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Tag >> economy
Apr 27

Rooting for Goliath

Posted by MQuinn in RiskeconomyCreditBanking


Wilt Chamberlain was wrong; sometimes people do root for Goliath.

A Bloomberg story Monday, "Big Banks Are Back as JPMorgan, Citigroup Turn Corner", is a great example.

It's a feel good story that starts off this way: "Main Street teamed up with Wall Street to produce something the four biggest U.S. lenders haven't had since the banking crisis began two years ago: reason for optimism."

Apr 22

Consumer companies still show weakness

Posted by mcole in economy, earnings, consumer spendingCashanalysts


A slew of companies posted disappointing quarterly results this week with reasons as varied as the weather, raw material costs or simply a lack of growth. The companies have one thing in common, though: They all rely on consumer spending.

Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Kleenex and Huggies diapers, earned $384 million in the first quarter, down from $407 million a year ago, due to higher costs for raw materials, especially pulp and and oil-based materials.

Apr 19

Companies still risk averse despite improved revenue outlook

Posted by SherylNash01 in risk managementRiskeconomycareer/management


While companies are growing more optimistic about their prospects, they are unlikely to unleash significant new capital spending any time soon, a new survey finds.

Of nearly 1,200 respondents to PricewaterhouseCooper's 13th annual global CEO Survey, 31 percent said they were very confident about their companies' prospects for revenue growth over the next 12 months, up from 21 percent last year. But they remain hesitant to spend their cash.

Apr 16

Maybe investors want to be fooled

Posted by Ron F in Securities and Exchange CommissionrecoveryrecessionPhil GrammGoldman SachsGeneral Electricfraudeconomycompliancecareer/management

Ron F

Something is wrong with a financial system where investors don't want the SEC to pursue fraud.

Does Mr. Market really want to be fooled into thinking he is wealthy, at least on paper? Talk about cynical.

Apr 12

Much ado about tax audit trends

Posted by Ron F in Taxsmall and medium-sized businessIRSeconomycomplianceaudit

Ron F

To hear a small business tax consultant tell it, the IRS is making up for a decline in big company audits by examining the hell out of smaller companies that can least afford it.

To hear the IRS tell it, at least to the New York Times, the basis for such a claim is erroneous.

Apr 07

The Census, unemployment and GDP

Posted by Ron F in recoveryrecessionjoblessnessemploymenteconomyCommerce DepartmentCareers/Management

Ron F

The 48,000 jobs added in March by hiring for the US Census will be followed by more of the same in the coming months, and it's nothing to sneeze at in terms of the paychecks involved and even the temporary boost that provides to the economy, according to a Commerce Department report released in February

The total number of positions added will peak in May at some 800,000, according to the report, though the number showing up in the employment figures would be some 200,000 less, because some workers fill more than one position.

Mar 31

The case for a bigger jobs bill

Posted by Ron F in unemployment, Taxrecoveryrecessioninflationheatlh careemploymenteconomycomplianceCareers/Managementbudget

Ron F

At the risk of seeming terribly politically incorrect, I highly recommend taking a look at this paper published today by the Economic Policy Institute, which argues that further government stimulus is necessary for the economy to recover.

Essentially, authors Josh Bivens and Heidi Shierholz argue that prospects for new hiring are so dismal because of productivity gains in recent years that it will take much higher GDP growth than anyone reasonably expects to bring unemployment down significantly anytime soon.

Mar 30

Mistaking a recovery for a default?

Posted by Ron F in RiskrecoveryrecessionGreenspanfinancingfinancial crisisFederal Reserveeconomydefaultcareer/managementbudget

Ron F

What does the recent "spike" in bond yields really mean? To listen to folks like Greenspan or Robert Samuelson, it means investors are worried about US creditworthiness.

And while I've gone on about this twice the past few days, here's a more useful reality check, courtesy of James Hamilton, a professor of finance at the University of California at San Diego who the Fed actually pays some attention to.

Mar 30

Wall Street to Main: We got ours

Posted by Ron F in Regulationrecoveryrecessiongrowthfat cat bankerseconomyconsumer spendingcareer/managementbanking reformbanking industry

Ron F

Two stories today say it all about the status of the economic recovery: Wall Street's doing fine, so who cares about Main Street?

Or at least that's the way the world seems to appear based on Bloomberg's reporting.

Mar 29

What's the deficit for, anyway?

Posted by Ron F in RiskrecoveryrecessionGreenspaneconomyCareers/Managementcapital expendituresbudgetbubbles

Ron F

One last point in connection with last Friday's rant about Alan Greenspan and Jamie Galbraith occurs to me, thanks to an interesting post this morning by Steve Randy Waldman.

The point has to do with investors' concerns about the deficit and their faith, or lack thereof, in the creditworthiness of the US.

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