Yahoo finance API is not available right now, please try again soon...
Mar 27

corn in the field


In The News:

Buffet’s Grabbin Goldman.. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway grabbed a bigger stake in Goldman Sahs (aka Goldman Socks) in exchange for letting go of his option, granted to him when he floated a loan to the company in 2008, to buy shares later at a below market costs later. Leave it to Buffet to masterfully create a new arrangement with Goldman where he can receive shares without deploying a dime to buy them. Don’t be fooled it was a win win for both parties. Warren got a bigger piece of the pie and Goldman got a huge boast to its reputation.

Bric Bank: The BRIC’s (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) are exploring establishing their own new development bank much like the IMF (International Monetary Fund) with a sharper focus on the nations involved. Capital plans have already been established with several different options along with a cap on counties contributions.

Ford Opposition: Ford’s CE ,Alan Mulally, oppose Japan’s entry into free trade talks with the United States. What will change his mind..? The Japanese to open its markets to more U.S. cars and measures to strengthen the yen. American Pride Baby!

Mixed Bag of Data: Economic reports out Tuesday failed to provide any clear direction how the economy is really doing. February Durable Goods Orders (Orders for goods that do not wear out quickly or have a lifespan of more than three years. Things like cars, planes, and computers) and S&P Case-Shiller home-price index were better than expected, but new-home sales for February and consumer confidence for March fell shy of estimates.

You’ve been slapped: The Federal Reserve slapped Citigroup’s hand with a consent order demanding the bank clean up their anti-money laundering procedure. The consent order, which followed similar orders last year from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the FDIC, told Citigroup they failed to comply fully with the Bank Secrecy Act. The Act requires Banks to report suspicious actives. Citigroup has 60 days to submit a written plan detailing enhancements in compliance related to anti money laundering. Citibank is not alone in getting slapped; JPMorgan received the same order for the same issue in Jan.

Sharing Seeds: DuPont has agreed to pay Monsanto $1.75 billion as part of licensing agreement between the two companies. The new licensing agreement allows DuPont to sell genetically modified seed technology for corn and soybeans. The agreement puts aside the $ 1 Billion jury awarded to Monsanto for DuPont’s infringing on Monsanto’s patients.

In The Markets:

Asia: Following in the footsteps of the US, Markets in Asia were higher, with both the Japanese Nikkei and Shanghai Composite up 0.2 percent.

Europe: European markets rose Tuesday as investor took the encouraging data from the US as an excuse to take profits.

US: US markets continued their winning ways on Tuesday with the Dow closing in triple digits having its biggest gain in nearly three weeks. Investors took the mixed bag of economic data threw the bad out and kept the good.

DJIA: +111.90 14559.65 Nasdaq: +17.18 3252.48 S&P +12.08 15693.77

In Dinner or Drink:

Today we pick a drink to celebrate the Buffet/Goldman deal. One of my personal favorites…




Red Vermouth



Measure 1/4 cup of Whiskey in a graduated cylinder and pour into a glass carafe. Repeat with 2 tsp. of red vermouth. Add a few drops of angostura and ice cubes. Mix everything together with a long handle spoon. Pour into cup holding the ice back with the spoon.



Mar 26




In The News:

Rags to Riches… 17-year-old Nick D’Alosio became the newest UK millionaire when he sold his company, Summly, to Yahoo on Monday. Yahoo who bought the company for its technology which used algorithms to boil news articles down to 400 words.

No Free Phones: T-Mobile became the first of the major US wireless carriers to discontinue smartphone subsides, moving towards a model which has helped companies, like Apple’s bottom line. No more $100 smartphone with a contract, baby…

Free Trade… Japan and the EU (European Union) announced they have agreed to start negotiations toward a free trade pact. Seems everyone is getting into the trade pact these days…

Payup Buddy.. The NASDAQ won approval from the SEC to pay brokerage firms a total of $62 million for losses caused from the Facebook IBO debacle.

New Idea.. William Dudley, President of the NY Federal Reserve and member of the Federal Reserve Bank’s inter circle, spit out a new idea for dialing down QE. In a speech Monday Dudley promoted his idea of tying the amount of assets the FED buys to the labor market. Number of Job’s goes up, asset buying declines. Number of Jobs’s goes down, asset buying goes up. And they say rocket scientists are hard to find???

In The Markets:

Asia: Asian markets were mixed in their trading sessions as investors still have lingering concerns on domestic economic concerns in China and corporate earnings. Nikkei +207.93 Shanghai Composite – 1.56 Hang Seng +135.85

Europe: European stocks fell Monday as investors began if future euro zone financial institutions could involve the same type of steep losses as the Cyprus bailout.

US: US Markets slumped in their Monday trading session as investors growing concern over the terms of the Cyprus bailout spread across the ocean.

In Dinner or Drink:

We choose the Japan dish of Shrimp Tempura to celebrate the negotiations of a new free trade agreement between Japan and the EU.

Shrimp Tempura

For Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup(s) chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoon(s) soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon(s) water
  • 1 tablespoon(s) seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon(s) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) minced and peeled fresh ginger

For Batter:

  • 3/4 cup(s) ice-cold water
  • 1 cup(s) cake flour , not self-rising
  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 pound(s) large shrimp, shelled, deveined, and butterflied


  1. In 5-quart Dutch oven, heat 2 1/2 inches vegetable oil until temperature reaches 400 degrees F on deep-fat thermometer.
  2. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine broth, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons water, vinegar, sugar, and ginger; heat to boiling over high heat. Boil 2 minutes. Strain through sieve into small bowl and keep dipping sauce warm.
  3. Pour ice-cold water into medium bowl; sift flour, baking powder, and salt into water. With fork, stir just until barely incorporated; a few lumps may remain.
  4. Dip 4 shrimp at a time into batter to coat lightly. Allowing excess batter to drip off, add shrimp to hot oil and fry, turning once or twice, until coating is very pale golden, 1 to 2 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to paper towels to drain. Serve immediately with warm dipping sauce. Makes 4 main-dish servings.
Mar 24



In The News:

New Deal. Cyprus finally got an official deal over the weekend. The deal consists of:

  • $13 Billion in finance for the government.
  • A shut down of Cyprus second biggest bank, Cyprus Popular Bank. The shutdown will impose steep losses on depositors of the bank with more than 100k euros.
  • Downsize of the countries 1# bank Cyperus PCL. The downsize will also effect depositors over 100k euros.

Because of the new deal the country will now need to impose stricter financial controls, possibly cutting off its citizens and companies from much of the rest of the euro zone.

Your Our Man… JPMorgan’s board endorsed Jaime Dimon too remains as both CEO and Chairman of the board citied JPM’s consistent and outstanding performance under Dimon guidance. Some critics had called for a split between CEO and Chairman of the Board after the London whale tubal.

New Crackberry On The Block.. Blackberry Z10 went on sale Friday. If you’re an ATT customer you can buy it for 199 clams.

New Apples.. Apple announced it will unveil its new iPhone and iPad 5 at its annual headquarter event on June 29. June 29th marks the 6th anniversary of the iPhone.

What No Bach?..Musicians from the San Francisco Symphony went on strike March 14 and the strike is still on. San Fran becomes the latest in a long list of labor disputes at US orchestras that have been hard hit by audience shifts in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Welcome To The Family.. Apple Inc. announced it has acquired indoor GPS Company, WifiSLAM, for approximately $20 million. The newest member of the Apple family could help the company catch up to its rival Google, by providing cell phone GPS to work indoors thus giving the user the ability to access indoor maps of their location. Currently, Google maps does this for ‘Droid users however, the service has been unavailable to iPhones until now.

No confidence… The IFO German Business Confidence declined unexpectedly in March to 106.7 from 107.4 in February. It was the first time the index has declined in five months. Why is this important… Germany is still the savior and leader of the Eurozone. A strong Germany economy gives investors hope the Eurozone one day will find its way out of crisis. Peeps start to panic anytime there is any type of ding in the armor of Germany.

In The Markets:

Asia: Asian markets were mixed Monday as news spread of the EU and Cyprus negotiated a last-minute deal Sunday night securing the countries solvency for now.

Europe: European markets closed lower Friday as the world at large hold’s it collective Breath while the Cyprus Parliament votes on the latest bailout deal. The ECB made it clear to Cyprus this is your last chance to get your act together promising to pull the funding deal if the Parliament could not come to a comprise and vote in favor of the deal.

US: US markets closed mostly higher Friday on stronger corporate earnings and fears about the Cyrus drama begin to melt. DJIA +90.54 14512.03 S&P 500 +3.18, NASDAQ +22.40 3245.00

In Dinner or Drink

We choose drink. A nice Grand Apple in celebration of Apple’s new additions.

Grand Apple

1 oz apple brandy 1/2 oz cognac 1/2 oz Grand Marnier® orange liqueur

Stir ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Special Thinking to for the excellent drink recipe.

Mar 22


In The News:

Good News, Bad News: Germany’s PMI (Producers Manufacturing Index- a reading over 50 economy growing, under 50 economy is contracting) fell for the month of March showing continued sign of weakness in the country’s economy. That was the bad news. The good news, the reading was over 50 showing despite a slowdown the economy is still growing ever so slightly.

Alive to see another day.. The Government is one step closer to adverted potential shut down again. The House passed bill Thursday which will fund the government through September. The bill will:

  • Keep auto speeding cuts for some Domestic and Pentagon programs.
  • Keep federal employee pay freezes and furloughs in effect.
  • Add $87b for Afghan and Iraq wars.

The bill now awaits the finally step: the President signature.

Happy Birthday!!!- Twitter turned 7 today. First tweet ever was tweeted by founder Jack Dorsey “@jack just setting up my twttr”

For Sale: Existing Home Sales rose 0.8% in Feb. vs. 0.8 in Jan, the highest level in more than 3 years.

Plantin’ Time: US farmers, who may shift from away from planting wheat, may plant 97.4m acres of corn this year according to a USDA survey. If the planting holds up it would be the largest US corn crop since 1936. Yes! Now my corn flakes won’t cost so much…

We’re Expanding: The Philly Fed’s Monthly Mid Atlantic Factory Activity report showed factory activity expanded to plus 2 in March, vs. negative 12. in February. Also, expanding New Orders, up 0.5 vs. negative 7.8 in February.

Jobless: Weekly jobless claims showed a rise in workers filing jobless claims by 2K to 336K.

In The Markets:

Asia: Asian Markets were down in the Friday trading session as worries about growth and Cyprus caused investors to climb the wall of worry.

Europe: European stocks fell on weak business data and the news ECB has set a deadline for Cyprus to approve the bailout plan.

US Markets: US markets tumbled Thursday as investor chooses to ignore positive economic news and instead dwell on As Europe Turns.

In Dinner or Drink:

Today we choose dinner. A dinner fit for the celebration over better than expected economic news including the Philly Monthly Mid Atlantic Factory Activity. Enjoy your lobster tail.

Grilled Lobster in Herb Butter

Grilled lobster tails are easy to prepare and cook. You will need – lobster tails, olive oil, herb butter*, fresh lemons, s&p. Preheat the grill to med high -

*Herb butter – make a puree of minced garlic and shallots and mix into the softened butter.

Take the tail and slice open – pull the meat out somewhat – not completely removing from the shell. (Shell remains part of the presentation) – rinse and pat dry……Mix a bit of olive oil, herb butter, lemon juice and S&P in a bowl. Brush the mixture onto the meat of the tail. Place on grill – meat side down and cook for about 1 1/2 mins – turn and cook for another min or so. Remove from grill.

The lobster should still be somewhat pink (not cooked). In a sauté pan – melt some more of the herbed butter and add about 1/4 c of water (you can use a dry white wine if you prefer – I like the water as the herbed butter offers enough flavor) – add chopped Italian parsley……….Bathe the lobster in the melted butter sauce – keeping the heat on med low….. spoon the sauce over the meat for about another 3 or 4 mins… Place on warmed dish with a couple of spoonful’s of the butter sauce dripped on it. Serve this with corn of the cob and roasted potatoes.

Special Thank you to Kenny Polcari, cooking and trading expert, for the recipe.


Mar 21


In The News:

Overnight Mail..FedEx reported its quarterly profit plunged 31%. It seems international customers and shippers are not in need of overnight instead they are opting instead for slower and cheaper delivery options. The news sent the stock down 6.9% on Wednesday.

Fuzzy Face Press Conference- It’s time for FED President, Ben Bernanke (aka fuzzy face) to hold his quarterly press conference. Here’s what we decoded.

  • Federal Reserve will keep applying the gas petal to its $85 Billion QE. They will continue their asset purchase at the same level to promote growth and job creations.
  • The FED could start vary their bond buying program if appropriate.
  • The FED will continue to tie asset purchases to economic outcomes.
  • The FED and its monetary policy can’t combat the economic headwinds.
  • The FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) left rates unchanged.
  • Fuzzy Face surprised all when he dropped a hint about his return for a 4th term… saying the Fed’s QE program could run with out him.
  • The US remains strong and was not affected by the latest EZ Cyprus debacle.
  • Bernanke also stated the stock market is not over inflated because of QE3 nor is the FMOC creating a bubble as many have accused them of.

Heads in the clouds… Oracle reported lower than expected Q4 earnings. The company eps (earnings per share) was 0.65 vs. the expected 0.66. The loss was attributed to more consumers and companies choosing cloud base systems vs. the old in house router and server method.

Jetting in a G-6.. Several JCPenny higher-ups are hopping private jets owned by JCPenny to make the commute to Texas every week. The planes pick the execs. on Monday shuttling them to Plano, Texas and picking them up on Thursday for the return trip back to their homes. Hmm I wonder if they wearing attire bought from JCPenny as they jet around?

In The Markets:

Europe: European stocks posted gains in their Wednesday trading session, bouncing back from two consecutive days of losses. Despite a sea of green, investors continued to keep at least one eye on the developments in Cyprus.

US: US markets closed in the green on news the Fed. will keep their foot on the gas petal and QE will continue.

DJIA +55.91 14511.73, Nasdaq +25.09 3254.19 S&P 500 +10.37 1558.71

In Dinner or Drink:

We choose a drink to be enjoyed by JCPenny’s execs as the jet around the country.

Texas Pink Cloud

3 oz Bacardi® white rum 2 oz Absolut® vodka 1 oz Jose Cuervo® Especial gold tequila 1/2 oz grenadine syrup 3 oz pina colada mix 2 oz sweet and sour mix 1 oz margarita mix 3 – 4 cups ice


Pour all ingredients into a blender, add 3 – 4 cups of ice and blend until all ice is chopped fine. Should be the consistentency of a daiquiri or colada. Pour into a pitcher ready to serve.

Read more: Texas Pink Cloud recipe

Mar 20



 In The News:

Sorry Charlie.. T.Boone Pickens, oil tycoon and Oklahoma State University alum, lost his battle to recover $33 million in life insurance premiums. It seems Pickens and Cowboy Athletics, an OSU fundraising group, sued Lincoln National Insurance Company for $33 million in premiums paid as part of the plan to raise money by insuring wealth elderly alumni.

  • The plan, called Gift of a Life Time, insured 27 supporters for $10 million each with Cowboy Athletics as the bene.
  • Goal for the Gift of a Life Time as they bet alums would kick the bucket sooner than the actuary had figured = $250 million
  • Two years in and no dead alumni yet. The program was abandoned and the policies were canceled.

US district court didn’t agree with Pickens defense of we didn’t know what we were getting into. Instead the judge said the policies were canceled after the refund period and no back premiums were owed. Proves Greed doesn’t pay and no one can predict death.

Push back.. HTC announced it will have to push back the rollout date of its new smartphone. HTC had planned to rollout it’s new HTC One in late March to more than 80 countries with 185 carriers. The One has a 4.7 inch touch screen, an all aluminum body and would run on Google’s Android software. HTC cited a shortage in the components used in the phones camera and metal casing as the reason for the roll back in release date.

REJECTED.. That was the message Cyprus parliament gave to the ECB’s plan to levy deposits of all sizes. Despite the rejection ECB (European Central Bank) has agreed to continue helping the country with a potential run of depositors trying to get their money out the banks. Lesson learned sometimes smart people can turn out ridiculous crazy plans.

You’re served.. Freddie Mac, the home mortgage giant, officially filled in US District court its own set of lawsuits against a dozen of the world’s biggest banks. The lawsuits are part of the fallout from the LIBOR (London Interbank Offer Rate) scandal of last year. The scandal revolved around US and UK probes, which found the LIBOR rate, was being rigged by traders. What’s important about this particular suit.. it is the first to actually put the British Bankers’ Association, one of the ring leaders of the rigging, in the cross hairs.

Got any cheap drugs? Pharmacy giants Walgreen CO, Alliance Boots GmbH and AmerisourceBergen Corp have signed a new partnership. The partnership will allow the entity to negotiate lower drug prices based on the entities significant drug buying volume. The international partnership will also provide a clearer path for drugs to launch in the US and other countries. Who said Giants can’t play together.

Closure.. JP Morgan Chase has reached a settlement valued at $546 million with customers of the defunked MF Global Holdings. This was one of the last obstacles standing in the away of MF Global’s customers retrieving some of their money back. The settlement would add about 5 cents on the dollar to customer’s accounts. To date MF Global customers should be able to retrieve 95 cents on the dollar and 50 cents on the dollar for overseas customers.

In the Markets:

Asia: Asian stocks closed lower as the pressures of the crisis in Cyprus are felt on a global scale.

Europe: European markets fell in their Tuesday trading session as the uncertainty in Cyprus escalated.

US Markets: US Markets suffered whiplash in its Tuesday session. All day the latest news from out of Cyprus caused stocks to go from negative teritory to positive territory finally ending flat on the session. Dow +3.76 14455.82 Nasdaq -8.50 3229.10 S&P -3.76 1548.34.

In Dinner or Drink..

We select drink in hour of the MF Global customers who have had to endure months of suffering that would have caused any of us to become a sour puss.

Whisky Sour..



Lemon Juice

Sugar Syrup


Measure 40 ml (2 3/4 tbsp) of whiskey in a graduated cylinder and pour into a shaker. Repeat with 30 ml (2 tbsp) of lemon juice and 20 ml (4 tbsp) of sugar syrup. Add some ice cubes and shake vigorously for a few seconds. Pour into a cocktail glass and serve.


Mar 19

In The News:

Look Buddy you’re not taking my deposits.. On the table as part of the bailout plan Cyprus desperately needs is the one condition no one saw coming..a levy on deposits. Cyprus banks remain closed and will not reopen until Thursday officials, as Parliament debates the a levy across the board on all deposits.

$730 Million.. that is the amount Citigroup has agreed to pay to settle claims it mislead investors into thinking certain securities which backed home loans were of greater credit quality than they actually were.  This caused the plantiffs,  which included Arkansas Teacher Retirement Systems and Louisiana Sheriffs Pension and Relief,  to thinking the potential risks associate with the homeloans were less when in reality they were more risky.

Are my pants to sheer? Lululemon shares tumbled in Monday trading after the company stated they would be pulling some its popular pants from stores because they are too shear. A glitch involved in the fabric used to make the pants has been blamed for the issues. The pants which arrived March 1 are being pulled from the stores and full refunds will be issues to customers.

Fisker may not have any whiskers left.. The Chinese auto makers, who were in talks to buy Fisker automotive, have pulled out over a disagreement on whether to revive a loan agreement in the US. As part of the sale Fisker management proposed the buyers tap into a remaining portion of the $529 million loan the carmaker already however, to use the money the new buyer has to pinky swear they will make the cars at a former GM auto factory in Delaware.

Honey I bought a farm.. Starbucks has bought its first farm in Costa Rica. A 600 acre beauty which the company plans to use to develop new coffee varieties and test methods to eradicate coffee rust, a fugal disease.

In the Markets..

Asia: Asian markets rallied on Tuesday despite investors jitters about the success of Cyprus controversial bailout plan.

Europe: European markets tumbled in their Monday training session as the world watch the drama unfolding in Cyprus and it’s possible ripple effects across other countries in the Eurozone.

US: US markets followed the lead of the other global markets closing down despite the Dow trying to claw its way back to positive territory. DJIA -60.05 14452.06 Nasdaq -11.48 3237.59 S&P 500 -8.60 1552.10

In Dinner or Drink

We have selected a delious Louisiana gumbo to help celebrate that states Sheriff Pension and Relief fund victory.

Justin Wilson’s Louisana Gumbo



  1. “Firs’, you gotta make-a-roux, you know dat”.
  2. In a cast iron dutch oven, combine oil and flour on MED heat. Stir the mixture constantly and slowly until it browns.
  3. “You cook dat til you tink, dat’s gonna burn, but dat’s not what it did, see y’gots to cook dat til it’s like Dutch chocolate, y’see?”.
  4. When the roux reaches it’s proper, aforementioned color, you add the onion. Once that onion has cooked clear looking, add your garlic, and whisk in 4 cups of water.
  5. Next you stir in the worcestershire and hot sauce, and add your andouille sausage.
  6. Now it’s time to add your chicken. “I put the pieces I like most of all, which is all the shicken, and the part what go over de fence last, I like dat.”.
  7. Add your 4 cups of Sauterne wine, and 2.5 teaspoons of salt. Stir all this together and your gumbo is completed,.
  8. except for the cooking.
  9. ” What you did with dis, now you cook dis today, an don’ serve it today, no. You put it in you icebox tonight, an tomorrow, bring it to a boil an let it simmer for about an hour, an den eat dat, cause it taste more batter den, hoooo, it always does.”.
  10. Whether you can wait until the next day or not, cook it a long time until the chicken is ready to fall off the bone.
  11. Serve it with hot cooked rice and offer file powder to you guests.
Mar 18

JP Morgan


Here’s what you need to know for your next 24…

$616 million… The record amount SAC Capital Advisors will have to pay to the government to settle two insider trading cases. SAC Capital run by legendary hedge fund manager Steve Cohn, who himself has been rumored to be under investigation for insider trading.

Consumer Lacking Confidence… Consumer Sentiment sank to 71.8 in March vs. 77.6 in February.

Sorry Charlie.. That’s what the Justice Department trustee said to American Airlines and their motion which, outlined salary and benefit increases for certain American employees including Tom Horton, American’s CEO/COB. Tom would have been inline to receive a severance package of $19.9 million, half stock/half cash. That is one nice penalty present..

Hoarding Securities… The US Treasury Department is probing traders who could be potentially hoarding securities to drive up the price of the 10-years notes. Why is this important.. The 10-year note is the world’s most used benchmark. It is the benchmark used in determining what you pay on everything from mortgages to car loans. The 10- year note also can even affect the wiliness of foreign investors to finance the US deficit.

On the hot seat.. Execs from JPMorganChase, were on the hot seat Friday as Senate subcommittee grilled them on the London Whale Trading debacle. In addition to the grilling of key execs, the subcommittee released a 301 page report outlining inappropriate actions committed by JPMorgan Chase such as manipulating their own internal risk measures and misleading the public on the actual amount of the loss.

Feeling the pain.. Cyprus, in despite need of funding has been given a bailout deal. The catch as part of the deal Cyprus will have to impose a 3% tax on depositors under 100K, 10% on depositors over 100K, and 15% on depositors over 500K.

In the Markets..

Asia: Shares in the Asian Markets declined Monday on uncertainty over the unusual Cyprus bailout proposal.

Europe: European markets closed in the red Friday on the worse than expected consumer sentiment numbers from the US and the continuing Cyprus drama. Stoxx 600 +0.4%, to 297.44

US: On Friday, US markets lost ground on the news of lower consumer sentiment and nervousness about the Cyprus bailout. DJIA -25.03 14514.11 S&P -2.53 1560.70 NASDAQ -9.86 3249.07

In Dinner or Drink.. We select the drink the Muddy Morgan for the executives who had to testify from JPMorgan before Congress..

Muddy Morgan

Fill a shot glass half full with  Captain Morgan Rum.  Fill the rest of the shot glass with the Kahlua Mudslide  Mix.
- Thank you to our friends at for their excellent drink recipe.
Mar 15

pass or fail

In The Markets…

What! I didn’t pass… The results of the government’s stress test, include approval of capitalization plans, were announced on Thursday. Here’s how everyone did..

  • Passed with flying colors.. Bank of America, American Express, Morgan Stanley, Citibank, and Wells Fargo
  • Conditional Pass.. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase
  • Failed.. Ally (formerly GMAC) and BB&T

JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs plans were conditionally approved however, they will have to resubmit by Q3 for final approval. The issue,, Regulators didn’t like how the banks internal process and models for return of capital. Backstory: After the financial crisis the government promised to run stress test which ..

Show me the money.. JPMorgan Chase announced Thursday they would increase the dividend paid to its shareholders from 0.30 cents a share to 0.38 cents a share. But wait didn’t they just have their plan rejected.. actually it was conditional approved meaning they can go ahead with their plans of the dividend under the cloud they may have to abandon the program if there second go round of the capital plan is rejected in Q3 by the government.

UPCharge… Citi ( the commerical finance arm of Citigroup) will start charging JCPenny an 1% surcharge on all invoices citing the companies greater credit risk.

We likey..  Foreign investors direct investment into the US increased from $41.8 billion in Q3 to $60.3 billion in Q1.

Why are you so angry? Some financial professionals have said they will stop using Fidelity Investments trading platform to buy certain ETF’s for their clients. Causing all the uproar.. Fidelity on Wednesday announced it would begin offering 65 of Blackrock’s iShares unit without charging customers commissions. The catch Fidley will tack on an additional fee of $7.95 to investors who sell the ETF’s within 30 days and 60 days for financial professional.

Help Wanted.. The ECB (European Central Bank) is looking for 800 good men and women to help the bank fulfill its new role as Europe’s banking watchdog over 6000 banks found in the 17 nation euro zone.

In the Markets..

Asian: Asian Markets surged in their Friday trading session on news China parliament successfully confirmed three new governors including the much anticipated, Haruhiko Kurdo.

Europe: European markets closed in the green in their Thursday trading session. Helping the rally a better than expected Spanish debt action and optimism over US jobless claims data.

US: US Markets closed in the green with the Dow making it 10 in a row on better than expected jobless claims.

In Dinner or Drink…

Drink. In honor of the Fed kinda passing JPMorganChase on the stress test..

The Muddy Morgan

Fill a shot glass half full with  Captain Morgan Rum.  Fill the rest of the shot glass with the Kahlua Mudslide  Mix.  Shoot back and enjoy the chocolately, rum taste.
Thank you to our friends at


Mar 14



In The News:

Please explain how you got that price The CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) regulators are examining how London prices its gold.

  • The price of Gold is set in London by a handful of banks that meet twice daily to set the spot price for a troy ounce of physical gold.
  • The price set effects not only jewelry prices worldwide it also determines how much of a profit mining companies can earn when selling raw materials to refineries.

One of the issues the CFTC is examine the transparency of the price setting methods used in both the smaller silver market and gold markets prices.

Oil on Demand: The IEA (International Energy Agency) stated in a report Tuesday demand for OPEC oil was the lowest since 2009. The agency also said Oil demand would be depressed thought 2013.

New Kid on the Real Estate Block- The buyout fund KKR has announced it will begin marketing its first fund dedicated to real estate investments.

Chu Ching.. US retail sales rose 1.1% in February well above the January’s revised rate of 0.2%. February saw the largest increase in retail sales in 5 months.

Peeping Tom… Google settles with 38 states over privacy violations. The violations occurred during the companies street view project. The states allege employees, as they drove around snapping pictures, picked up people’s personal information such as emails and passwords from personal wifi.

Makes me Happy, Happy, Happy.. Twinkies could be back in stores just in time for summer if all parties can agree on a winning bid of $410 million deal. People keep your fingers crossed for this one.

Optimistic CEO’s.. The business roundtable index rose to 81 for March up from 65.6 in December. The rise was due to an increase in economic expectations for the first time in a year. The index reported more CEO, expect higher sales and capital spending will help boost the economy however they are still cautious on hiring.

Move over Fox News, there’s a new sheriff… Fox News may soon have completion in the conservative news department. The San Diego family behind the cable channel Wealth TV has paired up with the Washington Times to launch a 24 hour conservative cable news network. The network named American News Network will be a combo of news and conservative political talk shows.

The Dollar is back, Jack.. The WSJ Dollar Index is up almost 5% this year. The Index, which measures the dollar’s exchange rate (how many dollars it takes to buy something in different countries currencies) against seven of the worlds heaviest, traded currencies. The Index hit its highest levels, on Wednesday, since July 2010.

In The Markets:

Asia- Asian markets closed lower in their Wednesday morning trading. The Shanghai Composite (Hong Kong) erased all its 2013 gains after the Chinese central bank governor said the monetary policy would no longer be loose.

Europe- Tuesday’s trading session for Europe’s market saw a sea of red. Stocks prices fell on week Euro zone industrial productions number which came in softer than expected. Not helping matters investors weak demand for Italy’s latest bond auction.

US- US stocks closed mostly flat in Wednesday trading session despite improving retail sales numbers. DJIA +5.22 14455.28, NASDAQ +2.80 3245.12, S&P 500 +2.04 1554.52

In Dinner or Drink..

Drink.. In celebration of the US Dollar being back, jack.

Five Dollar Shake

Pour all ingredients into pint glass.  Drink
courtesy of our friends at



Mar 13


In The News:

Less Affluent Individuals Wanted….. Ever wanted to invest in one of those “Big Shot Private Equity” buyout funds? Now you can. Carlyle Group is the latest of the big private equity firms to lower minimums for investors to invest into one of their buyout funds. In an effort to broaden their customer base Carlyle has lowered the minimum amount to invest in its buyout funds to $50K. I was wondering what to do with the money I had hid in the coffee can in the freezer.

You go girl! … Russian Leader Putin chooses economist and longtime aid Elvira Nabiullina to head Russians’ Central Bank. Nabiullina, who has been in Putin’s inter circle for the past 10 years, helped shepherd Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization. If confirmed, Nabiulllina will be the first women to head a G8 country Central Bank.

And the race is on… Audi is neck and neck with BMW for the title of World’s top selling luxury auto maker. Audi surge in numbers was aided by impressive US sales.

Read the fine print.. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) said Tuesday those sometime pesky short ads found on Twitter and Facebook do indeed have the same basic requirements as the old fashion ad’s.. Thou shall not mislead consumers. I so hope they don’t take away those goofy dancing people in the mortgage ads found on my facebook. Seriously they make me crack up.

Approved… Federal Regulators have given their blessing to the future union of MetroPCS and T-Mobile. Final obstacles convincing MetroPCS shareholders.

Why are my kisses so expensive? .. The USDA (US Department of Ag) is considering buying 400K tones of sugar or the equivalent of 142 billion Hershey kisses.

  • The moves is help stave off a wave of defaults on the $862 million loaned to sugar processing firms who participated in a government price-support program.
  • The program’s original purpose was to help stabilize sugar prices however it now has the potential to raise the price of sugar. Such an increase in the cost to make candy would be passed onto consumers.
  • According to the National Confectioners Association, which represents 350 candy companies including Mars and Hershey, estimates the US Sugar Program has cost consumers about $14 billion since 2008.

Cautious happy dance.. Small Business according to the SBA (Small Business Administration) creates 65% of all new jobs created. Hence why Tuesday’s NFIB (National Federations of Independent Business Index) showing an optimism rise caused some to do a little happy dance. The NFIB index of small business reported optimism rose 1.18% to 90.8 in February. The report calls the increase “respectable”. The report did have a small bit of doom and gloom reporting small business conditions still remain “deep in recession territory” as most owners reported declining sales far outnumbering those who reported increases.

In the Markets..

Asia: Asian markets closed mixed in its Wedsenday trading session. The Nikkei continued its upward climb gaining o.1%. China’s Shanghai index as the big story of the session as it suffered losses for the fourth trading session in a row. Today’s decline was cause in part by China’s central bank signaling it would drain more cash from the country’s financial system.

Europe: Tuesday saw the European markets slightly higher. A mixed bag of economic data for Europe had offsetting effects on investors. The “bad” news… The UK reported manufacturing output fell to 1.5% in Jan, worse than then the general expectation of slight growth. The “good” news … Germany’s Economic Ministry stated Tuesday that its economy is now on the verge of recovery.

US: Markets in the US were flat on Tuesday as investors weighted mixed domestic signals. The Dow, which added 2.77 points, still continued its climb to new all time highs.

Dow +2.77 14450.06 S&P -3.74 1552.48 Nasdaq -10.55 3242.32

In Dinner or Drink..

In Celebration of Russia’s first Women Central Banker..

PIROSHKI (Russian Dumplings)

1/4 c. butter 1 med. onion, cut fine 1 tsp. salt 1 lb. ground beef 2 eggs 4 drops Tabasco 1/4 tsp. pepper 2 tbsp. minced parsley or celery
3 1/2 c. sifted flour 1 tsp. baking powder 1/2 c. butter 2 eggs, beaten 1 c. sour cream
To make filling: Melt butter in large frying pan. Add onions and saute for 4 minutes until golden. Do not brown. Add meat and cook over medium heat 12-15 minutes until brown and crumbly. Drain off fat. Stir in parsley, salt, pepper, Tabasco and eggs; mix well. Put mixture in bowl and chill.To make dough: Sift together in large bowl, flour and baking powder. Cut in butter until particles like cornmeal. Stir in eggs and sour cream. Mix to form dough. Knead lightly until mixture is a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic and chill 2-4 hours.Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut 5 inch rounds, rerolling and cutting to make 18 rounds. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling in center of each circle. Using pastry brush, coat edges with beaten egg. Fold dough over and shape into moons. Press edges firmly together. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and brush tops with beaten egg.Chill 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Makes 18 piroshki.

Thank you to our friends at for the receipe.
Mar 12





In the News:

Slimming down Slim’s empire: Mexico’s President announced Monday a plan which will overhauls the countries telecommunications and broadcast markets.

  • Both sectors are currently controlled by a monopoly consisting of the top two richest businessmen in Mexico. Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man and Emilo Azcarraga.
  • Slim’s telecommunications companies- America Movil SAP controls 70% of Mexico’s 100 million mobile subscriptions. Televmex, Slim’s fixed line phone company controls more than 70% of Mexico’s land lines.
  • Mexico’s biggest TV broadcaster in the country is Televisa, controlled by Emilo Azcarraga. The company is the single biggest TV Broadcaster with three cable-TV units as well as the larger of the two satellite television provides.

The plan would call for the creations of a new telecommunications regulator who, have the authority to order asset sales by companies who dominate the market and limit a single company’s ability to stall completion through endless litigation, a wide known and wide spread tactic currently used by both companies.

No fear.. The Vix (officially called the CBOE’s (Chicago Board of Exchange) Volatility Index, aka the “fear gauge of the US financial markets” finished at its lowest level in six years.

Oh no you didn’t.. Oppenheimer & Co. has agreed to pay more than $28 million to settle federal allegations of jacking up the value of one of its private-equity funds. SEC alleges Oppenheimer in promo material and quarterly reports knowingly misrepresented the true value of the funds holds. In English please.. They jacked up the fund’s performance numbers so investors thought they were getting better returns therefore they would invest more moolah.

Parking Lot.. A Wall Street Journal analysis of 60 US Companies, who each had at least $5 Billion in offshore accounts in 2011, found in the last year they have all together parked $166 billion in offshore accounts. This “parking” lot has shielded more than 40% of their annual profits from US Taxes. If companies bring back the money to US soil they will have to pay a higher tax rate. This causes some companies often to categories the money as “off limits” for paying such things as dividends, buying back shares, and making investments in the US.

Open your books.. Activist investor Carl Ichan and Blackstone Group LP have reached confidentiality agreements with Dell thus allowing the two groups access to the computer makers books. Taking a peek into a company’s books is usually a first step towards making a bid for a company. In this case however, it is uncertain if the book lookin will turn into possible bids. Currently, Michael Dell and friends are looking to buy the company and take it private.

In the Markets:

Asia: Markets were mixed in their Tuesday trading session. The Nikkei up 0.4% provided the bright spot. Shanghai and Hang Seng were both flat on the session. Not helping the markets China reported its weakest industrial output number since 2009.

Europe: Europe closed in the red after Friday’s Fitch downgrade of Italy’s credit rating. The Fitch downgrade, which lowered the rating to triple B plus three steps above junk, was based on concerts about the political uncertainty in a time of economic weakness.  Backstory: Italy just went through parliamentary elections. There was no true majority winner so now they are piecing it together as they go.

US: US markets started their week of right: higher. Dow climbed higher hitting a record 7 consecutive up trading sessions. Both the S&P and Nasdaq also climbed higher with gains spread across all sectors.

In Dinner or Drink:

In honor of Mexico’s brave move toward competion because they many need several before the deal is done..

A blondy maria.. (thank you Martha Stewart)

What you will need:

2 lime slices, for glass and garish

Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for glass


3 tablespoons fresh blood-orange juice or regular orange juice, plus 1 twist from peel, for garnish

2 tablespoons tomato juice

1 1/2 ounces tequila (preferably blanco, or “silver”)

A few dashes hot sauce (optional)

Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish

Run the cut side of 1 lime slice around the rim of a glass; dip rim in salt. Fill glass with ice and add juices and tequila. Add hot sauce, stir once, and garnish with twist, pepper, and lime slices.

Mar 5



In The News:

For Sale… JC Penny stock dropped after hours on Monday after CNBC reported Vornado Reality, a major stock holder of JCP stock, is out shopping for buyers to buy a block of 10 million shares of the trouble retailer for a price between $16.40 and $16.60.

Not with my money… The ESF (European Stability Fund aka European’s huge bailout fund for troubled banks) is running into complications that may cause the fund to never get off the ground. Biggest issue: Germany’s reluctance to put its citizen’s money at risk in other countries banks. What’s at stake?

  • Currently the ESF can only give money directly to the government to help take a bit of the pressure off of bailing out a debt beat bank. Bailing banks out have in the past clobbered a countries balance sheet by increasing debt substantially. The ESF would give the government the money however the government would still be responsible for the administrative headaches (oversight, etc.) that can occur with bank bailouts.
  • The ESF has suggested a measure that would allow the fund to make a direct contribution to the bank therefore taking the entire burden off the country’s government.

The sticking point… Germany’s point of view the first option is way less risky than the second.   Country acting on the best interest of its country men, a novel concept.

Cool down.. Economic reports released today indicate China’s service sector growth was at a 5 month low.

Why is this important?

  • Service sector is anything not involved in manufacturing of goods. Most countries service sector attributes to a large chunk of their economic activity.
  • Service sector growth is a good measure of a countries overall economic health. If the service sector growth number is high= YAY! If the service sector growth number is low= not so good.

Bursting the bubble… China has a huge housing bubble on its hands. To help pop the bubble and cool down the housing market the Chinese government announced they will:

  • Raise the down payment requirements for purchasing housing.
  • Tack on a 20% tax to any profits made from selling housing.
  • They will increase interest rates on loans used to buy a second home.

Side note: A bubble occurs when the price of something rises without a good reason. As the USA as seen in recent years a housing bubble can be kind of a determinate to a country’s economy. Good for you China trying to prevent a potential economic crash.

Ughhhh so close I can taste it… The Dow Jones Industrials closed Monday at its second highest, 14127.82. The DJIA continues inching closer to surpass its all time closing high of 14,164.53 which occurred on Oct. 9. 2007.

Freddie + Fannie = F2.. On Monday, Edward DeMarco, the regulator for both Freddie and Fannie announced it will start consolidating the two firms backoffice functions that currently over lap. Today’s move could indicate see as the first of many to merge the two companies together sometime in the near future.

Hotel IKEA….A partnership between Marriott Hotels and the parent company of IKEA announced plans to build 50 hotels across Europe called Moxy. The hotels, which are designed for travelers on a budget, will not feature IKEA furniture. Instead IKEA came up with novel budget conscience constructions techniques. The first hotel will be located in Milan and will open in a year.

In The Market:

Asia: Asian Markets closed higher in their Tuesday session. Asian markets surged after the National People’s Congress stuck to its target for growth of 7.5%. The Nikkei hit a 4 year high, as confirmation hearing for the BOJ (Bank of Japan) governor helped boost the belief economic stimulus for the country is in the near future.  Shanghai +52.90 2326.2  Hang Seng + 22.69 22560.50  Nikkei + 31.16

Europe: European markets started the week off flat as investors began to realize the US may be waged in a budget battle for a long time and the effects of the Chinese authorizes try to cool off property prices. More housing equals more profits for the mining sector= really good thing. Less housing equals less profit = not so much. Stoxx Europe 600 – 0.04% 288.89

US: US Markets ended their trading session in the green after spending most of their morning trading session in the negative. Monday brought no market moving economic news. Later this week the markets will see a couple of key economic reports including Friday when the NFP (Non Farm Payroll aka monthly job numbers) comes out.   DJIA +38.40 14,128  S&P 500  + 7.03  1525.23,  Nasdaq 3182.05 +12.29

In Dinner or Drink:

We select a Drink for all the JC Penny shareholders:

Harvey Wallbanger

What you will need:

1 1/4 fluid ounces Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka

  • 1/4 fluid ounce hazelnut liqueur
  • 3 fluid ounces orange juice
  • 1 slice orange

Mailing List

© 2013 Before 24 / Contact / Privacy Policy / Legal