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Dry Bulk Freight Market on Downward Trend

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Hellenic Shipping News reported that the Baltic Dry Index continued its downward trend, following the loose market conditions of the previous week. The Index ended at 2,058 points, down by 64, when it had concluded a third straight week decline, down to 2,122 points. The week's total loss has amount

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Would You Pay A 90% Tax?

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

U.S. House leaders have set a vote for today on a proposed 90 percent tax on executive bonus payments by companies receiving more than $5 billion in federal bailout funds.

The bill is a response to the national furor that erupted this week when it was learned that American International Group Inc

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A Defining Moment for Treasury Secretary

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

All three of President Obama's top economic advisers were on message when they appeared Sunday on separate television talk shows. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, they said, had concluded, based on lawyers' advice, that he could not stop the $165 million in bonuses that the American Internati

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It's Game On For Commodities

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Gold jumped the most since November and oil exceeded $50 a barrel for the first time in two months on speculation the Federal Reserve's steps to spur growth will revive demand for commodities as a hedge against inflation.

Gold futures in New York rose as much as $52.50, or 5.9 percent, to $941.60

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Bonds Skyrocket on Fed's $300B Pledge

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Treasury prices surged today, after the Federal Reserve said it would buy up to $300 billion in long-term Treasurys - a move the central bank has hinted at for months.

The 30-year long bond skyrocketed 5 points immediately following the announcement, while the yield, which moves opposite to price

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ADM Passes on VeraSun Assets

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Wire reports issued late Tuesday report that Archer Daniels Midland Co. bid on some of bankrupt VeraSun Energy Corp.'s ethanol plants, but in the end didn't buy. ADM declined to say which of the 17 VeraSun facilities it bid on.

VeraSun has announced that Valero Renewable Fuels is the successful b

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AIG Chief: Bonuses Must Be Paid

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The head of American International Group said Wednesday the "cold realities of competition" compelled the insurer to pay $165 million in bonuses, and acknowledged that bailout-weary Americans' patience was running thin.

AIG has come under intense fire from the public, politicians and President Ba

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Bush Pledges to Play Nice

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Former President George W. Bush, making his first public speech since leaving office in January, says he wants Barack Obama to succeed and that it's "essential" to support the new leader.

Bush declined to critique the Obama administration in Tuesday's speech, saying the new president has enough c

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World Bank Cuts China's 2009 GDP Forecast

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The World Bank lowered its forecast for China's 2009 economic growth on Wednesday but warned Beijing that it would be thwarting its own medium-term goals if it tried to offset the slowdown by further boosting investment.

In a quarterly economic update, the bank cut its projection of gross domesti

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The Fed Resumes Meeting

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The Federal Reserve resumed a two-day meeting on Wednesday that was expected to end with a vow to do whatever it takes to turn back the U.S. economy's deep recession but no new concrete steps to do so.

A Fed spokeswoman said the central bank's policy-setting panel resumed its meeting at 9 a.m., a

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Finra Fines Citigroup $2 Million In Trade-Reporting Probe

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority slapped Citigroup Inc.'s (C) global-markets unit with a $2 million fine for a range of trade-reporting violations, including publishing flawed quotations, adding to a host of black marks that have stained the financial-services giant in recent months.

S

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Sun Micro Shares Soar

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Sun Microsystems shares soared in premarket trading Wednesday after a published report said International Business Machines is in preliminary talks to buy Sun for at least $6.5 billion in cash.

The Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed people familiar with the matter, said the deal could occu

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Obama to Appear on Leno Tomorrow

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

President Barack Obama flies out to California on Wednesday afternoon for two town hall meetings, a factory visit and an appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

Leno comments on the president's upcoming appearance during his monologue on tonight's "Tonight," saying:

"President Barack O

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NASDAQ Announces Income ETFs Trading

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ) and WisdomTree, a leading exchange-traded fund (ETF) sponsor and index developer, announced today that NASDAQ OMX PHLX has listed options on the WisdomTree Dreyfus Currency Income ETF family. They are the first options based on actively-managed ETFs.

Ther

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Chicago-Based Citadel Gets a Big Check

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Let's put it this way.

If we at Indiana Grain were going out to lunch with Ken Griffin, we wouldn't feel bad if he picked up the tab.

Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel Investment Group turned up on American International Group Inc.'s list of firms it paid using proceeds from the federal governm

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Hedge Funds May Get a Boost

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Some of the billions of dollars the U.S. government paid to bail out American International Group Inc stand to benefit hedge funds that bet on a falling housing market, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter and reviewed documents.

The documents showed how Wall Stree

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What's Ahead for Regulatory Efforts

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

U.S. Representative Barney Frank said lawmakers working to overhaul financial regulation amid the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression must "figure out how we avoid ever again being in this situation."

"We have as important a task as we've had in this general area, I believe, since th

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Card Issuers Choke Firms With Rate Hikes, Limit Cuts

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Susan Woodward isn't renewing the lease on her music boutique and internet cafe in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, after nine years. The reason: doubling interest rates on her credit cards.

"My business is seasonal, so we count on credit to stock the store at the end of the slow season and prepare for the

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Nasdaq Raises Trading Fees for Smallest Brokerages

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., the all- electronic stock exchange that handles the most shares in the U.S., is raising transaction fees for smaller brokerages.

The new pricing plan will boost the amount of trading brokerages must reach to be eligible for discounted pricing, the exchange said in an e-mail

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Summers: We'll Be Creative In Recovering AIG Bonuses

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

President Barack Obama's top economic adviser told CNBC that the Obama administration will be "as creative as we can" to get back at least some of the $165 million in bonuses that AIG paid to executives after the insurance giant got billions in federal bailout money.

"What happened at AIG was out

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Natural Gas Rigs Shutting Means Prices May Double

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Natural gas drillers from Devon Energy Corp. to XTO Energy Inc. are idling rigs at the fastest pace since 2002, setting the stage for this year's worst commodity to almost double as supplies drop faster than demand.

About 45 percent of U.S. rigs have been shut since September, which means fourth-

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Insana Gets Back to Basics

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Three years ago, when money flowed easily, Ron Insana left CNBC to hang his own shingle as a hedge fund manager. Now, as he returns to television, he has but one misgiving about his foray into moneymaking.

"The one regret I have is we ended up losing money," Mr. Insana said in a recent interview.

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CME Announces New Petroleum Swap Futures Contracts

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

CME Group today announced 14 new petroleum swap futures contracts, scheduled to begin trading on March 22 for trade date March 23.

These contracts are listed with, and subject to, the rules and regulations of NYMEX.

The products will be available through CME ClearPort(R), an open clearing se

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CME and Citadel Get OK for Swap-Clearing Venture

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

CME Group and hedge fund firm Citadel Investment Group has received the nod from the Securities and Exchange Commission to clear credit default swaps in their joint venture.

The approval was the last regulatory hurdle facing Citadel and CME Group, which have created a new clearinghouse called CMD

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Icahn Roars at Lionsgate

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

"Carl Icahn is very nice and friendly until he's not," says Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns.

The Hollywood audience is still waiting to see how Lionsgate will respond to the billionaire's offer Thursday afternoon to buy $325 million of Lionsgate's debt. A twist -- it's unclear how much he'd

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Corvil Announces Deployment With CME Group

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Corvil, global innovator of electronic trading and market data latency technologies and services, today announced that CME Group, the world's largest and most diverse derivatives exchange, has recently deployed CorvilNet, the company's latency management system. Corvil, with operations in New York,

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India Corn Futures Hit Highs

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

India corn futures hit fresh highs on Monday as a falling rupee helped exports pick up pace, analysts said.

The Indian rupee has shed about 6 percent so far during the year. A weak rupee makes Indian prices attractive to overseas buyers, dealing in dollars, analysts said.

"Reports indicate fre

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Bernanke Foresees US Recovery in 2010

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested in a taped interview on Sunday that the U.S. recession could last most of the year and said the biggest risk was that the political will needed to fix the fractured financial system could be lacking.

"This (economic) decline will begin to moderate a

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Bernanke on 60 Minutes Tonight

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's taped interview with CBS' "60 Minutes," scheduled to air tonight, is unusual not only because it's the first television interview with a Fed chairman in 20 years. It also appears to violate the Fed's blackout practice, in which members of the Federal Open Mark

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Short Sale Price Rules on Agenda for April Meeting

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Friday it will meet on April 8 to consider whether to propose short sale price test rules.

The SEC issued its agenda for the meeting, but did not provide more details on what it might propose.

SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro said this week that the a

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What Are Commodities Doing for Stocks?

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

In addition to the usual suspects, this week's stock market rally appears to have gotten help from an unlikely ally: commodities.

Whether it be gold, energy, grains or others in the space, a general rise in commodities has underlined a gain in demand and at least a scintilla of economic security

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Traders Shifting Wheat Focus to Weather in Plains

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

For the week, Chicago wheat closed $.16 higher; Kansas City wheat $.22 higher and Minneapolis wheat $.05 higher. The weekly export sales report showed net sales of 285,200 metric tons were down 39 percent from the previous week and 30 percent from the prior 4-week average.

Increases were reported

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Texas Cattle Losses Approaching $1 Billion

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Texas agriculture officials say ranchers in the nation's largest cattle-producing state have already lost nearly $1 billion because of the ongoing drought.

Officials said Friday that cattle raisers have lost $829 million since last summer, $569 million of that since November.

Recent rains, tho

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Agora-X Starts New Electronic Platform

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Agora-X LLC launched a new electronic platform that enables negotiating, executing and clearing of over-the-counter trades in exempt commodities such as energy and metals.

Kansas City-based Agora-X is a subsidiary of Kansas City-based FCStone Group Inc. (Nasdaq: FCSX). Agora-X launched its first

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King Corn Wows Washington

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

President Obama has said science on his watch will not be "distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda." But when it comes to the political agenda of agribusiness, his own Cabinet, and his party, are letting science down to prop up corn-based ethanol.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, for

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No Pay Raise for Buffett

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

There has been quite a lot of news on Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) and Warren Buffett in the last two days. Bond and credit ratings agency Fitch downgraded the conglomerate. Buffett also outlined how he refused to invest in or rescue American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG). It also

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Endowment Funds in State of Crisis

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

A survey from the nonprofit Commonfund Institute of Wilton, Conn., found that college endowments across the nation lost an average of 24 percent of their value during the six months preceding Dec. 31, 2008.

How that drop in endowment value is affecting scholarship money is now becoming more clear

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Japan Considers ETF Purchases

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

In a bid to bring investors back to the hobbled Japanese stock market, Japan's government plans to allow a state-backed investment corporation to buy exchange-traded funds, Japanese business daily Nikkei reported.

The purchases would be funded by zero-interest government-backed bonds convertible

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China Concerned with US Treasureys

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

China's Premier Wen Jiabao reassured the world on Friday that China would deliver on its promise of 8 percent growth in 2009 despite a slate of challenges, and could roll out extra stimulus spending if needed to meet the goal.

Wen also said he was closely monitoring the U.S. economy and was conce

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SEC Moves to Reinstate Rule for Short-Sellers

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Created in 1938, toward the end of the Great Depression, and abolished in July 2007 by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, the rule regulated short-selling on Wall Street by only allowing traders to make "short-sales" following a higher bid on a stock price.

For example, if a company'

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FCStone Completes Transfer of Energy Trading Account

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

FCStone Group, an integrated commodity risk management firm, reported today that it has transferred to a third party substantially all of the positions and liability related to a previously-reported energy trading customer account which had experienced significant losses.

The transfer of the pos

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AIG Asked Buffett for Help... Twice

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Billionaire Warren Buffett said he was offered two chances to help American International Group Inc. in the final days before the U.S. government intervened to prevent the insurer's collapse last September.

Buffett fielded a phone call from AIG's then-Chief Executive Officer Robert Willumstad on

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Citigroup Says it Needs No More Aid

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Citigroup Chairman Richard Parsons said Thursday that the bank does not need any more capital injections from the government and expressed confidence that Citi would remain in private hands.

Asked in an interview with Reuters whether Citigroup needed additional government capital injections, Pars

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Paul Tudor Jones Opens Futures Market Momentum Fund

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Tudor Investment Corp, the global macro hedge fund firm ran by legendary trader Paul Tudor Jones has opened its Momentum Fund.

The fund, run by Steve Evans (who also runs their Tensor fund) will trade in all sorts of futures markets.

Both the Tensor and now Momentum fund use computer models

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World Cotton Acreage to Decline

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

USDA is projecting a world cotton crop for 2009-2010 of 107 million bales, a 2.3 percent decline from the previous year and the lowest output since 2003-04.

In a report presented at the Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, Va., in late February, USDA said the decline reflects significant redu

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CME Rival to Start in June

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

ELX Liquidity Exchange, a Wall Street-backed futures market that's planning to challenge CME Group Inc. by offering lookalike Treasury futures contracts, will open in June.

The all-electronic market expects approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission this spring, ELX CEO Neal Wolkoff s

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Roche Agrees to Buy Genentech for $46.8 Billion

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Roche Holding has struck a deal with Genentech to acquire all outstanding shares in the U.S. biotech group for $46.8 billion, or $95 a share, the Swiss drugmaker said on Thursday.

After a fierce battle that started last summer, Roche finally clinched the deal to buy the 44 percent of the U.S. bio

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The Billionaire Bust

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The worst economic crisis in decades has taken its toll on billionaires, the richest people in the world. The number of such people has decreased and their wealth has shrunk by nearly half.

Forbes Magazine's 2009 list of the world's billionaires saw the total number of them drop to 793 from 1,125

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Restoring Confidence in Banks

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain realize that investors probably have more confidence in Tyra Banks than the banks in which they're invested.

She probably has more money too.

But stocks continue rallying today with the benchmark S&P 500 index attempting its first two-day advance in a month, as investors be

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Greenspan Says: Don't Blame the Fed

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said lower rates on long-term, fixed-rate mortgages and not the Federal Reserve's policies are to blame for the U.S. housing bubble.

"Between 2002 and 2005, home mortgage rates led U.S. home price change by 11 months. This correlation between ho

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ADM, Cargill, and Bunge to Overhaul Our Food System?

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 2

Only three companies control 90 percent of the world's grain: Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill and Bunge. One corporation, Monsanto, owns the patents to many of the world's food crops. In the past 50 years, we have witnessed the consolidation of our most precious food sources into a few hands, which

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FCStone Seeks to Calm Clients

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Concerns about listed commodity broker FCStone Group Inc (FCSX.O: Quote, Profile, Research) grew on Wednesday as the firm sought to reassure clients it could withstand staggering losses tied to a soured energy account.

In a letter to customers, FCStone CEO Pete Anderson said the firm had "adequat

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AT&T to Spend $565 Million to Replace Cars

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

AT&T will spend $565 million within 10 years to replace or buy about 15,000 vehicles in its corporate fleet with cars and other vehicles that run on alternative fuels, the company said Wednesday.

The U.S. telecommunications giant said the investment would be the biggest of its kind by a U.S. comp

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Will Ethanol Mandates Buoy Corn?

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The Obama administration's call this week for an increase in the amount of ethanol to be used in gasoline in the United States is a positive sign for corn growers but it probably will not boost seedings or corn prices this year.

"It's pretty good news for corn growers and will at least keep farme

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Grisafi to Provide March Crop Call

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Tomorrow's monthly Crop Report Conference Call sponsored by the Minneapolis Grain Exchange will be hosted by Indiana Grain Company CEO Thomas Grisafi.

This will be the first crop call provided by Grisafi, pictured here with Minneapolis Grain Exchange chairman Mark Bagan last November, shortly bef

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Illinois Grants Funding for Ethanol Production Facility

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Illinois River Energy (IRE) is preparing to build a $120 million-plus ethanol production facility in Northern Illinois.

The biorefinery will support the state's drive for energy independence and will create 40 permanent jobs for the Northern Stateline region. Construction is expected to be comple

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Google & N.Y. Times in an Advertising Brawl

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

As newspapers hemorrhage money and cut staff, the future of the industry is playing out in the suburb of Maplewood, New Jersey.

Internet sites have started blanketing the town with press coverage, with a new Web venture backed by a Google Inc. executive battling two locally run Web pages for read

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Pandit Aims to Rally Citigroup Investors

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit said his bank is having the best quarter since 2007, when it last posted a profit.

"I am most encouraged with the strength of our business so far in 2009," Pandit wrote in an internal memorandum obtained today by Bloomberg. "In fact, we are pro

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Hedge Funds May Cut 20,000 Jobs

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Hedge funds may cut 20,000 workers worldwide this year, a record 14 percent of the industry's jobs, as investment losses and client withdrawals erode fees.

The dismissals will come on top of the 10,000 jobs that disappeared last year at the investment partnerships, according to estimates by New Y

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Vilsack: US Should Boost Ethanol Blend

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the government should move quickly to increase the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline.

Ethanol producers asked the Environmental Protection Agency last week to increase the amount of ethanol that refiners can blend with gasoline from a maximum of 10 perce

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Dennis Gartman: Here's How the Bear Market Will End

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Last Friday, when the Dow Jones Industrials were down 150 points, the Gartman Letter's Dennis Gartman predicted a huge sell-off after the weekend - unless something changed.

Something changed.

The market rallied back, and Gartman didn't get the "capitulation" plunge he says is necessary before

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Buffett: Inflation Not "If" But "When"

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Billionaire Warren Buffett says the current efforts to help revive the economy are likely to produce inflation that could be worse than what the country suffered through in the late 1970s.

But Buffett says the U.S. government still needs to act even though the nation will have to pay for current

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Bunge, Louis Dreyfus Lead In Bid For Ethanol Giant

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Two companies and one fund are front-runners to acquire a stake in Brazilian sugar and ethanol giant Santelisa Vale SA, local newspaper Valor Economico reported Friday.

The newspaper reported that offers from Bunge Ltd. (BG) and Louis Dreyfus, as well investment fund BTG, were the most attractive

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Vilsack, Pelosi to Address Farmers

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California are talking to farmers from around the country Monday amid debate over meat labeling.

Vilsack and Pelosi will join farm-state senators and other lawmakers at the National Farmers Union annual convention in V

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Merck to Buy Schering-Plough for $41.1 Billion

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Merck said Monday that it would acquire Schering-Plough for $41.1 billion, uniting the makers of cholesterol drugs Zetia and Vytorin in the second megadeal for Big Pharma in weeks.

The two New Jersey-based drugmakers, which announced significant job cuts last fall, have been striving to become mo

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Warren Buffett Live on CNBC

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Warren Buffett tells CNBC's Becky Quick the U.S. economy has "fallen off a cliff." At the start of a three-hour appearance on Squawk Box, Buffett said economic developments have been very "close to the worst case" that he had imagined, although conditions would be far worse if the Federal Reserve h

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$8B Broadband Plan Launches Tuesday

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Next Tuesday, the White House will launch its high-speed Internet plan using more than $8 billion in stimulus funds. Leaders from the Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture and Federal Communications Commission will meet to discuss how the different agencies will use the funds to rural an

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Three Key Treasury Appointments

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

President Barack Obama has chosen three people to join the senior ranks of the Treasury Department, where a slow pace of hiring has put the agency on the defensive.

The White House on Sunday said Obama is nominating David S. Cohen to be assistant secretary in dealing with terrorist financing; Ala

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Stock Traders: Keep Your Eyes on March 12

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Investors such as Jon Najarian are hopeful that stocks could soar next week. They say we could see an explosion to the upside after a meeting scheduled for March 12th.

On that date, a House financial services subcommittee plans a hearing on mark-to-market accounting rules, which have been blamed

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All Eyes on UYG & FAS... Particularly Ours

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The DOW is at 6500.

What could go wrong with getting double... or triple long.

Don't answer that.

We're an optimistic breed here at Indiana Grain, where the captain of our ship Tom Grisafi just backed up the truck for thousands of shares of [url=http://www.google.com/finance?client=ob&q=NYS

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Is The Bear Getting Tired?

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Lately, all has been quiet on the western front.

My cell phone, which rarely if ever takes a respite from ringing, has been uncharacteristically silent today. After all, very few traders I know have much to be excited about. Some even used today's unemployment number as a valid excuse for a vacat

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GE Pays for Real Estate

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 2

General Electric Co. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt is paying the price for his investments in commercial real estate and U.K. property debt.

Profit at GE Real Estate dropped by $1.1 billion last year, according to the annual report from the parent company's GE Capital finance arm. Fairf

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Who Predicts S&P 450?

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The S&P 500 could slump to 450 points over the next year and half and investors should stay clear of this "dangerous market," Royce Tostrams, technical analyst at Tostrams Groep, told CNBC.

"The S&P has confirmed that we have a very negative scenario. It has fallen out of bed in the past two week

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Trader Probe at Merrill

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Merrill Lynch discovered a trading "irregularity" during a recent investigation of the troubled investment bank's London trading positions, the company said on Friday.

The trading issue, which Merrill did not quantify, was the latest black eye for the bank, which agreed to be acquired by Bank of

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Hedge Fund Predicts $60 Crude

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Oil may rise 35 percent to $60 a barrel should OPEC agree to cut production this month, according to BlueGold Capital Management LLP, the London hedge fund that returned 31 percent this year on energy trades.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may agree to cut output for the fourth

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Economy Loses 651,000 Jobs

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The nation's unemployment rate bolted to 8.1 percent in February, the highest since late 1983, as cost-cutting employers slashed 651,000 jobs.

Both figures were worse than analysts expected and the Labor Department's report shows America's workers being clobbered by a relentless wave of layoffs.

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A Penny Stock Future for the DOW?

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

What costs more -- a spark plug or a share of General Motors? A Sunday New York Times or a share of the newspaper company? A General Electric toaster or a share of GE?

In the surest sign of the depth of the recession, the products associated with these high-profile companies now cost more than bu

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Corn Growers to Host Farm Bill Forum

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Farm policy is constantly evolving, and the current climate is no different. Producers insterested in learning more about the 2008 Farm Bill will have a special opportunity locally courtesy of a number of state and local organizations.

The Missouri Corn Growers Association, Northeast Missouri Cor

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EBS Platform Shutdown Disrupts Forex Trading

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Leading foreign-exchange trading platform EBS Electronic Broking Services was temporarily shut down Thursday due to technical problems just as trading volumes were hitting peaks in the wake of rate cuts from two major central banks, the Bank of England the European Central Bank.

The trade disrupt

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China Plans Agriculture Boost

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

China yesterday pledged to spend an additional 120 billion yuan to boost the country's agriculture.

Central government spending on agriculture, farmers and the rural areas would total 716.1 billion yuan (104.6 billion U.S. dollars) in 2009, a year-on-year increase of 120.6 billion yuan, said a go

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Circuit City Officially Done This Sunday

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

All of Circuit City's stores will close for good by Sunday, powering down what once was the nation's second-largest consumer electronics retailer, its liquidators said.

"Consumers reacted to the top-quality product that they had, and the prices we were able to sell it at, and we're basically runn

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The Daily Show Unleashes on CNBC

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

When John Stewart begins to needle you... look out.

Today, our good friend John Lothian covered in his newsletter the torrent that The Daily Show unleashed on CNBC and Rick Santelli last night.

As the video on our home page reveals, Stewart went for the jugular on Santelli, Cramer, and all the

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GM Auditors Have Grim Outlook

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

General Motors' auditors have raised "substantial doubt" about the troubled automaker's ability to continue operations, and the company said it may have to seek bankruptcy protection if it can't execute a huge restructuring plan.

The automaker revealed the concerns Thursday in an annual report fi

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Icahn Puts Another $250 Million Into His Fund

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The billionaire financier Carl C. Icahn put another $250 million into his hedge fund at the beginning of the year after suffering further losses in the fourth quarter on investments in Motorola and Yahoo, according to a letter he sent to investors.

The Icahn Fund Ltd. was down about 33 percent th

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How Risky are Bonds?

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

With the Dow below 7,000 for the first time in over a decade, more investors are flocking to the relative safety of bonds. In fact, bonds will make up 2% of household financial assets this year - up from 0.2% last year, according to a report by Merrill Lynch.

But Ivory Johnson, a certified financ

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Will Soybeans Surprise Us This Year?

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain are hearing a lot about soybeans.

And if Dan Dreher and LeAnn Strother of the Iowa Soybean Association are correct, this could be the year soybeans begin to rebound after years of focus on corn for use as ethanol.

Ethanol boomed in recent years as oil prices rose. When pric

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Grains Suffer Amidst Rough Weather

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 1

In the West, the latest round of stormy weather is subsiding across California, while rain and snow showers linger in the Northwest. According to the California Department of Water Resources, the Sierra Nevada snow pack contained an average of 23 inches of liquid (90% of average for the date) on Mar

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Homeland Sec., Agriculture Secretaries Asked to "Save"

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Building on President Barack Obama's pledge to cut costs in the federal government, the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Agriculture Wednesday said they had already identified millions of dollars of potential savings.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Nepolitano said her department had found

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US Ethanol Group Lobbies for 15% Blend

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The reeling U.S. ethanol industry could create 136,000 jobs and inject $24 billion into the economy each year if the government hikes the allowable blend of ethanol with gasoline to 15 percent from 10 percent, trade group Growth Energy said on Wednesday.

Volatile corn and oil prices and slumping

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Contaminated Corn in Mexico

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Scientist say one of the more acrimonious scientific debates of the decade has apparently ended with the publication of a study showing that genetically modified genes did in fact contaminate native corn in the crop's birthplace in central Mexico.

But the author of the article, published in the F

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Focus Trader Pro Now Available

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Avadhi Finance and Technology, an electronic trading platform developer, today announced that Advantage Futures, a premier futures brokerage firm, based in Chicago, will now be offering their new, versatile electronic trading platform, Focus Trader Pro.

"Avadhi's Focus Trader Pro is an important

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Multiple Trading Firms Settle Charges

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

More than a dozen Wall Street trading firms systematically cheated their customers of millions of dollars by improperly slicing bits of profit from countless trades, federal regulators said on Wednesday.

The Securities and Exchange Commission disclosed the allegations after negotiating settlement

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China Pledges Hefty Investment to Boost Agriculture

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

China on Thursday pledged to spend an additional 120 billion yuan to boost the country's agriculture.

Central government spending on agriculture, farmers and the rural areas would total 104.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2009, a year-on-year increase of 120.6 billion yuan, said a government work repor

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Dairy Farmers Should See Milk Payments Soon

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Gov. Jim Doyle says Wisconsin dairy farmers hurt by a collapse in milk prices should get help soon from the federal government.

Doyle met Monday with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. He said Vilsack assured him the U.S. Department of Agriculture was working to get Milk Income Loss Contract paym

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GE Brings Good Things to Life. But Not Their Stock.

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The usually perky faces on CNBC that are always quick to chatise the imcompetence and mismanagement of the banks are suspiciously reserved with criticisms for the collapse of GE today.

Why?

Because GE owns CNBC... along with every other broadcast affiliate that bears the peacock logo. Yet, des

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Still Think Vegas is Recession-Proof?

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Unfortunately, the only people who really believed that Las Vegas was recession-proof were the owners of hotels and casinos in Las Vegas.

Their arrogance has come home to roost,

MGM Mirage warned today that it could "violate its debt covenants" this year and be in danger of default if economi

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Monsanto Acquires 49% Stake In Brazil Cotton Seed Co.

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Agribusiness company Monsanto Co. (MON) acquired a 49% stake in Brazilian cotton seed company MDM Sementes de Algodao Ltda for an undisclosed amount, Monsanto said.

Monsanto has had a stake in MDM since 2007 when it acquired agribusiness biotech company Delta & Pine Land.

Monsanto sells its Bo

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JPMorgan Not Alone in Hiring for E-Trading

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 1

First, the bad news: sadly, JPMorgan's intention to cut between 1,000-2,000 staff in its investment bank will be focused primarily in technology and infrastructure. It is, however, likely to increase spending on electronic trading and IT within its prime services division.

And there's even reason

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What's China's Stimulus Intentions?

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Crude oil rose for a second day on speculation China will widen efforts to bolster economic growth, boosting demand from the world's second-largest energy consumer.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao may announce new stimulus measures tomorrow, adding to a $585 billion spending plan, an official said. Th

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Cargill sells $450 Million in 10-yr Notes

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 1

U.S. agribusiness company Cargill Inc sold $450 million of 10-year notes this week in the 144a private placement market, said IFR, a Thomson Reuters service.

Citigroup, JP Morgan and RBS Greenwich Capital were the joint bookrunning managers for the sale.

Cargill, based in Minnetonka, is an int

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