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Sunday, 2 February 2014

February 2, 2014: Todays News ... not about the Superbowl

Libya Says Goldman Didn’t Explain Options

Goldman Sachs's building on Fleet Street. The Libyan Investment Authority filed a lawsuit against Goldman in London.Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images Goldman Sachs’s building on Fleet Street. The Libyan Investment Authority filed a lawsuit against Goldman in London.

In early 2008 — months before the financial crisis began — Goldman Sachs put $1.2 billion of Libyan money into leveraged bets that six stocks would rise over the next three years.

None of them did. Libya lost every dollar that was invested.

Goldman Awards Blankfein $14.7 Million in Stock Bonus

Lloyd C. Blankfein has been chief executive of Goldman Sachs since June 2006.Rebecca Cook/Reuters Lloyd C. Blankfein has been chief executive of Goldman Sachs since June 2006.

Updated, 8:20 p.m. |  Goldman Sachs’s board granted its chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein, restricted shares worth $14.7 million as part of his pay package for 2013, according to a filing made public on Thursday.

Zimbabwe adopts Chinese yuan as legal currency

HARARE — Zimbabwe’s central bank announced on Wednesday it would accept the Chinese yuan and three other Asian currencies as legal tender as economic relations have improved in recent years.

"Trade and investment ties between Zimbabwe, China, India, Japan and Australia have grown appreciably," said Charity Dhliwayo, acting governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Exporters and the public can now open accounts in yuans, Australian dollars, Indian rupees and Japanese yen, Dhliwayo said. Zimbabwe abandoned its worthless currency in 2009.

Regulators close Syringa Bank of Idaho

Regulators closed a small bank in Idaho on Friday, the third bank failure for 2014.
Syringa Bank, Boise, Idaho, was closed by the Idaho State Banking Department. Sunwest Bank, Irvine, Calif., agreed to take over the deposits of the failed bank as part of a purchase-and-assumption deal with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Currency crisis at Chinese banks 'could trigger global meltdown’

A rise in foreign funding at China's banks poses a threat for international lenders

 The growing problems in the Chinese banking system could spill over into a wider financial crisis, one of the most respected analysts of China’s lenders has warned.

Charlene Chu, a former senior analyst at Fitch in Beijing and now the head of Asian research at Autonomous Research, said the rapid expansion of foreign-currency borrowing meant a crisis in China’s financial system was becoming a bigger risk for international banks.

Market Cornered: JPMorgan Owns Over 60% Notional Of All Gold Derivatives

Perhaps the only question we have after seeing the attached table, which shows that as of Q3, 2013 JPMorgan owned $65.4 billion, or just over 60% of the total notional ($108.2 billion) of all gold derivatives in the US, is whether the CFTC will pull the "our budget was too small" excuse to justify why it allowed Jamie Dimon to ignore any and all position limits and corner the gold market?

"The 'Recovery' Is A Mirage" Mark Spitznagel Warns, "With As Much Monetary Distortion As In 1929"

"Today there is a tremendous amount of monetary distortion, on par with the 1929 stock market and certainly the peak of 2007, and many others," warns Universa's Mark Spitznagel.

Kicillof sought help from foreign banks to get dollars

Argentina is imperative to get the dollars that can counter the flight of capital, which in January alone cost the Central Bank (BCRA) U.S. $ 2.499 billion of its reserves. It was the biggest drop since 2006, when the country canceled its entire debt of more than U.S. $ 9 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The minister confided bankers requesting leave to look for dollars abroad, either by issuing new debt or through commercial credit lines that banks could get. Some entities, according to sources consulted by the NATION, and would have set to work to organize a tour to Kicillof investment to New York this month.

Law Doesn’t End Revolving Door on Capitol Hill

Erik Olson was chief of staff to Representative Ron Kind, Democrat of Wisconsin until September. He soon became a lobbyist. Because his salary fell below a cap established in House rules, a one-year ban on lobbying his former boss does not apply.Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call, via Getty Images Erik Olson was chief of staff to Representative Ron Kind, Democrat of Wisconsin until September. He soon became a lobbyist. Because his salary fell below a cap established in House rules, a one-year ban on lobbying his former boss does not apply.

A top aide to a Republican congressman from Arizona helped promote a legislative plan to overhaul the nation’s home mortgage finance system. Weeks after leaving his government job, he reappeared on Capitol Hill, now as a lobbyist for a company poised to capitalize on the plan.

A former counsel to Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee left Capitol Hill a year ago. He, too, returned to the Hill just months later, lobbying committee aides on behalf of Wall Street giants like JPMorgan Chase and Bloomberg L.P.

Over Just 7 Days, Lenovo Wraps Up Two Deals Totaling $5.2 Billion

The chief financial officer of the Chinese technology giant Lenovo was scheduled to spend last week rubbing elbows with Hollywood celebrities, corporate chieftains and government leaders in Davos, Switzerland.

Instead, the executive, Wong Wai Ming, a 54-year-old former investment banker, was shuttling between law firm offices in frigid Manhattan, putting together two of the most transformative deals in Lenovo’s 30-year history.

In just seven days, Lenovo announced a $2.3 billion deal to buy IBM’s low-end server business and a $2.9 billion pact to acquire Motorola Mobility from Google.

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Halfway through fourth-quarter earnings season, U.S. stocks are coming off their worst January in years, sending the message to Corporate America that par for the course isn’t good enough after the run-up in stock prices over the past year.

Jim Willie Reveals the SMOKING GUN On US Gold Rehypothecation!

The Doc sat down with the Golden Jackass himself this weekend for an in-depth interview covering the state of the gold market and the Western banking system.
Willie discusses the German efforts to repatriate their gold reserves (along with the implications of only receiving 5 tons from the NY Fed in year 1), as well as Bafin’s investigation into precious metals manipulation and why unlike the CFTC’s, it is likely to result in criminal charges.
Finally, courtesy information provided by a high level executive at one of the world’s leading private refineries, Willie reveals the ‘smoking gun‘ evidence that proves US gold was rehypothecated over a decade ago!

Ukraine and the growing number of disappeared activists

As Ukraine's protest movement enters its third month, the opposition say that 36 activists have gone missing. David Blair talks to the families of the disappeared

Fragile economies under pressure as recovery prompts capital flight

So far this year $12bn of foreign money has fled the stock markets of emerging economies, and last week's Fed decision will accelerate that. We look at how further loss of western funds could affect six vulnerable countries

Keystone XL supporters, detractors clash over U.S. pipeline report

The Conservative government received some much-needed good news this week in the form of the U.S. State Department's massive and benign final assessment of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Ever since Stephen Harper called American approval of the $5.4-billion pipeline from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast a "no-brainer" back in September 2011, a lot has been riding on the eventual vindication of the prime minister's thinking.

Report Opens Way to Approval for Keystone Pipeline

WASHINGTON — The State Department released a report on Friday concluding that the Keystone XL pipeline would not substantially worsen carbon pollution, leaving an opening for President Obama to approve the politically divisive project.

California drought means agency won't allot water

America's the most populous state faces severe drought after 3 years of below-normal precipitation

Amid severe drought conditions, California officials announced Friday they won't send any water from the state's vast reservoir system to local agencies beginning this spring, an unprecedented move that affects drinking water supplies for 25 million people and irrigation for 1 million acres of farmland.

Thailand votes in snap elections amid mass unrest

Polling stations have opened in Thailand but anti-government protesters forced the closure of more than 10 percent of booths nationwide, an Election Commission official said. The snap elections are taking place after Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra failed to quell violent protests in the nation aimed at toppling her government. Security is boosted around the polls, with police and soldiers on the streets.


Iran gets $500 mn in frozen assets

Iran has received the first portion of its unfrozen assets as a part of a nuclear deal with world powers, deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi announced. “The first tranche of $500 million was deposited in a Swiss bank account, and everything was done in accordance with the agreement,” Araqchi said. According to the deal with the P5+1 group, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, Iran will regain access to some $4.2 billion in frozen assets with payments evenly distributed across 6 months. In exchange Iran has agreed to limit its uranium enrichment to 5 percent and began implementing the deal on January 20.

Beverage of champions: Chocolate milk gets an Olympic-style makeover

It’s been kicked out of some school cafeterias and vilified as a junk-food beverage that’s contributing to childhood obesity. But chocolate milk is making a comeback with an unlikely new image: the perfect drink for Ironman and Olympic athletes after a grueling workout.

Watch Out, A Currency Reset Is Coming… World Bank BOMBSHELL: The Dollar Is Collapsing ECONOMIES

NHS care watchdog warns of 'alarming' culture

The NHS will “go bust” without radical change to drive up standards and rid hospitals of a “toxic” bullying culture that damages patient care, the head of its official regulator has warned.

Sumatra volcano kills 14, spews lava

At least 14 people have died after a volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumatra spewed lava and hot gas.

Most of the 14 victims died in a village less than 3km from the peak of Mount Sinabung, said Asren Nasution, head of the local disaster management agency.