Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A New Year, With New Rules

I'll get straight to the point for this post. I have three new rules for myself, and everyone I deal with:


  1. Give it the proper definition
  2. Tell the truth
  3. It's okay

I'm ready for a year of better revenue and profits. I'm ready for new clients and new ventures. It's time to get to business. I've wasted a considerable amount of time in the past few years on ventures and projects that have led to the land of no-where. It's time to be about the business of making money.

As for my new rules, it's a way to keep things on the up-and-up - to be honest with all parties involved. I've been fooled by people saying they are "business-savvy", "ready to make that money", and even "experts in their field". My new rules should take care of these expensive mistakes.

Please look forward to better posts from me, and information that will help you understand the world of business and supply-chain management, which all falls back on marketing and branding.

Peace

Friday, December 17, 2010

BBC E-mail: Energy firms get new incentives

I saw this story on the BBC News iPad App and thought you should see it.

** Energy firms get new incentives **
The government is to try to persuade companies to invest more in low-carbon energy, but some fear it could mean higher bills.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12005593 >


** BBC Daily E-mail **
Choose the news and sport headlines you want - when you want them, all in one daily e-mail
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/email >


** Disclaimer **
The BBC is not responsible for the content of this e-mail, and anything written in this e-mail does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the e-mail address nor name of the sender have been verified.


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

BBC E-mail: German business confidence rises

I saw this story on the BBC News iPad App and thought you should see it.

** German business confidence rises **
German business confidence hits a fresh post-reunification high as strong exports continue to drive the country's recovery.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12016869 >


** BBC Daily E-mail **
Choose the news and sport headlines you want - when you want them, all in one daily e-mail
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/email >


** Disclaimer **
The BBC is not responsible for the content of this e-mail, and anything written in this e-mail does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the e-mail address nor name of the sender have been verified.


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

BBC E-mail: Ghana due to pump its first oil

I saw this story on the BBC News iPad App and thought you should see it.

** Ghana due to pump its first oil **
The West African nation of Ghana is due to pump its first oil, after the discovery of the offshore Jubilee Field three years ago.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-11996983 >


** BBC Daily E-mail **
Choose the news and sport headlines you want - when you want them, all in one daily e-mail
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/email >


** Disclaimer **
The BBC is not responsible for the content of this e-mail, and anything written in this e-mail does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the e-mail address nor name of the sender have been verified.


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

BBC E-mail: US economy 'not cutting jobless'

I saw this story on the BBC News iPad App and thought you should see it.

** US economy 'not cutting jobless' **
The US economic recovery is still too slow to bring down the country's high level of unemployment, the Federal Reserve warns.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11996435 >


** BBC Daily E-mail **
Choose the news and sport headlines you want - when you want them, all in one daily e-mail
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/email >


** Disclaimer **
The BBC is not responsible for the content of this e-mail, and anything written in this e-mail does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the e-mail address nor name of the sender have been verified.


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Fwd: [KLCS] Fwd: A link from CharlieRose.com




A true tale on currency


--
Posted By KLCS to KLCS at 12/07/2010 09:17:00 PM

Saturday, November 20, 2010

In Booming India, All That Glitters Is Gold

I found the following story on the NPR iPad App:
http://www.npr.org/2010/11/18/131427793/in-booming-india-all-that-glitters-is-gold?sc=ipad&f=1001

In Booming India, All That Glitters Is Gold
by Corey Flintoff

NPR - November 19, 2010

In much of the world, gold is regarded as an investment for times of great risk. In India, though, demand for the yellow metal remains strong through good times and bad.

That's because, in Indian culture, gold has a traditional worth that far outweighs its intrinsic value. As India's economy surges and more people share the wealth, the country's thirst for gold is rippling through the world market.

There's no better place to see what gold means to India than in the tony jewelry stores of New Delhi. At Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri Delhi, P.N. Sharma shows visitors through three floors of opulence that make "Breakfast at Tiffany's" look like a snack.

"Exclusive necklaces are over there, and bangles," Sharma says, waving past displays that would stagger the imagination of a maharaja. Salesladies in gold saris extend velvet trays with gem-encrusted gold necklaces as families cluster around the counters.

Almost all of this gold is designed to be given at weddings. That's because gifts of gold are presented to the bride throughout the process, from the time she becomes engaged to her wedding night.

It's an age-old way of conferring protection on the marriage and on the family that will result.

Nandkishore Zaveri, a director in the company, says wedding gold is a kind of insurance policy, "given to the daughter at the time of marriage, so that in the case of any difficulty in the family after the marriage, this can be encashed and the problem can be solved.

"That's what gold is all about in India."

Both the bride's and the groom's families give gold to the bride, so many parents begin buying jewelry, or at least saving for it, when their children are still quite young.

"I want to buy gold for my son's marriage," says Ashok Kumar Gulati, fastening a heavy gold chain around his wife's neck. The necklace that Mrs. Gulati is trying on will be a present for her daughter-in-law in the days that lead up to the ceremony.

The jewelry is priced by weight, according to the market price on any given day, and a necklace like the one she is trying on can run to thousands of dollars.

But Gulati says even at these high prices, he's not worried that the family will ever lose money on its gold purchases, especially when it's compared with any other investment.

"[Compared with] the appreciation of any other investment, gold will be matching up," he says. "So gold is never a loss."

That's why India is the world's largest consumer of gold, accounting for some 20 percent of the world's demand.

Surya Bhatia, an economist at the New Delhi-based investment firm Asset Managers, says demand will continue to grow because India's economic boom is bringing more people into the middle class, and families are increasing their purchasing power.

"From a single-income family to a double-income family, the levels of income have gone up," he says. "The education has also led to this boom of the incomes."

Bhatia says many Indians are starting to look at investments in gold in a new way. Instead of holding it as gold jewelry, they are buying exchange-traded funds, which are investments in gold that can be traded like stocks.

But there are many reasons why Indian families aren't likely to give up their gold jewelry. The Hindi word for wedding jewelry is "stridhan," which means "women's wealth."

"It is considered as an asset for a woman, which is her property [and] will remain with her throughout her life," says Pavi Gupta, who visited the store with her fiance, Manpreet Singh Duggal, to look over some gold pieces that their families may buy.

She says gold is a form of empowerment for a woman because it gives her the means to save her family if the need arises.

In a hard-charging economy like India's, where risks are high and there's not much of a social safety net, that can mean a lot. [Copyright 2010 National Public Radio]

To learn more about the NPR iPad app, go to http://ipad.npr.org/recommendnprforipad



Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Black Farmers, Indians Closer To U.S. Settlement

I found the following story on the NPR iPad App:
http://www.npr.org/2010/11/20/131467093/black-farmers-indians-closer-to-u-s-settlement?sc=ipad&f=1001

Black Farmers, Indians Closer To U.S. Settlement
by The Associated Press

AP - November 20, 2010

Black farmers and American Indians who say the United States discriminated against them and took their money for decades are a step closer to winning long-awaited government settlements.

Under legislation passed by the Senate on Friday, black farmers who claim discrimination at the hands of the Agriculture Department would receive almost $1.2 billion. American Indians who say they were swindled out of royalties by the Interior Department would split $3.4 billion. Both cases have languished for more than a decade, and plaintiffs say beneficiaries are dying off.

"The Senate finally did the right thing," said John Boyd, head of the National Black Farmers Association. "They stepped up and told the world civil rights still matter in America."

The legislation was approved in the Senate by voice vote Friday and sent to the House. The money had been held up for months in the chamber as Democrats and Republicans squabbled over how to pay for it.

President Barack Obama praised the Senate for finally passing the bill and urged the House to move forward on it. He said his administration is also working to resolve separate lawsuits filed against the department by Hispanic and female farmers.

"While these legislative achievements reflect important progress, they also serve to remind us that much work remains to be done," he said.

Elouise Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe from Browning, Mont. and the lead plaintiff in the Indian case, said two people who would have been beneficiaries had died on her reservation this week. "It's 17 below and the Blackfeet nation is feeling warm," she said. "I don't know if people understand or believe the agony you go through when one of the beneficiaries passes away without justice."

Lawmakers from both parties have said they support resolving the claims of discrimination and mistreatment by federal agencies. But the money has been caught up in a fight over spending and deficits. Republicans repeatedly objected to the settlements when they were added on to larger pieces of legislation. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., satisfied conservative complaints by finding spending offsets to cover the cost.

The legislation also includes a one-year extension of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which gives grants to states to provide cash and other assistance to the poor, and several American Indian water rights settlements in Arizona, Montana and New Mexico sought by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.

In the Indian case, which has been in the courts for almost 15 years, at least 300,000 Native Americans claim they were swindled out of royalties overseen by the Interior Department since 1887 for things like oil, gas, grazing and timber. The plaintiffs would share the settlement.

Cobell was confident about passage in the House, where the two settlements already have passed twice as part of larger pieces of legislation.

For the black farmers, it is the second round of funding from a class-action lawsuit originally settled in 1999 over allegations of widespread discrimination by local Agriculture Department offices in awarding loans and other aid. It is known as the Pigford case, named after Timothy Pigford, a black farmer from North Carolina who was an original plaintiff.

The government already has paid out more than $1 billion to about 16,000 black farmers, with most getting about $50,000. The new money is intended for people -- some estimates say 70,000 or 80,000 -- who were denied earlier payments because they missed deadlines for filing. The individual amounts depend on how many claims are successfully filed.

The bill passed Friday would be partially paid for by diverting dollars from a surplus in nutrition programs for women and children and by extending customs user fees.

The Obama administration has moved aggressively to resolve the discrimination cases after most of them spent a decade or longer in the courts. Last month, the Agriculture Department offered American Indian farmers who say they were denied farm loans a $680 million settlement.

------

Online:

National Black Farmers Association: http://www.blackfarmers.org/

Agriculture Department: http://www.usda.gov [Copyright 2010 The Associated Press]

To learn more about the NPR iPad app, go to http://ipad.npr.org/recommendnprforipad



Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Former Sen. Braun Enters Race For Chicago Mayor

I found the following story on the NPR iPad App:
http://www.npr.org/2010/11/20/131471926/former-sen-braun-enters-race-for-chicago-mayor?sc=ipad&f=1001

Former Sen. Braun Enters Race For Chicago Mayor
by The Associated Press

AP - November 20, 2010

Former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun kicked off her campaign Saturday for Chicago mayor, joining a crowded field that already includes former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Braun, who runs an organic food company, formally declared her bid to replace retiring Mayor Richard Daley at an event at a lakefront airport Daley shut down to turn in to a nature preserve. Daley surprised the political establishment by announcing in September that he wouldn't seek a seventh term.

The 63-year-old Braun made history when she was elected in 1992 as the first black woman in the U.S. Senate. She lost her re-election bid in 1998 and was later named ambassador to New Zealand. Braun ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004.

The mayor's race already includes five other declared major candidates: Emanuel, City Clerk Miguel del Valle, former Chicago school board president Gery Chico, state Sen. James Meeks and U.S. Rep. Danny Davis.

Braun is counting on her wide breadth of government experience to resonate with voters, but some of them weren't even born when she won her last election in 1992 for the U.S. Senate. Before that, she served as an Illinois state lawmaker and Cook County government official.

She will likely have to address some past miscues that raised questions about her judgment, including a highly criticized visit with a brutal Nigerian dictator when she was a senator and never-proven accusations about misused campaign money.

Absent from the political scene for six years and having previously referred to herself as a "recovering politician,'' Braun has to reintroduce herself to voters in the mayor's race.

"My job is talking about and describing a vision for the future. A vision of what we're going to do now. Like I said, Chicagoans are very practical people. They're a lot more interested in what is going to happen than what happened last week,'' she said during an Associated Press interview earlier this week.

Braun said her business experience running a small company that specializes in coffee, tea and spices should be a plus with voters because she has had to work hard to weather the recession that has battered businesses, both big and small. [Copyright 2010 The Associated Press]

To learn more about the NPR iPad app, go to http://ipad.npr.org/recommendnprforipad



Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

A Mother's Desperate Act: 'Margaret Garner'

I found the following story on the NPR iPad App:
http://www.npr.org/2010/11/17/131395936/a-mother-s-desperate-act-margaret-garner?sc=ipad&f=124289519

A Mother's Desperate Act: 'Margaret Garner'
by Bruce Scott

NPR - November 19, 2010

In pre-Civil War America, few slave stories were more compelling than Margaret Garner's. She and her family were owned by a Kentucky plantation farmer, but one night they escaped to Ohio with another group of slaves.

Their hiding place was discovered, and Margaret's family was surrounded. She swore she would kill her children and herself rather than return to slavery. As her husband was dragged off, Margaret plunged a knife into her daughter. She was preparing to kill her other daughter and herself when she was seized and jailed.

Margaret was put on trial. Abolitionists wanted her tried for murder, which would have set a number of precedents, including establishing an enslaved person's rights and responsibility regarding her own children. Instead, Margaret Garner was accused of destruction of property, and sent back into slavery, along with her husband.

Her story advanced the rift between the abolitionists and the defenders of slavery, a rift that would soon help lead to the Civil War.

Grammy Award-winning composer Richard Danielpour and Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison collaborated to bring this true life story to the operatic stage. Margaret Garner was co-commissioned by opera companies in Detroit, Cincinnati and Philadelphia and made its debut in May 2005 at Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit.

Toni Morrison had already told a version of Margaret Garner's story in her best-selling novel Beloved, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She says it's not a story about race. It's more about the internal struggles that result from the institution of slavery.

"The interest is not the fact of slavery, but of what happens internally, emotionally, psychologically, when you are in fact enslaved and what you do you do to try to transcend that circumstance. And that really is what Margaret Garner reveals," Morrison says.

Margaret Garner is Richard Danielpour's first opera. The story, he says, is one that both touches him personally and resonates from the past into the present.

More than anything else, Margaret Garner is an opera that reminds us that we all belong to the same human family, and it demonstrates what can happen when we forget this fundamental truth, says Danielpour. While slavery has been outlawed in the United States since 1865, its lingering effects have proven that issues concerning race, class, and the true meaning of freedom are in no way resolved in our country.

On World of Opera, host Lisa Simeone brings us a production from Opera Carolina, based in Charlotte, N.C., starring American mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves in the title role.

See the previous edition of World of Opera or the full archive.

Read Toni Morrison's libretto to 'Margaret Garner.'

[Copyright 2010 National Public Radio]

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Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Friday, November 05, 2010

NYTimes: Apple Invites Developers to Submit Mac Apps

From The New York Times:

BITS: Apple Invites Developers to Submit Mac Apps

Apple is inviting developers to submit ideas for the new Mac App Store.

http://nyti.ms/aQswdN

Get The New York Times on your iPhone for free by visiting http://itunes.com/apps/nytimes


Thank You,

Kenyatta Lovett
770-601-7441

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

NYTimes: Is Your Marketing Campaign Risky Enough?

From The New York Times:

YOU'RE THE BOSS: Is Your Marketing Campaign Risky Enough?

Is being outrageous a good thing? Will it sell products?

http://nyti.ms/9BHWOT


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

@MarketingUK, 11/2/10 5:44 AM

Marketing Magazine (@MarketingUK)
11/2/10 5:44 AM
Coke puts UK ads on ice: http://bit.ly/9YFZAa


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Monday, November 01, 2010

Free Biology Textbook: How Open Should We Be?

As we begin to venture into open source products, what are we doing to valuations?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What Each Day Brings

Lately, I've given in to the moment - taking what it gives me and giving whatever I have. At a time when I need a new goal, new focus, my life has been filled with "stop and smell the roses" moments. Just when I think my personal resources have been exhausted, I find little blessings in knowing I have a great deal to contribute to the needs of others and this world. And ironically, I, for a brief moment, feel satisfied.

This has nothing to do with business or branding, and everything to do with leadership - listening, understanding, and the capacity to serve and grow. Trust me, it's right in front of you. Seize it!

The Technology Access Center is an organization that is making a difference in the Nashville area. I am grateful to be a part of the team and family. I encourage everyone to consider supporting those who support and need you in ways not easily understood.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

NYTimes: App Makers Take Interest in Android

Making Moves

From The New York Times:

App Makers Take Interest in Android

As Android phones gain market share, many app makers are rethinking their exclusive focus on iPhones.

http://nyti.ms/asd8gF


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Saturday, October 23, 2010

You Are Correct Seth - Efficiency is Free

However, it would cost quite a bit to know what to do with the extra money, so it may come out to be a wash. Sorry, having a sarcastic day today. See article

Saturday, October 16, 2010

NYTimes: Once Dynamic, Decline Leaves Japan Disheartened

I don't think we are totally in the clear. What does this say about the Free-Market/Capitalist concept? Should money be borrowed against borrowed money? If Johnny owes me money, can I realize even more money from Johnny's debt? If so, is it a good idea?

From The New York Times:

Once Dynamic, Decline Leaves Japan Disheartened

For a generation, Japan has been trapped in low growth and deflation, shriveling from a giant to an afterthought in the global economy.

http://nyti.ms/a4qLPY


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Android Droid is a Robot That Runs Android OS | Wired.com

I wanted to share this article from Wired.com with you:

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/10/android-robot-2/

Android Droid is a Robot That Runs Android OS
The green Android mascot is now a walking robot and one that runs on Android operating system. Two Japanese companies, RT Corporation and Brilliant Service, created a humanoid robot called "RIC" to show Android is not just for smartphones and tablet computers. The robot, which took about 60 days to build, is about 4 -feet tall.




Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Rethinking Public-Private Partnerships

It is always dangerous to mix private business matters with public policy. Often, private entities find cost absorption solutions from revenue generated from the common taxpayer. This effort should not be confused with third party initiatives, which directly apply to policy matters of the general public. These partnerships are different in the justification of the expenditures, because they are driven primarily to benefit private business(es).
This NY Times article is a prime example of misaligned cost absorption and displaced future funding. That being, these funds could address current and future policy matters, which could arguably apply more to serving the economic development needs of the community than the benefits associated with helping a private partner.



We are witnessing more new discoveries of taxpayer burdens related to private organizations that are thriving much better than the public entities, because they are supplementing their operational costs through tax revenue, or some other funding source of public means. I predict major reforms in this practice, where resources will be "reclaimed" to support public policy. The obligations of private organizations utilizing ARRA funds has set a precedent for any public-private interactions. This may not reach the level of impacting how private organizations conduct business, but it may surely find a way to be included in the balance sheet. There are direct financial incentives for a private organization to assist public matters, in the form of tax incentives. However, the benefits of a city floating millions in bonds for a private enterprise are indirect, in the form of projected tax revenue. One has concrete guarantees, which the other has a notion of hope.

I see this imbalance changing quickly - possibly moving toward another imbalance.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Can Twitter Develop a Substantial Revenue Stream?

Twitter has been on every marketers mind. It's an easy and useful tool when it comes to dialogue and customer service. But when it comes to making money, there are still many debates on how Twitter fits in the grand scheme of things. 

Paul Verna, Senior Analyst, has done an interesting article on looking into Twitter as a potential revenue stream. Please let me know your thoughts on his article.


Friday, August 27, 2010

NYTimes: Bernanke Signals Fed Is Ready to Prop Up Economy

What?

"Prop Up"?

Surely our economic system, which is the largest in the world, is not that flimsy - right?


The New York Times:

Bernanke Signals Fed Is Ready to Prop Up Economy

Ben S. Bernanke gave his strongest indication yet on Friday that he was determined to prevent the economy from slipping into a cycle of falling prices.

http://nyti.ms/915Ghl


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Two Web Site Developers Said to Team Up With Starcom for Digital Ad Dollars

From The New York Times:

Two Web Site Developers Said to Team Up With Starcom for Digital Ad Dollars

The two companies plan to spend substantial amounts of money on advertising for new types of digital entertainment.

http://nyti.ms/drE5Sg


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Sunday, August 15, 2010

China: The Second-Largest Economy

The article below introduces a very scary reality for the world economy. As most nations struggle to avoid the grips of the "silent decade monster" that Japan has experienced, China is taking advantage of their momentum by doing all that it takes to continue their unusual growth. It changes the game for many reasons. One, there are significant political implications for all the major superpowers. Second, there will be an even more competitive fight for scarce natural resources. And finally, the concept of currency may be in a global tailspin in the near future.

Nonetheless, the U.S. is still, by far, the economic superpower. But, this country now faces a more aggressive competitor in China. The name of the game is exports, and at this time, America is pretty much stuck with no good ideas. Additionally, we struggle from the trust issue with financial products, due to the dispersion of toxic assets. The keys rest in innovation through energy and technology; a game-changing discovery that transform daily life for most of the globe. Stay tuned for more information on American exports.

From The New York Times:

China Passes Japan as Second-Largest Economy

Experts say that unseating Japan — and in recent years passing Germany, France and Great Britain — underscores China's growing clout.

http://nyti.ms/bKevRr


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Remembering Jazz Singer And Activist Abbey Lincoln

I found the following story on the NPR iPad App:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129203432&sc=ipad&f=124289519

Remembering Jazz Singer And Activist Abbey Lincoln
by Allison Keyes

NPR - August 15, 2010

Abbey Lincoln, the legendary jazz singer who believed in singing as a political act, died Saturday in Manhattan. She was 80. An actress, artist and composer, Lincoln created music ranging from avant-garde civil-rights-era recordings to the equally powerful but more introspective work of her later years.

Her 1960 collaboration with jazz drummer Max Roach, We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite, put her voice smack in the middle of the soundtrack of the civil-rights movement. In "Triptych: Prayer/Protest/Peace," Lincoln literally screams her anger. But that's not how she started out.

Village Voice jazz critic Nat Hentoff supervised the recording of the Freedom Now Suite and watched Lincoln transform from a sultry nightclub singer into a more sophisticated artist. Hentoff says Lincoln was a sometimes self-deprecating woman with a ready, sardonic wit, and says her death is a huge loss to a jazz community that doesn't have musicians like her anymore.

"You hear who they are as they play. They're telling stories," he says. "As Lester Young used to say, everybody tells a story. So we've lost one of the few still here who was always telling a story."

Lincoln was born Anna Marie Wooldridge in Chicago on Aug. 6, 1930. The 10th of 12 children, she claimed the living-room piano as her own private space. After singing in the church choir and amateur contests, she moved to Los Angeles at 19 for a different kind of venue: nightclubs. At the urging of her manager, Lincoln worked her sex appeal as a club singer. But later, after meeting drummer Max Roach and becoming immersed in the struggles of black people around the world, she earned a reputation for being a warrior. She sometimes took on less serious roles, too.

"It always did the actresses in, because I was the one who was supposed to have this reputation as a freedom fighter ... and I got two movies," Lincoln told NPR's Roy Hurst in a 2003 interview.

One of those movies was 1968's For Love of Ivy, alongside actor Sidney Poitier, in which she plays an unconventional maid with a mind of her own. Lincoln told NPR that the film's producers thought she would play a more subdued role -- she didn't.

Lincoln continued her maverick music career, writing songs and compositions with sharp imagery. Chicago jazz singer Maggie Brown collaborated with Lincoln on her 1999 album, Wholly Earth. Brown says Lincoln advised her to focus on the music and not to get bogged down in worries about agents and money.

"She [told me], 'Don't worry about that. Just sing,' " Brown says. "You know, just bring the art."

Brown, who performs a tribute to Lincoln called Maggie Sings Abbey, had known Lincoln since she was a child. She says Lincoln brought intensity to both her performances and her personal life, and says she was very secure in who she was.

"She was committed to her art," Brown says. "She seemed very clear of what her purpose was, what she was to do."

Lincoln once said that when people leave this Earth, they spread their wings of miracles in a blaze of light and disappear. Luckily, Lincoln's spirit lives on in her recordings. [Copyright 2010 National Public Radio]

To learn more about the NPR iPad app, go to http://ipad.npr.org/recommendnprforipad



Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Saturday, August 14, 2010

NYTimes: Free Parking Comes at a Price

This is an interesting view. Do you agree?

From The New York Times:

ECONOMIC VIEW: Free Parking Comes at a Price

Many people see a free parking space as an entitlement, but an author argues that it's a subsidy that wastes space and money.

http://nyti.ms/afMGyT


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

NYTimes: Police in South Korea Raid Google’s Office

Police in South Korea Raid Google's Office

The inquiry arose from concern that the company had illegally collected and stored personal wireless data as it shot video for its Street View service.

http://nyti.ms/9QzsBO


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

NYTimes: Web Plan Is Dividing Companies

This is important news from both a business and public policy perspective. I'm not sure which side I support. The open access concept has helped to launch the web 2.0 movement, but it has also hampered revenue generation.

I would like to know your thoughts.


The New York Times:

Web Plan Is Dividing Companies

Facebook said it would not support a proposal by Google and Verizon to regulate Internet access, while an AT&T executive called the plan a "reasonable framework."

http://nyti.ms/dhvJII


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cellphone ‘Death Grip’ Increases Radiation Exposure, One App Shows | Wired.com

I wanted to share this article from Wired.com with you:

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/08/death-grip-radiation/

Cellphone 'Death Grip' Increases Radiation Exposure, One App Shows
Not only does a "death grip" cut into your phone's ability to connect, it also increases the amount of radio-frequency radiation it's pumping out. Now you can see exactly how much more radiation your head is absorbing, with an app that estimates the RF output of your smartphone in real time.


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Monday, August 09, 2010

NYTimes: Fed Shifting Its Debate to Deflation

What does this mean for the products and designs of the future? Where is the price equilibrium for common assets?

From The New York Times:

Fed Shifting Its Debate to Deflation

Policy makers are increasingly focused on the potential for the economy to slip into a deflationary spiral of declining demand, prices and wages.

http://nyti.ms/9mZALv


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Food for Thought

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Media Isn't Social

http://darmano.typepad.com/logic_emotion/2010/08/media.html

Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

NYTimes: But Will It Make You Happy?

This is good information for marketing and product development professionals. It relates to the new normal, and much more.

From The New York Times:

But Will It Make You Happy?

How you spend has a greater effect on your happiness than how much you spend, researchers say.

http://nyti.ms/afw0ZE


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Saturday, August 07, 2010

NYTimes: Across Nation, Mosque Projects Meet Opposition

From The New York Times:

Across Nation, Mosque Projects Meet Opposition

Heated confrontations have broken out in communities where mosques are proposed near far less hallowed locations than ground zero in New York City.

http://nyti.ms/b4GGxY


Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Retailers Worry Over Depressed Wages, Job Losses

I found the following story on the NPR iPad App:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129054290&sc=ipad&f=1006

Retailers Worry Over Depressed Wages, Job Losses
by Marilyn Geewax

NPR - August 8, 2010

July's dismal unemployment report, released Friday by the Labor Department, confirmed what millions of Americans already knew: It's still tough to find a job.

But at least for people who do have jobs, the report held a bit of encouraging news: Wages ticked up slightly last month after stagnating in June. Workers' pay was 1.8 percent higher than the same month last year.

By historic standards, that level of wage growth is weak. But government statistics show employers aren't withholding raises. Rather, they are directing the compensation increases to the rising costs of health care benefits.

As a result, employers are feeling squeezed by higher benefits costs, and workers are feeling squeezed by very slow wage growth.

That pinch worries retailers who are launching back-to-school promotions. They are hoping shoppers can afford to buy lots of shoes and backpacks and jeans in coming weeks. For retailers, the back-to-school shopping season is the second most important of the year, after Christmas.

Early indications point to only modest sales gains this year. The National Retail Federation predicts families with school age children will spend about 10 percent more for school supplies and clothes compared with last year. Given how depressed sales were last summer, however, that level of growth would still mark a subdued recovery.

Sales reports also show most shoppers are still watching their pennies. The No. 1 destination for shoppers continues to be the big discount stores, and most people are paying cash or using debit cards to avoid running up more debt.

Another problem for retailers is the exceptionally high unemployment rate among teenagers, who traditionally do a lot of the back-to-school shopping. The July jobs report showed that more than 1 in 4 teen job-seekers cannot find work.

The lack of spending money among young people is being felt at teen clothing stores, many of which released disappointing July sales reports last week. Now chains, like Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters, are slashing prices on jeans. Others have been staging buy-on-get-one free promotions.

But retail analysts say deep discounting alone won't change the profit picture for many stores. The key to the recovery is a stronger job market with better wage growth. [Copyright 2010 National Public Radio]

To learn more about the NPR iPad app, go to http://ipad.npr.org/recommendnprforipad



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Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Global Warming Real?

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/08/ice-breaks-off/

Sunday, July 25, 2010

NYTimes: Britain Plans to Decentralize Health Care

From The New York Times:

Britain Plans to Decentralize Health Care

The new government's plan would be the most radical reorganization of the National Health Service since its inception in 1948.

http://nyti.ms/aoFLg6

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Kenyatta Lovett
770-601-7441

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, July 16, 2010

Market Failures

Your thoughts?

Check out this video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHFIbfUi5rw&feature=youtube_gdata


Thank You,

Kenyatta Lovett
770-601-7441

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Check out this product on Wired.com

Hello,

I found this product review at Wired.com and want to share it with you:
PhonePhlash  
http://www.wired.com/reviews/product/phonephlash?mbid=wir_iphone_prodrev_10

For more reviews from the editors of Wired magazine and Wired.com, visit: http://www.wired.com/reviews

I found this review using the free WIRED PRODUCT REVIEWS iPhone app, which lets you browse product reviews on the go with an iPhone or iPod touch. For more information, go to:

http://www.wired.com/iPhone


Thank You,

Kenyatta Lovett
770-601-7441 

Sent from my iPhone

(BN) Apple Opens Second Store in China to Spur Sales in Fastest-Growing Economy

Bloomberg News, sent from my iPhone.

Apple Opens Shanghai Store to Spur Sales in China

July 10 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. opened its second China store today as the maker of iPhones and iMacs seeks to catch rivals including Nokia Oyj and Lenovo Group Ltd. in the fastest-growing major economy.

Several hundred people lined up outside a 40-foot cylindrical glass wall that contains the Apple logo at the 1,500-square-meter (16,000-square-foot) store in the Pudong district of Shanghai, China's financial hub, before it opened at 10 a.m. local time.

"Apple stands for a lifestyle," said a 27-year-old salesman who called himself "Penguin," from the northern Chinese province of Jilin, more than 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) from Shanghai. He waited as the first in the queues for almost 70 hours.

Apple is expanding its network to reach more customers in China, where its sales trail Nokia and Lenovo, and said this week it plans "many" more Apple stores for China. The company's first China store opened in Beijing in July 2008.

The products are "quite special," said Zhu Chenqi, a 23- year-old administrative secretary who has spent 30,000 yuan to 40,000 yuan ($4,429-$5,906) on Apple products. "In the first place you would be caught by its look and then you would be impressed by its easy applications."

While the store attracts a variety of customers from teenagers to grandfathers, most visitors are well-dressed and in their 20s and 30s, like most of the 175 vendors at Shanghai Apple.

More than 80 percent of the vendors have university degrees and some of them were lawyers and teachers, local media reported.

Unlicensed Distributers

Unlicensed distributors sold more than 2 million iPhones on a so-called gray market, according to Sandy Shen, an analyst at Gartner Inc. in Shanghai. China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd., the only authorized Chinese carrier offering the smartphone, sold fewer than 1 million, she said.

"The conditions are not in place for Apple in China at the moment, as it doesn't have the sales channels and distribution," said Aloysius Choong, an analyst at research firm IDC in Singapore. "The reports of the gray market activities for Apple's products in China shows there is good inherent demand for them."

The iPhone 3G S, Apple's top model, sells for 6,999 yuan in China Unicom's stores, according to the carrier's website. Chinese consumers can buy the smartphone for less from grey market vendors, Shen said. The same model costs $299 with an AT&T Inc. plan in Apple's online store in the U.S.

Nokia, Lenovo

Nokia's retail network in China comprises more than 100,000 outlets, said Cherry Gong, a China-based spokeswoman at the company. Lenovo, maker of Thinkpad laptops, has more than 10,000 retail outlets in the country, said spokesman Jay Chen.

Smartphone shipments may increase 50 percent to 26 million this year in China, where Nokia is the market leader, IDC's Choong said. Lenovo is the biggest personal-computer maker in China, according to IDC data.

Cupertino, California-based Apple overtook Microsoft Corp. as the world's most valuable technology company in May after gaining sales in the U.S. and European consumer electronic markets. The company's shares have gained 23 percent this year, compared with a 3.3 percent decline by the benchmark Standard and Poor's 500 Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lee in Hong Kong at wlee37@bloomberg.net

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Kenyatta Lovett
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(BN) Bank of America Tells SEC That $10.7 Billion of Trades Wrongly Classified

Bloomberg News, sent from my iPhone.

Bank of America Says Trades Were Wrongly Classified

July 10 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp., the largest U.S. bank by assets, said it wrongly classified $10.7 billion of short-term repurchase and lending transactions as sales from 2007 to 2009.

Bank of America said the inaccuracies aren't material, according to a letter released yesterday from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In the document, the SEC cites an April 14 letter it received from the company.

Addressed to interim Chief Financial Officer Neil Cotty, the SEC's letter asked the bank to disclose whether the transactions were intentionally mislabeled, and to prove that the trades were immaterial. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank said in the April letter that it stopped the transactions after the first quarter of 2009, the SEC said.

The SEC sent letters to finance chiefs at about two dozen firms in March asking whether they employed accounting strategies like those at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The bankrupt securities firm was accused of using repurchase agreements called Repo 105s to move assets off its balance sheet to hide leverage.

In a response to queries from the SEC, the bank said it did an "extensive review" of repurchase agreements and similar transactions and didn't find more errors. The mistakes didn't affect credit ratings or management compensation, hide any failure to meet analysts' consensus estimates, mask other trends or put the bank out of compliance with loan and capital requirements, the bank said.

Roll trades

The comment letters to the SEC followed previous bank disclosures that "certain sales of agency mortgage-backed securities should have been recorded as secured borrowings rather than sales," bank spokesman Jerry Dubrowski said. "The transactions did not have a material impact on the company's balance sheet or earnings."

The transactions involved six so-called dollar-roll trades completed during 2007, 2008 and 2009, according to the bank's filing. Bank of America was run by Chief Executive Officer Kenneth D. Lewis at the time.

The bank, now led by CEO Brian T. Moynihan, transferred mortgage-backed securities to a trading partner with the idea of receiving different securities later and classifying the deals as sales, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The securities the bank received were similar to those it got rid of, meaning the transactions can't be considered sales, the newspaper said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Dakin Campbell in San Francisco at dcampbell27@bloomberg.net David Mildenberg in Charlotte at dmildenberg@bloomberg.net

Find out more about Bloomberg for iPhone: http://m.bloomberg.com/iphone


Thank You,

Kenyatta Lovett
770-601-7441 

Sent from my iPhone

NYTimes: Wall St. Hiring in Anticipation of an Economic Recovery

From The New York Times:

Wall St. Hiring in Anticipation of an Economic Recovery

The shift underscores the remarkable recovery of the biggest banks and brokerage firms since Washington rescued them in the fall of 2008.

http://nyti.ms/aP6b1z

Get The New York Times on your iPhone for free by visiting http://itunes.com/apps/nytimes


Thank You,

Kenyatta Lovett
770-601-7441

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, July 02, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Change in Direction

Professionally, I am changing my focus toward management and administration. I am still in support of building strong brands. However, brands are built on sound practices within an organization. Thus, I will be focusing more on the processes and management styles that influence the perception of a strong brand, including public administration. Please send me your comments and concerns, and thanks for following my blog.

Friday, June 11, 2010

(BN) Retail Sales in U.S. Unexpectedly Decrease 1.2% as Consumers Boost Savings

Here we go again.

Bloomberg News, sent from my iPhone.

U.S. Economy: Retail Sales Unexpectedly Fell in May

June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Sales at U.S. retailers unexpectedly dropped in May for the first time in eight months, indicating the rebound in consumer spending is cooling as Americans boost savings.

Purchases fell 1.2 percent, led by a record plunge in demand at building-material stores that may reflect the end of a government rebate on sales of energy-saving appliances, according to figures from the Commerce Department issued today in Washington. Another report showed consumer sentiment climbed this month to the highest level in two years.

Growing incomes may be helping lift Americans' confidence, while a slowdown in hiring and unemployment hovering near a 26- year high means employees will put away the extra money in their paychecks. Discounters Target Corp. and TJX Cos. were among merchants that reported gains in May sales, indicating households are looking for bargains.

"It's unreasonable to expect rapid spending growth in this environment," said Zach Pandl, an economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York. "Businesses are being cautious about hiring. We have a huge amount of ground to cover to make up for the jobs lost during the recession."

Stocks rose as technology shares climbed after National Semiconductor Corp.'s sales forecast beat estimates. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.4 percent to close at 1,091.6, capping the biggest weekly gain since March. Treasury securities rose, sending the yield on the benchmark 10-year note down to 3.23 percent at 4:36 p.m. in New York from 3.32 percent late yesterday.

Forecast to Increase

Retail sales were projected to increase 0.2 percent, according to the median estimate of 76 economists in a Bloomberg survey. Forecasts ranged from a decline of 0.7 percent to a gain of 1 percent. The Commerce Department revised in increase in April purchases up to 0.6 percent from a prior estimate of 0.4 percent.

The decrease in demand wasn't broad-based, with five of 13 major categories showing declines last month, led by a 9.3 percent plunge at building-material stores. That drop last month followed an 8.4 percent jump in April and a gain in March that may have reflected a surge in appliance sales propelled by a provision of the government's stimulus package last year that provided rebates for purchases of more energy-efficient products.

Looking past the month-to-month wiggles, the numbers "signal still-decent spending growth," Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, said in a note to clients. "The growth in household labor income and the ongoing improvement in consumer sentiment should lend support to continued growth in real consumer spending."

Sentiment Improves

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment increased to 75.5, the highest since January 2008, from 73.6 in May. The gauge was projected to rise to 74.5, according to the median forecast in a survey of 65 economists.

The figure shows the slump in stock prices sparked by Europe's debt crisis is having limited effect on sentiment.

"Confidence is up despite the turmoil in the markets recently," said Jim O'Sullivan, global chief economist at MF Global Ltd. in New York. "Wage income and spending power have been accelerating, which perhaps helps explain why the confidence numbers are positive."

The University of Michigan gauge of current conditions, which reflects Americans' perceptions of their financial situation and whether it is a good time to buy big-ticket items such as cars, rose to 82.9 in June, the highest since March 2008.

Spending Outlook

The index of consumer expectations for six months from now, which more closely projects the direction of consumer spending, increased to 70.7, the highest since September, from 68.8.

The retail sales figures were also depressed by a 3.3 percent drop at service stations, which may reflect lower gasoline prices. Demand at clothing and general merchandise stores also fell.

Sales at Target, the second largest U.S. discount retailer, rose 1.3 percent in stores open at least a year from a year earlier.

"Comparable-store sales were somewhat below our expectation," said Gregg Steinhafel, chief executive officer of Target, in a statement May 19. "Our recent experience reinforces our belief that we will continue to experience volatility in the pace of economic recovery."

Excluding autos, gasoline and building materials, which are the figures used to calculate gross domestic product, sales increased 0.1 percent after a 0.2 percent April decrease.

Jobs, Incomes

Companies added 41,000 workers to payrolls in May, the fewest in four months and down from a 218,000 increase in April, the Labor Department reported last week. Nonetheless, employers boosted hours and average earnings, signaling workers pocketed the gains in incomes to either pay down debt or boost savings last month.

Consumer spending grew at a 3.5 percent annual pace in the first three months of 2010, the best performance in three years, according to figures from the Commerce Department. Economists surveyed this month projected purchases will expand at a 3 percent rate this quarter and 2.6 percent in the second half of the year.

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Bob Willis in Washington bwillis@bloomberg.net

Find out more about Bloomberg for iPhone: http://m.bloomberg.com/iphone


Thank You,

Kenyatta Lovett
770-601-7441 

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, May 17, 2010

NYTimes: For Some Brokers, Bad Location Is Everything

From The New York Times:

For Some Brokers, Bad Location Is Everything

When promoting homes in rumbling distance of trains or expressways,
agents have to be a little more creative.

http://nyti.ms/boduWD

Get The New York Times on your iPhone for free by visiting http://itunes.com/apps/nytimes


Thank You,

Kenyatta Lovett
770-601-7441

Sent from my iPhone

NYTimes: G.M. Posts Its First Profit in 3 Years as Sales Rise 40 Percent

From The New York Times:

G.M. Posts Its First Profit in 3 Years as Sales Rise 40 Percent

The automaker said that it earned $865 million in the first quarter
and that it would increase production.

http://nyti.ms/aAZ2Xb

Get The New York Times on your iPhone for free by visiting http://itunes.com/apps/nytimes


Thank You,

Kenyatta Lovett
770-601-7441

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, May 16, 2010

(BN) Greece May Take Legal Steps Against U.S. Banks for Crisis, Papandreou Says

Something to surely watch.

Bloomberg News, sent from my iPhone.

Greece Considering Legal Action Against U.S. Banks for Crisis

May 16 (Bloomberg) -- Greece is considering taking legal action against U.S. investment banks that might have contributed to the country's debt crisis, Prime Minister George Papandreou said.

"I wouldn't rule out that this may be a recourse," Papandreou said, in response to questions about the role of U.S. banks in the crisis, in an interview on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS." The program, scheduled for broadcast today, was taped on May 13. Neither Papandreou nor Zakaria mentioned any banks by name.

U.S. stocks fell and the euro slumped on concern that Europe wouldn't be able to contain the debt crisis stemming from Greece. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined 1.9 percent May 14, while the euro fell below $1.24 for the first time since November 2008.

Papandreou said the decision on whether to go after U.S. banks will be made after a Greek parliamentary investigation into the cause of the crisis.

"Greece will look into the past and see how things went," Papandreou said. "There are similar investigations going on in other countries and in the United States. This is where I think, yes, the financial sector, I hear the words fraud and lack of transparency. So yes, yes, there is great responsibility here."

Speculators

In the days leading up to the May 10 announcement of a loan package worth almost $1 trillion to halt the spread of Greece's fiscal woes, European Union regulators were examining whether speculators manipulated the prices of bonds and equities and contributed to the crisis.

The Committee of European Securities Regulators said on May 7 it was investigating "exceptional volatility" in the markets and would work with other regulators, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as part of a coordinated clampdown.

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said May 6 that he was concerned about speculation in bond markets using credit default swaps. "By first buying the CDS and then trying to affect market sentiment by going short on the underlying bond, investors can make large profits," he said.

Credit-default swaps are derivatives that pay the buyer face value if a borrower -- a country or a company -- defaults. In exchange, the swap seller gets the underlying securities or the cash equivalent. Traders in naked credit-default swaps buy insurance on bonds they don't own.

In the CNN interview, Papandreou said many in the international community have engaged in "Greek bashing" and find it easy "to scapegoat Greece." He said Greeks "are a hard-working people. We are a proud people."

"We have made our mistakes," Papandreou said. "We are living up to this responsibility. But at the same time, give us a chance. We'll show you."

To contact the reporter on this story: Timothy R. Homan in Washington at thoman1@bloomberg.net

Find out more about Bloomberg for iPhone: http://m.bloomberg.com/iphone


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Kenyatta Lovett
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Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Hands-On with Air Video, Stream Video to iPad, iPhone | Wired.com

I wanted to share this article from Wired.com with you:

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/05/hands-on-with-air-video-stream-video-to-ipad-iphone/

Hands-On with Air Video, Stream Video to iPad, iPhone
Video files take a lot of space. Instead of cramming all your HD content into the relatively puny confines of your iPhone or iPad, why not stream it from your PC? Indeed, it's easy to fill up a 16GB iPad in no time at all. Our own Brian X Chen Tweeted this last week: "Just synced [...]


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Kenyatta Lovett
770-601-7441 

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, April 26, 2010

CNBC.com Article: iPad Signals the Waning Days of the Laptop

Interesting.

CNBC.com Article: iPad Signals the Waning Days of the Laptop

Once again, Apple hasn't invented something. But because Apple has "re-invented" the tablet as we know it, the company has launched a revolution. Again. There will be tablets hence, and there certainly have been tablets past, but not until iPad has the marketplace truly seen the potential and possibilities of this platform and this technology.

Full Story:
http://www.cnbc.com/id/36783507

------------------------------------------------
Download CNBC Real-Time from the App Store for Free and get Streaming Real-Time quotes, breaking news and the latest videos from CNBC.
http://www.itunes.com/apps/cnbcreal-time



Thank You,

Kenyatta Lovett
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Monday, April 19, 2010

Rating Agency Defender. Really?

I mean........really? There are positives with Credit Default Swaps












Saturday, April 17, 2010

NYTimes: Obama Vows to Move on Regulation

On to the next one!

From The New York Times:

Obama Vows to Move on Regulation

The president accused Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader,
of waging a "cynical and deceptive" attack against a bill to
tighten regulation of the financial system.

http://nyti.ms/aDkp7N

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Kenyatta Lovett
770-601-7441

Sent from my iPhone

Seeking A Smoking Gun In A Toxic Asset

I found the following story on the NPR iPhone App:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126025456&sc=17&f=1001

Seeking A Smoking Gun In A Toxic Asset
by Chana Joffe-Walt

- April 16, 2010

Recently, I got an e-mail. "Subject: Do you know your toxic asset is being sued?"

NPR's Planet Money team had recently pooled $1,000 to buy a toxic asset -- a bond backed by subprime mortgages -- as a window into the housing bust. And for one confused moment, I actually thought we were being sued.

The suit was filed by a carpenters union fund in New Jersey; it turned out the carpenters were suing the bank that created both our bond and theirs.

In 2006, the fund invested $100,000 to buy a bond backed by mortgages. The bond is now worth about $5,000, and the fund wanted to know if there was someone to blame.

"I don't know if you really make sense [of] who screwed up," says George Laufenberg, administrative manager of the New Jersey Carpenters Funds. "Personally, I get a little angry over it because the system basically let everyone down. Period."

The carpenters' toxic asset began its life with the huge subprime mortgage lender Countrywide. So did ours. Countrywide issued bad home loans. But the lender collapsed. What's more, Countrywide didn't sell anything directly to the carpenters.

Is the seller to blame? That was the Royal Bank of Scotland, which bought mortgages from Countrywide, packaged them into complex securities, and sold them as supersafe investments.

For the carpenters to sue RBS, their lawyer would have to find the smoking gun of securities lawyerdom: a misstatement.

The carpenters' lawyer, Joel Laitman, said he read through boxes and boxes of documents to find that misstatement: three lines stating that the underlying collateral in the mortgage-backed securities had underwriting guidelines that required a credit check. A credit check does not seem to have been performed on all these loans, according to Laitman.

"RBS made significant money churning out these triple-A, mortgage-backed securities, and they should be made to pay," he said.

So the carpenters are suing RBS. The suit is working its way through court right now; RBS declined to comment for this story.

RBS itself nearly failed during the crisis. The British government had to bail the bank out, and the government now owns an 84 percent stake in the company. So if the carpenters win their lawsuit, it will be British taxpayers paying them back.

I wanted to check in with a British taxpayer, so I called the Marquis of Westminster, a London pub.

"On one level, it doesn't seem to be fair," Chris Hayes, the pub's owner, told me. "But if it's a bunch of average men on the street trying to get their money back, I suppose I wouldn't mind so much. If it's a bunch of carpenters, then good luck to 'em." Copyright 2010 National Public Radio

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Feds Indict Ex-Blackwater President

What's going on?

I found the following story on the NPR iPhone App:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126056988&sc=17&f=1001

Feds Indict Ex-Blackwater President
by The Associated Press

The Associated Press - April 16, 2010

The former president of Blackwater Worldwide and four other former officials at the embattled security firm were indicted Friday on federal weapons charges, partially the result of a raid two years ago by agents that rounded up 22 weapons, including AK-47s.

The indictment issued Friday charges Gary Jackson, who left the company last year in a management shakeup, along with four other former workers. The charges against Jackson include a conspiracy to violate firearms laws, false statements and possession of an unregistered firearm.

Also indicted were former general counsel Andrew Howell, former executive vice president Bill Mathews, Ana Bundy, who at one point had oversight of the firm's armory, and Ronald Slezak, who was hired to oversee documents related to the company's status as a firearms dealer.

The charges open a new front of the government's oversight of the sullied security company. Several of the company's contractors have previously been charged with federal crimes for their actions in war zones, but the company's executives have so far weathered a range of investigations.

Around the time that Jackson left the company, Blackwater changed its name to Xe Services.

The company has been trying to rehabilitate its image since a 2007 shooting in Baghdad left 17 people dead, outraged the Iraqi government and led to a federal charges against several Blackwater guards -- accusations later thrown out of court after a judge found prosecutors mishandled evidence.

The latest case stems from a raid conducted by federal agents in 2008 that seized 22 weapons, including 17 AK-47s.

Blackwater signed agreements in 2005 in which the company financed the purchase of 34 automatic weapons for the Camden County sheriff's office. Sheriff Tony Perry became the official owner of the weapons, but Blackwater was allowed to keep most of the guns at its armory.

Federal law prohibits private parties from buying fully automatic weapons registered after 1986, but does let law enforcement agencies have them.

One of the 2005 agreements viewed later by the AP says the weapons will be kept under "lock and key" and doesn't describe whether Blackwater would use the guns. Perry said at the time that his department only used the AK-47s in shooting practice at Blackwater and that none of his 19 deputies were qualified to use them.

Blackwater has said federal authorities knew about the weapons for years and that investigators got a complete look at the company's cache in 2005 after two employees were fired.

In a 2008 interview with the AP, Jackson and other Blackwater executives said the company provided the local Camden County sheriff's office a place to store weapons, calling the gesture a "professional courtesy."

"We gave them a big safe so that they can store their own guns," Jackson said at the time. Added then-Executive Vice President Bill Mathews: "We give stuff to police departments all over the country, and we take particularly good care of our home police departments."

Company officials, including both Jackson and Howell, downplayed the raid during the interview. Jackson said some of the 16 uniformed officers who came to serve the warrant were embarrassed by the event and said agents had to stop at Blackwater's front gate to get passes to come onto the company's sprawling campus in northeastern North Carolina.

"As a hypothetical, one would think that, if you were going on a raid, you'd take your Kevlar and your weapon," Howell said to laughter from other executives. Copyright 2010 The Associated Press

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Kenyatta Lovett
770-601-7441 

Sent from my iPhone

(BN) BASF Says Luxury-Cosmetics Recovery Is Strengthening as Cognis Bid Looms

Good news huh?

Bloomberg News, sent from my iPhone.

BASF Sees Cosmetics Recovery as Cognis Bid Looms

April 16 (Bloomberg) -- BASF SE, a possible bidder for moisturizer-ingredients maker Cognis GmbH, said there are signs that demand for luxury cosmetics is improving, adding strength to a rebound in the $3.7 billion personal-care chemicals market.

"During last year, some premium products have been lower in demand, but there are signs that it's recovering, that we are seeing growth in both sectors," said Thomas Greindl, BASF's European marketing director for care chemicals, in an interview.

A recovery in cosmetics use may fuel consolidation among ingredients makers, UniCredit analyst Jochen Schlachter said. BASF's $5 billion purchase of Ciba Holding in 2009 brought a "full R&D pipeline," Greindl said. BASF may make a 3 billion- euro offer ($4 billion) for Cognis, two people familiar with the situation said April 9. Greindl declined to comment on Cognis.

Customers remain "cautious" and Ludwigshafen, Germany- based BASF is developing products for hair care, sun protection and thickeners to capture more of the market, Greindl said in the April 14 interview at the in-cosmetics exhibition in Paris.

"The market is picking up," Greindl said. Inventory is "being built to a certain extent, but I would think that everybody in the value chain is still cautious," he added.

BASF generates about 3.4 billion euros in sales from care- chemicals, a segment that includes cleaning agents as well as products for personal use. The rival unit at Cognis, bought by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Permira Advisers Ltd. in 2001, had revenue of about one-half that amount.

No Rush

Cognis is drawing bidders with its ingredients for body lotions and shampoos based on natural resources like palm kernels and coconut oil as opposed to synthetic materials, tapping demand for environmentally friendly products. That may lead its private equity owners to opt for an outright sale to a rival rather than an initial share sale, analysts said.

While Monheim am Rhein, Germany-based Cognis "fits very well" with BASF's strategy, its owners will not be in a rush to sell, Merrill Lynch equity analysts including Fraser Hill wrote in a report on April 12. The company may also be of interest to Croda International Plc, Solvay SA, and Royal DSM NV, Hill said.

BASF may face a downgrade of its credit rating by one notch if it buys Cognis, Schlachter on April 12 said. It's currently rated A+ at Standard & Poor's, sharing the highest rating among companies in the Bloomberg World Chemicals Index with Monsanto Co. and Saudi Basic Industries Corp.

Editors: Andrew Noel, Jerrold Colten

To contact the reporter on this story: Francois de Beaupuy in Paris at fdebeaupuy@bloomberg.net .

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Print from iPad, Cellphones with ‘Google Cloud Print’ | Wired.com

I wanted to share this article from Wired.com with you:

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/04/print-from-ipad-cellphones-with-google-cloud-print/

Print from iPad, Cellphones with 'Google Cloud Print'
After the lack of Flash support and the "missing" camera, one of the biggest complaints about the iPad is that you can't print from it, with or without a wire. Google is about to solve this problem with cloud-printing, which will send your documents from a mobile device to any web-connected printer. I tend to view [...]


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Zune Hackers Create Toolkit to Make Apps, Games | Wired.com

I wanted to share this article from Wired.com with you:

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/04/zune-platform-hacked-open-development/

Zune Hackers Create Toolkit to Make Apps, Games
A team of three developers has created a toolkit that can bypass Microsoft's limitations on developing programs for the Zune. The kit allows independent programmers to create applications for the digital music player. "This is the first Zune hack that works," Glenn Anderson, one of the creators of the toolkit told Wired.com. "People can now bypass [...]


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Gallery: 8 Tablets That Aren’t Made by Apple | Wired.com

I want an e-reader!

I wanted to share this article from Wired.com with you:

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/04/gallery-non-apple-tablets/

Gallery: 8 Tablets That Aren't Made by Apple
> Few product categories get a second chance to make it big. Wristwatch calculators, 8-track tapes, mopeds, unicycles and Polaroid film are never going to be wildly popular again. But tablets are poised to make the kind of comeback that would make Robert Downey Jr. proud. PC makers have offered slates [...]


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CNBC.com Article: Another Crisis Ahead if No Financial Reforms: Obama

Is this politically driven - new attacks on Wall Street?

CNBC.com Article: Another Crisis Ahead if No Financial Reforms: Obama

The overhaul is the next major piece of legislation that Obama wants to sign into law this year, but solid GOP opposition in the Senate is jeopardizing that goal.

Full Story:
http://www.cnbc.com/id/36614378

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CNBC.com Article: Goldman Concerns Expected to Trump Good Earnings Week

Really? Now?

CNBC.com Article: Goldman Concerns Expected to Trump Good Earnings Week

Uncertainty surrounding Goldman Sachs will likely overshadow the positive news from dozens of major corporate earnings reports in the week ahead. Some analysts say the Goldman spacer fraud charges could be the event that will trigger a much anticipated stock market correction.

Full Story:
http://www.cnbc.com/id/36614191

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