Obama Tells Panel US Recovery Harmed By Jobless Rate (Bloomberg)
“The biggest challenge that we’re seeing right now is that unemployment is way too high,” Obama told the 23-member President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness yesterday...In the month since he delivered his State of the Union address, Obama has sought to make the case that investments in education, infrastructure and innovation will help create more jobs. He reiterated that message yesterday, telling members of the panel, “We’re going to have to up our game in this newly competitive world.”
Hedge Funds Wary Of Punts On North African Turmoil (Reuters)
Only a handful are starting to hunt ways to profit with investments, for example, in oil and credit protection. "It's a little like the financial crisis in 2008. Many managers are saying, 'how am I supposed to figure this one out?,'" said Morten Spenner, who heads hedge fund of fund manager International Asset Management. "If (Libya's) Gaddafi said tomorrow, 'Look, we've sorted it all out', oil prices could fall as much as 5 or 6 dollars a barrel in a day. And you could be really badly hurt."
Oil Markets Calmer As Libya Supply Fears Ease (WSJ)
"The market is now realizing that there is enough supply to cope with the Libyan disruption," said Christophe Barrett, a global oil analyst at Crédit Agricole. As much as 75% of Libya's oil production may have stopped as rebel forces clash with the country's leader, Moammar Gadhafi. However, European refineries that use Libyan crude are likely to source other oil available in the Mediterranean region, including production from Algeria and Azerbaijan, while members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could also raise production to make up for the short-fall.
Citi: US Will Be The World's Third Largest Economy (CNBC)
The world is going to become richer and richer as developing economies play catch up over the coming years, according to Willem Buiter, chief economist at Citigroup. "China should overtake the US to become the largest economy in the world by 2020, then be overtaken by India by 2050," he predicted.
US Economy Grew Slower Than Thought In Fourth Quarter (WSJ)
The U.S. economy sped up slightly at the end of 2010, but the acceleration was slower than previously believed as consumers spent less than first estimated by the government while trade made a smaller contribution to growth. Gross domestic product rose at an inflation-adjusted annual rate of 2.8% in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday.
Charlie Sheen Blasts Two And A Half Men Producer (NYDN)
“What does this say about [Chuck Lorre] after he tried to use his words to judge and attempt to degrade me,” Sheen wrote. “I gracefully ignored this folly for 177 shows…I fire back once and this contaminated little maggot can’t handle my power and can’t handle the truth,” he went on. “I wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels especially if they wind up in my octagon.” He boasted that he had “defeated this earthworm with my words” and said that Lorre is lucky he didn’t use his “fire breathing fists.” He implored his fans to rally around him. “I urge all my beautiful and loyal fans who embraced this show for almost a decade to walk with me side-by-side as we march up the steps of justice to right this unconscionable wrong,” Sheen wrote.
How to End a Top-Rated TV Sitcom: The Charlie Sheen Interview (The Atlantic)
Sheen on Chuck Lorre (the co-creator of Two and a Half Men): "I embarrassed him in front of his children and the world by healing at a pace that this un-evolved mind cannot process... I've spent, I think, close to the last decade, I don't know, effortlessly and magically converting your tin cans into pure gold. And the gratitude I get is this charlatan chose not to do his job, which is to write." Sheen on People Who Gossip About Him: "They lay down with their ugly wives and their ugly children and just look at their loser lives and then they look at me and say, 'I can't process it.' Well, no, and you never will! Stop trying! Just sit back and enjoy the show... I'm dealing with fools and trolls. I'm dealing with soft targets, and it's just strafing runs in my underwear before my first cup of coffee." Sheen on Alcoholics Anonymous: "I can't use the word sober because that's a term from those people, and I have cleansed myself. I have closed my eyes and in a nanosecond I cured myself from this ridiculous model of disease ... It's just the work of sissies. The only thing I'm addicted to right now is winning. You know? This bootleg cult arrogantly referred to as Alcoholics Anonymous now supports a 5 percent success rate. My success rate is 100 percent. Do the math!"
Bank of America, Foreclosure Accord, Card Access: Compliance (Bloomberg)
Bank of America Corp. won dismissal of claims by investors that it misled them about the liquidity of its auction-rate securities and manipulated the market for the investments. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in San Francisco said in an order yesterday that investors could renew market- manipulation claims if they added more information to their complaints.
London Stock Exchange Hit By Technical Glitch (Reuters)
The UK exchange, which has been working hard to update its trading systems in recent years, did not start trading as planned at 0800 GMT and opened instead at 1215 GMT, with the LSE blaming a technical glitch.
Hedge Funds Cut Food-Price Bets as Grains Take `Harrowing' Fall (Bloomberg)
The 8.6 percent plunge in wheat since Feb. 18 and a decline in corn and soybeans means speculators probably kept cutting positions this week, said Nic Johnson, who helps manage about $30 billion in commodities at Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California. Speculators reduced bets on rising wheat prices by 23 percent in the week ended Feb. 15, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Bullish bets on soybeans fell 18 percent and those for corn slid 3.4 percent.