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Jan 21, 2012

The Economist | Selected New Articles: Democracy in America / Shumpeter / Babbage .... and ...more

Democracy in America: So long, pardner
An obituary for Rick Perry's presidential campaign
read more »
Schumpeter: Supreme Vittorio
India decides not to reinvent the rules of mergers and acquisitions, to the benefit of Vodafoneread more »
Babbage: Difference engine
With demand outstripping supply, people will have to start drinking waste-water
read more »
Audio: Fernando Henrique Cardoso on Brazil
The former president talks about Brazil's challenges and its increasing global power
read more »
Babbage: A textbook manoeuvre
The tech firm unveils new software designed to disrupt educational publishing
read more »
Daily chart: The debtors' merry-go-round
An interactive overview of world debt
read more »

Online debate: The UK and the EU
This house believes the UK should stay in the EU
read more »

NYT: FGC BOLSA - FGC FINANCIAL MARKETS: Hungarian Leader Softens on Central Bank Merger

January 21, 2012


Viktor Orban promised Friday to abandon plans to merge the nation’s central bank and its financial markets regulator, seeking to defuse criticism from the European Union.


Olympus will not be kicked off the Tokyo Stock Exchange, but it must pay a fine for covering up massive losses with false accounting, exchange officials said.

NYT Global Update corresponding to January 20, 2012 | Top News: France Weighs Pullout After 4 of Its Soldiers Are Killed

Global Update


France Weighs Pullout After 4 of Its Soldiers Are Killed

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France suspended military operations in Afghanistan and said he was considering an early withdrawal.

Afghanistan's Soldiers Step Up Killings of Allied Forces

Ill will and mistrust run deep among civilians and militaries on both sides, raising questions about what future role the United States and its allies can expect to play in Afghanistan.

7 Charged as F.B.I. Closes a Top File-Sharing Site

Federal authorities said Megaupload was a global enterprise based on Internet piracy, and four people named in an indictment were denied bail in New Zealand on Friday.

Video: Ethnic War Rekindled in Myanmar

For years the Kachin Independence Army controlled Myanmar's northern hills, which they call their ethnic homeland. Now the Burmese Army has pushed into the region, displacing thousands.


Op-Ed Contributor

Lechery, Immodesty and the Talmud

Jewish law holds men responsible for controlling their licentious thoughts about women.

European Union Planning Tough Sanctions on Iran

The European Union moved closer to imposing a phased oil embargo on Iran and sanctions against dealing with Iran's central bank to press Tehran into talks on its nuclear program.

Hungarian Leader Softens on Central Bank Merger

Viktor Orban promised Friday to abandon plans to merge the nation's central bank and its financial markets regulator, seeking to defuse criticism from the European Union.

With Pollutants a Peril, Italian Rescuers Again Suspend Cruise Ship Operations

For the third time since the Costa Concordia cruise liner foundered off this Italian island a week ago, rescuers suspended operations Friday after the vessel shifted.

Founder of Shuttered File-Sharing Site Sought Limelight

The founder of Megaupload, which was shut down after a dramatic raid by the police in New Zealand on Friday, went by the name of Kim Dotcom and made no secret of his success.

Senate Delays Vote on Piracy Bill as House Balks, Too

Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, called off a scheduled vote on the Stop Online Piracy Act, and House leaders took steps to slow legislation as well.

Dodd Calls for Hollywood and Silicon Valley to Meet

Christopher Dodd, the president of the Motion Picture Association of America, suggested the White House convene a meeting to discuss antipiracy.

Public Outcry Over Antipiracy Bills Began as Grass-Roots Grumbling

It is no coincidence that the social sites with the loudest voices in opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act had the most to lose if it passed.

Floodwaters Are Gone, but Supply Chain Issues Linger

Before the floods, Thailand produced nearly of the world's hard disk drives, the ubiquitous storage devices of the digital age. It is now clear it will be months before production returns to normal.

Experience Counts in Australian Open This Year

The first weekend of this Grand Slam tournament will offer up a clash of the generations in the men's draw.

Last Chance for Drogba at African Cup

Didier Drogba has long promised to lead the Ivorian "Elephants" to the African title. He and his team get that opportunity against Sudan on Sunday.

With a Deft Touch, Egyptians Put Their Mark on Squash

Seven of the top 20 men's squash players in the world are from Egypt, and its national squad has won two consecutive World Team Championships.

Justices' Texas Redistricting Ruling Likely to Help G.O.P.

The Supreme Court blocked election maps proposed by a lower court, and said the court had not paid enough deference to a plan drawn up by Texas' Republican-controlled Legislature.

New Definition of Autism Will Exclude Many, Study Suggests

Changes to the way autism is diagnosed may make it harder for many people who would no longer meet the criteria to get health, educational and social services, researchers say.

Obama Reaffirms Insurers Must Cover Contraception

In ruling that health insurance plans must cover contraceptives for women without charge, the administration also rejected a broad exemption for employees of Roman Catholic hospitals, colleges and charities.
Op-Ed Contributor

Let's Not Rush to Win in Russia

Russia's newly assertive middle class should consolidate its gains before pushing on.
Patrick Chappatte

Shipwrecked Cruise Liner in Italy

The Costa Concordia ran aground off the island of Giglio on Jan. 13. The ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, accused of abandoning the vessel, has been pilloried in the Italian press.
Op-Ed Contributor

Getting Back the Bad Guy's Loot

Ousted dictators should not be allowed to get away with all their ill-gotten gains.

CBS News Political Hotsheet Top Stories Corresponding to Friday 20, 2012: Poll: Gingrich quickly gaining ground on Romney

The CBS News Political Hotsheet newsletter


A new Gallup poll shows Gingrich gaining Romney among likely Republican voters
Read full story
Poll: Gingrich quickly gaining ground on Romney

Singing a different tune on the campaign trail Obama and Romney showed off their singing skills this week - which is your favorite?

Former Rep. Livingston: The former Republican House member was acting as a surrogate for Gingrich at a campaign event, but he let slip a less-than-glowing critique

HHS: Birth control coverage required of most employers The Obama administration rules that nonprofit religious groups must offer employees birth control coverage but gives them extra time to comply

Are Gingrich's abortion attacks on Romney fair? Newt Gingrich's suggestion that Mitt Romney "signed government-mandated health care with taxpayer funded abortions" is misleading

Stocks to Watch Monday | Stocks and Markets in the News

By William Spain, MarketWatch 

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) – Among the stocks that could see active trade in Monday’s session are Halliburton, Texas Instruments and Sears Holdings.
Halliburton HAL -0.06%  is slated to report its fourth quarter financials before the opening bell. The oil field services firm is expected to earn $1 a share on revenue of $6.82 billion according to the average estimate of analysts polled by FactSet Research.
Also due up is Texas Instruments TXN -0.03%  which should post a profit of 26 cents a share with revenue of $3.26 billion if Wall Street’s best guess is on the mark.
Sears Holdings SHLD +1.22%  has gained about 50% over the last week. Largely on speculation that majority shareholder Eddie Lampert is getting ready to try and take the company private. On Friday alone, it gained about 13%. 

William Spain is a MarketWatch staff writer in Chicago.

NYT Afternoon Business News Corresponding to January 20,2012: Founder of Shuttered File-Sharing Site Sought Limelight


Founder of Shuttered File-Sharing Site Sought Limelight


The founder of Megaupload, which was shut down after a dramatic raid by the police in New Zealand on Friday, went by the name of Kim Dotcom and made no secret of his success.

G.E. Says Operating Profit in Quarter Rose 6%


The financial performance is in line with Wall Street's expectations and reflected G.E.'s strategy of paring back its reliance on its big finance arm and relying more on its industrial businesses.


Deadline Approaches for European Banks' Recapitalizations


European banks must submit their recapitalization plans to their national authorities by Friday as the banks seek to increase their capital reserves by a combined 115 billion euros, or $147 billion.

Markets on Uncertain Footing


Traders were assessing disappointing earnings from Google and G.E., as well as improving prospects for a debt deal in Greece.

Floodwaters Are Gone, but Supply Chain Issues Linger


Before the floods, Thailand produced nearly of the world's hard disk drives, the ubiquitous storage devices of the digital age. It is now clear it will be months before production returns to normal.

Reuters - Daily Investor Update For Jan. 20, 2011: Wall Street ends stellar week on a mixed note


Wall Street ends stellar week on a mixed note
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Dow industrials and the S&P 500 posted their best week in four even with a mixed finish on Friday after strong earnings from tech bellwethers IBM and Intel contrasted with Google's disappointing quarterly report. | Full Article

Home sales hit 11-month high
January 20, 2012 01:29 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Home sales hit an 11-month high in December and the number of properties on the market was the fewest in nearly seven years, pointing to a nascent recovery in the housing sector. | Full Article
Greece, creditors close in on debt cut deal
January 20, 2012 04:28 PM ET
ATHENS/LONDON (Reuters) - Greece was closing in on an initial deal with private bond holders on Friday that would prevent it from tumbling into a chaotic default but lose investors up to 70 percent of the loans they have given to Athens. | Full Article
GE revenue lower than expected
January 20, 2012 01:30 PM ET
(Reuters) - General Electric Co's fourth-quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street expectations, with Europe's weakening economy and weak sales of appliances the main culprits. | Full Article
Courts push back on bribery prosecutions
January 20, 2012 03:54 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As the Justice Department has stepped up its enforcement of an anti-foreign bribery law, it has faced the expected stiff resistance from the business community. | Full Article
Hours before key primary, Romney lowers expectations
January 20, 2012 02:19 PM ET
GILBERT, South Carolina (Reuters) - With the crucial Republican presidential primary in South Carolina just hours away, front-runner Mitt Romney on Friday lowered expectations for how well he will do and acknowledged he is in a neck-and-neck race with Newt Gingrich. | Full Article
Supreme Court throws out Texas election maps
January 20, 2012 02:53 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court handed Texas Republicans a partial victory in a partisan fight over election redistricting that has erupted after a huge increase in the state's Hispanic population. | Full Article
Megaupload site wants assets back, to fight charges
January 20, 2012 02:40 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Internet website, shut down by authorities over allegations that it illegally peddled copyrighted material, is trying to recover its servers and get back online, a lawyer for the company said on Friday. | Full Article
Major powers signal openness to Iran talks
January 20, 2012 12:55 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Major powers seeking to negotiate an end to Iran's suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons on Friday signaled their openness to renewed talks with Tehran but diplomats said the powers remain divided on their approach. | Full Article
Violence keeps Syria on edge, Arab mission may extend
January 20, 2012 04:28 PM ET
AMMAN (Reuters) - At least six people were killed in Syria on Friday and the bodies of six others were turned over to their families, activists said, two days before the Arab League decides whether to keep monitors there despite their failure to halt bloodshed. | Full Article

Asia's Week Ahead: Holidays, Reserve-Bank Moves

Asia's Week Ahead: Holidays, Reserve-Bank Moves Jan. 20, 2012 Stock-market action in Asia will be affected by various holidays, which means the spotlight is on central banks in the region, including the Reserve Bank of India, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of Thailand. Australia also will issue inflation numbers. Rex Crum reports. (Photo: Getty Images)

MarketWatch Top 10 stories Jan17 - 20


Weekly Roundup
JANUARY 20, 2012

MarketWatch top 10 stories Jan 17 - 20

By MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks closed higher for the week on Friday as the earnings season hit its stride and improved sentiment about a Greek debt agreement buoyed investor spirits.

The Nasdaq Composite (COMP)  closed the week up 2.8%, the best performance of the three major U.S. indexes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ended the week up 2.4% and the S&P 500 Index added 2%.

Also please watch our Week Ahead videos.

 U.S. Week Ahead: Apple, Yahoo and the Fed

Greg Morcroft, assistant managing editor

France and the death of the sovereign debt market

So where was the carnage? Late last Friday night, the ratings agency Standard & Poor's delivered its downgrade of French debt, stripping one of the world's biggest economies of its AAA rating. What the French downgrade really signaled was the slow death of the sovereign bond market — and each chapter in that saga is a bit less surprising. Japan's AAA rating is gone. So is the U.S.'s. Italy's went a long time ago, and now France's. The U.K. can't be far behind. Neither can Germany. Read Matthew Lynn's London Eye column, on MarketWatch

3 cheap stocks to snap up under $10

Sometimes you get what you pay for. Like a premium pair of shoes, high-priced Apple (AAPL) stock has made plenty of investors light on their feet for the last several years. On the flip side, bargain hunters in Bank of America (BAC)  have been burned. But not all cheap stocks are ugly investments that will whipsaw you around with volatility. Some low-price shares are indeed screaming bargains worth your cash. Here are three low-priced stocks to consider. Read about the trio of stocks to consider now, on MarketWatch

Kodak files for bankuptcy

Iconic U.S. photo-equipment maker Eastman Kodak Co.(EKDKQ)  said early Thursday that the company and its U.S. subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The firm said the move "is intended to bolster liquidity in the U.S. and abroad, monetize non-strategic intellectual property, fairly resolve legacy liabilities, and enable the company to focus on its most valuable business lines." Read MarketWatch coverage of Kodak bankruptcy

Romney was a businessman, not a job creator

he Republican Party is on the verge of nominating a candidate who represents its wildest dream, or perhaps its worst nightmare.After years of telling us that businesspeople are "job creators," it looks like the Republicans are going to nominate a successful businessman, Mitt Romney, as their presidential candidate. Now that wealthy business owners have been elevated into the American pantheon, joining flag, Mom and apple pie, the Republican job-creation rhetoric could be put to the test. How? Because Mitt Romney's notable successes at Bain Capital show that businesses don't create jobs. That is to say, businesses aren't in the business of creating jobs. Read Rex Nutting commentary, on MarketWatch

CEO of the Year: Cloud, Fire lifted Amazon's Bezos

For his imagination, his long-term focus and his sheer optimism in the face of the most uncertain of economic times, Amazon's (AMZN) Jeff Bezos has been named MarketWatch CEO of the Year. His moves in 2011 gave millions of customers new and faster ways to consume books, music and more from Bezos and from all manner of other vendors in his galaxy. They gave thousands of workers new jobs. And they significantly added value to long-term investors, even as they gave nearsighted investors plenty of new jitters. Read MarketWatch's CEO of the year story on Jeff Bezos

For Citi investors, the waiting continues

Citigroup (C) investors can be forgiven for seeing the glass as half-empty. For as much as the full-year results show progress, the fourth quarter was a reality check that showed the bank is still unable to meet even the most restrained Wall Street analysts' expectations. Chief Executive Vikram Pandit argued that the fourth quarter results — analysts had expected earnings of 50 cents a share, compared to the reported 38 cents — were driven by the bank's reduction of assets at CitiHoldings. That unit is the so-called "bad bank" set up to dispose of risky and devalued securities and loans that the bank held at the time of the financial crisis. Read MarketWatch coverage of Citigroup earnings

China growth cools, easing seen as likely

China's economy expanded in the fourth quarter at the slowest pace since the middle of 2009, setting the stage for what could be a further easing in monetary policy and selective loosening on home purchase restrictions in some cities, according to analysts.Gross domestic product between October and December rose 8.9% from the year-ago quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics reported Tuesday, with the result beating expectations of 8.6% growth tipped in a Dow Jones Newswires poll of economists. Read about cooling Chinese GDP growth, on MarketWatch

Where to put your money if the bond bull stumbles

Bond buyers enjoyed another banner year in 2011, with total returns in all classes outperforming the broad U.S. stock market, and investors continuing to pile into bonds and shun stocks. The celebrity status for bonds troubles some investors and investment strategists. They sense that this great bond bull market will slow in 2012. Not that sticking with bonds at this juncture is a recipe for disaster, but with more of their nest-egg tied to fixed-income securities, investors need to ask some hard questions. Read MarketWatch's Weekend Investor column

Investors, prepare for tax headache on cost basis

Investors who buy and sell stocks have a new tax form and new reporting rules to contend with this year when they do their tax returns — and some tax pros say the new rules could cause confusion. Thanks to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, starting in tax year 2011, if you sell a stock, your broker must report to the IRS the amount you paid for that stock — that is, your cost basis. (You subtract that cost basis from the stock's price at the time you sell to calculate your gain or loss.) Read about new tax rules for stock sales, on MarketWatch

No SOPA for you

Under pressure from lawmakers and Internet companies, Senate and House lawmakers postponed a vote on Internet anti-piracy legislation known as Protect IP Act, or PIPA in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had planned to bring it up for a procedural test vote Tuesday, but said Friday he plans to take more time to adjust the bill and he plans to work on a compromise legislation. Also, Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, said Friday according to reports that he would postpone efforts to bring his bill, SOPA, up for a vote. Read latest development on SOPA legislation

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