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Monthly Archives: May 2014

El-Erian: M&A Boom Has Yet to Help the US Economy

“Merger-and-acquisition activity is back in a big way, as evidenced by AT&T’s blockbuster move this week to acquire DirecTV. The cash companies are putting to work this year, though, is providing more immediate benefit to wealthy investors than it is to the broader economy.

In the years that followed the shock of the 2008 financial crisis, companies understandably sought to accumulate huge amounts of cash — and remained quite loath to deploy it, even though it was earning virtually no interest at the bank. They also strengthened their balance sheets by paying off short-term debts, borrowing for longer periods and cutting back on costs.

Precautionary behavior was an important reason for the hoarding — after all, who knew when another credit crunch might come? But it also has other explanations. 

As I argued earlier this year, weaker global growth, tax policy uncertainties and the increasing “winner-take-all” nature of major investment commitments all played a role. Judging from the amount of cash held overseas, companies’ unwillingness to pay repatriation taxes also mattered.

More recently, pressure from shareholders — including the threat of activist involvement — has prompted companies to change their cash management practices. In 2013, they did so by authorizing an unprecedented $600 billion in share buybacks, as well as increasing dividend payments.

Then came this year’s notable pickup in M&A activity, including record-setting “jumbo deals” of at least $10 billion each.

On the surface, the deployment of cash should be good news for the real economy.

Unfortunately, the manner in which it has happened isn’t yet supportive enough for growth and jobs….”

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$HPQ Pink Slips 16k Jobs, Recovery is Near

Hewlett-Packard Co. HPQ -2.28% is cutting thousands more jobs, as efforts to revitalize the company have sputtered amid a rapidly changing technology landscape.


The Silicon Valley giant said Thursday it would cut an additional 11,000 to 16,000 jobs on top of 34,000 positions it previously said would be eliminated as part of a multiyear restructuring plan. At the midpoint of that range, the new cuts would trim an additional 4% from H-P’s workforce of about 317,500 employees.

News of the job cuts came as H-P announced results for its fiscal second quarter, revealing a drop in revenue that overshadowed higher profit. The results follow two quarters that had generally pleased investors, as the company appeared to stabilize itself under Chief ExecutiveMeg Whitman after several years of turmoil.

H-P, known largely for personal computers, server systems and printers, has been grappling with stiff competition and big shifts in the technology industry. Challenges across its array of businesses, along with the new job cuts, may complicate efforts to revive growth and innovation.

Ms. Whitman sought to portray the unexpected job cuts as an opportunity to further streamline a company that had grown bloated over the years through multiple acquisitions.

“I’m not at all disappointed, I think it’s the natural course of what makes sense in a turnaround of this size and scale,” she said. The restructuring, along with continued investments in growth areas such as cloud computing, analytics software and networking technology, would set up the beleaguered Silicon Valley icon “as a force to be reckoned with,” she said.

But some analysts wondered if Ms. Whitman was trying to get ahead of potentially weakening demand by announcing the new job cuts.

The quarterly numbers were accidentally posted on H-P’s website ahead of schedule and before the close of regular trading Thursday…”

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Barclays Fined for Manipulating the Price of Au for Over a Decade

“It was almost inevitable: a week after we wrote “From Rothschild To Koch Industries: Meet The People Who “Fix” The Price Of Gold” and days after “Barclays’ Head Of Gold Trading, And Gold “Fixer”, Is Leaving The Bank“, earlier today the UK Financial Conduct Authority finally formalized what most in the “tin-foil” hat community had known for years, when it announced that it fined Barclays £26 million for manipulating “the setting of the price of gold in order to avoid paying out on a client order.” Furthermore, the FCA confirmed that those inexplicable gold raids which come as if out of nowhere, and slam gold with a vicious force so strong sometime they halt the entire market, had a very specific source: Barclays, whose trader “Daniel James Plunkett, sent out a burst of orders aimed at moving the price of the yellow metal.”

This took place for a decade. As the FT reports:…”

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Intense Fighting Flares in Eastern Ukraine

“Pro-Russian separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine mounted four simultaneous attacks against government forces Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, officials in Kiev said. The violence comes just days before presidential elections that separatists have vowed to block.

The attacks resulted in some of the highest number of casualties since the conflict began, officials said. The overall death toll in the latest fighting wasn’t immediately available but Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said eight servicemen were killed in one of the battles.

“Today a major operation was prepared on all fronts and it was repulsed,” Andriy Parubiy, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told a briefing in Kiev, according to the Interfax news agency. He said the separatists are expected to increase their attacks in the days ahead of Sunday’s presidential elections.

In a separate briefing, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Kiev is calling for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to address what he said were efforts by Russia to “escalate the conflict” and sabotage the elections. A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman dismissed the allegations as “groundless.”

Previous such sessions have had little effect because Russia holds a veto in the Security Council.

Russia, however, has taken a softer tone as the election approaches, saying this weekthat it was pulling its troops back from the border. The White House and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have been skeptical of the claim, but the military alliance’s civilian head said Thursday there were signs Russian forces were preparing to withdraw.

In remarks to the press in Montenegro that were released by NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said: “It is too early to say what this means, but I hope this is the start of a full and genuine withdrawal.”

Separatists confirmed fighting on several fronts. In the breakaway Luhansk People’s Republic, one of the two regions where separatists have declared independence, the self-styled “people’s governor” declared martial law starting Thursday morning as a result of heavy fighting around the city of Lisichansk. It wasn’t clear what the declaration meant in practice, however.

Separatists near Luhansk blew up a bridge over the Siverskiy Donets river near Novodruzhesk in several hours of fighting, Interfax reported Thursday, citing local witnesses.

In the eastern part of Donetsk, the other of the two regions where separatists have declared independence from Ukraine, there were reports of another battle near the border with the Luhansk region.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said eight servicemen were killed near Volnovakha, on the road from the regional capital, Donetsk, to Mariupol, where there hadn’t been heavy separatist fighting before….”

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The Thai Army Tries to Restore Order and Push Reforms Through a Coup

“A few minutes before 6:00 a.m. ET, the Thai army interrupted all of local TV programming to announce it was assuming power.

It’s a military coup.

This comes two days after the military declared martial law.

By default, you might think this means chaos in the financial markets.

But judging by the markets subdued initial reaction, it doesn’t seem like that big of a risk event. The Thai baht weakened barely against the dollar (see chart). The news came minutes after Thailand’s stock market closed; the SET index climbed 0.16% today.

There’s at least two reasons why today’s news isn’t rocking markets. One, the country had already been in chaos. Months of anti-government protests had already left 28 people dead and saw the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra….”

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Jobless Claims Spike Above 300k

“The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week but stayed close to a seven-year low and pointed to ongoing healing in the labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 28,000 to 326,000 for the week ended May 17, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The prior week saw the lowest reading since May 2007 and brought claims back to a level last seen before the deep 2007-09 recession. Economists say the cumulative reduction in new claims could point to stronger hiring, although one metric in Thursday’s report cast a shadow over the upcoming monthly employment report for May.

Thursday’s data falls within the survey week for the employment report’s gauge of hiring in the economy, and the four-week moving average of new jobless claims rose about 3 percent from the corresponding week in April.

That might point to a weaker pace of job creation this month…”

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The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

”  “Although low inflation is generally good, inflation that is too low can pose risks to the economy – especially when the economy is struggling.” – Ben Bernanke

“The true measure of a career is to be able to be content, even proud, that you succeeded through your own endeavors without leaving a trail of casualties in your wake.” – Alan Greenspan

There you have it – the wisdom of two Ivy League educated economists who are primarily liable for the death of the American middle class. They now receive $250,000 per speaking engagement from the crooked financial parties their monetary policies benefited; write books to try and whitewash their legacies of failure, fraud, and hubris; and bask in the glow of the corporate mainstream media propaganda storyline of them saving the world from financial Armageddon. Never have two men done so much damage to so many people, so quickly, and are not in a prison cell or swinging from a lamppost. Their crimes make Madoff look like a two bit marijuana dealer.

The self-proclaimed Great Depression “expert” Ben Bernanke peddles pabulum about inflation being too low and posing dire risk to the economy, but is blasé that swelling the Federal Reserve balance sheet debt from $900 billion in 2008 to $4.4 trillion today with his digital printing press poses any systematic risk to the country and its citizens. Either his years in academia have blinded him to the reality of his actions upon the lives of real people living in the real world, or his real constituents have not been the American people, but the Wall Street bankers that pulled his puppet strings over the last eight years.

Now that he has passed the Control-P button to Yellen, he is reaping the rewards of bailing out Wall Street and further enriching them with QEfinity. Ben earned a whopping $200,000 per year as Federal Reserve chairman. He now rakes in $250,000 per speech from the very financial interests who benefited from his traitorous monetary machinations. I don’t think he will be invited to speak at any little league banquets by formerly middle class parents whose standard of living has been declining since the 1980s. Is it a requirement that every Federal Reserve chairperson lie, obfuscate, misinform, hide the truth, and do the exact opposite of what they say they will do?

“It is not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve – nor would it be appropriate – to protect lenders and investors from the consequences of their financial decisions.” – Ben Bernanke – October 2007

Greenspan, Bernanke and Yellen have always been worried about deflation, while even the government suppressed CPI calculation reveals that inflation has risen by 108% since the day Greenspan assumed office in August 1987. The dollar has lost 52% of its purchasing power in the last 27 years of Fed induced bubbles and busts. And these scholarly academic bozos have been worried about deflation the entire time. Since Nixon closed the gold window in 1971 and unleashed the two headed inflation loving gargoyle of debt issuing bankers and feckless self-serving politicians upon the American people, the dollar has lost 83% of its purchasing power (even using the bastardized BLS figures).

Any critical thinking person with their eyes open knows the official inflation figures have been systematically understated since the 1980’s by at least 3% per year. Should the average American be more worried about deflation or inflation, based upon what has occurred during the 100 years of the Federal Reserve controlling our currency?

I’m sure Greenspan is content and proud, as he succeeded through his own endeavors in rewarding, encouraging and propagating excessive risk taking by the Wall Street cabal during his 19 year reign of error. He exited stage left as the biggest bubble in history, created by his excessively low interest rate policy, blew up and destroyed the 401ks and home values of the middle class. This was the second bubble under his monetary guidance to burst. The third bubble created by these Keynesian acolytes of easy money will burst in the near future, further impoverishing what remains of the middle class and hopefully igniting a long overdue revolution.

Greenspan’s pathetic excuse for a career has benefitted those who owned him, while leaving a trail of casualties that circles the globe. His inflationary dogma, Wall Street enriching doctrine and Keynesian motivated schemes have drained the savings and confiscated the wealth of the middle class through persistent and devastating inflation. And it was done by a man who knew exactly what he was doing.

“Under the gold standard, a free banking system stands as the protector of an economy’s stability and balanced growth… The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit… In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation” – Alan Greenspan – 1966

The abandonment of the gold standard in 1971 set in motion four decades of consumer debt accumulation on an epic scale, currency debauchment, and real wage stagnation. The consumer debt accumulation was a consequence of the American middle class being lured into debt by the Too Big To Trust Wall Street banks and their corporate media propaganda machine, as a fallacious response to stagnating real wages when their jobs were shipped to China by mega-corporations using wage arbitrage to boost quarterly profits, their stock prices, and executive bonuses.

The bottom four quintiles have made no progress over the last four decades on an inflation adjusted basis. The middle quintile, representing the middle class, has seen their real household income grow by less than 20% over the last 43 years. And this is using the understated CPI. In reality, even with two spouses working today versus one in 1971, real household income is lower today than it was in 1971.

The more recent data, during the Greenspan/Bernanke inflationary era, is even more disconcerting and destructive. Real median household income has grown at an annualized rate of less than 0.5% over the last thirty years. During the bubblicious years from 2000 through 2014, while Wall Street used control fraud and virtually free money provided by the Fed to siphon off hundreds of billions of ill-gotten profits from the economy, the average middle class family saw their income drop and their debt load soar. This is crony capitalism success at its finest.

The oligarchs count on the fact math challenged, iGadget distracted, Facebook focused, public school educated morons will never understand the impact of inflation on their daily lives…..”

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A Serious Blow Dealt to the U.S. Constitution

“The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals may have just dealt a serious blow to the U.S. Constitution.

In a unanimous decision earlier this month the Court determined that law enforcement officers are not required to present a warrant or charges before forcibly entering a person’s home, searching it, and confiscating their firearms if they believe it is in the individual’s best interests.

The landmark suit was brought before the court by Krysta Sutterfield of Milwaukee, who had recently visited a psychiatrist for outpatient therapy resulting from some bad news that she had received. According to court records Sutterfield had expressed a suicidal thought during the visit, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, when she said “I guess I’ll go home and blow my brains out.” This prompted her doctor to contact police.

For several hours the police searched for Sutterfield….”

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Wall Street Gambles on Debt Ridden LBOs

Wall Street banks are financing more private-equity takeovers with high levels of debt, despite warnings by regulators to reduce the amount of risky loans they make.

“The Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency last year issued guidance urging banks to avoid financing leveraged buyouts in most industries that would put debt on a company of more than six times its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda. The Fed and the OCC also told banks to limit borrowing agreements that stretch out payment timelines or don’t contain lender protections known as covenants.

Still, 40% of U.S. private-equity deals this year have used leverage above that six-times ratio deemed the upper acceptable limit by regulators, according to data compiled by S&P Capital IQ LCD. That is the highest percentage since the prefinancial-crisis peak of 52% of buyout loans in 2007. Such lending all but disappeared during the crisis but has risen each year since 2009.

In recent months, bank regulators have impressed upon banks that they aren’t happy with the amount of loans fueling buyouts, in which private-equity firms borrow money to buy companies with the intention of later selling them for a profit.


When a private equity firm buys a company, it typically borrows money to help fund the purchase that goes on the acquired company’s books. If the company runs into trouble, paying that debt can prove difficult, and investors in the debt can suffer.

The guidance is designed to deter banks from funding deals that regulators feel are too laden with debt, as companies with higher debt ratios are considered more likely to run into financial trouble.

These loans, provided by a group of banks, are often sold to a wider group of lenders and investors. Regulators are concerned that in the event of a financial downturn and diminished demand from investors, banks may find themselves stuck with large pipelines of risky debt.

The Fed and OCC, which issued the guidance in conjunction with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., declined to elaborate beyond previous statements. The agencies have said they share the same goal of ensuring proper risk management and are coordinating closely to implement the leveraged-lending guidance.

Leveraged-finance bankers have complained that the guidance isn’t clear, and adherence to the guidelines hasn’t been uniform, which some in the industry attribute to the Fed and OCC applying them inconsistently and to confusion around what exactly is allowed under the new policy.

The OCC has articulated a “no exceptions” policy, while the Fed has told the banks it oversees on this issue that they may participate in a small number of the leveraged-buyout deals that stray from the guidance, according to a person familiar with the matter….”

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Vladimir Putin to the EU: How Do You Like Me Now Biatch

“Beijing and Moscow said they signed a much-anticipated contract to supply China with hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Russian natural gas following a decade of difficult talks.

Neither side released details about the price, long the major sticking point of a deal. The two sides in the past have announced supply deals but said a final price would be negotiated later.

Gazprom OGZPY -1.73% CEO Alexei Miller told Russian media that the two sides had signed a contract worth a total of $400 billion over its 30-year life. “This is Gazprom’s biggest contract. We don’t have a contract like this with any other company,” Mr. Miller told reporters in Shanghai, the Interfax news agency reported.

Russian news agencies said the contract called for supplies of 38 billion cubic meters of gas a year, which would imply a price of about $350 per thousand cubic meters, at the low end of what Gazprom currently charges export clients.

Mr. Miller said the price in the China deal “is a commercial secret,” Russian news agencies reported.

China’s official Xinhua news agency said documents related to the deal were signed in Shanghai by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had made the multibillion-dollar deal the top item of his two-day visit there.

China National Petroleum Corp. said Gazprom would be responsible for developing natural gas supplies in eastern Siberia, while CNPC would develop transport and storage facilities within China’s borders.

A deal would allow Gazprom to make a strategic shift toward Asia, just as the European Union is seeking to extricate itself from Moscow’s energy grip….”

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Dennis Gartman: We are Already in a Stock Market Correction

“The stock market is in the midst of a correction, closely followed investor Dennis Gartman told CNBC on Wednesday.

“I think the process began several weeks ago … [with] the Nasdaq,” the publisher of The Gartman Letter said in a “Squawk Box” interview. “We’re in a correction right now.”

A correction is defined as…”

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Get Ready to Bail Out The Insurers

“On Friday, the Obama administration issued a new rule that will likely lead the government to give billions of taxpayer dollars to health insurance companies involved in the ObamaCare health exchanges. The rule is part of an effort by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to address fears that under ObamaCare, insurance companies will suffer huge losses because the cost for care of the high numbers of sick enrollees will not be offset by payments from healthy enrollees — because not enough healthy enrollees are signing up for ObamaCare.

Townhall reported last December, “A ‘risk corridor’ provision in Obamacare allows the federal government to give health insurers a taxpayer bailout if the cost of providing care for those insured through Obamacare is higher than insurers originally estimated when they first set premium prices.”

Such a program was created to help prevent insurance companies from raising costs to extremely high rates resulting from a more risky population of people joining the new exchanges.

The Obama administration has assured Americans that the risk corridor program would not cost taxpayers anything. The Daily Caller wrote, “CMS has issued guidance in the past promising that if the money collected from successful insurers wasn’t enough to cover all the payments due to the struggling ones, payments would be reduced and shortfalls made up for the following year.”

But insurance companies asserted that the rules fail to consider that some insurers may take even bigger hits than anticipated. America’s Health Insurance Plans addressed these concerns to CMS in April, explaining that minimizing the risk-aversion program could ultimately lead to higher premium rates. As a result, CMS is now moving away from its budget-neutral promise, citing worries from “some commentators.”

“We appreciate that some commenters believe that there are uncertainties associated with rate setting, given their concerns that risk corridors collections may not be sufficient to fully fund risk corridors payments,” the rule reads. “In the unlikely event of a shortfall for the 2015 program year … HHS will use other sources of funding for the risk corridors payments, subject to the availability of appropriations.”

To alleviate insurance companies’ concerns over ObamaCare losses, federal regulations originally allowed insurers access to bailout funds after they spend $60,000 on an individual, but in December, the Department of Health and Human Services introduced new regulations lowering the limit to $45,000.

The Department of Health and Human Services has the power to use taxpayer money to reimburse insurance companies up to 80 percent of their additional cost in the first three years of the law’s existence. Americans for Prosperity’s website explained, “If the cost of insuring individuals under the PPACA is 3% higher than estimated, insurance companies receive a 50% taxpayer reimbursement of the difference. If the cost of the ACA is 8% higher than estimated, which is a significantly more likely outcome, insurance companies receive an 80% taxpayer reimbursement. This bailout of insurance companies could end up costing taxpayers billions of dollars.”

In a notice published on December 2 in the Federal Register, the Obama administration acknowledges that insurers have valid concerns when they observe that they may be saddled with sicker customers that cost more money in the new insurance exchanges because healthier Americans will likely be staying on their existing health plans for another year….”

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China & Russia Agree Upon the Largest Non Greenback Deal Ever

“VTB, Russia’s second biggest lender, has signed a deal with Bank of China, which includes an agreement to pay each other in domestic currencies.

“Under the agreement, the banks plan to develop their partnership in a number of areas, including cooperation on ruble and renminbi settlements, investment banking, inter-bank lending, trade finance and capital-markets transactions,” says the official VTB statement.

The deal underlines VTB Group’s growing interest in Asian markets and will help grow trade between Russia and China that are already close trading partners, said VTB Bank Management Board Vasily Titov.

An Agreement on Cooperation was signed by Titov and Bank of China President Chen Siqing in Shanghai on Tuesday in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

VTB Group is Russia’s second biggest financial institution with more than 30 banks and financial firms in more than 20 countries. Its assets were estimated at 8.8 billion rubles as of 2013, with a profit of 100.5 billion rubles.

Growing trade and investment

The agreement comes as a part of Russia’s larger scale pivot to Asia, as Western economies threaten sanctions over the turmoil in Ukraine. Sanctions by the US and the EU have been mostly limited to visa bans and asset freezes on some leading Russian officials, and so far only threatening a so-called third round of real economic sanctions against Russian businesses.

In the first day of a two-day trip to China Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said the two countries will be increasing their bilateral trade to reach a new level.

“Our countries have done a huge job to reach a new historic landmark…. China has firmly settled in a position of our key trade partner,” Putin said.

Putin also said that trade turnover between Russia and China grew almost 2 percent during 2013 to reach about $90 billion.

“If we sustain this pace the level of bilateral trade of $100 billion will be reached by 2015 and we’ll confidently move on,” Putin said….”

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FT: Competetive Devaluation aka Currency Wars Begin to Flare Up Again

“A year after G-20 finance ministers agreed to end their currency wars, competitive devaluations are back in style.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi called the euro’s strength a “serious concern” last week, and officials in Australia, Canada and New Zealand have been making noise about weakening their currencies for weeks, the Financial Times reports.

China moved strongly to push down the yuan during the first quarter, spending an estimated $100 billion-plus in direct market intervention. Other emerging market governments are apparently fighting off currency strength too, including India, Brazil and South Korea, according to the Times.

The dollar’s weakness amid the Federal Reserve’s determination to keep short-term interest rates near record lows has put upward pressure on other currencies.

“It is inevitable that we will see a rise in tensions,” Eswar Prasad, a Cornell University economist, told the Times.

Central banks in developed nations are “trying to send a message as clearly as possible that they will design monetary policy to weaken the currency,” he said….”

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Real Gangsters Run the World, Fuck What You Believe


“People around the world view the US as the greatest threat to peace; voted three times more dangerous than any other country. The data confirm this conclusion:

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EU Commission Charges HSBC, JPMorgan, & Credit Agricole for Rigging Libor

“(Reuters) – European Union antitrust regulators charged Europe’s biggest bank HSBC, U.S. peer JPMorgan and France’s Credit Agricole on Tuesday with rigging financial benchmarks linked to the euro, exposing them to potential fines.

The European Commission also said it would charge broker ICAP soon for suspected manipulation of the yen Libor financial benchmark.

U.S. and European regulators have so far handed down some $6 billion in fines to 10 banksand brokerages for rigging the London interbank offered rate (Libor) and its euro cousin Euribor while prosecutors have also charged 16 men with fraud-related offences.

“The Commission has concerns that the three banks may have taken part in a collusive scheme which aimed at distorting the normal course of pricing components for euro interest rate derivatives,” the EU competition authority said.

The three banks and ICAP, which refused to settle the case in December, could face penalties of up to 10 percent of their global turnover if found guilty of breaching EU antitrust rules.

JPMorgan said the EU charges were without merit and that it would defend itself while Credit Agricole said it would examine the charge sheet. HSBC said it would defend itself vigorously. ICAP could not immediately be reached for comment.

In December a record 1.7-billion-euro ($2.3 billion) fine was levied on six banks including Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Citigroup for similar offences. The lenders settled their charges and received a 10-percent cut in their fines.

“In the coming days or weeks, we will probably issue a new statement of objections against the broker (ICAP),” European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told a news conference.

He also said regulators have yet to decide on the next step of an ongoing investigation into suspected rigging and collusion in the trillion-dollar foreign exchange market, the world’s biggest marketplace….”

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State of the Union: Hogan City

“Tent cities have sprung up across the country as the homeless seek shelter. There were more than 100 tent cities in 46 states and the District of Columbia from 2008 to July 2013, according to the advocacy group National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.

The organization blames rising homelessness following the financial and mortgage foreclosure crisis. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, it says, reports that the number of homeless families increased 20 percent between 2007 and 2010, and the Department of Education says more than a million school children were homeless in the 2011-2012 school year — almost a 75 percent increase since 2007.

Communities often lack adequate housing or shelter, the group says. Many people turn to tent cities for freedom and security not found at homeless shelters, according to the group’s report that studied tent camps in Rhode Island, New Jersey, New Orleans, and Florida.

While some encampments were unruly, some were orderly, safe and efficiently run with rules and official leaders.

Besides often lacking enough beds, shelters frequently imposed oppressive rules and restrictions. They may not accommodate couples, force families to separate, restrict storage of belongings, and have opening and closing times that conflict with work schedules.

Some municipalities legalize the tent cities, or encampments, and let residents replace tents with more permanent structures, according to the NLCHP. Others grant “semi-sanctioned” status. Public officials don’t formally permit the camps but don’t evict the residents either.

Usually however, municipalities shut down camps without offering alternative housing, often arresting residents and destroying their property…..”

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