Friday, October 31, 2014
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Monday, October 27, 2014
Posted by CAMACOL at 10/27/2014 09:28:00 AM
Friday, October 24, 2014
By John O'Donnell and Andreas Framke
(Reuters) - A group of 25 banks have failed European health checks, while up to 10 of those continue to have a capital shortfall, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday, providing a snapshot of the health of the region's lenders.
The health checks, led by the European Central Bank, found that banks in countries including Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia and Portugal had fallen short of a minimum capital benchmark at the end of last year and that up to 10 remained in difficulty now, the sources said.
Banks in Spain and France had fared, by and large, better than expected.
The result, which has yet to be finalised by the ECB's governing council on Sunday, provides the most complete picture yet of the robustness of the euro zone's top 130 lenders.
Those banks with shortfalls will now have two weeks to submit a plan to bolster their capital to the European Central Bank (ECB), which will decide whether or not it gets the green light.
A spokesman for the ECB said the test results had not yet been finalised, describing reports in the meantime as speculative.
"The results will not be final until they are considered by the Governing Council of the European Central Bank on Sunday 26 October, after which they will be published," he said
European banking shares dipped briefly on Friday after Bloomberg News reported that 25 banks within the euro zone would fail the ECB "stress test".
Portugal's finance minister Maria Luis Albuquerque said on Friday that the Lisbon government was confident that the country's three largest banks had fared well in the stress tests.
The Austrian finance minister Hans Joerg Schelling, said only Volksbanken AG OTWp.VI was "stress burdened" and the test revealed no surprises, according to the Austria Press Agency. Volksbanken had already said it would wind itself down.
Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) passed the ECB-led stress test by a wide margin with a core equity ratio of 8.8 percent compared to a minimum requirement of 5.5 percent, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.
Juergen Fitschen, co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank and president of the BdB association of German private-sector banks, said the results probably gave his country's banks a clean bill of health.
Shares in the Italian banks considered most at risk of failing the euro zone health checks, including bailed out lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI), were sharply higher on Friday as investors counted on them doing better than expected.
"Investors are betting that one of the most problematic banks in the euro zone could pass the stress tests with fewer problems than previously thought," said Vincenzo Longo, strategist at broker house IG.
(Reporting By John O'Donnell, Jan Strupczewski in Brussels and Andreas Framke in Frankfurt; Editing by Paul Carrel and Elaine Hardcastle)
Posted by CAMACOL at 10/24/2014 12:29:00 PM
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Monday, October 20, 2014
Por: Ricardo Tribín Acosta
Esta es la anécdota de una señora que trata de despertar a su hijo de treinta años un domingo a las diez de la mañana. El monólogo - diálogo sucede así: " Mijo, levántese ya que se nos hace tarde para ir a misa"; " No, mami, déjame dormir un ratico más, por favor". La señora "refunfuña" y regresa en media hora
arrancando con la misma cantaleta.
El señor repite lo mismo con el ánimo de prolongar su estadía en la cama, hasta que a las once y media la mama se exaspera y le dice " Bueno, basta ya!! a levantarse dije pues no vamos a alcanzar la misa"; Y porque ? si yo quiero descansar más? La madre le responde con voz afirmativa: primero, porque Ud. es mi hijo; segundo, porque yo soy su mama y me tiene que obedecer, tenga la edad que sea; y tercero, pues porque Ud. es el cura, y sin su presencia no habrá misa".
El caballero se levantó entonces y salió corriendo de una para la iglesia.
Miami, Octubre 18 de 2014
Posted by CAMACOL at 10/20/2014 01:00:00 PM
Friday, October 17, 2014
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Friday, October 10, 2014
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Tying up the cable business
Lobbying over Comcast’s bid to create a cable-TV behemoth is coming to a head
Oct 4th 2014 | WASHINGTON, DC | From the print edition
EMPLOYEES joining Comcast, America’s largest pay-television and internet provider, are given a copy of “An Incredible Dream”, a history of the company commissioned by the firm. On the cover is Ralph Roberts, its founder, standing with arms outstretched, like the Christ statue on Rio de Janeiro’s mountaintop. Comcast’s dramatic rise since 1963, when Mr Roberts bought a small cable system in Mississippi, is an inspirational American business story, and represents how tiny companies can become monumental ones. Today Comcast is run by Mr Roberts’ son, Brian, employs 140,000 people and has a market capitalisation of around $140 billion.
But when does “big” become “too big”? Regulators in Washington, DC, will have to decide. In February Comcast announced a $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable (TWC), America’s second-largest cable company. Comcast has agreed to divest around a quarter of TWC subscribers voluntarily, leaving it with around 30% of the national pay-TV market and 40% of high-speed broadband should the deal go through, according to Moffett Nathanson, a research firm. Regulators at America’s Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are reviewing the merger on antitrust grounds, with the FCC also assessing its impact on the public interest. They are expected to make a decision by early next year.
The deal would give more might to a firm that, besides the largest pay-TV and internet business in America has, thanks to its 2011 takeover of NBCUniversal, broadcast networks, cable channels, a film studio and other media assets. Most crucially, it would cede to Comcast more control over America’s high-speed internet, a buoyant business that is set to be the future conduit of content delivery, but one in which Comcast already faces less competition than in pay-TV. Comcast says it will invest more in broadband infrastructure and provide more low-cost internet access to the poor, but it is far from clear that the public will benefit from Kabletown (as Comcast was called in “30 Rock”, an NBC comedy about life inside NBC) turning into Kablecountry.
The way this giant deal is progressing reveals a lot about corporate America. On October 8th and 9th shareholders of both Comcast and TWC are expected to vote to approve the merger without hesitation. In doing so, TWC investors will be breezily signing off on an $80m golden parachute for Robert Marcus, who has been the firm’s boss for less than a year. The chief financial officer, chief technology officer and chief operating officer will receive a combined $55m for helping sell their company. If these numbers appeared in a fictional television drama, they might seem somewhat implausible.
To get its deal signed off by regulators Comcast has taken lobbying to new heights. Last year it spent around $19m on this, reckons the Centre for Responsive Politics, more than both Boeing and Lockheed Martin, two giant defence contractors. The firm has always made sure that the cord linking its Philadelphia headquarters to the government in Washington is taut. Brian Roberts has played golf with Barack Obama; David Cohen, Comcast’s chief lobbyist, has repeatedly had the president round for supper at his home. This week Mr Obama asked Joe Clancy to return from a stint as Comcast’s head of security to become acting head of the Secret Service.
Supporting America’s power-brokers can pay off. For example, Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, publicly expressed his support for the merger, without mentioning the campaign contributions he received from Mr Cohen and other Comcast executives. Comcast’s roots are in cable, a business that depends on local-government relationships, and it knows how to win hearts. Since 1999 it has given away $145m to organisations in the areas it serves, a generous act but also a strategic one. It helps explain why organisations that would appear to have no stake in a national cable deal, such as the Virginia Holocaust Museum, have supported the bid.
There are grounds to worry that proper scrutiny of the proposed deal will be impaired because of “regulatory capture”, especially since Comcast has hired former regulators to advise it and lobby for it. For example, Meredith Attwell Baker, when an FCC commissioner, voted to approve Comcast’s bid for NBCUniversal in 2011. Four months later she left to join Comcast (she has since gone on to work for the wireless-telecoms lobby). “It is such a revolving door at the FCC and Congress that you can’t keep track of whether people are cable lobbyists or working in government,” says Marvin Ammori, a lawyer who represents technology firms. “People might expect that of defence and pharma, but not of their broadband providers.”
Likewise there are reasons to fear a sort of “journalistic capture”. Comcast owns two prominent cable-news channels, MSNBC and CNBC, and two broadcast networks with extensive news programming, NBC and Telemundo. Their newsrooms, which might otherwise have reported critically on such a big deal, have been largely silent. One CNBC reporter says he cannot dig into the story as he normally would, for fear of losing his job.
Reporters who want to investigate the deal struggle to find anyone who will comment publicly anyway. Since Comcast is already so large, few television stations want to speak out, because Comcast pays them lots of money to carry their channels. “It doesn’t make good business sense to argue against your biggest client,” explains one executive. In order to hear opponents’ honest opinions, the FCC has taken the unusual step of letting them give testimony in private—something it rarely does in a merger review.
Recently Comcast lashed out at some of its opponents, including Netflix, an online-video company, and Discovery, which owns television channels, accusing them of “extortion”. According to Comcast some firms have come forward seeking gifts in return for supporting the deal, which would have cost Comcast around $5 billion. This unsavoury favour-trading sometimes happens during a big merger process, as Comcast knows, given its battle to get the NBCUniversal deal through.
Some say that Comcast’s decision to criticise its competitors shows that Mr Cohen may be worried that the deal, which at first looked set to sail through, is running into trouble. Opponents have been heartened by recent negative noises from Tom Wheeler (pictured), now the FCC’s boss but formerly a leading lobbyist. For instance, in a recent speech he noted that already around three-quarters of Americans have no “competitive choice” when it comes to high-speed internet.
The outcome of this deal could influence the development of both the television and internet businesses in America. Comcast argues that there will be no loss of competition, since it does not compete with TWC in any market. That is true only because cable companies long ago divided the country among themselves. This deal highlights that custom: Comcast and a rival, Charter (which had wanted to buy TWC but was trumped by Comcast) are swapping subscribers in the places they want, much as they might trade cards in a game. The rest will be transferred to a newly formed firm, GreatLand Connections.
What matters most to Comcast and to consumers is broadband. Cable companies have strikingly little competition when it comes to delivering high-speed internet, because satellite companies do not offer fast internet speeds and telephone firms cap the amount of data that can be downloaded in return for the monthly fee. Letting Comcast buy TWC will not eliminate an existing competitor, but it could deter prospective ones in broadband and pay-TV, because they know they stand no chance of felling a giant.
Comcast’s power does not end there. If the deal is approved, it will control 17 of America’s 25 largest advertising markets, dominating the top ten (see chart). Comcast’s huge customer base will also give it a near-veto over innovations, such as which new channels can launch and which set-top-box technologies are adopted.
That Comcast owns some of the biggest television channels matters too, because of the potential for it to favour these over rival channels, or to charge other pay-TV operators unreasonable rates for its channels. Comcast also has an interest in seeing its impressive “cloud-based” set-top-box become the industry standard, so it can license the technology to other cable companies. TWC was reportedly close to a deal with Apple to distribute its set-top TV boxes, but talks stopped when Comcast announced its bid. They seem unlikely to resume if Comcast takes over TWC.
Comcast, like other pay-TV operators, is set on preserving the television ecosystem in its present form for as long as possible, whereas it is in the interest of consumers to see viable, cheaper alternatives take off. One potential competitor might have been Hulu, an online-video firm jointly owned by Comcast, 21st Century Fox and Disney. Comcast came by its stake when it bought NBCUniversal, but as a condition of that purchase regulators made Comcast agree not to intervene in Hulu’s operations. However, last year, when Hulu was put up for sale by Disney and Fox, insiders close to the deal have toldThe Economist that Comcast executives made it clear to Hulu’s other two owners that they would prefer not to see it go to AT&T, which, along with Chernin Group, an entertainment firm, had put in the highest bid.
Comcast denies any intervention. AT&T would have been able to make Hulu a viable competitor to Comcast’s pay-TV business. Ultimately Hulu stayed with its owners, who called off the sale.
In all, the reasons to oppose the Comcast-TWC deal are even more numerous than the number of unwatched channels a cable subscriber is forced to buy as part of the expensive “bundle”. Americans already pay more for television and internet than people in other rich countries, for slower internet speeds. Comcast would become the judge and jury on which new services and devices survive in the TV and internet businesses. Comcast would have incentives to favour its own channels and businesses, and policing it effectively would be a huge and complex job.
Regulators have the choice of approving or rejecting the deal outright, or approving it with conditions. It is not their only headache. The FCC also has to consider new “net neutrality” rules on whether broadband providers can favour certain types of online content or charge certain companies more for faster delivery. Craig Moffett, an industry analyst, says the FCC could decide to attach specific net-neutrality conditions to the Comcast deal, although others think a separate ruling is more likely before a merger decision is reached. Regulators also have to review AT&T’s proposed bid for DirecTV, a satellite-TV company, which it has made in direct response to Comcast’s deal. Other firms will inevitably follow too. In the media business sequels are all the rage.
Posted by CAMACOL at 10/07/2014 11:46:00 AM
Friday, October 3, 2014
Hoy oficialmente hemos brindado toda la información relacionada con el Certamen Miss Universo, evento que tiene como fecha oficial el próximo 25 de Enero del 2015, cuando se elegirá una nueva representante de la belleza quien recibirá la corona de nuestra Gabriela Isler, la actual Miss Universo y además venezolana, lo que me llena de orgullo.
Más allá de esta gran noticia, para más de 190 millones de personas que siguen este magno evento de la belleza, nuestra ciudad debe recibir este anuncio oficial con placer y optimismo.
Doral se ha caracterizado por ser una ciudad de constante progreso y desarrollo y el Miss Universo viene - y convencido estoy de esto - a empujar nuestra economía local y por qué no decirlo a todo el Sur de la Florida dado el número de personas que vendrán a disfrutar las distintas celebraciones que se han programado, desde la Organización Miss Universo presidida por Paula Shugart, para el disfrute de más de 10.000 personas que vendrán a esta ciudad.
Quien mejor que Donald Trump para dar las razones por las cuales hoy somos sede. Fue muy oportuno su comentario al decir que cuando se celebró en Moscú en el 2013 ya Doral y la ciudad de Miami habían mostrado su interés en ser sede del Certamen. Para ese momento las circunstancias no estaban dadas.
Hoy los ojos del mundo están sobre nosotros. Solo teníamos que creer en este proyecto y tener claro nuestro objetivo como propulsores de la economía local. ¿Por qué no aprovechar esta gran oportunidad?
Más importante aún, no dejando a un lado lo que significa para nuestra ciudad desde el punto de vista comercial el Certamen, es otra gran noticia como es el hecho - y dicho por el representante de la Universidad Internacional de Florida Pete García - el beneficio que le traerá a nuevos estudiantes de bajos recursos. Ellos recibirán becas para realizar sus carreras universitarias, gracias al aporte que hará la organización Miss Universo. Como ya es sabido esta casa de estudio, FIU, será el escenario de la gran noche en donde 190 bellas mujeres competirán por la corona 2014.
Cinco semanas aproximadamente serán nuestra, para brindarle a propios y visitantes, de 190 países del mundo, la mejor atención. Restaurantes, hoteles, Empresas de Transporte, entre otras se verán impulsadas gracias a este importante y entretenido acontecimiento.
Si la mayor inquietud era conocer de dónde saldrían los $ 2.5 millones, la respuesta ha sido satisfactoria. Empresas como Badia, Pawa, Baptist Health, Codina, Lennar son solo algunas corporaciones que ya se comprometido. Otras, aún sin concretar, las cuales se han acercado para saber más sobre este patrocinio que se les traduce en proyección de su imagen a nivel mundial.
Espero darles más información en los próximos días, de quienes son las otras compañías con las cuales hemos entrado en conversación sobre su participación en el Certamen Miss Universo.
A quienes nos han apoyado hasta el momento, muchísimas gracias. Asumo retos, confiando y creyendo plenamente en la gente que hace vida en Doral. Somos una gran ciudad; todos, llenos de esperanza y con deseos de crecer. Aquí estamos sembrando las primeras semillas que llevarán a la ciudad de Doral ser reconocida más allá de nuestras fronteras… Así me lo propuse y con gente como ustedes, se que lo lograré.
Posted by CAMACOL at 10/03/2014 08:30:00 AM