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Nov 11, 2013

NYT | Asia Morning November 11, 2013: The Plot Against France by Paul Krugman:

Top News
Crowds gathered at the airport in Tacloban for medical treatment and food.
Devastation in Typhoon's Path Slows Relief in Philippines


Aid crews were struggling to reach desperate survivors three days after a powerful storm that crippled the country's midsection and was feared to have left at least 10,000 people dead.
. Video  Video: On the Ground in Tacloban | Aerial Views of the Devastation
. Map  Map: Mapping the Path of Typhoon Haiyan
. Storm Track Veers Away From Vietnam
Once-Thriving City Is Reduced to Ruin in Philippines


Shattered buildings line every road of Tacloban, the city hardest hit by the typhoon, and many streets are still so clogged with debris that they are barely discernible.

The Lede

How to Help Philippines Typhoon Victims


A list of contact information for some organizations that plan to provide relief to victims of the typhoon in the Philippines.
For more top news, go to
Editors' Picks


Video Video: On the Ground in Tacloban
The Times's Keith Bradsher reports on the devastation in Tacloban, Philippines, three days after Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the city.

OPINION | Op-Ed | Nikos Konstandaras

Can the Greek Center Hold?


Social frustrations feed off misery and draw on deep roots of division.

Sinosphere Blog

China Offers Relatively Modest Aid for Typhoon Victims


China extended far more generous assistance to the Philippines after a storm in 2011, before relations between the countries deteriorated over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

The Lede

Aerial Views of Devastation in the Philippines


For the first time since Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, aerial views are showing the extent of the damage in some parts of the country, cut off because of downed communication lines.
Children gathered on Monday at the spot where Nasiruddin Haqqani was said to have been killed on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Haqqani Militant Leader Is Killed in Pakistan


Nasiruddin Haqqani, the group's main financier, was shot dead outside of Islamabad, in the latest setback for terrorist groups sheltering in Pakistan.
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Online Shopping Marathon Zooms Off the Blocks


Chinese consumers were taking to the Internet in record numbers for an annual 24-hour online sale that has ballooned into the world's biggest e-commerce event.
. Photographs  Slide Show: Tracking the World's Biggest E-Commerce Event
. A Day for 'Bare Branches'
A Li Ning sportswear store in Anhui Province. Rising disposable income is spurring growth in service-oriented businesses.
Service Sector Gaining Steam in Chinese Economy


As China's policy makers gather in Beijing this week to discuss how to overhaul the economy, signs abound that the service sector is playing an increasingly important role.
Behind E-Commerce Spree, a Day for 'Bare Branches'

Sinosphere Blog

Behind E-Commerce Spree, a Day for 'Bare Branches'


In China, Nov. 11 is "Bare Branch Day" or "Singles Day," when unmarried Chinese celebrate their status. It's also become an online shopping festival.
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The Postal Service said it expected to make more such deals with other merchants, seeking a larger role in the $186 billion e-commerce market.
Postal Service to Make Sunday Deliveries for Amazon


The plan covers the New York and Los Angeles metro areas and is expected to expand, and it offers the Postal Service a chance to take profitable business away from rivals.
For $99, Eliminating the Mystery of Pandora's Genetic Box

DealBook Special Section

For $99, Eliminating the Mystery of Pandora's Genetic Box


Anne Wojcicki, the co-founder and chief executive of 23andMe, the DNA testing start-up, discusses the future of genetics and health care.
For more technology news, go to
Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa, right, fought for the ball against Arsenal's Bacary Sagna during Sunday's match.
With Victory Over Arsenal, United Shows Its Mettle


Robin van Persie's header in the first half, followed by tough defense, was enough to undo league-leading Arsenal.
. Hanging on, Barely, in the Premier League
Steve Clarke, the West Bromwich Albion team manager, played in Chelsea blue as a defender for 11 years.
Hanging on, Barely, in the Premier League


Steve Clarke of West Bromwich Albion and Chris Hughton of Norwich City both survived to coach another day after their weekend Premier League matches.
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U.S. News
President Obama in April with Jeffrey Zients, a fill-in at the Office of Management and Budget.
Health Website Tests a Tycoon and Tinkerer


With no hands-on technology experience and a tight deadline, the entrepreneur Jeffrey D. Zients is leading the effort to fix
At the New York State exchange's customer service center, an operator signaling for help from a supervisor.
Talk of Penalty Is Missing in Ads for Health Care


The state and federal health insurance exchanges are emphasizing benefits to sell the Affordable Care Act's products, but playing down the fees that Americans must pay if they fail to buy.
Art Halvorson, a Pennsylvania Republican, is challenging an incumbent from his party for a House seat.
For 2014, G.O.P.'s Challenges Stem From Within


In the battle over the Republican Party's ideological future, a number of races could alter the party's complexion in the House - and Washington's ability to govern.
For more U.S. news, go to

Op-Ed Contributor

Anarchy and Death in Mali


Two factors are harming efforts to stabilize Mali: the local struggle for power and the determination of AQIM to harass any outside presence.
Paul Krugman

Op-Ed Columnist

The Plot Against France


It's another case of ideology posing as economic analysis.
. Columnist Page | Blog

Op-Ed Contributor

Saving Kerry's Peace Plan


If Israel wants to minimize the number of Palestinians who "return" it should sharply reduce the number of settlers.
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White Collar Watch: Determining the Victims of Insider Trading: DealBook P.M. Edition November 11, 2013.

For the latest updates, go to »
Monday, November 11, 2013
Determining the Victims of Insider Trading
White Collar Watch: Determining the Victims of Insider Trading The Justice Department's prosecution of SAC Capital Advisors raises the question of who the victims of a violation are. A provision of the federal securities laws gives those who traded at the same time as the insider a right to sue, but the Justice Department said they are not victims of the crime, writes Peter J. Henning.
    Suit Charges 3 Credit Rating Agencies With Fraud in Bear Stearns Case
    Suit Charges 3 Credit Rating Agencies With Fraud in Bear Stearns Case Liquidators seeking to recover money for investors in two hedge funds filed the lawsuit on Monday against Standard & Poor's, Fitch and Moody's.
    Injuries for 2 N.F.L. Players in Public Offering Deal
    Injuries for 2 N.F.L. Players in Public Offering Deal Sunday was a bad day for Fantex, the fledgling company promoting initial public offerings of National Football League stars, as its first two prospects were sidelined.
    Banks May Curb Traders' Use of Chat Rooms Credit Suisse, JPMorgan Chase and other investment banks are said to be considering limiting the ability of their traders to chat electronically with other banks amid a series of investigations of potential manipulation of the foreign exchange market.
    Transocean Makes Peace With Icahn
    Transocean Makes Peace With Icahn Transocean agreed to pay a $3-a-share dividend, make $800 million in cost cuts and undertake shifts in strategy.
    K.K.R. to Buy Landscaping Company Brickman for $1.6 Billion
    K.K.R. to Buy Landscaping Company Brickman for $1.6 Billion Leonard Green & Partners of Los Angeles, the current owner of the Brickman Group, had been fielding offers for the company for about two months.
    Shire of Ireland to Pay $4.2 Billion for U.S. Drug Maker The Irish pharmaceutical company Shire will acquire the outstanding shares of ViroPharma of Pennsylvania for $50 a share in a move intended to bolster its roster of treatments for rare diseases.
    Novartis to Sell Diagnostics Unit to Grifols for $1.7 Billion The sale by the Swiss pharmaceutical company comes as part of an effort to focus on its larger business units.
    Reuters Breakingviews: BlackBerry's Turnaround Starts All Thumbs The big questions are about John Chen holding the top two jobs at the troubled smartphone maker and his commuting from California, writes Richard Beales.
    Special Section: The Big Ideas Machine
    For Better Performance, Hedge Funds Seek the Inner Trader
    For Better Performance, Hedge Funds Seek the Inner Trader The industry is increasingly turning to self-help programs, sometimes referred to as "mindware" products, to try to improve its game.
    Slowing the Revolving Door Between Public and Private Jobs
    Slowing the Revolving Door Between Public and Private Jobs Countless prosecutors, regulators and congressional aides swap their government résumés for seven-figure salaries at law firms and lobbying shops.
    For $99, Eliminating the Mystery of Pandora's Genetic Box
    For $99, Eliminating the Mystery of Pandora's Genetic Box Anne Wojcicki, the co-founder and chief executive of 23andMe, the DNA testing start-up, discusses the future of genetics and health care.
    A MUNICIPAL BANKING EXPERT James Spiotto has offered a way to deal with cities' rising pension obligations.
    Stepping Up With a Plan to Save American Cities Borrowing an idea from New York's fiscal crisis, a municipal bankruptcy expert is trying to help troubled communities restructure their pension debts.
    One Answer to the Index Fund: Build a Better Index
    Strategies: One Answer to the Index Fund: Build a Better Index Funds based on so-called fundamental indexes try to beat the market by giving value stocks greater weight, writes Jeff Sommers.
    Another View: Honesty That Benefits All Doug Steiner, a consultant at a behavioral economics firm, discusses studies that show how minor changes to work practices can have effects on honesty.
    The Case Against Too Much Independence on the Board
    Deal Professor: The Case Against Too Much Independence on the Board While crony-filled boards are gone, Steven M. Davidoff argues there is no evidence that a supermajority of independent directors does any better.
    Private Equity's Online Courtship
    Private Equity's Online Courtship For private equity firms, the process of finding investors may soon be as simple as logging on to a website.
    FILTERING TWITTER'S FIRE HOSE Joe Gits, the president and chief executive of Social Market Analytics, at his company's office in Chicago.
    Separating the Market-Moving Tweets From the Chaff Wall Street has recognized the value of Twitter as an investing tool, but a question remains about how best to sift half a billion daily messages to gain an edge on the market.
    Markets Evolve, as Does Financial Fraud
    White Collar Watch: Markets Evolve, as Does Financial Fraud Regulators and investors face the challenge of finding the fine line between permissible trading and market manipulation, writes Peter J. Henning.
    Buzz Tracker
    Kirkland & Ellis Lures Deal Lawyer Away From Simpson Thacher Kirkland said on Monday that it had hired Sean Rodgers as a partner. The move is the latest effort to bulk up Kirkland's deals practice through hiring from other law firms, which has helped the practice move up the legal league tables.
    Trade Talks European Union trade negotiators and their counterparts from the United States started a second round of talks in Brussels on Monday aimed at reaching a landmark trans-Atlantic accord to lower tariffs and harmonize regulations. The talks, scheduled to last until Friday, follow reports of the United States spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which prompted some lawmakers to demand that the talks cover privacy protection. Ms. Merkel has said that privacy should be dealt with separately from the trade talks to help ensure a deal can be reached to spur growth and create jobs.
    European Union The top official overseeing economic and monetary policy for the European Union will issue his prescriptions for growth in the European Union on Wednesday, including an update on reforms in areas from employment to public finances in 28 member countries. The official, Olli Rehn, has come under pressure in recent months to do more to push Germany, with the largest economy in the bloc, to make efforts to reduce its trade surplus with other member states. On Friday Mr. Rehn will issue annual report cards on the national budgets of 13 countries using the euro in the first exercise of its kind since he gained new surveillance powers. He is expected to push France, with the second-largest economy in the euro area, to adopt policies and enact reforms to meet crucial budget deficit targets. Four euro-area countries in bailout programs are not included in the report because they are already under enhanced surveillance.
    Art Auction The extracurricular activities of the billionaire trader Steven A. Cohen turn from the legal world to the art world. Mr. Cohen's hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors, pleaded guilty last Friday to insider trading charges in Federal District Court in Manhattan. This week, Mr. Cohen will be closely monitoring the contemporary art auctions at Sotheby's and Christie's, which are selling works from his celebrated collection, including two Andy Warhol paintings, a Gerhard Richter canvas and a Takashi Murakami sculpture.
    Yellen Hearings Janet Yellen is likely to face some tough questions Thursday when she appears before the Senate Banking Committee seeking confirmation as the next head of the Federal Reserve. Republicans are unhappy about her support for the Fed's stimulus campaign and for stricter financial regulations. But the sound and fury won't signify much. Democrats and Republicans expect Ms. Yellen, the Fed's current vice chairwoman, to win the Senate's approval well before the current Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, steps down at the end of January.
    European Banking Finance ministers from 17 countries using the euro are scheduled to meet in Brussels on Thursday to discuss banking reform and progress in countries like Greece that have received huge bailout packages. On Friday, the ministers will joined by counterparts from 11 other European Union countries outside the euro area. The main item on the agenda during the two-day monthly meeting is expected to be discussion of a unified system to shutter or restructure failing banks that would constitute the second stage of a so-called banking union aimed at preventing a recurrence of sovereign indebtedness that nearly destroyed the euro.
    For the latest updates, go to »
  • Quotation of the Day
    "It could be structured by cows and we would rate it."
    An S.&P. employee, in a 2007 text message cited in a suit that charges credit rating agencies with fraud in the Bear Stearns case.

Gerald Celente - Trends In The News - "Legends Of France" - (11/11/13)

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH November 11, 2013: Prospect of a Deal on Volcker Rule Worries Banks.

Prospect of a deal on Volcker rule worries banks

By Tom Braithwaite and Gina Chon
Financial Times, London
Monday, November 11, 2013
In January it will be four years since President Barack Obama vowed to stop banks trading for their own account.

"If these folks want a fight, it's a fight I'm ready to have," he said as he announced the Volcker rule, alongside the former Federal Reserve chairman who proposed it and after whom it was named.
The years have passed, Mr Obama has been re-elected, but his pledge has gone unfulfilled.

Regulators have failed to implement the rule. And most of the fighting has occurred not between the White House and Wall Street but between the five agencies supposed to draft it.

Now, finally, officials are optimistic that the rule will be delivered by the end of the year. Banks are nervous about the outcome and furious at what they say is stonewalling by the regulators.
In anticipation of the rule, all the proprietary trading desks where banks took their own positions on stocks, bonds, or derivatives have been disbanded and the traders redeployed in-house or hired by hedge funds where such activity is still permitted.

But that does not mean the banks are already compliant. A loss of more than $6 billion by a JPMorgan Chase trader known as the London Whale using the bank's money to invest in credit derivatives last year also influenced the rule's development. Though executives said it was a "hedge" and not a proprietary bet.

For more than three years regulators have been arguing over where to draw the line between prohibited prop trading on the one hand and permitted market making for clients and hedging on the other.

One of the top areas of contention, according to people familiar with the discussions, is limits on fund ownership to prohibit a bank from acquiring or maintaining an equity investment in a "covered fund." This could preclude banks from backing hedge funds, private equity funds, investment trusts, or joint ventures.

There are exceptions, but they are unclear and banks have only until January to submit an extension request for a rule they have not seen.

People close to the discussions say the battle is continuing and is expected to intensify before the rule goes to a vote by officials in December.

"Some firms have hundreds of investments that could be covered," says Whitney Chatterjee, a partner at law firm Sullivan & Cromwell. "In almost every case, there is an economic cost to leaving those ventures. And if you are thinking of getting into one, you are likely sitting on the sidelines until this is resolved."

Bankers say it is not acceptable for regulators to impose a final rule after such a long delay and argue it should go back a step, to be "reproposed," giving the industry an opportunity to analyse the latest text. Some regulators, including SEC commissioner Michael Piwowar, agree.

If the push for a reproposed rule fails, banks want as long a grace period as possible. Some officials are sympathetic to the idea of giving the banks more time but it is unclear whether they will get the full two years they want.

For the banks, much remains unclear, partly because of an unusual veil of secrecy. "There's been radio silence," says one banker.

Banks' claims to have been shut out are disputed by some officials. But a review of the agencies' disclosures of industry meetings shows only a handful on the subject in the past year.

One of the few people that Fed officials have seen is Greg Smith, the Goldman Sachs banker who resigned from the institution to rail against its "toxic" culture and told Fed staff that "all principal positions should be prohibited and only agency trading on behalf of customers be permitted."
His is not exactly the message that banks hope will be heard from their lawyers and lobbyists.
Officials retort that banks have had plenty of opportunity to put forward their views before this year when regulators have had to write the rule and respond to 16,000 comment letters, many of them from the financial industry.

US bankers reckon their foreign competitors could have an advantage. "If you are in Europe, you can move from Goldman to Deutsche and continue to do what youre doing without regards to this rule," says one US banker.

A European banker disagrees, saying the rule has proved a compliance problem even before it is implemented and will be just as arduous for non-US banks operating in New York.

At the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, commissioner Scott O'Malia has twice publicly asked when officials could see a copy of the Volcker rule, arguing he needs time to process the proposal that is expected to be about 1,000 pages long.

CFTC chairman Gary Gensler, who has been working on the draft with other regulators, said last week it was not ready yet but he expects to have a public hearing on the rule in mid-December. A CFTC spokesman declined to comment.

The rule is set to include a process for data collection and analysis so regulators do not have to make snap judgments about whether it has been violated.

Another outstanding issue is the limit on "portfolio hedging" -- banks taking a broad position, for example by buying credit protection on a derivatives index, to offset a collection of risks in other areas of the balance sheet. This was what JPMorgan Chase claimed the London Whale was trying to do.

There is still a chance that the process will unravel once more if disagreements prove insurmountable between regulators who want the strictest curbs, such as Mr Gensler and Kara Stein, a Democrat at the SEC, and those who want a more moderate approach.

To the left of the political spectrum, the delay is evidence of the negative influence of the banks on rulemaking. To the right, it is evidence of the inefficient work of government bureaucrats, paralysed by turf wars.

But either way, it has been a long wait for Wall Street, Mr Obama, and 86-year-old Paul Volcker himself.

* * *