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20-Jun-2012, 10:08 PM #1171
Oil prices fall as US supplies grow
CHRIS KAHN | June 20, 2012 04:37 PM EST | AP

NEW YORK A "build" and a "Twist" knocked oil prices to the floor on Wednesday.

In the morning, the government announced a surprise increase, or build, in U.S. oil supplies. That told investors that America has a bounty of crude and less need to import more from foreign countries. Then the Federal Reserve extended an interest-rate reduction program known as Operation Twist, but declined to take more aggressive steps to boost the economy.

Together, they sent the price of oil to a nine-month low.

Benchmark U.S. crude dropped $2.23, or 2.7 percent, to end the day at $81.80 per barrel in New York. That's the lowest level since October. Brent crude, which is used to price much of the oil imported into the U.S., lost $3.07 to finish at $92.69 per barrel in London. That's Brent's lowest finish since December 2010.

Wednesday's drop was among the biggest in a nearly two-month swoon that has slashed 23 percent off the price of oil.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-w...20/oil-prices/
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20-Jun-2012, 10:49 PM #1172
There have been ample supplies for some time and the US has been exporting Oil for some time...Why is this even news?
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21-Jun-2012, 01:22 PM #1173
The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia
How America's biggest banks took part in a nationwide bid-rigging conspiracy - until they were caught on tape
I have been referring to them as "The Wall Street Mafia" for some time.
By Matt Taibbi
June 21, 2012 11:20 AM ET

Someday, it will go down in history as the first trial of the modern American mafia. Of course, you won't hear the recent financial corruption case, United States of America v. Carollo, Goldberg and Grimm, called anything like that. If you heard about it at all, you're probably either in the municipal bond business or married to an antitrust lawyer. Even then, all you probably heard was that a threesome of bit players on Wall Street got convicted of obscure antitrust violations in one of the most inscrutable, jargon-packed legal snoozefests since the government's massive case against Microsoft in the Nineties not exactly the thrilling courtroom drama offered by the famed trials of old-school mobsters like Al Capone or Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo.

But this just-completed trial in downtown New York against three faceless financial executives really was historic. Over 10 years in the making, the case allowed federal prosecutors to make public for the first time the astonishing inner workings of the reigning American crime syndicate, which now operates not out of Little Italy and Las Vegas, but out of Wall Street.

The defendants in the case Dominick Carollo, Steven Goldberg and Peter Grimm worked for GE Capital, the finance arm of General Electric. Along with virtually every major bank and finance company on Wall Street not just GE, but J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, UBS, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Wachovia and more these three Wall Street wiseguys spent the past decade taking part in a breathtakingly broad scheme to skim billions of dollars from the coffers of cities and small towns across America. The banks achieved this gigantic rip-off by secretly colluding to rig the public bids on municipal bonds, a business worth $3.7 trillion. By conspiring to lower the interest rates that towns earn on these investments, the banks systematically stole from schools, hospitals, libraries and nursing homes from "virtually every state, district and territory in the United States," according to one settlement. And they did it so cleverly that the victims never even knew they were being *cheated. No thumbs were broken, and nobody ended up in a landfill in New Jersey, but money disappeared, lots and lots of it, and its manner of disappearance had a familiar name: organized crime.

In fact, stripped of all the camouflaging financial verbiage, the crimes the defendants and their co-conspirators committed were virtually indistinguishable from the kind of thuggery practiced for decades by the Mafia, which has long made manipulation of public bids for things like garbage collection and construction contracts a cornerstone of its business. What's more, in the manner of old mob trials, Wall Street's secret machinations were revealed during the Carollo trial through crackling wiretap recordings and the lurid testimony of cooperating witnesses, who came into court with bowed heads, pointing fingers at their accomplices. The new-age gangsters even invented an elaborate code to hide their crimes. Like Elizabethan highway robbers who spoke in thieves' cant, or Italian mobsters who talked about "getting a button man to clip the capo," on tape after tape these Wall Street crooks coughed up phrases like "pull a nickel out" or "get to the right level" or "you're hanging out there" all code words used to manipulate the interest rates on municipal bonds. The only thing that made this trial different from a typical mob trial was the scale of the crime.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics...#ixzz1yRuKRDhx
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21-Jun-2012, 07:06 PM #1174
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Originally Posted by ekim68 View Post
There have been ample supplies for some time and the US has been exporting Oil for some time...Why is this even news?
not saying this is the reason, however.. a week ago, a petition (below) was circulating. it's possible that an announcement of oil prices dropping would make the public feel less inclined to do anything about ending tax subsidies..?

Quote:
Even as the climate crisis deepens, U.S. tax dollars are still subsidizing big polluters to the tune of billions of dollars each year. Big Oil is reporting record-breaking profits while the Earth's climate is reporting record-breaking warming.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) have introduced legislation to repeal $113 billion of Big Oil's tax breaks, handouts and subsidies over the next 10 years. We all know that big polluters are not going to let go of these handouts without a fight -- we also know that one of the best ways to stop climate change is to stop funding it.

Please join the Center for Biological Diversity, 350.org and other organizations to fight back hard with powerful public pressure.
http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/
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22-Jun-2012, 12:36 PM #1175
Merrill Lynch Fined For Overcharging Customers
The Wall Street Mafia strikes again.
By The Associated Press 06/21/12 03:23 PM ET

NEW YORK -- A financial regulator has fined Merrill Lynch $2.8 million for overcharging customers with fees and for failing to provide timely trade confirmations.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Thursday that it fined Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith after it found the broker overcharged nearly 95,000 customer accounts with fees totaling more than $32 million from April 2003 to December 2011.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1616867.html
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22-Jun-2012, 02:22 PM #1176
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Originally Posted by ekim68 View Post
There have been ample supplies for some time and the US has been exporting Oil for some time...Why is this even news?
Said it before but, never one to give up, I'll readily say it again:

1. crude exports and exports of refined (such as gas, diesel) should not be confused.

2. Selling Alaskan or Texas Gulf to geographically favorable locations may incur gains that make imports (from equally geographically favorable locations) more readily affordable.

3. sales on such basis may also be more competitive, even if the oil company at various locations is one and the same.

4. consider swaps for the above reasons.

5. The US oil production is not and never will be enough to cover the US demand.

6. Gains derived from swaps or selling to one, in order to economically import from another location, may benefit oil companies more than the public.

May!
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25-Jun-2012, 10:32 PM #1177
So I guess they can afford to lose 2 or 3 billion without much pain....

Study: Mega Bank JP Morgan Chase Receives A $14 Billion Annual Subsidy From The U.S. Government

Quote:
JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon testified on Capitol Hill today for the second time in two weeks, appearing before the House Financial Services Committee to discuss the trading debacle that has cost his bank billions of dollars. Before the hearing, Bloomberg News pointed to a new study showing that JP Morgan Chase receives a $14 billion annual subsidy from the U.S. government. This subsidy is due to JP Morgan’s reputation as a too-big-to-fail bank, which lets it borrow money at lower rates than other, less systemically risky banks:
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25-Jun-2012, 11:04 PM #1178
Call a timeout on gas exports

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Thanks to recent discoveries, America is experiencing the largest natural gas production boom in its history, making it the No. 1 global producer of the fuel.
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As with any commodity, market forces play a significant role in the price of natural gas. Right now, Asian markets are paying six times what the United States pays for natural gas. Europe is paying four times what we are paying.
Good for Capitalists I suppose, so say goodbye to our country's resources for the needs of the few...
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27-Jun-2012, 12:37 PM #1179
June 27, 2012

Americans' Confidence in Banks Falls to Record Low
Wonder why?
More Americans have little or no confidence in banks than have a great deal or quite a lot
by Dennis Jacobe, Chief Economist

PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans' confidence in U.S. banks is now at a record-low 21%, down slightly from 23% in the past two years and one percentage point below the 22% found in 2009. The percentage of Americans saying they have a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in U.S. banks is now about half the pre-recession level of 41%, recorded in June 2007.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/155357/Am...m_term=Economy
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27-Jun-2012, 12:42 PM #1180
IRS collects $5 billion from offshore tax cheats
By Blake Ellis @CNNMoney June 26, 2012: 4:43 PM ET

Quote:
Designed to lure in tax evaders with reduced penalties and the promise of avoiding jail time, the programs require offenders to offer up information about their offshore bank accounts and to pay back taxes. The agency launched its first voluntary disclosure program in 2009 and its second in 2011. This January, the agency introduced its third program.
Quote:
"We continue to make strong progress in our international compliance efforts that help ensure honest taxpayers are not footing the bill for those hiding assets offshore," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. "People are finding it tougher and tougher to keep their assets hidden in offshore accounts."
http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/26/pf/t...re-tax-cheats/
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28-Jun-2012, 12:18 AM #1181
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Originally Posted by poochee View Post
IRS collects $5 billion from offshore tax cheats
By Blake Ellis @CNNMoney June 26, 2012: 4:43 PM ET





http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/26/pf/t...re-tax-cheats/
Only another trillion to go....
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28-Jun-2012, 08:21 AM #1182
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Shares of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) tumbled in premarket trading Thursday as a published report said the bank's losses on a bad trade may be as much as $9 billion far higher than the estimated $2 billion loss disclosed last month.
http://www.usatoday.com/money/indust...oss/55883020/1
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28-Jun-2012, 11:47 AM #1183
Mark Cuban: High-Frequency Traders Are the Ultimate Hackers

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Mark Cuban is best-known for his success as a businessman and pro basketball owner. But in the past few years, he has also gained a reputation as one of the most prolific critics of high-speed computer trading.

Cuban has been following the market for years — and has had a few run-ins with regulators along the way — but only after the flash crash of May 6, 2010, when glitches in computer trading systems helped trigger a heart-wrenching decline in stocks, did he start to worry that something was amiss. Cuban, who made his fortune in the technology industry, says he was concerned by how prominent of a role computer trading had taken in today’s markets. Having seen how technology can easily malfunction, he worried that the market was far more fragile than many realized. He also questioned whether high-frequency traders, which send waves of buy and sell orders into the market, serve a useful purpose in the market.
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28-Jun-2012, 12:05 PM #1184
Would be nice if someone with clout would be as concerned with electronic voting as with stocks.
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29-Jun-2012, 03:44 PM #1185
Peter S. GoodmanBecome a fan
Starbucks CEO Issues Open Letter, Calls For Job Creation
Posted: 06/29/2012 6:08 am Updated: 06/29/2012 10:44 am

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"Millions of Americans are out of work," Schultz declares in his letter. "Many more are working tirelessly yet still unable to adequately care for their families. Our veterans are not being welcomed home with the level of support they deserve. Meanwhile, in our nation's capital, our elected leaders are continuing to put ideology over real solutions. I love America, but we all know there is something wrong, and that we are better than this. The deficits this country must reconcile are much more than financial. Our inability to solve our own problems is sapping our national spirit

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Whatever the inspiration, there is something refreshing about a corporate chieftain castigating those who wield power for failing the nation. There is something promising about the CEO of a publicly traded corporation worth $40 billion urging the public to demand that big business balance profit motives against attention to the public good.

"Let's ask our business leaders to create more job opportunities for the American economy," he writes, implicitly rebuking business leaders for having so far failed to do so.

American companies have proven remarkably adept at delivering swelling profits to investors while handing out scraps to ordinary working people. Indeed, those profits have been derived in large part by shedding workers during the worst of the Great Recession, and then keeping payrolls lean even as growth opportunities have emerged. At least one CEO is now saying that's a problem. Yet one of the mysteries of the enduringly lean economy is why more executives have not chimed in likewise. Warren Buffett has noted that our tax system is rife with injustice, while calling for increased burdens to fall on wealthy Americans -- a step that should generate greater spending power for the middle class. But why aren't more business leaders demanding a sustained quest for job creation?

Heads of major financial institutions often demonize financial regulation as a supposed destroyer of jobs (while conveniently neglecting to mention how their gambling on exotic securities destroyed enough jobs to employ three Michigans). But these same chieftains are silent when it comes to policies that might actually boost employment, such as large-scale infrastructure building. This is a disservice to the country, and also to the long-term interests of their own shareholders. Doesn't JPMorgan Chase make more money in the long run if the economy is growing and people are working, necessitating more financial services? Has the bank's fascination with derivatives speculation blinded its overseers to this reality?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1632674.html
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