TOP NEWS: Economy: September 12th, 2012
- Whistle-Blower Awarded $104 Million by I.R.S.
- New Stimulus as the Election Nears? It’s Been Done
- Health-Plan Costs Rise More Slowly
- Equity Firms Like Bain Are Depicted as Colluding
- Retirement Reform Debate
Excerpts and More Top Stories
BANKING/UBS: Whistle-Blower Awarded $104 Million by I.R.S. - NYT
Bradley Birkenfeld, who got out of jail last month after serving time for helping Americans dodge taxes, received a lavish bonus for his role in exposing tax schemes at UBS.
BANKING REGULATION: The law that explains the folly of bank regulation – FT, OPINION
JOHN KAY: Complex safeguards failed because failure is intrinsic to that style of oversight
BANKING: Footnote to Crisis: More Shun Banks - WSJ
Middle-class Americans are spending less time in bank lobbies these days, turning also to prepaid debit cards and payday lenders. The phenomenon shows how consumer behavior has changed in the five years since the onset of the global financial crisis.
BANKING: What Will It Take to Get Banks to Make More Loans? - BLOOMBERG, OPINION
By Deborah Solomon: Imagine if the U.S. government threw a giant, expensive party — but paved the path to the festivities with so many obstacles no one could get there?
BANKING: Prudent finance requires partnership - FT, OPINION
A top team jointly and severally liable for debt would enhance bank safety.
BANKING/INVESTING: Citigroup takes $2.9bn hit on Smith Barney sale – FT
Agreement was also reached for Morgan Stanley to buy the remaining 35 per cent stake of Citi’s stake in Smith Barney by June of 2015.
FED STIMULUS: Economic Stimulus as the Election Nears? It’s Been Done Before - NYT
BINYAMIN APPELBAUM: The Federal Reserve said it does not consider politics when setting policy, but it is again poised to announce an economic stimulus effort during an election season.
FED: Gramm and Taylor: The Hidden Costs of Monetary Easing - WSJ, OPINION
Inflation is not the only danger posed by the central bank’s ballooning balance sheet.
FED STIMULUS: Fed Seen Starting QE3 and Extending Rate Pledge to 2015 – BLOOMBERG
The Federal Reserve is likely to announce a third round of bond purchases tomorrow, according to almost two-thirds of economists in a Bloomberg survey, while also extending the duration of its zero-interest-rate policy into 2015.
HEALTHCARE: Health-Plan Costs Rise More Slowly - WSJ
After a sharp jump in 2011, the amount employers paid for workers’ health insurance rose more slowly this year, with the average cost of a family plan growing 4%.
HEALTHCARE: Study Finds Both Waste and Opportunity to Improve - NYT
The Institute of Medicine says the American medical system loses $750 billion annually by squandering 30 cents of every dollar spent.
HEALTHCARE: The Day Health Insurance Died - WSJ, OPINION
By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.: WellPoint’s recently booted CEO was present at the destruction.
HEALTHCARE: We need a new mindset on mental health – FT, OPINION
On pure investment grounds, we should be doing more about our wellbeing
PRIVATE EQUITY: Equity Firms Like Bain Are Depicted as Colluding - NYT
Heavily redacted documents showed top private equity firms agreeing among themselves on which would bid on takeover targets.
FINANCIAL PLANNING/401K: Retirement Reform Debate - NYT
Is it time to revamp the 401(k)? Or replace it entirely? The debate is under way, just as the accounts have supplanted pensions as the mainstay of America’s employer-sponsored retirement system.
MARKETS: Exchanges Plot Fixes for Glitches – WSJ
Big U.S. stock exchanges are hatching a plan aimed at convincing regulators that the industry can prevent future technology glitches.
MARKETS: Why Markets Need ‘Naked’ Credit Default Swaps - WSJ, OPINION
Stuart M. Turnbull, Lee M. Wakeman: Anyone facing losses from a government default should be able to protect himself by hedging.
HOUSING: Housing Programs Are a Sorry Tale of Too Much Caution - BLOOMBERG, EDITORIAL
The U.S. housing market, left mostly to its own devices for the past four years, is finally on the mend.
GOVERNMENT SPENDING: Acting GSA chief seeks lasting changes - WP
Five months after the GSA scandal, Dan Tangherlini is returning to the Hill to discuss waste-cutting changes. - WP
WAGE GROWTH: Changes in Inequality in the 21st Century - NYT
CASEY B. MULLIGAN: Inequality in wage growth — with more highly skilled workers gaining ground more quickly than the less skilled — was unabated in the Great Recession and its aftermath.
UNIONS: Paul Moreno: How Public Unions Became So Powerful - WSJ, OPINION
By 1970, nearly 20% of American workers were employed by government.
TAXES/GASOLINE: Taxes Show One Way to Save Fuel - NYT
EDUARDO PORTER: Some economists say that new fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks will do less good for the environment than a straight tax on gasoline.
DROUGHT/COMMODITIES: USDA Again Cuts Corn, Soybean Forecasts - WSJ
The government forecasts total corn production of 10.727 billion bushels this year, down 0.5% from its August estimate, but it didn’t cut its forecast for domestic corn inventories.
DROUGHT/FARM EQUIPMENT: Drought Won’t Kill Farm Equipment - WSJ
Farm-equipment makers are banking on soaring crop prices and a resilient agricultural economy to help them weather a historic U.S. drought.
ENERGY: Chesapeake Energy to Sell Assets for $6.9 Billion - NYT
The Chesapeake Energy Corporation said on Wednesday that it had agreed to a series of asset sales as part of an effort to reduce its considerable debt burden.
ENERGY/COAL: Coal-Fired Power Plants Mothballed by Gas Glut – WSJ
A growing number of coal-fired plants that were built to run almost constantly now may run only occasionally because of competition from gas-fired power plants that are cheaper to run.
WORKPLACE EQUALITY: Seeking Critical Mass of Gender Equality in the Boardroom - NYT
STEVEN M. DAVIDOFF: European Union leaders are considering a law to require that 40 percent of a company’s directors be women, but the Deal Professor asks whether that will make a difference in how companies are run.
STUDENT LOANS: Student-Loan Start-Up Gets Financing – WSJ
Social Finance, an Internet start-up offering inexpensive student loans using “group-to-group” lending, raised $77.2 million to expand its service to universities nationwide.
STUDENT LOANS: Answers to Your Questions About Student Loans, Part One - NYT
Answers to questions about public service loan forgiveness, options for people with private loans who are struggling with their debts and the impact of student loans on debtors’ credit score.
REAL ESTATE: Lehman Is Biding Its Time to Market Its Real Estate - NYT
Lehman Brothers has been waiting for the real estate market to improve so it can sell its properties at higher prices than it would have received during the depth of the financial crisis.
AMAZON: Amazon, Forced to Collect a Tax, Is Adding Roots - NYT
By building warehouses across the country, the retailer hopes to cut as much as a day off its two-day shipping times.
APPLE: High Expectations for New iPhone - WSJ
Can the iPhone keep its crown? When Apple introduces its latest device Wednesday, all will be watching to see if it can remain as the top-selling smartphone in the U.S.
APPLE: IPhone Redesign Seen Selling 10 Million Units Within Weeks - WP
Apple Inc.’s debut of its redesigned iPhone will test anew its high-stakes strategy of once-a-year upgrades for a product that accounts for about 70 percent of the company’s profits.
APPLE/AMAZON: Showdown between Apple, Amazon shows content is still king - WP
Amid the speculation about Apple’s latest iPhone 5, there is something more important to most consumers: What can you watch on it?
MARKETS/FACEBOOK: Zuckerberg Acknowledges ‘Disappointing’ Wall Street - NYT
In his first public appearance since the initial public offering in May, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, told a TechCrunch conference that the company should be measured by its lasting impact.
MARKETS/FACEBOOK: Zuckerberg admits Facebook wasted years – FT
The Facebook chief said the group had made the error of betting on mobile web-based technology when it should have built directly on Apple and Google smartphone platforms.
TECHNOLOGY: Send Mitt Romney an E-Card - BLOOMBERG, OPINION
Kirsten Salyer: How much is a typo worth? In the domain-name online real estate market, at least $280 per letter. In politics, the price is measured more in embarrassment and news-cycle opportunity costs.
PATENTS: Samsung, Apple Grab 4G Patents - WSJ
Samsung Electronics and Apple are building up their patent portfolios for fourth-generation wireless network technology, possibly the next battleground for the technology giants.
PATENTS: Takes Calvin Klein to Court - WSJ
The fashion industry’s latest hope for protecting its designs may hang on a slimming pair of yoga pants. Lululemon is accusing fashion house Calvin Klein of infringing on design patents for its popular $98 “Astro Pant.”
MERGERS: Glenstrata and the meaning of ‘merger’ - FT
A sign of a takeover dressed up as a merger is the usurping of the target’s management. Today that is not the case – the aim is to retain key talent at Xstrata
FDA: Lancôme Warned on Cream - WSJ
The FDA warned L’Oréal’s Lancôme USA unit, saying the marketing of some wrinkle treatments violate federal law by suggesting they are drugs.
PEPSICO: PepsiCo Exit Alters CEO Race - WSJ
PepsiCo’s president, John Compton, is leaving to become CEO of Pilot Flying J, an operator of truck stops and travel centers. The surprise exit narrows the field of candidates to eventually succeed PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi.
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