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Jan 27, 2016

The Guardian | Opinion | Economics Opinion - January 27, 2016: The Guardian View on The Economy: Learn Lessons of 2008 Before The Next Slump Hits Editorial

theguardian.com

Editorial
 
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday shrewdly declined to draw firm conclusions about recent mercurial swings of the markets. But investors are at least wary about a new global downturn.

The Guardian | Environment | Climate Change - Greenhouse Gas Emissions - January 27, 2016: Australia Drops 10 Spots in Greg Hunt's Most Trusted Climate Rankings.

theguardian.com

Michael Slezak
 
The index that Greg Hunt used to defend Australia’s record on climate change has placed the country lower in its rankings, leaving only Saudi Arabia with a worse ranking among wealthy nations in some categories.

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH - January 27, 2016: OMG: ScotiaBank Sought China Gold Demand Presentation by Koos Jansen

Submitted by cpowell on January 27, 2016.  

Gold researcher and GATA consultant Koos Jansen reports today that he made a presentation about Chinese gold demand to a Scotiabank commodities conference in Toronto this month, and he goes on to detail what he told the conference, apparently without realizing how extraordinary it was in the first place that the bullion bank would want to hear from someone so politically incorrect.

WSJ | Forex Closing on January 27, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Forex Closing
Major Currencies
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Guardian | World | Middle East | Libya - January 27, 2016: U.S. Considering Fresh Military Action in Libya Over Isis Threat.

theguardian.com

Spencer Ackerman
 
The Pentagon is considering fresh military action in Libya more than four years after conducting an air campaign that helped topple dictator Muammar Gaddafi, a spokesman said on Wednesday.
Officials are currently “looking at military options” to stop the Islamic State militant group from gaining ground in another oil-rich Mideast nation, said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook.

The Guardian | World | Australia | Healthy Policy - Australia - January 27, 2016: Public Hospitals to be "Biggest Financial Challenge" Faced by State Governments.

theguardian.com

Melissa Davey
As of next year public hospital funding will become the biggest financial challenge faced by state and territory governments, a report from the peak organisation representing doctors the Australian Medical Association, warns.

SEC Litigation Release on January 27, 2016: Vlad B. Spivak, et al.

SEC Seal

U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Litigation Release No. 23455 / January 27, 2016

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Vlad B. Spivak, et al., Civil Action No. 1:15-cv-13704-FDS (D. Mass., filed November 2, 2015)

Court Enters Final Judgment Against Shirmila O. Doddi in Insider Trading Action

WSJ | Major Indexes Closing on January 27, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Major Indexes Closing
Major Indexes 5:43 p.m. EST 01/27/16

WSJ | Biggest Gainers Closing on January 27, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Biggest Gainers Closing
Biggest Gainers
4:31 pm ET 01/27/2016
NYSE

WSJ | Biggest Decliners Closing on January 27, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Biggest Decliners Closing
Biggest Decliners
4:31 pm ET 01/27/2016
NYSE

WSJ | Most Actives Closing on January 27, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Most Actives Closing
Most Active Stocks by Volume
4:31 pm ET 01/27/2016
NYSE

DealBook P.M. Edition - January 27, 2016: Frank Quattrone to Step Down as C.E.O. of Qatalyst

 
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
TOP STORY
Frank P. Quattrone, co-founder of the boutique investment bank Qatalyst Group in San Francisco.
Frank Quattrone to Step Down as C.E.O. of Qatalyst George Boutros will take the reins of the boutique investment bank, as Mr. Quattrone becomes executive chairman.

Wall Street at Close Report by CNBC - January 27, 2016: Dow Closes Down Triple Digits; Stocks Spooked by Fed Statement on Economy.

cnbc.com

Evelyn Cheng


U.S. stocks closed more than 1 percent lower Wednesday, despite higher oil prices, as disappointing quarterly reports weighed and the Fed statement renewed concerns about global economic growth. ( 
The major averages initially held near earlier levels — narrowly mixed — following the statement release, before falling past morning lows.

SEC Litigation Release - January 27, 2016: Andrew M. Miller.


SEC Seal


U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Litigation Release No. 23454 / January 27, 2016

Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release No. 3734 / January 27, 2016

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Andrew M. Miller, Civil Action No. 3:15-cv-1461-YGR (LB) (N.D. Cal.)

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that on January 26, 2016, the Honorable Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California entered a final judgment against Andrew Miller, the former CEO of Silicon Valley-based technology firm Polycom Inc.
Without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint, Miller consented to the entry of the final judgment that:
  • Permanently enjoins him from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act"), and Sections 10(b), 13(b)(5) and 14(a) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act"), and Rules 10b-5, 13a-14, 13b2-1, 14a-3 and 14a-9 thereunder, and from aiding and abetting violations of Sections 13(a) and 13(b)(2)(A) of the Exchange Act, and Rules 12b-20 and 13a-1 thereunder;
     
  • Bars Miller from acting as an officer or director of a public company for five years; and
     
  • Orders Miller to pay $450,000 in disgorgement, prejudgment interest and a penalty.
The court's entry of the judgment against Miller ends the litigation against him.
The Commission's complaint, filed on March 31, 2015, alleged that Miller used $190,000 in corporate funds for personal perks that were not disclosed to investors and created false expense reports to pay for meals, entertainment, gifts, and engaged in other deceptions, to obtain undisclosed payments for personal expenses and for travel with his friends and girlfriend to resorts. The Commission separately charged Polycom in an administrative order finding that the company had inadequate internal controls and failed to report Miller's perks to investors. Polycom agreed to pay $750,000 to settle the SEC's charges, without admitting or denying the SEC's findings as to the company.
For additional information, see Press Release 2015-53 (March 31, 2015) and Litigation Release No. 23225 (March 31, 2015).

http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/2016/lr23454.htm

SEC Litigation Release - January 27, 2016: Kenneth W. Crumbley.

 SEC Seal

U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Litigation Release No. 23453 / January 27, 2016

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Kenneth W. Crumbley, Civil Action No. 3:16-CV-00172 (N.D. Tex.)

SEC Obtains Asset Freeze and Appointment of a Receiver Over Kenneth W. Crumbley, Jr. and Sedona Oil and Gas Corporation

FDIC Weekly National Rates and Rate Caps Update - January 27, 2016.


FRB Press Release - January 27, 2016: Federal Reserve Issues FOMC Statement.


FRB Press Release - January 27, 2016: Federal Open Market Committee Reaffirms its "Statement on Longer-Run Goals and Monetary Policy Strategy."


www.federalreserve.gov

Press Release

Release Date: January 27, 2016

As part of its annual organizational meeting actions, the Federal Open Market Committee reaffirmed its "Statement on Longer-Run Goals and Monetary Policy Strategy," with a revision to clarify that it views its inflation objective as symmetric, and with an updated reference to participants' estimates of the longer-run normal unemployment rate in the most recent Summary of Economic Projections (December 2015).

CMI Spot Prices as of Close of Trading in New York on January 27, 2016.

CMI Gold & Sliver

Spot Prices as of traditional New York closing times

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Bits | The Business of Technology - January 27, 2016: The iPad's Blaze of Glory

The New York Times
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Daily Report

The iPad's Blaze of Glory | Remember the iPad?
Apple's earnings report on Tuesday brought a lot of uncommon news for the company. The typical double-digit growth slowed to more of a trickle, with revenue up 1.7 percent from a year ago. Sales growth for the iPhone, by far the company's most important product, slowed to its lowest year-over-year rate of growth since the device was introduced in 2007.

European Markets at Close Report, by CNBC on January 27, 2016: Europe Ends Slightly Up Depite Poor Earnings ; Fed Eyes.

cnbc.com

Alexandra Gibbs, Arjun Kharpal, Holly Ellyatt
European markets eked out slight gains Wednesday as investors tried to shake off oil's fluctuations and the slew of disappointing earningsa head of the release of the Federal Reserve's next statement.
The pan-European STOXX 600 finished around the flat line provisionally, with sectors closing mixed to slightly higher.

FDIC Professional Liability Lawsuits Update on January 27, 2016.

FDIC

Professional Liability Lawsuits

As receiver for a failed financial institution, the FDIC may sue professionals who caused losses to the institution in order to maximize recoveries. These individuals can include officers and directors, attorneys, accountants, appraisers, brokers, or others. Professional liability claims also include direct claims against insurance carriers such as fidelity bond carriers and title insurance companies.
The FDIC follows the policies adopted by the FDIC Board in 1992, Statement Concerning the Responsibilities of Bank Directors and Officers, which can be found at http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/rules/5000-3300.html#fdic5000statementct, and require Board approval before actions are brought against directors and officers.

FTC Consumer Updates - January 27, 2016: Paying Down Holiday Debt? by Andrew Johnson.

Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information

by Andrew Johnson
Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH - January 27, 2016: Peter Boeringer: Bundesbank Increases Pace of German Gold Repatriation



U.S. Stock Market Future Indications Update - January 27, 2016: U.S. Stocks Set to Open Lower as Oil, Apple Drop.

marketwatch.com
 
Sara Sjolin
Wall Street was poised for firm losses at the open on Wednesday amid a fresh drop in oil prices, as investors remain cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve’s latest pronouncements on interest rates.
Shares of Apple Inc. AAPL, -3.66%  dropped 3.8% ahead of the opening bell, after the company late Tuesday said iPhone sales grew at the slowest pace since the handset’s introduction in 2007.

Gerald Celente - Trends in The News - January 27, 2016: "Draghi's Money Fix Fails"- (1/25/16).


Gerald Celente - Trends In The News - "Draghi’s Money Fix Fails" - (1/25/16)

Gerald Celente
Published on Jan 27, 2016
"Despite attending the Davos meeting Mario Draghi’s money fix fails to keep equity markets afloat, the oil price slump continues & Donald Trump claims that most refugees look like ”strong men”'.

Reuters | Technology - January 27, 2016: Apple Sees First Sales Dip in More Than a decade as Super-Growth era Falters.

reuters.com
 
By Julia Love
 
SAN FRANCISCO Apple Inc (AAPL.O) forecast its first revenue drop in 13 years and reported the slowest-ever increase in iPhone shipments as the critical Chinese market showed signs of weakening, suggesting the technology company's period of exponential growth may be ending.

Reuters | Deals - January 27, 2016: Shell Shareholders Approve $50 Billion BG Takeover.

reuters.com
 
By Karolin Schaps
 
THE HAGUE Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) shareholders approved its $50 billion takeover of BG Group (BG.L) on Wednesday, clearing the last main hurdle to creating the biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) trader in the world.

NYT First Draft on Politics - January 27, 2016: Trump’s Shunning of Fox Debate Could Be Seen as Fight or Flight.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The New York Times

NYTimes.com/FirstDraft »

The New York Times

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Donald J. Trump at his news conference in Marshalltown, Iowa, on Tuesday.
Donald J. Trump at his news conference in Marshalltown, Iowa, on Tuesday. Damon Winter/The New York Times
Trump’s Shunning of Fox Debate Could Be Seen as Fight or Flight
By MAGGIE HABERMAN
Good Wednesday morning. Donald J. Trump has had a running feud with Megyn Kelly since the beginning of the debate season, and on Tuesday the feud broke open into a raucous news conference.

DealBook Today's Top Headlines - January 27, 2016: A.I.G. Spurns Calls for a Breakup | IPhones Sales Slow | Activist Investors Meet Their Match | Inquiry in China Adds to Doubts About Economic Data.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES
By AMIE TSANG
A.I.G. SPURNS CALLS FOR A BREAKUP American International Group has decided to streamline itself, but it remains to be seen whether it can shake off the activist investors that have been pushing for a breakup.

The insurance giant, which became the starkest example of "too big to fail" when it had to be rescued during the financial crisis, stopped well short of the outright breakup that some had called for, Liz Moyer reports in DealBook. It said it would offer part of its mortgage insurance unit in an initial public offering, sell its financial advisory business and create nine distinct operations in its commercial and consumer divisions that could pave the way for future sales or spinoffs.

It also plans to spend $25 billion on stock buybacks and dividends over two years, while cutting $1.6 billion from operating costs.

Investors, led by Carl C. Icahn, have pushed for a radical breakup so that A.I.G. can avoid the regulatory burden of being labeled a systemically important financial institution, or SIFI, by the government.

A.I.G. has resisted this, but Peter D. Hancock, the president and chief executive, has not closed the door entirely to further divestments. "There are no sacred cows," he said.

The strategic shift it has made, however, will only push the insurer toward mediocrity, Antony Currie writes in Breakingviews. Mr. Hancock plans to elevate return on equity next year to a subpar 9 percent. MetLife is expected to do slightly better and Prudential is on track for 14.4 percent.

The SIFI designation only costs $150 million a year, but that could change once regulators complete the rules for insurers. Carving up A.I.G. now, though, would mean forgoing almost 10 times that amount in tax benefits.

Mr. Hancock may just be providing investors with a road map for a reorganization that creates nine separate divisions. This restructuring story probably has further to go, Mr. Currie says.
IPHONES SALES SLOW Apple's latest earnings report shows that iPhone sales rose less than 1 percent from a year earlier - the slowest pace ever for the device which accounts for about two-thirds of the company's revenue, Katie Benner reports in The New York Times. Apple's sales forecast was not much more optimistic, indicating that the sluggishness would continue and projecting the first revenue decline in more than a decade.

The numbers raise questions about how Apple will satisfy investors who want growth and consumers who want new, cutting-edge technology.

Timothy D. Cook, Apple's chief executive, said the slowdown reflected greater uncertainties in economies and financial markets. "We're seeing extreme conditions, unlike anything we've experienced before, just about everywhere we look," he said.

Luca Maestri, Apple's chief financial officer, also said the strength of the dollar had affected the company's earnings. "In the December quarter alone, the foreign exchange impact was $5 billion to our revenue line," he said.

Other growth areas that Apple has relied upon are also slowing. Sales in the greater China region rose 14 percent in the quarter from a year ago, but annual revenue growth from the region has been 70 percent or more in the previous four quarters.
ACTIVIST INVESTORS MEET THEIR MATCH The stock market slump has raised the question of whether shareholder activism can survive a down market, Steven Davidoff Solomon writes in the Deal Professor column.

In the rising stock market, acquisitions were hot and exits were easy. Mistakes in picking targets were covered up by gains in the market. In a down market, what was volatile on the upside is now shooting downward, bringing this exuberance tumbling back to earth.

With troubled companies becoming more troubled and harder to turn around, activists beat a hasty retreat. This happened in the financial crisis of 2008, and history seems to be repeating itself this year with hedge funds, including Pershing Square and Icahn Enterprises, buffeted by the downturn.

If the downturn persists, we are likely to see a sharp drop in activism. Many activist hedge funds have only one-year lockups, and the money that has flooded into them could reverse.

The result would not only be a reduction in the number of activist attacks. One or two highflying funds may collapse, and some of the stronger funds may survive and buy opportunistically. But not all funds will be able to keep enough cash on hand to invest.

In the interim, companies may get the breather they have been desperate for. It is also likely to pause the trend for spinoffs as these companies focus on their core operations rather than financial engineering.
ON THE AGENDA The Federal Reserve will publish its latest economic outlook and the decisions made in its latest policy meeting at 2 p.m. Facebook will discuss its full year earnings at 5 p.m.
INQUIRY IN CHINA ADDS TO DOUBTS ABOUT ECONOMIC DATA The Communist Party's anticorruption commission announced on Tuesday that it was investigating the head of China's statistics agency over what it called "serious violations," Keith Bradsher reports in The New York Times.

It is unclear whether the scrutiny of Wang Baoan, the agency head, is related to his current role or his previous one as vice minister of finance.

The statistics bureau's responsibilities are hard to balance at the best of times. It is supposed to provide China's leaders with an unvarnished assessment of the country's economic strengths and weaknesses, while reassuring the public about growth, maintaining consumer confidence and releasing detailed and accurate information for investors and corporate leaders.

Few doubt that China has grown enormously, but many believe that the bureau smooths the data, underestimating growth during booms and overestimating it during downturns. Many also point to the underlying numbers to support their skepticism. Electricity consumption, for example, was nearly unchanged last year, instead of rising in line with growth in China's gross domestic product.

With the veracity of China's economic data already in question and investors unnerved by the slowing rate of growth and volatile stock markets, further doubts could exacerbate the pain in the markets. Stocks in Shanghai closed down 6.4 percent on Tuesday and were 0.5 percent lower on Wednesday.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS »
Meredith Is Said to Be Set to End Media General Deal The move would allow Media General, which operates 71 television stations across the United States, to be acquired by Nexstar for $2.3 billion.
Terex Is Said to Rebuff Approach from Zoomlion of China Terex, an American maker of crane and construction machinery, is said to have rebuffed an all-cash offer of $30 a share from Zoomlion to focus on completing its merger with Konecranes of Finland.
Toyota Considers Daihatsu Buyout Toyota said it was considering buying out the shares it does not already own in the minivehicle maker Daihatsu, a $3.2 billion deal at current market prices, but denied a report that it was in partnership talks with Daihatsu's rival Suzuki.
Vivint Solar's Assets Offered by SunEdison SunEdison, a solar energy provider, is trying to find a buyer for some of Vivint Solar's assets before it completes its $1.9 billion purchase of the company.
INVESTMENT BANKING »
A Royal Bank of Scotland branch in London. The lender's results have been repeatedly dragged down by misconduct.
R.B.S. Expects to Report an Annual Loss for 2015 Royal Bank of Scotland, which is based in Edinburgh and is in the middle of a large restructuring plan, has not posted an annual profit since 2007.
China's Role in Hong Kong Becomes a Factor in HSBC Debate Over Headquarters HSBC's board meets on Wednesday to consider moving its headquarters to Hong Kong, and concerns about China's influence over the financial hub may be a factor in the decision, Reuters reports, citing a senior source at the bank.
Front loaders clear snow in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Computerized Trading Firm to Take Over Barclays's N.Y.S.E. Seats High-speed trading firms now dominate one of the last places where humans still play a crucial role in the stock markets.
Former Morgan Stanley Banker to Revive Phibro Name Simon Greenshields, the former co-head of Morgan Stanley's commodities business, has acquired the name and assets of the commodities trading firm.
JPMorgan to Pay Ambac $995 Million to Settle Mortgage-Related Claims The bond insurer Ambac Financial Group said JPMorgan Chase will pay $995 million to settle disputes related to residential mortgage-backed securities.
Italy Strikes 'Bad Bank' Deal Italy and the European Union have reached an agreement on a guarantee program designed to help Italian banks sell their large portfolios of nonperforming loans to private investors, in an effort to ease market pressure on the financial sector in the eurozone's third-largest economy.
For the latest updates, go to NYTimes.com/DealBook
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HEDGE FUNDS »
Ackman Acknowledges His Mistakes William A. Ackman, whose Pershing Square Capital Management lost between 16 percent and 20 percent in its funds in 2015, said it was a "very costly" mistake that he did not sell drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals when the stock price rose to $200 over the summer.
Argentina and Aramco Are Deals for Difficult Times Talk of two potential big transactions dominated in Davos. Given the world's parlous state, there are reasons to hope that both deals are made, Rob Cox writes in Breakingviews.
One of United Continental's Largest Shareholders Declares Activist Position Altimeter Capital disclosed a 3.1 percent stake in United and said it has engaged in discussions with other United shareholders about various aspects of United's strategic direction.
I.P.O./OFFERINGS »
Octo Telematics, Whose Technology Monitors Driving, Prepares I.P.O. Octo Telematics of Italy, whose devices help auto insurers set rates, is preparing its United States offering at a difficult time for market debuts.
Chinese Online Lender Lufax to List in Hong Kong or Shanghai The Chinese online lender Lufax, whose $18.5 billion valuation makes it one of the world's biggest Internet finance companies, is considering a Hong Kong or Shanghai initial public offering as early as this year.
VENTURE CAPITAL »
Ratan Tata Turns Venture Investor Ratan Tata, who stepped down as the chairman of the $100 billion Tata Group in 2012, is taking a stake in an online startup that sells premium teas.
LEGAL/REGULATORY »
Anthony Chiasson, a co-founder of the Level Global hedge fund, in 2013. Mr. Chiasson was implicated in an insider trading case, but a verdict against him was later overturned and the charges dropped.
Regulators to Return $21.5 Million to Hedge Fund Shut After Raid A federal judge orders that the 2013 settlement by the now-defunct Level Global Investors be vacated.
An engraving plate for a dollar bill. Despite predictions to the contrary, the currency has remained strong.
The Dollar Keeps Rising, for Good or Evil Despite global economic turmoil, many economists argue that the American currency's rise is mostly a good thing. But there are downsides, and not all in the United States, Eduardo Porter writes in the Economic Scene column.
Bank of England's Andrew Bailey Named C.E.O. of Financial Conduct Authority Mr. Bailey, the chief executive of the central bank's Prudential Regulation Authority, would take the top job at the financial markets regulator this year.
Homes and empty lots in Atlantic City next to the bankrupt Revel casino.
Christie Announces Plan for State Control of Atlantic City's Finances Under the agreement, New Jersey officials would be in charge of reducing the city's debt of $240 million and making cuts to the size and cost of its civil services.
 
 

U.S. Stock Market Future Indications, by MarketWatch - January 27, 2016: U.S. Stocks Set to Open Lower as Oil, Apple Drop.

marketwatch.com
 
Sara Sjolin
 
Wall Street was poised for firm losses at the open on Wednesday amid a fresh drop in oil prices, as investors remain cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve’s latest pronouncements on interest rates.
Shares of Apple Inc. AAPL, +0.55%  dropped 4.2% ahead of the opening bell, after the company late Tuesday said iPhone sales grew at the slowest pace since the handset’s introduction in 2007.