The FTSE 100 – 0.4 pc ,CAC fell -1.6 pc , DAX -1 pc.
Syria selling gold reserves as sanctions bite – sources
Billionaire Eskenazis Risk Default As Argentina Takes YPF
Notice how the Shylocks hide behind the name ‘The Petersen Group”? Notice USA taxpayers are on the hook for $680 million of Citi Loans. Nestor could handle these guys, as they were his fellow Ashkenazi pals. His wife is no financial Genius like Nestor. Never, ever elect a woman President.
EPA To Delay Fracing Rules Until 2015
Canadian/Goldman Sachs/Oxford Boy Mark Carney Tapped to Run BOE To Replace Aging Chester the Molester
Carney is married to English Royalty that is fairly close to the English Crown. Apparently Prince Charles can’t take dirty Mervyn anymore.
The $5 Trillion Man: Debt Has Increased Under Obama by $5,027,761,476,484.56
Fire the TSA and Congress and Obama. Got Gold? Got Farmland? Got Water? Got Food? Got your Bible? Got your Remington ?
First Solar Struggles Amid Decline Of Thin-Film Solar Market
Thin film solar technologies – such as the type used by First Solar – accounted for 11% of the global solar panel production in 2011, down from 18% in 2009, according to a GTM Research report released on Wednesday.
The decline points to how difficult it’s been for First Solar and other thin film solar panel makers to compete against silicon solar panel makers, who dominated the market even before 2009 and have increased production and lowered their prices dramatically since then.
Just yesterday, First Solar, the largest thin film solar company worldwide, said it would close its German factory, idle part of a Malaysian factory and layoff 30% of its global workforce. The decision wasn’t surprising given that the German factory in particular was more expensive to run than some of its factories elsewhere in the world, said MJ Shiao, a senior analyst at GTM and author of the report.
“It doesn’t make sense to keep the Germany facility,” Shiao said.
Thin film technology refers to the use of non-silicon materials to convert sunlight into electricity. When silicon was fetching $300 dollars per kilogram or more around mid-2000s, venture capitalists began to pump what would later add up to billions of dollars into companies that worked on various types of thin film technologies. Thin films promised to be cheaper to make because they would use less materials to make solar cells that would be thinner than silicon cells. But any new solar technology takes a lot of time and money to develop and bring to mass production, and producing it in large volumes is crucial for lowering production costs. Many startups who have attempted to do so have gone out of business or are still working on building their first or second large factory.
In the mean time, silicon solar manufacturers, from silicon producers to those who take the silicon and turn it into cells and then panels, have built many more giant factories. Prices for silicon fell to under $30 per kilogram earlier this year, Bloomberg reported. As a result, silicon solar panels are not much more expensive than thin film solar panels these days. The majority of the top 10 solar panel makers in the world produce silicon panels, and six of them have most of their manufacturing plants in China.
Thin film solar panel sales reached $4.43 billion in 2011, down about 2% from $4.53 billion in 2010, GTM said. The market research firm expects the sales to drop to $2.9 billion in 2012. Thin film companies actually increased the megawatts of solar panels they rolled out from roughly 2 gigawatts in 2009 to 3.87 gigawatts in 2011, but silicon solar panel companies boosted their production a lot more during the same period.
The three main types of thin film technologies use cadmium-telluride, copper-indium-gallium-selenide and amorphous-silicon to convert sunlight into electricity.
First Solar, founded in 1999, has been able to build a large fleet of factories that rivals the size of those owned by Chinese companies. The Arizona company excels at making cadmium-telluride solar panels efficiently and cheaply. It was a big deal when the company announced that its production cost had dipped below $1 per watt during 2008 while its rivals were far behind. Back in 2009, that production cost was about 50% lower than what major silicon solar panel makers could achieve, said Sam Wilkinson, an analyst at IMS Research. The difference now is around 10%.
An oversupply of solar panels over the past year has intensified competition. That glut caused overall panel prices to dive around 50% in 2011 alone. A trade complaint emerged last October to allege that some Chinese solar panel makers had been selling their products at prices that were far below production costs. Just about every solar manufacturer posted losses during 2011, and many closed factories and filed for bankruptcy, regardless of the types of technologies they used. U.S. companies such as Solyndra, Evergreen Solar, Energy Conversion Devices and SpectraWatt went bankrupt. Earlier this week, SunPower, which makes silicon solar panels, said it would close one of its factories in the Philippines.
First Solar followed with the factory closure announcement of its own. The company’s chief financial officer, Mark Widmar, indicated during a conference call with analysts that the company would focus more on developing solar power plants and offering services to operate and maintain them rather than selling only solar panels. The company entered the power plant development business when it bought Turner Renewable Energy in late 2007, and it gave this new line of business a big push when it spent $400 million to buy a bunch of unfinished solar power projects in North America from OptiSolar in 2009….
Shapiro Refuses to Regulate Derivative Crooks at Barclays/Goldman/JPM/HSBC/BP…
Fire Mary Shapiro!
Regulators to Ease a Rule on Derivatives DealersBy BEN PROTESS
As federal regulators put the finishing touches on an overhaul of the $700 trillion derivatives market, a major provision has been tempered in the face of industry pressure.
On Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are expected to approve a rule that would exempt broad swaths of energy companies, hedge funds and banks from oversight. Firms would not face scrutiny if they annually arrange less than $8 billion worth of swaps, the derivative contracts tied to interest rates and commodities like oil and gas.
The threshold is a not-insignificant sum. By one limited set of regulatory data, 85 percent of companies would not be subject to oversight. After five years, the threshold would reset to $3 billion; it is the same amount suggested by a group of energy companies in a February 2011 letter, according to regulatory records…
Intel Joins IBM in Slowdown as Europe Crisis Crimps Orders-Top Line Stinks
April 18 (Bloomberg) — Intel Corp. and International Business Machines Corp., two of the computer industry’s biggest bellwethers, posted the slowest sales growth in years as the European slump weighed on orders last quarter.
IBM’s revenue climbed 0.3 percent to $24.7 billion in the period, while Intel sales rose 0.5 percent to $12.9 billion. That was the smallest increase for either company since the third quarter of 2009, when the U.S. economy was just emerging from recession. Even so, Intel predicted a pickup in sales for the current quarter.
The two technology giants are seeking growth in emerging markets while coping with a slowdown triggered by the European debt crisis. The personal-computer market, which contracted in the U.S. last year for the first time since 2001, also is hurting demand for Intel’s processors. IBM, meanwhile, is more focused on expanding earnings per share, rather than pursuing less-profitable orders.
“All else being equal, you’d rather see top-line growth,” said Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York. Still, he said, most investors are looking more closely at profit than sales. “IBM has conditioned investors to focus on EPS growth. That’s how it provides guidance.”
Silver Rigger Barclays Talks its Short Silver Book
Dali Lama Begins Tour of Socal
Home sales in Southern California climb, price declines slow
Aregentina Rejecets Repsol’s $10.5 Billion Offer in Le Affair de Repsol
Notice the hypocrite English dyke Baroness Ashton lecturing Argentina when the English used tax laws to force a sale of American North Sea Assets to them which they eventually passed on to the British Petroleum under Thatcher. There are no more bigger hypocrites and liars than the English. It is important Argentina strikes a win-win deal. Repsol continues to behave in a poor manner as does Fernandez.
Argentina rejected Repsol YPF SA (REP)’s demand for $10.5 billion in compensation after President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner seized its YPF SA (YPF) unit, saying it hasn’t invested enough in the South American country.
Argentina will rely on “solid data” to value its takeover of 51 percent of YPF’s shares and not use estimates from Repsol, Deputy Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said at a Senate hearing yesterday. The government will ensure the profitability of the company “beyond Repsol’s expectations,” said Kicillof, who Fernandez named to help lead YPF April 16.
The numbers that some executives talked recklessly about in valuing the company will be revised as we review the fine print and the secret information managed by the company,” Kicillof said, adding that YPF’s 2011 profit of 5.3 billion pesos ($1.2 billion) won’t be used for dividends and may be reinvested.
The appropriation damaged Argentina’s relations with Spain, its biggest investor, and put in question the future of the country’s largest taxpayer. Spain vowed to retaliate against Argentina’s exporters and Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau said he will use all legal means to win full payment for the oil producer.
Repsol shares dropped as much as 2.4 percent in Madrid trading and were 1.4 percent lower at 16.19 euros at 11:46 a.m…
U.S. Stocks Decline as Intel, IBM Tumble After Results
U.S. stocks retreated, following the biggest advance in more than a month for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as Intel Corp. (INTC) and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) tumbled after reporting results.
The S&P 500 (SPX) dropped 0.3 percent to 1,386.58 at 9:30 a.m. New York time.
Equities retreated as Intel and IBM, two of the computer industry’s biggest bellwethers, posted the slowest sales growth in years as the European (SXXP) slump weighed on orders last quarter. Nineteen companies in the S&P 500 are scheduled to report results today. European shares fell for the first time in three days after Bank of England policy makers said inflation may be higher than forecast.
The S&P 500 has risen 11 percent in 2012 amid better-than- estimated economic and corporate data. While S&P 500 per-share profit growth will accelerate to 8.6 percent during all of 2012, it slowed to 1.7 percent during the first three months of the year, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The forecast for first-quarter earnings growth has dropped from 4.1 percent in the first week of January, the data showed….
Obama to Urge Congress for More Regulation of Oil Markets
President Barack Obama urged Congress to bolster federal supervision of oil markets, including bigger penalties for market manipulation and greater power for regulators to increase the amount of money traders must put up to back their energy bets.
Obama asked Congress to fund a six-fold increase for surveillance and enforcement staff at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to put “more cops on the beat” overseeing oil markets.
He also is seeking to give the CFTC new authority to raise margin requirements for traders’ oil positions and stiffen civil and criminal penalties for businesses that are guilty of market manipulation to $10 million from $1 million. The plan would cost $52 million.
“We can’t afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions, while millions of American families get the short end of the stick,” Obama said in remarks in the White House Rose Garden today.
The price of gasoline has emerged as an issue in the 2012 presidential campaign and raised concern that it may slow economic growth by pinching consumer spending. Obama has been seeking to set out his differences with Republicans. Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee, has accused the Obama administration of thwarting domestic oil production through regulations.
Republicans control the House of Representatives and have enough votes in the Senate to block legislation, making prospects for passage of Obama’s proposal dim.
House Speaker John Boehner, who endorsed Romney today, said the government already has all the tools it needs in the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission if Obama believes the market is being manipulated.
“Instead of just another political gimmick, why doesn’t he put his administration to work to get to the bottom of it?” the Ohio Republican said at a news conference in Washington…