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Links 30/3/2012: Enea Linux, MeeGo at Nokia, Google Go 1

Posted in News Roundup at 3:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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  • Finance

    • US economy grew 3 percent in final quarter of 2011
    • British Review Faults Banks for Weak Checks Against Corruption

      A review of 15 investment banks released on Thursday by Britain’s financial regulator showed that a majority lacked adequate anticorruption and bribery checks.

      The Financial Services Authority said its review of the banks, including eight major global investment banks, had found that about half had an inadequate bribery risk assessment. The review, conducted during the second half of 2011, also found that managers were not sufficiently knowledgeable about anticorruption and bribery laws.

    • CoreLogic: Almost 65,000 completed foreclosures in February 2012
    • House approves Republican deficit-cutting plan

      A divided House approved a $3.6 trillion Republican budget on Thursday recasting Medicare and imposing sweeping cuts in domestic programs, capping a battle that gave both political parties a campaign-season stage to spotlight their warring deficit-cutting priorities.

      But the partisan divisions over the measure, which is dead on arrival in the Democratic-led Senate, also underscores how tough it will be for lawmakers to achieve the cooperation needed to contend with a tsunami of tax and spending decisions that will engulf Congress right after this fall’s elections.

    • Banking Regulator Calls for End of ‘Too Big to Fail’

      An annual report from a regional Federal Reserve bank is typically a collection of banalities and clichés with some pictures of local worthies who serve on the board.

      And so it is with this year’s annual report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, whose pages are graced by the smiling, stolid portraits of board members who run local companies like Whataburger Restaurants.

    • Why ‘Too Big to Fail’ is a psychological construct

      When it comes to Wall Street, liberals and conservatives can agree on at least one thing: The government should avoid bailing out big banks on the taxpayers’ dime. Dodd-Frank was supposed to make that less likely to happen. But it’s uncertain whether that will actually happen, as the new regulation has no explicit prohibition on bailouts.

    • Is it time to release oil from the strategic reserves?

      With oil prices still in the stratosphere, the rumblings are getting louder that the world’s nations may release some of the crude they have saved up in their strategic reserves. On Thursday, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said there was a “good chance” that the United States and Europe will tap those reserves.

    • Spain engulfed by nationwide anti-austerity strike

      Spanish workers enraged by austerity-driven labor reforms to prevent the nation from becoming Europe’s next bailout victim slowed down the country’s economy in a general strike Thursday, closing factories and clashing with police as the new-center right government tried to convince investors the nation isn’t headed for a financial meltdown.

    • Bank Lobby’s Onslaught Shifts Debate on Volcker Rule

      After a four-month lobbying blitz led by firms including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), U.S. regulators and lawmakers are signaling they’re receptive to delaying and revising their plan to stop banks from making speculative trades on their own accounts.

      Representative Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat and co-author of the 2010 law mandating the ban, urged regulators last week to simplify their first draft, while a bipartisan group of senators proposed pushing back its effective date.

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