Archive for the “Financial” Category

If anyone would like to explain this one to me I am all ears.

Consumer Confidence In U.S. Fell In May To Four-Month Low

May 29, 2012 4:13 PM ET

The Conference Board’s index decreased to 64.9 this month from a revised 68.7 in April, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. The decline in the Conference Board’s measure is in line with readings from the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index. The share of Americans expecting fewer job opportunities in the next six months climbed to the highest level since November, raising the risk that consumers will limit spending. A 30-cent decline in gasoline prices since early April failed to brighten spirits, showing that more progress is needed in the job market. Homebuilders are reporting their most-improved spring selling season in seven years, propelled in part by record-low mortgage rates. At the same time, the market faces challenges as mortgage credit is difficult to obtain and slow wage growth is keeping some would-be buyers on the sidelines.

But wait didn’t I just read the week before the opposite was true?

Consumer Sentiment In U.S. Climbs To Highest Since 2007

May 25, 2012 4:59 PM ET

Consumer confidence rose in May to the highest level since October 2007 as Americans became more upbeat about the prospects for employment.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of sentiment climbed to 79.3, the ninth straight increase, from 76.4 the prior month. The gauge was projected to hold at the preliminary reading of 77.8, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. A record number of households said they’d heard better news on the jobs outlook, which combined with cheaper gasoline and an improving housing market may help sustain consumer spending and shield the economy from Europe’s debt crisis.

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The Fed has signaled that it favors moving the derivatives to give relief to the bank holding company, while the FDIC, which would have to pay off depositors in the event of a bank failure, is objecting, said the people. The bank doesn’t believe regulatory approval is needed, said people with knowledge of its position.

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By now everyone should have heard something about Wachovia admitting they allowed Mexican drug cartels to launder almost FOUR BILLION dollars through their bank. What amazes me is how little this story was covered especially locally and what’s worse is it appears it takes a U.K. paper to tear down the story and present it in a clear timeline of events. Now even more interesting is this video from The Keiser Report. In this video they draw a clear line to the Mexican Drug Money pullout to the banks needing to go to the Feds for cash and thus the beginnings of the financial crises.

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Appears Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools played it a little fast and loose with Federal Stimulus Funds resulting in thousands of dollars spent in violation of the terms of the The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. These expenditures included over $400 to send students to watch “Ice Age” and “Terminator” as well as a nearly $1,000 trip to Wet and Wild. What is the school system doing sending kids, even 6-12, to an R-rated Movie anyway? Read the rest of this entry

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U.S. Prosecutors claim Mexican drug cartels laundered hundreds or even billions of dollars through one of the largest banks in the United States. For four years, between May 2003 and May 2007, Wachovia Bank traded with Mexican exchange houses which served the laundering of drug trafficking groups.

The Justice Department claims that Wachovia traded well over $350 Billion with Mexican "casas de cambio” (currency- exchange houses) between 2004 and 2007. These exchange houses are used by “immigrants” to send money back to Latin American but prosecutors claim drug cartels also use these same facilities to laundry and transfer their own money. Prosecutors further claim Wachovia transferred over $4 Billion in bulk cash from foreign Latin exchanges to Wachovia accounts in the U.S.

Prosecutors claimed the Bank does not have proper controls in place to prevent the use of these money exchanges for illegal activity. The Lead Prosecutor in Miami U.S. Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman actually stated Wachovia blatantly disregarded the banking laws:

"Wachovia’s blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations by laundering at least $110 million in drug proceeds. Corporate citizens, no matter how big or powerful, must be held accountable for their actions."

The $160 million fine represents the biggest penalty ever imposed under the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires financial institutions to carefully track transactions to detect suspicious activity. Wachovia has agreed to pay $110 million which constitutes the profits from these transactions and $50 million in fines while the actual prosecution has been delayed for 12 months while Wachovia meets it’s obligations under the settlement.

Scarface Tony Montana Cocaine

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Animated map showing unemployment rates growing across the nation.


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by David Segal
Monday, August 3, 2009
provided by The New York Times

In a few weeks, the Treasury Department’s czar of executive pay will have to answer this $100 million question: Should Andrew J. Hall get his bonus?

Mr. Hall, the 58-year-old head of Phibro, a small commodities trading firm in Westport, Conn., is due for a nine-figure payday, his cut of profits from a characteristically aggressive year of bets in the oil market. Read the rest of this entry

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By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press Writer Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press Writer – Mon Aug 3, 8:51 pm ET

WASHINGTON – The recession is starving the government of tax revenue, just as the president and Congress are piling a major expansion of health care and other programs on the nation’s plate and struggling to find money to pay the tab.

The numbers could hardly be more stark: Tax receipts are on pace to drop 18 percent this year, the biggest single-year decline since the Great Depression, while the federal deficit balloons to a record $1.8 trillion. Read the rest of this entry

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