Links and Reading for June 26th

Some of the more interesting and important items for June 26th :

  • Illinois Stiffs Vendors From Mortuary to IBM as $4 Billion Debt Piles Up – Bloomberg – International Business Machines Inc. is owed $1.1 million. Office Depot Inc. (ODP) is waiting for a $660,955 check. And the 17th Street Bar & Grill in Sparta is due $340.52. They are among at least 8,000 vendors including businesses, charities and government agencies waiting months for the state to pay up. At least 114 companies are due more than $1 million, according to documents from Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.
  • Central Banks Boost Yen-Asset Holdings 25%, Supporting Bonds, Nikkei Says – Bloomberg – Central banks may be increasing purchases of yen-denominated assets to diversify their foreign- exchange holdings, supporting Japanese government bonds and pushing the currency higher.
  • Le Figaro Reports French Banks Propose "Voluntary" 30 Year Debt Rollover, However With DOAing 30%-50% Implied Haircut | zero hedge – The latest episode in the "we'll make it up as we go along" rescue of the Euro comes from France where as Le Figaro reports, a working group of French banks led by BNP Paribas has proposed, and been agreed to by the French Treasury, that maturing debt would be rolled over into a a 30 year maturity piece, accounting for 50% of the total existing debt, and another 20% would go into a "zero coupon" fund focused on high quality stocks. Also according to Le Figaro, borrowings under the proposed scheme would pay an interest equivalent to what Greek "public" interest is plus a variable interest rate "likely to be linked to an economic Greek indicator such as GDP" (which being negative for years will likely means lower interest than prevailing).
  • Facebook hits 750 million users milestone – Facebook now has 750 million monthly active users worldwide, TechCrunch reported on Friday. That’s incredible growth since our June 1st story, which suggested that the social network was closing in on 700,000,000 users worldwide. In that report, emerging markets showed the most growth — Brazil’s user base jumped 11.4% in May alone — and the United States was the top country; U.S. users were responsible for 149.4 million Facebook accounts. Last July, Facebook announced that it had hit the 500 million user mark, but it hasn’t publicly revealed any figures since then. Facebook only measures active users and only counts those who have logged into the social network during the past 30 days.
  • AppleInsider | Inside iOS 5: New lock screen notifications, receding iMessage keyboard – The second beta of Apple's iOS 5.0 mobile operating system began making its way to developers on Friday, revealing cosmetic changes to certain lock-screen notifications, a slide away keyboard in iMessage, and other tweaks.
  • Lulz Security Says It Is Ending Hacking Spree – – Lulz Security, a group of hackers who have tormented corporations and government agencies, said Saturday that it would stop its spree, 50 days after it first started attacks.
  • Bridge Comes to San Francisco, With Made-in-China Label – – At a sprawling manufacturing complex here, hundreds of Chinese laborers are now completing work on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
  • U.S. consumer’s resilience to be tested in data Economic Preview – MarketWatch – The data to be released over the coming week will help to sharpen the picture of the health of the U.S. consumer — who drives 70% of economic output — if not completely answer the question.
  • Central banks should hike rates, BIS says – MarketWatch – WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Central banks risk sowing a new crisis and weakening their inflation-fighting credibility by keeping interest rates too low and magnifying their balance sheets, the Bank for International Settlements warned Sunday.
  • No Free iPod for Back-to-School Students This Year – Apple and Microsoft unveil their usual back-to-school sales for tech gadgets, perhaps a little differently than in prior years. Ian Sherr of Dow Jones Newswires talks about deals including laptops and tablets. Andrea Coombes reports.
  • The Ticking Male Biological Clock – – Several months ago, my friend Anna called to complain about her boyfriend of eight months. Bombarded by media warnings about the female biological clock, he wanted to make sure that Anna was fit for childbearing before the relationship moved forward. He had taken her to a fertility clinic where a reproductive endocrinologist drew blood to check her ovarian reserve and injected radioactive iodine into her uterus to ensure that her fallopian tubes were clear.
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