Friday, August 26, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Applied Materials Inc., the world’s largest chip equipment maker, threw more fuel onto the fire of investor fears of a double-dip recession Wednesday, confirming comments by other tech giants who have talked about a sudden slowing of demand for their products in the last six weeks.
Applied AMAT +2.13% chief executive Mike Splinter told analysts on a conference call that he is now expecting chip makers to spend $1 billion less on new equipment than the company forecast in July. “We’ve seen demand from our foundry customers soften significantly in the past six weeks,” Splitner said. See Applied news here.
During the month of July, most of the tech companies who reported during the standard quarterly earnings period had decent financial outlooks. But once August rolled around and companies like NetApp NTAP -0.99% gave a weak outlook, investors started to see things were unraveling, even in the hotter corporate computing space.
Wednesday’s comment by Applied, a bellwether of tech, shows how quickly demand appears to be falling and it’s not a good sign for the rest of the economy.
hostgator coupon 2011
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Iranian president said on Friday there will be no room for Israel in the region after the formation of a Palestinian state, and that once the state is established, the liberation of all Palestinian lands should follow.
The comments by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reflected his typical anti-Israeli rhetoric, which has drawn international condemnation since he first said in 2005 that Israel should be "wiped off the map."
Ahmadinejad spoke at a Tehran ceremony following nationwide pro-Palestinian rallies marking Quds Day. Quds is the Arabic word for Jerusalem. The annual demonstration is an occasion for Iranian officials to show off their support for Palestinians and condemn archenemy Israel.
The remarks come as the Palestinians are pushing this year to achieve recognition at the United Nations during the General Assembly meeting in September. The statehood bid comes amid stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and although the U.N. vote in New York will be largely symbolic, the Palestinians believe it will send a powerful message to Israel.
"Do not assume you will be boosted with a (U.N.) recognition of a Palestinian state," Ahmadinejad said, addressing Israel. "There is no room for you in the region."
"Recognition of a Palestinian state is the first step in the liberation of the entire Palestine," he added.
Since the 1979 Islamic revolution that brought hardline Islamists to power in Tehran, Iran's leadership has been hostile to Israel, backing anti-Israel groups like the Palestinian Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah.
Ahmadinejad also urged the West to stop supporting Israel.
"You (the West) and the Zionist regime will have no base in the Middle East," he warned, and dismissed the West's support for a two-state solution as a tactic meant "to save" Israel.
Reiterating his anti-Holocaust rhetoric, Ahmadinejad also said Israel was created on lies and added, "the Zionist regime is the axis of unity among all thieves and criminals of the world."
He also called on rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas to form as strong, unified state and not "consider it sufficient to have minor and weak governments in a small area."
In 2007, the militant Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip, leaving Fatah only in control of the West Bank.
Iran faces increased pressure from the West over its controversial nuclear program that Israel, the United States and others contend is intended for nuclear weapons making. Tehran denies the charge, insisting the program is for peaceful purposes only, such as generating power.
Tens of thousands attended the Quds Day rally in Tehran. State TV said millions of Iranians participated in the rallies in cities and towns across Iran.
Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Iran-s-Ahmadinejad-No-place-for-Israel-in-region-2142250.php#ixzz1W9heHeEF
hostgator coupon 2011
In a move described as the "last stand for Greek banks", the embattled country's central bank activated Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) for the first time on Wednesday night.
Raoul Ruparel of Open Europe told The Telegraph: "The activation of the so-called ELA looks to be the last stand for Greek banks and suggests they are running alarmingly short of quality collateral usually used to obtain funding."
He added: "This kicks off another huge round of nearly worthless assets being shifted from the books of private banks onto books backed by taxpayers. Combined with the purchases of Spanish and Italian bonds, the already questionable balance sheet of the euro system is looking increasingly risky."
Although it was done discreetly, news that Athens had opened the fund filtered out and was one of the factors that rattled markets across Europe. At one point Germany's Dax was down 4pc before it recovered. In London, bank stocks - which have been punished by traders nervous about the European debt crisis - fell again.
In a bid to curb the falls regulators in Italy, France, Spain and Belgium extended their short-selling bans. Although it was designed to support European banks, experts in London reacted angrily to the move, claiming that regulators were wrongly targeting hedge funds.
Andrew Baker, chief executive of the Alternative Investment Management Association, the hedge fund lobby group, said: "Short-selling was not the reason bank share prices were under pressure and banning it has not relieved that pressure."
Richard Payne, a finance academic at the Cass Business School in London, said the restrictions could do more harm than good by increasing volatility and bumping up trading costs. He argued that the moves were an attempt to deflect attention away from the failures of European politicians to come up with convincing solutions to the financial crisis.
Traders argued that the worsening crisis in Greece was the real driver of market concerns. There are particular concerns that the political will to solve the crisis is waning, particularly in Germany.
Athens' activation of the ELA will raise concerns that Greece will simply shift debt to Brussels.
The ELA was designed under European rules to allow national central banks to provide liquidity for their own lenders when they run out of collateral of a quality that can be used to trade with the ECB. It is an obscure tool that is supposed to be temporary and one of the last resorts for indebted banks. So far it has only be used in Ireland.
By accepting a lower level of collateral the debt in the ELA is, in theory, supposed to be the responsibility of Greece. However, since the Greek state is surviving on eurozone bailouts and Greek banks are reliant on ECB funding, in practice the loans are backed by the eurozone. The terms of lending and other details are not disclosed publicly.
Mr Ruparel said: "Though the ELA is meant to be a temporary emergency solution, we know from Ireland, where the programme has been running for almost a year, that once banks get hooked on ELA they rarely get off it."
hostgator coupon 2011
EURO-ZONE policy makers appeared no nearer to settling a dispute over Finland's collateral demands in exchange for participating in a bailout for Greece, raising concerns that Athens may default.
Markets have grown more worried about the potential for a Greek debt default amid an apparent lack of progress in resolving the collateral issue this week.
Finland, meanwhile, shows no sign of backing down.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also unexpectedly cancelled a trip to Russia in early September to shepherd through parliament a crucial change to the euro-zone bailout fund.
The cancellation comes at a sensitive time for relations with Russia, and amid growing nervousness about dissent within the ranks of her own party over her handling of the euro-zone debt crisis.
"The date collides with the introduction of the (European Financial Stability Facility) treaty into the Bundestag," a German government official said, adding that the chancellor wants to stay in Berlin due to the significance of the issue.
Yields on Greek two-year bonds rocketed to a record of over 43 per cent, according to Tradeweb, and the cost of insuring Greek government bonds against default also rose sharply.
Greek five-year sovereign credit-default swaps were 1.37 percentage points wider at 22.75 percentage points, according to Markit.
No multi-lateral talks on the collateral issue took place Wednesday or Thursday, a person familiar with the situation said, despite an initial intention to hash out an agreement by the weekend.
However, the person didn't rule out the possibility that bilateral talks are under way.
Euro-zone governments are looking into alternative forms of collateral after a cash deal reached earlier between Greece and Finland was rejected by key member countries, including Germany and the Netherlands.
Under terms of that deal, Greece would pay Finland hundreds of millions of euros from its bailout loans as collateral for those same loans at the expense of other euro-zone countries.
Since Finland is set to contribute just 2 per cent of Greece's total rescue package, guarantees from the richer euro-zone nations would be going directly to Finland.
The collateral dispute, if not resolved soon, could derail a second bailout package for Greece agreed by euro-zone leaders on July 21.
Without support from all 17 euro-zone countries, no funds can be released, while changes to the European Financial Stability Facility, the currency bloc's bailout fund, can't go forward either.
At last month's summit, leaders agreed to expand the fund and make it more flexible, so that it could buy bonds on the secondary market and provide credit lines to countries locked out of markets.
National parliaments across the euro area must approve the changes, however, and the collateral issue must be settled before the final EFSF proposal is written.
The European Commission, the EU's executive branch, has asked that all the details for the EFSF legislation be clarified by the end of August.
German officials have said they expect to approve the new EFSF at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
A parliamentary vote is likely to take place September 23.
A commission spokesman said that there is no formal deadline for concluding talks.
Still, "it's good for that to be done toward the end of the month," he said.
Germany insists on a solution acceptable to all euro-zone countries.
The International Monetary Fund, which has been contributing to Greek bailout loans, opposes any deal that would threaten its preferred-creditor status, which ensures the fund is always first to be repaid.
Finland said that it continues discussions with Greece and other euro-zone countries to find a solution. Officials refrained from further comment.
"The issue has become so politicised that no one here at the Finance Ministry wants to talk about it at the moment," said Anita Sihvola, a spokeswoman for the Finnish finance ministry.
On Wednesday, Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen reiterated that Finland would not take part in the €110 billion Greek ($150bn) bailout unless it obtained collateral.
Finland's policy is partly the result of April's general election, in which support for the True Finns Party, which opposed the Greek bailout, soared to 19 per cent from 4.1 per cent in 2007.
The True Finns finished third, and the election led to a new government coalition of six parties.
Euro-zone officials have indicated they are exploring other forms of collateral, such as state property or other non-cash assets.
But this option would be anathema in Greece, especially as many of the government's assets are already earmarked for privatisation.
The government has strongly opposed any deals that would involve putting up Greek land or real estate as collateral, viewing the step as a threat to the country's territorial sovereignty.
"It seems that a possible outcome is either collateral for all member states or no country will get it," said a second person familiar with the matter.
Additional reporting: Mark Brown in Brussels, Arild Moen in Helsinki, Leos Rousek in Prague, Art Patnaude in London and Bernd Radowitz in Berlin
Wall Street Journal
hostgator coupon 2011
Jim Rogers : The last thing you want is for your Gold to be in a vault of a bank which goes bankrupt
Jim Rogers :It is (what Valenzuela has done ) certainly significant especially if find out (the banks ) that they do not have it , it will be quite a turmoil if all of sudden the banks will say we do not have all that gold we do not find it because you know a lot of gold has been mixed with other gold it might just mean more and more people do want to hold their gold in their own hands , I would suspect so , we are coming in more and more turmoil more and more banks will be going bankrupt and The last thing you want is for your Gold to be in a vault of a bank which goes bankrupt or which has to suspend redemption , so I suspect you'll see more of it
hostgator coupon 2011
Right now, "Europe's financial system is insolvent," Scott Minerd, CIO of the diversified financial services firm Guggenheim Partners, told CNBC Thursday.
"If we mark the assets of the European banks to market, the liabilities of the banks exceed the assets well beyond their capital cushion," said Minerd.
"The reality is every solution that's being offered by the policymakers is more and more liquidity, and the reality is this is not a liquidity problem, this is a structural problem," he added. "And the policy makers have done nothing to address the structural issues."
Take, for example "this Greek-Finland fiasco," said Minerd.
Earlier this week, Finnish Prime Minister Jyki Katainen said the country could withdraw from Greece's bailout program if it is not granted collateral for its loans.
"This shows that the policymakers don't get it. Clearly both Greece and Finland didn't even understand the dynamics of the debt that's in the marketplace."
"It's telling us that the degree of sophistication that we're working with here with the policymakers is pretty low," he added.
Ultimately though, Minerd said policymakers are going to have to "sit down at a table and come up with some formal plan to exchange all this debt."
In addition, Germany's DAX [.GDAXI 5436.91 -147.23 (-2.64%) ] fell as much as 2.7 percent in European afternoon trading on Thursday due partially over rumors that a short-selling ban may be encated in Germany, that Germany is about to lose its triple-A credit rating, and that the collapse of the Greek bailout plan was imminent.
hostgator coupon 2011