Brokers seek protection as health-care law squeezes payments to them

Brokers, worried that their livelihoods are at risk of health law are pressing State legislators and Congress to protect and guarantee agent commissions have a new role in online marketplaces where people shop for coverage. Efforts are spawning political clashes between lawyers and brokers, as well as a debate about the proposed broker defenses will help people save money or increase premiums.

"Obviously, this is a time of nervous, brokers change dramatically," said Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at Georgetown University's health policy Institute, who is critical of my efforts. "They are doing everything they can to survive and evolve." Brokers warn alienating them could undermine the success of online insurance marketplaces and exchanges which will allow people to compare prices and benefits programs. Starting in 2014, small businesses and individuals can use the exchanges to buy policies.

In some of the country's legislature, bills from a broker gives agents the seats on the exchange Board, which sets the operating rules. Iowa, a bill that is getting attention and require the use of a broker when you purchase a policy assuring Commission broker substitution of less than 5 percent. A bill pending before the Minnesota legislature would require that anyone selling, soliciting or negotiating insurance for health care program be licensed by the State.

Other places are moving in the opposite direction. Maryland, district of Colombia, for example, are weighing bills that bar brokers from decision-making positions. Many States, including Virginia, do not set rules for real yet. At the national level, in the lobby, a task force of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in preparing legislation that Congress exempt from broker commissions new rules require insurers to spend at least 80 percent of the money they collect premiums on medical care. Only 20 percent could go toward administrative costs and profits.

Insurers fail to meet the requirement of 80 percent must, by law, to give consumers refunds. Brokers say that the rule created a need for insurers to cut commissions to reduce administrative costs. Gary Cox, bshtrling broker, said insurers have been cutting commissions on 25 to 50 percent because of the new rule. "We've seen here jamming Virginia, God know elsewhere as well," he said. "We really saw people say hello, but would imagine there's going to be a significant percentage of brokers or agents who are going to say, ' I'm not going to play this game anymore." "

Ethan Rome, Executive Director of the Liberal Group health care for America now, said federal legislation drafted by the NAIC "will allow insurance companies to spend less on health care and more effective administration, profits, CEO salaries. Which means consumers will get raw deal. " There are 434,000 more insurance agents in the United States, according to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics; Most sell health insurance. The median annual income for a real estate agent in 2008 was $45,430. Fees are typically between 3 and 10 percent of premiums, according to the National Association of Health Underwriters.

Timothy Jost, a professor at the University of Washington and Lee University School of law and consumer representative to the NAIC, said most people do not need Anglo that buying a stock exchange policies will be simple. "Honestly, I don't think that there's going to be quite as much to do as there is now," he said.

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How to Anticipate and Trade Big Moves in the Forex Market

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Investors cheer dividend increases at large banks

Bank shareholders got a long-awaited gift from the U.S. Federal Reserve on Friday when the central bank cleared the way for major lenders to increase their dividends. It was the last hurdle left on the path to recovery for banks and signified a return to health for the industry. Banks were forced to cut their dividends to preserve cash after the financial crisis that peaked in September 2008, when the industry was propped up by a U.S. government bailout package totaling $700 billion.

"This is the last act in the recovery from the financial crash," said Nancy Bush, financial analyst and contributing editor at SNL Financial. "But banks are still not free of close regulatory scrutiny and managements and boards still can't act freely to raise future dividends." Banks that received clearance to raise their dividends wasted little time in doing so. JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it would increase its quarterly dividend to 25 cents a share from 5 cents. Wells Fargo & Co. raised its dividend to 12 cents, while U.S. Bancorp increased its dividend to 12.5 cents a share.

Stocks of the banks that made dividend announcements rose sharply. JPMorgan rose 2.7 percent, Wells Fargo rose 1.5 percent and U.S. Bancorp rose 1.1 percent. Banks were allowed to increase their dividends only if they passed "stress tests" conducted by the Federal Reserve to see if their balance sheets were strong enough to weather another recession. The Fed said it had completed those tests and expects that "some" banks will increase or resume dividend payments, buy back shares or repay government capital. The Fed did not reveal the names or number of banks that are expected to do so.

Notable for their absence from the list were Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp., the nation's largest bank. Citi said it expects to increase its dividends in 2012 and Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan in recent weeks has said he hopes to increase the bank's dividends in the second half of the year. The Fed also cleared investment bank Goldman Sachs to buy back all the preferred shares it issued to Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the investment company run by billionaire Warren Buffett. Buffett received the shares in return for a $5 billion investment at the height of the financial crisis. It was an expensive deal for Goldman, which paid out $500 million per year in dividends.

Other banks also announced large share repurchases. JPMorgan said it would buy back $15 billion of its own stock. Wells Fargo said it would buy 200 million shares and U.S. Bancorp announced a buyback program of 50 million shares. "The fact that these banks are buying back shares indicates that the banks have capital in excess of what the Fed is comfortable with," said Bush. All of the 19 largest banks overseen by the Fed were subject to the examinations. By increasing dividend payments, banks may be able to attract new investors, which should lead to more lending, the Fed said.

The Fed said it is taking a "measured and conservative approach" on banks' dividend requests. The Fed said it expects banks to limit dividends to 30 percent or less of their anticipated earnings. Under the stress tests, banks had to show that they could weather another recession. That was defined as a scenario in which U.S. economic activity would shrink 1.5 percent this year and unemployment would spike to 11 percent. In addition, stocks and home prices would fall sharply.

Across the Atlantic, European regulators pledged to make their banks' stress tests this year more difficult than last year's. The Fed didn't publicly release the results of this latest round of stress tests, which is standard practice in bank exams. The Fed deviated from that practice when it conducted its first stress tests in 2009, when the country was reeling from a severe recession and the financial crisis. Those results were made public in a move to boost confidence in the fragile U.S. banking system.

At the time, the government had launched a taxpayer-funded bailout of banks. The fear was that by withholding information on banks' health, investors' and the American public's shaky confidence would be further hurt, worsening the recession. The Fed plans to conduct stress test on big banks every year. It's part of a broader effort to strengthen oversight of banks and prevent another financial crisis from happening.

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Geithner to decide on regulation of foreign-exchange swaps

The Dodd-Frank bill signed into law in July allows Geithner to decide whether the vast market in foreign-exchange swaps - a type of financial instrument that businesses often use to guard against fluctuations in foreign-exchange rates - should be subject to heightened regulations as other derivatives are. "It will be very significant," Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner at Federal Financial Analytics, said of Geithner's decision, adding that it will have major implications for the global, multitrillion-dollar foreign-exchange market.

The coming determination is one element of Geithner's broad new authority granted by the law. For example, Geithner now chairs the new Financial Stability Oversight Council, a group of top regulators that has power to seek additional regulation for large, complex financial companies whose failure could threaten the nation's financial stability. Geithner is also in charge of the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau until the Senate confirms a permanent director.

Although Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren has overseen much of that work, Geithner ultimately has the reins over the powerful new watchdog until it becomes an independent bureau aimed at protecting borrowers from abuses by lenders. Meanwhile, the decision about foreign-exchange swaps, which could come this week, has placed Geithner at the crossroads between big banks, which argue that such deals do not require additional oversight, and some regulators and lawmakers who believe they do.

In an effort to provide greater transparency, the Dodd-Frank law requires that most swaps be traded on exchanges and be backed by clearinghouses that would ensure parties set aside enough collateral to pay off any bets that go bad. The debate over how to handle foreign-exchange swaps was part of a much larger fight over how to create oversight of various kinds of derivatives, some of which helped exacerbate the financial crisis by amplifying risks.

The Treasury sought comment last fall on whether foreign-exchange swaps should be subject to the new rules and received nearly 70 letters from those on both sides of the issue. Many financial companies argue that foreign-exchange swaps did not contribute to the financial crisis and that they are far less risky than other types of derivatives transactions - and that they would still be subject to certain reporting and business-conduct standards if exempted from the new rules. In addition, they note that the Dodd-Frank law defined foreign-exchange swaps very narrowly in an effort to avoid creating loopholes that other types of derivatives dealers could exploit.

"Today's foreign exchange markets operate with high levels of transparency . . . and have performed extremely well throughout the recent market crisis," wrote officials from the Financial Services Roundtable and Institute of International Bankers, whose organizations represent companies that participate heavily in the market.

"[Foreign-exchange] trades are not the traditional derivatives trade," said Bob Pickel, executive vice chairman of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association. He said that foreign exchange swaps consist largely of short-dated transactions and that forcing the industry to go through the expense and effort of setting up a clearinghouse would be costly and unnecessary for a market that has operated relatively peacefully for decades.

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U.s. advisers did not report early signs of trouble at the Bank of Kabul, found the spaceship

U.S. officials have suspended the audit team's contract to advise the Bank of Afghanistan that they not reveal early signs of widespread corruption in the country's largest private bank before its revelation last autumn triggered destabilizing crisis. The Inspector General probe commissioned by the head of the Kabul of the u.s. Agency for international development, which paid the consultants, implies that the consultants employed by the accounting firm Deloitte could have alerted u.s. officials about a pattern of fraudulent loans, the Bank of Kabul before the scandal and cronyism.

The crisis prompted a run on the Bank last September exposed the underworld of this sector was acclaimed as one of the few success stories for the u.s. Mission in Afghanistan. It also has jeopardized billions of dollars in the biggest Afghanistan from want to be assured that corrupt officials will steal their money. The investigation provides the first indication that American officials can take steps to reduce the fallout of the banking crisis.

A senior u.s. official familiar with the initial findings of the investigation, which was not public, called it "him cursing" for the staff of Deloitte accountants assigned to advise the Central Bank executives of Afghanistan. A Government-owned bank regulates all private banks and setting monetary policy. Event highlights dilemma facing hundreds of paid u.s. consultant working for the Government of Afghanistan: no clear rules dictating what information they need to inform the u.s. Government.

"Some of the guys see Deloitte Awards corruption, cheating but don't tell" USAID, said the senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive issue politically. The official said the report concluded that the Deloitte accountants need to know about the problems at the Bank of Kabul. Jonathan Gandal, Deloitte spokesman, did not say whether the firm experts saw early signs of a crisis, and if so, who they reported them.

"We would not be who is visiting Kabul Bank," he said in the statement. "Our services have included supervising or managing Bank Bank exams Kabul Kabul Bank before put in conservatorship in September 2010". "We've ended this part of the Deloitte contract, we intend to make sure that all of our technical assistance is as effective as possible," she said.

New review commissioned

Facing the increasing desire on the part of international donors, the Government of Afghanistan has agreed to sweeping investigative auditing Commission for a State Bank in Kabul, the second-largest bank. U.s. officials in Afghanistan fear that thorough testing can uncover if that much larger number of politically connected Afghans have received loans that they used risky investments.

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UN chief says Afghan transition faces obstacles

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Afghans must overcome "major obstacles" to demonstrate their ability to control the country's future, including a dispute over the status of parliament and an impasse over the embattled Kabul Bank. The United Nations chief said in a quarterly report to the U.N. Security Council that Afghan parties have taken a number of positive steps, but he warned that if tensions over parliament continue or lead to a political crisis, the government's credibility and effectiveness will be adversely affected.

Afghanistan's parliament - one of few checks on the administration of President Hamid Karzai - was finally inaugurated in late January after months of investigations and debate over allegations of widespread fraud during the polling. But vote recounts and continued questions about who was rightfully elected could throw doubts on parliament's legitimacy.

Ban said the tension between the executive, legislative and judicial branches over the status of parliament must be resolved. He said there were "significant flaws" in the election process and the results, which reflected the instability in the country, created a parliament where the majority Pashtun population "in some areas is apparently underrepresented compared to the previous parliament."

This problem needs to be addressed and he warned that the way it is addressed "will have consequences for the transition process in particular, and the future stability of Afghanistan in general." He said U.N. envoy Staffan De Mistura has been working with all parties to find a solution while stressing that it should not be achieved "at the expense of the electoral institutions, the constitutional separation of powers, the confidence of the international community, or indeed that of the Afghan people."

Ban said the impasse over Kabul Bank is weakening confidence in Afghanistan's financial system and preventing the International Monetary Fund from completing a new program for the country. Kabul Bank - the nation's largest lender - nearly collapsed last year after allegations of mismanagement, cronyism and questionable lending. Afghanistan's central bank took control of Kabul Bank in mid-September after a run on the lender sparked by the removal of two top executives.

The central bank has spent the past several months combing Kabul Bank's books to determine the size of its exposure and recoup loans. Last month, Afghan officials said an "erroneous" audit and inadequate help from international banking advisers compounded long-running financial problems at Kabul Bank. The secretary-general said the impasse over Kabul Bank also "has implications for the prospect of international partners aligning assistance with Afghanistan's national priority programs," and the delay in resolving it "threatens to undermine the government's vision for economic growth."

"These delays weaken confidence in the country's financial system and, crucially, prevent the finalization of an agreement on a new IMF country program," Ban said. Without an IMF program, he said, it will be difficult for international partners to meet commitments they have made to help Afghanistan and direct funds through the government's budget.

The secretary-general said the bank impasse and uncertainty over adequate security for development projects because of problems with private security companies "puts at risk the critical financing needed to implement the government's prioritized development agenda."

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Bills would delay swipe fee rules

Lawmakers from both parties embarked Tuesday on an uphill battle to delay a controversial law that would reduce the fees banks receive from merchants each time a debit card is swiped, following weeks of fervent lobbying by the financial industry. Bills introduced in the House and Senate would require a government study of the interchange, or "swipe," fees. The Federal Reserve could then be forced to rewrite regulations that slash the fees by 70 percent. Those rules, which are expected to cost banks billions of dollars annually, are slated to take effect July 21.

The Senate measure, introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and backed by eight lawmakers from both parties, would put off implementation of the law for two years. The House version, from Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), calls for a one-year delay. "I don't think everybody had an opportunity to think about possible unintended consequences," Tester said. "I think there is a little bit of buyer's remorse."

Congress passed the law asking the Fed to examine swipe fees last summer as part of its broader overhaul of the nation's financial system. Retailers had long complained that they had little power to negotiate the fees - which are set by debit card networks such as Visa and MasterCard but paid to banks - resulting in higher prices for consumers. The costs are particularly onerous for smaller merchants, who say the fees can amount to their second-highest cost after labor and often outweigh their profit on small purchases.

"We're beginning to refer to this as the Tester bailout," said Mallory Duncan, general counsel for the National Retail Federation, a trade group. Tester acknowledged that the bill faces an uncertain fate in the Democrat-controlled Senate, particularly since Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) sponsored the original law and has vowed to fight any delay. On Tuesday afternoon, Tester said he had not yet spoken to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) or banking committee chairman Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) about scheduling the bill for a vote. But one Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who supported Durbin last summer, is now co-sponsoring Tester's bill.

Part of the concern surrounding the interchange law has been its impact on community banks, which say they may be affected by the law despite a carve-out for banks with assets less than $10 billion. That's because one of the law's provisions allows retailers to choose the debit card network that charges the lowest swipe fees. Several regulators, including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, have questioned whether the exemption for smaller banks will be effective.

In addition, banks have said the expected reduction in the fees has already prompted them to curtail popular debit card rewards programs and could raise the cost of basic checking accounts, particularly as other streams of revenue such as overdraft charges have also come under tighter scrutiny. "The financial ramifications are so enormous that they have to explore every avenue to combat the debit interchange rules," said Jaret Seiberg, policy analyst at MF Global.

The swipe fees on debit cards average between 1 and 2 percent of each purchase and totaled $16.9 billion in 2009, according to the Fed. The proposed regulations would limit the fees to 7 to 12 cents. Credit cards, which can carry significantly higher interchange rates, are not covered by the law. Several consumer advocacy groups joined retailers in opposing a delay to the law on Tuesday, including Public Citizen and U.S. PIRG. Still, the Consumer Federation of America has asked the Fed to increase its cap to prevent banks from raising other fees to consumers.

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6 banks repay bailouts; program nears break-even

Six more banks repaid their government bailouts, bringing the bank capital program close to 99 percent recovery, the Treasury Department said Wednesday. The department received proceeds of $475 million when the banks repurchased preferred shares and other investments that the Treasury Department got in exchange for its cash injections. Banks received a total of $245 billion under the program. The Treasury Department has collected about $244 billion in repayments, fees and other income from banks.

The department expects the bank program will finish with a profit of about $20 billion. Losses are expected, however, on the administration's struggling foreclosure-prevention programs. Money from those programs goes to homeowners, mortgage companies and investors. If homeowners' payments are lowered successfully, the government can't recover that cash. Losses also are possible from the automaker bailouts. And it's not clear whether taxpayers will recoup the money used to prop up insurance conglomerate American International Group Inc. Those costs might offset the extra revenue from the bank investments.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the programs, drawn from a $700 billion fund known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, will cost $25 billion. The Treasury Department says the number will be lower once it has sold off some of its AIG shares. The government now owns 92 percent of that company.

The deals announced Wednesday:

- Fifth Third Bancorp., based in Cincinnati, paid $280 million to rebuy warrants. Warrants are investments that give their owners the right to buy new shares at a set price on some future date. Treasury obtained them from most of the bailed-out banks as a deal-sweetener.

Fifth Third repaid $3.4 billion of Treasury's original investment last month.

- National Penn Bancshares Inc., based in Boyertown, Penn., repaid $150 million of bailout money, and forked over $645,833 of dividends that it owed to Treasury.

- Lakeland Bancorp Inc., based in Oak Ridge, N.J. repaid $20 million of bailout money and paid $86,111 in dividends. The bank still holds $19 million of bailout money.

- Stockmens Financial Corp., based in Rapid City., S.D. repaid its remaining $11.6 million bailout and paid $49,807 in dividends. The bank also repurchased preferred shares that Treasury obtained by exercising warrants for $778,000, and paid $6,030 of dividends on those shares.

- Bridge Capital Holdings, based in San Jose, Calif. repaid $8.9 million in bailout money and coughed up $38,164 in dividends.

- Heritage Bancshares, based in Norfolk, Va., repaid $2.6 million of its bailout and $11,220 in dividends.

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U.S. markets plunge on fears of nuclear catastrophe in Japan

U.S. stocks dropped sharply into the red early Tuesday following a global sell-off on fears that what appeared to be a serious but contained nuclear accident in Japan is turning into a full-blown catastrophe. Within minutes of the opening of the markets, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.27 percent as all 30 stocks that comprise the index dropped; the S&P was down 2.2 percent; and the Nasdaq dropped 2.66 percent. Stocks in several sectors, such as makers of parts for nuclear energy plants, were at their 2011 lows.

Gold tumbled over $40 on Tuesday and oil prices were plunging. Uranium and other nuclear power stocks were weaker. Among the only stocks rising were from companies that compete with nuclear energy businesses: solar stocks. The New York Stock Exchange said it would invoke the so-called rule 48 to smooth volatility. This rule, which was approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2007 but is rarely used, means that market makers will not have to disseminate prices ahead of opening.

Overnight in Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average plummeted 10.6 percent to 8,605.15, after declining as much as 14 percent during the day. Tuesday's rout followed a 6 percent drop Monday. Those declines occurred despite an infusion of yen Monday and Tuesday by the Bank of Japan to try to prop up the nation's financial system. Western financial markets had largely brushed off the impact of the disaster on Monday, with the Standard & Poor's 500 down a modest 0.6 percent. But on Tuesday, stocks were trading sharply lower in Europe and on Wall Street.

The devastation wrought by the earthquake in Japan has disrupted production of automobiles, computer chips and other goods and threatens the world's third-largest economy at a time when it was already vulnerable. While the global economy is under threat from turmoil in the Middle East and financial troubles in Europe, the calamity in Japan creates another risk. The immediate response has been to temporarily shut down much of Japan's industrial production. Japanese power supplies could be strained for some time because of trouble at several nuclear plants. And the heavily indebted country will need to borrow more money to rebuild, potentially straining its finances.

"The timing couldn't be any worse," said Nicholas Szechenyi, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "Japan was just starting to have some positive economic numbers, and the international community is still adjusting to the impact of the financial crisis." The area of Japan that suffered the most direct hit from the earthquake and tsunami accounts for a relatively small part of the nation's industrial output. But damage to infrastructure - roads, rail lines, electricity - is more widespread.

That disruption has compromised the ability of Japanese manufacturers to obtain supplies and electricity to continue producing and the ability of their employees to get to work. It is too soon to know how much world supply chains for key goods will be affected. Global businesses have worked around national disasters in the past, such as the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Many auto plants across Japan have shut down, at least temporarily, wrote auto analyst Paul Newton of IHS Global Insight, who described the situation as fluid. Some of the shutdowns are due to rolling blackouts and disruptions to "the country's transport infrastructure, affecting everything from parts delivery, personnel mobility, and shipping activity at the country's ports."

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Tricare target of Pentagon cuts as health care projected to reach $65B

Among government workers, one group enjoys lifetime health benefits virtually unmatched in the United States: military retirees. As soaring medical costs have forced steep cuts to benefits offered by government and private plans, the program, known as Tricare, has grown more generous. The premiums are a fraction of those in the private sector, deductibles are low and co-pays limited. Premiums have not changed in 16 years. But Tricare's costs are exploding, projected in five years to hit $65 billion to insure 9.6 million people.

Now, in the face of two wars and serious budget constraints, the Pentagon says it needs to charge higher fees. And with congressional hearings on Tricare opening Wednesday, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates finds himself pitted against retired service members, one of Washington's most powerful and beloved constituencies.

Gates has tried to boost Tricare premiums in three Pentagon budgets. He made the case to Congress that spiraling personnel and health-care costs are "crippling" the military, as retirees receiving full pensions decline new health insurance when they go to work for private companies. He has warned that weapons modernization programs and equipment for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are in jeopardy.

But Congress rebuffed him each time, temporarily prohibiting the Pentagon from making changes to Tricare fees. Gates is now back with a far more modest proposal to raise premiums for 586,000 retirees of working age by $2.50 a month for individuals and $5 a month for families. He is supported by the six members of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, who wrote an unusual plea to Congress in February urging passage of the plan.

Opponents, however, are giving little ground. "Throughout their careers, military people were told, 'We beat you up a lot, but if you're willing to put up with this over two to three decades, free health care for life is your benefit,'" said Steve Strobridge, director of government relations for the Military Officers Association of America, among the most influential service groups.

The new plan asks families to pay $520 a year, up from $460. Individual coverage would rise to $260, from $230. The higher fees, for the program's popular HMO, are part of a Pentagon effort to slash personnel costs by $7 billion. They would set the stage for future increases tied to growth in health costs, which the Pentagon estimates at just more than 6 percent a year.

"The current Tricare arrangement . . . is simply unsustainable," Gates told the House Armed Services Committee in February, a day after rolling out the Pentagon's spending plan for 2012. At $52.5 billion, health costs account for one-tenth of the defense budget, up from $19 billion a decade ago. Active duty service members and their families receive Tricare at no cost. The same is true for military retirees older than 65, who receive Tricare for Life as a free supplement to Medicare.

The Pentagon's previous proposal, which would have more than tripled premiums over five years, was dismissed, with the help of a forceful campaign by veterans and military service groups. With Congress and the national mood favoring smaller government, Pentagon officials hope the current, scaled-down proposal will be more politically palatable on Capitol Hill. And Capitol Hill aides say chances are better than ever this year to push a fee increase through Congress.

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The Layman's Guide To Trading Stocks

Dave Landry has delivered the definitive text on profiting in the financial markets. In this book, he debunks market myths, reveals market truths, and teaches you to think and act like a trader. Mr. Landry also identifies what it takes to level the playing field, and shows you how you can regularly earn money from the markets like a professional. This book offers a refreshing perspective and a new approach to Wall Street, whether you are entirely new to investing and trading or have been around the markets all your life. Everything you need to know to consistently profit in the market is covered in this comprehensive work. Learn how Wall Street really works and what it takes to succeed in one of the most savage market environments we have ever known.

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Union-free Virginia not spared state pension woes

Where Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) wants to take his state, Virginia has already been: It is one of a handful of states that prohibit collective bargaining for public employees in state and local government. Given that, you'd think the state's retirement program would look a lot like those offered by private employers, right? The state has steadfastly maintained a defined benefit plan for the vast majority of its employees, a stable perk increasingly rare in the private sector.

Despite having no unions, Virginia has been one of four states where employees have, for almost 30 years, paid nothing each year toward their retirement. And its union-free status has hardly spared the state pension woes. Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) has warned that the plan will become insolvent over time if lawmakers do not address $17.6 billion in unfunded liabilities.

Virginia helps illustrate a reality that complicates the political rhetoric for both sides in the debate over public employee unionization: When it comes to retirement plans, there seems to be little correlation between union membership rates and either the generosity of states as employers or the financial stability of their systems. The reality suggests that, if more states went the way of Virginia and eliminated collective bargaining, it could be that neither union members' worst fears nor many Republicans' best predictions for retirement benefits would come true.

"It was a surprise to me," said Sylvester J. Schieber, former chairman of the Social Security Advisory Board and author of a recent study comparing the generosity of state pension plans. Schieber's work shows that states with few union members are typically no more stingy when it comes to employee retirement than those with many union members, he said.

Schieber's study, which looked at the percentage of an employee's working wages that pension systems are designed to replace in retirement, found that Virginia offers a middling plan - 32 states are more generous, 17 less so. But its plan offers workers nearly the same as that of Maryland, which has a strong union presence. Another recent study, by an economist at North Carolina State University, showed the same thing: Although states with strong unions offered better benefits in the 1970s and early '80s, that advantage had dissipated by 2005.

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Silver Medium Weight Plastic Soup Spoons - 24 Count (1 Pack)

Silver Medium Weight plastic Soup Spoons - 24 Count Silver design provides a contemporary look. Trim, sleek styling perfect for any meal. Full-size dinner-length cutlery handles heavy, tough-to-cut food. Cutlery is strong, shatter-resistant and durable. Plastic Cutlery Silver design 24 Per package Made in USA

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Break from broader markets lead by the retail sector

Retail stocks measured by the vector of retail ETF (NYSE:RTH) jumped over heavy volume that wider & S P 500 index made an all-time high.  The broader markets were driven higher by the retail sector despite of heavy layoffs of more than 24,000 in March according to last Friday's non-farm payroll report. A recent article published in wealth Advisor Club ( suggests that retail stocks are the driving force behind the movement in the broader equity based awards, but investors will absorb the minutes of meeting FOMC Wednesday.

According to the article, FOMC minutes reflects a hawkish attitude which would probably have been different if the Board of Governors of the FOMC was aware of jobs information prior to the meeting. Later in the week, the Commerce Department will publish the retail sales, which could also be a number low given the significant drop in retail employment sector indicated in the report on the use of the Governments issued last Friday.

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Torx T8H T8 Tamper Proof Screwdriver Security Torx Driver for XBOX 360 Wired and Wireless Controller Or PS3 Slim Disassembly CR-V Steel

This torx T8 has the special pre-drilled hole needed to bypass the security pin in XBOX 360 wired and wireless controllers. The exact fit will never fail. Don't be caught with a product that won't get the job done. You need a screwdriver with a hole, like this security Torx T8H, tamper-proof.

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Citing the pension costs, Costa Mesa, California to almost half its staff

In Costa Mesa, California City of Costa Mesa employees almost half have received layoff notices last week. Street sweepers. Firefighters. Mechanics. Payroll clerks. Animal control workers. In total, about 210 employees and 472 of the city, many of whom have worked there for decades. On Thursday, as the messages to pedestrians, one maintenance worker committed suicide by jumping off the roof of the Town Hall.

"It's like they decided to blow up the city," said Billy folsom, 58, a mechanic who received a pink slip. "It is disastrous." Cutbacks are necessary because of the escalating costs of providing pensions for police, firefighters and other workers unionized, they drain the city's revenues, mayors say. Within three years, and projections show that more than one of every five tax dollars spent on employee retirement benefits, which were much more generous in the years before the stock market crashed in 2008.

"Just do the math-that is not sustainable," said Jim Righeimer, a recently elected city mayor pro tem. He campaigned on a pension, raising anger, counter-campaign from the city's firefighters and police. "Under these sorts of everyone, we can't do everything that needs to be done."

Public pension fight

The financial follies of the past boom-by banks that lent too easy by purchasers who bought the places they couldn't afford, by consumers who won't save-recession became clear shortly after. But many States and cities might have overextended themselves as well as their risks they undertook now play in public pension shortfalls raise political battles across the country.

GOP efforts to return benefits of public employee bargaining rights, have triggered mass demonstrations in places like Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio. But the Conservatives take control of Costa Mesa, city politics, in an assault against a public servant compensation has gone even further. During the boom, many State and local governments promised their employees better pensions. Some employees were allowed to retire earlier. Others were given more of their final salary. Economically, it was easy to do; The stock market was soaring, raising pension fund balances.

Between 1998 and 2008, the last year for which figures are available, the total pension payments by State Governments and local authorities has increased twice as fast as in the previous month, according to the Census Bureau.

But now that the recession has led to steep pension funds, these promises employees past and present may be much harder to keep. Dozens of State and local pension funds across the country are now considered very seriously. 2009, approximately 58 percent of State and local pension funds had less than 80 percent funded, testing the soundness of pension, according to the retirement Research Center at Boston College.

Shortfalls have far-reaching political implications. Already, several politicians who oppose ideologically the public unions have attributed their problems of greed and political influence. Now these unions members are on defense.

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Award-Winning Investment Firm, youtradeFX adds Social Trading

FSA, ASIC and FSC registered brokerage firm, youtradeFX adds Social Trading to it's Trading systems. As part of youtradeFXs ongoing commitment to forex education, and after recieving  recognition from The New Europe for continuing to empower customers to become more knowledgeable investors. youtradeFX adds Social trading to its existing list of educational services that teach customers new strategies and techniques that affect their online trading:

The internet has brought the world closer together, and this holds true for trading and investment possibilities. A new and exciting way to profit with and from fellow traders is Social Trading. Social Trading connects you with traders of all levels from all over the world by linking traders into one huge network. Some of the dynamic advantages of Social Trading are:

**Learn from the top traders
**Teach the newbies
**Share tips and profit when the experts do
**Receive knowledgeable feedback on trading strategies

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Trade the Price Action - Forex Trading System

Trade the Price Action

  • Forex price action trading system with over 90% winning rate

  • Low Risk-High Reward Trading

  • price action trends

  • support and resistance

  • fibonacci retracements

  • candlestick patterns

  • The book describes in great detail with chart examples a personal forex price action trading system that has a winning rate of over 90%. It is a complete forex strategy with clear entry,exit and stop loss rules. The risk-reward ratio for all trades done with this strategy is at least 1:3 for every trade

  • All a trader has to do is follow the rules of this price action system. This book contains all the information a trader will ever have to learn and master to be successful in the foreign exchange market. You do not need technical indicators,you do not need expensive robots to trade for you,all you need to be a very good trader is a simple chart and the trading system this book describes

  • Read it, learn it, respect its rules and you will have no problem in achieving success in the financial markets. If you require further details feel free to contact me at

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U.S. stocks fall despite 5.7% jump in Nikkei

U.S. stocks fell in early trading Wednesday despite large gains in Japan's Nikkei stock index overnight. Investors in U.S. equities were reacting to a slew of bad news that came in the hours before the market opened: that rescue crews may have to be evacuated because of increasing radiation in the area around the damaged Japanese nuclear plants; that violence in Bahrain was increasing; and that U.S. housing construction and wholesale costs were worse than expected.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.61 percent, the Standard & Poors 500 was off by 0.47 percent, and Nasdaq dropped 0.26 percent. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that housing starts had fallen 22.5 percent in February to an annual rate of 479,000 units--the steepest decline in 27 years. Building permits, which indicate future construction demand, were at record lows, signaling what some analysts said was more underlying weakness in the housing sector.

But Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics, said he believes the numbers may be a fluke because other indicators have been positive. "Home builder sentiment has been flat in recent months, but consumer confidence has improved, and payrolls have been picking up," he said. Surging food prices and energy costs drove wholesale costs in the United States more than forecast last month. The Labor Department said the producer-price index was up 1.6 percent from the previous month to the highest since June 2009. John Ryding and Conrad DeQuadros of RDQ Economics said this number suggests "significant acceleration in prices."

"We do not buy the Fed's reassurance that these pressures will be temporary, and we believe the public, seeing these strong increases in food and energy ... will not be marking back down their inflation expectations," Ryding and DeQuadros wrote in a research note. On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve said that it considers the U.S. economic recovery to have achieved a "firmer footing." Fed officials also acknowledged a risk of inflation as prices for oil and other commodities have spiked in recent months, but said they expected the increases caused by the political turmoil in the Middle East to be transitory.

Analysts are generally predicting that the Japanese earthquake and tsunami will have only a modest impact on the economies of the United States and Japan's other major trading partners. But the risk of a significant blow to the world economy has been increasing as Japan struggles to stabilize the now-dangerous reactors. The economic cost to Japan itself is certain to be massive, though it's too early to gauge the exact toll. Estimates of the direct damage - the cost of rebuilding homes and factories - range from $160 billion to $200 billion.

Early forecasts also predict that the disasters could reduce the nation's economic output by half a percentage point this year, an additional $25 billion hit. Analysts say it could be much larger if Japan suffers prolonged power outages or if one or more of the reactors goes into total meltdown.

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The World Ends With You

Features include:

•Modern art style created by a team of artists led by Tetsuya Nomura, world-renowned character designer of the upcoming Fabula Nova Crystallis project
•Innovative Stride-Cross Battle System allows players to control two characters simultaneously, unleashing special attacks with the stylus
•Collect a vast array of custom-designed pins, each with a powerful psychic ability that can be activated with the right touch or sound command
•Customize characters with Shibuya's coolest fashions and exchange items with other players via Mingle Mode while experiencing an amazing soundtrack combining a fusion of musical influences from hip-hop to rock and electronica
•Battle with up to three friends in Tin Pin Slammer, an exciting and fast-paced mini-game, via local wireless connection

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Capital CFDs Is Expanding Their Chinese CFD & Forex Operation Locally & Abroad

Capital CFDs recently welcomed on board their latest staff member, Felix, as business continues to grow here in Sydney and abroad. Felix has taken up the role of Head of Sales and Trading Asia Pacific as Capital CFDs continues to boost their presence in the local Chinese CFD & Forex markets.

Managing Director, Andrew Merry of stated "We are excited to welcome Felix on board who has considerable business development experience in both the local and Chinese speaking communities. Felix has over 6 years of business development and investment analysis experiences and holds a Masters in Finance, all of which help to give our clients confidence in dealing with a professional team.”

Felix recently spent 2 weeks in China talking with potential introducing brokers, fund managers and boutique brokers and found the Chinese market to be very receptive and quite advanced in what they want to offer their client base.

“While the Chinese economy is playing a vital role in the global markets, the Chinese private wealth market has been grown at an average rate of 12 - 15% over the past 5 years.” “Given more than 45% of the investments are made into the securities markets, the demand for an innovative and reliable financial service provider such as Capital CFDs is very strong.”

Felix’s main focus moving forward will be to provide Chinese speaking client groups with optimal trading solutions covering a full range of asset classes including Forex, Indices, Commodities and Equity CFDs.  

“One of the key factors that attracted me to Capital CFDs is their integrity in dealing with clients. Couple that with their focus on providing a distinctive MT4 solution, you have an offer that is able to meet the different requirements from both professional and non-professional traders.” Commented Felix. For more information on Capital CFDs and to grab your free $10,000 demo account or their Successful Traders Blueprint, visit their website at

Capital CFDs is a trading name of London Capital Group Pty Limited and is fully owned by London Capital Group Holdings Plc which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. London Capital Group transacts over 30,000 trades each day and has over 70,000 clients globally. Capital CFDs is regulated by ASIC under AFSL 364264

While Capital CFDs attempts to ensure that the information herein is accurate at the date the information was produced, however, Capital CFDs does not guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness, performance or fitness for a particular purpose of any of the information provided herein and under no circumstances are they to be considered an offer, solicitation to invest or be construed as giving investment advice.

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Tradestation Prosuite 2000i

TradeStation 2000i from Omega Research. This is the English version of the final release before being discontinued. Original disk with permanent password. Will install and run on Windows 2000 and XP. With this software you can create and test strategies using standard or custom written indicators to trade stocks, futures, ETFs, and Forex. Formulas for this software appear in many books and trading magazines. Package includes: TradeStation & HistoryBank disks plus my own disk of extras.. EasyLanguage user's manual. Techniques Reference manual. Learning to use EasyLanguage booklet.

Trading with TradeStation 2000i booklet. Quick start guide. This program will allow you the benefits of TradeStation charting and back testing without having to pay monthly fees or use TradeStation Securities brokerage. Data must be provided separately. This is a great opportunity to own TradeStation 2000i. Low starting bid and NO RESERVE! * I will also inlcude on CD You probably already know what it is and the power it has to make you a winner in the world of Stocks, Futures, Forex, Commodities, etc!!! Serious Buyers Only! This auction is for an Omega Research ProSuite 2000i Platinum Real-Time Edition Traders Suite (build 8.22) with the latest service package (SP 5) includes authorized user's password, detailed instructions for an easy installation, reference links page, and three (3) CD's: * TradeStation 2000i, OptionStation 2000i & RadarScreen 2000i * Ebboks and Tutorials, listed below. * HistoryBank CD, which contains up to 25 years of historical market data Tradestation Prosuite 2000i Platinum Edition accepts data feeds from DialData, PCQuote, DTN, to name a few. Both User's Manual and EasyLanguage (175 pages) Reference Manual are included as pdf file inside the CD's for easy viewing. Ebooks and Tutorials Included EL Ref Guide Getting Started with RadarScreen Introduction to Forex Trading Introduction to Options Trading

Price: $ 149

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Empire Option Trading

Binary options trading is a fast and reliable way to invest online and make profits in short periods of time. At EmpireOption, one of the platforms of binary options albums, we are constantly looking after the needs of our clients, thus, we build better tools so they empower their portfolios. We are very pleased and proud to present you our merchants new functionality of EmpireOption for the binary options trading: ProTrader.

With ProTrader, each client has the opportunity to access a larger and that more detailed progress of a zooming option in the progress of the option. ProTrader also allows traders to sell their options to a lesser extent than the option itself, making it a unique tool in the financial markets. Here are the main features which, in our opinion, will radically empower the success of our merchants.

We would like to announce that our platform is now available in French language also. our company aims to keep a close distance between us and our customers to provide them with the best possible service. Adding French support language is an important step, we've been working for some time and we are extremely excited to dive into this new road that awaits us.

EmpireOption is a binary options broker in the world with the support English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. It started to operate in 2010 and reached the great positive response from traders all over the world.

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Psychology, Trading Tactics, Money Management

Trading for a Living Successful trading is based on three M's: Mind, Method, and Money. Trading for a Living helps you master all of those three areas:

* How to become a cool, calm, and collected trader
* How to profit from reading the behavior of the market crowd
* How to use a computer to find good trades
* How to develop a powerful trading system
* How to find the trades with the best odds of success
* How to find entry and exit points, set stops, and take profits

Trading for a Living helps you discipline your Mind, shows you the Methods for trading the markets, and shows you how to manage Money in your trading accounts so that no string of losses can kick you out of the game. To help you profit even more from the ideas in Trading for a Living, look for the companion volume--Study Guide for Trading for a Living. It asks over 200 multiple-choice questions, with answers and 11 rating scales for sharpening your trading skills. For example: Question Markets rise when:

* there are more buyers than sellers
* buyers are more aggressive than sellers
* sellers are afraid and demand a premium
* more shares or contracts are bought than sold

* I and II
* II and III
* II and IV
* III and IV

Answer B. II and III. Every change in price reflects what happens in the battle between bulls and bears. Markets rise when bulls feel more strongly than bears. They rally when buyers are confident and sellers demand a premium for participating in the game that is going against them. There is a buyer and a seller behind every transaction. The number of stocks or futures bought and sold is equal by definition.

Price: $80.00

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Value added: Create a conveyor for renovation

One of my favorite intellectual exercises, often with the help of others, examines a company through a different lens. McDonalds or Starbucks's real estate companies as food and drink stalls. Disney On Ice perfect customer is not a 10-year-old; It is a parent who wants to be a hero to her children. And General Electric's biggest strength is management, not lamps. Washington developer, technology entrepreneur, restaurateur and nightclub owner Anthony Lanier prompted me to look at real estate differently when he explained the business discipline that built a Georgetown barony which occupies 60 buildings and enough space to fill eight football fields.

"We built a conveyor for the renovation," said Lanier (pronounced lon-YAY), 59, explain the method that transformed the dilapidated Townhouse for profitable stores and offices. Lanier's assembly line was composed of engineers, architects, heritage conservation specialists, zoning attorneys and construction companies that could pump out refurbished buildings one after another. The first purchase in the mid-1990s was a townhouse at 3060 M St. NW. price: $ 540,000. It is now worth about $ 2 million, said Lanier. Next was a terraced house on the street. Cost: about $ 1 million. He bought 3067 M St. NW for $ 600,000. Then he bought 3210 M St. NW of foreclosure.

Through this process built Lanier profit margins and credibility with the city authorities. "That aside," salami method "was a good risk diversification, as no job and therefore mistakes, itself was large enough to have a significant impact," he said. It took 10 years, increasing real estate values and retail demand, but the Laniers bets are paying off; His Georgetown tenants include Brooks Brothers, Crate Barrel's CB2 & chain, MAC Cosmetics, and Madewell. His property portfolio is worth several hundred million.

The success has not been without controversy. He is embroiled in a very public, the five-year legal case with developer herb Miller over the rights to buy Georgetown Park mall. Lanier empire included more than 200 employees of several companies, including real estate management and development company EastBanc Inc., EastBanc technologies, Cafe Leopold restaurant and L2 Lounge, his trendy nightclub where celebrities such as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and the comedian Kathy Griffin hung out recently.

Lanier is interesting and eclectic entrepreneur I've ever met. He is not rich as the thumpingly (real estate, baseball) and Rales brothers (Danaher Corp.). But he's got money. Probably tens of millions.

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Ultimate Band

Rock and roll comes in all shapes, sizes, flavors and colors, but there is one unavoidable truism to it. All great bands don't just play their music, they live it as well. And now whether you are a gamer, a music lover or both, you can do the same as you play and perform moves just like a rock star with Ultimate Band for Nintendo DS.

Designed to accommodate musical dreams ranging from solo acts played out in singleplayer, to the fortunes of a full-fledged band that players can form with up to three friends and played out wirelessly, Ultimate Band for DS puts players on the fast track to Rock n' Roll stardom by advancing their music careers and popularity on the local scene as they learn to play the guitar, bass guitar and drums with nothing but a D-pad and a stylus. Eventually practice and the games 15+ song list will lead players and their bands out of the neighborhood garage and on to the stages of local cafes and clubs.

But with a little more effort this could also possibly earn you a spot on bills performing in front of international audiences at world-famous in-game venues. No matter how big you get though, Ultimate Band doesn't let you forget that Rock n' Roll is all about the ride. Players on the way to the top will enjoy plenty of opportunity for funky character customization via clothing and unlockable, accessories, instruments and of course Rock n' Roll attitude. They will also get a shot at making some real music as practice and successful gigging lead to trips to recording studio sessions with the game's custom track recorder. The result might just be the biggest little rock star maker players will ever see.

Added Bonus of DGamer Functionality
Offered free with Ultimate Band, DGamer is Disney's online community that utilizes the Wi-Fi capabilities of your Nintendo DS to allow you to connect with other Disney gamers across North America. Through the DGamer community players can create their own identity via an avatar, chat about games, unlock unique collectibles, collect virtual currency and track leaderboard stats. You also have the ability to "gift" items collected in the game to your friends.

Nintendo Wii/DS Connectivity
If you have Ultimate Band for the Nintendo DS you can sit in with players on the Wii version. Simply set your DS to search Wii versions of Ultimate Band in range and you can join in the fun. While the Wii gamers roam from gig to gig and in and out of the studio, you have the ability to play VJ by altering the color of the lights, as well as turning on and off stage effects among other things.

Price: $19.99

Click here to buy from Amazon

Unrest hurts trade business friendly ' Bahrain '

Dubai, U.A.E., Bahrain's stock exchange, several banks reopened Thursday, but business remains far from normal a day after soldiers and riot police in a protest camp deviated off course against the Government ever in the Gulf Kingdom. Shops in the capital remained closed much of centers, worldwide. Soldiers, some of them backed by armored personnel carriers and tanks, were stationed around the city, including the subway outside the Bahrain financial Harbour, office complex that symbolizes the tiny nation's role as a regional banking.

Two international banks, HSBC, standard Charter, were able to resume normal operations, only a fraction of them. All branches were closed Wednesday as Bahrain security forces suppressed demonstrations and imposed a night curfew under martial law recently granted powers style. "Bahrain was to be used as a stable finance. I think a lot of investors reevaluate the ????"?????? recent unrest, said ADI Taha, Eurasia Group's Middle East analyst in Washington.

Gulf air, the national carrier of Bahrain, close ticket offices except those at the airport, canceled all flights to Iran and Iraq. That's not to say why these countries are only two flights were affected. Spokeswoman cited "operational reasons" as the cause of the cancelations. Both Iran and Iraq, as Bahrain, majority Shiite populations. In other countries in the Middle East with Gulf air are primarily Sunni. Iraq flights should resume Friday, Iran on Monday. Gulf Air said all other flights are operating normally.

The largest airline in the Middle East, Union, announced it was canceling some flights between Bahrain and Dubai, but later reversed the decision. The struggle in Bahrain appears increasingly framed along sectarian lines, the country's Sunni Royal family, and her country was trying to retain power and maintain order, the Shiite-led opposition calls for sweeping political reforms. Soldiers from Bahrain's Gulf allies, led by Saudi Arabia, began arriving earlier this week to strengthen the State's efforts to restore security.

The fermentation does serious damage to the image of Bahrain commercial centre, where even the stamps in their passport issued to incoming visitors declare business as "Kingdom Bahrain." King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa toured the capital's financial center Thursday, aiming to ensure the continuity of financial institutions "work", the ministries by name, the official Bahrain News Agency.

Roughly half the country's population are expatriates, including many who work in the financial sector and other industries. Many come from South Asia, but there are also thousands of foreigners, including Britons and Americans. United Kingdom on Thursday urged its citizens "without urgent reason" to be in Bahrain to leave the country. United Kingdom Government is chartering aircraft to evacuate Britons who want to leave Dubai. The u.s. earlier this week urged its citizens to defer travel to Bahrain and said those already there should consider leaving.

Bahrain is the Gulf tourist destination, especially for visitors from more conservative Saudi Arabia, a short drive away across the King Fahd. It has already taken a hit formula 1 race cuts this month, and the industry will continue to suffer following the intervention by the Saudi troops that opposition groups have labeled as "occupiers". "A lot of Saudi tourists can find it increasingly dangerous to travel to Bahrain after these events," said Kamel. Bahrain's stock exchange reopened Thursday after closing the previous day. Stocks edged a tenth of a percent higher.

HSBC again one of its branches in four Thursday, but only for upscale Adliya shift 2-1/2 hour shortened. That normally told you again its seven branches, two in Muharraq, Riffa, its head office in the country. Branches all corporations were closed Wednesday. The two banks said the ???????? are safe. HSBC said its ATMs equipped and functioning normally. Credit rating firm Moody's investors service warned Bahrain's creditworthiness can be continuous fermentation, this week's arrival of Gulf forces increased tensions throughout the region.

"We believe that there is no significant credit risk of medium-term fundamentals of Bahrain is poor by the current crisis, which seems unlikely to be resolved in the near future," Moody's analyst Tristan Cooper said. Another credit ratings agency, Fitz, earlier this week cut its ratings on its sovereign wealth Fund Bahrain by two notches because of concerns about the deteriorating political situation.

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Update International SPS-100 Stainless Steel Induction Ready Stock Pot with Cover, 100-Quart

This stock pot has 18/8 super steel construction comes with cover. This construction has heavy duty 3-ply bottom consisting of 2 layers of stainless surrounding a 5-mm thick aluminum core. This results in superior strength and heat distribution, and allows the pan to be used on induction ranges. Features capsuled bottom and rivet handles. It is induction ready and has capacity of 100-quart.

Price: $409.29

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Daily youtradeFX Market Review

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is betting the new U.S. economy is the same as the old one as he lays out arguments for more stimulus to revive it. He made that diagnosis last week in a rebuttal to those who blame an 8.3 percent unemployment rate on structural shifts in the economy wrought by the financial crisis and who contend joblessness is permanently elevated. Bernanke’s challenge may be highlighted Sept. 7, when economists surveyed by Bloomberg News predict Labor Department data will show unemployment exceeded 8 percent for a 43rd straight month in August as payrolls grew by 125,000, slowing from July’s 163,000 gain.

European leaders are stepping up shuttle diplomacy this week as they brace for their central banker’s plan to defend the euro from bond-market turmoil. European Union President Herman Van Rompuy is traveling to Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel today as Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti welcomes French President Francois Hollande to Rome. They were all given a hint about what may be in store when European Central Bank President Mario Draghi told officials yesterday he would be comfortable buying three-year government bonds to bring down borrowing costs for nations in financial distress.

Germany reiterated its support yesterday for Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann yesterday, following reports last week that he had considered resigning over his opposition to ECB bond purchases. Schaeuble warned investors not to expect too much from the ECB plan. Schaeuble told Deutschlandfunk radio yesterday, “We have to be very careful that we don’t raise false expectations. It has to remain very clear, state debt can’t be financed through monetary policy. Therefore we can’t have a decision --we would think it very wrong -- that’s not covered by the ECB mandate.”

Oil (WTI): Oil climbed to the highest intraday price in more than a week on speculation central banks will take more steps to boost economic growth. The commodity was trading at 97.150 at the time of writing after disappointing Chinese manufacturing data sparked talk Beijing will loosen monetary policy to spark more robust growth. Market sentiments remain bullish on oil as Draghi may unveil details of his bond-purchase program when he holds his first press conference after the summer break on Sept. 6 and the Federal Reserve will hold a monetary policy meeting on Sept. 11-12.

Many investors in global energy markets continue to believe the U.S. central bank will announce a third round of bond buying. Monetary stimulus tools tend to weaken the dollar by design, pushing down interest rates and sending commodities prices rising, especially oil. Today, investors will closely watch the economic data which will be released in the Eurozone and the U.S as well as headlines from European leaders meetings as European Union President Herman Van Rompuy is traveling to Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel today as Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti welcomes French President Francois Hollande to Rome. The resistance level is at 98.319 and the support level is at 96.041.

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White 12 oz. Plastic Bowls - 100 Count(styles may vary)

White 12 oz. Plastic Bowls - 100 Count Make your special event a success! These strong White plastic plates will complement all your event decorations. White is the perfect addition to your party. A fun and easy way to add style to your event, this package contains 100 White 12 oz. Plastic Bowls Look for matching tableware, decorations, and more (sold separately). Plastic bowls White 100 Per package Measures 12 oz. Made in USA

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Facebook advertiser $ waste?

What advertisers want to spend their money on? Advertisers want targeted advertising. Ads that will be displayed to users, who will find relevant ads based on the interests of users. Facebook (FB) displays advertisements to users that the advertiser chooses based on demographic data such as location, age, and keywords selected for subjects. However, Facebook advertising contributes to advertising revenue potentially lost. Here is an example.

Example: XYZ pest control company, runs a Facebook advertising free home inspections. It gets displayed to users of 18 years of age and more, located 15 km away from Orlando, Florida, using the fight against parasites of keywords. This is how the advertising runs. Here's where the advertising revenue potential waste that happens. A user publishes on his script has a bug in its house problem, while several others users of how his post "Sorry to hear of your problem bug." or something similar. Just because a user commented another users timeline "Sorry to hear about your bug problem."  is not a law or relevant for users to comment on pests. And when Facebook displays advertising control of pests to users commenting on "Sorry to hear of your problem bug." advertising revenues are probably wasted.

Pest control XYZ Company, runs an advertisement from Google (GOOG) free home inspections. It is displayed to users who are actively seeking web expressing interest current and relevant for the fight against parasites and related research, located 15 km away from Orlando, Florida.
That is why Google advertising model is greater than Facebook.

It is hard enough as an advertiser to attract attention users on Google, where a relevant advertising based on the theme of search for users is displayed. Facebook is the social network. It's even harder to attract attention users who is 'socialize' with an advertisement that user does not directly expressed an interest.

Until Facebook can implement an advertising delivery system to increase relevance of advertisements based on the interest of users, FB cannot deliver the same "bang for buck" that Google can.
I do not know that this has something to do with why GM pulled its advertising in FB campaign. That money is better spent with GOOG.

Not to mention, the erosion of revenues that mobile advertising is already originally as a person seems have monetized successfully the mobile landscape with advertising.

I wait patiently Facebook stock to take a turn for the worse as it's counter part Zynga (ZNGA). Until the following problems are solved.

1 Facebook advertising delivery system needs to be improved in order to reduce potentially lost advertiser dollars.

2 Facebook needs to find a way to monetize its 900 million users, of which it is currently failing miserably to do. Facebook will never as many advertisers as it does to users. Facebook needs to get users pocket money to become a real winner.

3 How value is on Facebook? Facebook currently has a value of 'zero' to its users, Facebook is free. If Facebook wanted to monthly charges its users to use the service would probably result in a mass exodus. This means that Facebook has little or no value to users monetize-able since users would be unwilling to use it if they had to pay for it.

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Forex - 24"H x 24"W - Peel and Stick Wall Decal by Wallmonkeys

WallMonkeys uses premium materials & state-of-the-art production technologies. Our wall graphics apply in minutes and won't damage your paint or leave any residue behind. PLEASE double check the size of the image you are ordering prior to clicking the 'ADD TO CART' button. Our graphics are offered in a variety of sizes and prices.
  • WallMonkeys are intended for indoor use only.
  • Please do not wash or get the surface of your Wallmonkeys decal wet.
  • We suggest at least two people to help apply decals 48 inches or larger.
  • Your order will ship within 3 business days, often sooner. Some orders require the full 3 days to allow dark colors and inks to fully dry prior to shipping. Quality is worth waiting an extra day for!
  • Our huge selection of decals are perfect for virtually any use: school projects, trade shows, teachers classrooms, colleges, nurseries, college dorms, event planners, and corporations of all size.

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  • IC Markets Launches New Metatrader 4 True ECN Platform With Full Market Depth

    International Capital Markets Pty Ltd (IC Markets), one of Australia’s leading and most innovative forex brokers launches a new MetaTrader 4 True ECN trading platform with institutional grade pricing and full market depth.

    The new MetaTrader 4 True ECN trading platform combines many of the advanced features of the current platform such as a one-click trading module and real-time news with the added benefit of IC Markets True ECN technology and market depth.

    Mr Andrew Budzinski, Managing Director of IC Markets said, “MetaTrader 4 is the world’s leading forex trading platform for retail traders, when combined with IC Markets True ECN technology our clients are able to deal on prices and view market depth previously only available to investment banks and brokers”.

    “Our institutional grade pricing and commission rates give traders the best chance of success and allows them to scalp the market without having to cross a spread widened by their broker. There are no limits to any style of trading on our MetaTrader 4 trading platform, in fact unlike most forex brokers we encourage scalping and automated trading”.

    The key benefits of IC Markets MetaTrader 4 True ECN trading platform include:

    •   ECN pricing with spreads from 0 pips;
    •   Up to 1:400 leverage;
    •   Minimum account opening of USD $200;
    •   Commission rate of $3.50 per lot traded;
    •   Access to advanced order types including “OCO” orders;
    •   Servers in NY4 data centre for Low Latency trading;
    •   One-click trading with no re-quotes for fast order execution;
    •   Access to interbank liquidity from over 36 different banks; and
    •   Full market depth.

    IC Markets MetaTrader 4 True ECN account requires a minimum deposit of just USD $200 with multiple funding options such as Credit/Debit Cards, Moneybookers in addition to Bank Transfers. Traders can use the True ECN platform to trade forex and commodities from only $3.50 per lot traded. They can choose from 41 currency pairs in addition to gold and silver with spreads from as low as 0 pips, the lowest spread offered by any Australian based broker. True ECN trading on MetaTrader 4 is available on the iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows based mobile phones.

    “Our innovations have firmly positioned IC Markets as a leading global forex broker and now one of the largest in the Asia Pacific region. We are committed to being at the forefront of trading technology offering our clients unrivalled trading solutions. We truly believe that our new True ECN account will meet our client’s needs and compliment our current offering”, said Mr Andrew Budzinski.

    A True ECN forex platform allows traders the ability to hedge, scalp, and use any type of automated or manual trading strategy. There are no restrictions on how close stop loss or take profit orders can be placed to the current market price. IC Markets MetaTrader 4 True ECN platform is ideal for Expert Advisors and traders who scalp the markets.

    About International Capital Markets Pty Ltd (IC Markets).

    Headquartered in Sydney, International Capital Markets Pty Ltd is a provider of online forex and CFD trading services, offering individual traders, money managers and institutional customer’s proprietary technology, tools and education to trade online. IC Markets has distinguished itself among industry leaders with its unique ECN forex technology, proprietary tools and services, and remarkable focus on customer service. With turnover well exceeding tens of billions each month the company is one of the leading brokers in Australia. IC Markets is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in Australia.

    Forex trading may not be suitable for everyone so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. Please consider IC Markets PDS available from IC Markets before entering into any transaction with us.

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    Forex- Understanding The Euro

    Fibonacci Lines Analyzer is a powerful application designed to show the Fibonacci retracement, expansion levels, arcs, spiral, ellipses, time zones, Fibonacci fan, channel, grid, Gann fan, spiral with one point, super Andrews pitchforks, the star of David ?1, the star of David ?2, Speed Resistance Lines, Gann fan with arcs, Gann Square of nine (Pivot price and time), Gann emblem, Gann grid, Gann Square, Fibonacci vortex and Flower of life by presenting the result in graphical form.

    This Fibonacci tool is compatible with any other Forex software, as well as with any other trading system, and with any images and charts. So, it is a Fibonacci pattern which is compatible with any software. It has a very easy to use interface. Just two clicks of your mouse and it's all ready. Then, just align the pointers of the program with extreme points (edges of trendline) of any chart. You can even use your own (non-Fibonacci) coefficients.

    Price: $ 125

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    NALCO Ltd. – Q3 FY11 Result Highlights: Unicon Investment Solutions

    National Aluminium Company (NALCO)’s Q3FY11 revenue increased 3% to INR 14,250 on account of higher alumina (increase 34% on YoY) and aluminium (increase 18% on YoY) realisations. Lower cost of production due to improved operational efficiency and higher capacity utilisation resulted in 611 bps increase in the EBITDA margin. EBITDA increased 32% on YoY to INR 3,896 mn over INR 2,961 in Q3FY10. Net profit at INR 2,560 mn in Q3FY11 was 65% higher from INR 1,552 mn in Q3FY10. Net profit margin increased 621 bps to 16.7% in Q3FY11 from 10.5% in Q3FY10.

    On segmental basis aluminium segment outpaced the other two segments (Chemical & Electricity). Topline for aluminium segment remained flat on account of lower volumes and higher realisations. The segment posted an EBIT of INR 3.48 bn in Q3FY11 compared to INR 0.62 bn in Q3FY10 an increase of 460% due to a sharp 18% increase in realisations to USD 2,390 (USD 2,017 in Q3FY10). This was in comparison to a loss recorded by the power segment (INR -1.27 bn in Q3FY11 against INR 0.7 bn in Q3FY10) on account of higher coal cost. (~USD 210, an increase of more than 60% in last quarter).

    NALCO has selected UAE-based RAK minerals as JV partner for its INR 180 bn aluminium-cum-power project in Indonesia and is looking at commencing work on it by June 2011. The company proposes to set up 0.5 MTPA aluminium smelter and 1,250 MW captive thermal power plants in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, part of its ongoing INR 580 bn capacity expansion plan. At the same time the company will also bid in consortium for upcoming 4,000MW power plants in the Orissa and Chattisgarh.

    Higher input costs continue to remain a concern for the company as it is not integrated. Though the company has been allotted the Utkal-E coal block with reserves of 70mt, mining is likely to commence only in 2012–13 resulting in higher dependence on imported coal. The company also remains exposed to fluctuations in prices of alumina and aluminium. The company has seen a 20% increase in market price on account of the uptrend in aluminium prices and is currently trading at a PE multiple of 17x FY12E which looks expensive compared to peers. We have a ‘HOLD’ rating on the stock with a target price of INR 380.

    UNICON provides investment services like stock broking, investment banking, portfolio management services, share trading, trading in equity, trading in commodity market, property broking, investment in mutual funds, investment in ipo, investment in fixed income instruments, insurance services in india.

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    Follow Price Action Trends - Forex Trading System

    Follow Price Action Trends

    • Forex Price Action Trading System that will help you make 1000 pips per month

    • Timeframes used : 1hour-4hours / 4hours-daily / daily-weekly

    •  Forex Price Action Trends

    • This is a very lucrative forex price action system that identifies changes in price action trends on the one hour chart. It has the capability to deliver thousands of pips in the long run because it generates trade setups at the beginning of the trend and stays with it almost to its finish line thanks to a very clear set of rules regarding entry and stop loss levels. You can read the sample and if you require further details feel free to contact me at

    Price: $ 150

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    2/3 of the S&P500 Report this week (APPL, CME, GOOG, FDX, BP, UPS)

    I like Monday’s because I am a Market Junkie and there is little else to do while I hang out in the Shawshank Lodge with my friends.  I also find the summer trading to be the most difficult and I like to watch my com-padre market watchers stay befuddled.

    So I asked around the group this morning why they thought the summer was so difficult to trade.  The collective response were that stocks always go up in the summer and climb the…. Wall of Worry…. and everyone we talk to seems to think they should be going down…so lets watch as Two Thirds of S&P500 companies report this week.  This action all seems like short covering to me versus a rush to own long-side names other than APPL, CME, GOOG and the other usual suspects.

    Stocks fluctuated Monday after FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) raised its forecast for the current quarter and said it expected a moderate recovery in the global economy. FedEx’s outlook was the latest piece of upbeat earnings news that have lifted stocks in recent days. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 6 points in early morning trading. If it closes up just 4 points for the day it would move back into positive territory for the year.

    FedEx (NYSE:FDX) raised its earnings prediction for its first fiscal quarter and said it had better than expected growth in its overnight and ground delivery services. Like UPS Inc.(NYSEUPS), FedEx is seen as an economic bellwether. If companies and consumers are shipping more, that points to a strengthening economy.

    European markets traded in a tight range as investors had their first chance to react to a series of tests that assessed the health of the continent’s big banks. Regulators said only seven of the 91 banks tested would struggle if the European economy and government debt problems worsened. U.S. investors were able to trade after the results were released Friday afternoon and sent stocks higher.

    The market was awaiting the government’s report on new home sales during June. It is expected that sales edged higher from record lows in May as the housing market recovery remains erratic. Stocks surged last week as mostly strong corporate earnings and outlooks, as well as the results of the European bank tests, added to hopes that the global economy is recovering. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 3.2 percent last week.

    An earnings report due out Tuesday from oil company BP PLC (NYSE:BP) will likely be closely watched because of reports that embattled CEO Tony Hayward will step down and the company could take a big charge to cover costs of cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In early trading, the Dow rose 5.75, or 0.1 percent, at 10,430.45. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.72, or 0.1 percent, to 1,103.38, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 2.95, or 0.1 percent, to 2,266.52.

    The Commerce Department was expected to report that sales of new homes rose 6.7 percent in June to an annual rate of 320,000, according to economists polled by Thomson Reuters. The housing market, which helped push the economy into recession, remains sluggish. There was a sharp drop in sales after a government tax credit for home buyers expired at the end of April. There has been concern that the market was being propped up by that credit and it will continue to struggle to recover now that there are fewer incentives for buyers.

    Any improvement in new home sales could provide some relief to investors because May’s figures fell to the lowest level since records began being kept in 1963. A smaller than expected drop in sales of previously occupied homes contributed to stocks’ rally Thursday.

    PENNYPAYDAY.COM (PPD) is NOT a registered investment adviser or broker/dealer in any jurisdiction whatsoever. PENNYPAYDAY.COM does not make any recommendations that the purchase of the securities of companies profiled in their email newsletters, alerts, or any part of the PENNYPAYDAY.COM website is suitable or advisable for any person or that an investment in such securities will be profitable. The information on this website or within email newsletters to subscribers is not designed to be used as the basis for an investment decision. The decision to buy or sell any security that may be featured by PENNYPAYDAY.COM is done solely at the subscribers own risk. PENNYPAYDAY.COM stock profiles are intended to be stock ideas, NOT recommendations. Please do your own research before investing.

    PennyPayDay is dedicated to bringing our members fresh penny stock trading idea’s that are poised to make big runs in the market! We alert our members on penny stocks that are in position to become highly liquid while quickly appreciating in price.

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