Madoff reportedly cornered the hot chocolate market in prison


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Bernie Madoff, the famous orchestrator behind the biggest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history, has reportedly made a name for himself in his prisons hot chocolate market.

Steve Fishman, a journalist who has reportedly had contact with Madoff during his time in prison, told MarketWatch that he has continued to apply his business instincts in prison.

At one point, he cornered the hot chocolate market, Fishman said. He bought up every package of Swiss Miss from the commissary and sold it for a profit in the prison yard. He monopolized hot chocolate! He made it so that if you wanted any, you had to go through Bernie.”

Madoff, once the Nasdaq chairman, used his reputation and savvy to dupe sophisticated investors, regulators and Wall Street banks.

Madoff confessed in December 2008 that he was running a multi decade Ponzi scheme and that more than $65 billion he claimed to have on hand for investors had dwindled to a few hundred million dollars from an original investment of about $20 billion. He pleaded guilty to fraud and is serving a 150-year prison sentence in Butner, N.C.

Fishman reportedly hosts an Audible series called Ponzi Supernova and published interviews with Madoff.

“It wasn’t going to hurt anybody,” Madoff said. “It was a temporary thing, and because of the success I that I’ve had and the money I’ve made for people, I sort of felt that it would just sort of be a temporary situation and acceptable.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/01/14/madoff-reportedly-cornered-hot-chocolate-market-in-prison.html


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U.S. Stocks Add to Records; Oil Tumbles on OPEC: Markets Wrap


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U.S. stocks rose to fresh records and the dollar strengthened as retailer results boosted confidence in the American consumers’ ability to jump start economic growth. Oil sank from a five-week high after OPEC extended plans to limit production without deepening the cuts.

The S&P 500 Index pushed its longest rally since February to six days as Best Buy Co. and PVH Corp. results topped estimates and the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index signaled optimism among U.S. shoppers. The dollar steadied in the wake of Federal Reserve minutes showing officials unperturbed by recent signs of slower economic growth. U.S. crude lost more than 4 percent to slide below $50. China’s yuan strengthened the most in four months.

Click here to follow the TOPLive blog on the OPEC meeting in Vienna.

The latest earnings reports bolstered a retail group that’s been hit by struggles at mall-based stores and signs that wages haven’t been rising fast enough to spark a meaningful surge in spending. They added to risk appetite after Fed policy makers indicated recent weakness in growth is transitory. The bullish sentiment was limited among stock investors in Europe, where some markets were closed today for the Ascension holiday.

Read our Markets Live blog here.

And here are the main movers:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 rose 0.4 percent to a record 2,415 at 4 p.m. in New York. It’s rallied more than 2.5 percent in the past six sessions.
  • The Nasdaq Composite and Nasdaq 100 indexes also closed at records, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4 percent to end 0.2 percent short of its March 1 high.
  • Best Buy surged 22 percent, the most since 2001, and PVH jumped 4.9 percent to pace gains in retailers. Railroad operators also rallied, leading transportation shares higher.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to 21,085 as it bears down on its March 1 closing record. 
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 ended little changed, while emerging-market equities rallied 0.7 percent.

Commodities 

  • West Texas Intermediate crude sank 4.8 percent to settle at $48.90 a barrel in New York, after touching the highest level in more than a month.
  • Gold futures rose 0.3 percent to $1,259.70 an ounce.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index edged higher after earlier touching the lowest level since November.
  • The euro was virtually unchanged at $1.1218. The British pound fell 0.1 percent to $1.2960.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasury notes was little changed at 2.25 percent after losing three basis points on Wednesday. 
  • German 10-year yields fell four basis points to 0.362 percent.
  • Japan’s sovereign yield curve bear-steepened after the nation’s auction of 40-year bond sale met weaker-than-expected demand.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-24/asia-stocks-look-mixed-as-dollar-slips-on-fed-markets-wrap


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U.S. Stocks Rise to Record, Dollar Slips on Fed: Markets Wrap

U.S. stocks climbed to fresh records, while the dollar slipped with Treasury yields as minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting showed officials unperturbed by recent signs of economic weakness. Crude slipped.

The S&P 500 Index completed its rebound from the biggest selloff the year a week ago, as Fed officials signaled the economy remains on track. The Nasdaq 100 Index also closed at a record. The dollar slumped toward a November low and Treasuries rose as a “few” said inflation remained muted. Metals retreated after Moody’s Investors Service reduced its rating on China. Crude fell slightly after five days of gains.

The Fed statement points toward a hike as soon as the meeting in mid-June, though FOMC voters added the caveat that “it would be prudent” to wait for evidence that a recent slowdown in economic activity had been transitory. Earlier Wednesday, Fed Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker said June “is a distinct possibility” for the U.S. central bank’s second interest-rate increase of 2017. 

Prior to the release of the minutes, markets were largely in a holding pattern, with U.S. equities little changed near record levels and the dollar flat. Investors quickly moved on after Moody’s action on China briefly rattled Asian markets.

Read our Markets Live blog here.

Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent to 2,404.28 at 4 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 21,000 to the highest since May 8.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index ended with a gain on 0.1 percent.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index added nearly 0.3 percent.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.3 percent to near the lowest since November.
  • The pound was down slightly at $1.2931 for a third straight day of losses. The euro was essentially unchanged at $1.1176.

Commodities

  • Nickel slumped 2.6 percent and copper fell 0.9 percent. Iron ore futures declined 6.5 percent. China is the top user of materials.
  • West Texas oil dropped 11 cents to settle at $51.36 a barrel, following a five-day advance. Investors shrugged off declining U.S. stockpiles as they held their breath ahead of OPEC’s meeting on Thursday.
  • Gold fell 0.3 percent to $1,251 an ounce, after dropping 0.8 percent on Tuesday.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasury notes fell three basis points to 2.25 percent. Bond prices fell during the previous four days.
  • Yields on benchmark French and German benchmark bonds were little changed.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-23/stocks-in-asia-point-higher-as-dollar-holds-gain-market-wrap