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Jan 27, 2014

DealBook P.M. Edition January 27, 2014: Top Story: Two Executives of Bitcoin Businesses Are Arrested.



TOP STORY
Charles Shrem is accused of using Bitinstant to convert money for people interested in buying narcotics.
Two Executives of Bitcoin Businesses Are Arrested A prominent player in the Bitcoin universe, Charles Shrem, was arrested on Sunday and accused of helping people making drug transactions on the now defunct online bazaar Silk Road.
For the latest updates, go to dealbook.nytimes.com »
DEALBOOK HIGHLIGHTS
A branch of Royal Bank of Scotland in London.
R.B.S. to Take Nearly $5 Billion Charge Related to Litigation Claims Ross M. McEwan, the new chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, has hit another roadblock in his efforts to turn around the bank, which received billions of dollars from the British government in a bailout five years ago.
A Vodafone store in London.
AT&T Denies Pursuit of Vodafone The denial came after speculation over the weekend that AT&T might be looking to acquire Vodafone, which agreed last year to sell its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless to Verizon Communications for $130 billion.
SFR is the French mobile unit for telecommunications giant Vivendi.
Reuters Breakingviews: European Telecommunications Companies May Follow Cable's Lead The latest in a string of cable tie-ups sees Liberty Global, John Malone's company, take full control of its Dutch rival Ziggo. Deal making has proved trickier for telecommunications companies, but activity should start to rise, Quentin Webb writes in Reuters Breakingviews.
Tiger Global to Invest in Brazilian Online Retailer Tiger Global Management, the New York-based hedge fund, will invest nearly $520 million in Brazilian online retailer B2W Companhia Digital, the company said, a sign that it continues to see promise in Brazil's vibrant Internet sector.
A Black Hawk helicopter, made by Sikorsky, prepares to land in Afghanistan last year.
United Technologies Considers Sale or Spin-Off of Sikorsky United Technologies is considering Sikorsky, the maker of the Black Hawk helicopter, as a candidate for a tax-free spinoff or potentially a sale to a rival.
Google has moved beyond its roots as an Internet search and email provider to a developer of smartphones and cars that drive themselves.
Google Acquires British Artificial Intelligence Developer Google has acquired DeepMind, a British start-up whose founders include Demis Hassabis, a computer game designer, neuroscientist and former child chess prodigy.
Steven A. Cohen, founder and chairman of SAC Capital Advisors, and his ex-wife, Patricia, divorced in 1990 after 11 years of marriage.
Judge Throws Out Racketeering Claims Filed by Cohen's Ex-Wife A judge narrowed the scope of a civil lawsuit filed by Patricia Cohen, Steven A. Cohen's ex-wife. But he had some choice words for the two Cohens' continuing legal squabbles.
Attracted by the idea of a high pay and often faced with a pile of debt, students flock to career fairs, where financial companies have a structured presence.
In Recruiting Game, Wall Street Still Competes As this year's recruiting season begins, some college students say they view finance positions as springboards for later careers, while others are drawn to the challenge and fast-paced environment. Still others are, naturally, motivated by the high salaries that Wall Street offers.
Sheila Bair testified before the Senate Banking Committee in June 2011, shortly before she left her post as head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Bair, Critic of the Revolving Door, Joins Board of Santander Sheila C. Bair, who ran the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, once argued that former regulators should be barred from joining the banks they oversaw. Though Santander is based in Madrid, it has extensive operations in the United States.
Senior Justice Department Attorney to Join Morrison & Foerster Charles Duross, who led the Justice Department's unit that enforces the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, is joining the law firm Morrison & Foerster as head of its global anticorruption practice.
Thomas J. Perkins, pictured in 2006.
Nazi Remarks Make Perkins Persona Non Grata in Silicon Valley Amid the blog posts and tweets condemning Thomas J. Perkins for comparing criticism of the wealthy in America to Nazi attacks on Jews, some commentators saw evidence of a more widespread attitude among the very rich.
Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, said that
Study Puts Price Tag on 'Too Big to Fail' An analysis commissioned by the Green Party in the European Parliament estimates that the cost of the implicit guarantee that governments will back large financial institutions was about 234 billion euros in 2012.
Henry Kravis, co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
K.K.R. to Buy Sedgwick, an Insurance Claims Processor, for $2.4 Billion The deal for Sedgwick Claims Management Services is the latest multibillion-dollar transaction by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in recent months.
Peter Kukielski, a former top executive in ArcelorMittal's mining operations.
Warburg Pincus Hires Former Mining Chief at ArcelorMittal As part of a push into mining investments, the private equity firm Warburg Pincus has hired a former top executive in ArcelorMittal's mining operations, Peter Kukielski.
John C. Malone, chairman of Liberty Global.
Liberty Global to Buy Dutch Cable Provider ZiggoAfter its initial offer was rebuffed four months ago, Liberty Global is buying Ziggo in a cash-and-stock deal that values the entire company at about $13.7 billion.
BUZZ TRACKER
Kravis Named Chairman of Education Charity Henry R. Kravis, a co-founder of the private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, has been elected chairman of the board of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, a charitable organization based in New York.
Bitcoin and the Fictions of Money The venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and other experts have weighed in on the promise and pitfalls of Bitcoin, but so far, there is little discussion of what the collective decision to believe a fiction like Bitcoin might mean, Quentin Hardy writes in the Bits blog.
LOOKING AHEAD
The Swan Song of Bernanke The Federal Reserve's policy-making committee on Tuesday and Wednesday will meet for the first time in 2014 - its last meeting under the leadership of the departing chairman Ben S. Bernanke. He will be succeeded at the end of the month by the Fed's vice chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen. The Fed bought $85 billion in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities each month last year. In December it said it would reduce the volume by $10 billion a month. Many analysts expect the Fed to announce another $10 billion cut on Wednesday, keeping it on pace to end the campaign this year.
Ford and Chrysler to Report Results Two automakers, Ford and Chrysler, will report fourth-quarter results this week, and both are expected to provide details about pressing issues they face in 2014. Ford, which is scheduled to report its earnings on Tuesday, is likely to update investors on its extensive program of product introductions. Chrysler reports its financial results Wednesday, the day that the board of its Italian parent, Fiat, is expected to announce the new name of the newly merged automotive giant, and its future legal headquarters and stock-exchange listing.
A Key Measure of Economic Growth On Thursday, the Commerce Department will release its initial estimate of economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2013. This data point will be followed especially closely as economists and investors try to gauge whether the more robust growth recorded in the third quarter continued through the end of the year. After initially worrying that the government shutdown and business caution might slow growth, economists have been steadily increasing their estimates amid healthier data on consumption and trade in October, November and December. Specialists polled by Bloomberg expect reported growth of 3.2 percent.
Holiday Ads Expected to Life Google Earnings Google is expected to reap the benefits of the holiday shopping season when it announces its fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, particularly because of strength in its e-commerce ads. Mobile ads, a continuing challenge for Google, are also expected to have performed well, largely because of people comparing prices and making purchases on phones while shopping in stores. Yet analysts say the shares of Google, up 30 percent since its last earnings announcement, are already fully valued.
Energy Volatility and Exxon Mobil Earnings for big oil companies have been volatile in recent quarters, and Exxon Mobil, the biggest American oil company by far, has been no exception. On Thursday, Exxon Mobil will report its earnings for the fourth quarter, and results will probably be mixed. Natural gas prices have recovered somewhat over the last year, and earnings from Exxon Mobil's chemical and refinery businesses have been strong. But oil prices have softened and costs for big projects around the world are rising.
Labor Market Report in Europe On Friday, Eurostat will release its December labor market report and a first estimate of January inflation. The unemployment rate was stuck at 12.1 percent in November, and economists are watching to see if hiring might finally begin to perk up, in line with recent signs that output in the region is gathering speed. Consumer prices are under scrutiny for hints about the European Central Bank's monetary policy.
For the latest updates, go to dealbook.nytimes.com »

NYT | Asian Morning Today's Headlines January 28, 2014: OP - ED Paranoia of Plutocrats by Paul Krugman.

The New York Times
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Top News
An N.S.A. document from a May 2010 meeting.
Spy Agencies Scour Phone Apps for Personal Data

By JAMES GLANZ, JEFF LARSON and ANDREW W. LEHREN

As personal data pours onto mobile networks, American and British eavesdroppers are prying into so-called leaky apps to extract geographical data, address books and phone logs, secret documents show.
Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, left, visited a polling site in the Heliopolis neighborhood of Cairo, on Jan. 14.
Egyptian Military Commander Set to Run for President

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

Field Marshal Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, who ousted Egypt's first elected president last summer, is seen as all but certain to win the presidency.
Monzer Akbik, a spokesman for the opposition delegation, arrived for face-to-face peace talks in Geneva on Monday.
Syria Talks Appear Deadlocked as Sides Disagree Over Goals

By ANNE BARNARD

Differences over the basic purpose of negotiations, as well as a government relief gesture for civilians that the opposition denounced as a ploy, hampered the talks.
. The Lede: A Clue to Peace Talks' Hurdles
For more top news, go to INYT.com
Editors' Picks
Bill Keller

OPINION | OP-ED COLUMNIST

America on Probation

By BILL KELLER

We may be getting over our peculiar love of prisons. But if not prisons, what?
. Columnist Page | Blog

ARTS

Video VIDEO: 2014 Grammy Awards: Big Winners
Times reporter Jon Pareles discusses the 56th annual Grammy Awards ceremony.
World
A protester at the barricade in Kiev, Ukraine, on Monday.
Ukraine Leader Faces New Pressure to End Unrest

By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN

Political allies of President Viktor F. Yanukovych say they are losing patience with his inability to contain the antigovernment demonstrations.
Defiance by President Hamid Karzai has American officials studying security options.
Afghanistan Exit Is Seen as Peril to C.I.A. Drone Mission

By DAVID E. SANGER and ERIC SCHMITT

American intelligence agencies are concerned that they could lose their air bases used for drone strikes if a final security deal cannot be struck with the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai.
A resident of Wazghar, which was hit by an airstrike this month, spoke at a news conference called Sunday by officials in Kabul.
Afghan Villagers Brought to Back Airstrike Report

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG

At a news conference to bolster the Afghan government's account of an American airstrike, villagers identified a 2009 photo as one from this month.
For more world news, go to NYTimes.com/World
Business
Narayana R. Kocherlakota does not oppose reductions in the Fed's bond purchases, but he wants to strengthen its plans to suppress short-term interest rates.
A Federal Reserve Policy Maker Urges It to Do More

By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Minneapolis Fed, said the central bank should increase its efforts stimulate the economy - a view he concedes has not gained much traction with his colleagues.
. Economix Q&A: An Advocate for a Quicker Taper
. Economix Q&A: A Voice for an Activist Fed
Travis Kalanick of Uber in Manhattan in 2012, after hailing a yellow cab with the company's smartphone app.
Rough Patch for Uber Service's Challenge to Taxis

By DAVID STREITFELD

Uber, the hot start-up whose software allows anyone with a smartphone to get a cab ride, is suddenly facing trouble.
. Uber and a Child's Death
. Video  Video: Questions of Responsibility at Uber
Stocks Slump Amid Fear of Capital Flight

By DAVID JOLLY and BETTINA WASSENER

Stocks picked up Monday where they left off last week, with key indexes falling and emerging markets losing more ground amid fears of capital flight.
. Economic Shifts in U.S. and China Batter Markets
For more business news, go to INYT.com/Business
Technology
Sofia Liu, 6, was was struck and killed by a car in San Francisco on New Year's Eve. Christopher Dolan, a lawyer for the Liu family who provided the image, is expected to file suit against the driver of the vehicle and Uber.

BITS BLOG

Uber and a Child's Death

By DAVID STREITFELD

A lawsuit set to be filed on Monday seeks to unravel the biggest question of the so-called sharing economy: Who is responsible when things go wrong?
The D Las Vegas casino recently announced that it would accept Bitcoins.

BITS BLOG

Bitcoin and the Fictions of Money

By QUENTIN HARDY

Past the basics, all money is make-believe. That makes Bitcoin the latest sign that its tech elite believers want something beyond the old nation state.
Charles Shrem is accused of using Bitinstant to convert money for people interested in buying narcotics.

DEALBOOK

Two Executives of Bitcoin Businesses Are Arrested

By NATHANIEL POPPER

A prominent player in the Bitcoin universe, Charles Shrem, was arrested on Sunday and accused of helping people making drug transactions on the now defunct online bazaar Silk Road.
For more technology news, go to NYTimes.com/Tech
ADVERTISEMENT
Sports
Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland hitting a return in his 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win over an ailing Rafael Nadal that gave him his first Grand Slam singles title, at 28.
A Bizarrely Fitting Finale Yields a Most Unexpected Champion

By GREG BISHOP

Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Rafael Nadal, bringing the strangest match of an odd tournament to a conclusion one couldn't have expected.
Juan Mata will say farewell to Chelsea after his sale to Manchester United.
For Mata and Falcao, a Fresh Start and an Early Finish

By ROB HUGHES

Juan Mata and Radamel Falcao, two players who started the season with high hopes, are seeing how fast seasons can change.
Aleksei A. Navalny, an anticorruption blogger whose group is disputing the budget.
Russians Debate Sticker Price of Sochi Games

By STEVEN LEE MYERS

While President Vladimir V. Putin has sought to portray the construction of sporting venues as a frugal enterprise, critics have derided it as an exercise in waste and corruption.
For more sports news, go to INYT.com/Sports
U.S. News
Charlotte Police Officer Indicted in Shooting

By KIM SEVERSON

A grand jury indicted Randall Kerrick, a white officer, on voluntary manslaughter charges for firing 10 shots into a young black man who had driven off the road and was apparently looking for help.
Senator to Propose School Vouchers Program

By MOTOKO RICH

Senator Lamar Alexander's bill would give low-income families federal money for their children to attend any accredited school.
Security guards prepared for the Mall in Columbia to reopen on Monday.
Maryland Mall Prepares to Reopen After Deadly Shooting

By THEO EMERY and EMMA G. FITZSIMMONS

The Mall in Columbia was set to reopen Monday with tight security, as the police continued to investigate the background of the suspect, Darion Marcus Aguilar.
For more U.S. news, go to NYTimes.com/US
Opinion

OPINIONATOR | THE GREAT DIVIDE

Sympathy for the Toffs

By CHRYSTIA FREELAND

Loving "Downton Abbey" in the new Gilded Age.

EDITORIAL

Getting an Accurate Fix on Schools

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

The de Blasio administration should mend, not end, the Bloomberg evaluation system.
Paul Krugman

OP-ED COLUMNIST

Paranoia of the Plutocrats

By PAUL KRUGMAN

Extreme inequality, it turns out, creates a class of insecure but powerful people who are alarmingly detached from reality.
. Columnist Page | Blog
For more opinion, go to INYT.com/Opinion