Chevron Allowed To Fraud Claims Against Patton Boggs

April 3rd, 2014 by James

A New York judge has allowed Chevron Corp to sue Patton Boggs over claims that the Washington law and lobbying firm indulged in fraud while making attempts to enforce a multibillion-dollar environmental judgment for a group of Ecuadorean villagers.

Chevron Allowed To Fraud Claims Against Patton Boggs

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan gave his ruling in Manhattan federal court. The judge remarked he had difficulties with the argument of Patton Boggs that a New York court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case. Patton Boggs partners in question “at least arguably were domiciliaries of the states of the United States” and the firm had the burden of proving partners intended to give up their U.S. domiciles or take up domicile in a foreign country, said the judge.

“This is about holding accountable all those who are responsible for trying to enforce this travesty of justice that occurred in Ecuador,” Chevron’s lawyer, Randy Mastro, said in an interview. “Now there will be the opportunity to hold Patton Boggs accountable for its role.”

In a statement, Patton Boggs general counsel Charles Talisman called claims of Chevron “baseless and unlikely ever to proceed to litigation on the merits.” Talisman added the case was in its early stages and there were still jurisdictional arguments being made.

“If this case advances…we look forward to showing the lack of merit in Chevron’s allegations regarding our law firm,” he said. “We have no doubt that we acted ethically and properly in assisting these communities, and that we will be able to demonstrate this to the court if that becomes necessary.”

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European Shares Dip Due To Ukraine Concerns

March 20th, 2014 by James

With investors keeping a wary eye on the standoff over Crimea, European shares dipped and the safe-haven Yen rose.

European Shares Dip Due To Ukraine Concerns

After stocks gained in Asia and on Wall Street on Monday, the FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 slipped at the open. The Japanese Yen gained but stayed below recent peaks against the dollar and gold.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree that approved a draft treaty on “adopting the Republic of Crimea into the Russian Federation”. Putin was due to address a special joint session of the Russian parliament on the issue later. This was after Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking region of Crimea voted overwhelmingly in a weekend referendum in favor of joining Russia. Condemned by Western States, the referendum resulted in sanctions by the United States and the European Union on a small group of Russian and Crimean officials.

“The sanctions taken against Russia are relatively soft, and there has been no real escalation in the tensions in the past week, which is good news,” Talence Gestion fund manager Alexandre Le Drogoff said.

“Overall, the market has been quite resilient in this Ukrainian crisis, but now it needs a positive catalyst to resume its rally, and we might have to wait for first-quarter corporate results for that.”

After data indicated the U.S. economy was improving after a winter slowdown, the S&P 500 index .SPX rebounded on Monday from its worst weekly fall in the past seven to end 0.96 percent higher as concerns eased over Ukraine.

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Latina Banker Selected By Obama To Lead Small Business Agency

February 13th, 2014 by James

Maria Contreras-Sweet was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama to lead the Small Business Administration, an agency providing loans and assistance to small businesses for getting government contracts.

Latina Banker Selected By Obama To Lead Small Business Agency

The selection of 58-year-old Maria Contreras-Sweet fills the final slot in the president’s second-term Cabinet as the post of SBA administrator has been vacant since August, when Karen Mills accepted joint posts at Harvard Business School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Gary Toebben, president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, said Contreras-Sweet “is highly regarded in Los Angeles and throughout the state of California.” “She is articulate and passionate about helping small businesses,” Toebben said.

“She understands the needs of small business owners like herself. She knows how they can lift entire communities, and ultimately how they lift our country,” Obama said while making the announcement at the White House.

Maria is the second Hispanic nominated to Obama’s second-term cabinet after Labor Secretary Tom Perez. She is the founder of ProAmerica Bank, a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles, which emphasizes on lending to small- and medium-sized Latino businesses.

“Maria knows how hard it is to get started on a business, the grueling hours, the stress, the occasional self-doubt – although I have not yet seen self-doubt out of Maria,” Obama said.

Contreras-Sweet immigrated to the United States as a child and was California’s secretary of business, transportation and housing in the Democratic administration of Gray Davis.

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Asian Stocks On A Slippery Road, Euro Stuck Near Lows

February 2nd, 2014 by James

On Monday, Asian shares were giving ground at a slow pace as strains in emerging markets demonstrated little signs of abating while adding pressure for another policy easing in Europe shoved the euro to lows of 10 weeks.

Asian Stocks On A Slippery Road, Euro Stuck Near Lows

Japan’s Nikkei .N225 led the way with a loss of 1.2 percent while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS eased 0.2 percent, while Seoul’s KOSPI lost 0.6 percent .KS11.

This week, investors can expect a lot of event risk with a raft of global business surveys and jobs data from the United States to provide a clearer view on how well the global economy is performing.

It was cautioned by analysts that the ongoing Lunar New Year holiday that began on January 31 probably dragged on output as manufacturers shut up shop for the biggest annual holiday of China. This was after another downbeat report from China where the official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dipped to 50.5 in January from December’s 51, in line with market expectations.

The PMI of South Korea, on the other hand, edged up to its highest in eight months. “Manufacturing conditions continue to improve in Korea, boosted by stronger new orders on the external front,” said HSBC economist Ronald Man. “This suggests that Korea is on track for a gradual export-led recovery.”

Inflation in the euro zone ran at just 0.7 percent for the year to January, a level that has prompted the European Central Bank to ease in the past.

“We think the low inflation readings in the euro area, along with fears of a further decline into deflationary territory, will lead the ECB to cut the main refinancing rate by 15 basis points, and to cut the deposit rate by 10 basis points,” said Dean Maki, an economist at Barclays.

“Advanced economy growth is benefiting from the very accommodative monetary policy that has been fostered by low inflation readings.”

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Higher Global Growth Predicted By IMF

January 22nd, 2014 by James

The International Monetary Fund is expecting global growth to pick up this year. The global lender however remarked that deflation is a “rising risk” as long as economic growth stays below what policy-makers believe is optimal.

Currency exchange board

Concerns were expressed by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde about price growth remaining below the target of many central banks that may hurt the nascent recovery.

“If inflation is the genie, then deflation is the ogre that must be fought decisively,” Lagarde said at the National Press Club in Washington.

Lagarde also added that central banks should be careful in withdrawing monetary stimulus, only once the economy is clearly on a firm footing. Last month, the US Federal Reserve decided to trim its monthly bond purchases to $75 billion from $85 billion and two of the U.S. central bank’s most hawkish policymakers said that it should bring its bond-buying program to a swift close. The so-called “taper” of the Fed’s bond buying was not expected to roil markets as long as it was gradual, Lagarde said. “We don’t anticipate massive, heavy and serious consequences,” she said.

Lagarde however remarked that more rapid adjustments may cause sharp market gyrations and volatile capital flows that would hit some emerging markets in particular. “Overall, the direction is positive, but global growth is still too low, too fragile, and too uneven,” she said.

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Economist Warns Of US Stock Market Bubble

December 9th, 2013 by James

This year’s Nobel Prize for economics has warned that sharp rises in equity and property prices may lead to a dangerous financial bubble and may end badly.

Robert Shiller, who won the Noble prize with two other Americans for research into market prices and asset bubbles, pinpointed the U.S. stock market and Brazilian property market as areas of concern.

Economist Warns Of US Stock Market Bubble

“I am not yet sounding the alarm. But in many countries stock exchanges are at a high level and prices have risen sharply in some property markets,” Shiller told Sunday’s Der Spiegel magazine. “That could end badly,” he said.

“I am most worried about the boom in the U.S. stock market. Also because our economy is still weak and vulnerable,” he said, while describing the financial and technology sectors as overvalued.

The U.S. housing market collapse helped trigger the global financial crisis in 2008-2009.

“Bubbles look like this. And the world is still very vulnerable to a bubble,” he said.

Shiller added that he was hearing arguments about investment opportunities and a growing middle class in Brazil that he had heard in the United States around the year 2000. “There, I felt a bit like in the United States of 2004,” he said.

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World Shares Spurred By Stronger U.S. Data

December 4th, 2013 by James

World shares rose towards highs of six years and the Japanese Yen languished at fresh lows against the Euro and United States dollar after sentiment was boosted by a batch of strong U.S. economic data.

Wall Street spurred to a record close on November 26 after signs of an improving U.S. jobs market and more cheerful consumers. Talks that the Federal Reserve could start scaling back its stimulus, which supported the dollar, were also reinforced.

“Markets have taken on board the view that (U.S.) rates are not going up next year even if they start tapering soon,” said Simon Smith, chief economist at FXPro.

Japan’s Nikkei hit its highest close in almost six years. Germany’s DAX index touched an all-time high as trading got underway while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 was up 0.4 percent.

The U.S. dollar popped above 102.00 yen for the first time since May 29, while the euro traded just under $1.36. The Indonesian rupiah hit the 12,000 per dollar for the first time in nearly five years. The surging greenback also put pressure on commodity bloc currencies like the Australian and New Zealand dollars and many emerging market currencies with weak economic prospects.

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How To Sell Popular Merchandise?

December 1st, 2013 by James

When huge retail franchises and big chain closeout stores began to spring up throughout the country decades ago, mom and pop retailers often had a lot of difficulty competing and found their customer base dwindling. Big business has taken foot traffic away from many small companies and closed the doors to many landmark stores.

How To Sell Popular Merchandise

Competing with monster retail chain stores was nearly impossible before the internet became widely available many years ago. Websites that offer wholesale prices on huge lots of merchandise has helped many small retailers compete and even thrive against big chain stores. These websites, such as BuyMerchant.com, offer everything from cases to truckloads of popular merchandise. Leveling the playing field with the same buying power of retail chains has helped to put small companies back on the map and back in the green.

Supplying your retail store with dozens of items for as little as pennies per piece simply makes good economic sense. Small niche items and hard to find products are great for helping to improve sales. They can make your store stand out and your customers excited to shop here. Customer foot traffic is required before your store can ever make these sales. The value of high quality and inexpensive merchandise is usually the key to first bringing customers into your store. As many business owners can attest, you must get them through the door first, sell them something they will value and have better products and service than your competition. The value and service can be achieved with your hard work and dedication, getting customers into your store is done with wholesale prices and volume buying power.

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Sony Max Reaps Advantages Of Strategic Digital Marketing

November 13th, 2013 by James

In the last two years, Sony Max has been a perfect example of a company reaping the benefits of digital marketing.

The Indian entertainment television channel has seen a huge jump in the count of fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter. While in 2011, Facebook fans of Sony Max were 15,000, but the count quickly jumped to 5, 50,000 in 2012 and Twitter followers went from 995 to 3,400. The highest jump for Sony Max came in the November 2012 to September 2013 period when the Twitter number increased to 1, 17,314 followers and Facebook fans stood at 12, 38,521 people.

Sony Max Reaps Advantages Of Strategic Digital Marketing

“Digital is a very important part of our strategy. It is a way to communicate with our audience and connect with them in a unique way. It is an interactive tool, modified to suit the marketing needs,” said Vaishali Sharma, Vice-President, Marketing, Max.

“Digital is a very important part of our strategy. It is a way to communicate with our audience and connect with them in a unique way. It is an interactive tool, modified to suit the marketing needs,” said Vaishali Sharma, Vice-President, Marketing, Max.

“We as a country are so much into Hindi films that they are very much a part of our DNA. The brief was to integrate that with the brand thought of ‘Deewaana bana de’. But unlike earlier versions, this year we took it to the next step by moving into the consumer’s life. The audience here is expressing their deewangi themselves,” Sharma pointed out.

Turkey Must Tighten Fiscal And Monetary Policy, Says IMF

October 6th, 2013 by James

The International Monetary Fund has urged Turkey to tighten its fiscal and monetary policies for reducing its external imbalances that have been exacerbated by capital outflows from emerging markets.

Turkey Must Tighten Fiscal And Monetary Policy, Says IMF

“The market reappraisal of advanced economies’ monetary policies has exposed Turkey’s main vulnerability — its external imbalance,” the IMF said after a mission visit to Turkey.

“In this context and with gross external financing needs projected to remain high over the next few years, a weakening or a reversal of capital flows present a major challenge for the Turkish economy,” the Fund said in a statement.

The current account deficit of Turkey should widen to 7 percent of its GDP this year, as per IMF. It should stay that way in 2014, in part due to more gold imports, the IMF added.

Lira’s fall had worsened the outlook for inflation, Turkey’s central bank governor, Erdem Basci, said last week. He added the central bank would be implementing additional monetary tightening in its complex money market operations if there were risks of price growth getting out of control. The lira was unjustifiably weak, and said inflation would be higher than the previous forecast of the bank, Basci said.

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