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  Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 | 2:23 PM ET

Is Gold Breaking Down?

Posted By: Lori Spechler
Gold
Diamond Sky Images | Photodisc | Getty Images
Gold

Futures trading down to its lowest level in about 3-months has market watchers asking if this is the end of the big bull run in gold?

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  Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 | 2:05 PM ET

Solutions to Cleaning up Corporate Boards 

Posted By: Lori Ann LaRocco

The bad decisions made by some of "Wall Street's finest" during the financial crisis are still being felt. Today the Securities and Exchange Commission will be meeting to consider implementing parts of the Dodd-Frank bank-reform law—including the all important shareholder votes on executive compensation.

CEO compensation becomes a hot topic at the end and the beginning of every year. Its especially juicy when a CEO gets a golden parachute that makes you so mad that you, yourself, could fail your way up to a fortune.

But the anger and disgust should not just be directed to the corner office. The boards should also be looked at. We all know boards are not perfect, so what needs to be done to make sure its not a bunch of golf buddies around a table? I decided to speak again with Sydney Finkelstein, Steven Roth Professor of Management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

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  Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 | 1:23 PM ET

Bear Stearns Accused of Double-Dipping on Bad Mortgages

Posted By: John Carney
Tom Grill | Photographer's Choice RF | Getty Images

Court papers that JPMorgan Chase fought to keep under seal claim that former Bear Stearns mortgage executives who now run mortgage divisions of Goldman Sachs and Ally Financial cheated and defrauded investors in mortgage-backed securities.

Teri Buhl has some of the colorful details :

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  Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 | 12:36 PM ET

'Austerity': The Coming Debate in England—and Beyond

Posted By: Ash Bennington
Euro bills
AP
Euro bills

The question of 'austerity' represents a fundamental schism in worldview among economists.

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  Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 | 11:44 AM ET

Bank of America’s Countrywide Accused of “Massive Fraud”

Posted By: John Carney
A Bank of America trader inside the NYSE.
Oliver Quillia for CNBC.com
A Bank of America trader inside the NYSE.

The acquisition of Countrywide Financial by Bank of America is the grift that keeps on grifting.

Yesterday a dozen or so insurance companies that invested in Countrywide mortgage-backed securities from 2005 to 2007 filed a lawsuit accusing the mortgage lender of “massive fraud.”

Bloomberg gives some background :

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  Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 | 11:00 AM ET

The Great Housing Head-Fake of 2010

Posted By: John Carney
AP

Although single-family home prices fell for a fifth straight month in November, the latest numbers out of Case-Shiller’s composite index weren’t as bad as expected.

The consensus was for a decline of 0.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in the 20-city index. But the decline from October to November was just 0.5 percent. (Unadjusted for seasonal impact, the index fell 1 percent in Novemeber, a slowdown from the 1.3 percent in October.)

I’m sure you will hear lots of happy talk today about how the double-dip in housing prices seems to be decelerating. I don’t believe it. I think it was a head-fake.

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  Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 | 10:22 AM ET

UK Slouches Into Austerity Recession

Posted By: Ash Bennington
Police officers hold back demonstrators trying to gain entry to 30 Millbank, the headquarters of Britain's Conservative Party, during a protest in central London.
Carl Court | AFP | Getty Images
Police officers hold back demonstrators trying to gain entry to 30 Millbank, the headquarters of Britain's Conservative Party, during a protest in central London.

The economic numbers out of London this morning are dismal.

Instead of the 0.5 percent growth in GDP that was forecast the British economy contracted by 0.5 percent—a total swing of negative 1 percent growth.

The open question is this: What is the cause of the drop?

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  Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 | 9:30 AM ET

Bonuses: It’s Never as Good As The First Time

Posted By: Lori Spechler

It’s never as good as the first time. I’m talking bonuses here—get your head out of the gutter and into the Street. Too big or too small, Wall Street workers are getting paid billions of dollars in bonuses. And while first time bonuses are not the biggest, they are often the most meaningful and memorable.

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  Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 | 9:04 AM ET

Paulson Makes a Killing on Citi

Posted By: Ash Bennington

"UK economy shrinks 0.5%" [Financial Times] UK economy shrinks a 0.5 percent: Austerity model questioned: "The Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday that the nation's GDP fell by 0.5 per cent in the quarter, rather than rising by the 0.5 per cent rate that was the average forecast of a poll of economists conducted by Thomson Reuters. The economy expanded by 1.2 per cent and 0.7 per cent in the second and third quarters of the year respectively."

Paulson Makes a Killing on Citi [Bloomberg Businessweek] "Paulson & Co., the $35.9 billion hedge fund run by John Paulson, told clients that it made more than $1 billion on its Citigroup Inc. investment in the past 18 months. Citigroup, which surged 43 percent last year, was the fund's most profitable bank holding last year, Paulson said in a letter to clients this month."

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  Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 | 8:42 AM ET

Waking up With Nicole Lapin

Posted By: Nicole Lapin

Happy hump day eve—c'mon, I'm trying here. Here's what you missed while I was manning the graveyard:

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  • Jeff Cox is finance editor for CNBC.com.

  • Lawrence Develingne

    Lawrence Delevingne is the ‘Big Money’ enterprise reporter for CNBC.com and NetNet.

  • Stephanie Landsman is one of the producers of CNBC's 5pm ET show "Fast Money."

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Wall Street

  • JPMorgan & Chase Co. signage outside of the company's headquarters in New York.

    JPMorgan Chase is close to a deal to sell half its private equity business, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

  • Regulators are expected to vote to end the fixed $1 share price for money-market mutual funds - at least for some money funds used by big investors.

  • Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

    Shaking off geopolitical flare-ups for now, analysts say the S&P 500 is taking aim at the 2000 level.