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Jan 3, 2015

Keiser Report: Deglobalization & Internet 2.0 (E701)

Hack Check: Cyber-Germany attracts hacktivists, IT geniuses

Hack Check: Cyber-Germany attracts hacktivists, IT geniuses

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH - January 3, 2015: GoldCore: 2015 was when 'conspiracy theory' became 'conspiracy fact'.

GoldCore: 2014 was when 'conspiracy theory' became 'conspiracy fact'

Submitted by cpowell on Saturday, January 3, 2015. 
 January 3, 2015
The year 2014 was when "conspiracy theory" about gold market rigging became "conspiracy fact" as banks were found to have conspired to rig not only gold prices but also silver prices, currencies, and interest rates, GoldCore's year-in-review commentary notes.
"Peculiar single trades or handfuls of trades leading to sudden gold and silver price falls continued in 2014 and contributed to gold's and silver's weakness," GoldCore writes. "Price falls were often seen at times when markets were less liquid. As ever, price falls were driven by the futures market in electronic and increasingly computer-driven trading -- despite no reports of any major liquidations of physical metal. Indeed, they often came at times of strong global physical demand."
GoldCore's year-end commentary is posted here:
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York | Agency MBS Transaction Summary: Gross purchases from December 25, 2014 through December 31

Agency MBS Transaction Summary
Gross purchases from December 25, 2014 through December 31: $0 million
Sales (dollar rolls) from December 25, 2014 through December 31: $0 million
Net purchases from December 25, 2014 through December 31: $0 million

All amounts reflect current face
Purchases summarize all trades executed during the indicated period including purchases associated with dollar rolls.*
Transactions ($ million)
Settlement Month
30 Year
15 Year
*Does not include trades associated with small value exercises.
Purchases archive »
Sales archive »

DealBooK P.M. and A.M. Editions on Friday 2, 2015: For Deal Makers, a $3.5 Trillion Year Deals | Looking Back on a Year of Deals | Stock Markets End on a High Note | Toasting and Roasting


For Deal Makers, a $3.5 Trillion Year Deals worth nearly $3.5 trillion were announced, a performance favored by low interest rates and high stock prices. The question now is whether the confluence of factors that enabled the merger revival will carry over into 2015 .
A Sobering Perspective on a Looming Retirement Crisis "Falling Short" details the whats and whys of an impending retirement crisis and provides a number of reasonable sounding alternative paths to avoiding financial Armageddon, writes Jonathan A. Knee in a Book Entry review.
Repsol's headquarters in Madrid. The cash-rich company made a $8.3 billion bid last month for Talisman Energy of Canada.
Oil Price Slump May Spur European Oil and Gas Deal-Making In the short term, the drop in the oil prices will make it harder to get deals done. But if low prices persist, financial stress may make small players vulnerable, Fiona Maharg-Bravo of Reuters Breakingviews writes.
Euro Falls Against Dollar as European Central Bank Hints of Stimulus A strong indication on Friday that the European Central Bank is on the verge of aggressive action to stimulate the economy, just as the Federal Reserve is dialing back its stimulus, helped push the euro to its lowest level against the dollar since 2010.
SnapChat Raises Nearly $486 Million SnapChat, the temporary messaging service, has raised $485.6 million from 23 investors, according to a securities filing. TechCrunch says the latest fund-raising could value the company at close to $20 billion.
R.B.S. Shares Fall After Mortgage Report Shares of the Royal Bank of Scotland fell in London trading on Friday after The Times of London said that the bank could face fines of more than $7 billion over the sale of flawed mortgage securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Bloomberg News reports.
After a powerful 2014 for the stock market and for deal makers, the new year begins in earnest next week. The closely watched monthly jobs report comes out on Friday. The Federal Reserve releases the minutes of its December policy meeting on Wednesday. And a cybersecurity conference will be held in Manhattan from Tuesday through Thursday.
For the latest updates, go to »

LOOKING BACK ON A YEAR OF DEALS The holidays are over, but a final toast is still in order.

First, let's raise a glass to the deal makers of 2014. Indeed, the year was one of the best for mergers and acquisitions since the passing of the financial crisis, Michael J. de la Merced writes in DealBook. Some 40,298 transactions ‒ worth nearly $3.5 trillion ‒ were announced worldwide in 2014, according to Thomson Reuters. It was the biggest year in deals since 2007. Goldman Sachs and the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom led the global M.&A. tables for financial and legal advising.

Sure, debt financing was cheap and stock prices were climbing. But perhaps the biggest change, deal makers say, is that corporate boards and management teams realized that their ability to expand their companies on their own had become more difficult. And with some semblance of predictability in the markets, boards now feel more comfortable taking the plunge, Mr. de la Merced writes. The busiest sectors for the year have been the oil and gas industry and the pharmaceuticals industry. But the biggest deals of the year, including the assumption of debt, have been takeovers in the telecommunications industry, including Comcast's $45 billion proposal to buy Time Warner Cable.

"The question now is whether the confluence of factors that enabled the merger revival will carry over into 2015," Mr. de la Merced writes.
STOCK MARKETS END ON A HIGH NOTE The stock markets also deserve a hand. On Wednesday, the last day of trading in 2014, the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index closed with a gain of 11.39 percent for the year ‒ 13.68 percent when reinvested dividends are included,DealBook's Peter Eavis reports. It was the third-consecutive year that the market benchmark has risen by more than 10 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 7.52 percent for 2014, while the Nasdaq composite index ended up 13.4 percent.

But can the party in American stocks continue in 2015? "We don't see a lot on the horizon that could derail the U.S. market in particular," said Raymond Nolte, chief investment officer at SkyBridge Capital. The skeptics, however, point to other measures. A measure of valuation that Warren E. Buffett has cited, for example, is flashing a warning sign. And profits may not be as strong as they look. In recent years, companies have spent large amounts of cash buying back their shares, which ultimately bolsters its earnings per share, a measure of profitability that investors favor.
ON THE AGENDA The Markit purchasing managers' manufacturing index comes out at 9:45 a.m. The Institute for Supply Management manufacturing composite index is released at 10 a.m. Data on construction spending comes out at 10 a.m.
TOASTING AND ROASTING Andrew Ross Sorkin brings it home with his annual DealBook "Closing Dinner." Who's on the guest list? Among others, Jack Ma of Alibaba and Jeff Bezos of Amazon are at table No. 8, as is Michael Pietsch, the chief executive of the publisher Hachette. There's also Bill Gross, the bond king and co-founder of Pimco, who was ousted from his own firm. Senator Elizabeth Warren is there, and so are Rupert Murdoch and Jeff Bewkes of Time Warner. And don't forget the activist investors, who have moved to the front of the room this year.

Don't miss the formal presentation.
Contact: @melbournecoal | E-mail
A NewPage paper mill that produces glossy paper used for catalogs and magazine.
Paper Maker Settles With Justice Department Over Acquisition Verso Paper said on Wednesday that it would sell two paper mills to settle a government antitrust lawsuit over its $1.4 billion acquisition of NewPage Holdings.
Kellogg Bids for Egyptian Snack Maker Bisco Misr The Kellogg Company, whose offer would value Bisco Misr at about $144 million, outbid the private equity firm Abraaj Group, The Wall Street Journal writes.
Fosun of China in U.S. Insurance Deal The Chinese company has agreed to acquire the Meadowbrook Insurance Group of Southfield, Mich., for $433 million in cash.
Deal Talk Starts to Become Part of the Boom Financial communications firms, accustomed to advising others about mergers and acquisitions, could be targets in their own right but should tread cautiously, Quentin Webb writes for Reuters Breakingviews.
Icahn Calls for Manitowoc to Split in Two The activist investor Carl C. Icahn disclosed on Monday that he had taken a large stake in the Manitowoc Company of Wisconsin and was adding his voice to a call for the company to break up.
Morgan Stanley's headquarters in New York.
Court Filing Illuminates Morgan Stanley Role in Lending Emails and documents filed in court provide a look at the extent to which Morgan Stanley influenced New Century's push into riskier mortgages in the run-up to the financial crisis.
Pimco Fund Trails Peers in 2014 The giant asset manager Pimco's flagship Total Return fund returned 4.7 percent in 2014, trailing 53 percent of comparable funds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Goldman Bankers in Britain Lead Peers in Pay Top bankers at Goldman Sachs were the best paid among their peers in Britain in 2013, The Financial Times writes, citing new regulatory filings. The investment bank paid 121 top staff in Britain an average of 3 million pounds each in 2013, of which 85 percent came from bonuses, according to the filings.
After eight consecutive years of losses, Doral Financial is fighting the Puerto Rico government over a $230 million tax refund that the bank is counting on.
Unsolved Killing but One of Puerto Rico Bank's WoesThe mysterious killing of a top executive is one of many troubles that have shaken Doral Financial and unnerved investors.
A Trust Bank branch in Moscow displays an ad featuring Bruce Willis.
Scaled-Up Banking Rescue to Push Russian Budget Into Deficit Russia's central bank said its bailout of Trust Bank – the first major lender to fail as a result of the sharp decline in the ruble – would cost about $2.5 billion, far more than previously anticipated.
For the latest updates, go to »
The Yellowstone Club/Warren Miller Lodge is seen at the base of Pioneer Mountain in Big Sky, Montana.
Huge Ski Resort for the Rich Is Bouncing Back Today, six years after its bankruptcy, the Yellowstone Club is thriving.
Entering the Secret Garden of Private Equity It's a rare shift in a long-opaque industry: A firm is letting investors hire an outside monitor to review a fund's books and practices, Gretchen Morgenson writes in The New York Times.
K.K.R. Sells Last of Alliance Boots Stake The private equity giant, which took the British chain private in Europe's largest buyout, will now hold 4.6 percent of the combined Walgreens Boots Alliance.
Private Equity Funds Still Going Strong in Brazil Despite Economic Malaise A new fund-raising round by the Carlyle Group is just one indication of private equity's commitment to Brazil.
Alexis Tsipras addressing supporters at a pre-election rally in Athens on Dec. 29.
The Question Hanging Over Greek Debt In 2015, Greece will face some 22.3 billion euros in debt payments - much of it to those who took some the biggest risks in loading up on Greek bonds during the debt crisis: the European Central Bank and distressed investors.
Hedge Funds Struggle in Year of Deals "In a hot year for mergers and acquisitions, hedge funds that bet on the deals were anything but," The Wall Street Journal reports.
Bullish Bets on Oil Drop Hedge funds finally pulled back from bets on higher oil prices as the market faced its worst year since 2008, Bloomberg News writes.
Shake Shack's shares will trade under the symbol SHAK.
Shake Shack Files to Go Public The chain plans to use the I.P.O. proceeds to open new Shake Shacks and renovate old ones, as well as pay down some debt.
Shake Shack I.P.O. Offers Healthy Profits and Curious MetricsThe global fast-food chain has filed to go public with some of the tortured trappings served up with new technology stocks, Jeffrey Goldfarb of Reuters Breakingviews writes.
Seeking to Ride on China's Stock Market Highs Risks abound for ordinary citizens who are piling into the stock markets at a pace not seen since 2007.
Lei Jun, the founder of Xiaomi, has built the company into the top smartphone maker in China.
Xiaomi, Chinese Phone Maker Favored by Young, Valued at $45 Billion A new round of financing raised $1.1 billion for the company, which has become one of the world's biggest smartphone makers by offering cheap, high-quality phones through clever online marketing campaigns.
Snapchat Raises $485.6 Million to Close Out the Year The messaging app Snapchat finished off the year with a filing that disclosed it had raised $485.6 million from 23 investors, Bloomberg News writes.
Grocery Delivery Start-Up Instacart Said to Secure $220 MillionThe grocery delivery start-up Instacart disclosed in a regulatory filing on Tuesday that it had closed a $210 million investment that an unidentified person said would eventually increase to $220 million, ReCode writes. The investment is said to value the company at around $2 billion.
More Start-Ups Aiming to Stay Private "A number of Internet, software and consumer companies are raising huge sums in private deals that enable them to postpone initial public offerings for years, if not indefinitely," The Wall Street Journal writes.
Start-Ups Rise to Close a Gap for Farmers Small businesses are stepping in to help farmers connect with their local markets with marketing, transportation, logistics and other services, The New York Times writes.
Whistle-Blower Awards Lure Wrongdoers Looking to Score Compensation for whistle-blowers may not only be too much, it may also create perverse incentives and reward wrongdoing, Steven Davidoff Solomon writes in the Deal Professor column.
RBS Falls on Report That U.S. Mortgage Provision May IncreaseShares of the Royal Bank of Scotland fell after The Times reported in London that the British lender could pay at least $7.7 billion to resolve claims of misconduct in its handling of United States mortgage securities, Bloomberg News writes.
Angelo R. Mozilo, former chief executive of Countrywide Financial, may be back in the news again if a new round of civil fraud charges is filed.
The Year in White-Collar Crime The new year will bring cases from the subprime mortgage crisis, a Justice Department decision on an appeal of an insider trading ruling and, perhaps, new accounting frauds, Peter J. Henning writes in the White Collar Watch column.
Rise in Loans Linked to Cars Is Hurting Poor With a crackdown on payday lenders, subprime borrowers are increasingly using auto title loans, whose high interest rates can lead to repossession and financial ruin.
Piketty Turns Down the Legion of Honor The economist Thomas Piketty, the author of the best-seller "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," has turned down the Legion of Honor, the highest decoration offered by the French government, the ArtsBeat blog writes. "I do not think it is the government's role to decide who is honorable," Mr. Piketty told Agence France-Presse.
Pension Funds Playing Bigger Role in Reinsurance Billions of dollars from pension funds and other nontraditional players have been moving into the reinsurance business in recent years, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Treasury Department.
A Greek Revival of Anxiety, Some Say Without FoundationAnalysts remained divided as to whether the election of a new government in Greece will signal a return to the dark days of the European debt crisis.