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

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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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Thank You,

Kenyatta Lovett
770-601-7441

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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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Kenyatta Lovett
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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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(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 .

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


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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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Kenyatta Lovett
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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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Kenyatta Lovett
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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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Kenyatta Lovett
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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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Kenyatta Lovett
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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

------------------------------------------------
Download CNBC Real-Time from the App Store for Free and get Streaming Real-Time quotes, breaking news and the latest videos from CNBC.
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Thank You,

Kenyatta Lovett
770-601-7441 

Sent from my iPhone