Weekday NEWS to Comfort the Disturbed and Disturb the Comfortable.
Details Of The $291 Trillion In Derivatives
To Which American Taxpayers Are Exposed
By Avery Goodman - SeekingAlpha.com
The entire US GDP is less than $15 trillion each year. The gross notional amount of derivatives issued in the USA is more than $291 trillion. Does that sound like a lot? Apologists for derivatives dealers don't like it when we talk about derivatives in terms of the notional totals. Large numbers, like these, discussed publicly, frighten too many people. According to the apologists, gross "notional" is misleading, because it does not include "hedges," offsets and the limits on interest rate risk.
In fact, the total amount of derivatives cannot be accurately presented in any other form but gross notional obligations. The risk to society cannot be judged in any other way. That's why the FDIC, US Comptroller of the Currency and the Bank for International Settlement (BIS) all use gross notional.
How Long Before America Hits the Wall?
BY TERRY COXON - FinancialSense.com
Decades of manipulation by the Federal Reserve (through its creation of paper money) and by Congress (through its taxing and spending) have pushed the US economy into a circumstance that can't be sustained but from which there is no graceful exit.
With few exceptions, all of the noble souls who chose a career in "public service" and who've advanced to be voting members of Congress are committed to chronic deficits, though they deny it. For political purposes, deficits work. The people whose wishes come true through the spending side of the deficit are happy and vote to reelect. The people on the borrowing side of the deficit aren't complaining, since they willingly buy the Treasury bonds and Treasury bills that fund the deficit. And taxpayers generally tolerate deficits as a lesser evil than a tax hike.
New Suits Over Do-It-Yourself IRAs
By KELLY GREENE - WSJ.com
A wave of blowups in do-it-yourself individual retirement accounts has prompted some investors to go after firms that handle the paperwork.
Two custodians of self-directed IRAs were sued in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Monday by three investors who allege that the companies knew the investors' money had been stolen by scam artists yet sent them reports showing their nest eggs to be intact.
U.S. dollar gains on most rival currencies Sterling up; Japanese yen slides
after comments from Bank of Japan
By Myra P. Saefong and William L. Watts, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — The U.S. dollar mostly gained ground Wednesday, but it declined against the British pound after the Bank of England's staunchest quantitative-easing advocate dropped a call to expand the central bank's bond-buying program.
The ICE dollar index, which tracks the greenback's performance against a basket of six currencies, rose to 79.589 from 79.561 late Tuesday.
Ditching the Dollar
Marin Katusa - SilverBearCafe.com
There's a major shift under way, one the US mainstream media has left largely untouched even though it will send the United States into an economic maelstrom and dramatically reduce the country's importance in the world: the demise of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency.
For decades the US dollar has been absolutely dominant in international trade, especially in the oil markets. This role has created immense demand for US dollars, and that international demand constitutes a huge part of the dollar's valuation. Not only did the global-currency role add massive value to the dollar, it also created an almost endless pool of demand for US Treasuries as countries around the world sought to maintain stores of petrodollars. The availability of all this credit, denominated in a dollar supported by nothing less than the entirety of global trade, enabled the American federal government to borrow without limit and spend with abandon.
China allows banks to short sell dollars
(Reuters) - Chinese banks will be allowed to short sell dollars from April 16 onwards, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said on Monday.
The change comes into effect to coincide with the widening of the yuan's daily trading band to 1 percent, a landmark reform in the process to allow market forces a greater role in setting the value of the tightly-controlled Chinese currency that was announced on Saturday.
Central Banks Favor Gold In Response to IMF Warning
BY MARK O'BYRNE - FinancialSense.com
Gold fell $1.50 or 0.09% in New York and closed relatively unchanged at $1,650.20/oz yesterday. Gold traded sideways prior to gradually creeping up in late Asian trading. It then gave up those gains in European trading and is nearly unchanged from yesterday's close in New York.
Gold remained relatively unchanged from yesterday as Spain's debt auction eased some worries about the eurozone debt crisis. Although this is another temporary respite as the euro may remain under pressure ahead of Madrid's long term debt sale later this week.
U.S. Editor Of The Economist:
'Paper Dollar' And 'Paper Euro' Will 'Debase' In A 'Big Way'
In volatile trade in New York yesterday, gold rose sharply prior to falling and ended $4.40 lower or 0.27% and closed at $1,651.70/oz. Gold initially took a dip in Asia and then recovered losses by the time European trading opened and has ticked higher.
Gold's safe haven appeal is gradually rekindling as concerns deepen about Spain and the other periphery eurozone economies and a realisation that the eurozone debt crisis is far from over.
U.S. bows to Wall Street on derivatives CFTC, SEC votes on capital requirements for swaps firms
By Ronald D. Orol, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Under pressure from Wall Street, energy companies and lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the nation's commodity futures and securities regulators Wednesday approved rules that would require a smaller group of derivatives traders to set aside capital than they had originally considered.
At issue are rules the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission on identifying what traders will be designated as "swap dealers" and required to set aside more capital. The rules is required by the Dodd-Frank Act, written in response to the financial crisis of 2008.
The Trouble with Money
Chris Martenson, PhD - SilverBearCafe.com
A Broken Narrative
Recently I was asked by a high school teacher if I had any ideas about why students today seem so apathetic when it comes to engaging with the world around them. I waggishly responded, "Probably because they're smart."
In my opinion, we're asking our young adults to step into a story that doesn't make any sense.
Sure, we can grow the earth's population to 9 billion (and probably will), and sure, we can extract our natural gas and oil resources as fast as possible, and sure, we can continue to pile on official debts at a staggering pace — but why are we doing all this? Even more troubling, what do we say to our youth when they ask what role they should play in this story — a story with a plot line they didn't get to write?
Austerity is not the problem in the eurozone – the euro is
By Andrew Lilico - Telegraph.co.uk
There is what seems to me to be a false debate about austerity in certain parts of Europe at the moment. Commentators ask: "If growth is very slow, is austerity self-defeating?" The thought is that by cutting back on spending and deficits, governments in Spain, Ireland, Portugal and elsewhere might be causing their economies to shrink, with the result that debt to GDP ratios rise – not because deficits are large but because GDP falls.
Spain, the G20 Economy that Resembles an Emerging Market
By Javier E. David - WSJ.com
In theory, higher yields are supposed to lure investors with the prospect of meaty returns. Yet in Spain's case, Andrew Balls, head of European investment at bond giant PIMCO sees the opposite effect in play.
"Spain is like an emerging market economy borrowing in a foreign currency; its high yields drive people out rather than drawing them in," Balls says.
Because of high unemployment, sluggish growth and a large debt overhang, Balls says the problem facing euro zone's fourth largest economy is less about interest rate risk than credit risk – which is sending investors stampeding to the exits. "If [investors] want credit risk, there are better alternatives than Spain or Italy."
Mario Draghi, The Rain In Spain,
And The Future Of European Banking
By Martin Lowry - SeekingAlpha.com
Now it is "all Spain, all the time," just as it was all Greece, then all Italy, then all Greece again.
As a consequence of "all Spain, all the time," my recommendation of a basket of French and German banks -- Credit Agricole (CRARY.PK), Societe Generale (SCGLY.PK) and Deutsche Bank (DB) -- a few weeks ago that looked quite promising are now getting pummeled by the markets.
Should I get out of that bet and advise readers to do so as well? Or is there reason to think that what is happening in Spain likely will not bring down major French and German banks?
EU gets behind Spain on Argentina oil grab
BY NIKOLAJ NIELSEN - EUObserver.com
BRUSSELS - The European Commission has sharply criticised Argentina's plan to nationalise Spanish energy firm Repsol YPF, with EU foreign ministers to discuss the issue next week.
"I am seriously disappointed about yesterday's announcement. We expect Argentina's authorities to uphold their international commitments and obligations in particular with those resulting in bilateral agreements on protection of investments with Spain," EU commission President Barroso told reporters on Tuesday(17 April) in Brussels.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on Monday announced the takeover of the Spanish-owned firm, one of the largest in South America.
Spain won't need a bailout - Eurogroup's Juncker
(Reuters) - Spain will not need financial aid from the euro zone because its fiscal consolidation is impressive and its structural reforms are on track, the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday.
Spanish 10-year borrowing costs on Tuesday dipped back below the 6 percent level hit on the secondary market on investor concern that a recession in the Spanish economy would reduce the country's ability to service its debt.
Political changes underway in Europe... Juncker confirms he to quit as Eurogroup chief
(Reuters) - Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker has reaffirmed his plan to stand down as head of the Eurogroup assembly of euro zonefinance ministers in mid-2012, according to the pre-release of an interview by German weekly Die Zeit.
Asked if he would give up the job, Juncker was quoted by Die Zeit as saying: "Yes, this is still the state of affairs".
Citing a heavy workload and health issues, Juncker has already said he does not want to remain in a post he has held for more than seven years, but there has been talk he may be asked to stay on while the sovereign debt crisis persists.
Spain banks' bad loans highest since Oct '94
(Reuters) - Spanish banks' bad loans rose to their highest level since October 1994 in February, to 8.2 percent of their credit portfolios, Bank of Spain data showed on Wednesday, as the sector continues to battle sliding house prices and a looming recession.
Banks are facing a new wave of loan defaults as an economic crisis deepens and analysts say some may not survive as the government implements sweeping budget cuts that will only add to Spanish households' problems with repaying debt.
"Not if, but when" for Spanish bailout, experts believe
By Luke Baker
(Reuters) - Economic experts watching Spain don't know how much money will be needed or precisely when, but some are near certain that Madrid will eventually seek a multi-billion euro bailout for its banks, and perhaps even for the state itself.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has repeatedly said Spain doesn't need or want an international bailout, and the European Union, which along with the IMF has already rescued Greece, Ireland and Portugal, also dismisses such talk.
Spain has few ways to pressure Argentina over YPF
By Fiona Ortiz
(Reuters) - Spain has threatened to retaliate againstArgentina for nationalizing a Spanish energy firm, but Madrid will find it hard to put real pressure on a maverick nation that has been shut out of world debt markets and has ignored international fines in previous disputes.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said this week she would fulfill a life-long dream and solve her country's energy shortage by seizing control of its biggest oil company, YPF, a subsidiary of Spain's Repsol.
Was Argentina racing Sinopec for YPF control? Sinopec had planned to buy YPF, report says
By Chris Oliver
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., better known as Sinopec, was in talks to purchase a controlling stake in Argentine oil company YPF SA from Spanish group Repsol YPF SA before Argentina moved ahead with plans to nationalize the company, according to a report Wednesday in the Financial Times. Talks that would have seen the Chinese state-owned energy group pay in excess of $10 billion to acquire Repsol's 57% stake in YPF broke down after Buenos Aires announced its intent to take the company back into state control, according to the report, which cited two people familiar with what it described as secret talks.
Spain wants EU complaint with WTO on Argentina
(Reuters) - Spain will ask the European Union to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization against Argentina for seizing control of energy company YPF, which is majority owned by Repsol, a high-ranking government source said on Wednesday.
The source did not wish to be named and gave no further details.
Madrid has threatened economic and diplomatic "consequences" for Argentine President Cristina Fernandez's decision to nationalize 51 percent of YPF owned by Spanish oil major Repsol.
Why a visit to the eurozone doctor
won't relieve the pain in Spain So much for the idea that the euro crisis is over! Last week it resurfaced again – with Spain now first in the firing line. How serious is the Spanish problem?
By Roger Bootle - Telegraph.co.uk
Although they share some things in common, each vulnerable euro member's plight is slightly different. The Spanish economy did not get where it is today through a great splurge in public spending and borrowing, as happened in Greece. Indeed, in 2007, the Spanish government's budget was in surplus.
Admittedly, last year it was in deficit to the tune of 8pc of GDP. But this was a response to the collapse of the economy, not the cause of it.
What did for Spain was the mother and father of a boom in private spending and borrowing, much of it connected with a bubble in the property market. In this sense, the country that Spain most resembles is Ireland.
Fitch doubts Dutch AAA as property slump reaches 'coma' Fitch Ratings has issued the clearest warning to date that Holland faces losing its AAA rating if it fails to deliver austerity cuts or lets political conflict intrude on economic management.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
"The Dutch are on the edge of a negative rating action," said Chris Pryce, Fitch's expert on the Netherlands. The first move is likely to be a switch from stable to negative outlook rather than a full downgrade.
"We will hold a rating committee meeting in June. They run risks if they keep letting debt rise: a cautious approach would be advisable," he told the Telegraph.
Chinese are buying US companies on our nickel
$7 million was FEDERAL GRANT MONEY
Top bid on Peoria [AZ] solar power plant is $250,000
by Ryan Randazzo - The Republic
A Chinese company placed the winning bid of $250,000 for the bankrupt solar power plant in Peoria during an online auction Tuesday, getting a steep discount to its building cost.
The power plant received a $7 million federal grant in 2010, according to Energy Department records. Solar projects were eligible for grants of as much as 30 percent of their capital cost, which implies the plant cost as much as $23 million.
Chris Whalen: "The Fed let the real economy go to hell"
[Dec 5, 2010]
Financial analyst Chris Whalen, who monitors risk in the U.S. financial system, was on MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan show yesterday, commenting on the Federal Reserve's release of where they spent the trillions of dollars to save the financial system. Much of the money went to financial institutions who give no thanks to the U.S. taxpayer now.
Federal Reserve Officials
Leave For Wall Street With Privileged Info
By Ryan Grim and Ariel Edwards-Levy - HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve may be making an effort to open up some of its famously opaque decision making, but the newfound interest in transparency doesn't extend to sharing records of meetings that happened years ago.
The Huffington Post and MSNBC's "Dylan Ratigan Show" filed Freedom of Information Act requests in January to obtain the minutes of Federal Open Market Committee meetings from 2007 to 2010. That month, the Fed had released the 2006 minutes of the confidential committee, which essentially sets national monetary policy.
Jim Rickards on the Goals of Federal Reserve Policy:
Inflation and Financial Repression Reward savers and retirees−Don't penalize them [audio]
from transcript of interview:
Well, the Fed has had this zero interest rate policy in place since 2009. It took them a while to get there; they started cutting rates in 2007 and actually got down to zero by December 2008; so using 2009 as a starting point, 2009, 2010, 2011, now into 2012, so it's over three years. And the Fed is telling us they intend to keep it in place for three more years: 2012, 2013, into 2014. So if they stick to that, that's going to be six years of zero interest rates. That's completely unprecedented. We've never seen anything like that before in the history of monetary policy in the United States, and it's not working. I mean unemployment is still high, the output gap is still large, growth is not back to trend, employment — that is, just the total number of people who have jobs, leaving aside percentages — is about where it was in 2000. We haven't really added any jobs net since 2000, over 12 years.
Obama tightens oil and gas drilling regulations
By Steve Hargreaves - Money.CNN.com
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The Obama administration tightened regulations on the oil and gas industry Wednesday, requiring drillers to capture emissions of certain air pollutants from new wells.
But in a nod to industry concerns that the rules were being enacted too quickly, the Environmental Protection Agency said companies can burn the pollutants at the well head until the start of 2015, when enough equipment is expected to be available to capture the pollution.
U.S. factory decline suggests economy losing steam
By Jason Lange
(Reuters) - Output at U.S. factories slipped in March and builders started construction on fewer homes, offering cautionary signals for an economy that appeared to be gaining traction.
Manufacturing output slipped for the first time in four months, dropping 0.2 percent, the U.S. Federal Reserve said on Tuesday.
The decline dragged on overall industrial production which was unchanged and fell short of analysts' expectations.
Homebuilder Outlook Plunges, Reversing Spring Rebound
By: Diana Olick - CNBC.com
In a stark reversal during the heart of the spring housing market, confidence among the nation's homebuilders dropped in April to levels not seen since January.
An association index measuring sentiment fell three points, changing course after seven straight months of gains.
It now stands at twenty-five; fifty is the line between positive and negative sentiment.
By Greg Hunter - USAWatchdog.com
"Bottom-bouncing" is the term John Williams ofShadowstats.com uses consistently to describe the true state of the economy. The mainstream media would like you to believe that with every slight uptick in the economy, we have hit bottom and are in a so-called "recovery." The upticks are reported with wild enthusiasm, while the downticks are brushed over. The latest bad news for the economy came from the housing sector. CNBC reported Monday, "In a stark reversal during the heart of the spring housing market, confidence among the nation's homebuilders dropped in April to levels not seen since January. An association index measuring sentiment fell three points, changing course after seven straight months of gains. It now stands at twenty-five; fifty is the line between positive and negative sentiment. 'What we're seeing is essentially a pause in what had been a fairly rapid build-up in builder confidence that started last September,' said National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist David Crowe in a release."
Fisker on ropes? Delaware plant 'absolutely empty'
By Jonathan Starkey/Wilmington (Del.) News Journal - USAToday.com
Fisker Automotive has laid off another dozen workers at the former General Motors plant in Delaware that it has been refitting with federal and state money to build a new sedan.
The layoffs, which occurred quietly Friday, come as California-based Fisker continues talks with the U.S. Energy Department to unfreeze loan money that could determine whether it ever builds a car at the plant. Meanwhile, the state continues to pay utility bills for the factory in hopes Fisker will still provide jobs there.
Pilot 'competition' effort saved Medicare $200 million
by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar - AP - AZCentral.com
WASHINGTON -- A yearlong experiment with competitive bidding for power wheelchairs, diabetic supplies and other personal medical equipment produced $200 million in savings for Medicare, and government officials said Wednesday they are expanding the pilot program in search of even greater dividends.
The nine-city crackdown targeting waste and fraud has drawn a strong protest from the medical supply industry, which is warning of shortages for people receiving Medicare benefits and economic hardship for small suppliers. But the shift to competitive bidding has led to few complaints from those in Medicare, according to a new government report.
America Won't Get Rich by Relying on the Permanent Poor
By Ben Shapiro - PatriotPost.us
America is a land of class mobility. That's what makes America a magnet destination for people all over the world: Come to America and make something of yourself. If you want great welfare benefits, try to bust into Europe; if you want to work for a living and get rich, come to the United States.
But for some Americans, there is no class mobility. There is a permanent economic underclass, and those who inhabit it have no ability to rise above their fiscal fate.
There is a reason for that: They make bad decisions.
Fake Conservatives As Dangerous To Freedom As Obama
By Brandon Smith - Alt-Market.com
If Americans are looking for anything in the dark clouds of political dust and powdered ash that choke our air and leave us feeling naked against the elements, it is but a simple moment of sincerity. It sounds like an easily attainable thing, and yet, we continue to gasp and clamor. The visible surface of our nation is so devoid of honest connection with our social voice that we have turned to a cynical form of loneliness. We have embraced a life without clarity, and been made wretchedly bitter, desperate for even the faintest taste of truth.
Duh!... Obama signals for 2012: It's all about the economy
By Nancy Benac - AP - WashingtonTimes.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — In an election season when the economy is king, the central debate between President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney comes down to what is enough. Enough growth in the economy. Enough job creation. Enough help for those still struggling to get back on their feet.
Obama travels to two Midwest states at the epicenter of that debate, hard-hit Ohio and Michigan, on Wednesday to highlight his economic policies and place them in pointed contrast to the sharp budget-cutting proposals of House Republicans — and by extension Romney.
Bill Moyers Essay: It Pays to Be Rich
With help from the government, the tax code, and their own money, there's no limit to how rich the super-rich aim to be -- disconnecting themselves further and further from the American people as a result. Bill Moyers examines the gap.
Is there no end to 'Elite Entitlements'? ... welfare for the rich and politically connected; license to steal
Panetta defends $860,000 for weekly trips home Defense secretary says taxpayer-paid military
flights keep his 'mind straight'
By Susan Crabtree and Kristina Wong - WashingtonTimes.com
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta on Monday defended the more than $800,000 that taxpayers have paid so far for weekend flights aboard military aircraft to and from his California home, arguing the commute helps relieve stress and keeps his "mind straight."
The defense secretary last week admitted that he has paid about $17,000 of $860,000 in travel costs — about 2 percent — for the trips to California, where he served as a congressman for 16 years.
GSA official's wife accompanied him on trips
at taxpayer expense
By Lisa Rein - WashingtonPost.com
The senior government executive who organized the lavish Las Vegas conference at the center of a General Services Administration spending scandal took dozens of trips for the agency. The boss's wife accompanied him on some of them — and taxpayers picked up the tab.
Deborah Neely wasn't always just sharing husband Jeffrey E. Neely's hotel rooms at resorts from Las Vegas to the Pacific islands. She handled party arrangements, directed event planners to spend government money and arranged lodging for relatives on the GSA trip to Las Vegas in 2010, an unusual role revealed in transcripts of interviews that the agency's inspector general's office conducted with Jeffrey Neely, as well as in congressional hearings.
Blame Congress for the GSA Scandal
By Michael Reagan - PatriotPost.us
Who should we tar and feather for the scandalous spending spree at that General Services Administration "conference" in Nevada two years ago?
Whose fault is it that a bunch of GSA bureaucrats wasted money on $44 breakfasts, a clown and a $75,000 bicycle-building exercise?
Not the GSA's bosses. Not the Obama administration. I pin the blame on Watergate and Congress.
This week Congressional hearings all over Washington have been grilling past and current GSA officials about a $850,000 conference that blew thousands of dollars on things like a mind-reader and "yearbooks" and commemorative coins for the 300 participants.
Lavish spending double standard Democrats' wives lionized
while GOP wives face character assassination
By Grady Means - WashingtonTimes.com
Is anyone else besides me getting a little annoyed at the liberal media double standard in this campaign year? For example, there is the media feeding frenzy over the General Services Administration (GSA) scandal. Certainly, a Las Vegas boondoggle is a huge waste of taxpayer money. But what annoys me is that the several hundred thousand dollars wasted by the GSA is a small fraction of the bill Michelle Obama has slapped on the American taxpayer for her endless vacations and regal lifestyle. It seems as if every other week, Mrs. Obama is firing up Air Force One, Two or Three, loading up the kids and heading off to Spain, Africa, New England, Hawaii or, yes, Las Vegas, for yet another party (er, sorry, I mean "educational exchange," "fact-finding trip," "goodwill tour" or other lame cover story). Mrs. Obama's publicly funded personal travel would appear to be running into the tens of millions of dollars - money that should be given to the poor, devoted to job creation or refunded to taxpayers who thought they were electing a public servant and his wife. They've found out that instead they anointed the "Road Trip Queen." There's the 99 percent, the 1 percent and the Obamas.
Robert Reich Predicts Hillary Clinton
Will Replace Biden as VP on 2012 Obama Reelection Ticket
ScaredMonkeys.com (December 29, 2011)
Obama's political shell game …
Robert Reich predicts Hillary Clinton will be in and Joe Biden out as VP on Obama's 2012 Presidential reelection ticket. This is certainly not something that we have not heard rumored or speculated before. However, according to Reich he has no inside-baseball information to come to this conclusion, only a hunch. Reich states that Obama needs to stir the passions and enthusiasms of a disillusioned Democratic base and an increasing poor economy.
Vatican, breakaway traditionalists near agreement
By Nicole Winfield - AP - WashingtonTimes.com
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican and a breakaway group of traditionalist Catholics appear to be nearing an agreement that could bring the group back into Rome's fold and end a quarter-century of schism.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Wednesday the Society of St. Pius X had delivered an "encouraging" response to the Vatican's demands that it accept some core church teachings. The Vatican had rejected as "insufficient" the group's initial response last month, but Lombardi said the revised position marked "a step forward."
State laws let telephone companies end land-line services
By Adam Sylvain, USA TODAY
First it was street-corner phone booths and home delivery of telephone books. Now, land lines are on their way to becoming part of American telecommunications history.
As consumers continue to move to wireless, states are passing or considering laws to end the requirement that phone companies provide everyone land-line service.
Indiana and Wisconsin are the two most recent states to end the requirement, while many others, including Alabama, Ohio and Kentucky, are considering it.
Google Goes After TV Dollars by Pretending It's TV
By Peter Kafka - AllThingsDigital.com
Google sells a lot of advertising — about $38 billion a year. But the TV guys sell even more — more than $190 billion a year.
Hence Google's new pitch to advertisers: Think of us like TV! Buy us like TV!
Which means Google is going to start using an old-media metric called gross rating points, or GRPs, to sell display ads and video ads.
Cispa will give US unprecedented access,
internet privacy advocates warn With echoes of Sopa, critics charge that bill will overturn US privacy protections in government attempts to track hackers
By Dominic Rushe in New York - Guardian.co.uk
Washington looks set to wave through new cybersecurity legislation next week that opponents fear will wipe out decades of privacy protections at a stroke.
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Cispa) will be discussed in the House of Representatives next week and already has the support of 100 House members.
It will be the first such bill to go to a vote since the collapse of the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) in January after global protests and a concerted campaign by internet giants such as Google, Wikipedia and Twitter.
USDA to Let Industry Self-Inspect Chicken
By Jim Avila - ABCNews.com
Chicken is the top-selling meat in the United States. The average American eats 84 pounds a year - more chicken than beef or pork. Sorry red meat, chicken is what's for dinner.
Now, the USDA is proposing a fundamental change in the way that poultry makes it to the American dinner table.
As early as next week, the government will end debate on a cost-cutting, modernization proposal it hopes to fully implement by the end of the year – a plan that is setting off alarm bells among food science watchdogs because it turns over most of the chicken inspection duties to the companies that produce the birds for sale.
Fracking-Induced Earthquakes? Not Quite
ARK - Truthdig.com
The number of significant earthquakes in the Midwest has increased almost fivefold in the last four years. Researchers with the United States Geological Survey set out to discover why.
Though fracking causes tiny tremors, USGS scientists were unable to link those interruptions in the earth's crust directly to large, recurring temblors. But they did notice the new quakes typically occurred around wells used to dispose of tremendous amounts of wastewater produced by fracking—cavities that go deeper than gas drilling wells to levels where faults and stresses are more common. And flooding those levels with high pressure fluid can make earthquakes more likely.
Obama ready to yield on Iran's nuclear transparency.
Israel: Tehran will cheat
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: A nuclear weapon is a sin...
In the direct, secret exchanges between the US and Iran which led up to the Istanbul talks with the six powers, of Saturday, April 14, President Barack Obama quietly backed off from his demand that Iran "come clean" on its nuclear activities and open up to international inspection, DEBKAfile reports.
This concession paved the way for Tehran's consent to discuss his framework proposal to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent, halt work at its underground facility for higher enrichment near Qom, and export its stockpile of highly enriched uranium for final processing to 20 percent for use in medical isotopes. This would be presented as a deal for settling the nuclear controversy.