Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 2:25 PM ET

Amazon—In Violation of Masha's Law?

Posted By: Lori Ann LaRocco

After outrage and boycott threats by consumers, Amazon has pulled the controversial e-book "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure".


The online retail giant told CNBC Wednesday they would not take down the book citing the first amendment but some say the sale of this book was in direct violation of their own style "standards" of not selling pornographic content.

"This is not about free speech whether on the pedophile guide or the kiddie porn videos," said Maureen Flately, Child Advocate and advisor on Masha's Law. "It's about harm to kids and encouraging criminal activity. The book and images are de facto evidence of both criminal intent and criminal activity. By almost any objective standard, Amazon would be in violation of Masha's Law for harboring and distributing images of child pornography."

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  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 1:28 PM ET

Eliot Spitzer's Favorite Hooker Is Now a Commodities Trader

Posted By: John Carney

The Wall Street Journal's Mary Pilon interviewed Alex Gibney , the filmmaker behind the Eliot Spitzer scandal documentary "Client 9."

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer on Squawk Box.
Oliver Quillia for CNBC.com
Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer on Squawk Box.

Our favorite part of the interview was learning that the prostitute who was allegedly most frequently patronized by Spitzer is now a commodities trader.

Pilon reports:

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  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 1:21 PM ET

Roubini: The Fed Needs to Fight Deflation and a Double Dip Recession

Posted By: Ash Bennington

With all the second guessing of QE2 — and even chatter about a return to a gold standard—Nouriel Roubini is very clear about the primary challenge to the U.S. economy: "The risk is deflation—not inflation."

Nouriel Roubini
Getty Images
Nouriel Roubini

Roubini, of course, has been on record supporting quantitative easing for some time . But, in my interview with him, he made clear that he's still not sanguine about growth prospects—even after the injection of a fresh $600 billion.

What value does he see in QE2 (Federal Reserve easing quantitative easing)? Principally, he believes it's a necessary evil for allowing the U.S. economy to steer clear of catastrophe.

"It certainly reduces the tail risk of a double dip [recession]," he said."And it reduces the risk of outright deflation or the expectation of deflation."

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  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 12:43 PM ET

Garrett to Wall Street: No More Bailouts on My Watch

Posted By: Lori Ann LaRocco

The Capital Markets Subcommittee was put on the map by Representative Paul Kanjorski (D-PA), the present chairman of the subcommittee who penned the "Too Big To Fail" legislation otherwise known as the "Kanjorski Amendment."

Kanjorski lost his re-election bid and now with the Republicans taking control in the House, ranking member Scott Garrett \(R-NJ\) will be taking the gavel and with it, try and enact his plans in overhauling the financial services sector. Garrett got right to the point on what he plans to do once he takes the chairmanship.

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  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 12:26 PM ET

Why Did Goldman Sachs Turn Against Phil Falcone?

Posted By: John Carney

Goldman Sachs submitted a withdrawal notice to Philip Falcone's Harbinger Capital Partners, a high-flying hedge fund that once managed $26 billion. Why did Goldman decide to pull all of its $120 million from Falcone's fund?

Writer Lisa Falcone and businessman Philip Falcone attend NY TIMES Party at the C5 Resturant at The Royal Ontario Museum.
Vito Amati | WireImage | Getty Images
Writer Lisa Falcone and businessman Philip Falcone attend NY TIMES Party at the C5 Resturant at The Royal Ontario Museum.

Investors in Falcone's main hedge fund are limited to withdrawing 25 percent of their investment each quarter, so Goldman will be an investor in the hedge fund through all of 2011.

The move to withdraw the funds was first reported by Bloomberg's Katherine Burton .

There's been a lot of speculation about the cause of Goldman's withdrawal. Burton wrote that the move came after Falcone withdrew $113 million from a fund to pay his taxes. The fact that the fund had suspended redemptions—meaning investors could not pull out—angered some investors. Why should the fund manager be able to pull money out of the fund when investors are blocked, some asked.

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  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 10:50 AM ET

Rapping The Currency Battle Is So Much More Entertaining.

Posted By: Cadie Thompson

One of the better things I have seen this morning.

»Read more
  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 10:23 AM ET

Rickards: Obama Doesn't Know Anything About Economics

Posted By: Lori Ann LaRocco

The global backlash against QE2 (Federal Reserve quantitative easing) is growing and the showdown between the G-20 nations, President Obama and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is on. The outcry of criticism over the Federal Reserve's policy of putting more dollars into the economy by buying government bonds has been attracting criticism at home and abroad.

I decided to get the perspective on what to expect from at the G20 meeting in Korea as well as the United States new role as currency "villain" from Jim Rickards, Senior Managing Director of Market Intelligence from Omnis.

» Read More
  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 8:56 AM ET

New Capital Controls in Emerging Markets

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Foreclosures Drop: The "Artificial" Cause is Likely the Foreclosure Moratorium (CNBC) Analysts believe banks' suspension of foreclosure activity is the reason behind the decrease in number of homes foreclosed upon in October. (Foreclosures dropped 4.39 percent in October since the prior month.) Was does that mean? We may be seeing foreclosure rates rise jump up again at the beginning of next year.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 10 Nov 2010 | 4:41 PM ET

Is Gold Really At a Record High?

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Is Gold Really At a Record High? (New York Times) Not if you index for inflation and look at real, instead of nominal, prices. The same holds true for other commodity prices, such as oil. The question on the table: Are the alarms being raised over inflation overstated—because we haven't adequately indexed for inflation?"

»Read more
  Wednesday, 10 Nov 2010 | 4:40 PM ET

Diving On the Third Rail: Proposal Seeks Social Security Reductions

Posted By: Ash Bennington

The bipartisan committee working on deficit reduction announced a plan today to reduce cost-of-living increases in Social Security : But don't worry—it looks like that proposal is going nowhere fast.

Deborah Harrison | Getty Images

But there's more: Not only are there provisions for freezing Social Security cost-of-living increases, but a Bloomberg article on the same topic suggests the possibility of an increase in retirement age as well. (Breathe deeply : The retirement age increases wouldn't kick in until at least 2050.) There are also additional proposals being floated by the commission for the reduction of federal expenditure on Medicare.

How bad is the situation? And does the system really need a dramatic overhaul?

» Read More

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