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Jan 9, 2013

NYT | Global Update (January 9, 2013).: Iranian Captives Freed in Prisoner Exchange in Syria

The New York Times International Herald Tribune
January 9, 2013
Compiled 21:45 GMT

Global Update


Iranian Captives Freed in Prisoner Exchange in Syria

More than 2,000 prisoners held by the Syrian authorities were being released in return for 48 Iranians held by rebels for months, Turkish and Iranian news reports said.

Chinese Officials Pledge to Loosen Controls Over Embattled Newspaper

The deal appeared to bring a tentative peace to Southern Weekend's newsroom, as another Chinese newspaper faced a crisis on Wednesday over the forced publishing of an editorial.

Activists Convicted in Vietnam Crackdown on Dissent

A Vietnamese court on Wednesday convicted 14 democracy activists of plotting to overthrow the government and sentenced them to jail terms ranging from 3 to 13 years.

Op-Ed Contributor

Surviving in Aleppo

The rebel coalition government is nowhere to be seen in the rubble of Syria's largest city.

Video: Academy Award Memories

On Thursday, this year's Oscar nominees will be revealed and, as a primer for the hopefuls, we asked previous winners to share memories of their first Oscar experience.

Record Heat Fuels Widespread Fires in Australia

An unprecedented heat wave has sparked raging bushfires across some of the country's most populated regions, pushing firefighters to their limits.

Aid Groups for Syrians See Needs Growing More Dire

The United Nations said it was unable to feed a million hungry residents and aid agencies reported an outbreak of violence in a refugee camp in Jordan.

Venezuelan Court: Chávez Swearing-In Can Be Postponed

Amid heated debate between the Venezuelan government and the opposition, the country's Supreme Court ruled that President Hugo Chávez can be sworn in after Thursday.

Obama's Pick for Treasury Is Said to Be His Chief of Staff

President Obama will announce on Thursday that he intends to elevate Jacob J. Lew to be the next secretary of Treasury, officials familiar with the decision said.
Economix Blog

A New Scribble on Your Dollar Bill

Jacob J. Lew, who is reported to be the White House's new pick for Treasury secretary, has a ridiculous signature.
Economix Blog

Continuity on Obama's Economic Team

Jacob J. Lew is part of a small circle of economic advisers who have ascended to prominent roles in the first term of the Obama presidency and will shape policy in the second.

A Financial Service for People Fed Up With Banks

An online banking start-up company called Simple offers free checking accounts and digital tools to people frustrated with typical banks.

Bank Hacking Was the Work of Iranians, Officials Say

The skill required to execute the attacks convinced American officials that Iran was behind them, likely in retaliation for economic sanctions and online attacks by the United States.

Chinese Man Pleads Guilty in Copyright Violation Case

Xiang Li sold more than 2,000 pirated software products worth more than $100 million, prosecutors say.

India's Top Tennis Players Agitate for Better Support

Eight Indian tennis players threatened last week to boycott the Davis Cup, the latest dispute between them and the national tennis association.

An Official Vote, and an Unofficial One

The N.H.L. Board of Governors is expected to approve the deal Commissioner Gary Bettman reached with Donald Fehr and the N.H.L. Players' Association.

Devils Ready to Go, as Soon as Kovalchuk Returns

Ilya Kovalchuk, the Devils top scorer who has 13 years and $100 million left on his contract, has not ruled out remaining with in the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League.

More Thefts Separating Farmers From Their Chaff

Drought and grass fires have pushed the price of hay to near records, making it an increasingly irresistible target for thieves or desperate peers.

Nashville's Latest Big Hit Could Be the City Itself

The city, which sat on the sidelines while its Southern sisters boomed, has found itself in the national spotlight, with economic gains and a newly found popularity.

Aurora Suspect Scouted Theater Before Shootings, Prosecutors Say

When they searched James E. Holmes's apartment, officials found photographs of the theater where 12 people were killed and the weapons he planned to use, prosecutors said.
Op-Ed Contributor

Depardieu and the New Capitalism

The logic of buying and selling no longer applies to material goods alone - even citizenship is up for sale.
Op-Ed Columnist

The Market and Mother Nature

Why the United States needs to cut both debt and carbon emissions.

Money Show Investors Daily Alert (January 9, 2013).: Is the Commodity Rally for Real?


Jim Jubak on
Today's Featured Videos & Exclusive Interviews
CNBC Europe's Investors' Clinic, Michael Jarman, James Bevan, Louisa Bojesen, Alpesh Patel

DealBook P.M. Edition (January 9, 2013).: A.I.G. Says It Will Not Join Lawsuit Against Government

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A.I.G. Says It Will Not Join Lawsuit Against Government
A.I.G. Says It Will Not Join Lawsuit Against Government The board of the American International Group was weighing a suit arguing that shareholders lost tens of billions of dollars because of onerous terms on the insurer's federal bailout.
In Debt: What A.I.G. Shareholders Should Have Expected After the Rescue Stephen J. Lubben says that a lawsuit that contends the government violated the American International Group's Fifth Amendment rights by seizing shareholder property is regarded by many as ridiculous because corporate shareholders are always subject to dilution.
Jan. 7: Rescued by a Bailout, A.I.G. May Sue Its Savior DealBook first reported on Monday that the company was considering joining a lawsuit that claims the rescue by the government deprived A.I.G.'s shareholders of tens of billions of dollars.
Fund Titans Battle Over Herbalife Daniel S. Loeb's Third Point disclosed that it had acquired more than 8.2 percent of the nutritional supplements company. That puts him at odds with his friend William A. Ackman.
Loeb Explains His Herbalife Bet In a letter to investors, Daniel Loeb, the Third Point chief, explains exactly why he's so upbeat about the prospects of Herbalife, a purveyor of nutritional supplements that William A. Ackman has claimed is an enormous pyramid scheme.
Robert Khuzami, S.E.C. Enforcement Chief, to Step Down Robert Khuzami, who revamped the Securities and Exchange Commission's enforcement unit after the financial crisis, is ending a tenure marked by significant action against some of Wall Street's largest firms.
The Trade: New Target in Finger-Pointing Over Housing Bubble Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica says that the same critics that assailed the government's role in the boom and bust in the housing market are attacking the Federal Housing Administration for its lending standards.
Wall Street's Elite, Including Ina Drew, Honors JPMorgan's Former Leader A gala held at the Museum of American Finance in Manhattan to honor William B. Harrison Jr., former chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, attracted a number of old-school Wall Street celebrities.
UBS Executives Questioned by Parliament Over Rate-Rigging Case Senior executives at UBS faced scrutiny from British politicians on Wednesday over a recent rate-manipulation scandal that led the Swiss banking giant to pay a combined $1.5 billion fine to global authorities.
HSBC Sale of $9.4 Billion Ping An Stake in Jeopardy The British bank HSBC's bid to sell its stake in China's Ping An group is in jeopardy after China Development Bank decided not to finance a large part of the transaction.
Buzz Tracker
Humorist Andy Borowitz Pokes Fun at A.I.G. "We've been called everything from soulless bloodsuckers to Satan's scabrous handmaidens, and worse," Andy Borowitz writes in a mock letter from A.I.G. posted on his blog for The New Yorker. "At A.I.G., though, we have a different name for ourselves: true American heroes."
Economic Reports Data to be released on Thursday includes weekly jobless claims and wholesale trade inventories for November.
In the United States On Thursday, Herbalife executives will respond to accusations by the investor William A. Ackman that their company operates a pyramid scheme.
Overseas On Thursday, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England will issue decisions about interest rates, and the United Nations will release its global food price index for December.

MarketWatch | Wall Street market at Close Report (January 9, 2013).: U.S. stock indexes rise after two-day slide

By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch 

NEW YORK (MarketWatch)U.S. stocks climbed modestly on Wednesday after a two-day drop as Alcoa Inc. raised its outlook, citing expectations of increased global demand for aluminum. 

“We started earnings season, but it’s like a preview before a movie — this is coming attractions week,” said Art Hogan, market strategist at Lazard Capital Markets. 

How could Apple fend off Android A new, less expensive iPhone could help Apple recoup smartphone market share it has lost in the past year to phones using the Android operating system. 

Wednesday’s gains had the three major indices up for a third session in six so far this year, with the S&P 500 hitting a five-year high on Friday after the December jobs report had hiring maintaining its two-year pace, indicating the partially resolved budget battle on Capitol Hill had not done significant damage to the U.S. economy. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.46% rose 61.66 points, or 0.5%, to 13,390.51, with 18 of its 30 components rising. 

Alcoa AA -0.22%  late Tuesday reported better-than-estimated revenue and an upbeat forecast for the year. Read a blog post on the first five days of 2013 being bullish for stocks. 
“Alcoa is better, and it is usually not, so it could be a barometer for the global economy or it could be a company that has done a good job of repairing its balance sheet, or it could be a combination of both. The good news is we haven’t had a household name blow up yet,” Hogan said. 

Boeing Co. BA +3.55% was the top gainer in the Dow, with shares of the aerospace firm rallying 3.6%, rebounding from their decline earlier in the week. Read: Boeing regaining altitude as analyst dismisses 787 ‘teething problems.’ 
Bank of America Corp. BAC -0.09%  was the top decliner in the Dow, dropping 4.6% after the lender was downgraded to neutral from outperform by Credit Suisse for valuations reasons. 

The S&P 500 index SPX +0.27% gained 3.87 points, or 0.3%, to 1,461.02, with health care leading gains and telecommunications the largest loser of its 10 major industry groups. See 13 stocks that should pay in 2013, according to Goldman Sachs. 
The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP +0.45% added 14 points, or 0.5%, to 3,105.81. 

Moving issues

American International Group Inc. AIG +0.31%   on Wednesday said it would not join a lawsuit against the government over terms of the insurer’s 2008 rescue. Its shares ended up 0.3%. Read: AIG won’t join lawsuit against U.S. government. 
MasterCard Inc. MA +2.81% climbed 2.8% after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded the payments network. 

Seagate Technology PLC STX +6.64% gained 6.6% after the company projected fiscal second-quarter sales above prior forecasts. 

Clearwire Corp. CLWR +7.19% rallied 7.2% after the wireless-network operator drew an unsolicited offer from Dish Network Corp. DISH +2.45% that exceeded a buyout offer from Sprint Nextel Corp. S -1.51% , which already owns a majority of Clearwire. Read: Clearwire receives bid from Dish Networks. 
Apollo Group Inc. APOL -7.76% slipped 7.8% after the for-profit educator reported declining enrollment for the third quarter and reduced its operating profit outlook for the year. Read about other stocks that are making notable moves in Wednesday trading. 
For every share falling just over two rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where nearly 672 million shares traded. 

Composite volume exceeded 3.6 billion. 

“It really is a quiet week as we anticipate an earnings season that begins in earnest next week. The question is, how choppy are the earnings reports, because we expect them to be terrible,” said Hogan of S&P 500 earnings growth that is estimated to rise 2.9% versus the year-ago quarter. “The trick here is when we started the quarter, growth estimates were 9%.” 

The question remains whether “there is enough uncertainty with half of the fiscal cliff still unresolved for corporate executives to be upbeat about 2013,” said Hogan of the coming battle over raising the debt ceiling, which was put off as lawmakers reached a last-minute deal to avert steep spending cuts and tax increases known as the fiscal cliff. 

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

NYT | Politics (January 9, 2013).: Obama's Pick for Treasury Is Said to Be His Chief of Staff

The New York Times

January 9, 2013


Jacob J. Lew at the White House on Monday.

Obama's Pick for Treasury Is Said to Be His Chief of Staff

President Obama will announce on Thursday that he intends to elevate his chief of staff, Jacob J. Lew, to be the next secretary of Treasury, people familiar with the decision said.

Behind Debt Campaign, Ties to Corporate Interests

The Fix the Debt group has lent a public-spirited, elder-statesman sheen to the cause of deficit reduction, but many of its members are juggling private interests with public goals.

More Politics

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Biden, Meeting Gun Control Advocates, Vows Action

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who will meet Thursday with gun proponents, hinted that his panel was not likely to recommend an all-or-nothing approach to gun violence.
President Obama named John O. Brennan, right, as his choice for C.I.A. director and chose Chuck Hagel, left, to be his next defense secretary.
News Analysis

In Step on 'Light Footprint,' Nominees Reflect a Shift

President Obama's selection of a new national security team appears to have ended, at least for now, many of the internal debates about military interventions.
The Kulluk, a Shell Oil drilling rig, was checked for seaworthiness on Monday off the Alaskan coast after running aground.

Interior Dept. Expedites Review of Arctic Drilling After Accidents

Officials said an assessment could halt or scale back Shell's program to open Alaska's Arctic waters to oil exploration.

Rhode Island Likely to Lose a House Seat

Census figures suggest that in 2020, Rhode Island may be down to a single seat in Congress because its population is declining. The state now has two House seats.

The Caucus

The Caucus

Obama Will Take Oath to Sounds of Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor

Beyoncé will sing the national anthem, Kelly Clarkson will perform "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," and James Taylor will sing "America the Beautiful" when President Obama takes the oath of office at a ceremony on the Capitol steps later this month.
The Caucus

N.R.A. Will Send Representative to Meet with Biden on Guns

The National Rifle Association will send a representative to a meeting on guns this week hosted by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., an official with the organization said.

The Debt Reckoning

This feature follows the talks between President Obama and Congressional leaders over the so-called fiscal cliff.
Bill Pullman in
Television Review | '1600 Penn'

A Family Circle Spins Around The Oval Office

Billed as a new "Modern Family," the NBC presidential-family sitcom "1600 Penn" seems more like "Growing Pains," a time capsule of the Ford, Carter and Reagan eras.


Lew on Key Issues
Jacob (Jack) Lew, the current White House chief of staff, has experience working in both the White House and on Capitol Hill. Here are some of his recent statements on issues he is very likely to confront if he is confirmed as secretary of the treasury.
Video: Pelosi Previews the New Congress
Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, talks with The Times's Carl Hulse about the legislative battles ahead.
Graphic: Women in the Obama Administration
While the White House itself employs about an equal number of men and women under President Obama, the gender ratio of appointees in 11 of the 15 cabinet departments favors men.