- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 10, 2010


SEC imposes new ‘circuit-breaker’ rules

Federal regulators on Thursday put in place new rules aimed at preventing a repeat of last month’s harrowing “flash crash” in the stock market.

Members of the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the rules, which call for U.S. stock exchanges to briefly halt trading of some stocks that make big swings. The exchanges will start putting the trading breaks into effect as early as Friday for six months.

The plan for the “circuit breakers” was worked out by the SEC and the major exchanges after the May 6 market plunge that saw the Dow Jones industrials lose nearly 1,000 points in less than a half-hour.

Under the new rules, trading of any Standard & Poor’s 500 stock that rises or falls 10 percent or more in a five-minute period will be halted for five minutes. The “circuit breakers” would be applied if the price swing occurs between 9:45 a.m. and 3:35 p.m. Eastern time - almost the entire trading day.

The idea is for the trading pause to draw attention to an affected stock, establish a reasonable market price and resume trading “in a fair and orderly fashion,” the SEC said.

On May 6, about 30 stocks listed in the S&P 500 index fell at least 10 percent within five minutes. The drop briefly wiped out $1 trillion in market value as some stocks traded as low as a penny.


Bankers group refutes Giannoulias

CHICAGO | A banking group says a candidate for President Obama’s old Senate seat didn’t serve on its board of directors as he’s claimed on his campaign website.

The Community Bankers Association of Illinois said Wednesday that Democrat Alexi Giannoulias served on its Committee on Legislation and Regulation.

Giannoulias spokesman Matt McGrath said a “typo” was to blame for the mistake, which has since been fixed.

Attention is being paid to candidates’ claims after Mr. Giannoulias’ Republican opponent, Rep. Mark Steven Kirk, recently acknowledged embellishing his military record.

Mr. Kirk claimed a prestigious award he didn’t win, and his office described him as a veteran of Operation Desert Storm when he didn’t participate.


Clyburn calls for probe of candidate

COLUMBIA | The No. 3 Democrat in the House of Representatives wants federal authorities to investigate how an unemployed South Carolina veteran won the state’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn said Thursday that he thinks a coordinated effort is behind Alvin Greene’s shocking primary night victory over a former state lawmaker.

Mr. Greene has not reported any fundraising in his challenge of Republican Sen. Jim DeMint. The unemployed military veteran said Thursday there’s no need for any investigation, but would not say if anyone helped him pay the more than $10,000 filing fee.

Party officials asked Mr. Greene to sit out of the race after the Associated Press reported he faces a felony charge, but Mr. Greene says he’s staying put.


Liberal group: Court tilts pro-business

A study from a liberal interest group says the Supreme Court of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has a decidedly pro-business tilt, echoing the line Democrats are taking in support of the nomination of Elena Kagan to fill its latest vacancy.

The analysis from the Constitutional Accountability Center finds that the court’s five conservative justices side with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at least two-thirds of the time, while the four liberal justices all disagree with the position by the nation’s largest business group more than half the time.

The Chamber of Commerce says the analysis is simplistic and notes that many business cases unite the court’s conservatives and liberals.

But Doug Kendall, the center’s president, says the study confirms what he and many Democrats have been saying, especially since the court voted 5-4 in January to take limits off independent corporate spending in political campaigns.


Fiorina: Hair jab came from friend

SACRAMENTO | Carly Fiorina says she was quoting a friend when she was caught on an open microphone making fun of an opponent’s hairstyle, just hours after clinching the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate.

Mrs. Fiorina was prepping for an interview with Sacramento’s KXTV on Wednesday morning when she was recorded laughing loudly while describing Sen. Barbara Boxer’s hair as “so yesterday.”

But during an interview Wednesday night on the Fox News Channel with host Great Van Susteren, Mrs. Fiorina said the words she used to characterize the three-term senator’s hair were not her own.

Mrs. Fiorina added that her own hair has been “talked about by a million people.”

The microphone also captured Mrs. Fiorina questioning Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman’s decision to be interviewed Wednesday by Fox’s Sean Hannity. Mrs. Fiorina called it “bizarre” and a “bad choice.”

Mrs. Fiorina told Mrs. Van Susteren that she has apologized to Mr. Hannity and will appear on his show Friday.


Live like Obama in N.Y. walk-up

NEW YORK | Barack Obama slept here - and you can too, for $1,899 a month.

A Craigslist ad appeared Thursday for a New York apartment where the president lived when he attended Columbia University in the early 1980s.


According to the listing, the third-floor walk-up near Columbia’s campus in the Morningside Heights neighborhood has “great light, big windows” as well as new kitchen appliances.

Mr. Obama was in New York from 1981 to 1985, attending Columbia and then working. He lived in several apartments in Manhattan and Brooklyn during that time.

According to “The Bridge,” a recent book about Mr. Obama by New Yorker editor David Remnick, the West 109th Street apartment that is available on Craigslist was a dump.


Pawlenty in N.Y. for TV, fundraising

The Big Apple is beckoning Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty.

The Republican governor and possible presidential hopeful headed Thursday to New York for some national television appearances and some fundraising.

Mr. Pawlenty was scheduled to appear on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart and on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Friday.

His trip includes a fundraiser and private meetings before he returns to Minnesota on Saturday.

Mr. Pawlenty says he’ll announce next year if he’s running for president. He decided against seeking a third term this fall.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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