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Aug 21, 2012

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH: From free enterprise to Bailout Nation via bigger government and Robert Rubin

From free enterprise to Bailout Nation via bigger government and Robert Rubin

A Review Of:
A Capitalism for the People:
Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity
By Luigi Zingales
Basic Books, New York
336 pages

By Nick Schulz
National Review
August 27, 2012
via American Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C.

"I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism."

When President Obama spoke these words, on April 4, 2009, he waded into a long-raging debate on American exceptionalism. And he set off a torrent of speculation about whether he believed the United States, thanks to its history, institutions, and character, stood apart from (and above) other nations, or whether he was really saying that, since all nations are in some sense unique, no nation is truly unique, including America.

Luigi Zingales certainly thinks America is exceptional, or at least that it used to be; and in his new book, he argues that we must recapture some elements of what made America exceptional if we want the nation's future to be as prosperous as its past.

Zingales is an economist at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and writes frequently for popular business and political publications such as City Journal. In 2003, he co-authored (with Raghuram Rajan) an important, if underappreciated, book called "Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists."

He immigrated to the United States from Italy, and this experience has shaped his views about capitalism profoundly, helping him appreciate the exceptional nature of his adopted country. "Capitalism in the United States is distinct from its counterparts in Europe and Asia," he writes, "for reasons that reach deep into history, geography, culture, and the institution of federalism."
He contends that this distinctive form of capitalism is an essential component of American exceptionalism. He notes, for example, that America's free-enterprise system developed when the federal government was relatively small. "At the beginning of the 20th century," he says, "when modern American capitalism was taking shape, U.S. government spending was only 3 percent of gross domestic product." When a similar system of market economics took hold in Western Europe after World War II, in contrast, government's share of the economy in those countries was over 30 percent.
Why does this matter? "When government is small and relatively weak," Zingales says, "the most effective way to make money is to start a successful private-sector business. But the larger the size and scope of government spending, the easier it is to make money by diverting public resources. ... Thus in nations with large and powerful governments, the state usually finds itself at the heart of the economic system, even if the system is relatively capitalist."
While Zingales does not mention it, there is a large body of economic literature demonstrating that the size of the state at the time an economy modernizes is correlated with how well the economy performs. The fact that the U.S. government was so small when it began to modernize helps explain America's extraordinary economic performance and its dynamism.
Thanks to this auspicious beginning, the American economy was much more hospitable to entrepreneurship than other countries were. America's system of free enterprise was noteworthy for its relative lack of crony capitalism and rent seeking, and its embrace of vigorous market competition unencumbered by government interference.
Other factors have contributed to making America's economic system exceptional. It emerged without heavy influence from foreign powers or the direct and sustained influence of Marxism. The New World's colonial developments were driven not so much by the quest for gold as by the quest for freedom. The openness of America's frontier and its sparse population made mobility easy and undermined centralization of government power.
Zingales also stresses the populist roots of American culture and the federalist system enshrined in the Constitution. "For all of these reasons," he concludes, "the United States constructed a system of capitalism that comes closer than any other to embodying the free-market ideal of economic liberty and open competition."
That system has served the American people -- and the millions of immigrants who have come to these shores -- extraordinarily well. Not just because it helped make America the wealthiest large nation in history, but also because it was the fairest economic system ever contrived, especially when compared with Europe. Zingales writes:
"I came here in 1988 from Italy because I was trying to escape a system that was fundamentally unfair. Italy invented the term nepotism and perfected the concept of cronyism, and it still lives by both. You are promoted based on whom you know, not what you know. ... I emigrated to the United States because I realized that it offered me an inestimably brighter future than my native country. And when I got to America in 1988, I wasn't disappointed. I experienced for the first time the inebriating feeling that any goal was within my reach. I had finally arrived in a country where the limits to my dreams were set only by my abilities, not by the people I knew."
Zingales arrived here at the end of the Reagan presidency, when American capitalism was reinvigorated after the malaise of the 1970s. So it's easy to see how he could be enamored of the country's economy. But his personal story didn't end there; if it had, this book would have been just another lovely account of an immigrant successfully seeking good fortune in the land of the free.
Instead, Zingales documents how the United States has changed since then, how much it has betrayed its exceptional character, and how much this matters for the future. "It wasn't long after arriving in the United States that I began to notice things that felt more like home," he says, "as if I were watching a movie I'd seen before." In this movie, the government intervenes to pick winners and losers in the economy; to blunt the necessarily rough edges of competition; to rescue failing but politically well-connected firms; to bail out the undeserving and reckless.
The first scene of this movie is the rescue of the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management in 1998. Warren Buffett offered to rescue the firm after it made a series of bad arbitrage wagers. Given the firm's weak financial position, Buffett's terms would understandably have been extremely costly to the original investors. But the Federal Reserve stepped in and "coordinated a rescue effort that proved more generous to LTCM's investors and managers -- a group that happened to include David Mullins, former vice chairman of the Fed."
Another scene is the successful effort by Citigroup in the late 1990s to overhaul the Glass-Steagall Act:
"At that time, the head of the Treasury was Robert Rubin, who worked very hard to convince his fellow Democrats to change the law. Rubin left the Treasury in July 1999, the day after the House passed its version of the bill by a bipartisan vote of 343 to 86. Three months later, on October 18, 1999, Rubin was hired by Citigroup at a salary of $15 million a year, without any operating responsibility. It is hard not to see a connection between these two events."
It's not just Rubin's swift turn through Washington's revolving door that troubles Zingales: More important, he indicts Rubin for being, in his role as economic adviser to Bill Clinton and later Clinton's secretary of the Treasury, "the person who may have done the most to make bailouts the prevailing doctrine in the United States." In the mid- and late 1990s, a series of economic crises threatened developing countries in Latin America and Asia. Following the "Rubin doctrine," Mexico was bailed out in 1994. This was followed by South Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia in 1997. Brazil received a bailout in 1998. These bailouts helped the receiving nations, of course, but helped the banks that lent money to them even more.
The examples Zingales cites of crony capitalism and bailouts in the 1990s were followed by still others in the next decade. These include the imposition of steel tariffs by President Bush in 2002 to protect sensitive constituencies, and the Bush administration's offer to corporations of "special rates to repatriate their profits." Zingales does not mention it, but he could have included the unfunded prescription-drug mandate, a giveaway that was pushed by health-care interests.
It wasn't just Bush 43-era Republicans. "At the time," he notes, "Democrats were becoming cozier with big-business interests, launching 'public-private partnerships,' a way to suck money from the government while pretending to do good."

The most egregious examples of crony capitalism and bailouts occurred, of course, with the 2008 financial panic, the subsequent recession, and the federal government's ham-handed response: the interventions to address problems at Bear Stearns, AIG, General Motors, Chrysler, Rubin's Citigroup, and more.

Zingales is not ideologically opposed to government interventions to stem a panic. His critique is different, and it has two parts: First, he'd like to see greater recognition on the part of policymakers that it was earlier government meddling that paved the way for excessive risk-taking in the financial system. Second, he'd like to see recognition that there is a right way and a wrong way for governments to respond to panics.
"I am not opposed to the idea of a government intervention in such extreme circumstances, but I do object to the way it was done," he writes. "When a drug addict is undergoing a withdrawal crisis, one certainly should not stand by and do nothing -- but one also should not give the addict a full year's supply of drugs, which is roughly equivalent to what the U.S. government opted for with TARP. The program was a pillage of defenseless taxpayers that benefited powerful lobbies: not just the triumph of Wall Street over Main Street, but the triumph of K Street over the rest of America."

Zingales is rightly outraged by the behavior of his adopted country's political and financial elites over the last two decades. Their actions have eroded the exceptional character of the nation's free-enterprise system and put the nation on a path toward the crony capitalism and corruption he fled when he left Europe.

Fifty years ago, the great Italian liberal thinker Bruno Leoni remarked that "it seems to be the destiny of individual freedom at the present time to be defended mainly by economists." Half a century later, we are fortunate to have an Italian-born economist so powerfully and persuasively defending America's once-exceptional free-enterprise system.
Mr. Schulz is the DeWitt Wallace Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the editor of

* * *

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GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH: GATA secretary's interview with Jay Taylor posted at VoiceAmerica

GATA secretary's interview with Jay Taylor posted at VoiceAmerica

8:55p ET Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Your secretary/treasurer was interviewed for about an hour today by financial letter writer Jay Taylor on his VoiceAmerica Internet radio program, "Turning Hard Times Into Good Times." The interview begins at about 32 minutes and 50 seconds into the program and it's archived at the program's Internet site here:

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

Standard and Poor's Latin America Highlights: How Capacity Additions Could Affect Latin American Forest Products Companies

Standard & Poor's LatinAmerica Highlights
August 21, 2012


CreditMatters TV
How Capacity Additions Could Affect Latin American Forest Products Companies

Será que o esporte pode ajudar o Brasil atingir seu potencial econômico?
English Version

Presiones Crediticias: ¿Podrán las empresas de América Latina afrontar una recesión europea prolongada?
English Version
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Top Stories

Credit Trends: Emerging Markets Credit Metrics: Defaults Increase In Latin America And The Caribbean As The Global Economy Slows

The European Economic and Monetary Union (eurozone) crisis and the slowing growth in emerging economies such as China and India continue to pressures global growth.

Will Pulp Projects Hamper The Financial Profiles Of Latin American Forest Products Companies?

Successfully adding capacity in the forest products industry requires exquisite planning and even that may not be enough. A pulp mill costs billions of dollars and takes two to three years to build, and after that another year or so to reach full production.

Spanish Version

Issuer Ranking: Latin American Utility Companies, Strongest To Weakest

We rate 48 companies on the global scale in the Latin American utility sector. Investment-grade companies make up 40% of the total.

Portuguese Version
Spanish Version

Rating News


Standard & Poor's afirma calificación de 'B+' de Loma Negra; la tendencia es negativa

Buenos Aires, 14 de agosto de 2012.- Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services afirmó su calificación crediticia de ‘B+’ del productor de cemento basado en Argentina, Loma Negra C.I.A.S.A.

English Version

Standard & Poor's eleva la calificación al fondo CMA Protección

Buenos Aires, 14 de agosto de 2012.- Standard & Poor’s elevó hoy la calificación del Fondo CMA Protección a ‘raAA-c’ desde ‘raA+c’ administrado por Capital Markets Argentina Sociedad Gerente de Fondos Comunes de Inversión S.A.

Standard & Poor's asigna calificación 'raAc (Nuevo)' al fondo SBS Retorno Total F.C.I.

Buenos Aires, 9 de agosto de 2012.– Standard & Poor’s ha decidido asignar la calificación ‘raAc (Nuevo)’ al fondo SBS Retorno Total F.C.I. administrado por SBS Asset Management S.A. Sociedad Gerente de Fondos Comunes de Inversión y con Banco de ...


Research Update: Belize Long-Term Foreign Currency Rating Lowered To 'CC' On Risk Of Nonpayment Of Bond Coupon

NEW YORK (Standard & Poor's) Aug. 14, 2012--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today said it lowered its long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating on Belize to 'CC' from 'CCC-'.


Por que os futuros eventos esportivos provavelmente gerarão um boom para as companhias brasileiras de transporte

Os congestionamentos de trânsito notórios nas grandes cidades brasileiras há muito tempo aborrecem os residentes urbanos e prejudicam a produtividade.

Rio de Janeiro corre para concluir as obras de infraestrutura para as Olimpíadas de 2016

Os Jogos Olímpicos de Londres nem haviam começado e os olhos do mundo esportivo já começavam a se voltar para o próximo anfitrião, a cidade do Rio de Janeiro...

Copa do Mundo de 2014 e Olimpíadas de 2016: As empresas brasileiras de mídia e de telecomunicações conseguirão golear?

As empresas dos setores brasileiros de mídia e de telecomunicações poderão ser vencedoras na Copa do Mundo de 2014 e nas Olimpíadas de 2016, mas isso demandará trabalho árduo, dedicação e, sobretudo, dinheiro.


S&P afirma clasificaciones de ‘B-’ de Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores por expectativa de resultados positivos en el segundo semestre de 2012

Sao Paulo, 17 de agosto de 2012.- Standard & Poor's Rating Services afirmó las clasificaciones de Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores S.A. (CSAV) de ‘B-'.

English Version

Research Update: Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile 'A' Ratings Affirmed, Outlook Stable

Chile-based state-owned copper producer Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile's operating and financial performance is in line with our expectations of weaker copper prices and higher production costs.

Boletín: Clasificaciones de Pampa Calichera no se ven afectadas por solicitud de aprobación para modificación de términos de emisión

Buenos Aires, 9 de agosto de 2012.- Standard & Poor’s Rating Services dijo hoy que sus clasificaciones de la empresa chilena Sociedad de Inversiones Pampa Calichera S.A. (Pampa Calichera; BB-/Estable) no se ven afectadas por el reciente anuncio...

English Version

Standard & Poor’s afirma clasificaciones de 'BBB+’ y ‘A-2' de Larraín Vial S.A. Corredora de Bolsa; la tendencia es estable

San Pablo, 16 de agosto de 2012.- Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services afirmó sus clasificaciones de crédito de contraparte de largo plazo de ‘BBB+’ y de corto plazo de ‘A-2’ de Larraín Vial S.A. Corredora de Bolsa (LVCB).

English Version


Standard & Poor's revisa a positiva perspectiva de Colombia; confirma calificaciones

Nueva York, 15 de agosto de 2012.- Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revisó su perspectiva de las calificaciones de largo plazo de la República de Colombia a positiva de estable.

English Version

S&P revisa perspectiva de Ecopetrol a positiva desde estable tras acción similar sobre calificación soberana de Colombia; afirma calificación de ‘BBB-’

Buenos Aires, 16 de agosto de 2012.- Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services revisó hoy la perspectiva a positiva desde estable de la petrolera estatal colombiana, Ecopetrol S.A. (Ecopetrol) y afirmó su calificación de ‘BBB-’.

English Version

S&P revisa perspectiva de Banco de Bogotá a positiva; confirmó calificaciones de 'BBB-' y 'A-3' tras acción similar sobre calificación soberana de Colombia

La acción de calificación de Banco de Bogotá sigue a la revisión de la perspectiva de Colombia. Si las condiciones se mantienen constantes, si subimos la calificación soberana, también subiríamos las calificaciones de Banco de Bogotá.

Standard & Poor's revisa perspectiva de Bancoldex a positiva; confirma calificación de 'BBB-' tras acción similar sobre calificación soberana de Colombia

México, D.F., 17 de agosto de 2012.- Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services revisó la perspectiva de su calificación de largo plazo de Banco de Comercio Exterior de Colombia S.A. (Bancoldex) a positiva de estable, y, al mismo ...

S&P revisa perspectiva de ISAGEN a positiva de estable; confirma calificaciones de 'BBB-' tras acción similar sobre calificación soberana de Colombia

México, D.F., 17 de agosto de 2012.- Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services revisó su perspectiva a positiva de estable de la empresas colombiana generadora de energía ISAGEN S.A. E.S.P.


Research Update: Jamaica Short-Term Rating Raised To 'B' On Criteria Change; 'B-' Long-Term Rating Affirmed; Outlook Remains Negative

Standard & Poor's has revised its methodology for linking short-term and long-term ratings for corporate and sovereign issuers. Based on the application of the revised criteria, we are raising our short-term rating on Jamaica to 'B' from 'C'.


Standard & Poor's confirma calificaciones de PEMEX, la perspectiva es estable

México, D.F., 7 de agosto de 2012.- Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services confirmó sus calificaciones en escala global de largo plazo en moneda extranjera de ‘BBB’ y en moneda local de ‘A-’ de Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX).

Standard & Poor's asigna calificación de 'A-' a notas senior no garantizadas por CHF250 millones de América Móvil

México D.F., 17 de agosto de 2012.- Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services asignó hoy sus calificaciones de deuda en escala global de largo plazo de ‘A-’ a la emisión de notas senior no garantizadas por $250 millones de francos suizos (CHF) con vencimiento...

S&P baja calificaciones de Axtel a ‘CCC+’ de ‘B-’ como resultado del deterioro en su posición competitiva y débil liquidez; la perspectiva es negativa

El desempeño financiero de la compañía de telecomunicaciones mexicana Axtel siguió debilitándose durante el segundo trimestre de 2012, y consideramos que la rentabilidad se mantendrá presionada.

S&P sube calificación de GISSA a 'mxA-' y la retira de Rev. Especial tras pagar deuda total al completar venta negocio fundición de blocks y cabezas; perspectiva positiva

México, D.F., 13 de agosto de 2012.- Standard & Poor’s subió hoy su calificación de riesgo crediticio en escala nacional –CaVal– de Grupo Industrial Saltillo, S.A.B. de C.V. (GISSA) a ‘mxA-’ de ‘mxBBB’ y la retiró de Revisión Especial (CreditWatch) ...

Fundamento: Coca-Cola Femsa, S.A.B. de C.V.

La calificación de riesgo crediticio de Coca-Cola Femsa, S.A.B. de C.V. (KOF) se basa en su perfil crediticio individual (SACP, por sus siglas en inglés para stand-alone credit profile), en combinación con el respaldo implícito de The Coca-Cola Co.


Research Update: Vision Banco S.A.E.C.A. 'BB-' Credit Rating Remains On CreditWatch Negative

The rating on Paraguay-based Vision Banco reflects its "adequate" business and risk positions, "weak" capital position, "above-average" funding, and "strong" liquidity. We expect its asset quality to be pressured, but remain adequate.


Research Update: Venezuela 'B+/B' Ratings Affirmed; Outlook Remains Stable

Higher oil prices in 2011 and 2012 are supporting Venezuela's expansionary fiscal policy, and the country's economic growth has recovered to 4.2% in 2011 and 5% in 2012.

Financial and Forex Info | The Australian Capital Circle: I should have opened file: Gillard

I should have opened file: Gillard
MORE details have emerged about Julia Gillard's time as an industrial lawyer at Slater & Gordon, with the PM admitting at the time that she did not follow due process.

In a transcript from a tape-recorded interview with Julia Gillard during a secret 1995 probe into her actions at law firm Slater & Gordon, the PM admitted she should have opened a file for the controversial legal work she did for her client and then boyfriend Bruce Wilson. The transcript, obtained by The Australian, shows Ms Gillard did not bill Mr Wilson for any of the work she did for him and the Australian Workers Union (Oz).

Mr Wilson has spoken for the first time since the saga emerged, claiming "rabid dogs" were out to destroy Ms Gillard (Daily Tele ). A former federal court judge appointed by the Gillard government has been named as the man who supervised Ms Gillard during her time at Slater & Gordon (Fin Review). The legal firm continues to stand by Ms Gillard (Age).

Disgraced former Labor MP Craig Thomson has jumped on the release of a KPMG review into Fair Work Australia's investigation into corruption within the Health Services Union during his time as national secretary. Mr Thomson says FWA is living in a "dream land" if it attempts to prosecute him over the alleged misuse of more than $500,000 of union member funds ( Oz), (SMH), (Sky News), (Fin Review).

Tony Abbott has rejected accusations by Labor MPs
Peter Brent
Peter Brent
Good news for Julia and Tony
It is a fact of life that the Australian political class hangs off the fortnightly Newspoll—some fortnights more than others. This is excellent…
More Peter Brent

NYT Global Update - August 21, 2012.-: In Rising Toll, Signs of a Changing Conflict

The New York Times International Herald Tribune
August 21, 2012

Global Update


In Rising Toll, Signs of a Changing Conflict

As the war in Afghanistan wears on, an analysis of troop casualties reflects the effect of the 2010 troop surge and points to the growing danger from an ostensible ally.

Fears Rise That Assad Is Trying to Stoke Sectarian War in Lebanon

The arrest of a former Lebanese government minister and the kidnapping of nearly 50 Syrians have contributed to a sense that Lebanon's tenuous stability is waning.

Life With Syria's Rebels in a Cold and Cunning War

A rebel group presents a cross-section of a nation in upheaval – an accountant, real estate agent, farmers and laborers who have taken up arms believing their time has come.

Interactive Feature: The TV Watch Abroad

Alessandra Stanley, the chief television critic of The New York Times, is going abroad to watch foreign television this year.


Back from the U.S.S.R.

The Russian punk band Pussy Riot did something artists always aim to do but rarely achieve: It has made people question their opinions and beliefs.

As Fighting Rages, Syria and Russia Reject Obama Threat of Intervention

Army shellings and shootings raged in at least three insurgency hot spots on Tuesday as Syria, backed by Russia, rejected warnings by President Obama about possible intervention.

Meles Zenawi, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Dies at 57

Mr. Meles oversaw substantial economic growth as prime minister and made Ethiopia a staunch American counterterrorism ally but drew criticism for harsh treatment of dissidents.

Israel Asks Egypt to Remove Tanks From Sinai

Israel is "troubled" by the entry of Egyptian tanks into the northern Sinai Peninsula without coordination with Israel, a violation of a peace treaty.

A Thwarted Quest to Build a Ski Resort in India

An American wants to build India's first Western-style ski resort in the Himalayas, but even the gods, it seems, are against him.

Wall Street Pulls Back From Four-Year Highs

Stock indexes pulled back after early gains that were driven by investor hopes that central banks would act soon to stimulate their economies.
Bits Blog

Apple Becomes Most Valuable Public Company Ever, With an Asterisk

On Monday Apple became the most highly valued public company ever, but Microsoft still holds the record when its 1999 value is adjusted for inflation.

Facebook's Ambition Collides With Harsh Market

The challenge for Facebook, which is worth just over half of what it was three months ago, is to convince Wall Street that it has a real plan for making money.

Free Online Course Will Rely on Multiple Sites

An online-learning group is creating a new kind of free class, known as a mechanical MOOC (for "massive open online course"), that will patch together existing resources from open-learning sites.

Barnes & Noble to Offer the Nook in Britain

The nation's leading bookstore chain said it would announce partnerships with "leading retailers" in Britain at a later time.

South Africa Vaults to No. 1 Rank

Victory by 51 runs over England at Lord's gave the Proteas a 2-0 series victory and took them to the top of the official world cricket rankings in place of their host.

In Sliver of Old U.S.S.R., Hot Soccer Team Is Virtual State Secret

F.C. Sheriff Tiraspol is a soccer club from Transnistria, a corner of the former Soviet empire where smuggling is rampant and the fans are often violent.

Augusta National Adds First Two Female Members

Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore have accepted invitations to become the first female members at Augusta, home of the Masters.

Panama Canal's Growth Prompts U.S. Ports to Expand

Industry and government officials along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico believe their ports, too, can gain from the expansion of the Panama Canal to allow much larger ships.

Appeals Court Blocks E.P.A. Rule on Cross-State Pollution

A federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned a federal rule that laid out how much air pollution states would have to clean up to avoid violations in downwind states.

Akin Says He Is Staying in Senate Race, Defying G.O.P.

Representative Todd Akin said definitively Tuesday that he would not step aside. Mr. Akin's comments on rape had prompted fellow Republicans to ask him to drop out of the race.

Romance With Chinese Characteristics

As Chinese Valentine's Day nears, preparations for matchmaking events are picking up. Never mind chemistry, though, what counts is money and connections.
Op-Ed Contributor

Touring Terror in Jerusalem

I don't know if I can forgive. I don't even know if I want to. But I do know that by acknowledging the terror we still feel, we can begin to fantasize about peace.
Op-Ed Contributor

The Taliban's Wedge Strategy

The rise of green-on-blue attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan represents a seismic shift in the conflict.

DealBook | DealBoo%K Afternoon Edition: Best Buy's Tough Earnings May Lift Schulze's Hopes a Little

Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Best Buy's Income Slides
Best Buy's Tough Earnings May Lift Schulze's Hopes a Little Best Buy's worse-than-expected second-quarter earnings may provide ballast for the company's founder and his hope to buy it back. But the results also raise the question of whether the struggling retailer has time to turn itself around, in public or in private.
  • DEALBOOK » | DealBook: With New Chief, Best Buy Tries to Set Its Own Turnaround
    Another View: For Growth, Better Coordination on Bank Regulation Is Needed Mohamed El-Erian writes that regulatory agencies can avoid further deterioration of the financial system by working together for the benefit of the public and the economy.
    Another View: Restoring Trust in the Futures Market Fixing the confidence gap does not require a wholesale restructuring of the regulatory system, argue James E. Oliff and Neal L. Wolkoff. Instead, they say, what is needed is new thinking, a commitment to ethics education and clarification of the laws already on the books.
    S.E.C. Pays Out First Whistle-Blower Reward Federal securities regulators say they have handed out the first reward under a new whistle-blower program, paying nearly $50,000 to an unnamed person who helped the agency shut down an investment fraud.
    Antenna Company Raises $12 Million From Bill Gates and Lux Capital Bill Gates, Liberty Global and Lux Capital are investing in Kymeta, a start-up uses a lightweight material to make antennas intended to improve satellite connections used for broadband Internet.
    White Collar Watch: The Winning Record of Prosecutors on Insider Trading Peter J. Henning says that the United States attorney's office for the Southern District of New York has an 8-0 winning record in insider trading cases that have gone to trial under its wide-ranging investigation. Defendants may view that record as a sign that cooperation is their best option.
    Glencore Holds Firm on Price for Xstrata Ivan Glasenberg, chief executive of the commodities trading company Glencore International, played down speculation that the company would pay a higher price for its proposed $30 billion takeover of the mining company Xstrata.
    Fred Wilson: Relax, Venture Investors Are Supposed to Sell The managing partner at Union Square Ventures and an early investor of Twitter defended the sales by early Facebook backers, explaining that it's logical and financially responsible for venture firms to lock in gains. "I would suggest they park their outrage at the door of capitalism," he wrote on his blog.
    Obama's Well-Heeled Friends on Wall Street Among the biggest donors are Hamilton E. James of the Blackstone Group, Marc Lasry of Avenue Capital and Scott Nathan of the Boston-based hedge fund Baupost Group, each of whom have contributed at least $500,000 to the president's campaign for re-election.
    Citigroup's Chief Challenges Idea of Breakup Vikram S. Pandit appeared to reject an argument by his predecessor, Sanford I. Weill, that big banks should split up - at least as it applied to Citigroup. "What's left here is essentially the old Citicorp," he told The Financial Times. "That's a tried and proven strategy."
    Economic Reports The data released on Wednesday will include existing home sales for July and Federal Open Market Committee minutes for August meeting.
    Corporate Earnings Companies reporting results on Wednesday will include Toll Brothers and Hewlett-Packard.
    In the United States A bankruptcy court judge in Manhattan will consider approving a request on Wednesday to disburse $2.4 billion to victims of Bernard L. Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
    Overseas Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the euro zone finance ministers' group, holds talks in Athens on Wednesday.

    DealBook Video
    Business Day Live: The Facebook Frown
    Business Day Live: The Facebook Frown Whether Facebook has lost credibility with Wall Street. | The remarkable transformation of Apple.


NYT Politics - August 21, 2012 -: Akin Says He Is Staying in Senate Race, Defying G.O.P.

The New York Times

August 21, 2012


Akin Says He Is Staying in Senate Race, Defying G.O.P.

Representative Todd Akin said definitively Tuesday that he would not step aside. Mr. Akin's comments on rape had prompted fellow Republicans to ask him to drop out of the race.
The Caucus

G.O.P. Approves Strict Anti-Abortion Language in Party Platform

The Republican platform committee approved language Tuesday calling for a Constitutional amendment outlawing abortion with no explicit exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

More Politics

The Caucus

Akin Asks for 'Forgiveness' in New Ad

Todd Akin, Republican of Missouri and a candidate for Senate, said he used "the wrong words in the wrong way" when he suggested that rape rarely leads to pregnancy.

Health Experts Dismiss Assertions on Rape

The views articulated by Representative Todd Akin are far from new in anti-abortion circles, but leading experts on reproductive health said there is no solid data to support his claims.
Mitt Romney and Representative Paul D. Ryan showed their rapport on Monday at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, N.H.

As Romney Enjoys Ryan's Spark, Rivals Try to Fan It

Democrats highlighted Paul D. Ryan's history of opposing abortion after Representative Todd Akin's controversial comments.
President Obama at a White House news briefing on Monday. His campaign and the Democrats spent $91 million in July.

Romney Gains Huge Cash Advantage Over Obama

Intense Republican fund-raising and heavy spending by President Obama left Mitt Romney and the Republicans with $62 million more in the bank than the Democrats at the end of July.
Representative Kevin Yoder, Republican of Kansas, went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee during a trip to Israel last year.

House Member Is Rebuked After Nude Swim in Israel

Representative Kevin Yoder of Kansas was scolded by House leaders after skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee during a late-night swim last summer with other Republican congressmen.

Obama Threatens Force Against Syria

President Obama warned Syria on Monday that it would face American military intervention if there were signs that its arsenal of unconventional weapons was being moved or prepared for use.

The Caucus

Romney's Attack on Clean Energy: True, With an Asterisk

Many green energy projects were started under the Bush administration.

Obama Attacks Romney's Proposals for College Financing

President Obama criticized Mitt Romney for advising financially strapped young people who want to go to college to "shop around and borrow more money from your parents."

Obama to Focus on Education in Campaign Swing Through Ohio and Nevada

The president will attend rallies on Tuesday at colleges in Columbus, Ohio, and Reno, Nev.

Storm Heads Toward Florida as Convention Nears

Hurricane season is another thing for Republicans to worry about during their convention in Tampa, Fla., next week.

Obama and Romney Discuss Role of Faith in Their Lives

Mitt Romney emphasizes the commonalities between the Mormon faith and mainstream Christianity in talking about his religion.

Paul Supporters to Rally in Tampa

Ron Paul forces will hold a major rally in Tampa on Sunday, the day before the Republican National Convention is to start.