- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 17, 2012


Conservatives’ win in Greece sends euro up

A slim victory for pro-Europe parties Sunday in an election in Greece should relax fears that a country will leave the euro for the first time and ease concerns - at least for the moment - about global financial turmoil.

In early morning trading in Tokyo, the euro soared against the dollar and yen.

And Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 85 points Sunday night, suggesting the market could open higher Monday. But the analysts cautioned that any surge is likely to be brief.


Food stamps court fight ends as state improves

BALTIMORE | A Baltimore judge says Maryland is processing nearly all of its food stamp applications on time.

The Baltimore Sun reports that last week’s decision by Circuit Court Judge Barry G. Williams resolves a lawsuit that accused the state of failing to timely process the applications.

Human Resources Secretary Ted Dallas says the state has been processing at least 96 percent of the applications on time for 19 months in a row. States are generally expected to process applications within 30 days of receiving them.

Judge Williams in 2009 gave the state one year to improve to 83.5 percent the rate of applications processed within 30 days or less.

Advocates who brought the case say they’re concerned the state doesn’t have measures in place to ensure permanent progress.


World Bank chief: Spain bailout badly handled

LOS CABOS, Mexico | The head of the World Bank said Sunday that Europe’s bailout of the Spanish banking system had been handled very badly and amounted to a wasted opportunity to contain the debt crisis.

Addressing business leaders on the eve of the G-20 summit in Mexico, Robert Zoellick and other senior international economists said that Europe needed to improve its institutional response in order to reassure bond markets.

“Look everyone knows this meeting is coming at an absolutely critical time - and we’re waiting for Europe to tell us what it is going to do,” he said at a panel in the B-20 business summit, held in parallel to the G-20 meet.

“Markets can manage risks that they’re well aware of. The danger we’re creating is that the pattern of policymaking is increasing uncertainty and making markets more nervous, which has a negative feedback.

“To take your Spanish example. … The execution was extremely poor,” he added, arguing that markets were confused between the roles played by the eurozone’s various stability mechanisms, bailout funds and the central bank. “So they took a very big bullet and they wasted it.”

Eurozone powers agreed last week to provide a bailout loan of up to $125 billion to salvage Spain’s stricken banks, but the deal failed to stop an intensifying storm on the debt market.


Facebook settles for $10M in sponsored stories lawsuit

Facebook is paying $10 million to settle a lawsuit over ads that it called sponsored stories.

Facebook’s service allowed companies to pay to re-transmit users’ activities to their friends’ pages. If a user clicked the “like” button for a brand, the click might show up as a “sponsored story” on friends’ pages. The ads started in early 2011.

Some Facebook users sued, saying that Facebook used their images for commercial activity. Facebook had argued that the plaintiffs did not show they were hurt by the practice.

Court documents from late last week say a settlement has been reached. Facebook attorney Michael Rhodes confirms Sunday that it’s for $10 million, which will be given to charity. A judge still needs to approve the settlement.

Reuters first reported details of the settlement.


Dan Dorfman, financial journalist, dies at 82

NEW YORK | Financial journalist Dan Dorfman, known for moving stock prices in the 1990s with his comments on CNBC, has died.

He was 82. According to the family, he died Saturday in New York of a heart condition.

Mr. Dorfman’s market comments on the cable financial news channel could propel and sink stocks. He worked there until 1996. That same year, he was fired as a Money magazine columnist over an ethics controversy involving a stock promoter but was never charged by regulators.

Mr. Dorfman turned to the Internet late in his career, first with a stock research company, JagNotes.com, in 1999. He blogged for the Huffington Post until last year.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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