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  • King Digital Entertainment IPO Disappoints - 27 March 2014
  • With a reported net worth of $76 billion, founder of Microsoft Bill Gates is back at the top of the annual Forbes Billionaires list, having held that position for fifteen of the past twenty years. Second on the list, CEO of Oracle Larry Ellison has a reported net worth of $48 billion, followed by Google CEO Larry Page at $32.3 billion. Fourth in line is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with $32 billion, followed closely by Google's Sergey Brin with $31.8 billion and Facebook CEO Mark Suckerberg with $28.5 billion – an noteable comeback after Facebook's disastrous 2012 IPO. Interestingly, at number eight with a net worth of $17.5 billion is Michael Dell, who removed his company from the stock market in October 2013.

  • Fed Minutes, China Slowdown, Europe Crisis Impact on Wall Street - 12 July 2012
  • Wall Street responded to the Federal Reserve minutes released on Wednesday afternoon with a significant slump, managing to recover to some extent and ending the day with only slight losses. Among other issues, the Federal Reserve identified a number of threats to the recovery of the US economy, with the slowdown in China and an upcoming budget crunch in Washington being cited as two examples. Most notable is that the Fed gave no indication of new strategies for stimulating the economy, as investors were hoping they would. The Dow responded to the release of the Fed's minutes at 2pm by dropping 118 points as investors digested the news, managing a recovery in the hour before the closing bell. The Dow ended the day 48.59 points down, the Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 0.02 of a point and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index lost 14.35 points – the fifth consecutive day stocks have closed lower on Wall Street.

  • SOPA Triggers Tech Sector Backlash - 17 November 2011
  • With tech and social media companies continuing to grow in size and influence in the US economy, investors take note when companies like Google and Facebook make waves about proposed legislation affecting these market sectors. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) introduced in the House of Representatives at the end of last month, has these tech giants up in arms as they criticize the proposals for being too stringent, noting that it opens up possibilities for a host of unintended consequences. As the name of the act suggests, its intention is to deal with trademark and copyright issues by targeting foreign sites that facilitate piracy of copyrighted materials such as music, films and television shows.

  • Eurozone Remains in Spotlight in Week Ahead - 24 October 2011
  • Europe's leaders gathered in Brussels over the weekend to discuss the region's crisis, and with a formal announcement expected to be made on Wednesday, investors are very hopeful that a resolution to the escalating problems in Eurozone economies will be found. While pointing out that the circumstances currently facing Europe are unprecedented, Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, noted that progress had been made, referring to working through the region's problems as a "painful process". In the weeks leading up to the summit, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the German Chancellor appeared to differ of how best to proceed with a government-backed fund to assist banks and Eurozone economies, but Wednesday's announcement is likely to reveal if they have come to an agreement in this regard.

  • Third Quarter Earnings High on Wall Street Agenda - 17 October 2011
  • Following a two-day meeting in Paris, finance ministers from the G20 countries revealed that they will take whatever action deemed necessary to ensure sufficient capitalization of banks and to stabilize wavering global financial markets. This pledge from the world's most powerful and influential economies comes hot on the heels of pledges by France and Germany to work together to rescue Eurozone countries in crisis. In a statement by US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner he noted that delegates at the weekend meeting heard encouraging things from European authorities regarding a comprehensive strategy to deal with Europe’s financial crisis.

  • Dodd-Frank, Operation Twist & Wall Street - 22 September 2011
  • It's been a year since the Dodd-Frank bill was signed into law, putting a whole new perspective on the term "too big to fail" and putting the brakes on taxpayer bailouts for failing financial institutions. With the downgrading of the credit ratings of three major banks – Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup – on Wednesday, it appears that the time has come to test the effectiveness of the Dodd-Frank bill. Commenting on the downgrade of Wells Fargo's stock, Moody's noted that, because the risks of contagion have become less acute, allowing a financially troubled large bank to fail is more likely to happen now than would have been the case during the financial crisis. This is seen as a vindication of the stance lawmakers took in passing the bill. Instead of propping up failing financial institutions with taxpayers' money, the federal government has the option of unwinding these banks in a controlled and orderly manner. Each of the three banks in question is required to present a plan by July next year outlining steps for distribution of assets in the event of becoming insolvent.

  • NVCA – Funding Innovation - 21 July 2011
  • The stated primary goals of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) are:"Funding Innovation" and "Empowering Entrepreneurs", and while large corporate companies may become bogged down in red tape and bureaucracy, entrepreneurs have a vested interest in productivity and growth, making these fledgling companies a valuable asset in job creation and economic recovery. Venture capitalists identify innovative entrepreneurs and invest in them, giving them the capital, and often the expertise and mentorship, to overcome barriers to entry and establish their business in the sector of their choice. Turning good ideas into reality and helping them to grow is what venture capital investment is all about.

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