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PFTF May 31 2012 getting prepped 101
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Post PFTF May 31 2012 getting prepped 101
In Spain, the worst is yet to come


MADRID (MarketWatch) — Walk the tree-lined streets of Rivas, a prosperous suburb southeast of Madrid, and life appears utterly normal.

Municipal sport facilities are crowded and shops are busy. Even on streets lined with new town houses, there are few outward signs of distress. For sale signs are hard to find.

But beneath the calm exterior there is growing anxiety. Friday’s unprecedented 19 billion euro government rescue of Bankia, Spain’s third biggest bank and largest mortgage lender, has riveted public attention and is the subject of spirited debate in the media. “Where will the government get the money?” asks Jorge, the owner of small business from Tenerife in the Canaries, visiting Madrid for soccer matches. He complains about the credit squeeze that has made it impossible for him to expand his retail business. “The banks won’t lend,” he says, “and home owners won’t borrow because property prices are down 25%.”

It is Bankia’s huge holding of bad home loans that make its demise and nationalization so pertinent to the Spanish public. Bankia was created only in 2010 from the merger of seven regional savings banks and, until earlier this month, was headed by Rodrigo Rato, a respected leader in the ruling conservative party who headed the International Monetary Fund from 2004 to 2007. Bankia restated its 2011 results on Friday, saying that what was initially posted as a 300 million euro profit was in fact a nearly 3 billion euro loss. That revelation and the scent of corruption has been seized upon by the opposition, which suspects similar losses may be hidden in the books of other Spanish banks. Read more about Bankia’s losses.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/spain-wor ... 43785.html

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Wed May 30, 2012 6:20 am
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Post Re: PFTF May 31 2012
Stock index futures signal early losses



PARIS (Reuters) - Stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.91 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.77 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.95 percent at 0925 GMT.

European shares slipped and the euro touched a 23-month low on Wednesday as investors worried that Spain's banking problems would push its borrowing costs to unsustainable levels, while worries over Italy's borrowing costs also rattled investors.

Charts show the blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 <.STOXX50E> index's 50-day moving average crossing below the 200-day moving average in early trading on Wednesday, a strongly bearish technical signal called 'death cross', which usually means further losses in the index six months down the road.

Facebook (FB.O) has received notice that U.S. antitrust regulators will give its proposed purchase of the popular photo-sharing app maker Instagram a lengthy investigation, an industry source told Reuters on Tuesday.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/stock-ind ... 51353.html

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Wed May 30, 2012 6:21 am
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Post Re: PFTF May 31 2012
Spain rattles markets, Greeks warned of catastrophe



Spain's borrowing costs lurched higher and the Madrid stock market hit a nine-year low on Wednesday as investors rattled by deepening fears about its banking system fled to the relative haven of German bonds.

Spain's banking woes - the result of a burst property bubble aggravated by recession - have combined with growing uncertainty about Greece's survival in the euro zone to reignite Europe's sovereign debt crisis, driving the euro to a two-year low of $1.2454. European shares also extended their fall after Italy paid heavily to sell bonds.

Madrid said it will probably tap credit markets to inject funds into nationalized lender Bankia, but that looks expensive with 10-year borrowing costs at 6.67 percent near their euro era peak and close to levels at which Ireland and Greece sought international bail-outs.

The Economy Ministry played down a Financial Times report that the European Central Bank had rejected an initial plan to rescue Bankia, Spain's fourth biggest bank, by stuffing it with government bonds that could be used as collateral to borrow from the ECB. [ID:nL5E8GU39O]

"Spain did not formulate any proposal to the ECB on funding the Bankia plan, so it was difficult for it to have an opinion," a ministry spokeswoman told Reuters. "The Economy Ministry maintains as a first option to go to the markets to recapitalize the entity."

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, an influential voice in the conservative German financial establishment, said that by considering such "tricks", Spain was provoking the market distrust it sought to avoid at all costs.

Investors unnerved by Spain's deepening financial crunch, pushed Italy's funding costs sharply higher at a bond sale, with 10-year yields topping 6 percent for the first time this year.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/spain-rat ... 00736.html

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Wed May 30, 2012 6:22 am
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Post Re: PFTF May 31 2012
So it comes down to Canadians not having a say in whats going on in our country anymore..we are no longer a democracy we have become a dictatorshiped country....governments and bankster crooks are taking us to the cleaners because of their stock market gambling addiction and when we actually stand up and try and say something about it, then governement steps in and becomes the control freak..so a few people go without beans for a week or 2...these people have every right every freedom to stand up and say they don't like whats going on in our counrty and harper government is stripping away freedom of speech...lets see parliment take a 40% cut in their golden parachute pensions..live off of minuim wage..bunch of pencil pushing useless suits they have become...our counrty was ranked 18th out of 35 in child poverty today...why not write up legislation to feed our children and work on clothing them properly..nope bottom line is, its all about the few bankers stripping our country bare and the usless politicians that have no bussiness doing this to human beings...




Conservatives put bill ending CP Rail strike on red-eye fast track in Commons


Back-to-work legislation that will end a week-long strike by CP Rail workers was put on Parliament's equivalent of a red-eye bullet train.

The Conservative government used its majority to limit debate, setting in motion a series of overnight votes that saw the bill passed early Wednesday morning.

"The economy's being affected, there's no question about that at all," Labour Minister Lisa Raitt told the Commons during question period Tuesday.

Fast-tracking the bill through all stages took all of Tuesday evening, with votes in the Commons carrying on after midnight. Bill C39 was eventually passed just before 1:30 a.m.

It will now go to the Conservative-dominated Senate for Royal Assent.

"It's getting very tight for people who rely upon CP Rail and the transit of their goods and the receipt of their materials," Raitt said.

"And as such, for the greater good of the economy, we feel that the time has come where the negotiations have stopped, the work stoppage continues and we really do need to make sure that CP Rail gets working on Thursday."

But the union, backed by Opposition MPs, said the government's quick threat to order 4,800 engineers and conductors back on the job shortly after the strike began last Wednesday short-circuited talks at the bargaining table.

"When will these Conservatives figure out that workers are the backbone of the economy?" charged NDP critic Irene Mathyssen, noting a cut to the workers' pension fund "is at the heart of this dispute."

Mathyssen accused CP Rail, which posted a profit of $570 million last year, of going after the pension plan to increase its profitability and said the Harper government is enabling the company.

http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/conser ... 12621.html

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Wed May 30, 2012 6:31 am
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Post Re: PFTF May 31 2012
Russia 'categorically against' Syria intervention


Russia is "categorically against" foreign intervention in Syria and believes any new steps by the UN Security Council would be "premature", its deputy foreign minister has said.

Russia wields a veto at the UN Security Council and the remarks are a blow to hopes of a fresh initiative there.

International outrage has been expressed at the massacre of 108 people - mostly women and children - in Houla.

Neighbouring Turkey is expelling all Syrian diplomatic staff in protest.

The move goes further than the co-ordinated action by other countries, who restricted their expulsions to the most senior staff.

Turkey's foreign ministry said it was "out of the question to remain silent".

UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan says Syria is at a "tipping point". His deputy will later update the UN Security Council on the crisis.

The violence in Syria is continuing, with activists reporting 70 deaths on Tuesday and shelling in Homs on Wednesday morning.

In apparent retaliation for the wave of expulsions of Syrian diplomats, Syria has given the Dutch charge d'affaires in Damascus 72 hours to leave.

The diplomat is one of the few top-level representatives of Western countries left in Damascus.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18260992


China and Russia reaffirm support for Syria

China on Wednesday restated its opposition to military intervention in Syria, as Russia sought to halt fresh UN Security Council action after a massacre of civilians sparked global fury.



The renewed support by Moscow and Beijing for the Damascus regime came as numerous Western nations, including the United States, Britain and France, expelled Syrian diplomats in the wake of Friday's massacre and after France floated the idea of armed intervention to protect civilians.


"China opposes military intervention in Syria and opposes regime change by force," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told reporters in Beijing.


Liu added that China urged all parties to implement UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's ceasefire proposal in Syria and to seek to end the bloody crisis through negotiations.


With Russian and Chinese support, the UN Security Council on Sunday strongly condemned the Syrian government for using artillery in a massacre in the central town of Houla in which at least 108 people were killed.


But Russia, which along with China has vetoed two UN Security Council resolutions highly critical of President Bashar al-Assad's regime, on Wednesday said it was "premature" for the council to consider new action.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... Syria.html

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Wed May 30, 2012 6:37 am
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Post Re: PFTF May 31 2012
Euro-Area Economic Confidence Falls to 2 1/2 Year Low: Economy


Europe’s economic slump shows signs of deepening after Greece failed to form a government following May 6 elections while Spain struggles to clean up its banks amid recession and unemployment of more than 20 percent. Citigroup Inc. economists forecast Greece could leave the euro area by next year. Euro- zone manufacturing and services output contracted more than economists estimated in May and German business sentiment had the steepest decline since August.

“All second-quarter sentiment indicators seem to signal a fall back into recession territory,” said Peter Vanden Houte, an economist at ING Group in Brussels. “European leaders will have the difficult task to find a way out of this doom loop

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-3 ... st-1-.html

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Wed May 30, 2012 6:41 am
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Post Re: PFTF May 31 2012
Greek Exit From Euro Seen Exposing Deposit-Guaranty Flaws


The threat of Greece exiting the euro is exposing flaws in how banks and governments protect European depositors’ cash in the event of a run.

National deposit-insurance programs, strengthened by the European Union in 2009 to guarantee at least 100,000 euros ($125,000), leave savers at risk of losses if a country leaves the euro and its currency is redenominated. The funds in some nations also have been depleted after they were used to help bail out struggling lenders, leading policy makers to consider implementing an EU-wide protection plan.


These schemes were not designed to deal with a complete meltdown of a banking system,” said Andrew Campbell, professor of international banking and finance law at the University of Leeds in the U.K. and an adviser to the International Association of Deposit Insurers. “If there’s a systemic failure, there needs to be some form of intervention.”

With European officials openly discussing a Greek exit from the euro for the first time, savers in Spain, Italy and Portugal may start to withdraw cash on concern that those countries will follow Greece and their funds will be devalued with a switch to a successor currency. None of those nations has the firepower to handle simultaneous runs on multiple banks.

Pulling Deposits

Households and businesses pulled 34 billion euros from Greek banks in the 12 months ended in March, 17 percent of the country’s total, according to the ECB.

Deposits at banks in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain fell by 80.6 billion euros, or 3.2 percent from the end of 2010 through the end of March, ECB data show. German and French banks increased deposits by 217.4 billion euros, or 6.3 percent, in the same period. Bank-deposit data for April will be released starting this week.

“Contagion fears might compel individuals in Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain to withdraw bank deposits due to concerns over solvency, redenomination, or otherwise,” UBS AG (UBSN) Chief Investment Officer Alexander Friedman said in a May letter to client advisers. “This could spark a major banking collapse, requiring truly unprecedented action from the ECB.”

Even after boosting capital and building up liquidity buffers of more than 1 trillion euros over the past two years, lenders may be unable to survive a system-wide bank run without political intervention, either in the form of a pan-European deposit guarantee or an expanded bank-bailout facility, Jernej Omahen, an analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) in London, said in a May 22 report to clients.

“An EU-wide deposit-guarantee fund may prove to be the most important tool to preserve financial-market stability if Greece were to leave the euro area,” said Tobias Blattner, an economist at Daiwa Capital Markets in London.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-2 ... flaws.html

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Wed May 30, 2012 6:44 am
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Post Re: PFTF May 31 2012
Floods hit Montreal, forcing evacuations


A wall of rain collapsed onto Montreal in one torrential instant that flooded city streets, closed subway stations, caused power failures, damaged private property and forced evacuations from public buildings Tuesday.

It took only a few minutes to transform downtown streets into miniature canals. The foul odour of overflowing sewage floated over the area near the port.

Many thousands of people were affected. While some scooped water from their own basements, much larger buildings were evacuated including a fancy downtown hotel, the Quebec provincial library, multiple university pavilions, commercial centres and a large part of the metro system.

More than 28,000 people lost electricity in Quebec, with more than half those disruptions occurring in the province's biggest city.

The brief but powerful storm saw a sunny afternoon lapse into night-like darkness. A solid slab of water crashed through the air, eventually bursting sideways in what looked like puffy, swirling white clouds.

The rain overwhelmed the city's aging infrastructure in some places, with water pushing up through manhole covers and sometimes lifting them up.

People scrambled through the streets, some screaming as they were pelted and struggling to cling to umbrellas that seemed about to fly out of their hands.

By the time it was over, there were cars partly submerged in what looked like little lakes, while a pool of water covered several subway stations.

Within hours, many of the troubled spots had been cleared and the Metro service was restored except at one stop under renovation near Old Montreal.



Read more: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20 ... z1wLynanlB

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Post Re: PFTF May 31 2012
More Syrian diplomats expelled over Houla massacre

Most of the 108 victims shot dead at close range last week, UN says


Turkey and Japan expelled Syrian diplomats on Wednesday, joining Canada and several other nations in protesting a weekend massacre of more than 100 people in Syria, including women and children.

The move came as Syrian forces bombarded rebel-held areas in the same province where the Houla killings occurred, although no casualties were immediately reported, activists said.

Survivors blamed pro-regime gunmen for at least some of the carnage in Houla as the killings reverberated inside Syria and beyond, further isolating President Bashar Assad and embarrassing his few remaining allies. The Syrian government denied its troops were behind the killings and blamed "armed terrorists."

The UN's top human rights body planned to hold a special session Friday to address the massacre.

Damascus had said it would conclude its own investigation into the Houla deaths by Wednesday but it was not clear if the findings would be made public.

The Houla killings prompted Western nations to expel Syrian diplomats in a co-ordinated protest, with the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Bulgaria ordering top Syrian diplomats to leave on Tuesday.

Syria's state-run media on Wednesday denounced the diplomatic expulsions as "unprecedented hysteria."

Turkey, Syria's neighbour and a former close ally, joined the co-ordinated protest on Wednesday. Turkey has been among the most outspoken critics of the Assad regime. It closed its embassy in Damascus in March and withdrew the ambassador. Its consulate in Aleppo remains open.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012 ... ssion.html

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Wed May 30, 2012 7:12 am
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Post Re: PFTF May 31 2012
Iran blames Jerusalem for ongoing Syria violence



Iran on Tuesday blamed Israel for the ongoing violence in Syria, Iran's semi-official FARS news agency reported.

Forces loyal to Assad killed at least 108 people and injured around 300, mostly women and children, on Friday in Houla in Homs province, according to the UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous. The event marks one of the biggest massacres of the 14-month uprising against his rule. Syrian authorities have denied carrying out the attack, instead blaming it on "terrorists."

Speaking at a weekly press conference, Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast stated: "Any crime committed (in Syria) can be traced back to the (Israeli) regime's hirelings."

http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=271967

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Post Re: PFTF May 31 2012
Schiff: America is Already Bankrupt


Peter Schiff makes it clear, up front, why he's not trying to save America from fiscal disaster. He's not un-American, he's just too late. "We're already bankrupt," Schiff declares in the attached clip. "Better to acknowledge that fact than to pretend we're not."

The author of the new book The Real Crash says it's the stimulus that got us into this mess, or at least exacerbated the one we already had. Because of the Feds effectively zero percent interest rate policy the U.S., both as individuals and a collective, spends, borrows, and generally wastes far too much while saving nothing.

"We can't have real economic growth until interest rates go up," says Schiff. "If we admit we're bankrupt and at least restructure, we can start repairing the damage and preparing the economy for real growth."

The man who forecast the end of the housing bubble in his book Crash Proof says the housing implosion wasn't his primary concern. "I was worried about what was going to happen when the government tried to reflate the bubble." The ensuing meltdown is going to result from the cure, not the original disease.

Schiff says the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) got it exactly backwards when they issued warnings that the U.S. would slip into recession if we reached the debt ceiling early in 2013. America literally can't cut spending fast enough; a recession now beats a depression later.

"Right now the government can spend as much as it wants because it can borrow." But there's a limit. Once U.S. interest rates are forced higher by concerned lenders, the party is going to be over for the U.S. Of course, there's no actual deadline for when those rate spikes happen. Currency and debt are relative, and the U.S. remains a relatively safe bet.

"The worst that can probably happen in the short run, if you're trying to keep the bubble going, would be some kind of resolution in Europe. If Europe actually gets its house in order, then we're really in trouble."

As Schiff views it, America's in much worse shape than Europe. What's saving us is that the problems over there are providing enough of a distraction—or are at least making the U.S. look good enough by comparison—that the Fed can keep rates near nil.

According to Schiff, the hangover from our money party will be hellish.

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/breakout ... 22723.html

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Wed May 30, 2012 10:11 am
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Post Re: PFTF May 31 2012
Euro slumps to a two-year low as Brussels warns of 'financial disintegration' in the eurozone

The single currency crashed to its lowest level for nearly two years last night as Brussels warned that the eurozone faces ‘financial disintegration’.

In a hard-hitting report on the dire state of the economy, the European Commission called for drastic action to prevent catastrophe tearing the region apart.

It proposed that money set aside for keeping debt-ridden governments afloat should now be used to rescue troubled European banks


Flexibility and speed are of the essence,’ said EC president Jose Manuel Barroso.

The desperate rallying cry came amid mounting fears that the banking crisis in Spain will cripple the eurozone’s fourth largest economy and trigger a cataclysmic break-up of the single currency.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z1wQyE39vF

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Thu May 31, 2012 3:28 am
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Post Re: PFTF May 31 2012
Doctors to hold 24-hour strike over pension row: Thousands of appointments will be cancelled in the first walk-out for nearly 40 years
Strike date of June 21 set
Thousands of GP appointments and hospital operations will be cancelled

Doctors will only undertake duties that cannot safely be postponed

GPs voted by 13,837 to 3,687 to take action short of a strike and by 11,062 to 6,426 in favour of strikes

Industrial action will be first time doctors have gone on strike since 1975

104,000 doctors across the UK were balloted and there was a 50 per cent turnout


Thousands of operations, hospital appointments and scans will be cancelled next month after doctors voted to stage a one-day protest in a row over their pensions.

The British Medical Association, the doctors’ union, yesterday announced that for a 24-hour period doctors would provide only ‘urgent and emergency care’.

Patients will be turned away unless they are deemed seriously ill and all planned operations, scans and consultations will be postponed


The strike, which begins at midnight on Thursday June 21, is predicted to cost the NHS £38million.

It is the first time the BMA has staged industrial action in nearly 40 years and is likely to be one of the most disruptive protests in the Health Service’s history.


The union is angry about Government proposals to change doctors’ pensions which will see them retire later and contribute more from their salaries into their retirement fund. At present, a consultant earning £120,000 a year can expect to retire at 60 on a pension of £48,000 a year.

Under the Government’s changes, however, a doctor who is now 40 would have to work until they were 62 to get the same pension. A 24-year-old doctor would have to stay on until they were 67.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... z1wQzCklkm

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Thu May 31, 2012 3:32 am
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