February 1, 2008  N°. 589 - Vol. 6

Reactions to Societe Generale's situation:

“Yes, keep the insane game going until the the whole thing collapses.”

- Mark Wyatt

“Only a fool would accept that an inexperienced civil servant would fly a Boeing 747.”

 - M. de l'Ete

Note to our readers: the next edition of Migalhas International is scheduled on Friday, February 9, Carnaval oblige!

In today's Law Firm Marketing: How to overcome two costly excuses prospects make ?

  • Top News

The rogue trader and rogue computers

Whatever blinded Société Générale to his actions, it does not seem to have been desire for a grand profit. At this point, it appears the bank will muddle through, since it remains in the black. Yet the very fact that minor machinations by a minor clerk led to so astronomical a loss - one that contributed to the stock market tumble last week around the globe - demands more than some sheepish mea culpas and a few fired heads. It is imperative that French prosecutors and the French government compel Société Générale to strip away the opacity that continues to surround its behavior and explain exactly what happened and how. The problem here is not with faulty risk management or even with rogue traders. The problem is that today's sophisticated computer trading systems, vast volumes and ever more complex financial instruments can send even a modest scheme spiraling out of control before anyone spots it. It is also imperative that bankers institute better communications procedures.

Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine praevia lege poenali

Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine praevia lege poenali (Latin, No crime (can be committed), no punishment (can be imposed) without (having been prescribed by) a previous penal law) is a basic maxim in continental European legal thinking. It was written by Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach as part of the Bavarian Code in 1813. This maxim states that there can be no crime committed, and no punishment meted out, without a violation of penal law as it existed at the time. Another consequence of this principle is that only those penalties that had already been established for the offence in the time when it was committed can be imposed. Thus, not only the existence of the crime depends on there being a previous legal provision declaring it to be a penal offense (nullum crimen sine praevia lege), but also, for a specific penalty to be imposed in a certain case, it is also necessary that the penal legislation in force at the time when the crime was committed ranked the penalty to be imposed as one of the possible sanctions to that crime (nulla poena sine praevia lege). This basic legal principle has been incorporated into international criminal law. It thus prohibits the creation of ex post facto laws to the disadvantage of the defendant. (Source: Wikipedia). Some wonder if this principle applies, at the bottom-line, to Kerviel: "he has no guilty mind, consequently no crime is committed by suspect," as the investigation leads to so far. Maximum: Kerviel fired from the job as trader ?

With Edwards Out, Clinton and Obama Face Off

Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama debate Thursday for the first time since their bitter contest in South Carolina — and for the first time without John Edwards. The contest to become Democratic presidential candidate has been getting more tense ahead of votes in 22 states on "Super Tuesday" next week. Both refused to rule out the idea of running for office as presidential candidate and running mate. Obama has seen his campaign funds swell since the start of the year, with $32m of contributions reported in January.

Prosecutors ask for 2-year sentence for former Milberg Weiss partner 

The US Attorney's Office for the Central District of California  has recommended that former Milberg Weiss  partner William Lerach receive two years in prison for his part in the firm's illegal kickback scheme. Lerach pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to obstruct justice after reaching an agreement  with prosecutors in September. In court documents filed Monday, the US Attorney's Office disagreed with a 15-month recommendation by probation officers, saying that it would inadequately deter others. Sentencing is scheduled for on February 11.

US seeks troops for Afghanistan

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has urged Germany to send more troops to Afghanistan. Gate's letter to the German Defense Minister has been described as "unusually stern" by a German newspaper which has seen the correspondence. The German Defense Minister, Franz Josef Jung, is reported to have issued an equally stern response. This harsh exchange of letters comes amid growing concern that the Nato led mission in Afghanistan is failing. The Nato-led force has almost 37,000 troops in Afghanistan. The US has already promised to send an extra 3,000 US marines - but is urging other Nato countries including France and Germany to do more. So far most Nato members have refused to send significant numbers to southern Afghanistan.

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  • Crumbs! 

1 - Lords issue landmark abuse ruling. (Read more)

2 - Berlusconi cleared of false accounting in 1980s business deal. (Read more)

3 - Giuliani, Edwards quit White House race. (Read more)

4 - Keeping an Eye on China’s Security. (Read more)

5 - Judge tosses Katrina lawsuit against Engineer Corps. (Read more)

6 - Credit worries offset Fed rate cut boost. (Read more)


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  • MiMIC Journal

China Coal in 'lacklustre' debut 

Shares in China Coal Energy Corp have risen 28% on their $3.6bn debut on the Shanghai stock exchange but disappoint investors used to bigger gains. China is the world's largest producer and consumer of coal. The country has seen a slew of initial public offerings in recent years but there are signs this could slow as equity markets tumble worldwide.

China advises millions to abandon

Winter blizzards have led to energy shortages, rising food prices and exposed the rail networks fragility. China has taken the step of asking millions of migrant workers to forgo their annual Lunar New Year trip home, saying the worst winter weather in 50 years is expected to pummel the country for at least another three days.

Costs rising, China to export inflation

After years of decline, the cost of goods that are made in China is rising, threatening to end an era dominated by Wal-Mart style price-cutting. Factories are raising the prices of exports because of soaring energy and raw material costs, a weakening dollar and new regulatory policies unveiled in China over the past year. This will also help China's rise from the lowest rungs of global manufacturing. Some Western executives are forecasting that the prices of consumer goods entering the United States could jump by as much as 10 percent in 2008 and 2009.

  • Law Firm Marketing

How to overcome two costly excuses prospects make

by Trey Ryder

Why do clients and prospects make excuses ?  And what do those excuses mean ?

The excuses you regularly hear are really symptoms of other problems:

Excuse #1:  "Too expensive."  Prospects don’t appreciate the value of what you’re offering, choosing to focus on price instead.  (Also, “too expensive,” if true, could mean you’re reaching the wrong audience and should redirect your message so you reach qualified prospects.)

Excuse #2:  "Too busy."  Prospects don’t understand the importance of what you’re offering, so they ignore your suggestions and claim they’re too busy.

The purpose of a competent marketing message is to make sure prospects understand the depth of their problem -- and the solutions you can provide.  When you hear excuses, they demonstrate the failure of your marketing message.  Obviously, you’re trying to reach people who don’t appreciate the depth of their problem -- and the importance of solving it NOW!

Part of the issue is Credibility.  When prospects trust you, they are more likely to follow your advice.  So another problem is that your marketing program does not establish a high enough level of trust for prospects to do what you suggest.

Part of the issue is Importance.  Prospects must understand the terrible problems they will create if they don’t act soon.

Part of the issue is Urgency.  Motivating people to take action is hard.  Motivating them to take action AND write a check is even harder.

Part of the issue is Convenience.  Over the past year, I’ve carefully watched marketers in all types of businesses.  Those who achieve the greatest marketing success are those who make their message and their services very convenient for their prospects.

Here’s a recent example:  Before her stroke, my wife Stephanie become a Mary Kay lady and worked hard to build her business.

Steph hosted three holiday extravaganza Mary Kay showcases, one each month starting in October.  Near Christmas, she featured gift baskets.  Steph had a hard time getting friends and customers to attend because they were all too busy with other priorities.

Mary Kay ladies have now started offering "trunk sales" where they take all their stuff to their customers' houses and sell it out of their trunk.  Bottom line:  It is now too inconvenient for people to attend a gift-party extravaganza.  If Steph hopes to sell her gift baskets, she has to drive them to people’s front doors.

Convenience is hugely important, especially in a world where no one has enough time.

For your marketing program to succeed, it must do all these things:

- Firmly establish your prospect’s legal problem and its importance

- Offer solutions that only you can provide

- Prove that paying money to you is not a high cost -- but, instead, an essential and good investment - in fact, the best investment they will ever make

- Clearly point out what people lose by not hiring you now!

Your marketing message must be air tight, without any holes.  And you need ways to deliver that message that effectively reach your prospects.

For marketing success, your marketing program must deliver a competent message that puts everything in the right perspective.

© Trey Ryder

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  • Historia Verdadera

Canal – Panamá

Los ingresos por peajes en el Canal de Panamá tuvieron un incremento de 8,43 por ciento en el primer trimestre del año fiscal 2008 con respecto al mismo periodo de 2007, con un total de US$ 319 mlls. Según versiones extraoficiales la crisis económica por la que atraviesa Estados Unidos shabría tenido afectado el movimiento naviero en la región.

Depuración farmacos

El gobierno de México pone en marcha el martes la Reforma al Reglamento de Insumos para la Salud que instruye la exclusión de medicamentos similiares. Representantes de la industria farmacológica han advertido recurrir a amparos judiciales contra la norma. Este tipo de medicamentos, conocidos como las del Doctor Sumi, actualmente cuentan con 3.576 sucursales en México, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile y Perú.

Reforma jucial

La Cámara de Diputados de la Asamblea Federativa de México debate la próxima semana –5 y 7 de febrero—la Ley de Reforma Judicial y la Elección de los nuevos Consejeros del Instituto Federal Electoral, para optar la presidencia del instituto concurren más de 180 juristas mexicanos.


El gobierno de Ecuador debe pagar US$ 6,9 mlls. a ex obreros del Puerto de Guayaquil que fueron despedidos en 1995 de forma irregular, así lo estableció el Tribunal Constitucional que confirmó varios fallos administrativos del Congreso y la Justicia Laboral.


Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at www.migalhas.com/latinoamerica


  • Brief News

Rio judge bans float on Holocaust

A Brazilian judge has banned a group from parading in the Rio carnival with a float depicting the victims of the Holocaust and a Hitler figure. The judge issued the injunction after a lawsuit brought by the Jewish Federation of Rio de Janeiro, Fierj. She said the samba group could still parade but must remove mannequins meant to represent dead bodies. "The monstrosity that is the Holocaust just cannot be combined with the excessively festive nature of the carnival, a festival recognized worldwide for its joy, humor, entertainment and eroticism," said Fierj's lawyer Ricardo Brajterman. But legal decisions in Brazil are often overturned and it is still not clear if an appeal will be launched.

Noriega appeals 'not exhausted'

Panama's former leader Manuel Noriega cannot be extradited to France until his appeals in the US are exhausted, says a federal judge. Noriega, 73, has completed a 17-year jail sentence in Miami for drugs offences but is wanted in France on charges of money-laundering. He has remained in US custody while appealing against his extradition. The judge said Noriega deserved time to prove that the Geneva Conventions barred his removal to France. Noriega is deemed to be a prisoner of war in America because he was seized when US troops invaded Panama in 1989. But his lawyers claim if he is sent to France he will be treated as a "common criminal".

Win for disability rights woman

A British woman has won the initial stages of a landmark legal case at the European Court of Justice which could give new rights to millions of carers. The Advocate-General agreed that Sharon Coleman suffered "discrimination by association". As primary carer, Ms Coleman wanted flexible working arrangements, but accepted voluntary redundancy and began a claim for constructive dismissal five months later. The legal secretary claimed her former London employers Attridge Law described her as "lazy" for wanting time off to care for her disabled son. An employment tribunal hearing the case decided to refer it to the European Court for a ruling on whether EU discrimination laws covering the disabled can also apply to people not themselves disabled, but closely associated with a disabled person.  "A robust conception of equality entails that these subtler forms of discrimination should also be caught by anti-discrimination legislation," Advocate-General, Poiares Maduro said. A panel of European judges will make a final ruling later this year.

Radioactive Cargo on Train to Iran Investigated

Officials are investigating why a train en route to Iran from Kyrgyzstan was carrying radioactive cargo. The amount of cesium-137 was not enough to make a weapon. But experts are asking how the train crossed two borders equipped with radiation detectors.

Brazil accuses Amazon scientists of theft

Brazil’s Intelligence Agency claims that environmentalists are committing biopiracy by selling indigenous knowledge to pharmaceutical firms, while one religious group is said to be endangering the ethnic identity of Indians. The intelligence service has accused non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in the Amazon rainforest of biopiracy – the theft of yet-to-be catalogued species for commercial profit. The Agency monitored 25 NGOs during the last six months of 2007 and said it had found evidence that they had transferred indigenous people's knowledge of plants and animals to pharmaceutical companies. It also said there was evidence of groups affiliated to NGOs being involved in the illegal extraction of diamonds on indigenous land, and it accused religious groups of activities that endanger the ethnic identity of Indian communities. Brazil has long been concerned about protecting intellectual property rights over the Amazon forest.

Eli Lilly considers $1 billion fine to settle U.S. case

Eli Lilly and U.S. prosecutors are discussing a settlement of a civil and criminal investigation into the company's marketing of the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa that could result in Lilly's paying more than $1 billion to federal and state governments. If a deal is reached, the fine would be the largest ever paid by a drug company for breaking the U.S. laws that govern how drug makers can promote their medicines. Although doctors can prescribe drugs for any use once they are on the market, it is illegal for drug makers to promote their medicines any uses not formally approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Merck Probe

Merck is the subject of a federal grand-jury probe into its sales and marketing practices for Vioxx, the painkiller it pulled from the market in 2004. A health-care-fraud unit of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts is investigating whether Merck promoted Vioxx to health-care professionals for uses other than those approved by government regulators

Pakistan lawyers rally for release, reinstatement of ousted judges 

Thousands of lawyers held rallies across Pakistan on Thursday, protesting the ouster of Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry  and other superior court judges last November when Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf declared emergency rule  and suspended the country's constitution. The protests followed a statement by Chaudhry  Wednesday in which he called Musharraf an "extremist" and chided him for deposing 60 judges and keeping Chaudhry under virtual house arrest  in his official residence. The lawyers are demanding Musharraf's resignation, the release of all detained judges and lawyers, and the reinstatement of all deposed judges.

Volvo Cars guilty of manslaughter

Swedish carmaker Volvo has been found guilty of manslaughter after a French court ruled that faulty brakes were to blame for a fatal car crash in France. Volvo was fined 200,000 euros, though it has denied the car was faulty. Volvo's lawyers rejected that the accident was the result of a mechanical defect and are expected to appeal the ruling.

Secret files setback in Romania 

The agency probing the secret files from the Romanian communist era may be abolished after a court ruling.

Bush signs 15-day extension for stopgap surveillance law 

Bush signed a 15-day extension to the temporary Protect America Act, carrying it beyond its February 1 expiration date. The Protect Act, enacted as a stopgap while Congress worked on long-term legislation to "modernize" the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), currently allows the US government to eavesdrop inside of the US without court approval as long as one end of a conversation is reasonably perceived to have been outside of the US. On Monday, Bush threatened to veto any extension of the Act that did not include a provision which granted immunity to telecom companies that cooperated with the government's warrentless domestic wiretap program . Last week, Senate Republicans defeated an attempt by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid  to extend the Protect Act for an additional month without the immunity provision. Reid then sent a letter to Bush asking that he support an extension to the Protect Act  as it appeared unlikely Congress would agree to reauthorize FISA before February 1.

UN not meeting international justice standards in Kosovo: Amnesty report 

The International Judges and Prosecutors Programme  of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK)  has failed to meet international standards to ensure fair trials, according to a report  released Wednesday by Amnesty International . The report blamed "flaws in the concept, limited resources and the low priority that international justice has been given" for systemic failures that could result in scores of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the 1990s conflict in Kosovo  going unpunished.

Brazil Adds Compulsory Deposit Rule for Some Accounts

Brazil's central bank raised compulsory deposit requirements for certain types of bank accounts in a bid to tighten credit and control accelerating inflation. Today's action may eventually remove as much as 40 billion reais ($22.7 billion) from credit markets, a move designed to curb inflation that's hovering at the bank's 4.5 percent target. Under the new rules, banks that receive cash deposits from lease underwriters will have to use a portion of those funds to buy government bonds. Previously, those deposits were exempt from compulsory deposit rules. The requirement will begin at 5 percent of deposits in May and climb to 25 percent by January 2009.

EU suspends Brazil beef imports

The European Union will suspend all imports of Brazilian beef from Thursday saying the country's foot-and-mouth disease checks are "unacceptable". Last month, the EU warned that only beef from an authorized list of Brazilian farms would be allowed into Europe from 31 January. But no agreement was reached on the list, so Brazil has been told none of its beef can be exported to EU nations. Brazil's government said the temporary ban was "unjustifiable and arbitrary".

Israel high court upholds Gaza supply cuts 

The Israeli Supreme Court  ruled Wednesday that the Israeli government can continue to cut supplies of fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip , rejecting legal challenges  by human rights groups that the blockade deprived Gaza residents of basic humanitarian needs in violation of international law. Israeli officials say that withholding fuel and energy supplies is the only option open to the Israeli government aside from a full-scale military operation against Hamas , which has refused to halt indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israeli positions from Gaza. The court held that Israel is required to act against terror organizations in accordance with the norms of international law but that the reduced supplies currently allowed into Gaza "fulfill the vital humanitarian needs of the Gaza Strip at this time." In November 2007, the Israeli Supreme Court blocked government plans to cut electricity  in the Gaza Strip, while allowing fuel supply cuts. Israel currently supplies all of Gaza's fuel and more than two-thirds of its electricity.

Bali Case

In a sign of the increasingly complicated landscape for luxury hotels, a Maryland jury last week found luxury-hotel operator Ritz-Carlton violated its contract with the owner of a hotel in Bali and awarded the owner $10 million in punitive damages. The case comes as large conglomerate hotel companies are launching more luxury brands, at times with partners from the world of fashion and retail.

Law Without Suits: New Hires Flout Tradition

One of the lifestyle perks law firms increasingly offer young lawyers is the chance to dress comfortably at the office. With "business casual" as the new dress code of record, ties hang in closets and jackets await their day in court at home. There's just one problem: It can be difficult to get young associates to shift gears and don traditional dress when the need arises. A decade after the dot-com boom made casual Friday a weeklong event, many people under 30 have never witnessed a suits-only office. Older people have long complained about the sartorial sloppiness of the younger generation. But the divide is stark in the legal profession.

  • Daily Press Review

Ban seeks to bolster Kenya talks
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

UN SC authorizes MONUC to organize, conduct local elections
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

Ex-Chief Justice Wiredu is dead
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

AU Summit: UN Chief Should Demand Justice in Darfur
Human Rights Watch (Africa), International news press releases

Obama, Clinton in Hollywood face-off
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Drug epidemic is robbing SA of its kids
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Zuma says third presidential term 'an issue to deal with'
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

School gunman still on the run
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

10 killed in Mexico bus accident
Brazil Sun, Independent online news aggregator

Peru: Photo of the day - Pan de Pisco
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Ottawa kept abuse charges against Afghan ally secret
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Obama, Clinton civil in debate
Toronto Star, Liberal daily, Toronto, Canada

Floods inundate hundreds of houses in Padang, W Sumatra
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

U.S., France Discuss Afghanistan and NATO
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Shoaib Malik in knotty affair over Indian 'bride'
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Delhi escapes Friday freeze
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Suharto puzzle still in play
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Bone fragments cannot be released yet, court told
Malaysian Star, Online news portal,  Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Al Qaeda Afghanistan commander Libi killed
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Clinton, Obama complement one another in debate
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

'Stolen' payout boost
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Rs.10,000-cr. package for Arunachal
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

Ferry runs aground off Blackpool
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Inflation hits record pace in euro zone
International Herald Tribune, Independent daily, Paris, France

Ministers tell PM: we must wake up to the Tory threat
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Bristol-Myers hit by credit crisis
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Ferry  rescue after freak wave in Irish Sea
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

The Tony Rezko documents
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

Poll: Olmert's Popularity Up 10%
Arutz Sheva, Online, right-wing, Tel Aviv, Israel

Abbas sets conditions for Gaza talks with Hamas
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Clinton, Obama in cordial debate
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

UNESCO chief: We are trying to mediate over Temple Mount bridge
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Israel/Lebanon:  Probe of '06 War Ignored Civilians Deaths
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Batelco net rises to BD101.5m
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

Qaida Operative in Afghanistan Killed
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

Egypt, Hamas restore order to Gaza border
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon


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