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Nov 20, 2013

The Stream : Egypt's Exclusive Democracy: Al Jazeera English November 20, 2013.

Al Jazeera English Al Jazeera English


NYT | Documentary: The Umbrella Man - JFK Assassination Documentary November 20, 2013.

The New York Times The New York Times


Swiss Government Opposes initiative to Repatriate and Boost Gold Reserves: GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH November 20, 2013:



Swiss government opposes initative to repatriate and boost gold reserves


By Nat Rudarakanchana
International Business Times, New York
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The Swiss federal government on Wednesday rejected a right-wing political initiative known as "Save Our Swiss Gold," which sought to restrict the country's independent central bank's ability to sell and control gold, and urged lawmakers to vote down the measure.
The initiative, led by the conservative Swiss People's Party (SVP), sought to keep Swiss central bank gold holdings to at least 20 percent of assets.
It would have prohibited the central bank from selling any gold, and would have mandated that bank-owned physical gold be held in Switzerland rather than with foreign custodians like New York's Federal Reserve or the Bank of England, as national gold reserves often are nowadays.

he Swiss federal council recommended that the Swiss parliament reject the initiative unconditionally, arguing that it would restrict the constitutional independence of the Swiss National Bank (SNB).
The requirements interfere with the bank's monetary policy decisions, making it harder to maintain monetary stability or develop the economy, said the Swiss cabinet.
"The SNB is tasked with ensuring price stability while taking the development of the economy into consideration. There is no connection, however, between price stability and the proportion of gold on the SNB's balance sheet," the cabinet said in a statement.
Switzerland already holds about 1,040 metric tons of gold in reserves, which the government termed "considerable by international standards."
But George Milling-Stanley, an adviser to central banks on gold purchases, told International Business Times that some advanced North American and European economies hold up to 75 percent of reserves in gold, with Swizterland below the global average.
Swiss central bankers sold more than 1,000 tons of gold in the late 1990s, said Milling-Stanley, to reach Switzerland's current level of almost 10 percent of assets. "They are very unlikely to be interested in reversing course at this point" to double their gold reserves again, he added.
Swiss gold holdings have also inched closer to the global average in the past several years, he said.
In the 1990s, after former U.K. Chancellor Gordon Brown sold masses of gold, there were similar calls for a minimum gold requirement. In Germany recently some politicians have campaigned against storing German gold reserves abroad, calling for the repatriation of German gold from the Federal Reserve.
Milling-Stanley called the Swiss initiative a long-shot proposal, because any central bank would find such gold requirements "an unacceptable restraint on its business." Few central banks set a percentage target for their gold reserves, especially since gold prices fluctuate, he added.
Central banks have been net buyers of gold since 2010, as emerging economies buy gold to diversify foreign exchange holdings.
Gold bulls are a little less convinced about the motivations of the Swiss government, however.
"If the central bank is holding gold, they're strengthening the currency, the Swiss franc, said Scott Carter, CEO of precious metals seller Lear Capital. "A strengthening currency puts pressure domestically on economies. So it's very logical that the elected officials would not want the Swiss central bank to strengthen the Swiss franc, to make it difficult to export its products."
The Swiss cabinet rejected that argument and added that golds price swings this year have made it a risky asset, taken alone.
"Gold has not played a direct role in the stability of currencies for quite some time now," the cabinet said in its statement. "Taken alone, however, gold is one of the most volatile and therefore riskiest investments on the SNB's balance sheet."
Since gold doesn't generate interest or dividend payments, and since the bank couldn't sell the gold, it would gain little from holding gold, said the Swiss government. That would lead to less profits to the Swiss Confederation and its cantons.
Switzerland has kept its gold holdings virtually unchanged since at least 2009, according to International Monetary Fund data. The Swiss central bank held 499 billion Swiss francs ($544 billion) in assets in 2012, with more than 400 billion francs in foreign exchange reserves.



FTC Testifies Before Congress on Fraud Affecting Military Community: FTC | Testimonies Before Congress November 20, 2013.

FTC Banner

The Federal Trade Commission testified before a U.S. Senate Committee regarding the agency’s law enforcement and educational efforts to combat deceptive and unfair practices that impact servicemembers and their families.
Testifying before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Charles Harwood, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, said that although all consumers are potential targets for fraudsters, certain scams are more likely to affect the military community. The testimony describes the work the Commission has done to identify illegal conduct that impacts servicemembers and to stop it – including through a recent case against one of the nation’s largest refinancers of home loans for allegedly making misleading claims targeted at current and former servicemembers.
The testimony also highlights Military Sentinel, part of the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network that the Commission uses to collect complaints from consumers and other federal agencies and organizations. In 2012, the FTC received 42,200 fraud complaints from the military community. The top complaint categories were debt collection, imposter scams, fraud involving prize offers, sweepstakes or gifts, unlawful banking or lending practices, and scams that offer mortgage foreclosure relief or debt management services. Notably, these complaint categories overlap with some of the FTC’s highest consumer protection priorities – particularly its aggressive recent work to stop frauds related to consumer financial products and services.
The Commission is working with the DoD, VA, Departments of Education and Justice, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to collect feedback from the military community regarding education institutions that may not have lived up to the promises they made to their students. The agency also is coordinating with the Defense Department on possible amendments to DoD’s military lending rule.
In addition to its law enforcement efforts and coordinating with its partners on policy initiatives, the FTC uses a variety of resources to educate military families about their rights when dealing with certain consumer protection issues. Some of the FTC’s military specific resources include information on limiting the harm from identity theft, placing an active duty alert on a credit report, and understanding military protections with respect to payday loans.
Most recently, the FTC published Eight Questions to Ask When Choosing a College After Military Service. Last year, the agency launched its first Military Consumer Protection Day, an annual partnership campaign and new website to inform the military community and veterans about a variety of consumer issues from dealing with debt to avoiding fraud.
The Commission vote approving the testimony was 4-0.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
MEDIA CONTACT:
Cheryl Hackley
Office of Public Affairs

202-326-2480

STAFF CONTACT:
Colin Hector
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-3224

Carole Reynolds
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-3230

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More news from the FTC >>

FTC | Approvals of Corporations' Divestment November 20, 2013: FTC Approves Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.'s Application to Divest Ameristar Casinos, Inc.'s Assets in Lake Charles, Louisiana to GNLC Holdings, Inc.

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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved an application by Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. to divest all of the assets associated with Ameristar Casinos, Inc.’s casino and hotel project under construction in Lake Charles, Louisiana to GNLC Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Landry’s Inc., which owns the Golden Nugget casinos and approximately 450 restaurants nationwide. In aproposed order, the FTC requires Pinnacle to divest these assets to a Commission-approved buyer to resolve charges that Pinnacle’s acquisition of Ameristar would reduce competition among casinos in Lake Charles, in violation of the antitrust laws.
Pinnacle currently operates a casino in Lake Charles, where Ameristar is building a casino on an adjacent property, scheduled to open in 2015.  Pinnacle also is required by the order to divest a casino and two hotels in St. Louis, Missouri.  According to the FTC’s complaint, Pinnacle’s acquisition of Ameristar would result in increased prices and lower quality for casino customers in the St. Louis and Lake Charles areas.
The Commission vote to approve the application was 4-0.  (FTC File No. 131-0064, Docket No. 9355; the staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2526; see related press release dated August 12, 2013)
The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action.  To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., Room 7117, Washington, DC 20001.  To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
MEDIA CONTACT:
Mitchell J. Katz,
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2161

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WSJ | Biggest Gainers Closing November 20, 2013.

Biggest Gainers Closing
Biggest Gainers
4:32 pm ET 11/20/2013
NYSE
ISSUEVOLUMEPRICECHG% CHG
Gray Television (GTN)2,441,763$11.031.6217.22
Gray Television Cl A (GTNA)9,0119.371.1914.58
La-Z-Boy (LZB)2,176,34726.822.409.83
Harvest Natural Resources (HNR)2,326,5733.450.278.49
J.C. Penney (JCP)98,518,6509.440.738.38
Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte Cl B ADS (EDN)56,5685.880.448.09
Opko Health (OPK)6,017,29010.290.747.75
Herbalife (HLF)4,923,53170.244.276.47
World Wrestling Entertainment Cl A (WWE)541,29014.200.775.73
Energy Transfer Equity (ETE)2,796,48473.283.925.65
Quicksilver Resources (KWK)4,844,2642.620.145.65
Aeropostale (ARO)4,300,36710.040.535.57
BBVA Banco Frances ADS (BFR)343,2707.400.395.56
YPF ADS (YPF)1,440,13524.821.295.48
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NGVC)203,81936.971.915.45
Petrobras Argentina ADS (PZE)223,3586.510.335.34
Alamo Group (ALG)33,08353.142.484.90
Banco Macro ADS (BMA)167,57827.201.264.86
Trina Solar ADS (TSL)9,509,90715.960.714.66
Ciber (CBR)603,9673.730.164.48
JinkoSolar Holding ADS (JKS)1,732,98932.511.384.43
Daqo New Energy ADS (DQ)187,61044.691.804.20
NQ Mobile ADS (NQ)7,122,53513.920.554.11
Emeritus (ESC)381,73521.180.834.08
EXCO Resources (XCO)3,661,8115.150.204.04
 
Nasdaq
ISSUEVOLUMEPRICECHG% CHG
Unilife (UNIS)15,266,432$4.031.2343.93
China Recycling Energy (CREG)1,416,4944.130.8024.03
Onconova Therapeutics (ONTX)695,79015.212.2016.91
Clovis Oncology (CLVS)1,118,72054.567.8016.68
Performance Technologies (PTIX)1,138,8043.000.4115.83
Planar Systems (PLNR)709,6852.450.2612.05
QLT (QLTI)818,2875.180.5511.88
Green Plains Renewable Energy (GPRE)1,138,11015.571.4210.04
Dex Media (DXM)419,3185.270.4810.02
Gogo (GOGO)2,675,46127.642.499.90
RMG Networks Holding (RMGN)24,3644.950.439.51
LMI Aerospace (LMIA)438,64612.501.038.98
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMHC)459,96017.661.428.74
Body Central (BODY)1,112,6883.820.308.52
Progenics Pharmaceuticals (PGNX)772,5464.220.338.48
MFRI (MFRI)86,88213.091.008.27
Mattson Technology (MTSN)604,6792.600.197.88
Daktronics (DAKT)461,09614.070.997.57
Axcelis Technologies (ACLS)903,5292.210.157.28
Sky-mobi ADS (MOBI)206,1583.270.227.21
Zynga (ZNGA)54,213,2644.270.287.02
Foundation Medicine (FMI)295,51425.751.656.85
ANI Pharmaceuticals (ANIP)124,94613.450.866.83
NII Holdings (NIHD)6,860,9372.740.176.61
PMFG (PMFG)52,6387.720.466.34
 
NYSE Arca
ISSUEVOLUMEPRICECHG% CHG
Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bear 3X Shares (JDST)21,815$58.167.2314.20
Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bear 3x Shares (DUST)4,449,83739.053.9311.19
VelocityShares 3x Long Natural Gas ETN linked to the S&P GSCI Natural Gas Index Excess Return (UGAZ)1,695,67814.581.239.21
VelocityShares 3x Inverse Silver ETN linked to the S&P GSCI Silver Inverse Index ER (DSLV)196,83353.753.627.22
VelocityShares 3x Inverse Gold ETN linked to the S&P GSCI Gold Index Excess Return (DGLD)127,47677.415.157.12
ProShares Ultra DJ-UBS Natural Gas (BOIL)201,44230.301.806.32
ProShares UltraPro Short 20+ Year Treasury (TTT)41,17894.904.615.11
Direxion Daily 20+ Year Treasury Bear 3X Shares (TMV)572,13572.893.525.07
ProSharesUltraShortSilver (ZSL)273,07188.324.114.88
ProSharesUltraShortGold (GLL)406,00198.114.354.64
PowerShares DB 3x Short 25+ Year Treasury Bond Exchange Traded Note (SBND)31,35910.400.424.21
Direxion Daily Emerging Markets Bear 3x Shares (EDZ)594,19241.911.694.20
PowerShares DB Gold Double Short ETN (DZZ)1,280,6157.220.284.03
Direxion Daily Russia Bear 3x Shares (RUSS)33,58613.350.473.65
Direxion Daily Natural Gas Related Bull 3x Shares (GASL)61,54833.571.173.61
ProShares UltraShort Lehman 20+ Year Treas (TBT)7,145,53679.192.543.31
Direxion Daily Real Estate Bear 3x Shares (DRV)136,94664.572.063.30
ProShares UltraShort MSCI Brazil Capped (BZQ)12,15173.612.333.27
ProShares UltraShort Telecommunications (TLL)2,30018.430.543.02
ProShares UltraShort MSCI Emerging Markets (EEV)186,58720.750.572.82
iPath US Treasury Long Bond Bear ETN (DLBS)357,47835.750.982.82
Direxion Daily China Bear 3X Shares (YANG)17,96820.050.482.48
ProShares UltraShort Semiconductors (SSG)13,02523.620.572.47
ProShares UltraShort Industrials (SIJ)2,40014.760.342.34
ProShares UltraShort Australian Dollar (CROC)8,80043.170.952.25
 
Composite
ISSUEVOLUMEPRICECHG% CHG
Unilife (UNIS)15,266,432$4.031.2343.93
Zhone Technologies (ZHNE)7,218,6915.661.7143.29
Remark Media (MARK)221,3765.551.2328.47
SGOCO Group (SGOC)8,036,0146.731.4226.74
China Recycling Energy (CREG)1,416,4944.130.8024.03
Pointer Telocation (PNTR)118,7308.171.3619.97
ERBA Diagnostics (ERB)730,8392.970.4718.80
Gray Television (GTN)2,441,76311.031.6217.22
Onconova Therapeutics (ONTX)695,79015.212.2016.91
Clovis Oncology (CLVS)1,118,72054.567.8016.68
Performance Technologies (PTIX)1,138,8043.000.4115.83
Altisource Asset Management (AAMC)4,339701.9993.4715.36
Gray Television Cl A (GTNA)9,0119.371.1914.58
Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bear 3X Shares (JDST)21,81558.167.2314.20
Planar Systems (PLNR)709,6852.450.2612.05
QLT (QLTI)818,2875.180.5511.88
Galectin Therapeutics (GALT)355,8237.460.7611.34
Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bear 3x Shares (DUST)4,449,83739.053.9311.19
Liberator Medical Holdings (LBMH)967,5763.160.3110.88
Oxygen Biotherapeutics (OXBT)6,714,0845.840.5510.40
Green Plains Renewable Energy (GPRE)1,138,11015.571.4210.04
Dex Media (DXM)419,3185.270.4810.02
Gogo (GOGO)2,675,46127.642.499.90
La-Z-Boy (LZB)2,176,34726.822.409.83
Uranium Resources (URRE)1,302,7273.040.279.71
 
See All Gainers
 
Footnotes
Includes common, closed end funds, ETFs, ETNs and REITS with prior day close of $2 a share or higher, with volume of at least 2,000.
x - stock is trading ex-dividend
Source: WSJ Market Data Group