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Hiring Uptrend Expected To Continue Through 2013

February 21, 2013 Leave a comment
— Photo Courtesy of Forbes.com —

 

Many unemployed workers who previously gave up looking for a job  over the past few years are now going  back into the market to try to find a employment again and some are getting hired. With the U.S. economy showing some signs of improvement and  the Federal Reserve continuing to support the economy until unemployment is at a satisfactory rate, the hiring  trend is expected to continue thorough 2013.

“We don’t think there will be a further decline in participation” this year, said Mary Daly, a group vice president at the San Francisco Fed. As a result, “we don’t see a lot more progress in reducing the unemployment rate in 2013.”  Read more for details.

Categories: Uncategorized

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns; First Abdication in 600 Years

February 11, 2013 Leave a comment
— Photo Courtesy of Salon.cm —

Stating that he no longer has the strength to lead the worlds Catholics, Pope Benedict XVI, has given his notice that he will resign from the papacy at the end of the month before his 86th birthday.This is the first such abdication in almost 600 years.

“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,”  Pope Benedict, the 265th leader of the Roman Catholic Church said today in an address to senior church officials in Rome. Read more for details.

CFPB and Warren Want Agency Independent of Congress

February 7, 2013 Leave a comment

 

— Photo Courtesy of politico.com —

 

The fledging U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Director Elizabeth Warren continues to be opposed by Republicans as it is independent of Congressional appropriation and reach and its legality is currently questionable based on similiar case rulings.

“A strong independent consumer agency is good for families and lenders that follow the rules and good for the economy as a whole,” Warren said yesterday in an interview. “I will keep fighting for that.”  Read more for details.

 

NYSE Goes to the Dark Side. Well, Maybe Grey Side

New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New ...

New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York, New York, United States. Español: Bolsa de Nueva York en Wall Street en Nueva York, Nueva York, en los Estados Unidos. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

— Photo Courtesy https://exchanges.nyx.com

The financial markets have changed and New York Stock exchange has lost volume over the years. Currently it trades only 22% of the equity market  down from 80% in the late 1990.  Their public competitors such as Direct Edge  and   BATS, launched in 2005 and 2006 have taken 17% of the volume.

Though some of the balance of equity has disappeared a large percentage have moved off the public exchanges  to dark pools or dark liquidity.   Darkpools are not available to the public and have little regulation.  Technology has  advanced to accommodate  private trades and with dark pools these trades are often  anonymous.

One form of dark pool is for the equity to be handled internally to the organization  through a wholesale  brokerage.  Another form of  darkpools are trades by financial institutions so that the trades can be anonymous and does not impact the market.  There is no showing of hands that will trigger activity in the market  which could potentially  push pricing up or down.

THE NYSE plans to recover its lost volume using a hybrid    “greypool” to   gain benefits of the privacy of the darkpool  and  benefits of a highly regulated institution.

The Security and Exchange commission approved the NYSE’s pilot program called the Retail Liquidity Program slated for August 1st.  The RLP’s intent is to bring business back to the NYSE.

RLP will be able to quote stock prices in fractions of a cent which is not permitted on public exchanges.  The market makers using the RLP will not be required to make their prices public and they will be receiving orders directly from the individual investor with an E*Trade accounts   instead of  purchasing from a hedge fund  that may  have advantageous information or  a volume situation.

NYSE officials say that while the RLP does borrow a few elements from dark pools, it brings them into a more regulated, transparent platform. “The important part around this program is that it replicates some of what happens in non-exchange markets and brings it into an exchange environment where it’s subject to the rules and oversight that exchanges are known for,” says Joe Mecane, the NYSE’s head of U.S. equities.

Making Science Fiction Real

Sergey Brin, Google Founder – Courtesy of http://www.chron.com 

At the developers conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco this week unexpectedly Sergey Brin, Google Founder delivered an “Extreme” sport like presentation at the end of the program to demonstrate the Google Glass in live application.

The glasses are a hands free web connected video camera/computer that allows wearer to take pictures, get direction and video chat with friends.

Everyone watched live and from the vantage point of all the participants. The first was a team of parachuters who jumped out from a blimp onto the roof of Moscone Center. As parachuters landed they were met by extreme bicyclists who jumped from one part of the roof to another and met wall climbers who scaled the side of Moscone Center building.

Wall scalers were then met by other bicyclists who entered the conference auditorium and met Sergei on stage. All “extreme” participants followed and joined the developers conference to the cheers of the conference attendees.

The conference was unlike previous professionally conducted conferences. It was reminiscent of Steve Job’s “one more thing” with more excitement probably because of the fear factor of the presentation.

The Google Glasses developed via Project Glass is one of many projects from the Google X Lab, a secret facility in the by area. This lab is attempting 100 “shoot for the star ideas” pertaining to future technologies such as a space elevator, self driving car, and recently publicized  a neural network that has taught itself to recognizes faces and what a cat looks like.

Brin has been spending a good amount of time with Google X, where the  projects and ideas are executed not necessarily related to any of Google’s  current products or within their normal business model. And that’s ok because with Google X,  Brin only wants to “make science fiction real”.

Murdock’s New Corp Split Board Approval

Courtesy of http://www.syracuse.com

Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch has received approval from the board of News Corp to split the $50 Billion media company into two separately traded companies.

The market immediately showed signs of approval and the News Corps company’s stock went up 10% since news broke out on Tuesday; up to $22.26 on Thursday midday.

The split will result in two separate companies; One company will be the print side operating newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, magazines and a book publishing.

The other company will be the entertainment company and will include 20th Century Fox Movie Studio, the Fox Broadcast TV Network and the Fox News Channel.

The board will need to approve formalities that will include management structure and details of the split. Somes items could take up a year to work out.

Over the years Murdoch avoided addressing large stockholder’s request to split off the publishing side which has suffered losses. This split move was a surprise to many.

Murdoch is planning to lead the entertainment company although he states the publishing company is very strong. But publishing is a weakening market though the Wall Street Journal and other papers in their hold are reputable and highly respected in their industries.

The largest speculations are about leadership in the publishing company and what if any roles will be for the Murdoch family member in either companies.

Estimates are that the publishing division would generate about $1.3 billion earnings (EBITDA ) $3.25 per share. And the Entertainment company to be valued at $52 billion, or $23 per share.

Murdoch has not commented on whether or not this split has come about because of the investigation surrounding the phone hacking/bribing officials allegations in the UK.

And if so will the split compies split help his case and appease the British telecommunication regulators

Healthcare Reform Got Help From a Justice and Tax Status

Chief Justice John Roberts – Courtesy of Wikipedia.com

There are two main reasons President Obama managed to get a health care reform law passed and upheld by the Supreme Court on a 5-4 ruling  when healthcare has not made much progress since the 1960’s.

The first is that the program did not look like a “tax” and the second is through the help of Republican appointed Chief Justice John Roberts who restrained from making an activist gesture even though the gesture would have made history and was expected by the republicans and opponents of the bill.

Whether by accident, intention, natural design or political maneuvering the writers/designers and supporters of President’s the healthcare reform did not want to acknowledge or call the program what it truly was or use the word “tax”.

Healthcare tax or anything resembling a healthcare tax would not have any chance in congress or with public opinion and would have met an early death. No one wants to support or pay any new taxes.

Once the Supreme Court acknowledged that the mandate was truly a tax, they were able to up hold the individual mandate making people buy insurance/ or pay tax because it was not unconstitutional.

The Healthcare Reform Act had help from Chief Justice John Roberts who restrained from an active political conservative statement which could have struck down the law and made history at the same time.

Justice Roberts had clerked for the powerful conservative Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. Justice Roberts have often in the past teamed up with Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas to create a strong conservative bloc on rulings.

Healthcare Reform though necessary to ensure fair coverage for all Americans is also needed to overhaul the healthcare system, substantially reduce unnecessary spending, prioritize coverages fairly, and put the burden back into the natural order of the free market with less expenses and management by the government.

Baby steps were made with today’s ruling.

Now the question is if this Healthcare Reform will be able to cause appropriate reforms or even get through a series of anticipated appeals and survive the political processes.