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  • JOBS Act - Easing Regulations for Growth - 5 April 2012
  • Having passed the United States House of Representatives with bipartisan support on March 8 this year, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act – more commonly, and maybe aptly, referred to as the JOBS Act – is awaiting the signature of Barack Obama to pass it into law. The purpose of the Act is to ease various securities regulations, and thereby encourage the funding of small businesses in the United States. The President has already made known his readiness to sign the JOBS Act once it has been passed by both chambers, and analysts are reportedly studying the new legislation with a view to making use of any opportunities it may present to Wall Street investors.

  • Facebook Likely to Delay IPO - 15 September 2011
  • When LinkedIn started trading on the New York Stock Exchange in May this year, speculation was rife that other social media companies would do the same. It had been seven years since Google went public, and investors appeared to be eager to enter the realms of uncharted territory presented by the social media sector of information technology. Other social media companies that were targets of speculation included Twitter, Groupon, Zynga and FaceBook. Certainly, LinkedIn's foray onto Wall Street generated a few surprises as its pre-IPO price climbed to $45, with its first day of trading seeing an intra-day increase to $122.70, before retreating somewhat to close at $94.25 per share.

  • Nasdaq/ICE Bid for NYSE Fails - 11 April 2011
  • The New York Stock Exchange board of directors has rejected the merger bid by Nasdaq/ICE in favor of the deal with Deutsche Börse, expressing the belief that the influential German exchange is offering what it termed as "substantially more long-term value for shareholders". However, while expressing disappointment in the decision, spokesperson for Nasdaq, Frank De Maria noted that it is their belief that this response by NYSE "clearly does not reflect the best interest of their shareholders".

  • M&A Activity in Exchanges Raises Concerns - 10 February 2011
  • As technology drives down the cost of accessing markets around the world and opens up electronic trading to a growing flood of investors, exchanges are looking at joining forces through mergers and acquisitions – such as the proposed acquisition of NYSE Euronext by the Deutsche Borse. Should the proposal be approved, shareholders of Deutsche Borse would be majority owners of the new entity which will be domiciled in the Netherlands. Replaced by high-speed technology, gone are the days of organized chaos that characterized the NYSE as portrayed in the movies, where fortunes were made or lost and market changes were greeted with human emotions of elation or despair. Some call it progress, while others express concern over giving increasing power to technology and being at the mercy of machines with less and less human intervention, opening up the possibility of disaster, as was experienced in the ' flash crash' of May 6, 2010.

  • Investor Demand High for GM IPO - 18 November 2010
  • Since General Motors put word out that it was planning an initial public offering (IPO) the response from eager investors has resulted in a revision of the original IPO figure and, starting Thursday November 18, GM will be offering $4.6 billion worth of preferred shares, as well as 478 million common shares which should fetch between $32 and $33 per share. This move will go down in US stock market history as the largest IPO on record, even if preferred shares are taken out of the equation.

  • FCIC Probes CRA Role in Financial Crisis - 3 June 2010
  • While a number of indicators suggest that the US economy is on the road to recovery, albeit a long and rocky road, the probe into what caused the financial crisis in the fist place continues. Recently it was suggested that credit rating agencies such as Moody's, Fitch and S&P, may be wielding too much power as Greece's credit was cut to junk status, and both Spain and Portugal were downgraded, with a negative impact on international markets. Relating to the global financial crisis, it has been suggested that these same credit rating agencies gave troubled banks misleadingly high ratings, while at the same time failing to act promptly to warn of the risks posed by bonds and other securities that were tied to subprime mortgages.

  • Wall Street Facing 12-year Lows, Buffet’s Berkshire Takes a Knock, GE Cuts Dividends - 2 March 2009
  • Wall Street ended last week on the brink of 12 year lows with the Dow Jones industrial average posting its worst February since 1933 and closing at 7,063, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 ended the week at 735 and the Nasdaq composite dropped to 1,378. A number of factors had a negative impact on stock market performance last week, including the worse than expected GDP reading for the fourth quarter of 2008 and the news that the US government is set to take a large stake in Citigroup, which in turn sparked fears that other major banks may be heading the same way.

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