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Feb 25, 2013

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH February 25, 2013.: Fed is 'nowhere close' to raising rates and tightening, Rickards tells Kitco News

Fed is 'nowhere close' to raising rates and tightening, Rickards tells Kitco News

Submitted by cpowell on 04:43PM ET Monday, February 25, 2013. Section: Daily Dispatches
4:35p PT Monday, February 25, 2013
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
Market analyst and hedge fund manager James G. Rickards, author of the best-selling book "Currency Wars," today tells Kitco News' Daniela Cambone that the Federal Reserve is "nowhere close" to raising interest rates and tightening monetary conditions. Rickards adds that gold's volatility lately has been the dollar's and that gold simply should be purchased and socked away because it will do fine over time. The interview is 21 minutes long and can be viewed at Kitco News here:
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH February 25, 2013.: Swiss vault operator wants U.S. gold bugs out

Swiss vault operator wants U.S. gold bugs out

Submitted by cpowell on 04:14PM ET Monday, February 25, 2013. Section: Daily Dispatches
By Clementine Wallop and Tatyana Shumsky
The Wall Street Journal
Monday, February 25, 2013
U.S. gold bugs who sought to store their gold overseas are under pressure from vault operator Via Mat International.
The Swiss-based company said it will no longer offer to store gold outside of the U.S. to private clients with potential U.S. tax liability, starting from the middle of 2013. The company attributed the decision to regulatory changes without specifying exactly what regulations led to the decision.
Via Mat's move targets the heart of the gold-bug movement. While many investors seek gold as a haven from inflation, currency risk, or economic uncertainty, for some, owning gold isn't enough. Only gold stored outside of Uncle Sam's reach will do.

NYT | Global Update February 25, 2013.: Italians Reject Austerity, but Split Vote May Mean Gridlock

The New York Times International Herald Tribune
February 25, 2013
Compiled 21:45 GMT

Global Update


Italians Reject Austerity, but Split Vote May Mean Gridlock

In elections marked by voter fury and low turnout, experts said the likeliest outcome was a shaky coalition that would again expose Italy, and the euro zone, to market turmoil.

Mediterranean Diet Cuts Heart Disease Risk, Study Finds

About 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet, according to new research.

British Cardinal Resigns; Accused of 'Inappropriate Acts'

Britain's most senior Roman Catholic cleric, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, said he would step down and would not attend the Vatican conclave to elect a new pope.

Highlights From the 2013 Oscars Red Carpet

For all the fashionable events that take place during awards season, the red carpet at the Academy Awards remains the main attraction.

Op-Ed Contributor

Shared Wounds in Korea

Park Geun-hye is a symbol of a girl who grew up before the nation's eyes, only to lose both parents violently, and then become the mother they had carried a torch for since her own mother's martyrdom.

In Last Sunday Address, Pope Says He Will Continue to Serve God

Pope Benedict XVI says he will continue to serve and love the church by praying and meditating after his abdication on Thursday.

Syria Willing to Talk with Armed Opponents, Foreign Minister Says

The statement was the first in which a high-ranking Syrian official signaled that the government was open to talking with rebels.

Syrian Opposition's Complaints Shadow Kerry's First Official Trip

In his first foreign trip as secretary of state, John Kerry is set to meet with Syrian opposition leaders, but they are threatening to boycott the conference to protest what they see as fainthearted international support.

How Will 2 Magazine Titans Merge? Carefully

Time Inc. and Meredith, whose corporate cultures have already proved sharply discordant once, are creating a new company to house their magazine titles.

Barnes & Noble Chairman to Bid for Bookstore's Retail Business

Leonard Riggio, the chairman of Barnes & Noble, plans to bid for the retail business of the bookstore chain he started 40 years ago, as the company struggles with a changing competitive landscape.

Ikea Withdraws Meatballs After Horse Meat Is Found

The Swedish retailing giant said it pulled the popular items from 14 European countries after Czech authorities detected horse meat in products labeled beef and pork.
News Analysis

A New Cold War, in Cyberspace, Tests U.S. Ties to China

The Obama administration is weighing how directly to confront China over hacking as it escalates demands that Beijing halt the state-sponsored attacks it insists it is not mounting.

Twitter Hacking Puts Focus on Security for Brands

With attacks on the Twitter accounts of Burger King, Jeep and others, the site's relatively lax security is a concern.

Barnes & Noble Weighs Its E-Reader Investment

The company's underperforming Nook Media division might signal that its substantial investment in its digital future has essentially run its course.

U.S. and Russia Team Up on Slopes

American skiers are getting early access to the 2014 Olympic slopes as part of an agreement between the two countries to collaborate on training.

Farah Wins Half Marathon

The double Olympic champion Mo Farah beat Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia in a finishing sprint to win the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon.

Beckham Lifts Paris St.-Germain Over Marseille

David Beckham celebrated his Paris St.-Germain debut by helping to create the second goal to beat Marseille. In other action, Manchester City beat Chelsea and A.C. Milan and Inter tie.

Adults Are Flocking to College That Paved Way for Flexibility

There are almost as many routes to a degree as there are students at Thomas Edison, which has offered adults higher-education alternatives since 1972.

Crossed Paths: Chicago's Jacksons and Obamas

The ascent of the leading black political family in the United States is inextricable from the unraveling of an older one.

Trusts Offer a Legal Loophole for Buying Restricted Guns

Shooting enthusiasts are creating legal trusts to acquire firearms whose sale is limited by federal law, a mechanism that can bypass the requirement for a criminal background check.
Op-Ed Columnist

Italian Moments

Reality in Italy is all in the head. Elections come and go. Human difference, thankfully, endures.
Op-Ed Columnist

Austerity, Italian Style

The country is trapped between comics and delusional Eurocrats.
Op-Ed Columnist

On Keeping On

One fighter pilot's simple code for life.

U.S. stocks slide as Italy, sequestration hit: MarketWatch | Wall Street at Close Report February 25, 2013

By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch 

NEW YORK (MarketWatch)U.S. stocks fell sharply on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average having its worst session this year, as Italian elections and looming spending cuts in the U.S. hit sentiment. 

The euro EURUSD -1.1088%  tumbled against other global currencies, particularly the Japanese yen EURJPY -3.9007% , as investors tracked the outcome of national elections in Italy, where a potentially strong performance by Silvio Berlusconi’s coalition is seen as a threat to the nation’s austerity agenda. Read more on euro’s drop.
Uncertainty about Europe and the March 1 deadline for U.S. lawmakers to reach a deal to avert automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration, had the CBOE Volatility Index VIX +34.02%   climbing 35%. 

“The market started off strong today, but is starting to get a little worried. If the sequestration happens, and the big cuts are in place, I am pretty sure the market is going to pull back, maybe 3% to 5%, then go to all-time highs,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of active trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab.

After an 81-point rise, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -1.55% fell 216.40 points, or 1.6%, to 13,784.17, with all but three of its 30 components finishing in the red. 

The S&P 500 index SPX -1.83%  fell 27.75 points, or 1.8%, to 1,487.85, with financial companies the worst performing of its 10 sectors, all of which closed lower. 

The Nasdaq Composite index COMP -1.44%  shed 45.57 points, or 1.4%, to 3,116.25. 

Italians feel the fiscal pain
Italians are going to the polls in a election, which will set Italy's future economic path. It's a vote that has implications for the whole of the euro zone. 

Equities have fallen in recent sessions, with the S&P 500 on Friday tallying its first weekly drop this year, as strategists said the market could use a correction or at minimum a pause given an advance that has the S&P 500 up 5.9% so far this year. 

“The market is already primed for a pullback, all it needs is a catalyst,” said Frederick.
For every stock that advanced more than three fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where almost 819 million shares traded. Composite volume approached 4 billion. 

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the price of oil slipped a bit, with crude for April delivery CLJ3 -1.09%  down 2 cents to close at $93.11 a barrel. Read more on oil futures.

Ballot box

Getty Images Enlarge Image
Democratic Party chief Pier Luigi Bersani.
After polls closed in Italy’s second day of general-election voting, partial results pointed to an outcome that could end in a split parliament. 

Italy’s state broadcaster pointed Monday to a stronger-than-initially-thought showing by Berlusconi and his allies in the upper house. A center-left coalition headed by Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani is reportedly on track for a majority in the lower house. Read: Projections leave Italy election result unclear. 
Exit polls showing the lead of Bersani’s center-left alliance “perhaps being challenged” led to a pullback on Wall Street, said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. 

A divided Congress in Italy could “run counter to reforms Italy has undertaken to be a member of good standing in the European Union, and could compromise Italy’s debt and its position in the euro,” he added.
Friday’s deadline to avoid across-the-board reductions in federal spending brings another standoff between President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress. If lawmakers fail to move, government spending will be cut by $85 billion in the last seven months of this fiscal year. See: Obama, Republicans face Friday sequester deadline.

Moving concerns

Lowe’s Cos Inc.’s LOW -4.80%  on Monday reported quarterly results that exceeded estimates, with the home-improvement chain projecting higher revenue for the current fiscal year. Shares fell nearly 5%.
Barnes & Noble Inc. BKS +11.47%  shares rallied 11% after the founder and chairman disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday that he had told the book seller he would attempt to acquire the company’s retail business. 

Affymax Inc. AFFY -85.35%  shares dropped 85% after the drug maker and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. voluntarily recalled a dialysis treatment in the wake of reports it could prompt potentially life-threatening reactions. Read more on health-care stocks.
Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.

DealBook P.M. Edition February 25, 2013: What Barnes & Noble's Retail Arm Might Be Worth Home |Business Day| Video The New York Times

Monday, February 25, 2013
What Barnes & Noble's Retail Arm Might Be Worth Now that Barnes & Noble's chairman is planning to bid for the retailer's physical stores, how much will he pay? According to some analysts, maybe not all that much.
Barnes & Noble Chairman to Bid for Bookstore's Retail Business Leonard Riggio, the chairman of Barnes & Noble, plans to bid for the retail business of the bookstore chain he started 40 years ago, as the company struggles with a changing competitive landscape.

White Collar Watch: The Challenge of Sentencing White-Collar Defendants Peter J. Henning says that a recent appeals court decision reflects an underlying tension in the sentencing white-collar criminals who present no real threat of physical harm to society and continue to lead productive lives after committing a crime.
China Insider: After the First 100 Days of Xi Jinping Bill Bishop says that three important political meetings will occur in the next two weeks, with pollution problems likely to be on the agenda of at least one of them.
Pynchon Takes On Silicon Alley A new novel by Thomas Pynchon, to be released in September, takes place in "the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11," according to its publisher.
Japan Plans to Sell $10 Billion Stake in Cigarette Firm The Japanese government is set to loosen its grip on Japan Tobacco, the world's third-largest tobacco company, by selling a third of its stake.
Royalty Pharma Offers to Buy Elan for $6.6 Billion RP Management has made a preliminary offer to buy the Elan Corporation of Ireland for $11 a share, in an attempt to scuttle the stand-alone strategy outlined by the drug maker. Elan called the bid "highly opportunistic."
Breakingviews: Buyout Offer Will Likely Not End Elan's Merger Ambitions Robert Cyran says that Royalty Pharma's $6.6 billion buyout offer is too small of a premium to tempt Elan's management away from its own acquisition ambitions.
Economic Reports Data to be released on Tuesday includes the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller housing price index for December and the fourth quarter, new home sales for January and consumer confidence for January.
Corporate Earnings Companies scheduled to report results on Tuesday include Home Depot, Macy's, RadioShack, DreamWorks Animation and TiVo.
In the United States On Tuesday, JPMorgan Chase will hold its annual investor day conference, and Martin Gruenberg, the chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, will announce the agency's report on bank earnings for the fourth quarter and 2012. Also, staff members of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the International Organization of Securities Commissioners will hold a public meeting to discuss a report that outlines ways to overhaul benchmarks like Libor.

Quotation of the Day
"Making a bet on bookstores now, when we don't know what the ultimate footprint of those stores will be, will require getting a really great price."
James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research, arguing that Barnes & Noble had little ability to command a top-drawer price for its legacy businesses.

BIV | Today´s Business News February 25, 2013 | Real Estate and Development: Vancouver to expand laneway housing initiative

Real Estate and Development

Vancouver to expand laneway housing initiative

The City of Vancouver is planning to expand and tweak its laneway housing program to encourage the building of laneway homes and make them ... READ MORE


B.C.’s housing affordability improves “noticeably”: RBC

For the second consecutive quarter, B.C.’s housing affordability has improved “noticeably,” according to ... READ MORE

Retail and Manufacturing


Sales brisk for rechristened Vancouver International Wine Festival

Most events at the seven-day, rebranded Vancouver International Wine Festival, which starts today, are already ... READ MORE

More News...


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This Week's Issue

B.C. wineries continue steady growth in wider world

Sales of BC VQA wines to Alberta and other regions on the rise - plus BIV's exclusive list of B.C.'s biggest wineries ... READ MORE

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How do I get the most out of search engine optimization for my business website?

Our tech gurus Jonathan Becker, Guy Martin Smalley and Darrell Hadden explain ... READ MORE

Influential Women in Business 2013

Judy Brooks: A purposeful life

Leading up to our March 6 gala luncheon (for tickets, click the ad below), we will be highlighting the profiles of our honorees. Today's winner is Judy Brooks of Blo Blow Dry Bar ... READ MORE