Last week's ratification of the Durbin Amendment by U.S. lawmakers seemed to put Visa (V) on edge, with the credit card company now facing the prospect of curtailed interchange fees. (Of course, the firm's written statement cited concerns about potential harm to consumers -- a nice touch.)
So, with the forecast looking gloomy on the home front, perhaps it's no surprise that Visa is now trying to woo another major world power. According to Japan's The Nikkei, Visa "will urge the Japanese government to use credit cards for all of its purchases, from stationery items to parts for fighter jets, saying it would save the country a lot of money."
Continue reading Visa Execs Launch Full-Court Press on Japanese Government
The balance sheet over at Home Depot (HD
) has just taken a serious hit after a Florida judge ordered the giant home retailer to pay some $20 million to an inventor. But don't expect this judgment to affect the stock price in any way.
A few years back, when the company attempted to find a solution to employees being injured while using power saws to size material for customers, it turned to Michael Powell. According to The Palm Beach Post
, Powell, an inventor in his own right, came up with an effective "safe hands" device. He offered to retrofit the company's saws with the device for $2,000 a piece.
Continue reading Home Depot Slammed for $20 Million
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
) may be in settlement talks
with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
As it now stands, both sides are far apart.
Goldman is being pressured on several fronts and shareholders are losing money. Goldman stock has dropped more than 20% since the start of the SEC civil charges and a shareholder meeting is scheduled for Friday. Goldman directors are expected to discuss revisions in some of the company's practices.
Continue reading Goldman Sachs in Settlement Talks with the SEC
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS
) has been under investigation by the SEC for alleged securities fraud. The alleged violations against Goldman Sachs are civil charges. Now the Goldman Sachs saga is taking a more deadly turn. The US Attorney's Office in New York is looking into the case to determine if criminal charges are warranted.
This changes the whole dynamic of the case. Civil charges usually involve a fine and bar from trading. However, if you remember Enron, criminal charges can include not only fines but also jail time.
Continue reading Will Goldman Sachs Face Criminal Charges Soon?
Goldman Sachs (GS) is plotting its legal defense against the SEC's charges, and the point man is co-general counsel Greg Palm.
So far Palm's legal strategy is to place all the blame on one employee: Fabrice Tourre. In a statement, Palm said: "If we had evidence that someone here was trying to mislead someone, that's not something we'd continue at all and we'd be the first to take action."
Continue reading Goldman's Legal Defense: Blame a Scapegoat?
After years of fumbling the ball, the Securities and Exchange Commission put on a new hat and is playing hardball in the Goldman Sachs (GS
Mark Radke, a former SEC official, told Bloomberg
that what the lawsuit says is that the SEC is willing "to file big cases ... against the biggest firms, and ... about the most complicated stuff."
The SEC has a new "enforcer," Robert Khuzami. Khuzami took on the biggest kid on the block. His motive may be twofold. First he must show Americans that something is being done to punish Wall Street. Second, given a win with Goldman, the other Wall Street firms will quickly fall in line.
Continue reading SEC's New Approach: We're Playing Hardball
It always amazes me how "group think" sways the market to do stupid things, or at least jump to foolish conclusions.
Today it was announced that Goldman Sachs Group (GS
) has been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with defrauding investors alleging that they knowingly misstated and omitted key facts about securities tied to sub prime mortgages during the rupturing of the housing bubble when they structured and marketed a synthetic collateralized debt obligation (CDO) tied to the performance of subprime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS).
Continue reading Chasing Value: Goldman Sachs Fraud Charge Creates Opportunity
After five years, EarthLink (ELNK
) has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit against it that had alleged improper application of early termination fees (ETF). The $3.7 million settlement will include a refund of half the ETF amount paid by approximately 850,000 customers, a reduction in the amount customers shall pay in future ETFs, and the ending of attempts to collect currently outstanding ETFs from customers. Additionally, EarthLink has agreed to assist with credit repair efforts in cases where unpaid ETFs were reported to credit monitoring agencies.
Continue reading EarthLink Class Action Ends in Refunds and Reduced Fees
- option chain
) stock is trading lower today after the company announced this morning that it has settled patent infringement suits
with Hospira (HSP
) and Par Pharmaceutical Companies (PRX
) related to certain generic versions of its cancer treatment Eloxatin. The settlements will stop HSP and PRX from selling generic versions of Eloxatin from late-June until August 2012. If you think this stock won't be rising too far in the coming months, then it could be a good time to look at a bearish hedged play on SNY.
This morning, SNY opened at $36.51. So far today the stock has hit a high of $36.69 and a low of $36.43. As of 12:10, SNY is trading at $36.69, down $0.51 (-1.4%). The chart for SNY looks neutral and S&P
gives SNY a neutral 3 STARS (out of 5) hold ranking.
Continue reading Sanofi-Aventis Dips on Eloxatin Patent Settlements
In the 2004 counterfeit goods lawsuit brought against online auction giant eBay (EBAY) by Tiffany & Co. (TIF), a New York appeals court has ruled in favor of eBay. The suit stemmed from an independent investigation conducted by Tiffany, where an investigatory sampling determined that more than 70% of supposed Tiffany items on eBay were found to be fakes. Tiffany maintains that eBay bears responsibility for cleaning out those counterfeit items.
Yes, eBay bears some responsibility in this matter, but that responsibility begins and ends at the removal of offending listings when they are reported or discovered. Any random examination of listings by eBay for potential rule violations or illegal activities falls under the heading of good faith, not due diligence.
Continue reading Court Sides with eBay in Tiffany Counterfeit Case
Myriad Genetics (MYGN
) stock is trading lower today after a Federal District Court ruled
that the company's claims covering isolated DNA sequences in seven of the 23 patents covering BRACAnalysis are invalid. The company said it will appeal the decision. If you think this stock won't be rising too far in the coming months, then it could be a good time to look at a bearish hedged play on MYGN.
This morning, MYGN opened at $23.86. So far today the stock has hit a high of $24.00 and a low of $23.07. As of 11:55, MYGN is trading at $23.63, down $1.27 (-5.1%). The chart for MYGN looks bullish.
Continue reading Myriad Genetics Drops on Patent Ruling
Viacom is now being blamed for secretly uploading copyright infringing content by YouTube's chief counsel, Zahavah Levine. This announcement comes as the court prepares to render a decision in the $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit Viacom (VIA) brought against Google's (GOOG) Internet video giant, YouTube.
Attorney Levine has stated in a blog post: "For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there."
Continue reading YouTube Attorney Alleges Viacom Set Up
In a long standing court battle between the media and the Fed, a decision to release bail out documents was handed down by the US Court of Appeals.
Last year, two reporters from Bloomberg News filed for disclosure of the documents under the Freedom of Information Act. Later a similar suit was filed by Fox News. The Fed countered that such information would cause "competitive and reputational harm" perhaps triggering bank runs and implode the central bank's ability to effectively manage the current and any future financial crisis.
Continue reading Federal Reserve Ordered to Release Bail Out Documents
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