Showing posts from December, 2012

FedEx shipments are falling faster than GDP

Official portrait of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It’s Christmas- time and FedEx shipments are falling faster than GDP according to economic forecaster Lakshman Acuthan, whom I had lunch with today at our favorite place. At least 5% faster than the latest economic statistics for the whole economy.
“FedEx shipments track well to GDP,” the CEO of ECRI Forecasting told me. This latest factoid adds weight to Acuthan’s judgement that we are already in a recession, one that, in fact probably began over the summer months. If he’s right, it means the GDP numbers, which are constantly updated and restated, must be negative, not showing growth of 1-2%.
Why does he say that? Because his statistical charts show industrial production, household income and manufacturing and trade sales peaked some time ago– leaving only employment to peak to fully confirm his judgement. A judgement by the way that does not appear to be the view of giant financial institutions lik…

high risk international merchant accounts

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U.S. judge gave final approval to BP Plc's settlement

English: Platform supply vessels battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon. A Coast Guard MH-65C dolphin rescue helicopter and crew document the fire aboard the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, while searching for survivors. Multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters responded to rescue the Deepwater Horizon's 126 person crew. Français : Les restes en feu de la plateforme Deepwater Horizon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)English: Platform supply vessels battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon. A Coast Guard MH-65C dolphin rescue helicopter and crew document the fire aboard the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, while searching for survivors. Multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters responded to rescue the Deepwater Horizon's 126 person crew. Français : Les restes en feu de la plateforme Deepwater Horizon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) A U.S. judge gave final approval to BP Plc

protest lodged by the Italian Challenger Luna Rossa

English: The original cup (additional base section now added) was donated for the winner of the first 'Round the Island' race of 1851. The winner, from the other side of the Atlantic, gave its name to the America's Cup. As of 2010, Britain are still to win this trophy, which was on display at the inaugural '1851 Cup' event, at Cowes, Isle of Wight. As in 1851, the US again triumphed in the 'Round the Island' race, although Team Origin (UK) won the overall series. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It is believed that the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup has ruled on a protest lodged by the Italian Challenger Luna Rossa, against the America's Cup defender Oracle Team USA.
The information is that the US team have been found in breech of the Surveillance provisions of the Protocol.
In the incident complained of by the Italian Challenger, Oracle Team USA's spy boat was stopped some distance from Luna Rossa's AC72, and took photos from close r…

Libor interest rate investigation

English: UBS Investment Bank offices at 299 Park Ave (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At UBS alone, at least 45 people were involved in or aware of attempts to manipulate rates, according to U.K. authorities. All told, more than a dozen of the world's largest financial institutions are facing investigation.
In announcing Wednesday that UBS had agreed to pay $1.5 billion in connection with the controversy, U.S. officials revealed charges against two former senior UBS traders: Tom Alexander William Hayes, 33, of England, and Roger Darin, 41, of Switzerland. Contact information for attorneys of the two men, for whom the United States will seek extradition, was not immediately available.
A Department of Justice spokeswoman didn't rule out the possibility of additional cases against UBS employees, saying the investigation "is still very much ongoing.&q…

Taylor Swift Crowned 2012's Most Charitable

JBS withdraws lawsuit against Greenpeace

Greenpeace word mark Русский: Текстовый символ «Гринпис» (Photo credit: Wikipedia) JBS SA, the world's largest meat company, said on Wednesday it has withdrawn a lawsuit against environmental activist group Greenpeace and renewed a promise not to purchase cattle from restricted areas in Brazil.
Greenpeace said it was in new discussions with the beef group after JBS published an independent audit of its cattle purchases in the Amazon region, seeming to end a six-month-old spat over cattle supplies.
In June, Greenpeace accused JBS of purchasing cattle raised on reserves for indigenous peoples. It said the company was breaking an accord Brazilian meat packers signed in 2009 that promised not to purchase cattle raised on illegally deforested lands, farms convicted of using slave labor or other restricted areas.
Greenpeace said two other big beef processors, Marfrig and Minerva, had no problems proving the proper origins of their cattle.
In response, JBS said it was suing Greenpeace for…

Swiss bank agreed to pay $1.5 billion

ubs (Photo credit: twicepix)ubs (Photo credit: twicepix) Two former UBS traders face criminal charges as part of a sweeping case announced Wednesday in which the Swiss bank agreed to pay $1.5 billion after admitting to manipulating global benchmark interest rates. The settlement follows an investigation by regulators and law enforcement officials around the world into the setting of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor, and related interest rates. U.S. Assistant Attorney GeneralLanny Breuer called it "one of the most significant scandals ever to hit the global banking industry."
The payment settles government claims in the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. The bank has agreed to a non-prosecution deal with the U.S. Department of Justice covering all its subsidiaries except UBS Securities Japan, which pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
The investigation revealed extensive misconduct stretching from 2001 to 2010 involving at least 45 UBS staff, …

former Porsche SE Chief Executive Wendelin Wiedeking charged

see filename for despcription - seen at PORSCHE MUSEUM in Stuttgart, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)see filename for despcription - seen at PORSCHE MUSEUM in Stuttgart, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia) German prosecutors have charged former Porsche SE Chief ExecutiveWendelin Wiedeking and his former finance chief with market manipulation related to the purchase of Volkswagen shares.
The prosecutor's office in Stuttgart, where Porsche is based, said today that the executives made false public statements during the sportscar maker's botched 2008-09 takeover of VW.
The defendants' lawyers denied any wrongdoing by their clients.
Wiedeking, hailed as "the man who outfoxed the market" by Fortune Magazine in January 2009, and Holger Haerter could face a sentence of up to five years if they are found guilty of breaching securities trading laws, a criminal offence, prosecutors have said in the past.
Investors have said Porsche's former top management had been pursu…

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Walmart may be facing more fines

Wal-Mart, Playa del Carmen Q.R. (Originally "Most holidaymakers in Riviera Maya were Americans. They would have felt well at home with Wal Mart Supermarket.") (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Wal-Mart, Playa del Carmen Q.R. (Originally "Most holidaymakers in Riviera Maya were Americans. They would have felt well at home with Wal Mart Supermarket.") (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Wal-Mart Stores (WMT.N) may be facing sizable fines related to allegations of widespread bribery at its Mexican affiliate, after a second report from the New York Times provided more details about the scope of the alleged misconduct.
Experts said the latest report, published online late on Monday, is significant because it appears to show that the alleged bribes were a substantial part of its business methods, and more than routine payments to speed up approvals, which are allowed under U.S. law.
The newspaper said the world's largest retailer opened some 19 stores by using hundreds of thousands of d…

Android-running devices are behind China's booming

Google Android Cake Pops (Photo credit: niner bakes) Android-running devices are behind China's booming smartphone market, accounting for nearly two out of every three handsets sold, according to a Dec. 18 report from Informa Telecoms & Media.

A fast-growing middle class has made China the world's largest smartphone market, and the country is now the largest market for Android, with one-third of all Android devices worldwide going there. By contrast, the United States, Android's second-largest market, sees just an 11 percent share of all Android smartphones.
Informa estimates that 786 million smartphones were sold in 2012—an increase of 45 percent from 2011's global totals. In China, the smartphone market grew by 85 percent year-over-year, "driven by the explosive demand for Android phones," stated the report.
Apple's iOS and Microsoft'sWindows Phone hold minority shares in China, at currently 5 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Informa expects …

International Telecommunications Union treaty

ICANN Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The world’s major Internet companies, backed by U.S. policymakers, got much of what they wanted last week when many nations refused to sign a global telecommunications treaty that opponents feared could lead to greater government control over online content and communications.
In rejecting even mild Internet language in the updated International Telecommunications Union treaty and persuading dozens of other countries to refuse their signatures, the U.S. made a powerful statement in support of the open Internet, U.S. officials and industry leaders said.
But both technologists and politicians fear the Internet remains in imminent danger of new controls imposed by various countries, and some said the rift that only widened during the 12-day ITU conference in Dubai could wind up hastening the end of the Net as we know it.
“If the international community can’t agree on what is actually quite a simple text on telecommunications, then there is a risk that…

HSBC to settle for 1.92 billion investigation

One HSBC Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
HSBC has agreed to pay $1.92 billion to settle accusations that it laundered billions of dollars. But state and federal authorities decided not to indict the bank “over concerns that criminal charges could jeopardize one of the world’s largest banks and ultimately destabilize the global financial system,” Ben Protess and Jessica Silver-Greenberg report in DealBook.
“While the settlement with HSBC is a major victory for the government, the case raises questions about whether certain financial institutions, having grown so large and interconnected, are too big to indict,” DealBook writes. HSBC was accused of transferring money for nations like Iran and enabling Mexican drug cartels to move money illegally. “Behind the scenes, authorities debated for months the advantages and perils of a criminal indictment against HSBC.” Some prosecutors wanted the bank to plead guilty to violations of the federal Bank Secrecy Act, a law that requires financial i…

global investigation into the manipulation of interbank lending rates

Canary Wharf is a major business and financial centre and is home to some of the UK's tallest buildings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Canary Wharf is a major business and financial centre and is home to some of the UK's tallest buildings (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and London police have made the first arrests as part of a global investigation into the manipulation of interbank lending rates, a scandal that has rocked the banking industry.
The SFO said on Tuesday three British men, aged 33, 41 and 47, were taken to a London police station for interviews in the early morning after three properties were searched.
An SFO spokesman said the interviews were continuing.
"The men are all British nationals currently living in the United Kingdom," the SFO said in a brief statement.
Prosecutors and regulators across Europe, the United States, Canada and Japan have been investigating how traders attempted to rig key benchmark lending rates such…

Standard Chartered agreed to pay U.S. authorities

Standard Chartered Building (Photo credit: zeeble)Standard Chartered Building (Photo credit: zeeble) U.K. bank Standard Chartered agreed to pay $327 million to U.S. authorities Monday to settle charges it violated international sanctions on transactions with Iran, Burma, Libya and Sudan. The U.S. Treasury Department said the bank's London and Dubai offices illegally stripped critical information from financial transaction records between 2001 and 2007. The bank took names of customers from these countries, and replaced them with special characters, so other banks were not able to see where the transactions were coming from or where they were going.
In a statement, Standard Chartered admitted it had handled $24 million of transactions on behalf of entities in Iran and a total of $109 million in the other nations against which the U.S. had imposed sanctions.
While not a household name in the United States, Standard Chartered is a major global bank. It is based in London, but has off…

Mobile phone processing

Mobile Processing for U.S. Bank Accounts Today mobile processing at eComTechnology is simple. Expand your business and increase your sales by offering your customers the comfort and convenience of paying with their credit card wherever they gather — right on the spot.

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'Compelling evidence' that WCup friendlies fixed

9 GW of grid-connected solar plants by 2017

English: Image (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
India has released a draft version of phase two of its Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), which lays out ambitions to build 9 GW of grid-connected solar plants by 2017 – more than eight times its current capacity. Plans include auctioning 1.65 GW of PV capacity by the central government in the next financial year, direct grants to cut project costs and loosening curbs on the purchase of equipment from overseas, according to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. According to the plans, solar thermal technology would provide 30 percent of the total and solar photovoltaic panels would account for the rest.
The news came after forecasts pegged installed wind capacity at 89 GW by 2020 and 191 GW by 2030, attracting $16.5 billion of annual investment.
The government plans to award direct grants for as much as 40 percent of the upfront cost of building projects, which analysts expect will substantially increase total in…