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Friday, 7 February 2014

Feb 7, 2014: News Update

*Government of Zenica-Doboj Canton Resigned!

February 7, 2014 6:44 PM

The Prime Minister of Zenica Doboj Canton Munib Husejnagić and 10 ministers of the ZDK government announced that they would resign at the first session of government.

This information was released after several hours of protests by thousands of Zenica citizens who threw eggs and other items at the government building, expressing their dissatisfaction with the current situation. Also, protestors set fire to the building, after which they had a confrontation with police. They then moved on to the municipality building.

7 February 2014 Last updated at 17:29

Bosnia-Hercegovina protests break out in violence

Demonstrators in Bosnia-Hercegovina have set fire to government buildings as violent protests continue across the country for a third day.
Police have used rubber bullets and tear gas against protesters in the capital Sarajevo and the northern town of Tuzla.
Black smoke could be seen gushing from the presidency building in Sarajevo. The protesters are unhappy about the lack of economic and political progress in the Balkan country.
About 40% of Bosnians are unemployed. The unrest is the worst since the end of the Bosnian war.

China becomes largest importer of gold, some of it smuggled to India

Deeptiman Tiwary,TNN | Feb 6, 2014, 04.46 AM IST

NEW DELHI: China has overtaken India as the largest importer of gold in the world and, worryingly, some of it is headed to India illegally. Financial intelligence agencies have stumbled upon evidence that after pushing in gold from Bangladesh and Nepal, smugglers are now routing the yellow metal through China as well.

Lew: Debt ceiling must be raised by Feb. 27

By Jeanne Sahadi  @CNNMoney February 7, 2014: 4:24 PM ET

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Congressional leaders Friday in essence that the full faith and credit of the United States could be in jeopardy after Feb. 27 if lawmakers don't raise the debt ceiling.

That's when Lew now estimates Treasury will run out of special accounting maneuvers to ensure all the country's bills are paid in full and on time.

US to get approximately $17.2T debt limit Friday; Treasury to employ 'extraordinary measures.'

The Canadian PressBy Andrew Taylor, The Associated Press | The Canadian Press – 57 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - The U.S. government is getting a new borrowing cap Friday, almost four months after Washington defused October's government shutdown and debt crisis.

The new cap on borrowing is expected to be about $17.2 trillion. It means Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will have to employ bookkeeping manoeuvrs to keep the government functioning until Congress further raises the borrowing limit.

German Top Court Finds ECB's OMT Is Illegal, Then Promptly Washes Its Hands Of Final Decision


In what was a shocking and disappointing at the same time decision, overnight the German Constitutional court, which had been contemplating the legality of the ECB's still non-existent OMT program, conceived in July 2012 to prevent the collapse of the Eurozone and still only existing in Mario Draghi's head as it has zero legal documentation supporting it, said that, in its judgment, the ECB's Outright Monetary Transactions program likely exceeded the central bank's powers.

"There are important reasons to assume that [the OMT] exceeds the European Central Bank's monetary policy mandate and thus infringes the powers of the member states, and that it violates the prohibition of monetary financing of the budget," the German court said Friday. "Subject to the interpretation by the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Federal Constitutional Court considers the OMT decision incompatible with primary law," the German court said.

Under attack: Germany says European Central Bank’s quantitative easing illegal

Published time: February 07, 2014 14:14
Germany is casting doubt on the European Central Bank’s strategy to end Europe’s ‘sterilized’ intervention. Instead of acting unilaterally, it will for the first time pass the decision to the European Court of Justice.

Germany’s constitutional court said the European Central Bank’s bond-buying program- Outright Monetary Transaction (OMT) - “infringes” on the powers of individual nations, a claim the ECB has flatly denied.

 Feb. 7, 2014, 1:52 p.m. EST

J.P. Morgan's Blythe Masters Withdraws From CFTC Panel

WASHINGTON—J.P. Morgan Chase JPM +0.06% & Co.'s Blythe Masters has withdrawn from an advisory panel to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, amid pushback from lawmakers who complained about her role presiding over a unit charged with manipulating physical-commodity markets, people familiar with the matter said.

Silver bullion coin demand has quadrupled in since 2007, says the U.S. Mint

Europe Is Fixed: Spanish Yields Tumble To 8 Year Lows (Below US Treasuries)

02/07/2014 14:12 -0500

Is it any wonder Mario Draghi didn't lift a quantitative-easing finger this week? Despite record unemployment, record (and disastrous youth unemployment), record suicide rates, record non-performing loans, and an inextricably-linked banking system facing $3 trillion in exposure to emerging markets... Spanish bond yields have collapsed to their lowest since 2006 (and Italian close behind). With an entirely broken transmission mechanism of monetary policy, it seems the "market" for European bonds knows no bounds as spreads on the riskiest sovereigns drop to pre-crisis levels and 10Y Spain yields are now lower than 30Y US Treasuries.

 Feb. 6, 2014, 10:03 p.m. EST

Argentina FX reserves fall to $27.8 billion

BUENOS AIRES--Argentina's foreign reserves fell slightly Thursday, losing just $49 million to end the day at $27.802 billion.

FINRA expands oversight to BATS Global Markets

Kevin McCoy, USA TODAY 11:04 a.m. EST February 7, 2014
A financial industry regulator has reached a deal to expand its oversight, giving it power to check 99% of all U.S. stock market trading for potential abuses or problems that could harm investors.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, an independent, non-government regulator, said Thursday it will add market surveillance of BATS Global Markets, the Kansas City-based operator of four stock exchanges. BATS said it will continue to run its own oversight system with FINRA.

Keiser Report: Staged Rumble in Wall Street Jungle

Posted on February 6, 2014 by Stacy Herbert 

We compare Wall Street to World Wrestling Entertainment where alleged competitors adopt stage personas and meet each other in a choreographed, scripted and over-acted competition. And just as people are betting on the pre-determined outcomes in the WWE ring, they’re doing the same in the rigged financial markets. In the second half, Max interviews Doug Casey of about his new book, RIGHT ON THE MONEY. They also discuss Argentina, the dollar, art and gold.

Money fund assets decrease $1.06 billion to $2.705 trillion for the week

The Canadian PressBy The Associated Press | The Canadian Press – 22 hours ago
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Total U.S. money market mutual fund assets fell $1.06 billion to $2.705 trillion for the week that ended Wednesday, according to the Investment Company Institute.

Assets in the nation's retail money market mutual funds rose $4.93 billion to $922.72 billion, the Washington-based mutual fund trade group said Thursday. Assets of taxable money market funds in the retail category rose $3.96 billion to $726.93 billion. Tax-exempt retail fund assets rose $970 million to $195.8 billion.

US probe into London bankers’ Libyan deals

The London-based bankers who allegedly cajoled Gadaffi-era Libyan officials into giving them billions of dollars to invest are now being investigated by the US criminal authorities.

Hong Kong police dismantled a World War II-era bomb at an inner-city building site after evacuating more than 2,200 people from nearby apartments and hotels.

The 2,000 pound-bomb, labeled U.S. Navy ANM66, was dropped on the Japanese army occupying the city during the war, police spokeswoman Florence Ma said by phone.

Monster 75 FOOT wave smashes into BRITISH coast: Atlantic superstorm to hit UK TOMORROW

BRITAIN has been battered by the biggest wave in HISTORY - a staggering 75ft monster - just hours before a huge Atlantic superstorm is set to smash into the mainland.

Somerset floods: this is a man-made disaster

The Environment Agency has been widely reported as saying it’s a freak occurrence. Not a chance. This is a man-made ecological disaster.

CERN eyes new giant particle collider

NINA LARSON, Agence France-PresseFebruary 7, 2014 3:19am

 GENEVA - Europe's physics lab CERN said Thursday it was eyeing plans for a circular particle collider that would be seven times more powerful than the facility which discovered the famous "God particle."

"The time has come to look even further ahead," the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced.

Google to own $750 million Lenovo stake after Motorola deal closes: HK exchange

HONG KONG Fri Feb 7, 2014 7:28am EST

(Reuters) - Internet search company Google Inc will own a 5.94 percent stake in China's Lenovo Group Ltd worth $750 million once Lenovo's deal to buy Google's Motorola handset division closes, according to a disclosure on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Google would take 618.3 million Lenovo shares at $1.213 per share, the stock exchange said late on Thursday.

 Emerging Market Debt-Linked Note Sales Plunge 89% on China, Fed

By Kevin Dugan and Luca Casiraghi Feb 6, 2014 7:58 PM GMT+0100

Sales outside the U.S. of structured notes tied to emerging-market nations’ debt fell 89 percent in January from a year earlier on concern that the countries are at risk as the Federal Reserve slows its bond-buying program.

Bitcoin plunges 20% on big Japan-based exchange as withdrawals halted

Published time: February 07, 2014 10:08

The value of the bitcoin cryptocurrency has dropped below $690 per unit on one of the world’s biggest exchanges Mt. Gox, after the Japanese trader temporarily stopped withdrawals to fix technical problems.

 7 February 2014 Last updated at 17:31

Scottish independence: Seven months to save UK, Cameron says

David Cameron has urged the rest of the UK to tell Scottish voters to reject independence saying he could not bear to see the country "torn apart".

Pro-Union campaigners had "seven months to save the most extraordinary country in history", the PM argued.

Nuland apologized, but didn't mention US plans to midwife a new govt in Ukraine'

Published time: February 07, 2014 12:05

So long as the US and the EU are united in efforts to replace the government in Kiev, they will tolerate internal spats, Nebojsa Malic, foreign policy expert, told RT.

7 February 2014 Last updated at 16:43

Victoria Nuland gaffe: Angela Merkel condemns EU insult

Germany's Angela Merkel has said a US official's apparent insult of the EU's efforts to mediate in the Ukraine crisis is "totally unacceptable".

Victoria Nuland has apologised after she referred disparagingly to the EU's role during a conversation said to be with the US ambassador to Ukraine.

US will give money to Ukraine if Kiev makes necessary reforms - Nuland

Published time: February 07, 2014 10:42
The United States is ready to provide financial support to Ukraine if the country implements the necessary political reforms, senior US diplomat Victoria Nuland said.

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Brazil: Munduruku People Kick Miners Off Indigenous Territory, Seize Equipment

Night had hardly arrived when indigenous Munduruku people landed on the bank of a mine on Tropas River, a tributary of Tapajós river, in a region west of Pará.  From the five speedboats, all of them full, came warriors and children, all with one objective: to drive out illegal miners from Munduruku land.

globalEDGE Blog: French Unemployment Reaches All Time High

2/3/2014 9:44:18 AM

The French unemployment rate has hit a record high, currently standing at about 11.1% for 2013. In December alone, about 10,200 people listed themselves as jobless.  This 0.3% is only a fraction of the 3.3 million who registered as out of work for the entire year, a figure that has never been higher. Additionally, increases in unemployment have been observed across all sectors and also take part-time workers into account. The 5.7% rise in unemployment is unfortunate news for French President Francois Hollande who had previously promised that joblessness would fall by the end of 2013.

Spanish princess to testify in court over fraud

For the first time in Spain's history, a member of the royal family will appear before court as part of an investigation into a major corruption scandal.

Cristina, King Juan Carlos' youngest daughter, will appear in court on Saturday to testify behind closed doors with no media access inside over tax fraud and money laundering accusations.

Obama's deputy drug czar admits marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol

Published time: February 05, 2014 20:46

United States President Barack Obama's deputy drug czar admitted this week that weed isn't as harmful as alcohol, but in the meantime the administration still shows no sign it will alter its official stance on marijuana.

Michael Botticelli, the deputy director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, was speaking before Congress on Tuesday this week when he was roped into a debate on the dangerous effects — or lack thereof — of marijuana.

The EU May Mandate a “Remote Stopping Device” in All Cars for Police Use

Posted on January 31, 2014

From the BBC:

A device that would enable police to stop vehicles remotely is being considered by an EU-wide official working group, it has emerged.
The feasibility of such technology is being examined by members of the European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services (Enlets).

 Feb. 7, 2014, 12:42 p.m. EST

Plane lands in Turkey after hijack attempt: AP

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- A plane from Kharkov, Ukraine, to Istanbul has landed safely after a passenger claiming there was a bomb on board tried to divert it to Sochi, the Associated Press reported, quoting a Turkish minister speaking on television. The Black Sea coastal city of Sochi, Russia, is hosting the Winter Olympics, and there have been concerns over terrorism related to the Chechen conflict.

Prime minister announces billions to retool First Nations education

The Canadian PressBy Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press – 16 minutes ago

STANDOFF, Alta. - The federal government has unveiled a retooled education plan for First Nations which it says recognizes aboriginal control over schooling.

Feb 7, 2:27 PM EST

Muslims flee Central African Republic's capital

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) -- Thousands of Muslims climbed aboard trucks protected by heavily armed Chadian soldiers in a mass exodus Friday from the capital of Central African Republic. Their flight follows months of escalating attacks on anyone perceived as supporting a now-defunct Muslim rebel government blamed for scores of atrocities during its rule of this predominantly Christian country.

Frontrunning: February 7

  • Here is why AAPL bounced off $500: Apple Repurchases $14 Billion of Own Shares in Two Weeks (WSJ)
  • German Court Refers OMT Decision to Europe's Top Court (WSJ)
  • Inflation Fuels Crises in Two Latin Nations (WSJ)
  • U.S. job growth seen snapping back from winter chill (Reuters)
  • Google to own $750 million Lenovo stake after Motorola deal closes: HK exchange (Reuters)
  • Frigid Winter Spells Trouble for U.S. Economy (BBG)
  • Winter Games to open, Putin keen to prove doubters wrong (Reuters)
  • Regulators Ready to Proceed on Bank Leverage Limit (WSJ)
  • Abe Eyes Window for Biggest Military-Rule Change Since WWII (BBG)
  • Fidelity Joins D.E. Shaw Opposing Wider Ticks as Small-Cap Fix (BBG)
  • Stellar 2013 Hard to Top for U.K. Builders After 60% Surge (BBG)
  • Hidden Billionaire Daughters Emerge From Simmons Estate (BBG)