Saturday, April 21, 2012
Amidst Protests Formula One Teams on Edge
At least two teams have reported encounters on the road between the circuit and the capital city of Manama, where the teams are based this week. On Wednesday night, a vehicle carrying personnel from the Force India team passed through an area where Molotov cocktails and debris were thrown. According to the BBC, a tear-gas canister fired by the police entered the vehicle. Two Force India employees elected to leave Bahrain ahead of Sunday’s race. Speaking afterward about the incident, the team driver Nico Hulkenberg questioned the decision of Formula One authorities to race in such a volatile climate, saying that teams “shouldn’t have been put in this position.”
Force India elected to forgo the second practice session on Friday rather than risk driving back to Manama in the dark.
On Thursday night, en route to Manama after a practice session, Sauber mechanics encountered flaming debris in the middle of the road. Their shuttle bus was able to drive to the right of the debris, the team noted in a statement.
Bahrain’s crown prince, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, said Friday at a news conference that canceling the race for a second consecutive year would empower “extremists.”Protest at F1 Headquarters
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Small Greek community turns to local currency as economy struggles
In Volos, locals have started to use their own barter-based currency, called TEM. It hasn't replaced the euro but lives alongside it, and local residents say they can't imagine how their economy would function without it.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Secretary of State for Finance, Michael Ferre, stated on Thursday that both the payer and the recipient of cash payments in excess of 2,500 euros will be sanctioned by the measure including the Government's draft bill to be approved tomorrow the Council of Ministers. During a luncheon organized by the Association of Financial Journalists (APIE), Ferre has not specified whether the fine, initially set at 25% of the cash payment made will be split between payer and receiver or if everyone has to bear the 25% of that amount. "Tomorrow I know," said Ferre, who explained that the Treasury set the limit at 2,500 euros because it believes that this figure mark certain operations "entity" should not be paid with "a wad of cash."
Sunday, April 8, 2012
On April 2, 1862, the first greenback left the U.S. Treasury, marking the start of a new era in the American monetary system.
At the start of the Civil War, the U.S. didn't have a national paper currency. Instead, the money supply consisted of U.S. coins and a collection of paper notes issued by private banks. Technically, the federal government began issuing its own paper currency in 1861. That year, the Lincoln administration issued $60 million in demand notes, a variant of a Treasury note that was redeemable "on demand" for gold coins at the Treasury or any sub-Treasury.
Friday, April 6, 2012
We noted that in Southern California, over 50 percent of all MLS inventory is now composed of short sales showing that banks are now willing to sell homes for less than the original mortgage balance. One of the more interesting trends is the aggressive pricing we are seeing on some of these listings.
Of those in actual foreclosures, nearly half have made no mortgage payment in two years. Now that banks are moving on these properties that hidden stimulus will be pulled away.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
IBM: Indiana canceled deal because of budget woes
The real reason Indiana canceled its nearly $1.4 billion contract with IBM Corp. for a troubled welfare automation system was state budget problems, a lawyer for the computer giant argued Tuesday. But the state said IBM was more concerned about profit than getting assistance to needy people.
Both sides traded jabs during five hours of closing arguments before Marion Superior Court Judge David Dreyer, who is considering dueling lawsuits in the case. Gov. Mitch Daniels canceled IBM's privatization contract in 2009 amid complaints about long wait times on calls, lost documents and improper rejections from clients and federal officials.
Indiana had sued for the $437 million it paid the company, but Dreyer capped the damages the state could seek at $125 million. IBM is seeking about $100 million that the company claims it's still owed.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Apple: $300 Or Less, Not $1,000 Or More
And maybe $100 or less. C'mon guys, where's your critical thinking skills. The lapping up of the Apple lovefest, fanboi hyperbolic chart mavens is disgusting. And wrong. And, if you stick with it too long, ruinous to your portfolio. Let's just be simple about it: Nearly every hyperbolic chart like this ends in a disaster. In fact, I challenge you find those that have not. Then there are the amusing predicates (EPS growth estimates) both for the next quarter, this year, and next year. This year, 59%. Next year, 13.7%. That doesn't quite fit with a near-doubling of the stock price does it? The $1,000 call is a call for a trillion dollar company -- by next year. Something like 2% of GLOBAL GDP and close to 7% of US GDP? Really? You believe that? If so, you're smoking something.