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Aug 5, 2014

Bloomberg | Share The View - August 5, 2014: Arm the Kurds.

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SHARE THE VIEW
A quick look at Bloomberg News's opinion section
August 5, 2014For more, visit www.bloombergview.com»
LAW 

The Editors: One way to put an end botched executions by lethal injection "would be to outlaw this method of execution. The only sure way, however, is to abolish capital punishment altogether."Read more... 

ECONOMICS 

Edward D. Kleinbard: Some economists have are arguing that, "because the leading studies overstate the problem, widening income inequality doesn't really exist. ... I take issue with that conclusion. A more complete inquiry into the data leads to the opposite conclusion -- the middle class has fallen behind over the last generation in important respects." Read more... 

MIDDLE EAST 

The Editors: "Thanks to the Iraqi military's chaotic flight from Mosul in June, jihadists from the Islamic State are now armed with abandoned U.S. weapons and armored vehicles. Iraq's Kurds -- arguably the most reliable U.S. allies in the Middle East after Israel and Turkey -- are not." Read more... 

INVESTING 

Noah Smith: "The idea that a stock 'goes up,' like some law of nature, is an example of a very important behavioral bias: trend-following. Trend-following, which has always been a puzzling phenomenon, has received some attention in the finance literature lately. Robin Greenwood and Andrei Shleifer looked at a large number of surveys of investors, and found that people's expectations of future returns are often just extrapolations of the recent past." Read more... 

POLITICS 

Francis Wilkinson: "'Acid, amnesty and abortion' are back. Or perhaps they never left. The phrase, which was used to tar the 1972 presidential candidacy of Democratic Senator George McGovern, implied softness on illegal drugs, indulgence of Vietnam draft dodgers and endorsement of women's sexual freedom." Read more...  

CITIES 

Megan McArdle: "The New York Times has a lengthy and dismaying article on the problems with New York City's pensions. ... The core problem is that returns have not tracked with the city's optimistic projections." Read more...  

AFRICA 

Stephen Mihm: "There is reason to be optimistic that Africa may be at a turning point, given that seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are on the continent." The U.S.-Africa Business Forum "is consciously designed to move beyond the often condescending and counterproductive efforts to 'help' that have defined earlier U.S. interventions in African affairs." Read more... 

Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) | Press Release - August 5, 2014: Kansas Business Executive Pleads Guilty to Defrauding TARP Bank


Timothy Fitzgerald, former chief financial officer for a Kansas-based construction holding company, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud TARP recipient Bank of Blue Valley in a scheme that cost the bank more than $877,000, announced the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Read the news release here.
Follow SIGTARP on Twitter @SIGTARP, here.
SIGTARP HOTLINE:  
To report allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement, or misrepresentations involving the taxpayer-funded Troubled Asset Relief Program, call (877) SIG-2009 or send confidential information to SIGTARP via an online Hotline form 
SIGTARP REPORTS:
Audit reports and quarterly reports to Congress about the management and transparency of TARP programs are posted here.
GENERAL COMMENTS:  
SIGTARP welcomes comments and suggestions.  You may reach us at the phone number and mailing address below: 
Phone:   (202) 927-8940
Mail:    Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program 
               1801 L Street NW


               Washington, DC  20220

YouTube | Al Jazeera English - August 5, 2014: Ukraine's civilians fleeing rebel-held Donetsk and one other video | Expert discusses experimental Ebola treatment.



Al Jazeera English has uploaded Ukraine's civilians fleeing rebel-held Donetsk and one other video
   Play all 


Ukraine's civilians fleeing rebel-held Donetsk
Al Jazeera English

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Expert discusses experimental Ebola treatment
Al Jazeera English

YouTube | VOAvideos - August 5, 2014: Obama: Investment in Africa Depends on Security.



VOAvideo has uploaded Obama: Investment in Africa Depends on Security



Obama: Investment in Africa Depends on Security
VOAvideo
One goal of the African leaders' summit in Washington is to build on a strategic relationship that the United States has established in Africa as the continent faces a range of security threats. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCHES - August 5, 2014: Another FT reader got nowhere asking why the gold manipulation story was deleted | Economic data doesn't match declining living conditions, Sprott says.

Another FT reader got nowhere asking why the gold manipulation story was deleted

Submitted by cpowell on 06:42PM ET Tuesday, August 5, 2014. 
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Our friend and consultant R.M. in the United Kingdom, noting GATA's exchange today with the Financial Times --
-- relates an experience similar to that of our friend R.B. in the U.K., an FT subscriber who for five months prodded the newspaper for an explanation of the newspaper's quick deletion from its Internet site of its February 24 report about concerns about gold market manipulation. While R.B. eventually got an explanation from the newspaper's customer service office -- that the report was deleted from the FT's Internet site because it was "sensitive" -- that explanation was repudiated today by another newspaper official, who said the FT's customer service office had been "misinformed."
Today's dispatch prompted GATA's friend and consultant R.M., also in the U.K., to relate his own experience trying to get an explanation from the Financial Times. R.M. writes tonight:
"I asked FT customer service on February 24 about the deleted article. On February 26 a customer service person responded, saying, 'Our editorial team have confirmed that it was their decision to remove the story.'
"I was assigned a case number: 1152785.
"The customer service person also advised me to email the editors at ean@ft.com.
"I emailed the editors at ean@ft.com on February 26 and they did not respond.
"I emailed ean@ft.com again on March 4 as a follow-up but they still didn't respond.
"So it looks like the editors ignored my emails. This is disgraceful since my case number was still an outstanding query.
"I have been an FT subscriber in the past but this treatment by the editors, ignoring my emails after I was specifically advised to email them by their customer service representative, indicates that they have contempt for their readers and subscribers and that they serve other, unknown interests."
Well, R.M., treasure that FT case number anyway. It's more than those of us on this side of the ocean can ever get out of the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department.

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Economic data doesn't match declining living conditions, Sprott says

Submitted by cpowell on Tuesday, August 5, 2014.  Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Reviewing last week's markets with Sprott Money News' Jeff Rutherford, Sprott Asset Management CEO Eric Sprott wonders about the disparity between the U.S. government's economic performance data and the country's declining living standards. With continued weakness in incomes and housing and good demand for gold, Sprott says, the days of paper assets are numbered. The interview is 7 1/2 minutes long and it can be heard at the Sprott Money Internet site here:

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

FDIC | Press Joint Release - August 5, 2014: Agencies Provide Feedback on Second Round Resolution Plans of "First-Wave" Filers.



www.fdic.gov


August 5, 2014

Agencies Provide Feedback on Second Round Resolution Plans of "First-Wave" Filers

Firms Required to Address Shortcomings in 2015 Submissions

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced the completion of reviews of the second round of resolution plans submitted by 11 large, complex banking organizations in 2013. The agencies have issued letters to each of these banking organizations.
In their review of the resolution plans, the agencies noted some improvements from the original plans submitted by these "first-wave filers" in 2012. Among the improvements were the narratives and the attempts to address the five obstacles identified in guidance issued by the agencies in April 2013. These improvements notwithstanding, the agencies have jointly identified specific shortcomings with the 2013 resolution plans that will need to be addressed in the 2015 submissions. The letters to each first-wave filer detail the specific shortcomings of each firm's plan and the expectations of the agencies for the 2015 submission.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires that certain banking organizations with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more and nonbank financial companies designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council for supervision by the Federal Reserve periodically submit resolution plans to the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Each plan, commonly known as a living will, must describe the company's strategy for rapid and orderly resolution in the event of material financial distress or failure of the company. The 11 firms in the first group of filers include Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street Corp., and UBS.
Overview of Plan Shortcomings
While the shortcomings of the plans varied across the first-wave firms, the agencies have identified several common features of the plans' shortcomings. These common features include: (i) assumptions that the agencies regard as unrealistic or inadequately supported, such as assumptions about the likely behavior of customers, counterparties, investors, central clearing facilities, and regulators, and (ii) the failure to make, or even to identify, the kinds of changes in firm structure and practices that would be necessary to enhance the prospects for orderly resolution. The agencies will require that the annual plans submitted by the first-wave filers on or before July 1, 2015, demonstrate that the firms are making significant progress to address all the shortcomings identified in the letters, and are taking actions to improve their resolvability under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. These actions include:
  • establishing a rational and less complex legal structure that would take into account the best alignment of legal entities and business lines to improve the firm's resolvability;
  • developing a holding company structure that supports resolvability;
  • amending, on an industry-wide and firm-specific basis, financial contracts to provide for a stay of certain early termination rights of external counterparties triggered by insolvency proceedings;
  • ensuring the continuity of shared services that support critical operations and core business lines throughout the resolution process; and
  • demonstrating operational capabilities for resolution preparedness, such as the ability to produce reliable information in a timely manner.
The agencies are also committed to finding an appropriate balance between transparency and confidentiality of proprietary and supervisory information in the resolution plans. As such, the agencies will be working with these firms to explore ways to enhance public transparency of future plan submissions.
As noted earlier, the agencies will require that the annual plans submitted by the first-wave filers on or before July 1, 2015, demonstrate that the firms are making significant progress to address all the shortcomings identified in the letters. Agency staff will work with each of these firms to discuss expected improvements in the resolution plans and the efforts, both proposed and already in progress, to facilitate each firm's preferred resolution strategy.
Based on the review of the 2013 plans, the FDIC Board of Directors determined pursuant to section 165(d) of the Dodd-Frank Act that the plans submitted by the first-wave filers are not credible and do not facilitate an orderly resolution under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The Federal Reserve Board determined that the 11 banking organizations must take immediate action to improve their resolvability and reflect those improvements in their 2015 plans. The agencies agreed that in the event that the first-wave filers have not, on or before July 1, 2015, submitted plans responsive to the identified shortcomings, the agencies expect to use their authority under section 165(d) to determine that a resolution plan does not meet the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act.

FTC | Consumer Update - August 5, 2014: Credit scores: The higher, the better

Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information

by Colleen Tressler
Consumer Education Specialist
The World Cup may be over, but it’s still important to know the score…your credit score, that is.
Read more >

WSJ | Major Indexes Closing August 5, 2014.

Major Indexes Closing
Major Indexes6:00 p.m. EDT 08/05/14
 LASTCHG% CHG
DJIA*16429.47-139.81-0.84
DJ Transportation Average*8059.53-89.55-1.10
DJ Utility Average*532.01-6.65-1.23
Nasdaq*4352.84-31.05-0.71
Nasdaq 100*3874.94-33.83-0.87
S&P 500*1920.21-18.78-0.97
S&P 400 Mid-Cap*1368.55-6.40-0.47
S&P 600 Small-Cap*647.86-1.02-0.16
DJ Total Stock Market*20045.69-176.96-0.88
NYSE Composite*10657.32-109.36-1.02
NYSE Financial*6364.30-73.60-1.14
Russell 2000*1121.56-3.26-0.29
NYSE MKT Composite*2668.95-16.97-0.63
KBW Bank*68.77-0.61-0.88
PHLX Gold/Silver*99.070.760.77
PHLX Housing Sector*188.47-1.26-0.66
PHLX Oil Service*287.03-4.65-1.59
PHLX Semiconductor*605.31-6.98-1.14
See All Major U.S. Indexes
Markets Diary6:15 p.m. EDT 08/05/14
ISSUESNYSENASDAQNYSE MKT
Advancing9021,129161
Declining2,2381,564219
Unchanged10011122
Total3,2402,804402
ISSUES AT   
New 52 Week High24273
New 52 Week Low79799
SHARE VOLUME   
Total3,425,528,3801,885,765,02582,897,299
Advancing735,676,066676,309,16631,922,602
Declining2,625,906,7751,188,823,39748,444,163
Unchanged63,945,53920,632,4622,530,534
Major World Indexes4:40 p.m. EDT 08/05/14
 LASTCHG% CHG
Global Dow*2554.15-17.24-0.67
DJ Global Index*323.01-2.11-0.65
DJ Global exUS*243.22-1.01-0.41
Stoxx Europe 50*2952.3711.280.38
UK: FTSE 100*6682.484.960.07
Germany: DAX*9189.7435.600.39
Japan: Nikkei 225*15320.31-154.19-1.00
Hong Kong: Hang Seng*24648.2648.180.20
See All Major World Indexes
Footnotes
Indexes may be real-time or delayed based on exchange requirements.

Sources: SIX Financial Information; WSJ Market Data Group