Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Judge considers dismissing U.S. fraud case against Bank of America

By John Peragine and Aruna Viswanatha
ASHEVILLE N.C. (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday said he would consider dismissing a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit accusing Bank of America Corp of civil fraud in the sale of mortgage securities that soured during the global financial crisis.
While not issuing a formal ruling, U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn said he had concerns and indicated at a hearing in Asheville, North Carolina that he might adopt the recommendation of a federal magistrate judge for a dismissal of the fraud claims tied to the $850 million sale of securities.
"DOJ may not have the evidence to try this as a fraud case," Cogburn said.
Cogburn's skepticism comes at a crucial time, as the second-largest U.S. bank negotiates with the Justice Department and other federal and state authorities to potentially pay more than $12 billion to resolve a range of probes into its sale of mortgage securities that quickly imploded.
Cogburn also told assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Ryan that the government needed to provide more substantial information to support its case.

Airbus setback as Emirates cancels $16bn order for 70 A350 jets

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Airbus suffered a major setback on Wednesday after it emerged that Emirates Airline, the fast-growing Gulf carrier, had cancelled a $16bn order for 70 of its new A350 passenger jets.
Dubai-based Emirates was to be one of the launch customers for the long-range A350, which is due to enter service at the end of the year to compete with Boeing’s Dreamliner and 777 aircraft.

RadioShack Is Collapsing

RadioShack shares were down as much as 21% in premarket trading after the electronics retailer reported a wider than expected quarterly loss.
The company posted a net loss of $98.3 million, or $0.97 a share. Analysts were looking for a loss of $0.52 per share.
Revenue fell 13% from a year ago to $736.7 million and on a same-store basis, sales fell 14%, which the company said was driven by traffic declines and poor sales in its mobile business. Analysts were expecting revenue of $767.5 million.
The electronics retailer said it ended the quarter with total liquidity of $423.7 million, including $61.8 million in cash and cash equivalents and $361.9 million available under a credit agreement. 
 "Overall, our first quarter performance was challenged by an industry-wide decline in consumer electronics and a soft mobility market which impacted traffic trends throughout the quarter," chief executive Joseph Magnacca said in a statement.
Gold Holds Near Two-Week High as Palladium ETPs Expand to Record
Gold held near the highest level in two weeks as a rally in equities faltered, boosting demand for alternative investments. Assets in palladium-backed exchange-traded products expanded to a record.
Gold for immediate delivery traded at $1,260.35 an ounce by 9:26 a.m. in Singapore from $1,261.07 yesterday, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. The metal yesterday climbed to $1,265.32, the highest level since May 28, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average halted a five-day advance after the World Bank cut its forecast for global growth.
The Washington-based lender said in a June 10 report that the world economy will expand 2.8 percent this year, compared with a January projection of 3.2 percent, amid slower growth in the U.S.,China and Russia. In China, the largest gold consumer, volumes for the benchmark spot contract Shanghai rose to a two-week high of 15,176 kilograms yesterday.


  1. "Forklift traffic at all-time high inside china's metal-storage warehouses.

    If they move the material around fast enough, it appears they have three times the metal that actually exists."

    ha ha Mammoth, good one.

    I was thinking maybe they could install automated racking systems with conveyor belts. Then when the auditors show up, they can quickly move any pallet to 3 positions for auditing.


    "Why Occupy Movement Was Treated As Terrorism"

    "The Partnership for Civil Justice (a public interest legal organization which the Washington Post called “the constitutional sheriffs for a new protest generation”) reported this week that the Obama administration treated a peaceful boycott as a terrorist threat:

    4,000 pages [of documents] obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund [through Freedom of Information Act requests] reveal that Fusion Centers and their personnel even conflate their anti-terrorism mission with a need for intelligence gathering on a possible consumer boycott during the holiday season. There are multiple documents from across the country referencing concerns about negative impacts on retail sales.

    The Executive Director of the Intelligence Fusion Division, also the Joint Terrorism Task Force Director, for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department circulated a 30-page report tracking the Occupy Movement in towns and cities across the country created by the trade association the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

    He directed that the recipients of the document, who included top staff at the Washington, D.C. Fusion Center, “develop a one page product that we can send to our District Commanders to make them aware of the potential threat.”..."

    The only terrorists work for the Government.

  3. GWB & Obama are going to pose under the 'Mission Accomplished' banner, again:

    "Militants on March in Iraq Undo What U.S. Sought"

    "Islamic militants’ sweep through northern Iraq and the collapse of the Iraqi army threaten to undo whatever was accomplished after the U.S. invaded the country and ousted dictator Saddam Hussein 11 years ago.

    America and Europe now face the creation of a de facto militant Sunni Islamic state along the Syrian-Iraqi border that can serve as a safe haven and training zone for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, a group with a declared interest in attacking the West that no country in the region can control.

    For U.S. President Barack Obama, who’s built his foreign policy legacy on ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the militants’ swift victories raise questions about his 2011 decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq and his reluctance to help arm moderate Syrian rebels fighting Sunni extremists in that country.

    “Now, in the middle of the Middle East, we have a big, gaping hole where the Iraqi-Syrian border has broken down,” said Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “It’s a threat to the regional security architecture, the boundaries of the region we’re invested in, and a threat to a lot of the assets we’ve built up inside Iraq.” "


    "ISIL Extends Gains in Iraq, Takes Turk Diplomats Hostage"

    "After seizing Mosul in the north, fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant moved yesterday into Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Noureddin Qablan, vice chairman of the Nineveh provincial council, said by phone. In Mosul, ISIL took dozens of people hostage at the Turkish consulate, as hundreds of thousands of residents fled.

    “This can’t be looked at as anything other than a comprehensive failure by the Iraqi army,” Crispin Hawes, managing director of the research firm Teneo Intelligence in London, said in a phone interview. “If the army can’t protect Mosul, how are they going to protect other cities, like Baiji. Moving southward would be the logical thing to do for ISIL.”

    More than 150,000 troops fled their posts in Mosul and surrounding areas, leaving behind thousands of weapons, as well as tanks and helicopters, that are now in ISIL’s possession, said Jabbar Yawer, a spokesman for ethnic Kurdish armed forces in Erbil."

  5. The USA was already acting as Al-Qaeda's air force in Libya, and armorer, in Syria, why not just make them a formal ally?

    Just because they will always be planning to attack US interests later, after they have finished consolidating their base areas, is really not reason at all to work with them. Really.

    Consumers can thank GWB and Obonehead for record high gas prices, as this is the direct result of their actions and inactions.

    The idiocy of arming Al-Qaeda to fight in Syria, from bases in Iraq, is on full display here. The only thing preventing their total victory in the region is the Assad Government in Syria, who would easily crush ISIS in open warfare. They defeated them in the most difficult fighting terrain possible, urban centers, although it took a while. Out in the open desert, ISIS could be slaughtered by a professional military force, which obviously does not exist in Iraq.

    The US did not arm the Iraqi Government because it was thought they might be a future military threat to Israel. So now northern Iraq, except Kurdish areas, will fall to Al-Qaeda militants.

    Every single decicison on the Iraq file has been the worst possible alternative, from decitind to invade in '03, up to today, an unbroken string of idiocy, incompentence, and brain dead neo-con jingoism, totally unrelated to the actual real world situation.

    Job well done, America!


    oops missed linky for the first comment

  7. The recoveriness of the recovery marches on:

    "Initial Claims Rise, Miss Expectations For 2nd Week In A Row"

    "At 317k, initial claims remain close to cycle lows but it is noteworthy that this is the 2nd week in a row of rising claims (missing expectations) when all we hear about is how great things are and how Q2 will be the big swing back. Continuing claims rose for the first time in 7 weeks but remains just off cycle lows (the biggest rise in 2 months). Perhaps the celebration of escape velocity job creation was - once again - premature."

    I'm sure it was just the weather, you know, too hot/cold/wet/dry all Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall, as usual.

  8. GDP surges upward, in a downward direction:

    "May Retail Sales Miss, Core Retail Sales Unchanged, Control Group Declines"

    "Another swing and a miss for the so-called Q2 GDP surge.

    After April data was revised higher, with headline retail sales pushed from 0.1% to 0.5%, and core retail sales ex-autos and gas boosted from -0.1% to 0.3%, May showed a big drop in whatever momentum may have resulted from the March spending spree. As a result May headline retail sales missed expectations of a 0.6% increase, printing at 0.3%, with the entire positive print due to auto and gas sales. Indeed, when looking at core retail sales excluding autos and gas, these were unchanged from April, printing at 0.0%, far below the 0.4% expected.

    As the table below shows, segments that saw a decline in May were Electronics stores (again), as well as food and beverage stores, health and personal care, clothing stores, sporting goods stores, restaurants, as well as general merchandise stores. In other words a decline across the board.

    As usual, the biggest wildcard is just how accurate and relevant the seasonal adjustment is: the headline change from April to May was a substantial $26 billion, which however was neutered to just $1.5 billion when applying seasonal adjustment factors, which however as the ISM data recently showed, are nothing but a farce.

    Finally, and what's worst for GDP calculations, the retail sales control group which goes into GDP calculations showed the first sequential decline since January when the full brunt of the "harsh weather" which is now said to have subtracted 2.0% from Q1 GDP hit. Clearly, US consumers are still delaying all those purchases they would have otherwise made in January."

    The weather was just too weathery.

  9. Well the GDP is just a number related to Gum Drop Production. I guess people are just not eating enough candy.

    In Cheney and Bushes wildest dreams they could never have imagined this turning out well. Cheney who is evil for evil's sake controlled the hapless Bush administration. The tower bombings, the pentagon and flight 93 did not warrant a 10 year war and a loss of all our civil liberties. Not to mention the creation of the TSA and huge budget increases for all the law enforcement divisions. Now we have just stirred up the hornet's nest.

    If a war that will last forever is what they wanted it is what they got. I am sure that if OBL and Saddam surrendered immediately we would have still destroyed Iraq and laid waste to what the Soviets didn't in Afghanistan.

    A few years later all the cheating and lying on Wall Street came to a head. Bush also nearly destroyed our economy. With the numbers GAW so kindly updates for us we can see that there is no recovery.

    OWS a terror group? Ohopeless could not have reacted worse. He saw the children of the future and the fewer of the older generation crying out for justice. Instead they we treated like criminals.

    Everything is done now according to Orwell's 1984. We could easily fix the issues the country has and help others, but we won't. It is not in the interest of the Real Owners.

    In regards to my Palladium article it appears that the insiders took profits as it is down 5% just today. Platinum also not having a good day.

    Goodbye Radio Shack. Poor management and low pay for employees will always doom a business even this big. In one year they have lost 75% of their market price.

    Can you believe anyone who predicts the POG? Gundlach: Gold could go to $1,500

  10. Mish does a good analysis of GWB and Iraq before and after he screwed it all up. The man was a menace. His legacy will live on in Iraq forever.

    Thank George Bush and the Neocons; Iraq Before and After

  11. GAW placed some nice articles about the conditions over there as well. This was such a nasty war that the soldiers are coming back with crippling PTSD. Many fall into drugs and alcohol. Many lost their jobs, their homes and their family. We can't even do a good job of providing healthcare for the Viet Nam vets much less Iraq and Afghanistan.

  12. Is This Really a Police State?

    This is from a Washington Blog post in late 2012 and I got to it vie Barry Ritholtz article that GAW posted above.

  13. Sad about what is now happening in Iraq. Perhaps it was destined to happen once they removed strongman Saddam Hussein.

    I wonder how the families (of US soldiers who were killed in Iraq) feel about these latest developments in Iraq. Are they wondering what their loved ones died for?

  14. The other day, there was commentary on The Hive about McDonald's lagging sales.

    Have you seen the newly-released US Mint silver 5-oz America The Beautiful (ATB) coin, which is dedicated to Arches National Park in Utah? This design is also being used on the new Quarter.

    Perhaps this will help raise public awareness of the Golden Arches!

    If I was a marketing guy at McDonalds Corporation, I would use this to generate some publicity and drive sales.

  15. No I haven't seen the new coin, but I tossed the last mail I got from the mint.

    I did see an old article that McD had run an ad needing 50k employees and received a million resumes. Apparently Americans are getting desperate.

    On another note nephew (who is adopted) is going into the Army soon. He will be stationed in OK and Texas. That is one hot time of year to do basic training. When we had a naval base some would pass out from the heat.

    I hope they don't send him to the ME. Seems like a lot of the new "grunts" get a tour in Afghanistan.

    Also as to the soldiers and their families fighting in Iraq it must be hard not to be angry. A lot of soldiers are having issues adapting back to the US. A new documentary is coming out and Jon Stewart interviewed the film maker on Monday. Sebastian Junger’s new documentary ‘Korengal’ I will post for link for more info on Friday.