Matthews Bark | “3 ‘Amazing’ Facts About The Stock Market”

Source     : Market Watch
By            : MARK HULBERT
Category : Matthews Bark , Contact DUI Lawyer

3  'Amazing’ Facts About Stock Market
3 ‘Amazing’ Facts About Stock Market

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (MarketWatch) — Does stock-market strength beget more stock-market strength? It’s human nature to think that it does. And the three “amazing” facts that I discuss below are evidence that this implicit belief is very strong right now. But, in true contrarian fashion, the market all too often ends up doing just the opposite of what human nature would have us believe. That’s why huge amounts of money gets invested right before market tops, just as large amounts of cash get pulled out at bottoms.

Keep this in mind as you confront the breathless cheerleading among some bulls right now about the stock market’s recent strength. Here are three of thee “amazing”  facts that the cheerleaders are noting — whose significance is not nearly as bullish as they would have us believe: Amazing fact No. 1: Market has been unexpectedly strong since May Day – This factoid refers to the Halloween Indicator, of course, which is based on the historical tendency for the stock market to turn in its best returns between Halloween

and May Day (the “winter” months). In contrast, the stock market historically has been flat during the other six months of the year — the so-called summer months  between May Day and the subsequent Halloween. Not this year, however. Since the beginning of May, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -0.39% has gained nearly 5%, leading some bulls to forecast even better returns in the seasonally favorable six-month period that begins this Friday. But there is no statistical support for this forecast. Upon feeding into my statistical software the Dow’s historical data back to its creation in 1896, I found no statistically significant correlation between the stock market’s performance during the summer months and the subsequent winter period.

To the extent there was a correlation, furthermore, it was inverse — a positive summer was more likely to be followed by a negative winter, and vice versa. It wasn’t  statistically significant, so we shouldn’t make too much of this. But I mention it nonetheless because it means that if the cheerleading bulls bothered to look at the
historical record, they would be more cautious than usual — not more bullish. Amazing fact No. 2: Market’s year-to-date 2013 returns have never been negative It turns out that the broad market averages have never registered a closing price this year lower than where they stood at the end of 2012 — a very rare event. But so what? How have stocks performed following past years in which the same has been true? I haven’t seen anyone bothering to answer this crucial question, even though the factoid itself has been widely noted. And I think I know why: The answer is disappointing.

Source : marketwatch.com/story/3-amazing-facts-about-the-stock-market-2013-10-29

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Matthews Bark | “Internet Companies Face Tougher Privacy Regulations in EU”

Source     : Fool.com
By             : Associated Press
Category  : Matthews Bark , Contact DUI Attorney

Matthews-Bark Criminal Defense Attorney
Matthews-Bark Criminal Defense Attorney

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union lawmakers on Monday were set to approve sweeping new data protection rules to strengthen online privacy, and sought to outlaw most data transfers to other countries’ authorities to prevent spying. After Edward Snowden’s leaks about allegedly widespread U.S. online snooping, the draft regulation was beefed up to include even more stringent privacy protection and stiff fines for violations. The legislation is poised to have significant implications for U.S. Internet companies, too.

The rules would for the first time create a strong data protection law for Europe’s 500 million citizens, replacing an outdated patchwork of national rules that only allow for tiny fines in cases of violation. Supporters have hailed the legislation as a milestone toward establishing genuine online privacy rights, while opponents have warned of creating a hugely bureaucratic regulation that will overwhelm businesses and consumers.

The legislation was widely expected to pass a committee vote late Monday. Still, it is likely to be amended later since it also requires approval by Parliament’s plenary and the EU’s 28 member states. Lawmakers hope to conclude the process before the end of their term in May. The legislation, among other things, aims at enabling users to ask companies to fully erase their personal data, handing them a so-called right to be forgotten. It would also limit user profiling, require companies to explain their use of personal data in detail to customers, and mandate that companies seek prior consent. In addition, most businesses would have to designate or hire data protection officers to ensure the regulation is properly applied. Grave compliance failures could be subject to a fine worth up to 5% of a company’s annual turnover — which could be hundreds of millions of dollars, or even a few billion dollars for Internet giants such as Google. “Those companies are making billions from European citizens’ data. So if you want them to comply, you have to give them the right incentives,” said Giacomo Luchetta of the Center for European Policy Studies.

All companies offering services to EU citizens, regardless of where they’re based, would have to comply with the new rules, he added. In response to revelations of the National Security Agency’s online spying activities, lawmakers also toughened the initial draft regulation, prepared by the European Commission, to make sure companies no longer share European citizens’ data with authorities of a third country, unless explicitly allowed by EU law or an international treaty. That means a U.S. tech company handing over data to U.S. authorities, including information on its European customers, might be violating EU law. In practice, the provision would protect European citizens from seeing their data transferred for commercial purposes, but there are practical hurdles and loopholes that, among others, would still allow cooperation on national security matters, said Luchetta.

“If an American company gets a court order to hand over data, they have to comply,” he said. “The U.S. court doesn’t care whether you may be violating EU laws, and at the same time the EU has no power over U.S. court decisions.” Overall, the legislation has been subject to fierce lobbying over the past 18 months, and there are a record-breaking 4,000 proposed amendments to it. If Monday’s vote is delayed, lawmakers will resume their deliberations on Thursday. In a move welcomed by consumer groups and businesses, the regulation also introduces a so-called one-stop-shop approach, meaning companies would only have to deal with the national data protection authority where they are based in the EU, not with 28 national watchdogs.

Consumers, in turn, would be able to file complaints with their national authority, regardless of where the targeted service provider is based. For example that would make it easier for an Austrian consumer to complain about a social media site such as Facebook, which has its EU headquarters in Ireland. Meanwhile, the National Security Agency leaks continued to stir unrest among European policy makers. French leaders appeared angry on Monday upon learning that NSA allegedly recorded 70.3 million French telephone records within a month, and called for a swift implementation of tough privacy rules to govern the tech sector. “It is an important industry, but you cannot develop this industry if there is no personal data protection,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in Luxembourg.

Source : fool.com/investing/general/2013/10/21/internet-companies-face-tougher-privacy-regulation.aspx

Matthews Bark – Contact DUI Lawyer | “Obama Admits Web Site Flaws on Health Law”

Source    : delcotimes.com
By           : MICHAEL P. RELLAHAN
Category : Matthews Bark , Contact DUI Lawyer

Obama Admits Health Website FlawsWASHINGTON — President Obama offered an impassioned defense of the Affordable Care Act on Monday, acknowledging the technical failures of the HealthCare.gov Web site, but providing little new information about the problems with the online portal or the efforts by government contractors to fix it.

With Republican critics seizing on the Web site’s issues as evidence of deeper flaws in the health care law, Mr. Obama sought to deflect attention from the continuing problems by focusing on ways to get coverage without going online. Like a TV pitchman, the president urged viewers to call the government’s toll-free number for health insurance, acknowledging that “the wait times probably might go up a little bit now.” In remarks in the Rose Garden, Mr. Obama acknowledged serious technical issues with the Web site, declaring that “no one is madder than me.” He offered no new information about how many people have managed to enroll since the online exchanges opened on Oct. 1. And he did not address questions about who, if anyone, might be held responsible for the failure.

The president and his top aides played down the importance of the online marketplace that his administration once heralded as the key to the law’s success. Mr. Obama promised that officials are working to fix the Web site, but said that Republican critics should “stop rooting” for the failure of a law that provides health insurance to people who do not have it. “We did not wage this long and contentious battle just around a Web site,” Mr. Obama told supporters. “That’s not what this was about. We waged this battle to make sure that millions of Americans in the wealthiest nation on earth finally have the same chance to get the same security of affordable, quality health care as anybody else.”

Speaker John A. Boehner said in a statement after the president’s event that the administration is “not prepared to be straight” with the American people about the issues involving the health care Web site and the insurance program behind it. “Every day, new questions about the president’s health care law arise, but candid explanations are nowhere to be found,” said Mr. Boehner, of Ohio. “This decision continues a troubling pattern of this administration seeking to avoid accountability and stonewall the public.”

As they have pushed to repeal or defund Mr. Obama’s signature health care law, Republicans have demanded that the administration provide data to show how many — or how few — people have enrolled in health insurance plans through the online portal. On Monday, White House officials again refused, saying they plan to offer such numbers in mid-November and monthly after that. The White House refusal to provide enrollment data stands in contrast to the administration’s insistence that states submit detailed weekly reports on the number and characteristics of people who sign up for insurance through state-run exchanges. The Department of Health and Human Services said it needed the data so it could “track those measures which have the most potential to adversely impact beneficiaries related to their ability to enroll in insurance plans.”

The department said it wanted to shine a spotlight on the performance of state exchanges, which were built with the help of federal money, and it emphasized the importance of “transparency in the performance of marketplaces.” Moreover, the administration said that frequent reporting of performance data was needed so federal officials could spot problems with the state exchanges and step in to help fix them. In fact, the state exchanges have generally performed better than the federal exchange. With many consumers still unable to use the online portal, health policy experts outside the government have begun discussing possible ways to provide relief if the problem continues. One option is to extend the six-month enrollment period, which is set to end on March 31. Another is to exempt some people from the tax penalties that apply to those who go without insurance in 2014.

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, suggested that such relief would be unnecessary if the administration fixed the Web site so people could enroll easily in the near future.

Source : nytimes.com/2013/10/22/us/politics/obama-pushes-health-law-but-concedes-web-site-problems.html?_r=0

Criminal Defense Attorney | “Court Of Appeal Judges Say 35-year Minimum Sentence For Adrian Bayley Was Fair”

Source    : theaustralian.com.au
By            : Paul Anderson – Herald Sun
Category : Matthews R Bark –Criminal Defense AttorneyAttorney Matthews R Bark

Adrian Bailey  SentancingADRIAN Bayley’s life sentence with a 35-year minimum term for the rape and murder of Jill Meagher was fair because features of the crime were “particularly callous” and “warranted condign punishment,” three Court of Appeal judges said today.

“The applicant was a violent sexual predator who killed his victim,” the justices said in their judgment. Chief Justice Marilyn Warren and Justices Marcia Neave and Paul Coghlan today released the reasons for their decision to refuse Bayley’s leave to appeal the length of his minimum term last month. “This was a case where the applicant was sentenced to one of the sternest sentences for this type of offending,” the justices stated.

“At the time of the attack the applicant was on parole. He was also on bail having been convicted of an unprovoked assault on a male passer-by and subsequently having appealed to the County Court on the sentence imposed in the Magistrates’ Court of three months’ jail.” After Bayley pleaded guilty to raping and murdering Ms Meagher, Justice Geoffrey Nettle threw the book at him and sentenced him to life with a 35-year minimum. Bayley appealed against the sentence, initially on the single ground that Justice Nettle made a mistake by inferring he intended to kill Ms Meagher because she would have called the police or for some form of perverted pleasure. “And relying on those inferences to find that in terms of moral culpability the applicant’s killing of the deceased ranks among the worst kinds conceivable,” the judgement stated. Bayley added another ground: that Justice Nettle erred in setting the 35-year minimum “by placing excessive weight on the need for community protection”.

In their judgment, the justices said: “The applicant submitted that the inference that he intended to kill Ms Meagher was not open; that the inference that he derived some form of perverted pleasure from killing her was not open; and the inference that he intended to kill Ms Meagher in order to avoid her calling the police was not open. “The Crown argued on the plea that the offending was a reckless killing. Eventually, the applicant conceded during the plea that whether the killing was intentional or reckless would not make a difference. “The applicant acknowledged that his prior criminal record revealed a ‘shocking history of gratuitous violence inflicted upon vulnerable women’.

“However, he submitted that his history could not give rise to an inference adverse to him; namely that he killed Ms Meagher because he derived some form of perverted pleasure from killing her.

“The point was made that this particular motivation was not asserted by the Crown nor discussed on the plea.”

The justices mentioned facts including the viciousness of the “stranger rape”, the fact Bayley was a large man and Ms Meagher a smaller woman, the fact he killed her to stop her reporting the rape to police and his “appalling history of violent offending “against individuals smaller and weaker than him – most of who were women”.

SOurce :: theaustralian.com.au/news/court-of-appeal-judges-say-35year-minimum-sentence-for-adrian-bayley-was-fair/story-e6frg6n6-1226743661752#sthash.U3inRVG8.dpuf

Matthews R Bark -Criminal Defense Attorney | “The Unsettled HealthCare Law”

Source     : latimes.com
By             : Doyle McManus
Category : Matthews R Bark –Criminal Defense AttorneyOrlando Drug Defense Attorney

Matthews R Bark- Criminal-Defense-Attorney
Matthews R Bark- Criminal-Defense-Attorney

Ever since Obamacare’s stormy passage in early 2011, Democrats have been waiting anxiously for the program to go into effect and hoping that a dose of reality would calm the partisan battles over the health insurance plan. Once everything was up and running, they hoped, skeptical Americans would see that Obamacare was a good idea all along — and reward the party that brought it to them. That’s looking unlikely, at least in the short run. Last week’s glitch-filled rollout of Obamacare’s health exchange websites, combined with Republicans’ furious refusal to accept the program as what President Obama calls “settled law,” confirmed something political strategists in both parties had already predicted: The war over Obamacare is far from over.

“It’s unlikely that the Affordable Care Act will be widely popular until people have real experience with it — until it becomes the new normal,” a leading Democratic strategist told me. “We’re talking about years, not weeks or months.” Nobody expected the launch of a fleet of balky websites to make an immediate difference to perceptions of the health insurance plan, not even with endorsements from icons like Lady Gaga, who managed to get the main website address wrong in her promotional tweet. Still, the opening-day problems and the slow pace of applications for health insurance were not encouraging signs. More important, in the long run, was the Republican Party’s reaffirmation — spurred by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and other tea party legislators — that repealing, defunding or dismantling the program remains one of its top goals.

The tea party caucus has succeeded in making resistance to Obamacare a litmus test for Republicans, and as a result, it’s likely that next year’s congressional election will be fought in large part over the health insurance program. The fate of Obamacare may hang in the balance. “The 2014 election will be the Gettysburg of this struggle — the deciding battle, one way or the other,” predicted Robert J. Blendon of Harvard’s School of Public Health. In the current Congress, the Senate’s Democratic majority has stopped the Republican-led House of Representatives from defunding or delaying Obamacare’s implementation. But if Republicans take control of the Senate next year — a prospect currently rated as a tossup — only Obama’s veto will stand in their way.

And even by election day in 2016, Obamacare may still be a work in progress. “If you give it three, four, five years, every experience we have is that public support will be there,” Blendon said. “But you have to give it that much time.” Meanwhile, Republicans will have every incentive to attack the program’s shortcomings. “The real problem here is not managerial; many programs take years to roll out,” he said. “The real issue is political. Programs don’t do well if one party doesn’t support it and public opinion isn’t for it.” As for Obamacare, public opinion has settled into skepticism. A Fox News poll released last week, after the websites’ rollout, found that 54% of voters favor repealing all or part of the law, while 41% want to preserve or expand it — not much different from earlier findings.

The poll found that only 30% of voters want to repeal the entire law — but among Republicans, that number swells to 53%, and among tea party supporters, 71%. That helps explain GOP legislators’ opposition. What could change public attitudes? “There could be movement either way, depending on whether people think the program turns out better or worse than they expected,” Blendon said. If more employers drop retirees and spouses from insurance coverage because Obamacare is available, for example, “you could see a huge backlash,” he said. Republicans may have a built-in advantage in that debate: They can blame any bad news about healthcare on Obamacare, whether the program is at fault or not. “If rates are going up, Republicans will say that’s because of Obamacare, even though it’s not true,” said Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster. “If companies are cutting back, Republicans will say that’s because of Obamacare.”

But it will also matter what remedy Republicans propose. In last week’s Fox News poll, most voters said they opposed defunding Obamacare — although two-thirds of GOP voters said they supported the idea. A one-year delay in implementing Obamacare, on the other hand, is a broadly popular idea, supported by 57% of all voters, including 80% of Republicans. So don’t expect the war over Obamacare to be over any time soon. Instead, expect Republicans of every stripe to continue their guerrilla campaign against the program through the 2014 congressional election, and perhaps the 2016 presidential election as well.

Expect more furious, partisan debate over every step of implementation, with dueling experts from each side. Expect smart Republicans to focus on demands to delay or cancel the penalties on individuals for failing to sign up, the law’s least popular provision. That might sound like a minor change, but it could undermine the program fatally. The president will continue to insist that Obamacare is “settled law.” But a law is only fully settled once both parties accept its permanence, and Obamacare is a long way from there.

Source :  latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-mcmanus-column-affordable-care-act-20131006,0,5425437.column

Matthews Bark – Contact DUI Lawyer | “San Francisco Chess Players Protest The Law”

Source     :  politico.com
By              :  ASSOCIATED PRESS 
Category :  Matthews Bark , Contact DUI Lawyer

Matthews Bark-Contact DUI Lawyer
Matthews Bark-Contact DUI Lawyer

At least for an afternoon, the chess players were back at the usual spot they’ve occupied for years along downtown San Francisco’s busy Market Street. But instead of hustling a dollar here and a dollar there with deft openings and clever traps, the mostly homeless players and their supporters were playing Sunday in defiance of a recent police crackdown and ban on the public games. And they were backed by a brass band and several homeless advocates who helped organize the three-hour “chess-in” under bright, blue skies on a hot San Francisco afternoon.

Earlier this month, police confiscated chess gear, tables and chairs at the site. Police said the games had begun to attract illegal gambling and drug sales to the area adjacent to a cable car terminal, which is a popular tourist destination. Nearby merchants had also complained about an increase in illegal activity. “We don’t mind the chess players and would like to have them back,” said Cody Hunt, manager of an electronics store in front of which the games were played. “But lately, the games have attracted loud dice games and open drug deals, and nobody needs that.”

The chess players argue that the police response to the illegal activity that took place near the games was heavy-handed and indiscriminate. “Have the drug deals stopped because chess has been banned?” said Andrew Resignato, a San Francisco resident who would play a game along Market Street occasionally. “It was an excuse to move homeless people away from here.”

San Francisco police didn’t return a phone call Sunday. Police Capt. Michael Redmond told the San Francisco Chronicle last month that he agreed the chess players themselves weren’t the problem. But others used the games as a shield for illegal activities. Redmond said arrests and complaints from merchants increased in the area. “It’s turned into a big public nuisance,” Redmond said. “I think maybe it’s a disguise for some other things that are going on.”

Hector Torres Jr., a homeless man who scratched out a living renting his chess equipment, tables and chairs to Market Streets players, said the games were a San Francisco tradition that attracted all sorts of players from all walks of life. Torres and others said it’s unclear whether regular games will resume in their usual spots, someplace else or disappear forever. “Chess isn’t a crime, and we aren’t criminals,” Torres said as he knocked over his king in resignation of a game. “San Francisco is about this kind of stuff. About diversity and differences. We just want to play chess.”

Read more: politico.com/story/2013/10/defying-the-law-with-a-little-chess-97911.html#ixzz2h12VURj1

Criminal Defense Attorney Matthews R Bark | “Criminal Justice: It’s About Time Robert De Niro Turned To Television”

Source       :  Contactmusic
By               : Michael West 
Category  : Criminal Defense Attorney Matthews R BarkOrlando Drug Defense Attorney

Robert-De-Niro-Criminal-Justice-Hero
Robert-De-Niro-Criminal-Justice-Hero

Robert De Niro has been hired to replace James Gandolfini in a new HBO mini-series Criminal Justice, following the death of The Sopranos star in June. De Niro will play a New York lawyer in the show, which Gandolfini had been developing based on the 2008 BBC series by Peter Moffat. Following the actor’s sudden death in Rome, it initially appeared as though HBO had put the project on the backburner, though, according to Deadline.com, the team were keen to continue in Gandolfini’s honor.

Deadline Hollywood’s TV Editor Nellie Andreeva said the network wanted “a great actor whom Gandolfini would have wanted for the role and who would honour Gandolfini’s memory with his performance,” adding, “I hear their list consisted of one name only, Robert De Niro, who responded and came on board.” Still one of the finest actors in the world with the right material, De Niro has been wasted on poor scripts and throwaway comedies in recent years, though with television now the primary location for high quality scripted drama, the 65-year-old could thrive at HBO.

In the seven hour mini-series, his character Jack Stone takes on a case of a Pakistani (played by British star Riz Ahmed) who is accused of murdering a girl on New York’s Upper West Side. The original series saw each episode tracking a separate case, though the U.S. team appear to be wisely drawing out the story to develop character and plot. It should be brilliant. We can already imagine the opening shot of De Niro, clad in a heavy winter coat, trotting up the stairs of some grand courthouse in Manhattan as the snow falls on the sidewalk. He gets inside, dusts of the flakes…and, ok, you get the picture. Steven Zaillian, who has been working on the project for some time, will direct the first hour.

2014 is shaping up to be a powerful year for HBO, with True Detectives also set to premiere in January. The series stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as two detectives who for a serial killer in Louisiana across seventeen years. Another show, The Leftovers, from Damon Lindelof and starring Justin Theroux, takes place in the wake of a global Rapture and centers on the people who didn’t make the cut and are left behind in a suburban community. Niro is the perfect replacement for James Gandolfini on HBO’s ‘Criminal Justice.’