spain With CaixaBank Reinsurance Deal Warren Buffett and his sizable insurance team are betting that at least one Spanish firm is in good financial shape, even as its home country remains on shakier economic ground.
Duke Energy's Latest C.E.O. Drama Duke Energy's chairman and chief executive, James E. Rogers, will retire at the end of 2013 as part of a wide-ranging settlement with regulators in North Carolina.
U.P.S. Offers Concessions to Secure TNT Express Takeover United Parcel Service has submitted concessions to European antitrust authorities as it seeks regulatory approval for its proposed $6.8 billion takeover of the Dutch shipping company TNT Express.
China Insurer Raises $3.1 Billion in I.P.O. The deal ranks as Hong Kong's biggest of the year, but more than half of the shares sold by the People's Insurance Company (Group) of China went to 18 so-called cornerstone investors, many of them state-owned companies.
Muddy Waters Offers to Pay for Olam Debt Rating The short-seller introduced an unusual twist in its battle against the Singapore commodity company: an offer to pay for the company to get its debt rated by Standard & Poor's.
Buzz Tracker
H.P.'s Blunder for the Record Books Until now, it seemed likely that a deal like AOL's acquisition of Time Warner would never be repeated, rivaled or surpassed, reports James B. Stewart, the Common Sense columnist for The New York Times.
DealBook Video
Week in Verse: 'I Don't Know, Krawcheck, It Sounded a Little Pitchy, Dawg.' DealBook commenters are tough judges. They've reacted to the candidates to lead the S.E.C. as if they were watching a bad audition on American Idol.

MarketWatch | Wall Street at Close Report -November 30, 2012-. Nasdaq tallies best November in 3 years

By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch 

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) U.S. stocks ended little changed Friday, with the Nasdaq Composite scoring its first positive November since 2009 as the political rhetoric over the budget continued. 

Week ahead: Cliff talks continue The fiscal cliff talks continue in Washington. Plus, November's unemployment rate is reported and the ECB meets. 

“I don’t think there is a politician out there that wants on their watch an adverse economic outcome. But they could wait for the 11th hour,” Nick Raich, director of Key Private Bank in Cleveland, said of the possible repercussions of not reaching an agreement to block billions in automatic spending cuts and tax increases early next year. 

“Our base case is there will be some sort of solution, but it may not occur by or on Dec. 31, so the market is not pricing completely going off the cliff, but more of a roll down the hill,” Raich added.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.03%  rose 3.76 points to 13,025.58, leaving it 0.1% higher for the week and off 0.5% from the month-ago close. Read: November’s 5 best and worst Dow stocks. 
Up 0.5% for the week and 0.3% for the month, the S&P 500 Index SPX +0.02%  finished with a fractional gain at 1,416.18, with the technology sector hardest hit and defensive industries the best performing. 

The Nasdaq Composite COMP -0.06%  fell less than 2 points to 3,010.24, up 1.5% for the week and 1.1% for the month. 

Advancers edged just ahead of decliners on the New York Stock Exchange, where nearly 1.2 billion shares traded. Composite volume neared 3.9 billion. 

The U.S. dollar DXY +0.03%  edged lower against other currencies, excluding the Japanese yen USDJPY -0.0169% , which fell to its lowest level against the greenback since the spring.
Treasury prices were mixed, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note 10_YEAR +0.19%  used in determining mortgage rates and other consumer loans at 1.62%. 

Friday’s economic reports had consumer spending unexpectedly falling and incomes flat in October as Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath prevented many from working and shopping in the Northeast.
“All the focus for December is going to be the cliff. Data is what happened in the past, but if we go off the cliff, what does it mean for the future? Stocks are worried about what is going to happen to 2013-14 earnings estimates,” according to Raich. 

President Barack Obama on Friday traveled to a Pennsylvania toy factory where he warned “prolonged negotiations” were likely ahead, and reiterated his call for lawmakers to extend Bush-era tax cuts for middle-income Americans. In Washington, House Speaker John Boehner held a news conference not long after Obama spoke, with the Ohio Republican declaring the budget talks at a “stalemate,” and criticizing the White House for not making a serious offer for a compromise. 

“Taxes are going higher and spending cuts are coming. [Federal Reserve Chairman] Ben Bernanke has given us almost 100% clarity on monetary policy, and the market appears to want to go higher if we get some clarity on the fiscal side,” said Raich. 

Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.

Business in Vancouver | BIV Today's Business News -November 30, 2012-.: First Nation files for judicial review of Jumbo ski resort

Hospitality and Tourism

First Nation files for judicial review of Jumbo ski resort

The Jumbo Glacier ski resort, which has faced two decades of legal and regulatory delays and roadblocks, is facing yet another ... READ MORE

Politics and Policy


Exclusive: Government admits booze price hikes were a risk of privatization

Was the doomed plan to privatize liquor warehousing and distribution too risky for ... READ MORE

Mining and Energy


B.C. plans international LNG conference in February

As opponents ramp up anti-LNG efforts, the B.C. government has announced it will host the first international conference on the ... READ MORE

More News...


Another Vancouver law firm goes global with merger

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Province concludes public service bargaining

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