TOP NEWS: Economy: May 30, 2012
Excerpts and more top stories
The Asymmetric Recovery – Casey B. Mulligan, NY Times
By one measure, the labor market has not recovered at all. By another, the recovery is complete. The employment-to-population ratio fell more than 5 percent during the official recession period and fell almost an additional 2 percent in the second half of 2009. The ratio has been essentially constant since then; there has been no meaningful increase in the fraction of Americans who are employed.
College dropouts have debt but no degree – Ylan Q. Mui and Suzy Khimm, Washington Post
As the nation amasses more than $1 trillion in student loans, education experts say a vexing new problem has emerged: A growing number of young people have a mountain of debt but no degree to show for it. Nearly 30 percent of college students who took out loans dropped out of school, up from fewer than a quarter of students a decade ago, according to a recent analysis of government data by think tank Education Sector.
US consumer confidence falls to eight-month low – BBC US consumer confidence has fallen to an eight-month low in May as fears about the global economy and a falling domestic stock market hit sentiment. The Consumer Confidence Index, published by the Conference Board, fell to 64.9, down from 68.7 in April.
The wheel of fortune - Schumpeter, The Economist
For a company, no decision matters more than picking the right chief executive. A good boss can turn a so-so company into a scorcher. A bad one can turn a successful firm into a flop. Last year about 350 of the world’s 2,500 biggest public companies appointed a new head honcho. What is to be expected from this brave new band of bosses?
Wells Fargo Settles Discriminatory Lending Suit, Pays Tennessee Towns Memphis, Shelby $432 Million - Rick Rothacker, Huffington Post
Wells Fargo & Co has promised $432.5 million in lending and other payments to end a lawsuit accusing the bank of discriminatory lending practices in Memphis, Tennessee. The fourth-largest bank by assets has set a five-year lending goal in Memphis and surrounding Shelby County of $425 million, including $125 million for home purchases for low and moderate income borrowers, the bank said in a statement on Tuesday.
Even in Coal Country, the Fight for an Industry – Eric Lipton, NY Times For generations, coal has been king in this Appalachian town. It provided heat, light and jobs for the hundreds of people who worked in the nearby coal mines and the smoke-coughing Big Sandy power plant that burned their black bounty. But now, coal is in a corner.
Dim Prospects for Financial Crisis Prosecutions - Peter J. Henning, NY Times
As has been noted many times, the lack of criminal prosecutions arising out of the financial crisis has been painfully obvious. And two items in the news last week underscores that the prospect for a signature case is growing even more distant.
Bank Regulators Still Lack Guidelines On Social Media Monitoring - Jason Wallace and Suzanne Barlyn, Huffington Post
As the securities industry finally warms up to using social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, regulators are discovering that brokerages and investment advisers are off to a rocky start. Some firms are making major missteps as they ramp up their presence on the sites, and many do not even have social networking policies.
‘Corzine Rule’ Restricting Use Of Customer Funds, Submitted To CFTC For Approval – Reuters
Futures brokers would need to get approval from a top executive before making big withdrawals from customer accounts under a rule now pending and referred to in the industry as the “Corzine rule”, after MF Global’s former CEO Jon Corzine.
Blackberry maker RIM warns of loss and job cuts - BBC
The company behind the Blackberry smartphone has warned it will make a loss in its latest quarter and make “significant” job cuts. Research In Motion (RIM) also said it was hiring JPMorgan and RBC Capital Markets to help with a “strategic review” of the business.