Tag Archives: Business

Stocks Decline , Jobs Lost , Global Rout Continues

Escalating sovereign debt problems in Europe (mainly Greece , Portugal and Spain) and an unexpected rise in jobless claims put investors on the defensive just ahead of Friday’s crucial payrolls report.

ecoThe DOW briefly fell below the 10,000 mark as stocks suffered their worst losses in more than nine months. NIKKEI was down 2.6% at 1.30 PM. The euro sank to the lowest level in more than eight months against the dollar and headed for a fourth-straight weekly drop versus the greenback and yen. The European currency dropped to $1.3670, the lowest level since May 20, before trading at $1.3719 at 12:43 p.m. in Tokyo compared with $1.3723 in New York.

Countries on the fringe, including Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland, are having trouble paying for years of debt-driven expansion.

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Chrysler shuts down all production

 Chrysler LLC announced late Wednesday that it is stopping all vehicle production in the United States for at least a month.

All 30 of the carmaker’s plants will close after the last shift on Friday, and employees will not be asked to return to work before Jan. 19.

Chrysler blamed the “continued lack of consumer credit for the American car buyer” for the slow-down in sales that forced the move.

Chrysler ordinarily shuts down operations between Dec. 24 and Jan. 5 for the holidays. This closure would add roughly two weeks to that shut-down.

Chrysler would not say how many fewer vehicles would be produced because this shut-down. A total of 46,000 employees will be effected by the shut down. Those employees will be paid during the shutdown through a combination of state unemployment benefits and Chrysler contributions, but they will not receive the full amount of their working pay, a Chrysler spokesman said.

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$50 Billion Fraud At WallStreet

Source Reuters

 

Bernard Madoff, a quiet force on Wall Streetfor decades, was arrested and charged on Thursday with allegedly running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme in what may rank among the biggest frauds ever.

The former chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market is best known as the founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, the closely-held market-making firm he launched in 1960. But he also ran a hedge fund that U.S. prosecutors said racked up $50 billion of fraudulent losses.

Madoff told senior employees of his firm on Wednesday that “it’s all just one big lie” and that it was “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme,” with estimated investor losses of about $50 billion, according to the U.S. Attorney’s criminal complaint against him. A Ponzi scheme is a swindle where early investors are paid off with money from later investors.

The $50 billion allegedly lost to investors would make Madoff’s fund one of the biggest frauds in history. When Enron filed for bankruptcy in 2001, one of the largest at the time, it had $63.4 billion in assets.

U.S. prosecutors charged Madoff, 70, with a single count of securities fraud. They said he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $5 million.

“Madoff stated that the business was insolvent, and that it had been for years,” Lev Dassin, acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed separate civil charges against Madoff.

Authorities said that, according to a document filed by Madoff with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on January 7, 2008, Madoff’s investment advisory business served between 11 and 25 clients and had a total of about $17.1 billion in assets under management. Those clients may have included other funds that in turn had many investors.

The SEC said it appeared that virtually all of the assets of his hedge fund business were missing.

CONSISTENT RETURNS

An investor in the hedge fund said it generated consistent returns, which was part of the attraction. Since 2004, annual returns averaged around 8 percent and ranged from 7.3 percent to 9 percent, but last decade returns were typically in the low-double digits, the investor said.

The fund told investors it followed a “split strike conversion” strategy, which entailed owning stock and buying and selling options to limit downside risk, said the investor, who requested anonymity.

Jon Najarian, an acquaintance of Madoff who has traded options for decades, said … “Many of us questioned how that strategy could generate those kinds of returns so consistently.”

Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com, once tried to buy what was then the Cincinnati Stock Exchangewhen Madoff was a major seatholder on the exchange. Najarian met with Madoff, who rejected his bid.

“He always seemed to be a straight shooter. I was shocked by this news,” Najarian said.

‘UNFORTUNATE SET OF EVENTS’

“Bernard Madoff is a longstanding leader in the financial services industry,” his lawyer Dan Horwitz told reporters outside a downtown Manhattan courtroom where he was charged. “We will fight to get through this unfortunate set of events.”

A shaken Madoff stared at the ground as reporters peppered him with questions. He was released after posting a $10 million bond secured by his Manhattan apartment.

“Our complaint alleges a stunning fraud — both in terms of scope and duration,” said Scott Friestad, the SEC’s deputy enforcer. “We are moving quickly and decisively to stop the scheme and protect the remaining assets for investors.”

Madoff had long kept the financial statements for his hedge fund business under “lock and key,” according to prosecutors, and was “cryptic” about the firm. The hedge fund business was located on a separate floor from the market making business.

Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities has more than $700 million in capital, according to its website. It is a market maker for about 350 Nasdaq stocks, including AppleEBay and Dell, according to the website.

The website also states that Madoff himself has “a personal interest in maintaining the unblemished record of value, fair-dealing, and high ethical standards that has always been the firm’s hallmark.”

The company’s web site may be found here: http://www.madoff.com/

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Confessions of a hacker

 After the password recovery was reenabled, it took seriously 45 mins on wikipedia and google to find the info, Birthday? 15 seconds on wikipedia, zip code? well she had always been from wasilla, and it only has 2 zip codes (thanks online postal service!)

The second was somewhat harder, the question was “where did you meet your spouse?” did some research, and apparently she had eloped with mister palin after college, if youll look on some of the screen[shots] that I took and other fellow anon have so graciously put on photobucket you will see the google search for “palin eloped” or some such in one of the tabs.

I found out later though more research that they met at high school, so I did variations of that, high, high school, eventually hit on “Wasilla high” I promptly changed the password to popcorn and took a cold shower…”

Interesting isn’t it. It just takes 45 minutes for a person to hack into your account using the security question feature  used by all email service providers.

During signup even if you choose a strong password there comes point where the strength of your password becomes irrelevant i.e security question . Because people know what your mother’s maiden name was, the name of your pet, where you met your spouse , your first car etc. However only google does something different here and provides you with the option of writing your own question.  

It is time these multi billion dollar companies come up with something other than asking users their favorite color during signup.

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Im a PC , I Say Fish???

Finally Microsoft has released a new ad. The guy in the end actually says “I am a PC go FISH” or do they mean something else??? 

We will have to wait and see what Apple has to say next.

Watch this old ad from Apple as well (Featuring Gisele)

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Fed’s to benefit out of AIG Loan

Here is how

1. Common man pays tax

2. Tax is collected by IRS

3. IRS deposits the money into US Treasury.

4. US Treasury issues securities against that money which is utilized by Federal reserve

5. Federal Reserve has issued a loan of $85 billion to AIG and in return AIG would (hopefully) return the principal and the interest. Thus benefiting from the loan.

But the question is is that is this how a capitalist economy should work?

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Google Andriod – Launch date getting closer

T Mobile could launch the first Android based smartphone this October. The “Dream” is expected to be announced Sept. 23 and in stores sometime late October. HTC will manufacture the device and will combine the best features available in Iphone and Blackberry. Analysts at WSJ are already predicting sales estimates of around 300,000 to 500,000 this year.

Sources such as Forbes and Infoworld have leaked some of the features like :

  • Large touchscreen with haptic feedback
  • Full QWERTY keypad
  • 5 inches long and 3 inches wide
  • Keypad that either slides or swivels for easy typing/texting
  • Internet navigation controls below the touchscreen display

Will ” Dream” be the iphone Killer or is it a big hype?

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