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The USA is to close embassies and consulates over Hari Raya / Eid (the end of Ramadan / Muslim new year). It's a PR snafu.

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The American Suzuki Corporation is to enter adminnistration (the Americans call it "Chapter 11 Bankruptcy"). It's SUVs and pickups are just not selling enough, despite innovation and quality.

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New York law firm FARUQI & FARUQI, LLP specialises in class actions, especially those where it alleges misconduct in relation to securities which, it usually claims, leads to a significant fall in share prices, thereby causing losses to shareholders. It's frequent press releases call upon those who held shares in companies at relevant times to join in the action they hope to mount and to get paid on a contingency basis. But all is not rosy.

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Today is the 17th May. It's Tuesday. But in the USA, even on the East Coast, it's still Monday evening. That makes the deluge of enforcement announcements that the SEC has issued in the past few hours all the more impressive. Less impressive is that some related to action more than a week ago, and in some cases in February 2011 which renders them of less value for due diligence purposes where freezing orders have been obtained.

A fascinating case in Massachusetts, USA, has defined, in that state but with persuasive force elsewhere, the question of when a person is "practising law." It has widespread implications: struck off or suspended lawyers are effectively banned from earning a living from their accumulated skill and knowledge while lay advisers are free to offer the same services even without the same skills and experience.

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Porsche USA is looking for the oldest car in the country.

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The USA's Securities and Exchange Commission has unanimously voted to approve new rules to significantly curtail "pay to play" practices by investment advisers. Why not call it what it is - corruption?

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On Friday 15th April 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission was heavily criticised by the Office of the Inspector General. That day the SEC announced "fraud charges" against Goldman Sachs, sending markets reeling but diverting attention from the OIG report. Schapiro appeared before the House Subcommittee the following Monday, in part to rebut the OIG's findings. That the news agenda continued to be taken up with the Goldman's action and paid little or no attention to her appearance before the subcommittee's Appropriations Committee (applying for funding for the SEC) demonstrates the success of the diversionary tactic. Her full testimony is below (unedited)

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It really would be helpful if the USA would stop inventing new uses for existing terms: they did it with "billion" and "Orient," they get "protest" wrong and they really, really, really don't have a grip on "terrorism." But despite that, their warnings about "sovereign citizens" should not be ignored and financial institutions are in the front line.

Five foreign subsidiaries of Thermon Manufacturing Company, a San Marcos, Texas-based firm, have agreed to pay a total of USD176,000 in combined civil penalties.

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A Texas court has awarded Canadian software company i4i almost USD300 million in damages, interest and costs - and injuncted Microsoft from the continued use of aspects of XML in its WORD product range.

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CoNet Administrator

2008.

Goldman Sachs: Hank - time to come good on all those promises you made when you went to Treasury.

Henry Paulson: Great to hear from you. I'm only going to be here for a few more weeks, then they'll take my name off the dollars and I'll be out of work. What can I do for you?

As US Automakers pray that sharply lower petrol prices will mean customers buy the mountains of "gas-guzzling" monsters that Detroit has pumped out without thinking that the market might drop, Hyundai has come up with a novel scheme. And many people will be foolish not to take it.

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Almost in the face of some of his own cabinet, President Bush has announced that, in the dying days of his presidency, he will authorise support for the automotive industry - as little as ten days before GM is thought likely to run out of money. But it's not a grant or a gift. And it's a message to the financial sector: use the TARP money wisely or we'll take it back.

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