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Monday, November 26, 2012

Chart of the Day: Chinese WARNING?

Chart of the Day: Chinese WARNING?

Cohen's SAC Faces Client Querries as Investigators Circle #HedgeFunds

Cohen's SAC Faces Client Querries as Investigators Circle #HedgeFunds

WARREN BUFFETT: Here's The Thing Grover Norquist Doesn't Understand About Business And Taxes

WARREN BUFFETT: $NYT Here's The Thing Grover Norquist Doesn't Understand About Business And Taxes

Revenge of the nerds as banks see risk, compliance hiring boom $BCS $GS $C $BAC $MS $DB

Revenge of the nerds as banks see risk, compliance hiring boom

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Tough regulations aimed at banks have jolted demand for compliance, risk and legal officers, creating one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal job market for the financial industry.

Traditionally one of the least glamorous jobs in the sector, these staff are in hot demand at a time when nearly all other parts of the banking industry are getting cut.

"It used to be a really tough job to sell as people saw it as boring," said Sonia Fuller, director of recruitment firm KS Consulting in Singapore, who said some risk and compliance candidates are asking for raises of up to 50 percent when they change jobs.

With demand outstripping supply, recruiters say compliance staff can be hard to find, and are asking for the biggest salary hikes across the financial industry.

Recruitment firm Robert Half says compliance salaries in Singapore have gone up 10 percent on average in the past year, one of the biggest year-on-year increases across the finance and accounting sectors.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

After the bounty, the bust: unwise public spending exposes Europe's economic errors (Portugal, Spain, Italy)

After the bounty, the bust: unwise public spending exposes Europe's economic errors (Portugal, Spain, Italy)

A Former Broker For SAC Capital Gives His Take On The Latest Insider Trading Case

A Former Broker For SAC Capital Gives His Take On The Latest Insider Trading Case

"I covered the mortgage bond side of SAC Capital in the early 2000s, and I remember half-kidding, half-probing my client about Steven A Cohen’s seeming inability to miss.  Back then Cohen’s SAC had put together a string of annual monster returns like no other hedge fund.[1]  Cohen’s SAC Capital was the Mark McGuire of stock trading, and we knew enough to think the home run records of 1998 looked mighty suspicious."

European Flash PMIs: Actually Not A Complete Disaster

European Flash PMIs: Actually Not A Complete Disaster

Expert sees a gathering storm for top fund manager - #SAC #SteveCohen

Expert sees a gathering storm for top fund manager - #SAC #SteveCohen

Friday, November 16, 2012

How the #SEC Almost Shut Down #FAIL Wall Street

How the #SEC Almost Shut Down #FAIL Wall Street

The time-bomb at the heart of Europe: Why France could become the biggest danger to Europe’s single currency

The time-bomb at the heart of Europe: Why France could become the biggest danger to Europe’s single currency

The country has always been at the heart of the euro, as of the European Union. President Fran├žois Mitterrand argued for the single currency because he hoped to bolster French influence in an EU that would otherwise fall under the sway of a unified Germany. France has gained from the euro: it is borrowing at record low rates and has avoided the troubles of the Mediterranean. Yet even before May, when Fran├žois Hollande became the country’s first Socialist president since Mitterrand, France had ceded leadership in the euro crisis to Germany. And now its economy looks increasingly vulnerable as well.
As our special reportin this issue explains, France still has many strengths, but its weaknesses have been laid bare by the euro crisis. For years it has been losing competitiveness to Germany and the trend has accelerated as the Germans have cut costs and pushed through big reforms. Without the option of currency devaluation, France has resorted to public spending and debt. Even as other EU countries have curbed the reach of the state, it has grown in France to consume almost 57% of GDP, the highest share in the euro zone. Because of the failure to balance a single budget since 1981, public debt has risen from 22% of GDP then to over 90% now.
The business climate in France has also worsened. French firms are burdened by overly rigid labour- and product-market regulation, exceptionally high taxes and the euro zone’s heaviest social charges on payrolls. Not surprisingly, new companies are rare. France has fewer small and medium-sized enterprises, today’s engines of job growth, than Germany, Italy or Britain. The economy is stagnant, may tip into recession this quarter and will barely grow next year. Over 10% of the workforce, and over 25% of the young, are jobless. The external current-account deficit has swung from a small surplus in 1999 into one of the euro zone’s biggest deficits. In short, too many of France’s firms are uncompetitive and the country’s bloated government is living beyond its means.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Even if $AMD were up for sale who wants it?

Even if $AMD were up for sale who wants it?

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — A report that Advanced Micro Devices Inc. was exploring its options lit up the chip maker’s stock in late trading, but investors might want to watch what happens first.
AMD AMD -4.94%  issued a statement after the market closed on Tuesday stating that it “is not actively pursuing a sale of the company or significant assets at this time.” Earlier, Reuters reported that the company had hired investment bank J.P. Morgan, a move that potentially could lead to a sale of the company or some of its assets. Read more about AMD’s statement.

CIC In Talks to Invest In Fonterra dairy fund- WSJ

CIC In Talks to Invest In Fonterra dairy fund- WSJ

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

BNY Mellon Pays Big to Settle Madoff Lawsuits

BNY Mellon Pays Big to Settle Madoff Lawsuits

Financiers Still Aren’t Rocket Scientists

Financiers Still Aren’t Rocket Scientists

Over at Slate, John Dickerson has a piece expressing amazement that “numbers guy” Mitt Romney was so badly misinformed about the election. While I’ll admit to a certain amount of schadenfreude about the general bafflement of the Romney campaign and the Republicans generally, this particular slant (which Dickerson isn’t the only one to take, just the latest in a series) is more annoying than entertaining.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Home Damaged by Hurricane Sandy? Get Some Tax Relief

Home Damaged by Hurricane Sandy? Get Some Tax Relief

Casualty Losses and You
The tax laws allow taxpayers who itemize their deductions to get a tax break for losses they suffer from natural disasters. However, the way that the IRS defines a loss is different from what you might expect. Rather than looking at repair costs, the IRS defines a casualty loss as the amount by which the fair market value of your property decreased as a result of the storm.


Although IRS Publication 547 allows you to use repairs as a measure of the decrease in fair market value, you have to take into account any potential increase in value that results from work you have done on your home.

Once you've determined the amount of your loss, you can estimate your eventual deduction. For a home, you have to subtract $100 from your losses and then further reduce your deduction by 10% of your adjusted gross income on your tax return before listing the final amount as an itemized deduction. For business property, these limitations don't apply; you can deduct the full amount against your business income.

You Don't Have to Wait

By now, you might wonder if you'll have to wait until April to get any tax relief. The answer is no, because the areas hit by Sandy got a presidential declaration as disaster areas. As a result, you can go back and amend your 2011 tax return to deduct your casualty loss in order to get an immediate refund.

Of course, you may want to wait if the amount of your deduction will be higher or if you'll get more of a tax benefit from the deduction this year rather than last.

For more information about how casualty loss deductions work and the records you should gather and keep, be sure to check out the IRS website. In addition, tax preparer Jackson Hewitt has put together a disaster recovery guide to help lead you through the process of documenting your loss for IRS purposes.

Economy Set for Better Times Whether Obama or Romney Wins

Economy Set for Better Times Whether Obama or Romney Wins