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May 14, 2012

CFTC | Enforcement Actions: CFTC Orders ACI Capital Group, L.L.C. and Alexandre P. Guimaraes to Pay Approximately $850,000 in Restitution and Penalty to Settle Forex Fraud Charges

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RELEASE: pr6257-12

May 14, 2012

CFTC Orders ACI Capital Group, L.L.C. and Alexandre P. Guimaraes to Pay Approximately $850,000 in Restitution and Penalty to Settle Forex Fraud Charges

Washington, DC — The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today filed and simultaneously settled charges against Alexandre P. Guimaraes and his company, ACI Capital Group, L.L.C. (ACI), both of Irvine, Calif., for fraudulently soliciting customers to trade off-exchange foreign currency contracts (forex), issuing hundreds of false monthly account statements to customers to conceal trading losses, and misappropriating a portion of customer funds. Guimaraes also was charged with acting as an unregistered commodity trading advisor (CTA).
The CFTC order requires Guimaraes and ACI jointly and severally to pay $428,046.31 in restitution and a $420,000 civil monetary penalty. The order also imposes permanent trading and registration bans against the respondents.
The order finds that, from about February 2010 to approximately February 2011, Guimaraes and ACI fraudulently solicited more than $465,000 from approximately 29 individuals throughout California and Hawaii to trade forex by falsely representing Guimaraes’ experience trading forex and his purportedly consistently profitable returns.
However, beginning in April 2010 and continuing until February 2011, the respondents sustained substantial trading losses for ACI customers and failed to disclose the losses to those customers, according to the order. The respondents concealed the losses by issuing hundreds of false monthly account statements to ACI customers, showing that each customer was earning a profit every month, the order finds. In addition, Guimaraes misappropriated more than $44,000 of ACI customer funds, using the funds to pay for personal expenses, the order finds. Finally, the order finds that Guimaraes, on behalf of ACI, acted as a CTA for retail forex without registering with the Commission and that ACI is liable for his conduct.
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff responsible for this action are Amanda L. Harding, David S. Slovick, Michael Loconte, Erica Bodin, Kathleen M. Banar, Rick Glaser, and Richard Wagner.
Media Contacts
Dennis Holden
202-418-5088


Last Updated: May 14, 2012

Smartcompany News and Analysis: Transport group administrator investigates founder, SME food groups fight back, Flight Centre faces bullying case, Exporters cheer dollar’s drop

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It’s the great squeeze. On the one hand, Australia’s food producers are battling sluggish retail sales, rising costs and a strong Australian dollar. On the other, the grocery giants keep demanding lower prices and pushing private label brands. Today on SmartCompany, we investigate the challenges food producers are facing and look at how they are fighting back.

Elsewhere we look at the on-going saga of the collapse of 1st Fleet, report on an unusual bullying case facing Flight Centre, and super fund expert Michael Laurence extracts the key lessons from wealthy self-managed super funds.

Agribusiness
Australia's supermarkets accused of putting the squeeze on food producers
The market power of Coles and Woolworths and their effect on producers and suppliers will go under the microscope today as part of the Senate's inquiry into the perilous state of Australia's food processors. BY CARA WATERS.
Features

Superannuation
Six lessons from Australia’s richest self-managed super funds
Self-managed super funds have come under scrutiny after last week’s budget when the federal government introduced new tax rules governing fund contributions. BY MICHAEL LAURENCE.
Features

Aunty B
We are downsizing: How do I make sure it doesn't happen again?
So your business grew too fast for the plans you had in place? Here are a few tips to remember on your next rise to the top.
Aunty B

People problems
Eve Ash
Teams are no longer bound by the four walls of an office, which can make managing them even more of a challenge.
Ask the Experts

Brand
Michel Hogan
In the past four years, Billabong has gone from Australia's hardest working brand to headlines of another nature for a whole different set of reasons.
Smart Blogs

Gen-Y Millionaire
Kirsty Dunphey
Just like the kookaburra, in your professional life you have to keep focused on your ultimate aim.
Smart Blogs

Entrepreneur Watch
James Thomson
Coles and Woolies dominate the food market. But is there real evidence that their market power hurts suppliers?
Entrepreneur Watch

Dealbook News Alert: Coty Withdraws $10.7 Billion Offer for Avon

Dealbook News Alert
The New York Times
Monday, May 14, 2012
-----

Coty Withdraws $10.7 Billion Offer for Avon

Coty said on Monday evening that it was abandoning its pursuit of Avon Products, citing Avon’s “unwillingness to engage in discussions.”

On Thursday, Coty, which had been making overtures to the rival beauty products company since last year, raised its unsolicited offer to $10.7 billion. But Coty also set a deadline of Monday for Avon to enter into negotiations.

In a letter on Monday to Avon’s board, Bart Becht, the chairman of Coty, wrote: “Your total lack of engagement with us leads us to believe that you remain reluctant to explore a friendly, negotiated combination on a reasonable timetable. Two months is enough.”

“It is time for Coty Inc. to move on and pursue other opportunities,” he added.

Read More:
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/05/14/coty-withdraws-10-7-billion-offer-for-avon/?emc=da

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH: Ron Paul: Get government out of the money business

Ron Paul: Get government out of the money business

Submitted by cpowell on 12:39PM ET Monday, May 14, 2012. Section: Daily Dispatches By U.S. Rep. Ron Paul
Monday, May 14, 2012
http://paul.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1973:...
Last week I held a hearing to examine the various proposals that have been put forth both to mend and to end the Fed. The purpose was to spur a vigorous and long-lasting discussion about the Fed's problems, hopefully leading to concrete actions to rein in the Fed.
First, it is important to understand the Federal Reserve System. Some people claim it is a secret cabal of elite bankers, while others claim it is part of the federal government. In reality it is a bit of both. The Federal Reserve System is the collusion of big government and big business to profit at the expense of taxpayers. The Fed's bailout of large banks during the financial crisis propped up poorly-run corporations that should have gone under, giving them a market-distorting advantage that no business in the United States should receive.
The recent news about JP Morgan is a case in point. JP Morgan, a recipient of $25 billion in bailout money, recently announced it lost another $2 billion. If a corporation shows itself to be a bottomless money pit of "errors, sloppiness and bad judgment," the Fed shouldn't have expected $25 billion in free money to change that or teach anyone a lesson in fiscal discipline. But it determined that this form of deliberate capital destruction was preferable to one business suffering bankruptcy. Clearly, some changes need to be made.
Several reforms for the Fed were discussed at the hearing. One was a call for the full employment mandate to be repealed, in order to allow the Fed to focus solely on stable prices.

 Another reform calls for changes to the composition of the Federal Open Market Committee. Still another proposal was for outright nationalization of the Fed or of its functions. But if what the Fed does now is bad and inflationary, allowing the Treasury to print and issue money at-will would be even worse, and could possibly lead to a Weimar-like hyperinflation.
The problems and advantages of the gold standard were discussed at the hearing. The era of the classical gold standard was undoubtedly one of the greatest eras in human history. For a period of several decades in the late 19th century, the West made enormous advances. However, the gold standard was still run by government. The temptation to suspend gold redemption reared its head again with the outbreak of World War I. Once the tie to gold was severed and fiscal restraint thrown to the wind, undoing the damage would have required great fiscal austerity. Instead, the Western world proceeded to set up a gold-exchange standard which lasted not even a decade before easy money led to the Great Depression.
While returning to the gold standard would certainly be far better than maintaining the current fiat paper system, as long as the government retains the power to go off gold we may end up repeating the same mistakes.
The only viable solution is to get government out of the money business permanently. The way to bring this about is through currency competition: Allow parallel currencies to circulate without receiving any special recognition or favor from the government. Fiat paper monetary standards throughout history have always collapsed due to their inflationary nature, and our current fiat paper standard will be no different.
It is imperative that the American people be educated on the dangers of the Fed and the importance of restoring sound money. The laying of the groundwork must begin today, so that the American people will be prepared for the day when the mirage the Fed has created evaporates completely. The full hearing footage is available on my website and I would encourage every American to take a look.

* * *

Join GATA here:
Las Vegas Money Show
Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas
Monday-Thursday, May 14-17, 2012
http://www.moneyshow.com/tradeshow/las_vegas/moneyshow/
Committee for Monetary Research and Education
Spring Dinner Meeting
"Money and the Corporate State"
Union League Club, New York, N.Y.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
http://www.cmre.org/

FROM RT NEWS: Mitt Romney threatened by Ron Paul's delegates?

Standard & Poor's Latin America Highlights: S&P revisa su evaluación de BICRA y Riesgo de la Industria de Uruguay

Standard & Poor's LatinAmerica Highlights


Multimedia

Video
Los planes de expansión de infraestructura de México podría despertar el interés de los inversionistas

English Version


¿Cómo afectaron las bajas de calificación de los bancos españoles Santander y Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria a sus subsidiarias en América

English Version


Contexto actual de Calificaciones Soberanas en América Latina

Portuguese Version


¿Cuál será el impacto de las elecciones de México en sus mercados de financiamiento estructurado?

English Version


¿Que curso seguirá la Industria de la Vivienda en México frente a las próximas elecciones?

English Version



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Latin America Product and Services

Top Stories

S&P revisa su evaluación de BICRA y Riesgo de la Industria de Uruguay al grupo '7' desde el grupo '8', y Riesgo Económico, a '6' desde '7'

Buenos Aires, 9 de mayo de 2012.- Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revisó su Análisis de Riesgos de la Industria Bancaria por País (BICRA, por sus siglas en inglés) de la República Oriental de Uruguay al grupo '7' de '8'.

English Version

How Do The Recent Downgrades Of Spain's Banco Santander And Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Affect Their Latin American Subsidiaries?

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services doesn't believe the downgrades of European banks affect the ratings on their Latin American subsidiaries

Standard & Poor’s describe su enfoque para reconocimiento de las calificaciones en Argentina, Brasil, Canadá, México y Singapur

LONDRES (Standard & Poor’s), 1 de mayo de 2012-- Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services dio a conocer hoy su enfoque para el reconocimiento de las calificaciones crediticias en escala global emitidas en Argentina, Brasil, Canadá, México y Singapur, para fines regulatorios de la Unión Europea.

English Version

Compañías de productos de consumo de América Latina buscan crecimiento, pero sus ingresos se están desacelerando en cierto grado

La fuerte demanda en las economías locales de América Latina probablemente seguirá promoviendo el crecimiento de los ingresos para los productores de bienes de consumo en todo 2012, según el análisis de Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

English Version

Rating News

Brazil

Rating ‘brAA+’ atribuído à futura emissão de debêntures da Andrade Gutierrez Participações; Rating da atual emissão elevado e o de emissor reafirmado

Projetamos que o desempenho da Construtora Andrade Gutierrez (ConsAG), garantidora da emissão da Andrade Gutierrez Participações S.A. (AGPar), permanecerá forte, o que se soma a um fluxo razoavelmente estável de dividendos de seu negócio de concessões.

Rating ‘brAA+’ atribuído à futura emissão de debêntures de até R$ 300 milhões da MRS Logística S.A.

São Paulo (Standard & Poor’s) 8 de maio de 2012 – A Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services atribuiu hoje em sua Escala Nacional Brasil o rating ‘brAA+’ à futura de emissão de debêntures da empresa brasileira do setor ferroviário MRS Logística S.A. (“MRS”)...

Ratings da BR Malls elevados para ‘BB’ na escala global e para ‘brAA’ na Escala Nacional Brasil pelo fortalecimento do perfil de negócios

rojetamos que os estáveis fluxos de caixa da operadora brasileira de shopping centers, BR Malls Participações, mitiguem seus custos de aquisição e de construção.

Chile

Banco de Chile's $1 Billion Commercial Paper Program Rated 'A-1'

MEXICO CITY (Standard & Poor's) May 2, 2012--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today it assigned its 'A-1' short-term issue rating to Banco de Chile's (A/Stable/A-1) $1 billion commercial paper (CP) program to be issued in the U.S. "The rating ...

Standard & Poor’s confirma clasificaciones de Banco Santander-Chile de ‘A’ y ‘A-1’ tras baja de clasificación de su matriz; la tendencia es estable

México, D.F., 2 de mayo de 2012.- Standard & Poor's Ratings Services confirmó sus clasificaciones de emisor de corto plazo de ‘A’ y de largo plazo de ‘A-1’ y su clasificaciones de deuda senior no garantizadas de ‘A’ de Banco Santander-Chile S.A. (BSCh).

English Version

Standard & Poor's coloca clasificación de largo plazo de Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Chile y Filiales en Revisión Especial (CreditWatch) con implicancias negativas

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services colocó su clasificación de riesgo crediticio de emisor de largo plazo de ‘A-’ del Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Chile y Filiales (BBVA Chile) en Revisión Especial.

Standard & Poor's afirmó en 'BBB+' las clasificaciones de Empresa Nacional de Electricidad S.A. (Endesa Chile); la tendencia es estable

Buenos Aires, 3 de mayo de 2012.- Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services afirmó sus clasificaciones ‘BBB+’ de Empresa Nacional de Electricidad S.A. (Endesa Chile).

English Version

Standard & Poor's afirmó las clasificaciones de 'BBB+' de Enersis S.A. y de su deuda senior no garantizada; la tendencia es estable

Buenos Aires, 3 de mayo de 2012.- Standard & Poor's Ratings Services afirmó sus clasificaciones de 'BBB+' de la compañía eléctrica chilena Enersis S.A.

English Version

S&P colocó las clasificaciones de Sociedad de Inversiones Pampa Calichera S.A. en Revisión Especial (CreditWatch) con implicancias negativas tras solicitud de reexpresión financiera

Buenos Aires, 3 de mayo de 2012.- Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services colocó su clasificación de riesgo crediticio en la escala global de ‘BB-’ de Sociedad de Inversiones Pampa Calichera S.A.

English Version

Colombia

Standard & Poor's confirma calificaciones de 'BBB-' de Bancoldex; la perspectiva es estable

México, D.F, 3 de mayo de 2012.- Standard & Poor's Ratings Services confirmó su calificación crediticia de emisor (ICR, por sus siglas en inglés) de ‘BBB-’ de Banco de Comercio Exterior de Colombia S.A. (Bancoldex).

Análisis Detallado: Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional S.A.

Standard & Poor’s basa sus calificaciones de Financiera en su estatus como ERG. De acuerdo con nuestros criterios aplicables a ERGs, Financiera tiene un rol ‘importante’ y un vínculo ‘muy fuerte’ con el gobierno colombiano.

Standard & Poor's confirma calificación de 'BBB-' de Interconexión Eléctrica ante un desempeño operativo satisfactorio; la perspectiva es estable

México, D.F., 27 de abril de 2012.- Standard & Poor's Ratings Services confirmó su calificación de riesgo crediticio de 'BBB-' de Interconexión Eléctrica S.A. (ISA).

Dominican Republic

Summary: Dominican Republic

The ratings on the Dominican Republic reflect the country's weak institutions and the politicization and opaqueness of decision-making, which lessen the predictability and effectiveness of the government's policies.

Mexico

Boletín: Calificaciones de América Móvil sin impacto por incremento planeado en su participación accionaria en Koninklijke

Consideramos que esta transacción está en línea con la estrategia continua de AMX de continuar diversificándose geográficamente y continuar penetrando el mercado de las telecomunicaciones.

S&P confirma calificación de 'mxAAA' del programa de certificados bursátiles de Iberdrola Finanzas, S.A.U. tras la baja en la calificación de Iberdrola S.A.

Standard & Poor's confirmó hoy su calificación de largo plazo en escala nacional –CaVal– de ‘mxAAA’ de la emisión de los certificados bursátiles por $1,500 millones de MXN con vencimiento en 2018, emitida por Iberdrola Finanzas.

Suriname

Summary: Republic of Suriname

The ratings on the Republic of Suriname reflect its improving macroeconomic fundamentals, robust medium-term growth prospects, low debt (net general government debt was less than 20% of GDP at the end of 2011), and solid external indicators based on ...

NYT Global Update: China's Obsession With Stability Can Come at the Cost of Laws


Global Update


TOP NEWS

China's Obsession With Stability Can Come at the Cost of Laws

By MICHAEL WINES
The Communist government's system for dealing with dissidents and other troublemakers is geared toward allowing local leaders to ignore the law, with Beijing's sometimes silent assent.

Leaders in Greece Remain Resistant to Unity Coalition

By RACHEL DONADIO and NIKI KITSANTONIS
President Karolos Papoulias prepared to make a last-ditch appeal on Monday for Greece's sharply divided political parties to form a unity government as new elections loomed.

Palestinian Prisoners End Hunger Strike With Deal

By ISABEL KERSHNER
Hundreds of prisoners ended their campaign on Monday after an agreement was signed with the Israeli authorities that promises improved conditions in Israeli jails.
Multimedia

Video: TimesCast

An illict drug trade thrives along Myanmar's borders, Greece's president makes last-ditch efforts to form a unity government, and more.
Opinion

Latitude

Too Many Sacred Cows

By HARTOSH SINGH BAL
By repeatedly giving in to the demands of identity politics, India is turning tolerance into a tyranny of its own.
WORLD

For Many in Greece, Austerity Is a False Choice

By LANDON THOMAS Jr. and ELENI VARVITSIOTI
A growing number in Greece argue that they can keep the euro and reject harsh budget measures.

Tens of Thousands Protest Austerity in 80 Spanish Cities

By RAPHAEL MINDER
Protesters were also commemorating the anniversary on Tuesday of a movement that inspired other groups on Wall Street and across the Western world.

In Rebuke to Merkel's Party, Social Democrats Win German Vote

By NICHOLAS KULISH
The election in Germany's most populous state is likely to embolden opposition to Chancellor Angela Merkel as the European debt crisis enters a critical new phase.
BUSINESS

Greek Crisis Hurts Markets

By DAVID JOLLY
The dollar rose and stocks fell as politicians fumbled for a way forward in a crisis that has put Greece's continued euro membership into serious doubt.
DealBook

Banks Tread a Fine Line in Trading

By PETER EAVIS
Widespread trading practices are creating a headache for regulators who are trying to devise rules to prevent another financial crisis.

Dimon Says JPMorgan Made an 'Egregious Mistake'

By JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG
Jamie Dimon, chief of JPMorgan Chase, said in an interview that he was "dead wrong" when he dismissed concerns about the bank's trading a month before it disclosed a $2 billion loss.
TECHNOLOGY
DealBook

Yahoo's Chief to Leave as Company Strikes a Deal With Hedge Fund

By MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED and EVELYN M. RUSLI
Yahoo's embattled chief executive, Scott Thompson, will leave his post after a controversy over his embellished academic credentials. Yahoo also reached an agreement with Third Point's Daniel S. Loeb to end the hedge fund manager's proxy fight.

Facebook's Purchases May Hint at Its Future

By JENNA WORTHAM
Because Facebook tends to be tight-lipped about its plans, the company's string of acquisitions may reveal a lot about the course it is charting.

The Education of Mark Zuckerberg

By EVELYN M. RUSLI, NICOLE PERLROTH and NICK BILTON
Facebook's founder and 28-year-old C.E.O. will soon face the unfamiliar landscape of running a public company, monitored by a merciless stock market.
SPORTS

The Play in Madrid, and Not Just the Clay, Merits Attention

By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY
While nearly all the talk in the past week was about the new blue clay, Serena Williams and Roger Federer made their own statements by winning in Spain.

Seasons Are Ending, but the Drama Isn't

By ROB HUGHES
Two big-name Italian clubs are waving goodbye to iconic players, while English and Spanish fans will have to get used to seeing Blackburn and Villarreal playing in their second divisions.

Maldonado Wins His First Grand Prix

By BRAD SPURGEON
The Venezuelan beat Fernando Alonso of Spain across the finish line by 3.1 seconds in Barcelona to provide his Williams team its first victory since the Brazilian Grand Prix in October 2004
U.S. NEWS

Idahoan's Unlikely Journey to Life as a Taliban Prisoner

By ELISABETH BUMILLER
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured in 2009 and is America's only known current prisoner of war, saw enlisting in the Army as a way to find a direction, relatives say.

Brown Proposes $8.3 Billion in Cuts for California

By ADAM NAGOURNEY
The governor proposed slashing state workers' pay and spending on social programs and prisons, calling the moves "difficult - but necessary."

Florida A&M Band Suspension Remains in Place

By LIZETTE ALVAREZ
The Marching 100 will remain off the field until the university can put in place strong antihazing measures, the university's president said.
OPINION
Opinionator | Anxiety

Meltdown in Motherland

By ELIZABETH ISADORA GOLD
After the birth of her daughter, a subway ride or a walk in the sunshine became too much to bear.
Op-Ed Columnist

Why We Regulate

By PAUL KRUGMAN
Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase couldn't make the reason clearer.
Op-Ed Columnist

Diplomats and Dissidents

By BILL KELLER
When it comes to human rights, the idealists are sometimes the real realists.

Reuters Technology Report: Yahoo investors applaud change, fear limboYahoo investors applaud change, fear limbo

Reuters Election 2012 Daily round-up of the day's top news from the campaign trail, the White House and all the politics in between

Yahoo investors applaud change, fear limbo
(Reuters) - Yahoo Inc's new interim chief executive is a signal to Wall Street that the company is returning to a media-centric strategy, even as the its weekend deal with activist hedge fund Third Point raises new questions about its future.
Falcone's LightSquared files for bankruptcy
(Reuters) - Hedge fund manager Philip Falcone's dream of bringing another wireless network to the United States appeared to collapse on Monday when LightSquared Inc, the ailing telecommunications company he bankrolled, filed for bankruptcy protection.
Amazon aims to launch front-lit Kindle in July: source
(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will launch new versions of its Kindle e-reader and tablet, including a monochrome e-reader with front lighting, a source who has seen the prototype told Reuters.
U.S. court revives Apple claim on Samsung tablets
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court ruled on Monday that Apple Inc could press its bid for an immediate injunction to block the sale of some tablet computers made by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd based on allegations of infringement of one patent.
Sony, Panasonic plan OEL TV tie-up: Nikkei
(Reuters) - Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp are in talks to jointly produce large OEL (organic electroluminescence) televisions, the Nikkei business daily said.
Facebook to close IPO books Tuesday
(Reuters) - Facebook Inc will close the books on its mammoth $10.6 billion initial public offering Tuesday, according to a source familiar with the deal.
Nvidia picks up wireless patents in mobile push
(Reuters) - Graphics chipmaker Nvidia Corp is buying about 500 wireless communications patents from privately held IPWireless, as it locks horns with Qualcomm Inc in the lucrative market for smartphone and tablet chips.
Fewer women in top U.S. tech jobs since 2010: survey
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of women in senior technology positions at U.S. companies is down for the second year in a row, according to a survey published on Monday.
New wedding web app connects guests before the big day
TORONTO (Reuters) - Planning a wedding? A new web app lets the bride and groom-to-be create a social website that connects guests with each other before the big day.
Facebook IPO has halo effect for venture capitalists
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - For the handful of venture capitalists who backed Facebook in its early days, a huge financial payoff is not the only thing they may be celebrating when the company goes public later this week.