Financial markets - Financial markets -

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Financial markets -

Financial markets -

SO nothing from the ECB, no change in Bank of England policy, and Ben Bernanke's testimony only reconfirmed the Fed's willingness to act if needed. But we did have a quarter point rate cut from the People's Bank of China, which illustrates that the emerging world has more scope to ease, if only in the sense that their nominal rates are a lot higher. According to Goldman Sachs

We believe the cut is a clear and strong (relative to reserve requirement ratio [RRR] cuts) signal to the market of the loosening policy stance. It reflects the concerns of the top leadership (the interest rate decision always needs to be approved by the Premier prior to the announcement) on slowing economic growth and relatively benign view on inflation.

The Chinese move may be supporting equities today, not least because a Chinese hard landing is one of the market's bigger fears. (Here is our relatively sanguine leader assessment of the question.) It may also be that the overnight FT report of a possible Spanish bailout deal is helping the mood.

To go back to the QE issue, the tactic may have other effects than lowering bond yields. It may help risky asset prices, such as equities, thereby boosting confidence (thus leading to a neat circularity that the stockmarket goes up in anticipation of QE because QE is expected to boost the market). It might persuade investors or consumers that central banks are willing to tolerate higher inflation, which might make them spend more. The tricky bit about this reasoning is that Britain has had both QE and above-target inflation for a while and the economy has hardly been motoring along.*

Nevertheless, here is the irrepressible David Zervos at Jefferies, a regular bond bear and risk asset bull

So let's call a spade a spade and note that the primary goal of the next round of QE will be to take more risk free assets out of the market, which in turn will drive more investors, via the portfolio balance channel, into risky assets. The secondary goal, which will NOT be advertised, is to add more liquidity to the system and create more potential inflation risks in the future. This will in turn raise inflation expectations and LOWER real rates.

Perhaps the best argument for more QE is that central banks are not the only, or the main, money creators; that's the banking sector. And as the banks retreat, money could be shrinking; QE is liking running the tap in a bath where the plug is out. The latest figures from the Bank of England, for example, show a 4.7% annual decline in M4 lending; recent euro zone data showed a 0.5% fall in monthly M3 and just 0.3% annual private sector loan growth. Things look rather different in the US where the data show a near 10% annual gain in M2. However, John Williams at Shadowstats who keeps data on M3 (the Fed doesn't any more) shows a much more sluggish growth rate.

Anyway, whether it's a euro-zone deal or more QE, market sentiment seems to have switched from the view that a)the authorities won't act so things will be awful to b)things are so awful that the authorities must act.

* Although as always we don't know what the economy would be like without QE. How one longs for a time machine or access to parallel universes.

Carver Federal Savings Bank Partners With Nexxo Financial Corporation to Provide Underbanked Consumers New Services With Less Hassle and Cost -

Carver Federal Savings Bank is leading the next generation of banking by providing financial services not traditionally offered by banks. By partnering with Nexxo Financial Corporation, Carver is adding four user-friendly kiosks at ATMs around New York City where underbanked consumers can access alternative financial services conveniently and affordably. Nexxo developed this technology to bring a full range of services together in one unique bank-in-a-box kiosk.

Starting in July, Carver's new and existing customers will be able to quickly and easily cash checks, buy money orders, load pre-paid cards, pay bills, and send money. After this pilot, Carver expects to add twenty more kiosks later in the year.

"We're making lives easier for our consumers by offering much needed alternative financial services without the frustration and expense they experience now. With Nexxo's technology, we can expand cost-effectively to offer our community access around the clock at convenient locations," said Ed Sheerins, Vice President, Head of Branch Administration, Carver Federal Savings Bank.

"Carver is redefining banking by launching a suite of product and services through Carver Community Cash, allowing more of our community residents who have been marginalized to enter or re-enter the banking system. Our goal is to meet the immediate needs of community residents, while providing financial education, access to savings, credit, and other traditional financial services. Our partnership with Nexxo provides Carver an additional delivery channel, giving us more access into our communities," said Deborah C. Wright, Chairman and CEO of Carver Federal Savings Bank.

"Carver was intrigued with our one-stop shopping solution. Now their customers can simply register once, complete most transactions within one minute, and be remembered on their next visit," said Freddie Seba, Vice President Business Development, Nexxo Financial Corporation.

Nexxo technology has been successfully used by retailers for more than six years at 200+ locations in California alone. In fact, Nexxo has processed more than $1 billion at these retail, grocery, and convenience stores. Now financial services companies are seeking to partner with Nexxo to expand their own services.

May saw Nexxo's first partnership with a credit union when Centris Federal Credit Union launched nine kiosks in branches and grocery stores around its Omaha, Nebraska, headquarters. The new partnership with Carver will expand Nexxo's reach in two ways: into the East Coast and into the African-American and Caribbean communities.

The FDIC estimates 60 million people don't use traditional banks for their alternative financial services. Instead, underbanked consumers go to multiple locations and pay high fees to complete their transactions. The financial services industry is transforming dramatically to better meet this growing need. Serving the underbanked market is the hot topic at the 7th Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum, presented with the Center for Financial Services Innovation, June 13th through 15th in San Francisco.

Both Seba and Sheerins are speaking at the 7th Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum, and both Nexxo and Carver have booths on the exhibit floor.

Carver Federal Savings Bank is the largest African American-operated bank in the United States. It is headquartered in Harlem, and nearly all of its nine branches and stand-alone 24/7 ATM centers are located in or adjacent to low-to-moderate income neighborhoods.

About Nexxo
Founded in 2003, Nexxo is the leader in self-serve financial solutions. Its Everyday Financial Services Platform (EFS) offers a unified, customer-centric solution that seamlessly handles multiple products (check cashing, money transfer, bill pay, money orders, prepaid card servicing, and phone minute top-ups) and multiple channels (self-serve kiosk, teller-assisted desktop, and via mobile phone). With more than four million transactions and $1 billion processed, Nexxo's technology has been proven at hundreds of field locations. Nexxo offers its turn-key financial solutions and service applications to an expanding network of retail partners, domestic and international banks, and financial service providers. For more information, visit

About Carver Bancorp, Inc.
Carver Bancorp, Inc. is the holding company for Carver Federal Savings Bank, a federally chartered stock savings bank. Carver Federal Savings Bank, the largest African- and Caribbean-American run bank in the United States, operates nine full-service branches in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. For further information, please visit the Company's website at

Add to DiggBookmark with del.icio.usAdd to Newsvine

© Marketwire 2012

Manulife Financial CEO named International Business Executive of the Year - Yahoo Finance

OTTAWA, June 7, 2012 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Donald A. Guloien, President and Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Financial has been named 2012 International Business Executive of the year.

Established in 1992, this prestigious award recognizes business executives of Canadian companies whose exemplary leadership has developed a strong, competitive Canadian presence in global markets. "Mr. Guloien richly deserves this recognition for the extraordinary success Manulife Financial has achieved as an international leader in the financial services industry", said Robert Youden, Chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services company with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States.

"This award is recognition of Manulife Financial's international success, the credit for which goes to many current and past employees and other partners around the world. I particularly want to recognize the significant support Manulife has received from our embassies, consulates and elsewhere in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, as well as the Department of Finance and the Prime Minister's Office," noted Donald Guloien, President and Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Financial. "I also want to thank our board of directors for their encouragement, advice and support of all our international expansions."

Mr. Guloien has held a variety of leadership roles within Manulife, through which he has developed operating experience in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia. From 1994 to 2001, Mr. Guloien led Manulife's Business Development unit, spearheading a number of key acquisitions, divestitures and strategic initiatives, including: Manulife's demutualization and its re-entry into Japan.

From 2001 to 2009, he was responsible for Manulife's worldwide investment operations, for which the Company's general fund assets grew from $80 billion to now over $200 billion. He also led the significant growth of the company's third-party asset management business, Manulife Asset Management, which now manages assets of $220 billion.

In 2009, Mr. Guloien became President and CEO of Manulife Financial. Over the past three years, Manulife Financial's Asian operation has become its fastest growing division, representing about one-third of the company's earnings excluding notable items.

Mr. Guloien is a member of the Mayor of Shanghai's International Business Leaders' Advisory Council, a board member of the Geneva Association and a former board member of LIMRA International.

"Guided by his vision and stewardship, Manulife Financial is a true international leader in the industry. Mr. Guloien and his Manulife colleagues are outstanding partners at all levels of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Network and remain a model of Canadian success both at home and abroad," stated Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. He added: "The Board of Directors, staff and members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce are very pleased to recognize Mr. Guloien and offer sincere congratulations to him and all Manulife associates."

The award will be presented to Mr. Guloien at a dinner in Toronto on November 15, 2012.

Previous recipients of this prestigious award represent the upper echelon of Canadian business. Honourees include Guy Laliberté, Frank Stronach, Peter Munk, Ted Newall, Peter Godsoe, Guy Saint-Pierre, Allan Taylor, Laurent Beaudoin, Jim Balsillie and Michael Lazaridis, among others.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 420 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 192,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. News and information are available at or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.

Financial Fraud Is Back - Stronger Than Madoff - Forbes

Financial fraud is on the rise. You’d think with the increased awareness due to publicity around Bernie Madoff’s $65 billion dollar Ponzi scheme that incidents of financial fraud would have gone down, but instead it has been quite the opposite.  According to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, there has been a 62% increase in financial and other fraud claims in just three years, with over 1.5 million individual claims in 2011.  Some of it we have little control over, such as hackers accessing personal account information from financial institutions over the internet.  Areas we can control are the more personal ones where we are actually writing checks, although “affinity” scams and Ponzi schemes are more subtle and not as easily recognized.  With the passing of the JOBS Act of 2012, “crowd funding” opportunities also open the door for more fraud possibilities.

I am highly aware of financial fraud, not just because I am a financial planner, but because I live in a state participating in a wide scale anti-fraud awareness and education campaign. I live in Utah, a state besieged by financial fraud (approximately $2 billion dollars since 2010), especially “affinity fraud,” which targets closely knit religious groups. Utah only has a population of about 3 million people, so the fraud bill is around $700 per person.  At this level of fraud, the state of Utah loses about 1% of its Gross State Product each year—dollars that are sorely needed in today’s economy.

The victim’s lives are changed forever, but fraud also affects everyone.  A fraud victim may have to delay retirement if their nest egg disappears.  This means not one but two jobs are affected—the co-worker who might have gotten a promotion, and the young new hire who would have taken their place.  The effects of financial fraud can contribute to high unemployment as workers hang on to their jobs since they can’t retire.  It also may contribute to the $1 trillion in student debt as children of fraud victims take on additional student loans when college funds are wiped out. The housing market is affected when a home is foreclosed on and the bank takes a loss, which can cause neighborhood real estate values to decline.  Even the community takes a loss when less property tax is paid, which means fewer funds available for public schools.  There is also the unseen cost when fewer cars are purchased, fewer new homes are built, and fewer remodeling projects take place.  Whether it is direct or indirect, fraud’s effects are deep.

Here are three areas where financial fraud can occur, and how to protect against it:

Insure yourself against identity theft.  Identity theft may be a passive type of fraud where you aren’t actually writing a check to a scam artist, but you are vulnerable nonetheless.  Security can’t keep up with the proliferation of identity theft as hackers are constantly finding new ways to access your personal information.  In fact, McAfee Blogger Carlos Castillo writes about Trojan computer viruses ironically called “bankers” that steal your bank passwords.  Smart phone information is the next challenge for hackers.

Internet banking and mobile banking apps aren’t bad.  In fact, easy access to your information can be helpful in managing your cash flow.  You just don’t want anyone else getting your information.  With malicious hackers out there, it’s tough to protect yourself.  The best course of action is to use some basic common sense practices of protecting your personal information, and to only use secure sites.  Beyond those protective steps, you can insure against loss in two additional ways.  Start by choosing financial institutions that back you up with strong guarantees.  For example, Bank of America offers a zero liability guarantee for their consumer debit and credit cards.  Check with your bank to find out what your liability would be for fraudulent transactions.  Ask them if there is a time frame in which you need to report fraudulent transactions, and be sure to monitor your accounts accordingly.  For example, US Bank will cover any unauthorized transactions as long as you report them within 60 days of the first statement date when the unauthorized transactions appeared.

Secondly, subscribe to a credit monitoring service through one of the major credit bureaus.  As a former victim of identity theft, I try to be extra cautious and use Experian’s service that has daily monitoring, alerts, and a $50,000 guarantee with access to a fraud resolution specialist.  The new reality in the world today is in addition to life, disability, home and auto insurance, we may also need anti-fraud insurance.

If you are a victim of identity theft take action immediately. Report it to the police and place a fraud alert on your accounts with the credit bureaus.  With this action, a requirement to notify you if new credit is being requested in your name is added to your credit file (at no cost to you).  Close your bank accounts and transfer funds to new ones.  The sooner you take action, the better you can protect yourself.  The Federal Trade Commission has guidelines on actions to take – click here.

Watch out for the same scam but with a different disguise.  In almost all cases of fraud, there is no actual investment made.  The classic Ponzi scheme consists of paying off early investors with money taken in from late investors—a scam that dates as far back as 1899.  There may be other types of scams out there that have yet to be detected.  Ironically, this is actually one of the easiest things to catch.  The problem is usually the scammers seem beyond reproach.  Maybe they are part of a church or synagogue, or they are a well respected leader in the community, so the victims don’t do thorough due diligence on the investment.

The bottom line is with any investment, there should always be an independent statement coming from a third party.  If you are only getting an investment statement from the broker, and not the investment company, that should raise a red flag.  You should always receive a separate statement from the investment company where the funds are held with a general phone number to the home office.  Some other red flags include consistently high investment returns, unregistered securities, unlicensed sellers, and overly complex transactions.

Prevention is the best defense for this type of financial fraud since recovery of assets could be minimal at best.

Watch out – “Crowd funding” could attract the next wave of financial scammersCrowd funding has been around in the U.S. for years as a way for charities to raise capital, and President Obama was a master at generating campaign contributions through a similar system using Twitter and Facebook during his presidential election campaign in 2008.  Used correctly, crowd funding can be a boon for startups that are looking to raise money, which in turn will hopefully help create jobs in the U.S. “Used correctly” is the operative term because the system is fraught with potential fraud against unsuspecting investors.  For this reason, the recently signed JOBS Act has incorporated investment restrictions that are intended to protect investors, such as capping investments at $2,000 for investors with an income or net worth of less than $100,000.

US STOCKS-Early rally fades after Bernanke's comments - Reuters UK

Thu Jun 7, 2012 6:11pm BST

* Indexes pull back after Bernanke comments

* China interest rate cut lifts materials stocks

* Spanish auction successful, Fitch cuts rating

* Dow up 0.7 pct, S&P up 0.5 pct, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, June 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Thursday after China's central bank cut lending and deposit rates, but retreated from session highs as comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke dimmed hopes for further stimulus measures from the U.S. central bank.

The surprising move by China's central bank to lower benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points in an effort to rejuvenate economic growth came after comments by Federal Reserve officials increased investors' expectations for more Fed support.

In comments on Wednesday, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart and Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen led investors to become optimistic about the possibility of more easing ahead, due in part to the effects of the euro-zone debt crisis.

But early enthusiasm faded as Bernanke told a congressional committee that the central bank was ready to take action if financial troubles increase, citing difficulties in Europe, but gave no hint of an imminent stimulus plan.

"I don't think the investment community thinks they are immune to Europe so it's not like it's a big revelation, but needless to say (Bernanke) is what the market is reacting to," said Jason Weisberg, managing director at Seaport Securities Corp in New York.

"Regardless of what programs are put into place to try to stem the damage, the overall feeling is they need to do better and somehow they have to figure it out, and they can't do it with a Band-aid. They have to do it properly."

The rate cut in China, the world's No. 2 economy, helped lift the stocks of U.S. companies linked to China's commodity-hungry industrial complex. U.S. Steel Corp climbed 1.4 percent to $20.31, and miner Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc advanced 0.6 percent to $33.86. The S&P Materials index, up 0.8 percent, led all major S&P sectors.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 91.99 points, or 0.74 percent, to 12,506.78. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 6.54 points, or 0.50 percent, to 1,321.67. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 5.91 points, or 0.21 percent, to 2,850.63.

Germany's government and main opposition agreed on the outlines of a proposal for a European financial transaction tax, which could pave the way for parliament to approve a fiscal pact and permanent rescue plan for the euro zone.

Spain managed to raise more than 2 billion euros at a bond auction, tempering fears it is being cut off from financial markets, although it had to pay a heavy price to borrow the funds.

Equities showed little reaction to a downgrade by Fitch in Spain's credit rating to 'BBB' with a negative outlook, just two notches away from junk status.

U.S. stocks jumped more than 2 percent in the previous session, coming on the heels of a drop of more than 6 percent in May. The index appeared to successfully bounce off its 200-day moving average, a key technical support level, putting it on track for its biggest weekly percentage gain of the year.

Shares of Navistar International Corp plunged 15 percent to $23.92 after it posted a second-quarter loss, due to a big charge for warranty costs to repair engines built in 2010 and 2011. The truck maker also cut its full-year earnings outlook.

Health insurer Molina Healthcare Inc recalled its 2012 earnings guidance, citing uncertainties regarding medical costs in Texas, pushing its stock down 29.1 percent to $18.27. (Reporting By Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)

Stocks Pare Gains After Bernanke Comments - CNBC

Stocks retreated from their highs Thursday after Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke did not provide explicit commitment to additional policy, disappointing investors who had been looking for clues about the prospect for a third round of quantitative easing.

Meanwhile, Fitch cut its rating on Spain's government debt by three notches to 'BBB' and added it could lower it further by putting the country on negative outlook. However, stocks remained largely unchanged following the downgrade.

The new rating was Spain's lowest among the three main ratings agencies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average struggled to hold onto its triple-digit gains, led by Caterpillar [CAT  Loading...      ()   ] and United Tech [UTX  Loading...      ()   ], after surging more than 280 points in the previous session to climb back into positive territory for the year.

BofA [BAC  Loading...      ()   ] led the blue-chip laggards a day after the bank logged its best one-day rally this year.

The S&P 500 cut its gains, while the Nasdaq briefly turned negative. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, slipped near 21.

Most S&P sectors remained in positive territory, led by industrials, but telecoms traded lower.

In prepared remarks to the joint economic committee, Bernanke said the central bank is "prepared to take action" if needed to boost the U.S. economy, but made no specific commitment to more easing. The Fed leader also said the economy continues to grow at a moderate pace but faces challenges from the jobs market as well as the debt crisis in Europe.

Gold slid below $1,600 an ounce after Bernanke's comments, while the dollar rose.

“In fact, investors should be hoping that [Bernanke] doesn’t have to use QE3—that indicates that the system is getting gback on its feel by itself,” said Lawrence Creatura, portfolio manager at Federated Investors. “QE3 is a temporary salve and we’ve already used it twice—it has provided temporary relief of the symptoms but it does not treat the disease.”

Fed's vice chair Janet Yellen along with several other regional Fed Presidents made a case for further easing Wednesday, citing risks from the ongoing housing woes, a weak jobs market and worsening financial conditions.

Stocks saw an initial boost at the open after China's central bank cut its key interest rate by 25 basis points in a surprising move, saying the move would take effect Friday. In addition, banks were granted additional flexibility to set competitive lending and deposit rates in step along the path of liberalization. The moves come as China looks to bolster its sagging economic growth. (Read More: Why China’s Interest Rate Cut Is a Really Big Deal)

On the economic front, claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week for the first time in April, declining 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 377,000, according to the Labor Department. The four-week moving average for new claims increased 1,750 last week to 377,750.

Investors also saw some evidence that European policymakers would act to prop up Spain’s banking sector, sending European shares higher, adding to the previous session's sharp rally.

Spain has not yet requested assistance and has resisted being placed under international supervision, but German and European Union officials are urgently exploring ways to rescue the country's banking sector, sources told Reuters.

Best Buy [BBY  Loading...      ()   ] declined to lead the S&P 500 laggards after founder Richard Schulze said he was resigning as chairman and a director and was exploring all options for his 20.1 percent stake in the company.

Among earnings, Lululemon Athletica [LULU  Loading...      ()   ] slumped after the yoga-apparel retailer posted higher quarterly profit, but said same-store sales growth would slow.

Men's Wearhouse [MW  Loading...      ()   ] plunged after the men's clothing retailer posted quarterly results that missed estimates and projected weak earnings in the upcoming quarter.

Meanwhile, JM Smucker [SJM  Loading...      ()   ] edged higher after the Jif peanut butter maker topped earnings and revenue expectations.

A federal judge ruled that Chesapeake Energy [CHK  Loading...      ()   ] will not need to delay its scheduled annual meeting on Friday to allow shareholders more time to investigate CEO Aubrey McClendon's financial dealings.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber [GT  Loading...      ()   ] acquired 100 percent ownership of its Nippon Giant Tire unit in Japan for an undisclosed amount.

—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)

Coming Up This Week:

FRIDAY: International trade, wholesale trade, Fed's Kocherlakota speaks, Chesapeake annual meeting

More From

Financial mania: why bankers and politicians failed to heed the warning signs of the 2008 credit crisis -


Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Education and also in Central Government

Western economies displayed the same kind of manic behaviour as psychologically disturbed individuals in the run up to the 2008 credit crisis -- and it could happen again, according to a new study.

Bankers, economists and politicians shared a “manic culture” of denial, omnipotence and triumphalism as they threw caution to the wind, says Professor Mark Stein, the award-winning academic from the University of Leicester School of Management.

Observing - but not heeding - the warning signs from the collapse of the Japanese economy in 1991 and the 1998 crisis in south-east Asia, the financial world in the West went into an over-drive of denial, escalating its risky and dangerous lending and insurance practices in a manic response, he says.

Professor Stein, who has today (June 7) been awarded the iLab prize for innovative scholarship, identifies and describes this manic behaviour in the 20-year run up to the credit crisis in a paper published in the Sage journal Organization.

The causes of the banking collapse that plunged the UK and many other countries into recession have been well documented but an important question remains:  Why did economists, financiers and politicians fail to anticipate it?

Professor Stein argues that the financial world was suffering from collective mania in the two decades running up to the events. “Unless the manic nature of the response in the run up to 2008 is recognised, the same economic disaster could happen again,” he warns.

He defines the manic culture in terms of the four characteristics of denial, omnipotence, triumphalism and over-activity.  “A series of major ruptures in capitalist economies were observed and noted by those in positions of economic and political leadership in Western societies.  These ruptures caused considerable anxiety among these leaders, but rather than heeding the lessons, they responded by manic, omnipotent and triumphant attempts to prove the superiority of their economies.”

The massive increase in credit derivative deals, industrializing credit default swaps and the removal of regulatory safety checks, such as the repeal in the United States of the landmark Glass-Steagall banking controls were a manic response to the financial crises within capitalism,” he says.

Professor Stein’s award-winning research paper - A culture of mania: a psychoanalytic view of the incubation of the 2008 credit crisis – says this behaviour was also strengthened by “triumphant” feelings in the West over the collapse of communism.

“Witnessing the collapse of communism, those in power in the West developed the deluded idea that capitalist economies would do best if they eschew any resemblance to those communist economies, thereby justifying unfettered financial liberalization and the destruction of the regulatory apparatuses of capitalism. The consequences of this manic response have been catastrophic, with the on-going eurozone crisis being - in many ways - a result of this,” he says.

“Whether one examines the actions of banks and hedge funds, or the limitations of ratings agencies, auditors, regulators and governments, a more worrying and deeper question emerges concerning why so many parties, more or less simultaneously, were implicated in such unprecedented and extreme risk-taking.”

Financial worries add to cancer patients' burden - KLTV

By E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- A small study gives a snapshot into the financial anxieties that plague many patients with advanced cancer and their spouses, even as they struggle against the disease itself.

Four of every five such American patients and their spouses-caregivers in the study said they had concerns about meeting medical costs and suffered "financial stress." Worries about paying medical costs also were tied to lower mental and physical health, the study found.

"Across the board, the longer they were in treatment or reaching the end of life, there were [financial] concerns. There were concerns whether it came to their own well-being or their families' well-being," said study lead author Fay Hlubocky, a clinical psychologist and ethicist at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

She reported the findings this week at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), in Chicago.

The study involved 52 patients with advanced cancers, all of whom were enrolled in clinical trials, and their spouses. While patients in clinical trials are a slightly different group than that seen in the general population (because some expenses of treatment may be paid for), Hlubocky said the numbers from her study "are borne out in the literature generally" for patients battling cancer outside of such trials.

Patients ranged in age from 28 to 78, with a median age of 61. All were married, two-thirds had more than a high school education, and just over half made less than $65,000 a year. Forty-five percent of the patients were employed, as were two-thirds of spouses-caregivers. Each patient and their spouse were asked about a wide range of financial concerns, and they also took part in standard tests assessing depression, anxiety, quality of life and mental/physical health.

The researchers found that at the beginning of the study, 82 percent of the patients and 69 percent of the spouses reported "medical cost concerns," while 79 percent of the patients and 81 percent of spouses said they had "financial stress." Queried a month later, the level of "medical cost concerns" had risen -- 85 percent of patients and 72 percent of spouses now cited such worries.

People who encountered "unexpected" costs related to care had higher anxiety and depression scores than those who did not, the study found. Quality-of-life scores were lower for patients who had financial worries, and the physical and mental health of the spouses-caregivers seemed to decline as medical care cost worries persisted, the study found.

What were patients and their spouses worried about? According to Hlubocky, it ranged from the "little things" -- parking and hotel accommodations, gas and mileage getting to and from doctors' appointments -- to much larger concerns, including insurance coverage (or lack thereof), how to provide for loved ones after death, and even bankruptcy.

Some participants expressed real anxiety in meeting their financial obligations. "We had to pay for an additional hospitalization for a small-bowel obstruction, and insurance would not cover it," one patient told the researchers. "If we had to sell our house to pay, we'd do it."

Other patients felt their illness threatened their livelihood. "My employer has an attendance policy that if violated too many times will result in termination," the patient said. "My appointments have to be midday usually." The patient considered going on disability, "but that would not pay for my insurance."

One expert said these types of fears are all too common for people coping with cancer.

"It is certainly true that the impacts beyond diagnosis and treatment are tremendous for cancer patients," said Dr. Sylvia Adams, ASCO spokeswoman and assistant professor in the department of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, in New York City. "They do face several challenges. And as this article shows, there is a substantial number of patients who feel that there is anxiety and depression and lower quality of life associated with worries about financial stability."

Adams said that, even for people with insurance, costs can quickly escalate. These include medication co-pays, transportation costs, time missed from work, child-care issues and the cost of in-home medical devices.

However, both Hlubocky and Adams stressed that, as challenging as things can be for cancer patents, help and resources are out there. First and foremost, they said, is to make sure you have a social worker on your cancer-care team who can point you in the right direction for help.

"There's lots of different foundations and coalitions out there that are willing to help," Hlubocky said. "Certain hospitals, you can just go and talk to the social worker and try and find out what's the best way to help cover some of the financial problems. Many patients don't know. A social worker is an absolutely wonderful person to have on your team."

Adams agreed. "It is very important that the treating team has a multidisciplinary aspect, and that it involves psychological support as well," she said, since the stress of dealing with cancer and its treatment can be overwhelming.

Findings presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

There are resources for cancer patients and their caregivers at the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

CORRECTED-STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Intraco jumps after tycoon buys stake - Reuters UK

Thu Jun 7, 2012 11:01am BST

(Corrects ownership of TH Investments in 5th paragraph)

Shares in Intraco Ltd jumped 22 percent to their highest in more than 11 years after Singapore tycoon Oei Hong Leong bought a large stake in the materials trading company.

By 0219 GMT, Intraco shares were up 19.8 percent at S$0.695, their most expensive since November 2000. Over 7.3 million shares had been traded by that time, compared with a full-day average volume of 4.9 million over the last five sessions.

Oei bought 20.8 million Intraco shares through the open market and via a married deal at around S$0.50 per share, according to a stock exchange filing. Oei now holds a 21 percent stake in Intraco.

"Retail investors believe Oei spotted an undervalued company, that's why they are buying into the stock now," said a local trader.

Intraco also said last week TH Investments Pte Ltd had bought a 29.89 percent stake in Intraco from Hanwell Holdings Ltd for about S$18.3 million. TH Investments is owned by the family controlling crane company Tat Hong Holdings Ltd .

For related statements click

1006 (0206 GMT) (Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore;


8:38 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index futures up 0.3 pct

Singapore index futures were up 0.3 percent, signalling a positive start for the benchmark Straits Times Index.

Asian shares nudged up on Wednesday but were capped by concerns that Europe's financial strains could intensify without a global response, as Spain warned that it was being shut out of credit markets.

0837 (0037 GMT)

(Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore;

Asian Stocks Extend Rally on Stimulus Optimism; Oil Gains - Bloomberg

Global stocks rose for a third day as China cut interest rates for the first time since 2008, fueling speculation more policy makers will take steps to revive slowing economies. Spanish bonds gained after a debt sale.

The MSCI All-Country World Index (MXWD) added 1 percent at 12:55 p.m. in New York after yesterday surging 2.1 percent in its biggest rally of the year. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 0.5 percent, paring a gain of as much as 1.1 percent. The Spanish 10-year bond yield slid 19 basis points to 6.09 percent after the nation sold 2.07 billion euros ($2.6 billion) of bonds, more than its maximum target of 2 billion euros. The Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe Index of credit-default swaps on 15 governments decreased four basis points.

Equities pared gains, commodities erased their advance and Treasuries rose as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank will need to assess conditions before deciding if more measures are needed to stoke an economy threatened by Europe’s debt crisis and U.S. government budget cuts. China will lower its benchmark lending and deposit rates effective tomorrow, the People’s Bank of China said.

“Sometimes investors look for their Christmas gifts in June,” said Bruce McCain, who helps oversee more than $20 billion as chief investment strategist at the private-banking unit of KeyCorp in Cleveland. “China’s action helps to calm some of the investors’ fears. Yet Bernanke is throwing some cold water on expectations for QE3. Maybe the Fed will deliver that ahead of December, but I think we’d need to see a lot more deterioration in the economy before that happens.”

The S&P 500 climbed for a fourth straight day after staging its biggest rally of the year yesterday, a 2.3 percent surge triggered by speculation global policy makers will act to spur growth. The index has rebounded 3.5 percent from a five-month low on June 1, recouping its losses from a report last week showing U.S. jobs growth in May was the weakest in a year.

Market Leaders

Industrial, commodity and consumer stocks led gains among nine of the 10 main industries in the S&P 500 today. United Technologies Inc., Caterpillar Inc. and Home Depot Inc. rose more than 1.6 percent for the biggest gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, with 22 of the gauge’s 30 stocks advancing.

First-time claims for jobless benefits fell by 12,000 to 377,000 in the week ended June 2 from a revised 389,000 the prior week that was higher than initially estimated, the Labor Department said today. The median estimate of 49 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for 378,000 claims.

Dividend Yields

Shares of smaller U.S. companies foreshadowed this week’s gains in stocks as they did when the worst bear market since the Great Depression ended, according to Andrew Wilkinson, a Miller Tabak & Co. strategist.

The Russell 2000 Index (RTY)’s dividend yield, based on companies’ payouts during the past 12 months, was 30 basis points higher than the rate on 10-year Treasury notes at the end of last week. The gap was the widest since March 9, 2009, the day that the gauge bottomed out after a 59 percent plunge in 17 months.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note, which slid to a record below 1.44 percent last week, lost two basis points to 1.64 percent today. The dollar was stronger against eight major peers and weaker versus the rest.

Four shares rose for every one that declined in the Stoxx 600. Sweden’s OMX Index jumped 3.2 percent, the most since November, as the market reopened after a public holiday. A European gauge of banks rose 2 percent.

Johnson Matthey Plc (JMAT) climbed 4.9 percent after the maker of a third of all autocatalysts reported a 74 percent jump in full- year profit and said that it will pay a special dividend. Tullow Oil Plc added 2.1 percent after saying it discovered crude at its offshore Ivory Coast well.

Narrowing Spread

The extra yield investors demand to hold Spanish 10-year bonds instead of benchmark German bunds declined 23 basis points to 471 basis points, or 4.71 percentage points. The 10-year Italian yield rose four basis points to 5.71 percent, while the similar-maturity Swedish yield jumped 31 basis points to 1.45 percent.

After European markets closed, Fitch Ratings lowered Spain’s debt to BBB from A, with a negative outlook.

France’s 10-year bond yield rose 16 basis points to 2.57 percent even as borrowing costs fell at an auction. The country issued 3.48 billion euros of the benchmark bond at an average yield of 2.46 percent, lower than the 2.96 percent at the last sale on May 3.

The euro was weaker versus 13 of 16 major peers and swung between gains and losses below $1.26.

Emerging Markets

The S&P GSCI gauge of 24 commodities was little changed, erasing a rally of as much as 1.6 percent after Bernanke’s remarks. Crude oil fluctuated near $85 a barrel after surging as much as 2.4 percent.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 1.3 percent, heading for its biggest three-day rally since February. India’s Sensex Index jumped 1.2 percent after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pledged yesterday to revive growth through infrastructure spending. South Korea’s Kospi index rallied 2.6 percent as the market re-opened after a holiday yesterday. Benchmark gauges in Russia, the Czech Republic and the Philippines gained more than 1 percent.

Analysts are favoring stocks in developed countries over their emerging market rivals by the most since 2009, betting their global reach will provide a cushion during a weakening recovery.

Securities firms have boosted average rankings in the 24- country MSCI World Index of advanced nations during the second quarter after cutting recommendations worldwide for seven months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from more than 62,000 ratings. They lowered developing countries during the period, in which $6.3 trillion was erased from global equities.

To contact the reporters on this story: Stephen Kirkland in London at; Sarah Jones in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Baker at

Enlarge image Stocks Climb on Stimulus Optimism as Spanish Bonds Advance

Stocks Climb on Stimulus Optimism as Spanish Bonds Advance

Stocks Climb on Stimulus Optimism as Spanish Bonds Advance

Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

Spain is preparing to sell as much as 2 billion euros of two-, four- and 10-year notes.

Spain is preparing to sell as much as 2 billion euros of two-, four- and 10-year notes. Photographer: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Marc Faber, publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom report, talks about his strategy for global stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies. Faber speaks with Sara Eisen on Bloomberg Television's "InsideTrack." (Source: Bloomberg)

June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Stephen Green, head of greater China research at Standard Chartered Bank Plc in Hong Kong, talks about China's decision to cut interest rates for the first time since 2008. He speaks with Sara Eisen on Bloomberg Television's "InsideTrack." (Source: Bloomberg)

June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Arjuna Mahendran, the Singapore-based head of Asia investment strategy at HSBC Private Bank, talks about the outlook for additional stimulus measures by the European Central Bank and Federal Reserve, and its implications for global stocks. He speaks with Susan Li on Bloomberg Television's "First Up." (Excerpt. Source: Bloomberg)

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Damian Thong, a Tokyo-based analyst at Macquarie Securities Ltd., talks about the global semiconductor industry. The global chip market is set to grow 7.2 percent to $322 billion in 2013 and 4.4 percent to $336 billion in 2014, World Semiconductor Trade Statistics said in a statement on its website yesterday. Thong speaks with Rishaad Salamat on Bloomberg Television's "On the Move Asia." (Source: Bloomberg)

June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Aaron Boesky, chief executive officer of Marco Polo Pure Asset Management in Hong Kong, talks about the outlook for China's stock market and economy, and his investment strategy. Boesky also discusses Chinese Communist Party leadership. He speaks with Rishaad Salamat, Susan Li, Zeb Eckert and David Ingles on Bloomberg Television's "Asia Edge." (Source: Bloomberg)

June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Sean Darby, chief global equity strategist at Jefferies Group Inc. in Hong Kong, talks about global stock and bond markets. Darby also discusses Europe's sovereign debt crisis and China's economy. He speaks with Rishaad Salamat on Bloomberg Television's "On the Move Asia." (Source: Bloomberg)

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Atul Lele, Sydney-based equity strategist at Credit Suisse Group AG, talks about Australia stocks, the nation's currency, and his investment strategy. Lele also discusses Europe's sovereign debt crisis. He speaks with Susan Li on Bloomberg Television's "First Up." (Source: Bloomberg)

June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Paul Hickey, co-founder of Bespoke Investment Group, talks about the impact of Federal Reserve stimulus actions on the financial markets and Treasuries. Hickey, speaking with Erik Schatzker, Stephanie Ruhle, Sara Eisen and Scarlet Fu on Bloomberg Television's "InsideTrack," also discusses the European debt crisis and outlook for corporate earnings. (Source: Bloomberg)

June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Robert Hagstrom, a portfolio manager at Legg Mason Capital Management, talks about U.S. financial markets, Federal Reserve policy and investment strategy. Hagstrom speaks with Betty Liu, Sheila Dharmarajan and Joshua Lipton on Bloomberg Television's “In the Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)

No comments: