Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summer afternoon news break: Dow does some gymnastics following Fed announcement; Brazilian police cart off loads of government officials from the tourism ministry; hackers deface BlackBerry maker's website

New media news is in fairly short supply today as developers await the release of the final version of iOS 5, the new iPhone, etc. In the meantime, world political and economic events dominate the headlines.
So tell me, what was this? See that sharp "V" drop in the Dow from this afternoon? It occurred right after the Fed announced that it would keep interest rates low for the foreseeable future. The NYT blamed the sharp drop on the announcement, but by the time they could get their story online the drop had been reversed and the Dow was once again in the black.

It seems fishy to me and could have been the result of a bad electronic trade. Maybe we'll learn something about this after the markets close, or maybe we won't.
Update: So now the market has closed and look what happened, the Dow closed up over 400 points. I think there can only be one explanation: drugs. The way I see it, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke marched into the NYSE and started throwing out (fill in the blank) to all the traders to get them euphoric.

The only thing that might make my theory suspect is that the Nasdaq also climbed dramatically at the end of the day. Strange days. But then there is what is going on in Brazil ...

The Deputy Tourism Minister of Brazil, Frederico Silva da Costa, as well as 37 other government officials from the ministry have been arrested on corruption charges today. According to the BBC, police swooped into the cities of Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Macapa to make the arrests and carted the government officials off to jail.

The tourism officials are accused of awarding contracts at inflated prices, presumably to get kickbacks.

There are also allegations of corruption at the agriculture and transport ministries, as well, with the transport minister, Alfredo Nascimento, resigning in July over allegations of corruption.

And if to top things off, the Defense Minister, Nelson Jobim, resigned just a few days ago after it was learned that he voted for the President's opponent in the last election, and when it was learned that he claimed the he was surrounded by "idiots" in the government.

"He pulled a real no-no. You have a female president and you talk badly about two of her female ministers? It's a nasty scene," David Fleischer, a political scientist at the University of Brasilia, was quoted by the AP as stating.

ZDNet UK is reporting that hackers have defaced the website of Research In Motion after the maker of the BlackBerry said it would assist the Metropolitan Police in tracking down rioters who are using BlackBerry phones to coordinate their activities.

Patrick Spence, managing director of RIM's global sales and regional marketing, said "We feel for those impacted by this weekend's riots in London. We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can. As in all markets around the world where BlackBerry is available, we co-operate with local telecommunications operators, law enforcement and regulatory officials."

Wired seems to think that the Tribune Company making its own tablets is a bad idea. Well, that might make me reconsider my own opinion about this since the magazine that proclaimed the web dead thinks it's a bad idea.

Guess they can't be wrong all the time, can they?