Money market fund assets fall to $2.569 trillion - Yahoo Finance Money market fund assets fall to $2.569 trillion - Yahoo Finance

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Money market fund assets fall to $2.569 trillion - Yahoo Finance

Money market fund assets fall to $2.569 trillion - Yahoo Finance

NEW YORK (AP) -- Total U.S. money market mutual fund assets fell by $5.35 billion to $2.563 trillion for the week that ended Wednesday, the Investment Company Institute said Thursday.

Assets of the nation's retail money market mutual funds rose $369 million to $889.88 billion, the Washington-based mutual fund trade group said. Assets of taxable money market funds in the retail category rose $390 million to $702.8 billion. Tax-exempt retail fund assets fell $17 million to $187.08 billion.

Meanwhile, assets of institutional money market funds fell $5.72 billion to $1.673 trillion. Among institutional funds, taxable money market fund assets fell $5.61 billion to $1.586 trillion; assets of tax-exempt funds fell $110 million to $86.95 billion.

The seven-day average yield on money market mutual funds was 0.03 percent in the week that ended Tuesday, unchanged from the previous week, said Money Fund Report, a service of iMoneyNet Inc. in Westborough, Mass.

The 30-day average yield was also unchanged from last week at 0.03 percent. The seven-day compounded yield was flat at 0.03 percent. The 30-day compounded yield was unchanged at 0.03 percent, Money Fund Report said.

The average maturity of portfolios held by money market mutual funds rose to 46 days from 45 days in the previous week.

The online service said its survey of 100 leading commercial banks, savings and loan associations and savings banks in the nation's 10 largest markets showed the annual percentage yield available on money market accounts was unchanged from last week at 0.13 percent.

The North Palm Beach, Fla.-based unit of Bankrate Inc. said the annual percentage yield available on interest-bearing checking accounts was unchanged from the week before at 0.06 percent. said the annual percentage yield on six-month certificates of deposit was unchanged from the previous week at 0.22 percent. The yield on one-year CDs was also unchanged at 0.33 percent. It was flat at 0.53 percent on two-and-a-half-year CDs and steady at 1.13 percent on five-year CDs.

Business star Tamer Hassan: I could have killed Richard Gere - The Sun

Like if you're a Christmas tree farmer and you throw one slightly too far over the pile. Just nudge it back a bit.

But when Football Factory star Tamer Hassan didn't know his own strength in the workplace, he went and dislocated Richard Gere's shoulder.

And it only made him even more respectful.

Tamer says: "Richard Gere's over 60 years old. His passion for the industry and the game is just as strong as when he started. He's a beautiful individual, a profesional and very committed.

"We did a film called The Double with Martin Sheen.

"Me and Richard were rehearsing for a month for a big scene. I said 'let me use the stunt double, and you can slip in where you can' - not wanting to hurt him.

"But Richard being Richard as committed as he is, said 'no, I'm doing it.'

"I took a knife off him, jerked his shoulder and it popped out."

Richard's shoulder wasn't the only thing that popped out. The crew then went on a mammoth break, as production shut down when the Pretty Woman actor was unable to film for three months!

"To his credit, he went away, healed, came back and finished the scene," Tamer added.

"If I can be like him at his age I'll be a very happy man."

I talk to Tamer at the new Jongleurs Picadilly - along with his pal, EastEnders star Ricky Grover - ahead of their Comic Idol talent search.

And Tamer has an idea of somebody he thinks would made a useful entrant - his best pal Danny Dyer.

"Danny is probably one of the funniest kids you’ll ever meet.

"He’s got such a likeability to him. He’s so sweet, so lovely. I know people will think I’m being biased, but he had me at hello.

"Danny, Ricky and Ray Winstone - three Canning Town boys - I think it would be the funniest show at Jongleurs ever."

With ex-fighter Ricky in our presence, the conversation flows easily into boxing. Ricky says stand-up, and getting in the ring, aren't too dissimilar.

Tamer isn't so sure, as his mind is elsewhere during a fight.

"You’re mainly worried about women," he says.

"I always used to bring the birds. You’re never going to lose in front of a girl are you? That was my trick anyway.

"I would put the most beautiful cheerleaders round the England training pitch. When women are around, men put the most effort in ever.

"You see it in the gym. When we were kids, and a girl walked into the gym, we exceeded ourselves.

"But now they’ve given the girls physio roles like at Chelsea, so everybody’s rolling around injured!"

It seems Tamer is at home discussing our national sport. Having returned from the States, he can now enjoy it in the comfort of his local. While meeting Danny to work on their new film, following their last hit Freerunner.

And to plug the film's DVD release, Tamer challanged pro freerunner Chase Armitage to a 'Man Vs Tube' race, below.

PRO freerunner Chase Armitage takes on the London Underground

Tamer says: "I’ve been out in LA for two years, for my sins, and I’m happy to be back.

"I came back and wrote a movie. It wasn’t planned, it just came to me.

"The distributors were saying ‘we all want another Tamer and Danny movie’, so I went ‘alright, I think we’ve covered everything. Dead Man Running, to The Business, to The Football Factory.

"I said ‘what do you want?’ They said ‘everything combined’.

"So, thinking on my feet, I said ‘what about two football agents, unearthing the corrupt underbelly of the football industry’.

"They said ‘can you write something?’ and I said ‘yeah’ so called Stephen Reynolds - who’s a fantastic writer.

"We sat down in a room for 8 hours a day for 5 days straight. We went back and said ‘here’s 135 pages'."

Not a bad week’s work, for a dyslexic man.

"I suppose not!" he acknowledges.

FOOTBALL Factory star sits down with his EastEnders' pal Ricky Grover

Tamer - like his EastEnders pal Ricky - has struggled with the condition in the past, but can now memorise pages in minutes thanks to developing a photographic memory.

"Its like, if you’re deaf, you get higher senses in other things. I think dyslexic people have a heightened creativity."

Fans of the Football Factory star will be used to seeing him killing or being killed, so this time around things will be different.

"I’m usually just being violent and Danny ends up with the girl, so I’ve got a love interest in this one," says Tamer.

And the tough guy is still casting for the female part.

"We’re still looking," he adds. "The character is amazing, she drives the film.

"She could actually steal the movie."

"The character portrays women as being the strong one because I’m a great believer that if any man says he is the strong one at home is either lying or miserable."

So is Tamer the boss in his own home?

"Nooooo. Of course not, no way.

"In the bedroom, yes! But everywhere else? Not a chance."

Tamer isn't even the boss in a kebab shop - despite his Wikipedia page's claims that he 'had his eyebrows done after being teased while working in his parent's restaurant'.

Tamer laughs: "I've got no idea where that came from.

"My dad was a carpenter, my mum was a seamstress, we've never had a kebab shop - and I was never called mono!"

And while the hardman does admit to having his eyebrows 'tended to', he won't give away how.

"I can't disclose how I've done it unfortunately.

"My daughter would kill me!"

Sounds like The Business man knows who the real boss is.

- TO keep up-to-date with Tamer, follow him on Twitter @RealTamerHassan

Green Power's money woes linger - Bellingham Herald

PASCO -- Something is going on inside Green Power's space at the Big Pasco Industrial Park.

The lights are on and water is being used, say Port of Pasco officials. Some employees are working on grinding up piles of garbage, but exactly what is being done remains unclear.

Almost three years after the state halted construction on the plant that CEO Michael Spitzauer promises will turn garbage into fuel, Green Power still lacks the necessary permits to finish the project.

The company is half way through a six-month lease with the port and does not appear to be making much progress on the plant or on paying off debts, according to state officials and court records.

Spitzauer told the Herald in an email last week that his company has gotten through hard times and is now paying what it owes and creating jobs.

But Spitzauer still owes at least $21 million to former investors, employees and contractors, said Seattle attorney James Rigby, who is the U.S. trustee on Spitzauer's ongoing personal bankruptcy case.

Spitzauer says that amount is exaggerated.

Pasco plant stalled

Spitzauer first leased Port of Pasco property in May 2008. Previously, he had planned to build an $82 million plant in Fife inside the Puyallup tribal reservation to convert waste to diesel. That project never was built.

It's also unclear if Spitzauer has made any of the mobile biofuel-producing vehicles that he once proposed.

Green Power's partially built biofuels plant in Pasco was shut down in August 2009 because Spitzauer lacked the necessary permits from the state Department of Ecology.

But despite telling state officials that a new permit application would be filed, that hasn't happened, according to Ecology officials.

Green Power still owes the Department of Ecology a $42,000 fine for starting construction without the proper permit and for state staff time spent on his first attempt to get a permit. He must pay that before filing a new application.

Spitzauer, who has told the Herald he lives in the Seattle area, said he's paid the penalty and is in the permitting stages.

Jani Gilbert, Department of Ecology communications manager for Eastern Washington, said Spitzauer emailed state officials Tuesday saying a check was in the mail, but they have not received the payment nor a new permit application.

Spitzauer has had similar problems getting city permits.

Green Power had an air conditioning system installed at the Pasco plant in March without receiving the required city permit, said Mitch Nickolds, Pasco's inspection services manager.

According to the contract Spitzauer signed with Horst Inc. of Kennewick, which installed the units, Green Power was responsible for getting the necessary permits.

Nickolds, who inspected the work earlier this month, said Spitzauer agreed to begin the permit application and pay any penalties.

The usual fine is to pay double the permit fee, which is based on the value of the work, he said.

Spitzauer applied for the building permit Wednesday after the Herald asked him about the issue. Nickolds said it would take about 10 days for the permit to be reviewed.

At the same time, Spitzauer also applied to renew his expired 2009 building permit for remodeling the office that never had a final inspection, Nickolds said.

Steve Horst said he likely still would be waiting to receive the last $16,000 that Green Power owed his company for the $30,000 air conditioning installation project if he hadn't told Spitzauer that he'd reported the payment problem to the Port of Pasco and the Herald.

Financial struggles

On the other side of the state, Spitzauer continues to face personal financial problems.

He has been unable to get a judge to drop a bankruptcy case he filed in 2010 in Western Washington.

He filed for bankruptcy protection three other times that same year, then asked to withdraw his requests and the dismissals were granted.

In the recent case, he has not provided required information about his debts and has failed to appear at meetings scheduled with creditors, according to court documents.

Spitzauer's creditors claim they are owed $21 million and have taken the lead in pursuing the case, which isn't the norm, said Rigby, the U.S. trustee overseeing the current case. He called the case unusual.

Spitzauer estimated in court documents that his debts are less than $1 million.

So far, Spitzauer has turned over $55,000 to the trustee. And $50,000 of that was a payment that Spitzauer made to keep from having to appear at a deposition.

The judge refused to discharge Spitzauer's debts, so his creditors can continue to try to collect what they're owed. In the mean time, Rigby said he has found no more assets for the creditors and plans to close the case.

Spitzauer told the Herald this week that his bankruptcy case is private and that he has settled some debts and is arranging to settle others.

But Rajan Babaria, with Texas-based Chakra Energy Corp., which is among four investors who claim Spitzauer owes them $16 million, said in an email to the Herald that Spitzauer has not paid his company anything.

Chakra Energy claims to be owed about $2.4 million, but Babaria doesn't think his company will ever be paid.

Lingering Tri-City debts

Part of the bankruptcy is a $3.6 million judgment and interest owed to a former employee who sued in Benton County Superior Court.

James Osterloh, who was chief engineer for Green Power before he resigned two years into a five-year contract, told the Herald that Spitzauer has been making some payments on his May 2010 judgment.

Osterloh sued Spitzauer and Green Power in August 2009 for using Osterloh's Social Security number and other employment information to open credit card accounts in Osterloh's name and charge at least $54,000.

Spitzauer initially agreed to pay off the credit cards, but when he didn't, Osterloh got a court judgment against him, court documents show.

American Express Bank has sued Spitzauer in Franklin County Superior Court for repayment of the $54,000, according to court documents. That case is not settled.

In addition, two Tri-City companies have filed in Franklin County, claiming they haven't been paid for their work for Green Power.

American Electric of Richland said it's owed $500,000, and Twin City Metals of Kennewick is owed $48,000, according to court judgments.

Elaine Fischer, spokeswoman for the state Department of Labor and Industries, said Green Power still owes the state about $27,000 in unpaid wages, interest and penalties. The agency also received a wage complaint from an employee alleging the worker wasn't paid overtime for work between September 2011 and January. Fischer said the complaint is pending.

Spitzauer told the Herald he has a payment agreement with the agency.

While he has been making payments on unpaid workers compensation insurance, Fischer said he has not paid the wage claims and does not have a payment agreement for them.

Because of previous problems with Green Power's late payments, the Port of Pasco required Spitzauer to pay $233,867 in advance for his current six-month lease and water and sewer utilities. That lease expires Aug. 31.

Spitzauer will have to come back before the port commission to request a lease extension, said Jim Toomey, the port's executive director.

Spitzauer said he plans to ask for a lease renewal and more space at the port. He told the Herald that his company is doing well and is assembling mobile biofuels units at Big Pasco for customers.

"We are delivering systems and we are growing," he said in an email. "We are proud of what we do."

Financial planners at war over poaching - Australian Financial Review

Sally Patten

The chairman of financial planning group Count, Barry Lambert, has accused rival BT Financial Group of unsporting behaviour over its attempts to poach his firm’s advisers.

Since Commonwealth Bank of Australia acquired Count for $373 million earlier this year, the Westpac-owned BT Financial has bought least seven Count practices, a move that senior executives in the industry argue breaks an unspoken non-compete agreement between financial advice and administration businesses.

“It’s not cricket. It’s not the thing to do,” Mr Lambert told The Australian Financial Review. “BT’s behaviour is equivalent to underarm bowling between Anzac friends” – referring to the infamous incident in 1981 when former Australian cricket captain Greg Chappell instructed his brother, Trevor, to deliver the last ball of the match underarm. The incident snuffed out any chance of New Zealand scoring the six required to tie the match.

“I’m very disappointed with the behaviour of BT in the way they are going about business. I’d be surprised if anyone else who knew what was going on would support them.”

Mr Lambert, one of the advice industry’s most respected veterans, said this was his personal view rather than that of CBA or Count.

BT Financial’s poaching of Count advisers is regarded as a “game changer” by some observers and has raised concerns that the Westpac subsidiary has broken traditional ties between planning practices and administrative platforms.

“On the one hand it is part of competition, but [BT] is breaking some unwritten codes around the industry,” said Tony Fenning, chief executive of Shadforth Financial Group, an independent adviser network that is listed on the ASX.

“We would not see as a positive the breaking of those unwritten rules,” Mr Fenning said.

As an independent planning firm, Count used the BT Wrap administrative platform for 25 years, helping build the latter into Australia’s biggest platform business with $86 billion of assets.

Escalating the row between the advice subsidiaries of Australia’s two biggest banks, Count written to BT Financial seeking assurances that BT Wrap has not disclosed confidential information about Count clients that has given BT the upper hand in attracting Count planners.

BT, which has spoken to between 15 and 20 more Count practices about the possibility of them joining the Westpac subsidiary, has denied breaching any of its obligations to Count.

“As BT has explained to Count, BT has fully complied with all of its obligations to Count and to Count’s members, and will continue to do so,” a BT spokesperson said.

“Calculations of the per-client savings that a Count practice can achieve by switching to Magnitude are only performed where this is authorised or requested by the relevant Count practice.

“Beyond that, BT does not propose to comment on the detail of how it deals with its customers and partners,” the spokesperson said.

Some in the industry, including Mr Lambert, are concerned that platforms such as BT Wrap have worked alongside advice businesses to their and their clients’ mutual benefit, but that platforms would now start to compete with advice firms, particularly if they joined a rival company.

BT Financial argued that some Count advisers were questioning whether they would receive adequate support from CBA, saying it was “commercially logical” for them to consider a move to Westpac.

As a result of BT Financial’s concerted campaign to attract Count practices, Count has been forced to raise its retention payments.

Count chief executive David Lane refused to reveal the size of the increase, but a senior industry figure said he had heard it was “substantial”.

Mr Lane said the payments had been distributed evenly across Count practices, so no one would be discriminated against.

He has previously declined to comment on rumours that CBA had set aside $25 million for retention payments to be used to discourage Count advisers from leaving.

BT has denied rumours that it is offering “transition payments” of between $500,000 and $1 million to Count practices that move across.

BT Financial is trying to attract Count planners to its Magnitude advice business.

Magnitude chief executive Phil Butterworth, a former boss of DKN, an advice firm bought last year by IOOF, is expected to give an update on the division’s expansion plans this week.

It is understood that Magnitude has held talks with another 20 planning practices, apart from those that are part of the Count alliance.

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