Daily Archives: 05/12/2012

Isreal, Palestinians Issue Rare Joint Statement Saying They are Committed to Achieve Peace

AJEnglish Reports: Israel and the Palestinian Authority have issued a rare joint statement saying both are committed to peace, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dispatched an envoy to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Netanyahu’s office issued the joint statement on Saturday after envoy Yitzhak Molcho met Abbas in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority’s administrative capital. Read more »

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NYAG Schneiderman Calls for ‘Substantial Re-Regulation’ as Fitch, S&P Downgrade JPMorgan

Turning Over in his Grave

NYO Reports: The sudden revelation that J.P. Morgan lost $2 billion had a lot of mouths hanging open, and while the detail’s of the company’s wagers gone wrong aren’t all present, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman argued on MSNBC that the case demonstrates the need of strengthening financial regulations. “People talk about principles,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “There’s one principle: Unregulated markets always crash. Unregulated markets always produce massive losses on risky bets.” Mr. Schneiderman then emphasized the importance of having clear regulatory rules so there’s no ambiguity about what is needed to avoid massive loses. -

AP Via Klew TV Reports: Fitch said JPMorgan’s risk to its reputation and governance no longer merit an “AA-” rating and lowered its long-term issuer default rating one notch to “A+”, which remains in investment-grade territory. It also lowered a number of other ratings on the New York company and placed it on review for possible future downgrades. At its current “A+” rating though, JPMorgan remains among the elite. Upon assessing JPMorgan’s hefty trading loss, S&P lowered its outlook on the company to “negative” from “stable.” A negative outlook implies the possibility of a future rating downgrade.

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WHAT? California Deficit This Year Expected at $16 Billion; up From the $9.2 Billion Expected Half Year Ago

Dem Governor and Dem State Legislature Elected by Democrats

NYT Reports: Gov. Jerry Brown, disclosing the development in a video posted on YouTube, said that California’s shortfall was now projected to be $16 billion, up from $9.2 billion in January. Mr. Brown said that he would propose a revised budget on Monday to deal with it.

“We are now facing a $16 billion hole, not the $9 billion we thought in January,” Mr. Brown said. “This means we will have to go much further and make cuts far greater than I asked for at the beginning of the year.”

Mr. Brown disclosed the news in a video that had all the trappings of a campaign announcement. In it, he aggressively accounted for the steps he said he had taken to try to scale back a $26 billion deficit he found upon taking office. And he urged viewers to back an initiative he is putting on the November ballot that would increase sales taxes by 0.25 percent and impose an income tax surcharge on wealthy Californians to try to stave off more cuts.

State officials said Mr. Brown’s proposal would include a package of immediate cuts, as well as others that would be triggered only if voters failed to approve his tax plan. The sales tax increase would expire after four years, while the income tax surcharge would last for seven years.

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Britain Wants to Walk Back Some Aspects of Iran Sanctions

A broad range of European Union sanctions targeting Iran’s energy sector include a ban on insuring ships that transport Iranian oil. The New York Times reported Friday that Britain, a longtime base for sea insurers, has convened meetings with other European nations to reconsider the ban, set to start on July 1. The Times quoted a British Foreign Office statement as saying that it is in discussion with member states “to ensure that the pressure on Iran is maximized, while avoiding any undesired impacts elsewhere.” Reuters is reporting that Britain wants a six-month delay. – JTA

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VIDEO: ABC News Reports of Jewish American Arrested 11 Months in Bolivia (Without Obama Doing Anything)

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RJC Said to Have 35,000 Jewish Members

Atlanta Jewish Times, interviewed Matt Brooks, the Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition:

Chuck Berk: How many members belong to RJC nationally?

Matt Brooks: Thirty-five thousand people. Over the last several years, there has been significant membership growth as people have become more dissatisfied with the policies and leadership of President Obama.

Chuck Berk:What are the critical issues facing the Jewish community in 2012?

Matt Brooks: Israel and the Middle East and the economy. We are at a critical juncture with Iran in their active pursuit to develop nuclear weapons. [Also], President Obama’s views of the Middle East have put him in conflict with Israel. Read more »

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