Tag Archive | "press"

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Pal Jean-Marie Le Guen Pretty Confident This Was A Set-Up

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According to J-M LG: 1) Yes, DSK loves the ladies, but not in a rape-y way. 2) He ate lunch before going to the airport 3) You’d have to be on a serious acid trip to buy this storyline 4) Le Guen is a doctor, so, he knows what he’s talking about.

Jean-Marie Le Guen, a Socialist party MP who has known Strauss-Kahn for 25 years, said the story was “not credible” and inconsistent with what he knew of the politician’s character. “Seduction, yes, but no way would he use constraint or violence. A certain number of facts, and certain aspects of the story we are hearing from the press, make this not credible.” He said Strauss-Kahn had not fled the scene of the alleged crime as reported but had lunched in New York before catching a flight booked weeks previously.

Le Guen said his friend knew he would be the target of mud-slinging but added: “What they are asking us to believe … it’s just hallucinations. I’m a doctor and I know this can happen. We knew there would be hyper-violent attacks on him [Strauss-Kahn]. We could hear the knives being sharpened in preparation.”


Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 04.21.11

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Morgan Stanley Profit Drops, Beats Estimates as Trading Revenue Jumps (Bloomberg)
Net income fell 45 percent to $968 million, or 50 cents a share, from $1.78 billion, or 99 cents, a year earlier, the bank said today in a statement. Earnings from continuing operations, excluding a 26-cent loss tied to a Japanese joint venture and a 30-cent tax gain, were 46 cents a share. That compared with the 40-cent average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Ex-Goldman Sachs Banker Starts Hedge Fund Analyzing Japanese Blog Traffic (Bloomberg)
Former Goldman Sachs Group banker Hideki Furusho and a University of Tokyo professor have teamed up to create a hedge fund that invests in Nikkei 225 futures based on a computer model that analyzes Japanese blogs.

At Facebook Townhall, Obama Goes On Offensive (WSJ)
“The Republican budget that was put forward I would say is fairly radical. I wouldn’t call it particularly courageous,” Mr. Obama said. Mr. Obama offered a dire description of the budget drafted by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. He said it would reduce taxes for corporations and the wealthy by cutting funds to clean energy programs and transportation. “I guess you could call that bold. I would call it shortsighted,” Mr. Obama said to applause from an audience of mostly young people. “I do think Mr. Ryan is serious,” Mr. Obama added. “He’s a patriot.”

BlackRock First Quarter Profit Gets Boost From Popular ETFs (Reuters)
The New York-based firm earned $819 million, or $2.96 per share, excluding some expenses, compared with $727 million, or $2.40 per share, a year earlier, BlackRock said on Thursday.

Weil: Geithner Downgrades His Own Credibility To Junk (BusinessWeek)
Fox Business reporter Peter Barnes began his televised interview with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner two days ago with this question: “Is there a risk that the United States could lose its AAA credit rating? Yes or no?” Geithner’s response: “No risk of that.” “No risk?” Barnes asked. “No risk,” Geithner said.

GE Profit, Revenue Beat Street View (Reuters)
The world’s biggest maker of jet engines and electric turbines said earnings attributable to common shareholders came to $3.36 billion, or 31 cents per share, up from $1.87 billion, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 6 percent to $38.45 billion.

Bernanke Plans To Make Voice Heard (WSJ)
Next Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will do something no Fed chief has done before: Stand before a room full of journalists after officials conclude a policy meeting and answer questions about the central bank’s decisions…”You can argue that the chairman of the Fed is more important than the president of the United States, but very few Americans understand what the Fed does,” says Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who successfully pushed for the Fed to disclose more about its secretive bank lending. Addressing the press, Mr. Sanders says, will be “a step forward.”

Greece Seeks Probe Into Debt Restructuring Rumor (Reuters)
Greek bank stocks fell 4.58 percent on Wednesday and the broader Athens bourse index lost 2.62 percent, underperforming pan-European indices on what traders said where rumors, spread by email, that the country would soon restructure its debt…”The ministry urgently requested the prosecutor’s office to launch a criminal investigation regarding the move in the Athens Stock Exchange and the bond market,” the ministry said in a statement.

Taco Bell Demands Apology After Lawsuit Is Withdrawn (CT)
On Wednesday, the fast-food chain decided to trumpet that good news with full-page ads in 10 major U.S. newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, demanding an apology. The company pegged the ads at a total cost of between $3 million and $4 million. “Would it kill you to say you’re sorry?” the ad exclaimed. “Sure, they could have just asked us if our recipe uses real beef. Even easier, they could have gone to our Web site where the ingredients in every one of our products are listed for everyone to see,” the ad read. “But that’s not what they chose to do.

New Swiss Tax Rules Signal Big Changes for Private Banks (NYT)
Switzerland aims to sign new treaties by the summer with Germany and Britain under which their citizens would pay taxes on more of their undeclared assets in Swiss banks. France and Italy are expected to follow suit.

Business Group Vows Support for U.S. Lawmakers to Cut Deficits (Bloomberg)
“The business community strongly supports a comprehensive deficit-reduction plan and will support members of Congress who help get it enacted,” according to a statement from the Committee for Economic Development released today in Washington. “Serious deficit reduction cannot be painless, and no one should expect or demand that the spending and revenue provisions they care most about will not be touched.”

Regulators Serve Up Alphabet Soup (WSJ)
Banks that decide they don’t want to belong to this exclusive, heavily regulated club should beware the “Hotel California.” This provision of Dodd-Frank, named in homage to the Eagles lyric that “you can check out any time you like but you can never leave,” ensures a taxpayer-aided bank can’t “de-SIFI” simply by shrinking its assets. Jargon purists, who prefer acronyms to Eagles songs, can find particularly rich pickings in the dozens of new rules affecting swaps, futures and options. A round-table event held by regulators last fall invited the public—”seating on a first-come, first-served basis”—to discuss DCOs, DCMs, SDs, MSPs, SEFs and SB SEFs. Such acronyms “remain strictly for the Dodd-Frank cognoscenti,” says Margaret Tahyar, a partner at law firm Davis Polk. Some of these terms will remain obscure. But some will enter the corporate lexicon, perhaps graduating to be the SECs and FDICs of their day.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 4.18.11

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Citi Profit Falls 32 Percent (Reuters, Citi)
Citigroup’s first-quarter profit fell 32 percent as the bank lost less money on bad loans but struggled to grow its business. The bank said this morning it earned $3.0 billion, or 10 cents per share. That compared with $4.4 billion, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier.

Geithner Says GOP Prepared To Lift Debt Limit (WSJ)
In interviews aired on the Sunday talk shows, Mr. Geithner said House Speaker John Boehner and other senior Republicans told President Barack Obama in discussions last week that they were aware of the risk of a credit default and were open to lifting the limit even in the absence of a comprehensive deal to slash the country’s debt load.

Greenspan Says US Should Let Bush-Era Tax Cuts Expire (Bloomberg)
We should “allow the Bush tax cuts to expire,” Greenspan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” today, calling the economic crisis “imminent and dire.” We should “put the rates back to where they were during the Clinton administration,” he said.

Hedge Funds Bounce Back (WSJ)
Total hedge-fund assets are approaching $2 trillion and are soon expected to surpass their peak in early 2008, according to industry analysts. Even start-ups and smaller funds, which were shunned by many investors in the wake of the crisis, are benefiting.

Emerging Nations Reject Capital Plan (WSJ)
The IMF’s plan would have encouraged nations to treat capital controls as a last resort, after they had first tried use other tools, such as policies on interest rates, currency values and government budgets. But ministers of developing economies resisted vehemently, viewing the proposal as an effort by advanced economies to hamstring their policies. Brazil, Turkey, South Korea and several other developing countries have adopted capital controls over the past year to limit surging inflows. “We oppose any guidelines, frameworks or ‘codes of conduct’ that attempt to constrain, directly or indirectly, policy responses of countries facing surges in volatile capital inflows,” Brazil’s finance minister, Guido Mantega, told the IMF’s steering-committee meeting.

Robot Does Hazardous Duty At Nuclear Plant (WSJ)
The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said Sunday that the PackBot, a small robot that scoots around on tank-like treads, would monitor radiation and oxygen levels to find out whether conditions were safe enough to allow human workers to go in to try to bring the nuclear crisis at the plant under control.

FDIC Eyes Tougher Rules For Big Banks (FT)
Sheila Bair warned that regulators now had the authority to demand that US banks break themselves into smaller parts — and it “could and should be used.”

Is Sitting Lethal? (NYT)
Over a lifetime, the unhealthful effects of sitting add up. Alpa Patel, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, tracked the health of 123,000 Americans between 1992 and 2006. The men in the study who spent six hours or more per day of their leisure time sitting had an overall death rate that was about 20 percent higher than the men who sat for three hours or less. The death rate for women who sat for more than six hours a day was about 40 percent higher. Patel estimates that on average, people who sit too much shave a few years off of their lives…Sitting, it would seem, is an independent pathology. Being sedentary for nine hours a day at the office is bad for your health whether you go home and watch television afterward or hit the gym. It is bad whether you are morbidly obese or marathon-runner thin. “Excessive sitting,” Dr. Levine says, “is a lethal activity.”

Ferrari Should Be Valued at $7.3 Billion in IPO, Marchionne Says (Bloomberg)
Fiat SpA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said he’s told bankers pushing him to pursue an initial public offering of Ferrari that the division may be worth more than 5 billion euros ($7.3 billion).

Greece Denies Restructuring Plan As Traders Raise Bet Default (Bloomberg)
“Restructuring is not an issue we’re discussing,” Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said in an April 16 interview in Washington. “The pain and the cost” of doing so would be greater than repaying lenders, he told reporters the same day.

Greek Default Would Mean Pain All-Around (WSJ)
Economists at the Brussels think tank Bruegel calculate that roughly 20% of Greece’s debt at the end of 2010 was held by domestic banks. They are in difficult straits, and forcing losses on them may simply require the country’s rescuers to come up with more money to help.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Blames iPad For American Unemployment (HP)
On Friday, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. addressed the United States’s current unemployment crisis and claimed the iPad was “probably responsible for eliminating thousands of American jobs.” Jackson, himself an iPad owner, expanded on his statement by pointing to the recent bankruptcy of Borders Books. “Why do you need to go to Borders anymore? Why do you need to go to Barnes and Noble? Just buy an iPad and download your book, download your newspaper, download your magazine,” the Congressman said.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Comin’ Up Sunny For Solar: Just About Everything

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Folks, it’s a confluence of positive news flow: Solar stocks such as Trina (TSL), LDK Solar (LDK), Yingli Green Energy (YGE) — well, okay, every stock in the group — are rising today, propelled by at least a couple of large positive factors.

The most immediate spur: Regional elections in Germany over the weekend saw a surge in support for the Green party, including in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative heartland of Baden-Wurttemburg. The victory comes amid what seems to be a crescendo in anti-nuclear fervor, with 200,000 people marching in Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Munich, report the Financial Times’s Quentin Peel and Jennifer Thompson, with demands for an immediate shut-down of Germany’s 17 nuclear power plants.

The Associated Press’s Juergen Baetz last week reported that Merkel and other politicians have made “a complete U-turn” in their support for nukes.

Adding fuel, if you will, to solar’s rise, the hand-wringing over Italy seems to be drawing to a close. With some tentative outlines for a reconciliation over solar energy subsidies in that country last week, Italian industry minister Paolo Romani is expected to offer a final ruling perhaps this week or next, bringing the matter to a close.

The “tone and sentiment” of the Italy talks last week was good, says Jeffrey Bencik with Kaufman Brothers. “All the talk was of increasing renewables at the expense of nuclear.”

Jefferies & Co. analyst Jesse Pichel told me late last week by phone that Romani may be realizing that Italy can create more jobs with solar power than with nukes. “it was really the nuke lobby that sought to kill solar,” remarks Pichel.

“We do think the market has over-reacted to Italy,” said Pichel, referring to the worries over subsidy cuts. “Here’s an industry that sold out every year, that grew 30% in 2009. And here we are over-analyzing italy, which was something like less than 20% of the market in 2010.”

Pichel thinks the discussion last week tilts the policy revamp to a volume-based, rather than a dollar-based limit on solar installations in Italy, which is, he argues, what he has been expecting since February.

“2011 is going to be uncapped,” says Pichel, referring to limits on solar installations in Italy, “with a modest cut in the second half [of this year.] On a go-forward basis, the country will set some corridor at two gigawatts per year from 2012 through 2016 to limit to no more than $6 bill euros per year.”

Pichel argues, moreover, “Italy is not crucial to the global growth of solar,” given that the U.S. is still “a pretty small market” for solar, and the Chinese have barely begun to install the stuff, even though they produce most of it. “Look at what Chinese did in the wind industry,” says Pichel. “They became biggest in the world in four years.”

On that score, Wayne Chang with Brean, Murray, Carret & Co. last week offered some detailed thoughts on China’s plans for renewables. The latest five year plan involves a new plan from the department of energy that may be unveiled any day now. Overall, the plan laid out is for China to go from 8.3% of energy coming from renewables last year to 11.4% in 2015. Chang cites data showing China could represent a 60-gigawatt-per-year market for solar installations by 2020.

As for Italy, Chang thinks the country is “still going to be fairly meaningful” beyond 2011, with installations probably not limited to the 2-gigawatt corridor that Pichel talked of, but perhaps 4 gigawatts or more of installations. “it’s everyone’s guess in coming to a conclusion,” says Chang. “You posture according to your thesis.”

Chang thinks North America will be “more positive” going forward than many expect, on a state-by-state basis, with significant opportunities in the power generation industry. He also says average prices for solar modules, worldwide, have rebounded from a recent $1.60 or so, on average, and are not likely to see a drastic decline later this year.

Timothy Arcuri with Citigroup remarks “There will be closure at last” on the matter of Italy, but he does expect more sharp declines in module prices, which will actually be a good thing, in his view.

If there’s going to be a corridor of 2 gigawatts or so in Italy, “that’s a pretty substantial decline from the run-rate last year,” Arcuri told me by phone.

“How is the industry going to find the demand to meet 17 gigawatts or so of production? Probably, the result is that module prices come down to $1.25 or so by year’s end, from $1.65 now.”

Probably, the industry will be “like it was a couple of years ago,” when module prices came down sharply, says Arcuri.

From here, though, things look “pretty good” for the stocks, he thinks. “Once you’ve got module prices trending toward a buck or so, you can see a big opportunity a couple of years out when you’ve got price elasticity.”

And, “In the meantime, you’ve got these other markets, the U.S., China. China will probably be a 4-gigawatt or 5-gigawatt market in a year or two.”

“You will be able to get beyond all this nonsense in Europe.”

Lest you think everyone’s capitulated, Credit Suisse’s Satya Kumar today writes that “Investors are hyper-focused on Italy subsidy trends,” but that in his opinion, “a plain vanilla oversupply is quietly brewing” because there may be more than 500 megawatts’s of “excess inventory in the channel.”

Following a meeting last week with China’s National Development and Reform Commission, he doesn’t believe that “China will be a backstop for demand until much later in the cycle. We think pricing will need to fall sharply in 2H11.”

Nevertheless, Kumar today advises as relatively better placed the shares of JinkoSolar Holdings (JKS), MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR), and ReneSola (SOL), with First Solar (FSLR) having gotten a bid ahead of itself, he thinks.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Opening Bell: 03.25.11

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Rajaratnam’s Wiretapped Call With Brother Bolsters Insider Case (Bloomberg)
And in testimony earlier this week, Goel said that Rajaratnam told him in 2003 that Rajaratnam had given BMW cars to two women in Intel’s sales department who leaked information to him. Lynam asked Goel if he thought Rajaratnam was joking. “I don’t think that was a joke, sir,” he responded. Wasn’t Rajaratnam kidding when he told Goel in a wiretapped conversation that he would kiss Goel on the cheek the next time he saw him? Lynam later asked. “I hope he was,” said Goel, to laughter in the courtroom. “If not, I had him figured out all wrong.”

Economy Grows 3.1%, Aided By Surge in Corporate Profits (Reuters)
Gross domestic product growth was revised up to an annualized rate of 3.1 percent, the Commerce Department said in its final estimate, close to its initial estimate of 3.2 percent published two months ago and up from its tally of 2.8 percent made in February.

Barclays Said to Be Investigated by Regulators in Libor Probe (Bloomberg)
U.S. and U.K. regulators are examining if communications between Barclays’s traders and its treasury broke regulations that stop information being shared across the bank.

S&P Warns Big Banks About ‘Excessive’ Dividends (NYT)
The credit rating agency said in a report that it “remains wary of banks aggressively increasing capital returns to shareholders at this juncture of the economic recovery.” S.&.P. indicated it might downgrade credit ratings at banks that made “excessive” payouts to investors.

Goldman Slides to 10th Spot in US M&A Rankings (Reuters)
Goldman advised on $71 billion worth of U.S. deals in the first quarter, far less than JPMorgan’s chart-topping $170 billion, and even lower than much smaller banks such as Rothschild, Evercore Partners and Lazard.

China-Focused Hedge Fund Assets Rise Despite Laggard Performance (DJ)
China funds added $3.5 billion in assets in 2010 to a total $18.68 billion, even as their 6.11% gains were short of the global industry average of 10.55%.

Warren Says Consumer Bureau Foes Should Look at Bank ‘Behemoths’ (Bloomberg)
“If we’re going to go out there and spill ink on accountability, we should also ask about how to hold powerful financial institutions accountable,” Warren said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg News. “The idea that we should be worried that some agency that will speak up for consumers might get a little too loud is looking in the wrong direction.”

Bernanke To Hold Press Conferences 4 Times A Year (WSJ)
“The introduction of regular press briefings is intended to further enhance the clarity and timeliness of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy communication,” the Fed said.

Spain’s Bank Rescue Hits Headwinds (WSJ)
Eight of Spain’s cajas must present their capital-raising plans to regulators by April 10. That has caused a flurry of activity in recent weeks as savings banks sounded out hedge funds and private-equity funds and others pursued initial public offerings. But the exercise has stirred questions from investors about the level of reserves that the banks hold against real-estate risk in their portfolios. The banks also have faced questions over whether their executives have distanced themselves sufficiently from local politics; in some cases, they have even been quizzed about managements’ own understanding of what is on their books. In general, “people don’t understand what they are buying,” said a Spanish banker who has tried to get investors interested in the cajas.

Reactor Core May Be Breached at Damaged Fukushima Plant (Bloomberg)
“It’s very possible that there has been some kind of leak at the No. 3 reactor,” Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman at the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said in Tokyo today. While radioactive water at the unit most likely escaped from the reactor core, it also could have originated from spent fuel pools stored atop the reactor, he said.

Fed Mulls Auction For AIG Bonds (WSJ)
The Federal Reserve is considering an auction for a large portfolio of subprime-mortgage bonds and is consulting with BlackRock Inc. about the process, according to people familiar with the matter.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Deals & More: InsideView gets $12M to drive sales via social media

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Today’s funding announcements including one company offering sales data and two companies offering local deals:

InsideView brings in $12M for sales intelligence: The developer of a tool for sales professionals has raised a third round of funding led by Foundation Capital with participation from Emergence Capital Partners, Rembrandt Venture Partners and Greenhouse Capital Partners. Based in San Francisco, the company provides more than 75,000 sales professionals with aggregate data from news, editorial and social media sites. InsideView recently launched the Social Selling University, a program that teaches sales people how to use social media to increase sales.

DealsGoRound grabs angel funding for daily deals exchange: The secondary marketplace for daily deals from sites like Groupon and Living Social has raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding. The company, which is based in Chicago and was founded in early 2010, also launched out of beta today. DealsGoRound currently facilitates resales and exchanges of daily deals in more than 50 U.S. cities.

Offline Labs raises $1M for members-only site: The company founded by former Slide employees has raised a round of seed funding from a long list of investors including Sequoia Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Polaris Ventures and General Catalyst Partners. Based in San Francisco, the company is launching Sōsh, its first product, soon. Though details are yet to be released, the company says the product will bring memorable activities to members through events and deals.

SocialVibe lands $20M for digital ads: The Los Angeles-based startup has raised a fourth round of funding led by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from Redpoint Ventures, Jafco Ventures and Pinnacle Ventures. The company, which works with big-name advertisers including Coke, Disney and McDonalds, delivers ads by engaging with consumers through networks like Zynga and rewarding them for their interactions.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

It Is Now Illegal To Refer To Former RBS CEO Fred Goodwin As A ‘Banker’

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Remember Fred Goodwin? He was the CEO of RBS for a number of years (about 8) and for many of them, probably right liked being called a ‘banker.’ Like in 2000, when he was name Chief executive and in 2006, when he was voted the most powerful businessman in Scotland. Years from now he’ll look back on his tenure fondly but at this moment, he’s having some difficulty recalling all the good times, in light of how badly things ended, and the fact that people won’t stop making him feel guilty for putting the pieces in place the caused RBS to lose a spectacular amount of money and wind up with 82% of its ass owned by the government. Goodwin’s been trying his hardest to move on and maybe even embark on a new career as a party planner but what’s making it difficult is that every time he opens a newspaper, he sees his name next to the word ‘banker.’ Refraining from reading papers doesn’t help either because of course you’ve got the internet and you can’t expect him to not have a Google alert set up for himself, now can you? Anyway, Goodwin tried to reason with the press and just get them to drop the ‘banker’ business altogether or at least swap it out for a better description like ‘genius’ or ‘piece of ass’ but they wouldn’t listen, so what Goodwin had to do was play hardball.

Goodwin, who presided over the near collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland, was reported to have been angered by press coverage after he became popularly known as “Fred the Shred.” He is the latest high profile figure to obtain a superinjunction, it has emerged. The existence of the measure – which bans the press from reporting that an injunction has been obtained – can be revealed after a backbench Liberal Democrat, John Hemming, raised the issue in the Commons. “In a secret hearing this week Fred Goodwin has obtained a superinjunction preventing him being identified as a banker,” said Hemming, the MP for Birmingham Yardley.

Fred Goodwin gets superinjunction to stop him being called a banker [Guardian]

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Apple: Largely Glowing Reviews For iPad 2

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Apple (AAPL) shares are down $4.02, or 1.2%, at $348.35 in early trading on the heels of what are generally very favorable reviews in the major media outlets for the iPad 2, which goes on sale on Friday, starting at 5 pm, Eastern. (Or probably earlier than that if you’re ordering online.)

The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg says the device “moves the goal posts, by being slimmer and lighter, boosting speed and power, and holdings its price advantages.” The best tablet for “average consumers,” he writes. He notes the cameras are so-so, and that the battery life was a little less than he’d gotten in similar tests with iPad 1.

David Pogue with The New York Times writes that despite the coming onslaught of tablets from competitors, “The iPad will still dominate the market, because it dominates in all the most important criteria: thinness, weight, integration, beauty — and apps.” Pogue finds the improvements to the size and weight to be meaningful, writing, “Just that much improvement in thinness, weight and speed transforms the experience. We’re not talking about a laptop or a TV, where you don’t notice its thickness while in use. This is a tablet. You are almost always holding it. Thin and light are unbelievably important for comfort and the overall delight. So are rounded edges, which the first iPad didn’t have.”

Engadget’s Joshua Topolsky writes, “the iPad 2 is as good as it gets right now. And it’s really quite good,” and “the iPad 2 isn’t just the best tablet on the market, it feels like the only tablet on the market.” Topolsky is more critical than Mossberg or Pogue on the camera side. “In short, it feels like the iPad 2 has a serious photon deficiency.” Topolsky offers much praise for the new GarageBand software for iPad. “Overall, this is a groundbreaking piece of software for tablets,” he writes. In contrast to Mossberg, Topolsky writes that the battery tests he ran on iPad 2 delivered on Apple’s 10 hours claim, and even beat it a bit.

USA Today’s Ed Baig writes the iPad 2 is “second to none” in the “ever evolving state of the art” of tablet computers, despite not having everything on one’s wish list. He also found the the battery life claims of roughly 10 hours was not exactly what he experienced.

I would note that the Associated Press’s Peter Svensson this morning writes that the iPad 2′s price “hobbles” the efforts of rivals to break the company’s hold on the market, writing, “It’s rare for prices to start low and stay low, yet it looks as if that’s exactly what Apple intended. “

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Dan Loeb Subpoenas Reporters In Fight Against Fairfax Financial

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Remember the Fairfax Financial vs hedge funds bit? Five years ago, the Canadian insurer got it in its head that SAC Capital, Kynikos and Third Point conspired together to drive down the company’s stock and that part of its plan was to “spread disinformation to business journalists” who, as pawns in their game, would help disseminate the negative news re the neighbors to the north. Anyway, this thing is still going on and last month, Third Point subpoenaed a bunch of reporters though apparently had a change of heart on using their depositions.

Matthew Goldstein reports:

Last month, in a little-noticed move, Daniel Loeb, one of several prominent hedge fund managers sued by Fairfax Financial, served subpoenas on a number of journalists seeking to take their depositions in the now five-year-old litigation…Loeb, however, appears to have had a recent change of heart about the subpoenas, which were sent to columnist Joe Nocera of The New York Times and former Fortune writer Bethany McLean, among others. A lawyer for Loeb told Reuters on Monday the subpoenas were withdrawn. “Third Point has no intention of seeking testimony or documents from any member of the media, and any prior subpoenas issued to journalists have been fully withdrawn,” said Loeb attorney Bill Carmody of Susman Godfrey in New York.

But at least one other defendant in the case, which is pending in New Jersey state court, is still seeking to take a deposition of a reporter who once wrote about Fairfax. Seeking to take testimony from journalists is often controversial because it can infringe on protection afforded to the press under the First Amendment. One journalist who may still be deposed is Peter Eavis, a former columnist with The Wall Street Journal. Eavis was served a subpoena by lawyers for Morgan Keegan and Co, another defendant, over columns he wrote about Fairfax when he worked at TheStreet.com.

Lawyers for Fairfax recently said in court filings that they may seek to take testimony from former New York Post reporter Roddy Boyd, now a freelance writer. In court papers, Fairfax’s lawyers argue that Boyd wrote a number of critical stories about Fairfax after receiving information from people working for the hedge fund managers. Boyd declined to comment.

Reporters Caught In US Fund Lawsuit Crossfires [Reuters]

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Live-Blogging Ray Dalio’s CNBC Appearance

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8:25 Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio will be on Squawk Box this morning. Let’s follow along.

8:32 Waiting for Ray.

8:35 He’s being patched in from LA, which is a disappointment but we’ll get through this.

8:36 Ray Dalio says he’s appearing on CNBC because he’s been getting too much attention from the press.

8:37 And we’re off to an awkward start: Joe Kernan tells Dalio the only reason people think his firm is “sinister” and “dark” because of the size of the fund and if it were smaller, no one would say that. Ray: “Uhh. I don’t know where you’re getting the sinister or dark part.”

8:38 Dalio: “You have to be an independent thinker to be successful. Examining past mistakes is what makes us stronger.”

8:39 Bridgewater does what it does, re “radical truth seeking”/”personalizing mistakes” because “the biggest impediment to success is the ego.”

8:43 Shifting gears, boom countries like China will have difficulty slowing growth

8:44 Many countries have “an inappropriate monetary policy”

8:45: RD: “It’s inevitable that the dollar’s role in the world will diminish”

8:48 “Countries in trouble can print money, states cannot”

8:51 Financial turmoil often leads to “pronounced social change” (Hitler/1933 are mentioned)

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker