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Jan 10, 2013

BBC NEWS | Business Last Update at 01:26GMT: Japan gets $116bn stimulus boost

11 January 2013 Last updated at 01:26 GMT

Japan gets $116bn stimulus boostYen notes

Japanese government approves a fresh 10.3 trillion yen ($116bn; £72bn) stimulus package in an attempt to spur a revival in its economy.

American Express cuts 5,400 jobs

Credit card provider American Express announces plans to cut 5,400 jobs from its total workforce of 63,500 by the end of 2013.

Ford logoCarmaker Ford doubles dividend

US carmaker Ford doubles its quarterly dividend to 10 cents per share, citing a strong balance sheet, and sending its share price higher.

NYT | Global Update (January 10, 2013).: Blasts in Pakistan Kill at Least 115 and Raise Fears Over Elections

The New York Times International Herald Tribune
January 10, 2013
Compiled 21:45 GMT

Global Update


Blasts in Pakistan Kill at Least 115 and Raise Fears Over Elections

The bombings in Quetta and the Swat Valley offered harrowing evidence of how Pakistan's myriad internal conflicts may destabilize the country as elections approach.

Top Kurdish Militant Is Among Three Slain in Paris

French officials said three women's bodies were found at a Kurdish institute. The victims appeared to have been shot in the head.

Biden Offers Glimpse of Gun Control Plan Coming in Days

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday cited efforts to curb access to high-capacity magazines and the need for what he called "near universal background checks."

Interactive Feature: Make Your Oscar Picks

Vote for, share and keep track of your Oscar favorites with The Times's interactive ballot.

Room for Debate

Power for the Women of India

How can Indian women gain power so they would not only be safe, but also have more say in their nation's future?

Chávez, or at Least His Sash, Is Set for Venezuela Inauguration

President Hugo Chávez's health crisis and decision to proceed on Thursday with a quasi-presidential inauguration that he is unable to attend is producing national angst about who is in charge.

Scotland Yard Officer Found Guilty in Phone Hacking Scandal

Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn was found guilty of seeking to sell confidential police information to a British tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch.

To Counter China, Japan and Philippines Will Bolster Maritime Cooperation

The foreign ministers of Japan and the Philippines proclaimed their nations to be strategic partners that would collaborate more in resolving their separate territorial disputes with China.

Lew Would Complete Transformation of Obama's Economic Team

Instead of big-name economists and financial firefighters, the team includes budget negotiators ready for the next fiscal fight in Congress.

2 Years Into Its Turnaround, Nokia Shows Promise

The stumbling mobile phone maker sold more than 50 percent more Lumia smartphones in the fourth quarter, sending it to a quarterly profit. The company's shares surged on the news.
Bits Blog

The 2012 Patent Rankings: I.B.M. on Top (Again)

I.B.M. was granted more patents than any other company in 2012, its 20th consecutive year in the top spot. But the big movement in the rankings comes from Google and Apple.

Google Chief Urges North Korea to Embrace Web

Eric E. Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, and Bill Richardson, a former governor of New Mexico, also sought to press Pyongyang on humanitarian and diplomatic issues.

Europe to Consider Creating Data Protection Regulator

If approved, the proposal would replace an advisory panel with an agency with the power to levy fines on companies who violate rules on the use of information gathered online.

Predictions Large and Small for 2013

Some familiar teams -- Manchester United in the Premier League, and the Miami Heat in the N.B.A. -- will win titles, but expect a newcomer to triumph at the Tour de France.

Leading Indian 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.

Vonn Nears Return After Three-Week Absence

Lindsey Vonn is set to return to World Cup downhill training in St. Anton, Austria, on Thursday after an absence of more than three weeks because of an intestinal illness.

Flu Widespread, Leading a Range of Winter's Ills

The United States is in the grip of an early start to the annual flu season with an unusually aggressive virus, a new type of norovirus, and the worst outbreak of whooping cough in decades.

Cash for Hay Driving Thieves to Move Bundles

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

F.D.A. Requires Cuts to Dosages of Sleep Drugs

The agency will require the recommended dosages for women to be halved to reduce the risk of impairment the morning after taking the drugs.
Op-Ed Columnist

One Life in One Place

What happens to an urban humanity estranged from solitude and silence?
Op-Ed Columnist

In Defense of Hagel for Defense

Chuck Hagel, with his Vietnam combat experience, would be an excellent defense secretary.
Op-Ed Columnist

Reframing the Gun Debate

This time, something must be done about gun laws. And it looks as if something will.

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH (jANUARY 10, 2013).: Sign the White House petition to audit the U.S. gold reserve and track its ownership

Sign the White House petition to audit the U.S. gold reserve and track its ownership

8:50p ET Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jim Sinclair tonight calls attention to a petition started at the White House Internet site calling upon the U.S. government to audit the U.S. gold reserve -- and to account for any surreptitious ownership claims to the gold.

The petition reads in part: "The gold bars need to be assayed and weighed. Once the gold is verified the paper trail must be audited to determine who really owns the gold; i.e., how much has been loaned to bankers and dealers and sold or swapped to non-Treasury entities including foreign governments. The audit must include professional auditors outside of the Mint, Treasury, GAO, Inspector General, and Federal Reserve system."

If 25,000 people electronically sign the petition, the White House is obliged to forward it to policy experts for review and to make a public statement about it.

Of course the U.S. government may be less likely to tell the truth about its gold than to declare signers of the petition to be terrorists and to send rocket-firing drone aircraft after them or have them hauled off to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, outside the jurisdiction of the federal courts and beyond any claim of habeas corpus. But it's a risk we have to take and if enough people sign and the petition has to be answered, clamor about the gold issue will increase.

You never know. Heck, today on CNBC Rick Santelli mentioned GATA as if everybody should already know about us --

-- so maybe if enough people sign the petition GATA Chairman Bill Murphy could get invited onto Piers Morgan's program on CNN or at least ABC's "The Bachelor," which has a larger audience.
To sign the petition you'll have to take a few seconds to create a simple account with the White House -- name, e-mail address, and ZIP code -- but don't let that bother you. The U.S. government already has a lot more on you than that:

So please consider signing the petition and urging your friends to sign it. It can be found here:

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

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH ( January 10, 2013).: Patrick Heller: Bullion delivery delays worsening

Patrick Heller: Bullion delivery delays worsening

7p ET Thursday, January 10, 2013

Patrick Heller of Liberty Coin Service in Lansing, Michigan, this week reports tightening supplies and delivery delays for gold and silver bullion products. "Perhaps the most notable premium increase is in earlier-dated U.S. silver American eagles. The 1996-dated coins, the lowest-mintage year, were already trading at premium prices. Now other dates such as 1986- and 1994-dated coins have developed significant premiums. The primary distributors have apparently already sold out this week's first release of [2013] silver eagles. Those now wanting to make a purchase may have to wait until the next release to take delivery."

Heller's report is posted at Numismaster here:

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

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH (January 10, 2013).: Junior miners cheaper than ever relative to gold, Doug Casey says

Junior miners cheaper than ever relative to gold, Doug Casey says

6:35p ET Thursday, January 10, 2013

Interviewed by Tekoa Da Silver at Bull Market Thinking, Doug Casey of Casey Research remarks that the shares of junior gold mining companies are now cheaper relative to gold itself than they have ever been. "So if somebody wants to participate in that highly volatile, very speculative space, now is the perfect time to do it," Casey says. The interview is posted at Bull Market Thinking's Internet site here.

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

DealBook P.M. Edition (January 10, 2012).: Herbalife Shares Fall After Company Defends Itself

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Herbalife Shares Fall After Company Defends Itself
Herbalife Shares Fall After Company Defends Itself The nutritional supplements company sought to knock down William A. Ackman's accusations that it is a fraud, but it appeared that investors are still trying to make up their minds.
Deal Professor: What's at the Center of the Debate Over Herbalife Steven M. Davidoff says that there are no easy answers here, and that probably means that the hedge fund combatants William Ackman and Daniel Loeb - and Herbalife - will be duking it out for some time.
Live Blog: Herbalife Responds to Accusations From Hedge Fund Herbalife executives made a presentation to analysts and its investors to respond to accusations by the investor William A. Ackman that their company operates a pyramid scheme.
Judge Postpones Sentencing for Wells Fargo Broker A California federal judge has delayed the sentencing of Philip Horn, a Wells Fargo broker who pleaded guilty to defrauding more than a dozen clients.
Breakingviews: Why an I.P.O. Revival May Have to Wait Yes, there has been pick-ups in a number of debt markets, but Dominic Elliott says that equities issuance still faces challenges.
Former UBS Executives Are Grilled Over Libor British lawmakers accused several former senior executives at the Swiss bank of "gross negligence and incompetence" in failing to detect that employees were altering benchmark interest rates for financial gain.
Cerberus to Buy Albertsons Grocery Chain From Supervalu An investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management agreed on Thursday to buy a number of grocery chains from Supervalu, including Albertsons, for about $3.3 billion. The Cerberus-led group will also buy up to 30 percent of Supervalu itself, paying $4 a share in a tender offer.
Returns at Hedge Funds Run by Women Beat the Industry, Report Says Hedge funds led by female managers produced a return of 8.95 percent through the third quarter of 2012, significantly outperforming the overall universe of hedge funds, a report shows.
Private Equity in China: Which Way Out? Of the 10,000 deals that were done during China's private equity boom of the past decade, about 7,500 are still searching for an exit.
Buzz Tracker
BlackRock to Buy E.T.F. Unit from Credit Suisse The giant money management firm agreed on Thursday to buy the exchange-traded fund business of the Swiss bank Credit Suisse for an undisclosed price. The unit has around $17.3 billion of assets under management, and the deal is expected to close by June.
Economic Reports Data to be released on Friday includes the trade deficit for November and import prices for December.
Corporate Earnings Companies scheduled to release quarterly earnings reports on Friday include Wells Fargo.
In the United States On Friday, the Agriculture Department will issue its monthly crop report.

Quotation of the Day
"The level of ignorance seems staggering to the point of incredulity."
Andrew Tyrie, a British politician, on UBS officials testifying about rate rigging.

Market Watch | Wall Street Market at Close Report (January 10, 2012).: U.S. stocks rise on improved global view:

By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch 

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, lifting the S&P 500 to a five-year closing high, after data from China bolstered the view of an improving global economy. 

“Chinese growth is accelerating and the market over the last day or so seems to have taken on a more positive tone as it relates to earnings,” said Mark Luschini, chief market strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. 

December exports data from China beat expectations, while European Central Bank President Mario Draghi projected that the euro zone’s economy would bounce back later this year. 

ECB holds policy steady Dow Jones Managing Editor Michael Casey joins the News Hub to discuss the increase in unemployment, European Central Bank rates holding steady and news from Herbalife. 

“In Europe the recession is not worsening, Chinese growth is accelerating and in the U.S., the worst of the fiscal cliff is behind us. The impact of tax cuts is less than what the CBO initially scored, which has the potential to lift confidence and as a result business spending,” said Luschini. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.60%  gained 80.71 points, or 0.6%, to 13,471.22.
Bank of America Corp. BAC -0.78% led blue-chip gains, which included 25 of the Dow’s 30 components. 

Banks and other financial companies have drawn support this week as the government’s consumer finance watchdog on Thursday unveiled mortgage rules that will make banks use new standards to determine if a borrower has the ability to repay a mortgage. And several large home-loan providers earlier in the week came to an accord with regulators to close a review of foreclosures ordered by the government. 

Five days after closing at its highest level since December 2007, the S&P 500 cleared its five-year closing high of 1,466.47. 

The S&P 500 SPX +0.76%  added 11.10 points, or 0.8%, to 1,472.12, with financials leading sector gains among its 10 major industry groups. Financial stocks: Wells Fargo shares rise on eve of results.
Microsoft Corp. MSFT +0.30%  fell 0.9% after Morgan Stanley downgraded the globe’s biggest software manufacturer to equalweight from underweight. 

Tiffany & Co. TIF -4.52% reported holiday-season sales that hinted the luxury retailer’s rapid growth of recent years was languishing in the United States, Europe and Japan. The company projected annual earnings at the low end of its prior guidance. Shares of Tiffany shed 4.5%. Read: Tiffany sparkle fades. 

“Especially with earnings season beginning, we’re much more focused on stock-specific reports,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG LLC.
After falling into the red, the Nasdaq Composite COMP +0.51% recouped to end at 3,121.76, up 15.95 points, or 0.5%. 

Shares of Apple Inc. AAPL +0.10%  rose 1.2%. The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook recently met with the chairman of China Mobile, triggering speculation that the mobile carrier may soon be offering the iPhone. Read: China Mobile chairman, Apple CEO talk cooperation.
For every stock falling nearly two gained on the New York Stock Exchange, where 727 million shares traded. 

Composite volume exceeded 4 billion. 

“The jobs data was benign, and the wholesale data nobody cares about,” said Greenhaus of U.S. economic reports, which had inventories at U.S. wholesalers up 0.6% in November and new applications for jobless benefits rising slightly last week. However, the level of jobless claims revealed little change over the past few months and was consistent with a modestly improving U.S. labor market. See: Jobless claims rise to 371,000. 
Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.

The Economist |Business this week: Highlights of news coverage January 5th - 11th 2013

The EconomistBusiness this week

» The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which formulates global standards for banking, surprised markets by relaxing new rules on liquidity. The committee made it easier for banks to meet its "liquidity coverage ratio" and also gave them an extra four years—until 2019—to comply with the rules. The share prices of European banks rose. See article»

Legacy costs
» It was another expensive week for America's big banks in legal settlements. Bank of America resolved its dispute with Fannie Mae, a government-backed mortgage company, by forking out $11.6 billion for liabilities on toxic loans. And BofA joined Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and seven other banks in agreeing to an $8.5 billion settlement with regulators over improper procedures when processing home foreclosures. Five banks reached a $25 billion settlement with state attorneys-general last year.
» Ireland conducted a successful auction of sovereign debt, selling €2.5 billion ($3.3 billion) of a five-year issue, having received orders of more than €7 billion. Irish officials said this bolsters their case that Ireland's dealings with the markets are becoming "normalised", as it seeks help from the European Union in reducing the debt burden it incurred when it rescued its banks. See article»
» HSBC's proposed sale of its stake in Ping An, a Chinese insurance company, to Thailand's CP Group for $9.4 billion seemed to be in trouble, as reports surfaced that regulators in China reviewing the deal are unhappy with the funding arrangements. See article»
» Google scored a victory over critics who accuse it of abusing its dominant position in online search when America's Federal Trade Commission said it had found no evidence that competition was being stifled. Microsoft in particular had chided Google for promoting its own services in search results. Google did agree to loosen licences on the stash of patents it holds. It now awaits the findings of a European antitrust investigation, which may not be so favourable.
» Samsung forecast that it would chalk up another huge quarterly operating profit, of $8.1 billion in the last three months of 2012, as its Android-based smartphones and tablets flew off the shelves. The South Korean company is launching its first device to run on Microsoft Windows 8 in America this month.
» Meanwhile, HTC saw quarterly profit fall to its lowest since 2006. The Taiwanese smartphone-maker's share of the global market declined to around 4% in 2012, compared with 10% in 2011.
» Transocean, the drilling contractor on the BP rig at the centre of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, reached a guilty-plea agreement with the Department of Justice in which it was fined $1 billion to settle civil charges brought under the Clean Water Act and $400m in criminal penalties. Further claims relating to the disaster remain unresolved against BP, Transocean and others. A trial is set to begin next month in New Orleans.

Striving for independence
» Net imports of oil to America are set to fall to 6m barrels a day next year, the lowest level since 1987, according to the Energy Information Administration. This is because domestic fuel production, helped by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is booming while consumption is declining.
» Anglo American appointed Mark Cutifani as its new chief executive, replacing Cynthia Carroll. The global mining giant has been beset by troubles that have chipped away at its share price. Mr Cutifani has long experience in South Africa, the heart of Anglo's operations: he is the boss of AngloGold Ashanti, a gold miner. South Africa is becoming a tougher place for miners.
» Iron ore prices hit a 15-month high, after their spectacular rally during the last three months of 2012. Prices have climbed rapidly because of a manufacturing pickup in China; its imports and exports grew sharply in December.

Let me tell you how it will be
» MMX, an iron-ore mining company owned by Eike Batista, one of Latin America's richest men, became the latest big Brazilian firm to receive a whopping demand for back taxes. Mr Batista said the claim for $1.8 billion, or four times MMX's sales, was "baseless". Brazil's tax agencies have recently requested more than $3 billion in unpaid taxes from companies, adding to firms' frustration with the country's labyrinthine tax code.
» Contentious government tax claims were also to the fore in India, another once-hot BRIC economy that has cooled, when Vodafone received a "reminder" from the tax authorities to pay $2 billion in retroactive taxes. The mobile-phone company had hoped the matter had been laid to rest when the Supreme Court ruled in its favour last year. See article»

The Economist | Politics this week: Highlights of news coverage from January 5th -11th 2013.

The EconomistPolitics this week

» The new leadership in China was confronted with its first big political test when journalists at a newspaper in Guangzhou went on strike and called openly for greater freedoms. This was after propaganda officials altered an editorial that would have urged the Communist Party to uphold rights under the constitution. Hundreds of people took to the streets to show their support for the journalists. See article»
» A private delegation headed by Bill Richardson, a former American governor and diplomat, and which included Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman, visited North Korea to urge greater openness in internet and wireless communications. The State Department said the trip was "ill-advised".
» India claimed that soldiers from Pakistan crossed the line of control in Kashmir and killed two Indian soldiers, beheading one. Pakistan denied the allegation. The region has been a flashpoint between the two countries since independence in 1947.
» The new government of Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, said Japan would increase defence spending after a decade of falling military budgets. This comes at a time of heightened tensions with China over disputed islands.
» Cooler weather brought some relief to Australia, which is battling bush fires and saw a new record of 40.3°C (104.5°F) for the highest national average temperature. It has been hot enough for Australian meteorologists to increase their temperature scale to 54°C and add a new colour to depict the heat in South Australia. See article»

Succession question
» Venezuela's vice-president, Nicolás Maduro, admitted that Hugo Chávez was too ill to be sworn in for a new six-year term on January 10th and would be inaugurated at an unspecified later date. The opposition reckons that the constitution requires Mr Maduro to take over temporarily as president, or a fresh election should be held. Officials said the inauguration was a technicality since Mr Chávez is already in post as president. See article»
» Chile invoked an anti-terrorist law in the south of the country after an elderly couple died in an arson attack on their farmhouse by Mapuche Indian activists, who were protesting over land and the death five years ago of another activist.
» The attorney-general's office in Colombia reopened an investigation into alleged links between Álvaro Uribe, a former president, and right-wing paramilitaries while Mr Uribe was a regional governor in the 1990s. He has vehemently denied the claims.

His back to the wall

» In his first public speech for nearly seven months, Syria's President Bashar Assad set his face against negotiating with the rebels seeking to overthrow him. But in a rare success for diplomacy, more than 2,100 prisoners held by the Syrian regime were freed in exchange for 48 Iranians taken hostage by rebels in August. See article»
» Egypt's president, Muhammad Morsi, mediated talks in Cairo between the leaders of the two main Palestinian groups, the Islamists of Hamas and the more secular Fatah, in a bid to implement a unity pact signed in 2011.
» South Africa sent troops to the Central African Republic to help defend the regime of President François Bozizé against an alliance of rebels. The rebels held talks with Mr Bozizé's administration and opposition parties in nearby Gabon. They say he must step down before any transitional government can be set up. Mr Bozizé, who did not attend the talks, said he will not resign.
» At a meeting in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, the presidents of the two Sudans renewed a pledge to abide by the terms of a peace deal they signed in September. But the UN warned of a worsening humanitarian crisis in Sudan's South Kordofan and Blue Nile provinces, where rebels are fighting government forces.

Lew suggestion
» Jack Lew was expected to be nominated by Barack Obama as his new treasury secretary, replacing Timothy Geithner, who is stepping down after four gruelling years in the job. Mr Lew is currently the White House chief of staff and used to head its budget office. See article»
» Mr Obama also put forward Chuck Hagel to be America's next defence secretary. Although he is a former Republican senator, Mr Hagel's nomination came under fire from those in his own party who think he will be too accommodating to Iran and a weak supporter of Israel. See article»
» Filling out his security team Mr Obama nominated John Brennan, his top adviser on counter-terrorism, to head the CIA. Mr Brennan takes charge amid some criticisms about the CIA's policy of assassinating al-Qaeda and Taliban members by drone attacks. See article»
» The White House kept up the pressure on gun control after last month's massacre at a school in Connecticut. Joe Biden, the vice-president, has been tasked with co-ordinating federal legislation. New York state was set to propose some of the most stringent gun-control laws in America. See article»

Remember the bad old days?
» Silvio Berlusconi, a former prime minister of Italy, revealed that he had wooed the regionalist Northern League's leaders back into an alliance that they deserted after the fall of his government in 2011. The League is crucial to the prospects of the Italian right in the general election scheduled for February 24th and 25th. See article»
» Hungary's Constitutional Court ruled that a new electoral law requiring voters to pre-register before the next general election was unconstitutional. The law required voters to register online at least two weeks beforehand. See article»
» A senior American diplomat warned Britain that it risks damaging its relationship with America and being sidelined internationally if it leaves the European Union. David Cameron, the mildly Eurosceptic British prime minister, is soon to give a big set piece speech on Europe.
» Gérard Depardieu, a French film star, was granted Russian citizenship by Vladimir Putin. Mr Depardieu has fled sky-high French taxes in favour of Russia's 13% flat income tax, but he will need to spend 183 days a year in Russia to qualify for that rate. Brigitte Bardot, another French film star, also applied for Russian citizenship to protest against the decision to put down two sick elephants at the Lyon zoo. She did not explain how her move to Russia would help the beasts.

BIV Today's Business News (January 10, 2013).: Breaking: Film, TV, gaming left out of BC Jobs Plan

Film and Entertainment

Breaking: Film, TV, gaming left out of BC Jobs Plan

Premier Christy Clark’s BC Jobs Plan boosts agrifoods, forestry, mining, natural gas, international education, technology, tourism and transportation – but not ... READ MORE

Real Estate and Development


Developers plan to turn Waldorf Hotel into condos

Condominium developer Solterra Group of Companies has bought East Vancouver’s Waldorf Hotel from Marko Puharich for an undisclosed price and is expected to ... READ MORE



MDA lands $706m Canadian satellite contract

Richmond-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) (TSX:MDA) has signed a $706 million contract with the Canadian Space Agency to build... READ MORE

More News...


BCSC fines directors $6.9m for securities misconduct

B.C. housing starts fall in December

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