Search This Blog


Search Tool

Feb 3, 2016

The Guardian | A>ustralia | Opinion | Economic Policy - February 3, 2016: Income Inequality: Trickle Down Economics is Alive and Well in Australia by Ben Oquist.

Ben Oquist
I grew up in Sydney, a beautiful city regarded as one of the most liveable in the world. But that amenity is increasingly becoming unattainable for many Sydneysiders. As inequality increases, the opportunities and natural beauty become available to a dwindling minority: according to an Australian Bureau of Statistics report Sydney has become Australia’s least egalitarian city, where 11.4% of all income goes to just 1% of residents.

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH - February 3, 2016: 3 Articles: U.S.A Watchdog's Greg Hunter Interviews Hugo Salinas Price on Gold Revaluation | NY Fed prez hints it's one-and-done for interest rate hikes | Gold figures heavily in Lars Schall's tremendous interview with Ronnie Stoeferle

Submitted by cpowell on February 3, 2016.February 3, 2016

Monetary metals advocate Hugo Salinas Price, president of the Mexican Civic Association for Silver, explains today in an interview with USA Watchdog's Greg Hunter why he expects a worldwide depression caused by excessive debt and then an official revaluation of gold to devalue debt. The interview, 24 minutes long, is especially nice because it's a video interview and you can see the two participants. It's posted at USA Watchdog's Internet site here:

Sam Fleming and Robin Wigglesworth
Financial Times, London
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Global financial conditions have tightened markedly since the Federal Reserve lifted interest rates in December and the central bank will have to take that into account if the situation persists into March, the president of the New York Fed has said.
The words from Bill Dudley came as financial markets ratcheted back expectations of rate rises further, with traders now expecting no move at all in 2016 -- in sharp contrast to Fed policymakers' last forecasts in December.
Mr Dudley said that the recent turmoil in financial markets could alter the outlook for growth and risks to the economy, adding that if the global economy were to hit a roadblock, triggering a further surge in the dollar, "it could have significant consequences back to the US."
His comments in an interview with MNI are an acknowledgment of how sharply the backdrop has changed since the Fed boosted rates by a quarter point in December. ...
... For the remainder of the report:

Writing for Matterhorn Asset Management's Gold Switzerland Internet site, financial journalist Lars Schall has done a tremendous interview with fund manager Ronnie Stoeferle of Incrementum AG in Liechtenstein, covering, among other things, the increasingly positive prospects for gold, intervention by central banks against the gold price, gold's continuing centrality in the world financial system, the importance of the gold-silver price ratio, China's purposes for gold, the likelihood of more monetary debasement by central banks, and the perspective brought to the markets by the Austrian school of economics. The interview is 31 minutes long but there's a transcript as well and both are posted at GoldSwitzerland here:

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

WSJ | Forex Closing on February 3, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Forex Closing
Major Currencies
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

WSJ | Major Indexes Closing on February 3, 2015.

The Wall Street Journal Major Indexes Closing
Major Indexes 5:42 p.m. EST 02/03/16

WSJ | Biggest Decliners Closing on February 3, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Biggest Decliners Closing
Biggest Decliners
4:32 pm ET 02/03/2016

WSJ | Most Actives Closing on February 3, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Most Actives Closing
Most Active Stocks by Volume
4:31 pm ET 02/03/2016

WSJ | Biggest Gainers Closing on February 3, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Biggest Gainers Closing
Biggest Gainers
4:32 pm ET 02/03/2016

DealBook P.M. Edition - February 3, 2016: Toxic Loans Worldwide Weigh on Global Growth.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Toxic Loans Worldwide Weigh on Global Growth Bad debts have been a drag on economic activity ever since the financial crisis of 2008, but the threat appears to be rising, and China is the biggest source of worry.

NYT Afternoon Update - February 3, 2016: Surge of Zika Virus Has Brazilians Re-examining Strict Abortion Laws.

The New York Times

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Top News
Dr. Angela Rocha with the results of a scan of a baby with microcephaly at the Oswaldo Cruz hospital in Recife, northeastern Brazil, last week.
Surge of Zika Virus Has Brazilians Re-examining Strict Abortion Laws


Abortion rights activists are seizing on the crisis to push back against conservative lawmakers who want to toughen already stringent limits.

CFTC Press Release - February 3, 2016: CFTC Charges Florida-Based Oakmont Financial, Inc. and Joseph Charles DiCrisci with Engaging in Illegal, Off-Exchange Precious Metals Transactions

CFTC Updated banner

RELEASE: pr7317-16

February 3, 2016

CFTC Charges Florida-Based Oakmont Financial, Inc. and Joseph Charles DiCrisci with Engaging in Illegal, Off-Exchange Precious Metals Transactions

Kitco News - February 3, 2016: Gold Hits Fresh 3-Month High; 1,180 Coud be Next - Chief Market Stategist.

Gold Hits Fresh 3-Month High; $1,180 Could be Next - Chief Market Strategist

Wall Street at Close Report on February 3, 2016, by CNBC: Dow, S&P Stage Sharp Turnaround as Oil Rises 8%.

Fred Imbert

U.S. stocks closed mostly higher on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P completing a massive comeback spurred by a surge in oil.

EBRD News - February 3, 2016: EBRD Conference Calls for New Strategy to Tackle Refugee Crisis

Enabling the Private Sector to Support Refugee-Hosting Communities
Bank aiming for €900 million financing package
A conference hosted by the EBRD called for a new approach to tackle the refugee crisis caused by the Syrian civil war.

ESA Visualizing Atmospheric Rivers - February 3, 2016.

ESA Overlay Banner

Editor's Note: The Commerce Data Service recently launched the Commerce Data Usability Project to feature tutorials and case studies in order to assist data scientists, programmers, researchers and other data users access and utilize a range of Commerce Department datasets. As part of this project, a number of external organizations are sharing tutorials  illustrating their innovative use of Commerce data. In the guest blog below, Mapbox explains how to visualize NOAA precipitable water data . To learn more about this project, visit

CMI Spot Prices as of Close of Trading in New York on February 3, 2016.

Spot Prices as of traditional New York closing times

Wednesday, February 03, 2016


Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
$1,143.10 +$14.50 $1,117.30 $1,079.80 $1,259.35


Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
$14.77 +$0.44 $14.49 $14.01 $17.31


Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
$883.00 +$24.80 $884.60 $891.30 $1,237.20


Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
$515.00 +$22.30 $503.85 $537.00 $788.60

Gold/Silver Ratio


SEC Press Release - February 3, 2016: SEC Charges Growth Funding II and Ralph Johnson for Fraud.

SEC Seal

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against a Manhattan-based lending company and its owner accused of repeatedly lying to investors purchasing high-yield securities.  The SEC also charged the brokerage firm that acted as the placement agent and two of its executives.

NYT Opinion - February 3, 2016: To End Syria's War, Help Assad's Officers Defect.

The Guardian | Opinion | Tax and Spending - February 3, 2016: These Mate's Rates From George Osborne Let Google Off the Hook on Tax by John McDonnell
John McDonnell
Perhaps the best indicator of George Osborne’s shifting position on the Google deal has been his studied refusal to answer questions about it. After sending along a junior minister to answer my urgent question last week, the usually camera-friendly and politically ambitious chancellor has been notable by his absence from the media.

Bits | The Business of Technology - February 3, 2016: Yahoo's Multipronged Turnaround Strategy.

The New York Times
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Daily Report
Yahoo's Multipronged Turnaround Strategy | For Yahoo, there is no simple way out of its current woes. So Yahoo's solution is to look at all options.

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH on February 3, 2016: Japanese Central Banker Claims Omnipotence for Devaluing Currency

Submitted by cpowell on February 3, 2016Go, Haruhiko, go!
* * *
'No Limit' to Japan Easing, Says Kuroda
By Robin Harding
Financial Times, London
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
TOYKO -- Haruhiko Kuroda said there was "no limit" to monetary easing as he vowed to slash Japanese interest rates deeper into negative territory if necessary.

FDIC Financial Institution Letter - February 3, 2016: Interest Rate Risk videos Update


Financial Institution Letter

Interest Rate Risk Videos Updated FIL-10-2016
As part of the FDIC's Community Banking Initiative, the FDIC is announcing the release of updated videos on interest rate risk. The new videos provide financial institution directors, management and staff with resources for better understanding interest rate risk and how it can be prudently managed.

European Markets at Close Report on February 3, 2016: Europe Ends Down 1.5%; Oil jumps 5%, Banks Tumble.

Arjun Kharpal, Holly Ellyatt, Alexandra Gibbs
European equities closed firmly in the red on Wednesday; as a sharp rise in oil prices failed to relieve any stress from the markets.
The pan-European STOXX 600 fell sharply lower but came off session lows, finishing down 1.5 percent respectively.

U.S. Stock Market Future Indications Update, Update by MarketWatch - February 3, 2016: Stock futures Nudge Higher as Energy Plays Gain
Ellie Ismailidou, Sara Sjolin
U.S. stock-index futures inched higher ahead of the opening bell, trying to end two days of losses as a turn higher in oil prices helped lift energy stocks.
A private-sector employment report that pointed to solid job growth in January gave stock futures a small nudge higher.

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH - February 3, 2016: China's Gold Production Falls as Demand Rises

Submitted by cpowell on  3, 2016China 2015 Gold Output Dips 0.4%, Consumption Rises
By David Stanway

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
China, the world's top gold miner and consumer, produced 450.05 tonnes of the precious metal in 2015, down 0.4 percent from a year earlier, the country's gold industry body said today.

NYT First Draft on Politics - February 3, 2016: New Hampshire Offers Trump a Clean Slate and Potentially More Stable Ground.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The New York Times »

The New York Times

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Donald J. Trump held a news conference in Milford, N.H., on Tuesday night with Scott P. Brown, a Republican former senator from Massachusetts.
Donald J. Trump held a news conference in Milford, N.H., on Tuesday night with Scott P. Brown, a Republican former senator from Massachusetts. Damon Winter/The New York Times
New Hampshire Offers Trump a Clean Slate and Potentially More Stable Ground

DealBook Today's Top Headlines - February 3, 2016: ChemChina Makes $43 Billion Offer for Syngenta | Yahoo Seeks to Streamline | A Star Lawyer and a Conflict at Theranos | A Warning on Bankruptcy in Puerto Rico's Crisis.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
CHEMCHINA MAKES $43 BILLION OFFER FOR SYNGENTA China National Chemical Corporation offered to buy Syngenta, one of the world's biggest manufacturers of agricultural chemicals and seeds, for more than $43 billion, Chad Bray and Amie Tsang report in DealBook.

The state-owned ChemChina would pay $465 a share and a special dividend of five Swiss francs, or about $4.90, upon closing - a 22 percent premium to Syngenta's closing price on Tuesday.

Syngenta's board, which rejected a takeover from Monsanto last year, said it was unanimously recommending that shareholders accept the deal.

Syngenta would remain based in Switzerland and continue to be run by its existing management.

The transaction would be the largest acquisition of a foreign company by a Chinese firm and comes after a string of deals from one of China's largest chemical companies.

The purchase could help China revolutionize its agriculture sector and accelerate the country's push for food independence, but there could be questions about giving a Chinese company control of Syngenta, as Leslie Picker and Chad Bray report in DealBook.

The acquisition could face lengthy scrutiny in Europe and the United States, where Syngenta has a significant presence. But the deal offers Syngenta a degree of independence it wouldn't have had in a deal with the American agricultural giant Monsanto.
YAHOO SEEKS TO STREAMLINE Yahoo said it was open to offers for its core assets, but it was also proceeding with plans to spin out these core assets, David Streitfeld reports in The New York Times. The spinoff would leave its most valuable property - its holdings in Alibaba - in the original company.

The company also confirmed on Tuesday that it would lay off about 15 percent of its 11,000 employees and said that Charles Schwab, one of its directors, was resigning because of other demands on his time.

The chief executive, Marissa Mayer, said the company would become simpler, as well as smaller. Yahoo will shed assets, cut expenses and focus on the growing parts of the company.

Investors seem unsure about the news, which was announced with the quarterly results. It initially bolstered shares, but the stock declined in after-hours trading.

SpringOwl Asset Management, whose investors have been critical of Yahoo's management, was clearly unsatisfied. "I expected defiance, and I expected a convoluted solution," Eric Jackson of SpringOwl said. "My expectations were exceeded on both counts."

"It remains to be seen whether this is a real shift or not," Mr. Jackson added.

Yahoo's announcements have most likely begun what could be months of inquiries from suitors. Some, including Verizon, have already expressed their interest.

Yahoo remains a marginally profitable company, but it is not growing. Revenue came in at $1.273 billion, compared with $1.253 billion in 2014. Operating earnings were 13 cents a share. Last year, Yahoo earned 30 cents a share in the quarter.
A STAR LAWYER AND A CONFLICT AT THERANOS David Boies, a founder and chairman of Boies Schiller & Flexner, has placed himself at the center of Theranos's troubles, Steven Davidoff Solomon writes in the Deal Professor column. A shrewd litigator, Mr. Boies represented Al Gore in the 2000 presidential dispute, litigated the Microsoft antitrust case for the federal government and is representing Maurice R. Greenberg, the former chief of American International Group, in his suit against the government.

Theranos hired him when questions were raised about its methodology and science. He has also become a director there.

This has the potential to blow up as he tries to represent his client, as a lawyer, and the company's investors, as a director. Depending on what unfolds at Theranos, Mr. Boies may be put in a position where he has to protect either the company or the shareholders.

If the technology of Theranos turns out not to be what it claims, investors could seek to sue the chief executive, Elizabeth Holmes, and the company, including the board.

This would be complicated for Mr. Boies because Theranos is a corporate governance disaster, Mr. Solomon writes.

The structure of the company means Ms. Holmes controls it and she may not be quick to acknowledge flaws in the technology to the benefit of the remaining shareholders. Most members of the board do not have scientific experience. The weak board is another potential land mine - less scientific experience does not mean less of a fiduciary duty to shareholders.
ON THE AGENDA The House Financial Services committee will hold a hearing on terrorism financing at 10 a.m. General Motors holds its conference call on its latest quarterly earnings at 10 a.m. Comcast will hold a conference call on its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings at 11:30 a.m.
A WARNING ON BANKRUPTCY IN PUERTO RICO'S CRISIS Experts in financial distress told lawmakers in Washington that Puerto Rico's financial troubles are so complex that bankruptcy alone would not solve them, Mary Williams Walsh reports in DealBook.

Instead, they recommended appointing a federal control board, saying that this was more likely to resolve the island's debt in the short term and prevent it going further into debt in the future.

They pointed to the example of Detroit, which reduced its debt through municipal bankruptcy proceedings, but did not have a recovery plan.

Washington, on the other hand, did not go bankrupt in the late 1990s, but was placed under a financial control board and now has a double-A bond rating.

Puerto Rico officials have been saying that they want to restructure the debt, but do not expect to be able to do so without the protection of Chapter 9, the bankruptcy chapter used by insolvent municipalities.
A Kuoni travel agency in Hong Kong. The company was founded in Zurich in 1906 and organized its first guided overseas tour to Egypt a year later.
EQT Partners of Sweden to Acquire Swiss Travel Company The deal values the company, Kuoni Group, at $1.36 billion and would take the firm, founded in 1906, private.
Kenneth M. Jacobs, chairman and chief executive of the investment bank Lazard.
Lazard's Profit Slumps in Quarter as Fees Slide The firm worked on six of the largest transactions of 2015, yet only one of them, Heinz's combination with Kraft Foods, has closed.
Time for a Strategic Shift at UBS's Investment Bank After several quarters of more than 20 percent returns on equity, UBS's broker-dealer business squeezed out a 4.4 percent return in the quarter that just ended.
Citigroup Reaches Libor Settlement Citigroup will pay $23 million to end private antitrust litigation that claims that it conspired to manipulate benchmark interest rates in an agreement that lawyers call an "ice breaker" that could spur some of the roughly 20 other bank defendants to settle.
Hong Kong Regulator Censures Goldman Sachs Hong Kong's securities regulator publicly censured an Asian unit of Goldman Sachs for misconduct while serving as a financial adviser to the Hong Kong lender Wing Hang Bank during its $5 billion buyout by Singapore's Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation.
For the latest updates, go to
Mauricio Macri, president of Argentina, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month. His administration has indicated that it wants to resolve the debt as part of a bigger move to reform Argentina's economy.
After 14 Years at Odds, Argentina Aims to Settle Debt With Hedge Funds Negotiators are meeting to resolve a dispute that began in 2001, when Argentina defaulted on billions of dollars in debt.
Starboard Said to Take 6.7% Stake in Marvell Technology The activist investor Starboard Value has taken a 6.7 percent stake in Marvell Technology and is betting the beleaguered semiconductor company can increase margins among other improvements, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
Eurozone I.P.O.s Set to Outpace the U.S. in 2016 Continued monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank underpins expectations that eurozone companies will list on public markets in 2016 and planned privatizations of services by indebted governments will bolster deal volumes.
Editas Raises $94.4 Million in First U.S. I.P.O. of the Year Editas Medicine, the gene-editing drug maker backed by Bill Gates and Google Ventures, priced the shares at the low end of the marketed range.
An image from Magic Leap of a possible augmented reality scene.
Augmented Reality Firm Raises $793 Million The firm, Magic Leap, has drawn attention for attracting investors like Google, Fidelity Investments and Warner Brothers, although it has shown the public little about its products.
An Uber driver cruising through a night-life district in Tampa, Fla., his car adorned with messages protesting Uber's policies.
Uber Drivers and Others in the Gig Economy Take a Stand As the online gig economy grows, workers are beginning to band together to secure what they see as fairer treatment from companies that make them feel more like employees than contractors.
Early Release for Insider Trading Convict A hedge fund manager convicted of insider trading, Doug Whitman, is freed as he pursues an appeal in light of a Second Circuit ruling that continues to undermine such convictions.
Corporate Bribery Cases and Fines Fell in 2015, Report Shows The decline was attributed to fewer cases of self-reporting, a smaller number of big settlements and a focus on more complicated cases.
Richard Dreyfuss in
Review: In 'Madoff,' What He Was Thinking Richard Dreyfuss stars in a four-hour ABC mini-series that is told from the perspective of Bernard L. Madoff, the mastermind behind America's greatest Ponzi scheme.
The steering wheel in the 2006 Ford Ranger belonging to Joel Knight. He was killed in December when the vehicle's Takata airbag ruptured after he ran into a stray cow in South Carolina.
Senators Call for a Much Broader Recall of Defective Takata Airbags After a Recent Death The senators, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, called on the Obama administration to force the recall of every Takata airbag using a propellant that contains ammonium nitrate.
Martin Shkreli, former chief of Turing Pharmaceuticals, said in an email released by a House panel that raising a pill's price 5,000 percent would produce
Martin Shkreli All but Gloated Over Huge Drug Price Increases, Memos Show Documents released by a congressional panel show that Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Turing Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Shkreli's former company, sometimes raised prices as much as fiftyfold.
Jeffery Boyd was president and chief executive of Priceline from November 2002 until December 2013. He is currently its chairman.
Tech's Track Record of Shake-Ups at the Top Yahoo and Twitter are just the latest tech companies shaping plans for major overhauls and management shake-ups. A look back at how Priceline, Amazon and eBay weathered turbulent times.