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Current Topic: Business

Bush: ‘Fairness Doctrine’ unfair
Topic: Business 12:23 pm EDT, Mar 12, 2008

The Austin American-Statesman
By Ken Herman
Tuesday, March 11, 2008, 02:19 PM

In Nashville today, during a speech to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, President Bush said there’s nothing fair about the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” that once required broadcasters to offer air time for competing ideologies.

[Bush] “This organization has had many important missions, but none more important than ensuring our airways - America’s airways - stay open to those who preach the ‘Good News.’ The very first amendment to our Constitution includes the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion. Founders believed these unalienable rights were endowed to us by our Creator. They are vital to a healthy democracy, and we must never let anyone take those freedoms away.”

[Bush] "If Congress should ever pass any legislation that stifles your right to express your views, I’m going to veto it.”

Bush: ‘Fairness Doctrine’ unfair

French Bank Defrauded Of US$7.14 Billion
Topic: Business 9:21 am EST, Jan 24, 2008

The French bank Société Générale stunned financial markets today by revealing that it had been the victim of one of the largest frauds by a rogue trader — losing four times as much as Nick Leeson, the man who sank Barings.

The second-biggest French bank said that it had lost €4.9 billion (£3.7 billion) as a result of the rogue trades by a Paris-based trader who concealed his positions through "a scheme of elaborate fictitious transactions".

French Bank Defrauded Of US$7.14 Billion

A delicate condition - Fears of both recession and inflation
Topic: Business 5:12 pm EST, Jan 17, 2008

Jan 17th 2008 | WASHINGTON, DC

The world economy is increasingly powered by countries, such as China and India, whose growth is far more energy- and commodity-intensive than that of rich countries. This shift means that the usual relationship between America’s business cycle and commodity prices may change. Past American recessions have sent the price of oil and other resources down. That may no longer be so.

How much to worry depends on whether this combination affects people’s expectations of future inflation. Because central banks have earned a reputation as inflation fighters and people expect long-term inflation to remain low, price shocks—even on the scale of the recent commodity-price surge—need not translate into persistently higher inflation. Were workers and firms to expect higher inflation, and set wages and prices accordingly, central bankers would face a big problem.

A delicate condition - Fears of both recession and inflation

Finance by the Numbers
Topic: Business 9:42 am EDT, Aug 22, 2007

Physics and finance are only superficially similar. While theoretical physics captures the essence of the material world to an accuracy of 10 significant figures, theoretical finance is at best an untrustworthy, limited representation of the mysterious way in which financial value is determined. Yet Thomas Wilson, the chief insurance risk officer of the ING Group, wisely remarks: "A model is always wrong, but not useless." Despite the inadequacies of quantitative finance, we have nothing better. And, on the practical side, Andrew Sterge, the chief executive of AJ Sterge Investment Strategies, writes: "The greatest research in the world does no good if it cannot be implemented."

Finance by the Numbers

Topic: Business 1:03 pm EDT, Jul 19, 2007

'Offensive' SRO moniker dropped
By Dan Jamieson
July 13, 2007

The new SRO to be formed from the merger of NASD and NYSE's regulatory unit will be called the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA.

In an e-mail to member firms yesterday, NASD chief executive Mary Schapiro said the previously announced new name, the Securities Industry Regulatory Authority, would be dropped because “the acronym 'SIRA' could create confusion, or might even be considered offensive by some, because of its similarity to an Arabic term used to refer to the traditional biographies of Muhammad.”

Ms. Schapiro said “We operate in a global, multi-racial, multi-religion environment, and we strive to be sensitive and respectful to all.”

NASD bylaw changes needed to complete the merger are pending approval at the SEC.

Also... from the NASD

Name Update

Throughout the NASD/NYSE Member Regulation consolidation process, I have made it a priority to keep firms up-to-date on the latest developments. Today, I want to share with you news regarding the name of our new combined organization.

As you know, the name that was initially chosen for the new entity was the Securities Industry Regulatory Authority, or SIRA.

However, after we previewed the name three weeks ago, we were made aware that our use of the acronym "SIRA" could create confusion, or might even be considered offensive by some, because of its similarity to an Arabic term used to refer to the traditional biographies of Muhammad.

Because of this feedback, we determined that it was appropriate to select the alternative name of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, for our new organization.

NASD values and respects the diversity of our employees, member firms and the wider community of investors that we serve. We operate in a global, multi-racial, multi-religion environment, and we strive to be sensitive and respectful to all.

To remain true to that spirit, we have decided that selecting the alternative name for the new organization is simply the right thing to do. FINRA describes well the full scope of our responsibilities, clearly defines the new organization's mission and is easy to remember.

No matter what name the new organization operates under, FINRA is our opportunity to define the future of self-regulation, ensuring that industry input continues to be a valued component of the regulatory process.

I want to assure you this change in no way affects the pending consolidation. Once we receive the SEC's final approval on our by-law changes, we will close the transaction.

As events unfold, I will continue to keep you up-to-date on important matters.

Mary L. Schapiro
Chairman and CEO, NASD


Xbox repairs cost Microsoft $1B
Topic: Business 11:41 am EDT, Jul  6, 2007

1) Xbox repairs cost Microsoft $1B

That's bad enough. I didn't realize that Steve Jobs worked for Microsoft, too.

2) So far Microsoft has the lead on Sony in the battle for high-end video game machines, but it shipped only 11.6 million 360s by the end of June, compared with a target of about 12 million... Microsoft had already cut its forecast for Xbox 360 shipments in January. It had previously forecast shipments of 13 million to 15 million by the end of June.

That's potentially worse, especially considering that the Xbox 360's USA release date was November 22, 2005, while the release dates for the PS3 and Wii were November 17, 2006 and November 19, 2006, respectively. The Wii is already taking sales from Microsoft, and it's only a matter of time before the PS1/2 gamers decide to upgrade to the PS3, en mass (probably after the first round of price cuts).

Xbox repairs cost Microsoft $1B

The Race for the Tallest Skyscraper
Topic: Business 10:22 am EDT, Jun 22, 2007

The race among the world's cities to build the ultimate record-busting, flat-out tallest skyscraper on the planet is fast and furious. And the obsession to build mega-structures in nosebleed territory is particularly acute in much of economically dynamic Asia and the oil-rich Middle East.

Even lesser-known regional cities with a burning ambition to make their mark, view big, gutsy, and distinctively designed skyscrapers as potential game-changers—and are willing to offer serious incentives to get them.

This article is over a month old, but I've been watching this race for some time. Even Nashville is getting in on "Manhattanization," with groundbreaking of the 1,057 ft. (322 m) Signature Tower scheduled to begin in July.

Related articles:

Mine's Bigger
Eileen Daspin, May 2007

Signature Tower - Home
Signature Tower - Wikipedia

Burj Mubarak al-Kabir - Wikipedia

Al Burj - Wikipedia

Burj Dubai - Home
Burj Dubai - Wikipedia

The Race for the Tallest Skyscraper

Azul vs. Sun: Who Won?
Topic: Business 1:01 pm EDT, Jun 21, 2007

From Sun (in an update we received from analyst relations):

While the case was not litigated to conclusion on the merits, it is worth noting that the patent infringement and trade secret claims against Azul grew larger during the pendency of the case. In light of mounting evidence that Azul employees were in possession of Sun Confidential and Proprietary information, Azul came to the realization it would be better to return to negotiations and settle the claims, rather than continue with the lawsuit they initiated.

From Azul (in a letter from Scott Sellers, their COO):

Since the lawsuits were filed over a year ago, our conviction that we would be victorious only grew stronger. While Sun continued to add to the quantity of patent and trade secrets in dispute, we felt the quality of their case continued to remain weak, and believed the assertion of these claims against us was competitively motivated. And as a result of several Court rulings, including a ruling in December where Sun acknowledged that all of the then identified trade secrets they alleged Azul misappropriated were actually now in the public domain, our Board and investors remained committed to the path of litigation.

I couldn't have spun it better myself.

Azul vs. Sun: Who Won?

Cray says it may not show a profit in 2007
Topic: Business 12:39 pm EDT, Jun 21, 2007

All I'm sayin' is my XT4 better be ready to ship before Christmas, or heads will roll, dammit!

Cray says it may not show a profit in 2007

Microsoft Signs Third Linux Pact
Topic: Business 2:42 pm EDT, Jun 20, 2007

Microsoft agrees to partnership with desktop operating system distributor Linspire.

Microsoft Signs Third Linux Pact

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