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Economy

Can the rich save the American dream by preaching what they practice?

February 6th, 2012  |  Source: The Economist

Just because he belongs to it himself does not make Newt Gingrich wrong when he grumbles that America is run by an out-of-touch elite. If you want evidence, the data can now be found in a book published this week by Charles Murray, the co-author in 1994 of “The Bell Curve”, which became controversial for positing a link between race and intelligence. That controversy should not deter you. “Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010” brims with ideas about what ails America.


U.S. Stocks Jump on Upbeat Reports

February 3rd, 2012  |  Source: WSJ

Stocks rose after the U.S. economy added more jobs than expected last month, driving the Nasdaq Composite to an 11-year high and sending the Dow near its highest reading in nearly four years.

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US Senate backs Congress insider trading ban

February 2nd, 2012  |  Source: BBC

 

The US Senate has approved a bill seeking to ban insider trading by members of Congress.

Under current rules, lawmakers can trade stock unrestricted even though they may have specialist knowledge.

The bill, passed by a bipartisan 96-3 vote, would require them to file disclosures of trades within 30 days.

Congress is suffering from historically low approval ratings, prompting frank admissions that the bill is aimed at cleaning up its public image.


LOST GROUND, 2011: DISPARITIES IN MORTGAGE LENDING AND FORECLOSURES

February 2nd, 2012  |  Source: Responsible Lending.org

“Lost Ground, 2011” is based on an analysis of 27 million mortgages made over a five-year period. Here are our top-line findings:

The nation is not even halfway through the foreclosure crisis. 6.4 percent of mortgages made between 2004 and 2008 have ended in foreclosure, and an additional 8.3 percent are at immediate, serious risk.


How Bain's Lobbying Saved Mitt Millions

January 30th, 2012  |  Source: Mother Jones

Private equity titans like Bain Capital used K Street to preserve the GOP front-runner's favorite—and most lucrative—tax loophole.

The ex-governor has benefited handsomely from the influence-peddling of Bain Capital, the private equity firm he cofounded in 1983. Though he's been gone from Bain for over a decade, Romney continues to rake in millions from accounts with the firm—and in 2007, he took Bain's side in a key lobbying battle with Washington—one that saved him millions of dollars.


Food Aid to Developing Nations May Increase Armed Conflict

January 30th, 2012  |  Source: WSJ Blog

The country is torn by conflict. The people are hungry.

Our natural response is to send food, but in practice that can be problematic. For decades, aid workers, journalists and others have documented cases where food aid has been misappropriated by armed groups who use it to feed their soldiers and buy weapons. Convoy trucks and other equipment are often captured.


Tim Cook blasts the New York Times' report on Apple's Chinese iPad factories

January 28th, 2012  |  Source: Fortune

Calls the suggestion that his company doesn't care about the health and safety of workers in the supply chain he built "patently false and offensive"

Here's one thing that's changed since Steve Jobs died.

When Tim Cook, Apple's (AAPL) new CEO, thinks his company has been wronged by the media, he doesn't shrink from hitting back -- swiftly and in a way that he knows will quickly become public.


The CEO Bankruptcy Bonus

January 27th, 2012  |  Source: WSJ

 

Firms Sidestep Rule Limiting Rewards for Executives

On the way to bankruptcy court, Lear Corp., a car-parts supplier, closed 28 factories, cut more than 20,000 jobs and wiped out shareholders.

Still, Lear sought $20.6 million in bonuses for key executives and other employees, including an eventual payout of more than $5.4 million for then-Chief Executive Robert Rossiter.


A Few Firms Have Outsized Influence in D.C.

January 25th, 2012  |  Source: HBS Working Knowledge

"The whole perspective of how firms influence policy environments is a relatively new question to economists."




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