Archive for the ‘ USA ’ Category

US regulators fine Barclays and four traders $453m for energy market-rigging

They have been accused and fined but no conviction !!

US regulators fine Barclays and four traders $453m for energy market-rigging.

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday decided to fine Barclays and four of its traders $453m (£300m) for alleged involvement in energy market manipulation.

FERC said the bank must pay $435m in civil penalties to the US Treasury within 30 days and forgo $34.9m in profits. The latter will be distributed to low-income aid programmes in four US states.

Traders Scott Connelly, Daniel Brin, Karen Levine and Ryan Smith – who are accused of manipulating an energy price index in the western part of the US – have been ordered to pay a combined $18m.

“We believe the penalty assessed by the FERC is without basis, and we strongly disagree with the allegations made,” Barclays said in a statement. The bank added it would “vigorously defend this matter.”

The fines were initially proposed by FERC staff last October following suspicions that Barclays was manipulating electricity markets in California and other US states between November 2006 and December 2008. The proposal has now been upheld by the body’s board of commissioners.

Regulators built their case against the traders on electronic communications in which they boasted of their ability to manipulate markets. They have all left the bank.

This is the latest scandal to rock Barclays. Last year, it was fined £290m by UK and US regulators after attempting to rig the Libor interest rate.

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Goldman Sachs doubles net income from last year

Goldman Sachs doubles net income from last year.

Despite the market volatility that rocked Wall Street at the end of last month, Goldman Sachs laughed all the way to the bank with $1.93 billion in net income for the second quarter of 2013 – overshadowing Analyst forecasts and more than doubling its result for the same period last year.

Goldman Sachs reported in a statement on Tuesday that revenues for the three months to July jumped 23% to $8.61 billion, higher than expected profit equating to earnings per share of $3.70. Today’s results will likely add to an improving mood on Wall Street.

Goldman Sachs’ stock has risen about 28% so far this year, in part thanks to rebounding markets.

Meanwhile, both Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase have also triumphed second-quarter earnings expectations, on the back of higher revenues from trading and investment banking.

Goldman Sachs Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Lloyd Blankfein, commented that ‘the firm’s performance was solid especially in the context of mixed economic sentiment during the quarter’.

“While the operating environment has shown noticeable signs of improvement, we continue to put a premium on disciplined risk management, particularly in regard to the firm’s strong capital and liquidity levels”, he added.

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China seeks to seal investment treaty with US

China seeks to seal investment treaty with US.

Following a period of tension, Chinese officials have finally agreed to resume talks on a bilateral investment treaty with the US – in an attempt to open up new opportunities for businesses in both countries.

The decision to restart the talks was reached at high-level negotiations between the two countries held in the US.

China’s Vice Premier Wang Yang said that the US had agreed to accept investment by Chinese state-owned enterprises and sovereign wealth funds.

Such investment treaty is vital to make it easier for US companies to invest in China and will include all sectors in the treaty – the first time Beijing agreed to such notion.

This marks a major milestone for the US, as it has been pushing for such a deal for American firms to get more access to the Chinese market, amid growing consumer demand in the emerging market economy.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said that a high standard US-China bilateral investment treaty is a priority for the United States and will facilitate the opening of new markets for fair competition.

“The commitment made today stands to be a significant breakthrough and marks the first time China has agreed to negotiate a Bilateral Investment Treaty, to include all sectors and stages of investment, with another country”, he added.

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If there is a global currency war, the USD is losing

If there is a global currency war, the USD is losing.

Ben Bernanke’s comments last night caused major moves in global FX markets, where investors backing the US dollar were caught out after the Chairman of the Federal Reserve said that the stimulus measures are likely to remain in place in the US for some time.

Bernanke stated that, “Highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future is what’s needed in the U.S. economy”.

Consequently, the USD fell back against a host of other currencies. Both the Pound and the Euro rose against the Dollar, up 0.7% and 0.8% respectively, at $1.51 and $1.30.

Versus the Yen, the Greenback also fell by over 1%, amid stability from the Bank of Japan which left its bond-buying programme on hold.

The Dollar Index, which tracks the price of the USD against a basket of currencies, also swiftly retreated from a three-year peak, dropping 2.7%. Such a dramatic fall has not been seen since the height of the global financial crisis.

Interestingly, however, whilst the USD suffered, miners and other global shares were given a lift as commodity prices climbed, pushing Asian indices higher.

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US-EU trade talks set to open amid tensions

US-EU trade talks set to open amid tensions.

Tensions over spying and protected industries will be the backdrop of talks aimed at creating the world’s largest free trade zone between the European Union and the US.

The US has caused friction with its allies due to the snooping carried out by the National Security Agency.

The US and the EU officially agreed to open talks at the Group of Eight conference last month. Their aim is to remove trade and investment barriers between the two sides.

There are already comparatively few direct tariffs on goods and services, but there are other obstacles to remove such as regulatory and safety standards, inspection procedures, and preferences for domestic business.

If these hurdles are eliminated, the costs for companies doing transatlantic business could be significantly reduced.

European negotiators will be pushing for US states, cities and federal departments to abandon preferences for American contractors, while Washington will be looking for the EU to open up its market to US biotechnology firms wanting to sell products like genetically-modified foods, something which remains controversial in Europe.

Head of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said that the negotiations would not always be easy but they would be worth it.

Last year, trade in goods between the United States and the EU was worth some €500bn euros, with another €280bn euros in services and trillions in investment flows.

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US initial jobless claim fall by 11,000 last week

US initial jobless claim fall by 11,000 last week 346,000.

Lookalike the QE bus will
Be stopping soon .

Let see how this reacts , is good news perceived to be bad these days ?!?

Tony Evans

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Apple holding nearly TWICE more cash than the USA Government

Apple USA

Apple now has more cash to spend /invest than the United States government !!!

I saw a statement by the US treasury (Click here for press release ) looking to have $75 billion by the end of June .According to Bloomberg Apple has over $145bn in overseas account.

The USA is again in a ‘debt crisis ‘ policymakers aren’t doing enough address the rising debt ratios and Moody’s has said they could downgrade the US debt in 2013 if this hasn’t been addressed

Apple has been accused of being “among America’s largest tax avoiders” by a Senate committee.

The committee said Apple had used “a complex web of offshore entities” to avoid paying billions of dollars in US income taxes .

Well this is just a tip of the iceberg of the Tax avoidance issue .

Our CEO did an interesting piece on his blog on Google and the Tax issue in the UK : Click Here

Tony Evans
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22600984

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