The Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on May 4, saying that General Motors is misleadingly claiming in a TV advertisement that it has already paid back its government loan in full.
Quick: What’s a “derivative”? The difference between a “custodial account” and a “trust”? “Listed” versus “unlisted” markets? “Debentures”? How about “price earning ratios”? “Assets” per se, versus “net asset value”? “Capitalism” versus “capitalization”? Stumped? Well, don’t feel badly. Most of your friends and neighbors are stumped, too, unless they majored in economics and are pursuing finance as a career.
Long term caution is affecting the economic decisions of millions of baby boomers. The continued growth of investment values led millions of Americans in their early 60s to indulge themselves and to retire early, confident that the values and income from their investments would provide a comfortable life for them without much care.
Newspapers are dying. That is the message from the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations, an independent firm that checks the average circulation of various print periodicals. The average drop of newspaper circulation nationally was 8.7 percent. This was somewhat smaller than the last quarterly audit, which showed an average circulation drop of 10.6 percent, but the circulation figures were bad enough.
Vice President Joe Biden predicted job growth of 250,000 to 500,000 jobs a month in the next two months, according to CNBC on Monday. Biden was speaking at a political fundraiser in Pittsburgh, where he said, “We caught a lot of bad breaks on the way down. We’re going to catch a few good breaks because of good planning on the way up.... All in all, we’re going to be creating somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 jobs next month.” Even though some have cautioned Biden about his excessive and premature enthusiasm, Biden continued: “I’m here to tell you some time in the next couple of months we’re going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.”
The International Monetary Fund proposed a draft of two global taxes — a bank tax, and a “FAT” tax against what politicians deem to be excessive salaries or bonuses in the financial sector — at the Washington G-20 meeting last weekend. The final version of the proposal to create what the IMF calls a “stable global financial system” will be discussed by G-20 nations at the Toronto summit in June.
In addition to valiant congressional efforts for increased transparency, the Federal Reserve System and its cohorts are being targeted with criminal complaints and multiple lawsuits that attempt to shed to light on the central bank’s “bailouts” and its manipulation of the stock market, the precious-metals market, and more.
"Congress is to be applauded for tackling financial regulatory reform," wrote U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas J. Donahue in an op-ed piece published yesterday by the D.C. political journal, The Hill. But for most of the piece, Donahue appeared to be applauding with one hand, using the other to point to what the Chamber regards as a severe overreach in the regulatory bill now before the Senate.
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. executive director Fabrice Tourre probably didn't help his company's public relations efforts (assuming it has some) by referring to an index that facilitates derivatives trading as "a little like Frankenstein turning against his own inventor." But Tourre made that observation in January 29, 2007 e-mail that predated the crisis in the subprime mortgage market.
Some of the opponents of the recently enacted health care legislation may have been premature with their warnings about "death panels." A death panel of sorts can be found in the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, the financial regulation bill that has Congress divided once again along partisan lines. The bill would establish in the U.S Bankruptcy Court in Delaware an ominous-sounding Orderly Liquidation Authority Panel to preside over the (presumably) orderly process of putting out of business a large bank or non-banking financial firm whose "financial distress or failure" could create "risks to the financial stability of the United States..."
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit April 16 against New York-based investment bank Goldman Sachs. The SEC alleges that Goldman committed systematic fraud in marketing a package to investors without revealing a major conflict of interest.