TOP NEWS: Economy: August 30th, 2012
- Fed Sees Modest Growth as Jobs, Housing Improve
- No surprises likely from Bernanke
- Citi to Settle Suit for $590 Million
- Small business a common theme at Republican Convention
- MF Global Trustee Seeks to End Suits
Excerpts and More Top Stories
ECONOMY: Fed Sees Modest Growth as Jobs, Housing Improve - WSJ
The U.S. economy inched ahead in July and early August, as the jobs picture improved slightly in some areas and the housing market continued to mend.
ECONOMY: Back-to-School Boosts U.S. Retailers – WSJ
U.S. retailers delivered strong sales numbers for August, boosted by back-to-school buying and consumers’ desire for newness, with Target, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Gap among the standouts.
ECONOMY: Americans Chip Away at Debt on Homes - WSJ
Total U.S. household debt fell by 0.5% in the April-to-June period from the previous quarter to $11.38 trillion, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said.
ECONOMY/FED: No surprises likely from Bernanke - FT
Ben Bernanke’s speech on Monetary Policy Since the Crisis is more likely to provide a broad framing of the Fed’s actions over the last five years
FED/BERNANKE: At pivotal moment, Bernanke low on economic ammo – WP
On Friday, the Federal Reserve chairman returns to the annual economic conference at Jackson Hole, Wyo., still facing huge economic challenges, but now he’s far more constrained by both politics and limitations on what the Fed can do to help the economy.
BANKING: Citi to Settle Suit for $590 Million - WSJ
In one of the largest settlements of suits tied to the financial crisis, Citigroup agreed to pay $590 million over claims that it deceived investors by hiding the extent of its dealings in toxic subprime debt.
BANKING: BofA Trails in Mortgage Pact - WSJ
The lender, which is required to provide the largest chunk of relief under a $25-billion pact, is struggling to put processes in place to quickly execute the program, said a report.
BANKING: Lawmakers Scale Back Libor Document Request - WSJ
Members of Congress have given the New York Fed more time to hand over documents about how much officials knew about manipulation of a key interest rate.
BANKING: Why Are the Big Banks Suddenly Afraid? – NY TIMES, OPINION
Across the political spectrum, more voices are calling for limits on banks’ size, and no persuasive evidence demonstrates that this would be a bad thing.
BANKING: Barclays Names C.E.O. Amid Upheaval – NYT
The British bank named its retail boss, Antony Jenkins, as its new chief executive to replace Robert E. Diamond Jr., who stepped down in June over the rate-manipulation scandal.
RNC/ECONOMICS: Small business a common theme at Republican Convention - WP
Paul Ryan’s emotional remarks punctuate the party’s efforts to sell its ticket to Main Street.
RNC/ECONOMICS: 5 Economic Myths and 1 Big Truth at the Republican Convention - THE ATLANTIC
Obama’s jobs record is miserable — but this good fundamental argument is jumbled up with an array of fibs and obfuscations.
RNC/TECH: GOP adopts Internet freedom plank - WP
Republicans adopted an Internet freedom plank, vow to protect current governance.
INVESTING: MF Global Trustee Seeks to End Suits – WSJ
Louis Freeh proposed “full-scale negotiation” in lieu of litigation to resolve disputes over how to recover money for MF Global’s customers and creditors.
INVESTING/SEC: Hedge Fund Proposal Would Allow Secretive Enclave to Open Up - NYT OPINION
AZAM AHMED: A new proposal outlined on Wednesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission would remove a longtime restriction barring hedge funds from marketing themselves in public.
INVESTING: GSV Capital, Placing Bets on Start-Ups, Falters – NYT
Global Silicon Valley, a closed-end mutual fund that offers ordinary investors a chance to own stakes in privately held companies, has been hit particularly hard by Facebook’s troubles.
INVESTING: Hedge Ads Get Green Light – WSJ
The SEC proposed allowing hedge funds and other businesses to mass market certain private stock offerings without restricting the advertising.
ECONOMIC RECOVERY: Reagan and Obama: A Tale of Two Recoveries - WSJ
Phil Gramm: How these two presidents responded to a deep recession reveals polar extremes in policy. And in results.
BUDGET DEFICIT: Is the Deficit Urgent, or a Distraction? – NYT, ROOM FOR DEBATE
There is no consensus about whether the U.S. can sustain the economic recovery while also fixing the broken budget.
FISCAL CLIFF: Fiscal Cliff Doesn’t Look So Bad After the Fall – BLOOMBERG, OPINION
CAROLINE BAUM: “There are good arguments for letting the fiscal cliff pass without creating an escape hatch. . . . Things will get worse in the short term, but 10 years from now GDP will be higher, and interest rates, the budget deficit and government debt will be much lower.”
CREDIT RATINGS: Illinois Suffers Credit Downgrade - WSJ
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services cut its credit rating for Illinois amid continuing failure by elected officials to plug an $83 billion pension gap.
CREDIT RATING: Credit-Rating Gadfly Leaves S&P - WSJ
Mark Adelson, who pushed for tough rating criteria, including those that led to the unprecedented downgrade of U.S. debt last year, left S&P on Monday.
RETIREMENT: ‘The Economy Stole My Retirement’ - WSJ
The uncertain economy has left millions of small-business owners in their 60s and 70s unable to retire and forced to hang on for a recovery that economists say could still be a long way off.
HOUSING: Homeowners See Benefits in Bank Plan - NYT
More than 130,000 people have benefited – mostly through short sales – in the first stage of relief promised by five banks in settling allegations of foreclosure abuses.
GOLD STANDARD: The Gold Standard Goes Mainstream - WSJ
In the ferment within today’s Republican Party, there’s a growing realization that America’s system of fiat money is part of the economic problem.
COMMODITIES: Wheat Prices Jump More Than 3% – WSJ
U.S. wheat futures rose 3.5% ahead of a meeting of Russia’s agricultural ministry later this week, amid fears the big wheat-exporting country may curb grain exports.
The Common Good publishes a U.S. domestic news digest every weekday, available here.