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June 4, 2012 | By Joe Bel Bruno
Investors might be jumping out of stocks in droves, but that hasn't dissuaded one new online brokerage startup from launching this week. Motif Investing launched Monday with a service that allows customers to buy a basket of stocks that focuses on a common theme. For instance, “The Seven Deadly Sins” that includes cigarette or alcohol makers, or “Lots of Likes” that focuses on the most popular companies on Facebook. It might sound like a gimmick but the San Mateo-based Motif has some heavy hitters behind it. Former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Arthur Levitt is advising the board, and former Bank of America wealth-management honcho Sally Krawcheck signed on to be a director.
May 6, 2012 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON — It may be the best-kept secret in residential real estate: For a couple of hundred dollars, a potential buyer bidding on an existing house can ask for a formal energy audit along with the standard inspection clause. That audit, in turn, can save the buyer thousands of dollars in future operating costs and pinpoint the specific features of the house that need correction to improve efficiency. It might also be a tipoff to a sobering reality: This house is an energy guzzler.
April 24, 2012 | By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
CAIRO - The decorum of diplomacy has devolved into embarrassing headlines and testy one-liners in the increasingly strained relations between Egypt and Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that Egypt's Sinai peninsula had become a "kind of Wild West" overrun by militants, terrorists and arms smugglers. Over the weekend, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman had suggested massing more Israeli troops along the border with Egypt. That drew a bit of mafia parlance from Egypt's military ruler, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi: "Our borders, especially the northeast ones, are inflamed.
March 18, 2012 | By Roger Vincent
With the economy apparently stabilizing, commercial real estate investors have jumped into several markets in the West, brokers said. “There is a lot of capital that needs to get out,” said broker Kevin Shannon of CBRE Group Inc. “People have fresh allocations for both debt and equity and … want to put it to work.” The hottest markets for buyers in search of Class A office buildings are Seattle and San Francisco, he said, but...
March 4, 2012 | By Roger Vincent
Mariner's Mile Marine Center, a nautical landmark in Newport Beach, has been acquired by a local investor for $25 million, real estate brokers said. The property at 2429-2507 West Coast Highway holds five New England-style buildings that date to the 1960s. Mariners Mile holds offices and shops as well as a shipyard and large boat slips, said broker Mark Larson of Lee & Associates Investment Services Group. One of the boats docked there is the Wild Goose, a minesweeper-turned-yacht once owned by actor John Wayne and now operated by Hornblower Cruises.
February 22, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli
On Wednesday night, debate viewers will see the now-familiar four: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. Some of those watching, though, will still be dreaming of Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan or Mitch Daniels. As Romney's campaign has faltered and his candidacy has lost the aura of inevitability, there has been as much talk about the possibility of a white knight candidate making a late entry into the race as there is about one of the remaining three candidates emerging as the Republican nominee.
February 5, 2012 | By Lew Sichelman
When it comes to lawsuits, real estate agents and brokers tangle mostly among themselves. But a good number of cases are brought by disgruntled buyers or sellers. To be fair, the vast majority of real estate deals go off without a hitch, or at least without problems that leave buyers or sellers feeling so wronged that they are willing to spend the time and money to take someone to court. If the latest edition of "Legal Scan" tells us anything, it is that a handful of agents and brokers and their clients either don't know the law or don't care to follow it. "Legal Scan" is a biennial research report by the National Assn.
December 7, 2011 | By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times
Prominent Los Angeles property brokerage Ramsey-Shilling Commercial Real Estate Services Inc. has been bought by Avison Young, Canada's largest independent commercial real estate services company. Avison Young plans to acquire more Southern California brokerages and other real estate companies in the U.S. in the months ahead, Managing Director Neil Resnick said. Resnick, a broker formerly with Grubb & Ellis, opened Avison Young's first Los Angeles office in August. The acquisition of Ramsey-Shilling for an undisclosed amount added 23 employees, including 18 brokers, to Avison Young.
December 1, 2011 | By Don Lee, Christi Parson and David Pierson, Los Angeles Times
Europe's worsening debt crisis has been a source of mounting fear and frustration for U.S. government officials and the biggest single threat to the struggling American economic recovery. On Wednesday, policymakers found an opening to act, with the Federal Reserve coordinating a move by six central banks to give European lenders cheaper access to dollars. The effort, designed to quell fears of a credit squeeze, triggered a huge rally in global stock markets, with the Dow gaining 490.05 points, the biggest one-day advance since March 2009.
November 13, 2011 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
Syrian President Bashar Assad finds himself in an unenviable position reminiscent of the late Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi's: an autocrat who may fall victim to the shifting geopolitical landscape in an "Arab Spring" that is reshaping the balance of power in the Middle East. Once a wellspring of Arab pride and nationalism, Syria is confronting the changing dynamics of the region as old alliances fade and new brokers emerge, most notably the tiny emirate of Qatar, which in recent years has boldly challenged traditional powers with a clever mix of wealth and populism through its Al Jazeera network.
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