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Feb 20, 2014

NYT | Asian Morning Today's Headlines February 21, 2014: Top News: As Deaths Rise in Kiev, So Do Fears Ukraine Will Use Troops.

The New York Times
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Friday, February 21, 2014

Top News
As Deaths Rise in Kiev, So Do Fears Ukraine Will Use Troops


The authorities said 39 people had been killed in clashes Thursday, making it the deadliest day of the crisis, while fears grew that the president would declare a state of emergency.
. Ukrainian Skier and Coach Withdraw to Protest Kiev Violence
European Union Imposes Sanctions in Ukraine Crisis


The punitive steps include travel bans and asset freezes against those deemed responsible for the increasingly deadly political crisis.
Ukrainian Skier and Coach Withdraw to Protest Kiev Violence


Bogdana Matsotska, an Alpine skier, and her father and coach, Oleg Matsotskyy, say they are leaving Sochi to show solidarity with protesters in the capital city of Kiev.
For more top news, go to
Editors' Picks
Nicholas Kristof


Is That Sausage Worth This?


Most sows live, give birth and then die in cages hardly bigger than their bodies. Now, that's changing.
. Columnist Page | Blog


Video VIDEO: ScienceTake: Flying Snakes
An airborne serpent can be the stuff of nightmares or a delicious aerodynamic puzzle.
Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, left, and Iran's foreign minister foreign minister Javad Zarif in Vienna on Thursday.
Iran and World Powers Agree on Framework for Nuclear Talks


Officials on Thursday described a positive atmosphere in meetings that resulted in agreed terms for negotiating a deal to end the confrontation over Tehran's nuclear program.
Iran's Judiciary Closes a New Pro-Government Newspaper


The closing seemed aimed at preventing the government from having any news media outlets other than its official newspaper and news agency.
Kim Song-yun, right, of South Korea embraces her sister Kim Seok-ryo of North Korea during a reunion event for families divided by the two countries on Thursday.
North and South Koreans Meet in Emotional Family Reunions


Relatives who had not seen each other in more than half a century gathered at a resort in North Korea as reunions resumed for the first time since 2010.
For more world news, go to
WhatsApp has more than 55 percent of its users hailing from Western Europe, Mexico, India, Brazil and the United States, according to App Annie.
Facebook Looks to Become Big Fish in Another Big Pond


By buying WhatsApp, the global leader in mobile messaging, Facebook now has a chance to compete elsewhere against other messaging start-ups.
. DealBook: For a Start-Up's Early Investor, a Sizable Return
. DealBook: Facebook Agrees to Pay $16 Billion for WhatsApp
Public Sector Cuts Part-Time Shifts to Duck Insurance Law


Cities, counties and public schools - lacking the option of passing along increased costs to consumers - are drawing a line at 30 hours.
A residential complex being built in Wuhan, China. Developers in China have been on a spree using high-yield bonds.
Global Bond Frenzy Raises Concerns


As growth falters in several developing nations, regulators are worried about the consequences of the borrowing frenzy and the risks associated with the funds that have largely replaced commercial banks.
For more business news, go to
WhatsApp started as one of hundreds of apps trying to offer a replacement for SMS, so it was forced to create a better service to stand out.


The Other Big Winner in the Facebook-WhatsApp Deal: Your Wallet


By helping people bypass texting fees from mobile carriers, WhatsApp saved heavy users of texting a lot of money.
. Video  Video: Facebook, by the Numbers


Satya Nadella, Chief of Microsoft, on His New Role


In his first interview since taking over as chief executive of Microsoft, Satya Nadella talks about leadership, the future and Bill Gates.
The Icon is the latest in a series of fantastic Nokia Windows Phones. It also illustrates the tragedy of Microsoft and Nokia, which have struggled to find a foothold in the mobile market.


This Phone Is Great, Till It's Time to Add Apps


The new Nokia Icon, a Windows Phone, matches Android and iPhone in many critical areas except one: Its app store is seriously lacking.
For more technology news, go to
Adelina Sotnikova of Russia delivered a sophisticated performance to win the gold medal.
Russian Is Upset Winner in Women's Figure Skating


Adelina Sotnikova used a boost from the crowd to become the first Russian woman to win gold in singles figure skating, knocking Kim Yu-na off her perch at the top of the sport.
. CommentComments | Highlights and Analysis
Canada's women's hockey team celebrates Marie-Philip Poulin's game-winning goal.


Canadian Women Rally to Beat U.S. in Overtime for Gold Medal


The United States, trying to end Canada's streak of three consecutive Olympic championships, had a 2-0 lead with four minutes left in regulation but ending up losing in overtime.
From left, French teammates Jean-Frédéric Chapuis, Arnaud Bovolenta and Jonathan Midol finished in that order in the men's ski cross final, while Brady Leman of Canada was fourth.
In Surprise Finish (All Upright), France Sweeps Men's Ski Cross


In the mad-dash event known as ski cross, Jean-Frédéric Chapuis of France won the gold, followed by teammates Arnaud Bovolenta and Jonathan Midol.
For more sports news, go to
U.S. News
A U.P.S. cargo jet crashed on approach to Birmingham, Ala., last August.
Investigators Looks at Landing System and Pilot Fatigue in August Crash


The National Transportation Safety Board heard testimony about the use of a computer system that did not perform as the crew of the U.P.S. cargo jet had planned.
Obama's 2015 Budget to Sidestep Bipartisan Offers


White House officials said Republicans have shown no willingness to meet the president's proposal on entitlement reform by closing loopholes for corporations and the wealthy.
Snow melted in New York City this month.
More Bite Left to Winter, but It Hasn't Been as Bad as You Think


Forecasters warn of more cold, storms and heavy winds, but it hasn't been a season for the record books.
For more U.S. news, go to


Divorced From My Husband, and My Faith


I expected judgment and rebuke; instead, the rabbi told me a story.


The Clear Benefits of a Higher Wage


The benefits to millions of low-wage workers overwhelmingly outweigh the questionable possibility of job losses.
Charles M. Blow


The Bias Against Black Bodies


The conundrum of the current African-American experience: How to rescue people from a system and culture that threatens to drown them?
. Columnist Page
For more opinion, go to

SEC | Press Release February 20, 2014: Division of Trading And Markets Acting Director John Ramsay to Leave SEC.

SEC Seal

02/20/2014 03:43 PM EST

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that John Ramsay, acting director of the Division of Trading and Markets, will leave the agency next month after three and a half years of leadership and service. Mr. Ramsay, who was appointed deputy director of the division in September 2010 and has served as acting director since December 2012, plans to return to the private sector. The SEC separately today named Stephen Luparello as the division’s director.

Mr. Ramsay has led numerous significant rulemaking initiatives, including the adoption of the Volcker Rule and rules to implement the derivatives reform provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  He also has led the division’s response to significant market events, its participation in global regulatory initiatives, and its development and implementation of analytical tools for market oversight.
“John has provided exceptionally effective leadership during one of the most dynamic periods in the division’s history,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.  “He has served as a trusted advisor as the Commission navigated through complex rulemakings and significant market events.  I will miss his sound judgment and the wise counsel he brings to bear daily on behalf of investors and our markets.” 
Mr. Ramsay said, “I am privileged to have worked with a first-rate team of colleagues in Trading and Markets and throughout the agency during this period of unprecedented activity and change in the regulation of financial markets.  I am immensely grateful to the staff of the division for their friendship and unfailing support.  I am also pleased that my friend Steve Luparello has agreed to lead the division going forward, and I know that he will be a great steward as the division confronts the many challenges that lie ahead.”
Mr. Ramsay has led the division’s efforts on rulemaking initiatives under the Dodd-Frank Act, including the Volcker rule to prohibit proprietary trading by banks.  In the area of derivatives reform, he oversaw the development of proposed comprehensive rules for the cross-border regulatory treatment of derivatives transactions, as well as rules for security-based swap data repositories and execution facilities, trade reporting and dissemination, capital, margin, and customer segregation requirements for security-based swap dealers, and clearing requirements.
Among other accomplishments, Mr. Ramsay:
  • Oversaw staff efforts leading to the designation by the Financial Stability Oversight Council of certain systemically important clearing agencies and the Commission’s adoption of new clearing agency governance, operation, and risk management standards
  • Led staff development of proposed rules to strengthen governance and internal controls of registered credit rating agencies and require greater disclosure about individual ratings and rating performance.  The Commission also adopted measures under Mr. Ramsay’s leadership to remove reliance on ratings from Commission rules pertaining to broker-dealer financial responsibility.
  • Led the proposal of Regulation SCI, which would establish heightened technology controls for exchanges and other key market participants.  Mr. Ramsay also oversaw implementation of “limit up/limit down” volatility limits by national securities exchanges and the further development of a national market system plan for a consolidated audit trail for the equity markets. 
  • Led the establishment of an Office of Analytics and Research, which has implemented new technology tools to aggregate and analyze consolidated order and transaction data and has established a new market structure website that publicly disseminates information drawn from this data, as well as studies and other information pertinent to equity market reform.
Also during Mr. Ramsay’s service as acting director, the Commission adopted measures to update and strengthen broker-dealer financial responsibility rules and new audit, reporting, and custody rules for registered broker-dealers. He also led the development of proposed rule amendments to strengthen the capital and liquidity requirements that apply to the largest, systemically important broker-dealers.  In addition, the division restructured in a single office the functions related to risk oversight of broker-dealers. 

Mr. Ramsay has played a leading role in the Commission’s response to significant market events, including the U.S. debt downgrade and the failure of MF Global in 2011, the losses suffered by Knight Capital Group in 2012, and an outage affecting the Nasdaq securities information processor in August of 2013.  Following the Nasdaq outage, he led staff efforts to oversee actions by exchanges to strengthen critical market infrastructure.

Mr. Ramsay has also played a leading role in important international and interagency initiatives. These include the OTC Derivatives Regulators Group and the BIS-IOSCO Working Group on Margining Requirements.  He also has participated actively on a working group of the Financial Stability Oversight Council considering the potential designation of certain non-bank financial entities.

Mr. Ramsay previously worked for the Commission from 1989-1994 in the Division of Market Regulation and as Counsel to then Acting Chairman Mary Schapiro, and has also held key positions at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the National Association of Securities Dealers, now FINRA.  He has also worked as a partner in private law practice, as a senior officer at the Bond Market Association, and as Managing Director and Deputy General Counsel at Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.  He received his J.D. from the University of Michigan, and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

SEC | Press Release February 20, 2013: Stephen Luparello Named as Director of SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets.

SEC Seal

02/20/2014 03:37 PM EST

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has named Stephen Luparello as director of its Division of Trading and Markets.
Mr. Luparello comes to the SEC from the law firm of WilmerHale, where he has been a partner in its Washington, D.C. office, specializing in broker-dealer compliance and regulation, securities litigation, and enforcement.  Mr. Luparello joined WilmerHale after a 16-year career at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and its predecessor, the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), where he most recently served as Vice Chairman of FINRA.
“The agency will greatly benefit from Steve’s knowledge, leadership and insight,” said Chair Mary Jo White.  “He is an experienced market regulator and well positioned to lead the division as we continue to fulfill the Commission’s mission.”
“Throughout my career I have been enormously impressed by the talent and dedication of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets,” Mr. Luparello said.  “I look forward to working with Chair White, the Commissioners, and SEC staff to address the opportunities and challenges of today’s markets.”
The SEC's Division of Trading and Markets establishes and maintains standards for fair, orderly, and efficient markets.  The division regulates the major securities market participants, including broker-dealers, credit rating agencies, transfer agents, and self-regulatory organizations such as stock exchanges, FINRA, and clearing agencies.
As FINRA’s Vice Chairman, Mr. Luparello was responsible for its examination, enforcement, market regulation, international, and disclosure programs.  He played a key role in the creation of FINRA’s Office of the Whistleblower and its Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence, and led the development of its Order Audit Trail System (OATS) and SONAR, technology used to monitor securities markets and detect suspicious trading.
Mr. Luparello joined the NASD in 1996 as vice president in the Office of Disciplinary Policy and was named head of its Market Regulation Department in 1999.  Prior to that, Mr. Luparello was the chief of staff to then-CFTC Chairman Mary Schapiro.  He spent nine years at the SEC, serving as branch chief in the Office of Inspections in the Division of Market Regulation, now the Division of Trading and Markets.
Mr. Luparello received his B.A. from LeMoyne College in 1981 and his law degree from Washington and Lee University in 1984.  He will succeed John Ramsay, who announced today that he is departing the agency after three and half years at the SEC, serving as acting director of Division of Trading and Markets since December 2012. 

SEC | Enforcement Actions February 20, 2014: SEC Charges Three California Residents Behind Movie Investment Scam.

SEC Seal

02/20/2014 02:15 PM EST

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged three California residents with defrauding investors in a purported multi-million dollar movie project that would supposedly star well-known actors and generate exorbitant investment returns.

The SEC alleges that Los Angeles-based attorney Samuel Braslau was the architect of the fraudulent scheme that raised money through a boiler room operation spearheaded by Rand Chortkoff of Encino, Calif.  High-pressure salespeople including Stuart Rawitt persuaded more than 60 investors nationwide to invest a total of $1.8 million in the movie first titled Marcel and later changed to The Smuggler.  Investors were falsely told that actors ranging from Donald Sutherland to Jean-Claude Van Damme would appear in the movie when in fact they were never even approached.  Instead of using investor funds for movie production expenses as promised, Braslau, Chortkoff, and Rawitt have spent most of the money among themselves.  The investor funds that remain aren’t enough to produce a public service announcement let alone a full-length motion picture capable of securing the theatrical release promised to investors.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California today announced criminal charges against Braslau, Chortkoff, and Rawitt.

“Braslau, Chortkoff, and Rawitt sold investors on the Hollywood dream,” said Michele Wein Layne, director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office.  “But the dream never became a reality because they took investors’ money for themselves rather than using it to make a movie.”

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Braslau set up companies named Mutual Entertainment LLC and Film Shoot LLC to raise funds from investors for the movie project.  In January 2011, Mutual Entertainment spent $25,000 to purchase the rights to Marcel, an unpublished story set in Paris during World War II.  Shortly thereafter, Mutual Entertainment began raising money from investors through a boiler room operation that Chortkoff operated out of Van Nuys, Calif.

The SEC alleges that Braslau, Chortkoff, and Rawitt claimed that 63.5 percent of the funds raised from investors would be used for “production expenses.”  However, very little if any money was actually spent on movie expenses as they instead used the vast majority of investor funds to pay sales commissions and phony “consulting” fees to themselves and other salespeople.  Rawitt made numerous false claims to investors about the movie project.  For instance, he flaunted a baseless projected return on investment of about 300 percent.  He falsely depicted that they were just shy of reaching a $7.5 million fundraising goal and the movie was set to begin shooting in summer 2013.  He instilled the belief that Mutual Entertainment was a successful film company whose track record encompassed the Harold and Kumar movies produced by Carsten Lorenz.  And he falsely stated that investors would realize revenues from action figures and other products tied to the movie when in fact no such licensing rights had been sold.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Rawitt was the subject of a prior SEC enforcement action in 2009, when he was charged for his involvement in an oil-and-gas scheme.

“Investors can help protect themselves when approached for an investment opportunity by using the Internet to their advantage and researching the individual making the offer,” said Lori Schock, director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy.  “In this case, a quick search of the SEC website reveals a copy of the complaint filed against Rawitt in federal court for participating in an offering fraud as well as an order barring him from the brokerage industry.”

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Braslau, Chortkoff, and Rawitt violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5.  The complaint further alleges that Chortkoff and Rawitt violated Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act, and Rawitt violated Section 15(b)(6)(B) of the Exchange Act.  The SEC seeks financial penalties and permanent injunctions against Braslau, Chortkoff, and Rawitt.

The SEC’s investigation, which is continuing, has been conducted by Peter Del Greco and Marc Blau of the Los Angeles office.  The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.   

WSJ | Most Actives Closing February 20, 2014.

Most Actives Closing
Most Active Stocks by Volume
4:47 pm ET 02/20/2014
Bank of America (BAC)99,400,727$16.300.100.62
Verizon Communications (VZ)46,646,38548.121.593.42
General Electric (GE)32,158,98825.12-0.06-0.24
Rite Aid (RAD)27,946,1016.530.121.87
Citigroup (C)25,188,88648.13-0.06-0.12
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)24,441,97130.190.742.51
Coca-Cola (KO)22,617,49837.300.200.54
Pfizer (PFE)22,356,97931.550.070.22
Alcoa (AA)22,086,02711.780.020.17
Safeway (SWY)20,855,82635.320.712.05
Ford Motor (F)20,564,71615.270.020.13
AT&T (T)20,364,26733.180.331.00
Barrick Gold (ABX)19,511,07920.981.216.12
J.C. Penney (JCP)19,167,7925.65-0.35-5.83
General Motors (GM)18,519,07036.510.481.33
Nabors Industries (NBR)18,172,49621.960.813.83
SunEdison (SUNE)17,792,30016.370.613.87
Juniper Networks (JNPR)17,790,10327.410.210.77
Vale ADS (VALE)17,617,41014.630.000.00
Petroleo Brasileiro ADS (PBR)17,003,46611.280.151.35
Goodrich Petroleum (GDP)15,995,79412.28-3.01-19.69
Nokia ADS (NOK)15,385,3197.310.040.55
MGM Resorts International (MGM)15,358,23626.831.084.19
Kinross Gold (KGC)15,180,1665.280.275.39
EMC (EMC)14,376,90925.470.220.87
Facebook Cl A (FB)130,300,270$69.631.572.31
Sirius XM Holdings (SIRI)41,051,2183.600.030.84
PowerShares QQQ Trust Series 1 (QQQ)37,847,59590.050.420.47
BlackBerry (BBRY)34,103,8409.350.343.77
Microvision (MVIS)32,503,1542.671.3297.78
Microsoft (MSFT)27,025,62437.750.240.64
Cisco Systems (CSCO)25,739,91522.300.020.09
Comcast Cl A (CMCSA)25,494,51351.760.190.37
Conn's (CONN)24,768,01031.89-23.91-42.85
Groupon (GRPN)24,601,57310.280.262.58
Micron Technology (MU)23,195,00925.490.070.28
Zynga (ZNGA)21,337,6435.090.020.39
Vodafone Group ADS (VOD)20,039,42938.741.413.78
Intel (INTC)19,709,18824.740.240.98
Tesla Motors (TSLA)17,963,754209.9716.338.43
Applied Materials (AMAT)15,117,84618.990.241.28
Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA)13,731,8698.730.131.51
VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short Term ETN (TVIX)13,248,6576.96-0.47-6.33
Huntington Bancshares (HBAN)12,150,1408.950.101.13
VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short Term ETN (XIV)11,908,54532.231.244.00
Yahoo! (YHOO)11,108,59537.79-0.02-0.05
Apple (AAPL)10,804,912531.15-6.22-1.16
Yandex (YNDX)9,901,89937.29-2.54-6.38
NVIDIA (NVDA)9,694,21118.780.643.53
DIRECTV (DTV)9,690,47075.082.142.93
SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY)96,299,518$
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM)66,998,37039.160.140.36
Market Vectors ETF Trust Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX)47,799,26126.671.044.06
Barclays Bank iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX)40,379,82942.54-1.63-3.69
VelocityShares 3x Inverse Natural Gas ETN linked to the S&P GSCI Natural Gas Index Excess Return (DGAZ)33,829,5693.110.041.31
iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM)32,609,148115.301.231.08
iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ)31,242,04311.42-0.07-0.61
Select Sector SPDR-Financial (XLF)30,938,42721.440.060.28
Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO)27,857,62738.800.200.52
iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ)23,051,69840.220.441.11
iShares China Large-Cap ETF (FXI)19,042,04335.68-0.30-0.83
Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI)15,332,97251.330.480.94
iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA)13,610,20666.840.230.35
Direxion Daily Small Cap Bear 3x Shares (TZA)11,780,42816.52-0.54-3.17
ProShares UltraShort S&P500 (SDS)11,084,57929.60-0.38-1.27
SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE)10,310,27537.840.010.03
SPDR Gold Trust (GLD)9,718,608127.601.331.05
Select Sector SPDR-Health Care (XLV)9,625,53858.920.530.91
Select Sector SPDR-Utilities (XLU)9,612,88340.500.310.77
Select Sector SPDR-Energy (XLE)9,333,01587.100.570.66
Direxion Daily Small Cap Bull 3x Shares (TNA)9,295,00775.962.283.09
Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bear 3x Shares (DUST)7,929,58119.34-2.29-10.59
iShares Silver Trust (SLV)7,843,42521.000.371.79
iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF (IYR)7,348,34167.53-0.12-0.18
SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust (DIA)6,833,078161.310.790.49
Facebook Cl A (FB)130,300,270$69.631.572.31
Bank of America (BAC)99,400,72716.300.100.62
SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY)96,299,518184.101.080.59
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM)66,998,37039.160.140.36
Market Vectors ETF Trust Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX)47,799,26126.671.044.06
Verizon Communications (VZ)46,646,38548.121.593.42
Sirius XM Holdings (SIRI)41,051,2183.600.030.84
Barclays Bank iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX)40,379,82942.54-1.63-3.69
PowerShares QQQ Trust Series 1 (QQQ)37,847,59590.050.420.47
BlackBerry (BBRY)34,103,8409.350.343.77
VelocityShares 3x Inverse Natural Gas ETN linked to the S&P GSCI Natural Gas Index Excess Return (DGAZ)33,829,5693.110.041.31
iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM)32,609,148115.301.231.08
Microvision (MVIS)32,503,1542.671.3297.78
General Electric (GE)32,158,98825.12-0.06-0.24
iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ)31,242,04311.42-0.07-0.61
Select Sector SPDR-Financial (XLF)30,938,42721.440.060.28
Rite Aid (RAD)27,946,1016.530.121.87
Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO)27,857,62738.800.200.52
Microsoft (MSFT)27,025,62437.750.240.64
Cisco Systems (CSCO)25,739,91522.300.020.09
Comcast Cl A (CMCSA)25,494,51351.760.190.37
Citigroup (C)25,188,88648.13-0.06-0.12
Conn's (CONN)24,765,36531.89-23.91-42.85
Groupon (GRPN)24,601,57310.280.262.58
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)24,441,97130.190.742.51
See All Most Actives
Includes common, closed end funds, ETFs, ETNs and REITS
x - stock is trading ex-dividend
Source: WSJ Market Data Group