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Wandas Dick Clark deal shaky, but not yet dead sources


´╗┐BEIJING/SHANGHAI Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda's proposed $1 billion purchase of Hollywood's Dick Clark Productions Inc is under pressure but is not yet over, sources told Reuters, amid high U.S.-China tensions and tight scrutiny by Beijing on outbound deals. An industry executive with indirect knowledge of the deal said it had hit hurdles but was not dead. A second person close to the deal said reports saying the deal was finished were off the mark, and that the parties still expected the deal to close. Online entertainment news website The Wrap reported on Monday, citing two unidentified sources, that Wanda's deal for Dick Clark had "fallen apart" over problems getting currency out of China and regulatory approval from the Chinese government. Dalian Wanda declined to comment on the deal when contacted by Reuters. The sources told Reuters they were not authorized to speak with media on the matter and so declined to be identified. If Wanda were to walk away from the deal, it would be one of the most high-profile outbound investments to fall by the wayside, though by no means the first. Anbang Insurance Group Co Ltd [ANBANG. UL] abandoned a $14 billion bid for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide last year due to "market considerations". Wanda, run by China's richest man Wang Jianlin, said in early November it would buy all of Dick Clark, the company that runs the Golden Globe awards and Miss America pageants, as part of a major push into Hollywood.

It already owns Legendary Entertainment, co-producer of film hits such as "Jurassic World," and U.S. cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (AMC. N). It also has business ties with Sony Pictures Corp and Sony Corp's (6758. T) film unit in China. SCRUTINY

China's government is trying to stem capital from leaving the country, which dealmakers have said is creating a hold-up for some deals because Chinese investors are unable to get the green light to transfer funds. This follows a series of measures by authorities since late last year to tighten restrictions on capital outflows and rein in what officials have called "irrational" outbound investment. However, a third person familiar with the deal told Reuters that while many Chinese firms were facing issues moving money out of the country, it wasn't clear this was the main factor in any hold-up to the Dick Clark transaction.

"The deal faced severe scrutiny at the time from Congress and Wanda may now be reassessing its value," the person said. Wanda has also faced hurdles getting Beijing's approval for other investments in sports and entertainment, the person said. The Dick Clark takeover had raised concerns among some U.S. lawmakers about China's influence in Hollywood and the impact it might have on U.S. media, although Wang has said his interest in the company stemmed from business and not politics. Dick Clark Productions was not immediately available for comment. Dick Clark's owner, media investment holding company Eldridge Industries LLC, declined to comment.

Your money financial obsessives track every penny, every minute


´╗┐(The writer is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.)By Chris TaylorNEW YORK, Sept 30 Most of us can't recall where we spent every single dollar last Tuesday. But Corey Maass can. He spent exactly $20 for a haircut, $20 for a dress shirt and $15 for dinner. Maass knows that because every single day, the Nashville-based software developer uploads all his spending to a smartphone application he created just for that purpose. His app, The Birdy (thebirdy.com) gives him instant readouts of his spending without him having to connect to his bank or wait for his credit card statements to upload. His creation forces him to confront his spending with daily emails and text messages that require him to respond with his spending data, which he sometimes enters more than once a day. Because he can get instant analytics, Maass knows exactly where he's dropping his cash, where he's spending too much -- and where he needs to cut back. Call it financial lifelogging: The Corey Maasses of the world are obsessed with taking their financial temperatures at all times, just as some people use mobile devices and applications to track every calorie burned, every heartbeat thumped and every moment of REM sleep.

"Before, I was making bad decisions because all my spending was emotional," says Maass, 36. "I would justify spending $200 just because I was in a bad mood, and then the next day my spending would be based on the fact that I felt guilty. Once I started tracking I could see all that, and I was able to take the emotion out of it. But I needed the numbers to do that."There is a whole social movement emerging around the idea of data-driven life management. Adherents of the Quantified Self philosophy (this site) aim at self-improvement through number-crunching, whether it's analyzing one's health, moods or finances. Apps like Intuit Inc.' s Mint, BUDGT and Spendee are making it easy for those who want to know where every penny is going at all times. Some apps requires users to turn over financial account passwords and then scrape the spending data from them; others, like The Birdy, require users to enter the information themselves. Either way, habitual tracking can have surprisingly positive effects on one's personal balance sheet.

"The simple act of tracking shows you two things," says Charles Duhigg, a New York Times staff writer and author of "The Power of Habit." He is a close tracker himself who can estimate his net worth in any given week to within 50 cents. "It shows you patterns that you might not be aware of. And it encourages reflection about whether you really need to buy all these things."Such intense budgetary review actually works: After all, researchers have found the simple act of financial tracking usually leads to a decrease in spending. Australian academics Ken Cheng and Megan Oaten of Sydney's Macquarie University once had volunteers write down every single purchase for four months, which led to marked improvement in their financial lives. They also found that positive financial habits started bleeding into other areas, with the volunteers improving their behavior in everything from house cleaning to exercising. Konstantin Augemberg, a New York City statistician and quantified self adherent, has been tracking not only his finances but pretty much everything else on his site, this site, in order to better himself daily.

"I look at the calories I'm taking in, the money I'm spending, the moods I'm in, or how I'm using my time," says Augemberg, 36. "Then I look at the data for trends and patterns, to get some interesting insights about myself."One such insight: Augemberg found he was spending 20 percent of his paycheck on going out to eat