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Dec 14
2009

Volcker Fights On

Posted by HJohnson in RegulationFederal ReserveFedBanksBanking

HJohnson

Paul Volcker sounds like he's getting more and more fed up, no pun intended.

The former Federal Reserve chairman and current head of President Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board told a group of bankers and other company and public sector execs last week, "Wake up, gentlemen."

Dec 04
2009

Corporate credit will draw investors next year, Barclays says

Posted by HJohnson in debtCreditbondsBanksasset allocation

HJohnson

As credit markets continue to normalize next year, corporate credit will be seen as one of the most attractive investments, Barclays Capital wrote in a note Friday.

Investors will favor corporate bonds because they will see few comparable alternatives with as much return potential, since economic growth is slow around the world, currency yields are low and there's a generous supply of long-dated treasuries.

Dec 01
2009

Special dividends will hit record next year, tax expert says

Posted by HJohnson in taxesTaxshareholdersdividends

HJohnson

A record number of companies will issue special dividends next year as they prepare for Bush-era dividend tax rates to expire, tax expert Robert Willens told Barrons.com.

"I am looking for absolutely a record and it will probably pick up steam as the year unfolds and probably in the fourth quarter of 2010 as these predictions we are making about higher-tax rates come to fruition," Willens, president of Robert Willens LLC, said in a Q&A on the Barrons.com site. (For the full article, click here .)

Dec 01
2009

CIOs growing more confident about hiring next year

Posted by HJohnson in jobshiringhealthcareemploymentCareers/Managementcareerscapital expenditurescapexbudget

HJohnson

The first quarter of next year will see the strongest IT hiring in a year in the U.S., according to staffing firm Robert Half. Seven percent of chief information officers surveyed said that they will add staff, while 4 percent expect to reduce headcount, a net result that's three points higher than last quarter, according to Robert Half Technology's IT Hiring Index and Skills Report.

It's also the most optimistic forecast since the first quarter of 2009, Robert Half said in a release today. The firm noted that 89 percent of CIOs plan to maintain current personnel levels.

Nov 25
2009

Buzzword Bingo

Posted by HJohnson in recoveryrecessionFederal ReserveFedeconomy

HJohnson

Quick, what's the business buzzword we're likely to hear most often next year, as we continue to work ourselves out of the recession?

Is it "exit strategy," "deleveraging," "new normal"?

Nov 16
2009

Bernanke talks strong dollar, traders don’t listen

Posted by HJohnson in Federal ReserveFedeconomydollar

HJohnson

The dollar fell to a 15-month low on Monday, according to Bloomberg, despite Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's assurances that the central bank wants the currency to be strong.

Bernanke told the Economic Club of New York: "We are attentive to the implications of changes in the value of the dollar and will continue to formulate policy to guard against risks to our dual mandate to foster both maximum employment and price stability. Our commitment to our dual objectives, together with the underlying strengths of the U.S. economy, will help ensure that the dollar is strong and a source of global financial stability."

Nov 13
2009

FDIC’s Bair says TARP was a Mistake

Posted by HJohnson in Sheila BairFDICBanksBanking

HJohnson

You might want to tune in Friday night to the NewsHour on PBS to hear Sheila Bair of the FDIC gnash her teeth about the banking bailout mess.

Turns out, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman thinks TARP capital investments never should have happened. She told NewsHour correspondent Paul Solmon, according to the Wall Street Journal's website, that TARP had "a terrible, terrible impact on public attitudes towards the financial systems, towards the regulatory community." And, she adds, "It's created all sorts of issues about government ownership of these institutions."

Nov 13
2009

Wells and B of A Bucked MBS Trend

Posted by HJohnson in Wells Fargomortgage backed securitiesBanksbanking industryBankingBank of America

HJohnson

Wells Fargo and Bank of America were busy dumping mortgage back securities in the third quarter, data from the National Information Center show, even as some of their competitors, and the government, were still buying the stuff.

B of A shed $13.4 billion worth of agency and non agency MBS, according to a Barclays Capital published late yesterday, and Wells Fargo dropped $29.2 billion.

Nov 10
2009

FIRA of the Unknown

Posted by HJohnson in reformFederal ReserveFedFDICBanksbanking industryBanking

HJohnson

You know that phrase about the devil you know being better than the devil you don’t?

Senator Chris Dodd is putting a lot of faith in a new single regulator, the Financial Institutions Regulatory Administration, imagining that that agency will be better than the Federal Reserve in regulating banks and bank holding companies.

Nov 06
2009

Temp to Perm?

Posted by HJohnson in jobshiringemploymentemployersemployeeseconomy

HJohnson

Overall, it's not a happy jobs day. The unemployment rate rose to 10.2% last month, more than economists expected and the highest level in more than 26 years. Employers also cut more jobs than economists expected: 190,000 compared with forecasts of 175,000.

But one piece of good news, that the White House pointed out, and temp firms themselves are touting, is that the number of temporary jobs increased by 33,700. And that's the first increase since late 2006, according to Tig Gilliam, CEO of Adecco Group North America.

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