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Showing posts from May, 2010

3 Fla. banks, 1 each in Nev., Calif. shut down

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Regulators on Friday shut down three banks in Florida and one each in Nevada and California, bringing the number of U.S. bank failures this year to 78.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over the Florida banks, all owned by holding company Bank of Florida Corp. They are Bank of Florida-Southeast, based in Fort Lauderdale, with $595.3 million in assets; Bank of Florida-Southwest, based in Naples, with $640.9 million in assets; and Bank of Florida-Tampa Bay, based in Tampa, with $245.2 million in assets.

The FDIC also seized Las Vegas-based Sun West Bank, with $360.7 million in assets, and Granite Community Bank, located in Granite Bay, Calif., with $102.9 million in assets.
EverBank, based in Jacksonville, Fla., agreed to acquire the assets and deposits of the failed Florida banks. Los Angeles-based City National Bank is assuming all the assets and deposits of Sun West Bank, and Tri Counties Bank, based in Chico, Calif., is assuming those of Granite Community B…

Our Industry May Cease to Exist

BY: James A. Crumbaugh III  CEO of Allison James Estates and Homes.
Last week I had the very distinct privilege of being invited to speak to a meeting that was attended by many of the leaders in our industry. I can say that it was an honor and a privilege to speak to such an esteemed group.


I would like to share with the reader of this article some of the things that jumped out at me during this conference.

The first item that really stood out is that there was only one other CEO that I spoke with that agreed with me that the Realtor is our customer. I’m sure there were other CEO’s in attendance that shared my attitude, however only one other CEO came up to me, to tell me they shared my belief. I truly believe with today’s technology that the Realtor no longer needs the Broker as much as the Broker needs the Realtor. I believe that we as a Brokerage are in the Realtor business and our Realtors are in the Real Estate business and it’s our job as a Brokerage to support our Realtors and …

Embajada de EE UU cambia formulario de visas

Tegucigalpa, Honduras


A partir del 24 de mayo, todas las personas que necesiten tramitar su visa de no inmigrante en la embajada Americana con sede en Tegucigalpa, tendrán que llenar un nuevo formulario de solicitud: el Formulario Electrónico para Visa de No Inmigrante DS-160.

El cónsul de Estados Unidos en Honduras, Douglas Benning informó este miércoles los nuevos cambios en los trámites de visas.

"Si su cita de entrevista está programada para el día 24 de mayo de 2010 o después, el DS-160 es el único formulario que será aceptado", indicó el alto funcionario estadounidense en Honduras.
Esto implica un mejoramiento fuerte a nuestro procedimiento -agregó- porque ya no será necesario el DS-156, 157 y 158.

Mencionó que quienes estén interesados en más información respecto a la solicitud de visas de no inmigrantes, pueden visitar el portal de la embajada Americana.
El formulario DS-160 se puede llenar en línea, ingresando en esta página: https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/

Credits…

Calderón y Obama alaban democracia en Honduras

Washington, Estados Unidos


El presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, y el de México, Felipe Calderón, alabaron el proceso de consolidación de la democracia en Honduras, tras la reunión que sostuvieron en la Casa Blanca.

Ambos mandatarios expresaron su deseo de que Honduras se incorpore pronto a la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) de la que fue expulsado tres días después de la separación de Manuel Zelaya de la presidencia.

El gobierno del presidente Porfirio Lobo Sosa ha ejecutado una intensa agenda para lograr el reconocimiento de la comunidad internacional.

Calderón inició este miércoles una visita a su homólogo estadounidense con el que coincidió también en cuestionar la ley migratoria de Arizona.

"Mantenemos nuestro firme rechazo a que se criminalice la migración y que gente que trabaja y aporta a esta gran nación (Estados Unidos) sea tratada como delincuente. Nos oponemos a la ley de Arizona porque parte de principios parciales, injustos y discriminatorios"…

Wall Street reform fails test

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) -- After months of negotiation and debate, far-reaching legislation to overhaul the rules of Wall Street failed a key test vote in the Senate on Wednesday, casting a shadow over Democratic efforts to push the effort forward.


The measure aims to stop bailouts, shine a light on complex financial products and strengthen consumer protection.

The vote was 57 to 42. Under Senate rules, Democrats needed 60 votes to move ahead to a final vote. Two Democrats opposed the bill, and two Republicans voted for it.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., plans to bring up the bill for another vote on Thursday at 2:30 pm ET. He had wanted a final vote by Friday, but that appears unlikely now.
"Wall Street and, obviously, 39 out of 41 Republicans ... think that things going on, on Wall Street, are just fine," Reid said. "I think that's a real stretch to think the American people think that they want this to go on as in years past."

Republican Sen. C…

Why Washington Is Failing

By: Charles Wheelan, Ph.D. The Naked Economist
There tend to be two kinds of people in policy circles, wonks and hacks. Bruce Reed, a former staffer for Bill Clinton, pointed out this distinction in an essay many years ago. It still strikes me as an important point if one is to understand Washington.
The wonks are the idea folks. They come up with policies that might actually work. The hacks are the political junkies. They come up with ideas that people might actually vote for.
Any government needs both wonks and hacks in order to function. Washington seems to have neither at the moment, which may explain our floundering state of governance.

The policy wonks, or just "wonks," are the more academic types. They tend to have a deep substantive knowledge of the subjects on which they work. They prefer elegant policy solutions that are likely to be effective and are supported by data or analysis, regardless of the relevant politics. Wonks support things like a carbon tax or cong…

What Your Boss Isn't Telling You About Your 401(k)

Your employer can do a lot to improve your 401(k) plan.


Before I tell you how, allow me to come clean about how I feel about these savings vehicles: They were never intended to be mainstream pension plans, are generally overpriced, and often inadequate to meet America's retirement needs. See, Managing Your Retirement Fund: The Next 10 Years.

They fall short because most workers don't know how to use them, underfund them, and don't know how much they really need to save.

Having gotten that off my chest, I'm confident that if you're proactive, you can vastly improve your plan and boost your retirement savings. There's a lot you can do.
Here are five ways that your boss probably won't volunteer:
You Can Cut Costs to Improve Your Net Contribution. Most plans contract with mutual funds or third-party administrators to set up programs. Middlemen fees, which are rarely fully disclosed, eat up your savings because mostly they come out of your pocket.
Unfortunately,…

'Facebook' for kids keeps parents in the loop

NEW YORK – Kids under 13 aren't allowed on Facebook, but that hasn't stopped many of them from joining.


Togetherville, a social network for kids ages 6 to 10, hopes to lure them into a more age-appropriate setting. The site, whose founder has three children under 10, launches Tuesday night.
It's free to join, and kids' accounts must be created by their parents using their own Facebook logins. Parents can approve or reject their children's friends and see what types of activities or games their kids are up to.
"The adults participate directly," said CEO and co-founder Mandeep Dhillon, whose kids are 8, 5 and 2. "Which is why this is not a digital babysitter."
Kids have separate logins to Togetherville, and the site looks different depending on whether a parent or a child is logged in. For kids, there are games, pre-screened YouTube videos and other activities, such as educational applications, but no ads.
There are even Facebook-style status upda…

GOOGLE / Start-ups

By: Mark Milian
An interesting trend is emerging among Web search start-ups: Nobody wants to compete with Google -- or they don't want to admit that they're trying.
Perhaps it's not all that surprising. The Mountain View, Calif., search giant dominates the market, racking up 64.4% of all U.S. searches in April, according to market research firm ComScore. That number slipped (less than a percent) compared with the month before, as Yahoo -- more so than Microsoft's Bing -- chipped away at the juggernaut.
Bing, which bills itself as "the decision engine" in ads, and Yahoo's search, which is now powered by Bing and recently executed a new ad campaign targeted at Google, are the big boys. They're taking on Google directly. (Though, with a combined market share that's less than half of the big G, they're not exactly succeeding.)
Outside of those two, it's a different story.
A newcomer to the U.S. market called Springo offers search tools. But Av…

Mobile security firm Lookout raises $11 million

May 18, 2010


Smart-phone security firm Lookout has raised $11 million in venture funding. The Series B round was led by venture capitalist firm Accel Partners. Khosla Ventures and Trilogy Partnership also contributed to the round.

Lookout offers applications that can be installed on mobile phones. According to the company, the software catches malicious files that could wreak havoc on a phone. It also backs up and restores data on the mobile phone to ensure it's readily accessible from the Web if a device is lost or stolen.
Lookout's ability to acquire so much funding isn't much of a surprise. The smart-phone market is growing at a rapid rate, which means hackers are finding a larger market to target. That has contributed to an increase in the number of mobile attacks affecting users. It also portends to more trouble in the future as more people buy smart-phones.

Lookout plans to use its funding to bolster its security infrastructure. It also plans to use the cash to inv…

Budget analyst advises lawmakers to reject Schwarzenegger's plan to cut welfare

By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
May 19, 2010
The Legislature's chief budget analyst advised lawmakers Tuesday to reject Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to eliminate the state's welfare program and end subsidized daycare for hundreds of thousands of low-income children.
Legislative analyst Mac Taylor, whom both Democrats and Republicans look to for guidance on state spending, suggested lawmakers instead cut other programs and raise taxes modestly to close California's $19.1-billion budget deficit.
Welfare and child care "are core pieces of the state's safety net, and we therefore recommend that the Legislature reject these proposals," Taylor wrote in an assessment of Schwarzenegger's plan.
Taylor said eliminating the welfare program, called CalWorks, would cost California $3.7 billion in federal matching funds. It would also mean that many families cut off from state funding would suddenly become eligible for local assistance, shifting about $1 billi…

Stocks slide after euro falls to new 4-year low

NEW YORK (AP) -- Investors uneasy about the news coming out of Europe Tuesday went back to selling stocks sharply lower. The falling euro and news that German regulators plan to limit some kinds of short selling fed the drop.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down almost 115 points after giving up an early gain of 93. The Dow and broader indexes lost more than 1 percent.
The euro gave stocks a boost early in the day when European Union countries sent bailout money to Greece. The move raised confidence about Europe's ability to prevent its debt crisis from spreading to other economies including the U.S.
By afternoon, though, the upbeat mood faded and the euro fell. That sapped the stock market's strength. Treasury prices rose after demand for safer investments increased.
The euro, the currency shared by 16 European nations, has been driving stock trading for weeks as investors interpreted its slide as a sign of continuing economic problems in Europe. It hit a new four-yea…

Se extiende TPS para nicaragüenses por 18 meses más

Extension del TPS para Nicaraguenses Published Date: 05/05/2010
El Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS, por sus siglas en inglés) extenderá por 18 meses el Estatus de Protección Temporal (TPS, por sus siglas en inglés) para los ciudadanos de Nicaragua (y aquellos ciudadanos sin nacionalidad cuya última residencia haya sido en Nicaragua) hasta el 5 de enero del 2012. Esta extensión no aplica a los nicaragüenses que entraron a los Estados Unidos después del 30 de diciembre del 1998. Ciertos nacionales de Nicaragua que no hayan solicitado el TPS previamente pueden ser elegibles para registrarse bajo las provisiones de registro tardío. La notificación en el Registro Federal anunciando esta extensión tiene más detalles acerca de la misma.

TPS Extension for Honduras

18-Month Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Honduras Publication Date: 05/05/2010
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, through Jan. 5, 2012, to eligible nationals of Honduras and people having no nationality who last habitually resided in Honduras. This extension does not apply to Hondurans who entered the United States after Dec. 30, 1998. Certain nationals of Honduras who have not previously applied for TPS may be able to register under the late initial registration provisions. Further details on this extension of TPS for Honduras appear in the Federal Register Notice that announces this extension.


Se extiende TPS para hondureños por 18 meses más
El Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS, por sus siglas en inglés) extenderá por 18 meses el Estatus de Protección Temporal (TPS, por sus siglas en inglés) para los ciudadanos de Honduras (y aquellos ciudadanos sin nacionalidad cuya última residencia haya sido en Hon…

How to Start a Consulting Business

A consultant's job is to consult. Nothing more, nothing less. It's that simple. There's no magic formula or secret that makes one consultant more successful than another one.
But what separates a good consultant from a bad consultant is a passion and drive for excellence. And--oh yes--a good consultant should be knowledgeable about the subject he or she is consulting in. That does make a difference.
You see, in this day and age, anyone can be a consultant. All you need to discover is what your particular gift is. For example, are you very comfortable working around computers? Do you keep up with the latest software and hardware information, which seems to be changing almost daily? And are you able to take that knowledge you have gained and turn it into a resource that someone would be willing to pay money for? Then you would have no trouble working as a computer consultant.

According to a recent survey, here are the top 10 reasons organizations hire consultants:

A consulta…