Stocks with Strong Financial Metrics (NYSE: CLS) - Stocks with Strong Financial Metrics (NYSE: CLS) -

Friday, June 1, 2012

Stocks with Strong Financial Metrics (NYSE: CLS) -

Stocks with Strong Financial Metrics (NYSE: CLS) -
Shares of CLS fell by 2.35% or $-0.17/share to $7.07. NYSE is trading at a price to book ratio of 1.06. This indicates that the shares are relatively cheap compared to book value which means the market is pricing in going concern value. The PEG is 0.96 suggesting that the shares are trading at an excellent value relative to firm's growth rate. The price to sales ratio came in at 0.22. Hence, the firm is extremely cheap relative to its top line sales figures. On average, 724414 shares of CLS exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 160407. These financial metrics combined make this company seem undervalued. Value investors may have an eye on this one, especially if the stock gets cheaper.

Celestica Inc. (Celestica) is a provider of supply chain solutions globally to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and service providers in the communications, consumer, computing and diversified end markets.

John Edwards gets off scot free in financial infidelity trial + slideshow - Examiner

The John Edwards trial, a prime example of financial infidelity linked to sexual infidelity, has ended in an acquittal and mistrial.

The end result is that after a 2- year investigation that cost taxpayers over $2 million dollars, a 4-week long trial, and 9 days of jury deliberation, Edwards gets off scot free.

As Time magazine observes, no other case of this type has grabbed headlines like the Edwards case.

This is the most noteworthy case of sexually-related financial infidelity to ever make the news. See Schwarzenegger and 3 Other High Profile Cheating Husbands Guilty of Financial Infidelity.

ABC News, which provided in-depth day-to-day coverage of the John Edwards trial, aptly points out that all of the improprieties Edwards was being tried for were either directly or indirectly linked to his extramarital affair with campaign videographer Rielle Hunter, his former mistress and mother of his 4-year-old daughter Quinn. 

Yet ironically, Edwards and his mistress, Rielle Hunter – the two people around which the trial revolved, were never called to the stand to testify. See Best Articles with background Information on John Edwards - Rielle Hunter Affair

Hunter's name was on the witness list for both the prosecution and defense.

PHOTOS: Rielle Hunter, the Mistress Who Destroyed John Edwards’ Life

Jury Deadlocked Over Fine Points of the John Edwards Trial

With one of the donors of the almost $1 million dollars in question now deceased (Fred Baron) and the other donor (Bunny Mellon) a 101-year-old recluse unable to testify, the prosecution’s case was heavily dependent on the testimony of former Edwards aide, and Andrew Young and his wife. See John Edwards Sex Tape His Aides Wanted To Sell Was Worth Millions.

The question was not IF the money was spent on his mistress Rielle Hunter to cover her medical and living expenses and hide her from public view at the peak of Edwards’ failed presidential campaign.

The question was WHY the money was spen.

Was it to hide Edwards’ affair with Rielle Hunter (who was pregnant at the time) from Elizabeth Edwards, his cancer-stricken wife; or to preserve his image as a “family man” in order to further his presidential campaign. See Best Articles with background Information on John Edwards - Rielle Hunter Affair.

Also at issue was whether or not Edwards himself masterminded and directed the financial deception, or knew that it was taking place.

The National Enquirer, which was nominated for Pulitzer Prize for exposing the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter affair, called the Edwards trial a “hotbed of lies.”

With contradictory testimony from the Youngs, and confusing and damning testimony from other witnesses, commented that the choice before the jury came down to choosing which liar to believe. See John Edwards Sex Tape His Aides Wanted To Sell Was Worth Millions.

Since Edwards had previously proven himself to be a consummate liar and expert manipulator in other matters related to his extramarital affair, it was difficult for the jury to determine which of the many witnesses in the Edwards trial was actually telling the truth. See John Edwards Tries to Marry Rielle Hunter to Keep Her from Testifying in Court and John Edwards Lied to Us Before, Should We Believe Him Now about Rielle Hunter?

PHOTOS: Scenes from John Edwards Trial

The  Financial Infidelity - Sexual Infidelity Link in the Edwards Trial

When extramarital affairs are involved, financial infidelity is often linked to sexual infidelity. ref

The John Edwards trial is probably the most high profile, most noteworthy case of sexually-related financial infidelity to ever make the news since the term was coined to describe the unique form of infidelity which is characterized by lies and deception related to financial matters and how money is being spent. See Schwarzenegger and 3 Other Cheating Husbands Guilty of Financial Infidelity

The Edwards trial was far more than the case of a cheating husband using family funds to wine and dine his mistress or buy her a few gifts. See Best Articles with background Information on John Edwards - Rielle Hunter Affair

PHOTOS: Rielle Hunter, the Mistress Who Destroyed John Edwards’ Life

PHOTOS: Scenes from John Edwards Trial

This was sexually-related financial infidelity on a grand scale, which went far beyond the common “garden variety” case of a cheating husband trying to conceal his use of family funds to finance and maintain his extramarital affair.

According to ABC News, Young testified he was informed that concealing Edwards’ affair from the media and hiding Edwards pregnant mistress was "the most important job on Edwards campaign.

CNN referred to the John Edwards trial as a political soap opera, perhaps because it involved an arrogant and opportunistic presidential candidate having an extramarital affair, a high-profile cheating husband, a jealous mistress, a love child, a suspicious and terminally-ill wife, financial deception, a once loyal aide spilling political secrets, a sex tape, a tell-all book, and cover-ups and subterfuge at every turn. See John Edwards Sex Tape His Aides Wanted To Sell Was Worth Millions and Best Articles with background Information on John Edwards - Rielle Hunter Affair. 

PHOTOS: Scenes from John Edwards Trial

John Edwards Gets Off Scot-Free

The bottom line is that the 8 man-4 woman jury found Edwards NOT GUILTY on one charge.

The judge declared a mistrial after the jurors became deadlocked, and failed to reach a verdict on the other 5 charges, which included conspiracy and making false statements.
Edwards was facing a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine, but now he gets off scot-free.

PHOTOS: Scenes from John Edwards Trial


*** © copyright 2012 Ruth Houston / All Rights Reserved.

Ruth Houston is a New York-based infidelity expert who is frequently called on by the media to comment on high profile infidelity and popular infidelity issues in the news. She is the founder of, the author of  Is He Cheating on You? - 829 Telltale Signs, and publishes the Infidelity News and Views blog. Ruth also writes the Celebrity Infidelity column at and the National Infidelity column at To interview infidelity expert Ruth Houston, or have her speak at your next event, call 718 592-6029 or e-mail

For more information or slideshows on the John Edwards trial, the John Edwards – Rielle Hunter affair, or John and Elizabeth Edwards, see the following articles at

PHOTOS: Scenes from John Edwards Trial

Best Articles with background Information on John Edwards - Rielle Hunter Affair

PHOTOS: Rielle Hunter, the Mistress Who Destroyed John Edwards’ Life

John Edwards Sex Tape His Aides Wanted To Sell Was Worth Millions

Rielle Hunter Freaks Out Over John Edwards Accompanying Elizabeth Edwards To Japan

As America Mourned Elizabeth Edwards, Rielle Hunter Envisioned Marrying John

As John Edwards Prepares for Elizabeth’s Funeral, Rielle Makes Wedding Plans

Sex tape of Rielle Hunter and John Edwards worth MILLIONS

John Edwards Tries to Marry Rielle Hunter to Keep Her from Testifying in Court

John Edwards Tries to Trick Rielle into Marriage to Save His Own Skin

Elizabeth Edwards Got Her Revenge on John Edwards Before She Died 

Budget austerity gives financial managers a chance to shine -

Defense Department leaders preparing for historic budget cuts should tap the expertise of their financial management executives, who see the current challenges as their moment to “step up to the plate and shine,” stated a new survey conducted by the American Society of Military Comptrollers and Grant Thornton LLP.

The 10th annual survey, released Thursday, summarizes responses from 742 uniformed and civilian defense financial leaders and employees on their role in helping the Pentagon prepare for new military conflicts and a possible budget sequester, and adjusting to a “mind-set of less.”

With top Defense leaders preoccupied with macro issues, “now is truly a time for all [financial management] professionals to assume a leadership role in meeting the challenges of significantly reduced resources in an uncertain and dangerous world,” an analysis of the survey results said.

“We are seeing an increased need for the strategic financial management professional who combines technical finance knowledge with strong analytics and sound operational knowledge,” Al Tucker, executive director of the controllers association, said in a statement. “These professionals can craft budget-cutting solutions that assess and protect priority programs while still generating funds for investments required by the president’s new policy guidance.”

Retired Vice Adm. Lewis Crenshaw, a principal at Grant Thornton and the primary interviewer for the survey, said, “a sluggish U.S. economy, the return of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, the specter of sequester, a gridlocked election-year Congress, and a rethinking of Defense strategy have combined to create a ‘perfect financial management storm.’ ” If the right people are in place, he added, “the financial management corps is ready to step up and shine.”

The survey showed that about two-thirds of financial managers are optimistic about their ability to bring cultural change to reflect the new austerity. But “inertia, resistance to change and entrenched interests that want to maintain the status quo all can work against these efforts,” the survey report said. The most important skills required of modern financial managers are critical thinking, analytical prowess, understanding the operational context of the programs they support, and creating and using performance measures, respondents said.

The survey showed a gap between top executives and field managers on some key questions. Asked whether pay and hiring freezes are having a significant impact on the workforce, 77 percent of executives said no, but only 39 percent of lower-level managers agreed.

Similarly, the goal of achieving auditable financial statements -- a challenge that has vexed the Pentagon for nearly two decades -- is a higher priority for top-level executives than for field managers.

The financial managers were asked which of several approaches top defense leaders likely would take. Options included shifting financial management tasks to nonspecialists; requiring managers to take a 5 percent to 10 percent across-the-board budget cut; negotiating to reduce the number of reports and services required; and outsourcing financial management operations. None of these choices is realistic, the majority of respondents said, but the most likely is an across-the-board cut to program budgets.

Stocks with Strong Financial Metrics (TSE: UFS.TO) -
Shares of UFS fell by 0.16% or $-0.13/share to $81.67. TSE is trading at a price to book ratio of 1.0. This indicates that the shares are relatively cheap compared to book value which means the market is pricing in going concern value. The price to sales ratio came in at 0.55. Hence, the firm is extremely cheap relative to its top line sales figures. On average, 28466 shares of UFS.TO exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 11525. These financial metrics combined make this company seem undervalued. Value investors may have an eye on this one, especially if the stock gets cheaper.

Stocks sink 1.4% after 'terrible' jobs report -

Wall Street suffered its bloodiest day of the year Friday as U.S. stocks sank more than 2% following an ugly jobs report. The Dow erased all its gains for the year, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq moved into correction territory, down more than 10% from the year's highs.

The sell-off was broad, with all 30 Dow components ending in the red, and 97% of the S&P 500 closing lower.

As jittery investors fled stocks, they plowed into the safety of U.S. government debt, pushing the yields on the 10-year Treasury note and the 30-year Treasury bond to fresh record lows.

The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 275 points, or 2.2%, the biggest one-day drop since November. The blue-chip index gave up all its gains for the year, and is now 99 points below where it finished 2011. The S&P 500 lost 32 points, or 2.5%, and the Nasdaq dropped 80 points, or 2.8%.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are now down more than 10% from their highs of the year, which means they are officially in what investors call a correction.

"The U.S. employment report was simply terrible," said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman.

The May jobs report showed only 69,000 jobs were added to payrolls, less than half the 150,000 jobs forecast by economists surveyed by CNNMoney. The unemployment rate ticked higher for the first time in a year, rising to 8.2%.

The CNNMoney Fear and Greed index showed investor confidence sliding even farther into "extreme fear" territory on the news.

"The move in bond markets is even more telling," said Joe Saluzzi, co-head of equity trading at Themis Trading. "A 1.5% 10-year yield? That's fear."

Bond yields have been in record low territory for the past couple of weeks, as fears of Europe's escalating debt crisis have been building. A report on Friday showed the eurozone unemployment rate at a record high of 11%.

Concerns about slowing growth in emerging markets, including China and India, have also put investors on edge. Two reports out of China Friday morning showed that the manufacturing sector contracted more than expected in May, fueling investors' concerns that the country may be headed for a hard landing.

As global economic growth has slowed in the last year, exports to Europe -- China's largest foreign market -- have taken a hit as the debt-ridden region teeters on the brink of recession.

"We've got concerns about Europe, China, India, the United States -- this is a global problem," said Saluzzi. "Investors have no place to hide."

Given the growing fears, and fragile market and economic environment, Saluzzi said central banks around the world -- particularly the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve -- will likely come out with plans to help stimulate the global economy.

Speculation that the Fed will launch a third round of bond buying, or QE3, which is meant to keep long-term interest rates low, has been growing, but Saluzzi is not convinced that it's the right solution.

"Interest rates are already low, and that hasn't worked," he said. "I'm sure the Fed will try something, because that's what it does, but it needs to attack from a different angle."

U.S. stocks finished in the red Thursday, ending a difficult month on a weak note. The Dow and S&P 500 dropped more than 6% in May, while the Nasdaq shed more than 7%.

Economy: Personal income and personal spending for April increased 0.2%. Analysts had expected the figure to increase by 0.3%.

The May installment of the ISM Manufacturing Index showed that U.S. manufacturing growth slowed in May. The index fell to 54.5, down from 54.8 last month and below expectations of 54. Any reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector.

April construction spending rose by 0.3%, but that was below forecasts for a 0.5% rise.

Companies: Shares of Facebook hit a fresh low of $26.83 Thursday before bouncing back, ending the day up 5% at $29.60. The stock edged higher Friday, closing up 0.1%.

Shares of food producer Sara Lee slipped after the company said it was spinning off its international coffee and tea business, which will pay a special dividend to existing Sara Lee shareholders. Sara Lee also announced a 1-for-5 reverse stock split.

BP said it was considering selling its 50% stake in TNK-BP, a Russian oil joint venture, after it received an unsolicited bid for the holding. Shares of BP gained ground.

Groupon shares fell. The online discount service, which has been dogged with questions about its accounting practices since its initial public offering in November, ends its lock-up period Friday, meaning that insiders who own shares will be able to sell them.

The nation's Big Three automakers -- General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler -- all reported a jump in car sales in May, but the results were less than expected by some analysts -- another sign that the U.S. economy, while growing, remains weaker than hoped.

Money, misbehavior gushing in elections process - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
WASHINGTON —  Is it "anything goes" now in America's campaign finance system?

John Edwards is acquitted of using campaign cash as hush money. There's an explosion of high-dollar super political action committees in the presidential race. It's all stoking criticism of revisions and regulatory loopholes in a system that was intended to keep better control of political money after Watergate.

Loosening the law has made it easier for politicians to butt up against the legal line — if not cross it — and for wealthy Americans to influence who wins office, from the White House on down.

All told, the immense amount of money in American campaigns, the cozy relationships between candidates and their financial backers — and now, too, a seeming lack of accountability for alleged rule-breakers — is fueling the public's long-standing distrust of its politicians and doubts about the credibility of the system.

"There's not much for voters to have faith in," says Trevor Potter, a former Federal Election Commission member and a proponent of campaign-finance reform. "We don't have much of a campaign-finance system at this stage, and we are wide open to the possibilities of corruption."

Spanning many weeks, the Edwards trial in North Carolina showcased what prosecutors said was a classic case of misusing campaign funds: Here was a former presidential candidate, they said, who channeled large sums of money from a deep-pocketed donor to cover up a love child and a mistress. But jurors acquitted Edwards, in part because the statute he was charged under required him to know he was breaking the law.

Jurors said the government didn't prove that. Said one, Sheila Lockwood: "I just felt that he didn't receive any of the money, so you can't really charge him for money that he got."

Campaign finance laws have changed remarkably since Edwards ran for the White House four years ago.

Had he been a candidate this year, and had his backers wanted to help him, they could have established a super PAC and donated unlimited amounts of money that could have been used in any number of ways. It's unclear if that still would have been legal for the uses in his case, although the super PACs have been able to take more risks than the campaigns they support. Super PACs are barred from coordinating with a candidate.

But it doesn't seem that clarity is coming anytime soon. The FEC can't agree on new regulations.

Take last December, when a Republican super PAC asked commissioners if it could "fully coordinate" with a Senate candidate. The commission deadlocked on a 3-3 vote after a heated discussion.

Michael Toner, a Washington lawyer and election law expert, said it would be a mistake to conclude that the failed prosecution of Edwards means that campaign finance violations will not be prosecuted.

"There's no question that there were relatively unique facts in the Edwards case," he said, and that there are other areas in campaign law where wrongdoing is clear cut — such as contributions from foreigners.

It's not just the FEC. A divided Congress has shown no appetite to take up the issue in earnest despite calls for an overhaul by Democrats after a series of federal court rulings — including the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in 2010 — started to deregulate the system.

Political gridlock and regulatory ambiguity have paved the way for an unprecedented amount of spending from outside groups and special interests. Campaigns, political parties and super PACs supporting President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have raised more than $400 million apiece, figures that put the election on track to cost more than $1 billion.

Despite claims of independence, super PACs have incredibly close ties to the candidates they're working to help elect.

Restore Our Future, supporting Mitt Romney, shares office space with the same consultants who help Romney's own campaign. The groups insist there is a "firewall" — the workspaces are separated, they have said, by a conference room. A former White House spokesman, Bill Burton, runs the Priorities USA Action super PAC with its goal of helping Obama win a second term.

The fuzzy rules have super PACs pushing the limits. Many have nonprofit arms that legally don't have to disclose their donors. Some mega-donors — notably casino mogul Sheldon Adelson — have said they will be giving their money to these shelters to avoid public scrutiny.

"That's exactly what the laws we have are supposed to prevent," Potter said, "that one candidate for public office is not completely beholden to an individual and his interests."

We've been here before.

Congress began to change how Americans fund their elections in the mid-1970s after slush funds and cover-ups forced Richard Nixon's resignation.

"I believe that one of the crucial factors in determining whether or not we consider a government democratic is not how much power public officials have, but rather how public officials secure and retain their offices," Lawton Chiles told his colleagues on the Senate floor in April 1974.

Since then, there's been no shortage of instances of questionable relationships between politicians and the people who bankroll their candidacies.

On the Democratic side, hundreds of Obama's major backers have had repeated access to his top advisers or have attended glamorous state dinners. The White House has declined to offer complete details on those meetings. And on the Republican side, GOP super PACs have faced their own troubles in disclosing donors required under existing rules. Some major contributors have been listed in federal data with ambiguous addresses or shell corporations.

Situations like those have fueled voter distrust of both parties.

Republican Sen. John McCain, a major player in campaign-finance reform, has warned the current system is so influenced by wealthy donors that it will require "major scandals" before it is fixed. Conversely, anti-reform advocates have said campaign-finance deregulation is more faithful to free-speech protections afforded by the First Amendment.

One thing certain in an otherwise uncertain campaign finance landscape is that no changes are imminent. This will be the system at least through the November election.

Amid a financial crisis, how do you thread the fiscal needle? - Lebanon Daily Star

Elections often turn on the state of the economy, especially in hard times. When growth and jobs are down, voters throw out incumbents – whether Spanish leftists, French rightists, or Dutch centrists. The United States is no exception. Three years into the Great Depression, Herbert Hoover was trounced by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In 1980, following a severe bout of stagflation, Ronald Reagan routed Jimmy Carter.

At the same time, economic performance depends to a considerable extent on economic policy. The Great Depression was intensified by poor monetary policy, tax hikes, and protectionist trade policies. Likewise, loose U.S. monetary policy in the middle of the last decade helped to set the stage for the Great Recession by contributing significantly to an explosion of leverage and fueling the housing bubble that burst in 2007-2008.

The outcome of two related policy battles will be key to the economic and political outlook in both the United States and Europe. The first is between “austerity” and “growth” – that is, short-term deficit reduction and additional fiscal stimulus. Many on the left, on both sides of the Atlantic, argue that more, not less, government spending is required to lift their economies out of recession. Those on the right believe that governments’ top priority should be fiscal consolidation.

In Europe, large deficits and exploding debt-to-GDP ratios have alarmed creditors and provoked political tension. In particular, Germany demands more fiscal belt-tightening from heavily indebted southern European countries, whose unions (and voters) are rejecting further austerity. While the U.S. has thus far avoided the bond market’s wrath, American political leaders confront the same problem of debt and fiscal sustainability.

The second battle involves long-run structural issues: slowing the growth of government spending, reforming taxes, and increasing labor-market flexibility. In Europe, for example, raising the retirement age for public pensions and shrinking government employment would curtail welfare-state excesses.

In the United States, Reagan’s victory in 1980 appeared to signal that America would stop well short of the European social-welfare model. But President Barack Obama and his congressional allies have rejected the consensus that government should be only a last resort for those in need, in favor of greater dependence, for both individuals and firms, on entitlement programs and other public spending, targeted tax breaks, regulations and loans.

Separating the budget’s effects on the economy from those of the economy on the budget is a tricky matter. There are several cases – Ireland and Denmark in the 1980s, for example – in which fiscal consolidation helped to expand the economy in the short run, as lower interest and exchange rates boosted confidence enough to stimulate demand.

Of course, if many of the world’s economies attempt to consolidate simultaneously, with interest rates already low and some of the largest in a monetary union, such a favorable result is less likely. But the evidence on whether additional deficit-financed spending would quickly revive economic growth is mixed.

In a recent survey, “Fiscal Policy for Economic Growth,” I concluded that short-run multipliers – the total change in economic activity resulting from higher government spending – could theoretically be as large as two when the central bank has reduced its target interest rate to zero. In other words, $1 spent by the government could boost gross domestic product by $2 in the very short run.

The catch is that the multiplier turns negative by year two: extra government spending contracts, rather than expands, medium-term and long-term economic growth. Moreover, the short-run effect is lower in highly indebted countries, and can even be negative during economic expansions if households and firms, expecting higher taxes to pay for future spending, save, rather than spend, the cash.

Postponing fiscal consolidation risks aborting it, but consolidating too aggressively risks temporarily hindering growth. But those now demanding further deficit-financed stimulus must confront considerable evidence that an overhang of public debt impedes growth for a long time. In a recent paper following up on their book This Time is Different, the economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff concluded that debt to GDP ratios above 90 percent tend to be associated with an annual growth slowdown of a full percentage point for 23 years. Thus, a debt overhang cumulatively costs more in lost income than a deep recession does.

Wise policy simultaneously considers short-, medium- and long-term effects. Both Europe and the United States badly need long-run reforms, for example, of public pensions and health care. Europe requires structural labor-market reform and must resolve its sovereign-debt overhang, banking crises, and the euro’s future. The United States must reform its tax code to raise revenue across a wider array of people and economic activity (half the U.S. population pays no federal income tax, and the tax code either excludes or favorably treats many income sources).

Over the next several years – the medium term – all countries should implement difficult-to-reverse fiscal consolidation, which would persuade the private sector that a gradual or delayed adjustment, primarily on the spending side of the budget, will occur. Successful consolidation generally relies on spending cuts rather than tax increases – indeed, at a ratio of five or six to one. The U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s reduced spending by 5 percent of GDP and balanced its budget while growing strongly. Canada, in the past two decades, has decreased spending by 8 percent of GDP and prospered.

In the short run, spending flexibility is appropriate only if medium- and long-term measures are in place. That compromise – between Germany and southern Europe, and between U.S. Republicans and Democrats – should be economically and politically feasible.

With many citizens now struggling, political leaders face a daunting task: Adopt credible medium- and long-term reforms without derailing the economy in the short term. They have little economic – and perhaps even less political – margin for error.

Michael J. Boskin, chairman of President George H. W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1989-1993, is a professor of economics at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. THE DAILY STAR publishes this commentary in collaboration with Project Syndicate © (

Mitt Romney Financial Disclosure Form Lists Bain Capital, Goldman Sachs Gains - Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney released his personal financial disclosure form for 2011 late on Friday, publicly revealing a host of transactions involving Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs for the first time.

Romney's 2010 tax return had pegged the presumptive Republican nominee's net worth at somewhere between $190 million and $250 million, but the newly released disclosures shine more light on where and how Romney makes his fortune.

According to the disclosure form, Romney's most lucrative assets in 2011 were his investments in Bain Capital. Nineteen different Bain investments are worth a total of at least $4.5 million, but are likely far more valuable because two of those assets are simply described as worth more than $1 million. Federal disclosure rules do not require candidates to list the precise value of assets or earnings, instead relying on broad ranges of wealth.

One can thus calculate a range for how much Romney earned from Bain and other holdings in 2011. Over the course of last year, the former Bain Capital CEO took in somewhere between $720,000 and $6.26 million from holdings in the firm. Money managed by Goldman Sachs was good for at least $1,113,503.01, with the gain on one Goldman fund classified simply as "over $1,000,000." In addition, he received between $100,001 and $1,000,000 from the sale of an asset portfolio managed by Goldman Sachs.

Romney also earned $260,389.74 in 2011 from stock awards he received for serving on the board of Marriott Hotels in 2009 and 2010 (Romney's first name, Willard, was inspired by Marriott founder J. Willard Marriott, a close friend of the former Massachusetts governor's father). Royalties from his book, "No Apology: Believe in America," were good for between $50,001 and $100,000. On Sept. 12, 2011, he received between $201 and $1,000 from The New York Times for an op-ed he wrote.

Romney received between $571,666 and $1,768,500 from the sale of various stocks during the year.

Speaking fees were another big income source, with four talks bringing in a total of $189,975, including a $68,000 speech at GoldenTree Asset Management, a $42,500 talk at Barclays Bank, and another $68,000 speech before the International Franchise Association.

Romney owns between $250,001 and $500,000 in gold. He made less than $201 from those holdings last year.

The median household income in the United States at the close of 2011 was $51,413.

View Romney's financial disclosure form in its entirety here.

Leicester financial services firm honoured at international ceremony -

Lafarge financial services Leicester have received a top business accolade at the 12th annual European Shared Services & Outsourcing Network (SSON) Excellence Awards.

The shared service centre which provides all accounting services for building materials sister companies Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK in Syston and Lafarge Cement in Solihull, was named the winner in the Culture Creation category.

Up against shared services from across Europe, it was also shortlisted in the Innovation category, narrowly missing out on an award at the ceremony in Amsterdam.

Phil Lanyon, director Lafarge UK financial shared services said : “I am really proud of this award, it is a fantastic award and a reflection of all the efforts our people have put in to making the shared service centre work so well.

“Importantly it also recognises on a major scale, among other global companies  the way the UK business units work with us and the way we work with them to make financial shared services such a success.

“It is a supreme example of working together as ‘one Lafarge’.”

IBM and Microsoft were also in the running for awards at the ceremony, indicating the firm’s shared services role.

Naomi Secor SSON conference producer said : “The calibre of applications has been increasing every year.
“We were delighted with the number of applicants, as well as the originality displayed.”

Financial Times releases Windows 8 preview -
Financial Times Windows 8 app

The new Financial Times Windows 8 app

The Financial Times has launched a preview version its Windows 8 app today, announced earlier this week.

The app is available on any mobile or desktop device running the new Microsoft Windows 8 release preview, which went live last night.

Tablets running the Windows 8 operating system are expected to go on sale in the autumn.

Speaking to earlier this week, Rob Grimshaw, managing director of said the launch of Windows 8 tablets could be a game changer in the tablet market.

"We think it will end up being a much more diverse market place and there is room for at least a couple more big players, and given the effort that Microsoft is putting into Windows 8 it's entirely possible that Microsoft will be one of those players."

The FT Windows 8 app, which can be downloaded from the Windows Store, is the "next phase in the FT’s mobile development", the title said today in a release.

The FT currently has tablet apps for Windows, Apple and Android, built using a hybrid of HTML5 and native technology.

"The same core code base is used to power FT apps for mobile phones, tablets, and desktop and in this case has been combined with the best elements from Windows, optimising the app for devices running Windows 8," the release states.

Key features of the new Windows 8 app include: comprehensive access to FT content, automatic updates and offline access. It also allows users to find FT articles using the main Windows 8 search and has "live tile", with the latest FT headlines on the desktop.

The app also has navigation allowing FT app the run in part of the screen alongside other programmes, such as email. This means "you can keep track of the news as you work", the FT states.

Speaking to for a podcast on why publishers are excited about Windows 8, Daniel Sharp, co-founder of Stonewash, mobile developers that have been working with Microsoft and have launched four apps for publishers as part of last night's release, said Windows 8 offers a number of features he believes will be popular, such as the concept of "full screen snap and fill".

"You can run an application full screen and if you then get an email you can push that application to the side and it fills a single column down either the left or the right hand side. That means you can get on with doing something entirely different in the main, leftover screen."

Earlier this week Rob Grimshaw, managing director of the said mobile is increasingly important for the FT, with half of digital access being from mobile devices within three years.

In the last six months, readers accessing FT content via smartphone has risen 52 per cent, with tablet reading up 49 per cent.

Users will have free access to FT content via the Windows 8 app for a limited period once they have registered, according to the release. Once this ends the app will be integrated into the access model where after registering, users are able to sample the content before subscribing.

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