Latest Articles: Business
Occupy Monsanto with Farmers: Jan. 31, Foley Square (NYC)
Post Date: 2012-01-31 12:19:42 by lucysmom
On January 31st, family farmers from across the county will take part in the first phase of the OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto court case filed to protect farmers from genetic trespass by Monsantos genetically modified (GMO) seed, which can contaminate organic and non-GMO farmers crops and open them up to abusive lawsuits. Meet at Foley Square in Manhattan at 9 am on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012. As a result of aggressive lawsuits against farmers with contaminated crops, Monsanto has created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy. But farmers are fighting back! The Federal District Court judge has agreed to hear oral arguments in this ...
Business Activity in U.S. Cooled in January as Orders, Labor Gains Slowed
Post Date: 2012-01-31 11:02:13 by Brian S
Business activity in the U.S. cooled in January as orders and employment slowed, indicating last quarters pickup in growth will not be sustained into 2012. The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said today its business barometer declined to 60.2 from 62.2 in December. Readings above 50 signal growth. Economists forecast the gauge would rise to 63, according to the median of 57 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Three consecutive readings exceeding 60 are still the strongest since early 2011, signaling manufacturing remains a mainstay of the expansion even as the worlds largest economy decelerates. Nonetheless, the risk of a recession in Europe prompted by its debt ...
U.S. Auto Sales Seen Surging 6% in January
Post Date: 2012-01-31 11:00:16 by Brian S
Martha Patterson started selling real estate in the 1990s and replaced her car every five or six years until the housing market collapsed. Then she kept her Volkswagen Passat GLS for a decade, until last June. I just kept holding onto my car, said Patterson, 50, of Wilmington, Delaware, recalling how her annual commissioned sales plunged to $1 million from $5 million. I wanted a new one, but its really hard to get a decent deal when youre not making steady income. Millions of consumers like Patterson, who traded her 2001 model for a new Chevrolet Malibu, deferred purchases to replace older vehicles. With the average age of U.S. cars and trucks rising ...
Ford: Biggest Profit Since '98
Post Date: 2012-01-27 13:34:18 by Brian S
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Ford reported its best annual earnings since 1998 on Friday, making 2011 the second most profitable year in the company's 109-year history. But much of the profit was attributed to a non-cash gain, as it put a large tax credit from past losses on its balance sheet that will shield it from taxes in the future. Excluding that credit, the automaker posted full-year and quarterly earnings that fell short of last year's profit as well as analysts' forecasts.Shares of Ford (F, Fortune 500) tumbled as much as 7.4% in early trading on the earnings miss before recouping about half the lost ground after assurances on an investors' call about earnings guidance ...
U.S. Consumer Confidence Rises To Highest Level In Almost A Year
Post Date: 2012-01-27 12:29:17 by Brian S
Confidence among U.S. consumers rose more than forecast in January to the highest level in almost a year, on signs of improvement in the job market. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment climbed to 75 from 69.9 at the end of December. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey called for 74, which matched the preliminary reading. The gauge averaged 89 in the five years leading up to the 18-month recession that ended in June 2009. A strengthening labor market and higher stock prices may be boosting confidence, helping raise the odds that a pickup in household spending will continue into this quarter. At the same time, a sustained increase in ...
Contracts to Buy U.S. Homes Hold Near 19-Month High
Post Date: 2012-01-25 13:02:37 by Brian S
Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- The number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes in December held near a 19-month high, showing the stabilization in the market that began in late 2011 will extend into the new year. The index of pending home sales decreased 3.5 percent last month after jumping a combined 18 percent in October and November, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. It was the best back-to-back reading since a buyer tax credit boosted demand in early 2010. Weve had a clear turn toward positive momentum in the housing market, Aaron Smith, a senior economist at Moodys Analytics Inc. in West Chester, ...
Obama Supports Fracking to Create 600,000 Jobs, Vows Safe Drilling for Gas
Post Date: 2012-01-25 12:59:49 by Brian S
President Barack Obama pushed drilling for gas in shale rock and support for cleaner energy sources to boost the economy in his final State of the Union address before facing U.S. voters in November. Hydraulic fracturing, the process of injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to free gas trapped in rock, could create more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade, Obama said yesterday. The process, called fracking, is among a list of energy policies Obama said would fuel economic growth. We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years, and my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy, Obama said. Obama ...
Billionaires Occupying Davos as Richest 0.01% Bemoan Inequality of Incomes
Post Date: 2012-01-25 12:49:41 by Brian S
Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk wants to talk about income inequality. So does Irish billionaire Denis OBrien and Indian billionaire Vikas Oberoi. The three are among a contingent of at least 70 billionaires who are joining more than 2,500 business and political leaders at the World Economic Forums annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, this week, according to a list of attendees and promotional materials obtained by Bloomberg News. A half-dozen of the richest participants, interviewed in advance of the conference, say economic disparity needs to be addressed. Many who will be in Davos are the people being blamed for economic inequalities, Oberoi, 42, chairman ...
A 375-Year-Old French Bank Forgives Debts of Paris' Poorest
Post Date: 2012-01-24 23:03:03 by lucysmom
Just as France was being chastised for excessive national borrowing with a sovereign debt downgrade, thousands of lucky French people had their financial obligations forgiven after the country's oldest bank decided to simply wipe their slate clean. Granted, it's a small slate. The 3,500 clients who benefitted from the banks largesse had debts of 150 euros or less (about $190) with the Crédit Municipal de Paris, also known as the "Mont-de-piété," the bank of the poor, which has for centuries allowed the needy to get loans against their valuablesa kind of ethical pawnshop, or the original microlender. The small kindness was welcome for many. ...
Jobless Rates Fall in 37 States, Led by Alabama and Michigan, While Payrolls Rose in 25
Post Date: 2012-01-24 11:59:52 by Brian S
Unemployment dropped in 37 U.S. states in December, pointing to broad-based improvement in the job market as the economy picks up. Alabama showed the biggest decrease in joblessness, with its rate falling to 8.1 percent last month from 8.7 percent in November, a report from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. Payrolls increased in 25 states, led by Texas. Further employment gains put consumers in a better position to boost household spending, the biggest part of the worlds largest economy. U.S. employers added 200,000 workers in December and the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 8.5 percent, the lowest since February 2009, the Labor Department reported on Jan. 6. ...
How Government Creates Unemployment [Full Thread]
Post Date: 2012-01-21 18:35:56 by CZ82
How Government Creates Unemployment Economics isnt hard, unless youre a liberal. Republican governor Chris Christie mocked a network graphic insisting that 55 percent of New Jersey residents think hell be Vice President and 68 percent dont. In case you dont see the problem with these numbers, 68% + 55% = 123%. Weve heard about giving 100 and 10 percent, but thats a sports number. Christie remarked about the 123% number, That sounds like Democratic math! Indeed. The same is true when it comes to things like youth unemployment. They cant understand how the unemployment numbers for teenagers is so high. Its quite ...
Sales of Existing U.S. Homes Increased 5% to 4.61 Million Pace in December
Post Date: 2012-01-20 10:29:58 by Brian S
Sales (ETSLTOTL) of previously owned U.S. homes rose for a third month in December to the highest level since January 2011, a sign the housing market ended last year with momentum. Purchases (ETSLTOTL) increased 5 percent to a 4.61 million annual rate, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. The pace was less than the 4.65 million median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The gain helped push down the inventory of homes for sale last month to the lowest level since 2005. Purchases in 2011 climbed 1.7 percent from a year earlier as prices fell. Historically low mortgage rates and a pickup in employment may be giving Americans the confidence to ...
General Motors Reclaims Title Of World's Top-Selling Automaker
Post Date: 2012-01-19 13:38:14 by Brian S
DETROIT -- General Motors sold just over 9 million cars and trucks worldwide last year to reclaim the title of the world's top-selling automaker. The company says it sold 9.03 million vehicles last year, up 7.6 percent from 2010. That beat Toyota, which took the crown away from GM in 2008. Toyota sold 7.9 million vehicles last year. The March earthquake in Japan cut Toyota's factory production and hurt its sales. Germany's Volkswagen took second place with a record 8.156 million sales in 2011. That was up 14 percent over 2010. Before 2008, GM had held the title for more than seven decades. The title doesn't mean much to GM's bottom line. But it's an example of ...
First-Time Jobless Claims in U.S. Reach Lowest Level in Almost Four Years
Post Date: 2012-01-19 11:31:20 by Brian S
Fewer Americans than forecast filed first-time applications for unemployment benefits last week, easing concern that post-holiday firings were on the rise. Claims plunged by 50,000 to 352,000 in the week ended Jan. 14, the lowest level since April 2008, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 41 economists in a Bloomberg News survey projected 384,000. A Labor Department spokesman said the decrease reflected volatility seen during this time of year. The four-week average, which smoothes out fluctuations, decreased to 379,000 last week from 382,500. Companies are slowing the pace of firings and beginning to step up the pace of hiring even as a slump in ...
Michigan Jobless Rate Falls To 9.3% -- Lowest Since September 2008
Post Date: 2012-01-18 17:53:06 by Brian S
Michigans unemployment rate in December declined another half-percentage point to 9.3%, the states lowest rate since the 8.9% recorded in September 2008. As predicted by economists, the year-end data confirmed that 2011 marked the first year of positive net job growth in Michigan since 2000, ending a lost decade when the state lost jobs every year. The state added 67,000 net new jobs in 2011, the bulk of which were in professional and business services and manufacturing, reflecting the resurgence of the automotive industry. Michigans jobless rate fell again in December, as the state added jobs in professional and technical services and ...
Confidence Among U.S. Homebuilders Climbs to Highest Since 2007
Post Date: 2012-01-18 12:07:21 by Brian S
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rose in January to the highest level in more than four years as sales and buyer traffic improved. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo sentiment gauge increased to 25 this month, exceeding the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and reaching the highest level since June 2007, the Washington-based group said today. Readings lower than 50 mean more respondents still said conditions were poor. Record-low borrowing costs, a growing population and reduced prices may drive demand for homes this year even as another round of foreclosures threatens to weigh on the market. The confidence measure, which increased for a fourth ...
Factory Production in U.S. Climbed by Most in a Year Last Month
Post Date: 2012-01-18 11:59:58 by Brian S
U.S. industrial production rebounded in December, reflecting gains in demand for business equipment, automobiles and construction materials. Output at factories, mines and utilities rose 0.4 percent after a revised 0.3 percent decline in November, figures from the Federal Reserve showed today in Washington. Economists forecast a 0.5 percent rise for December, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. Factory production, which makes up about 75 percent of total output, climbed by the most in a year. Gains in consumer demand and corporate investment combined with lean inventories are prompting factories to hire more workers and boost hours. Europes financial crisis ...
Auto Plants at Capacity, Buoying U.S. Economy
Post Date: 2012-01-18 11:53:31 by Brian S
Bobbi Marsh puts her 11-year-old son to bed each night and then heads to her job at General Motors Co. (GM)s metal-stamping plant in Lordstown, Ohio. She gets home in time to make him breakfast. Marsh, 34, is one of thousands of auto workers in the U.S. benefiting from the return of a third shift at factories -- often from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. -- translating to 24-hour-a-day production at many plants for the first time since the industry collapse in 2009. At the nadir, some plants ran only one eight- hour shift. The new third shifts, adding more than 4,300 jobs in four states at GM alone, bring jobs to the economy and revenue to governments as well as demand at odd hours for everything ...
Michigan High Court Says Yes To Electronic Database Foreclosures
Post Date: 2012-01-18 11:30:39 by lucysmom
A ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court Wednesday overturned an lower court's decision that suspended thousands of foreclosures in the state. The new decision allows Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), a third-party record-holding agency that acts on behalf of lenders to foreclose on homes. "The Supreme Court's decision affirms MERS business model and will allow the Michigan real estate industry to get back to business as usual," said Bill Beckmann, president and CEO of Merscorp, the parent company of MERS in a story reported by DSNews, a mortgage industry news site. MERS is an privately held company that runs a database tracking the ownership of mortgage ...
Healthcare Doesn’t Need European Style Austerity Measures; It Needs Free-Market [Full Thread]
Post Date: 2012-01-18 06:36:01 by CZ82
Healthcare Doesnt Need European Style Austerity Measures; It Needs Free-Market Posted by Daniel Horowitz If our goal is to be shielded from any cost of healthcare, we will ultimately be exposed to all costs of healthcare. Nothing typifies the inane cycle of government dependency and poverty more than the issue of healthcare. Given that healthcare constitutes 18% of our economy and that millions of Americans are languishing under its crushing costs, it is important that we articulate healthcare reform from a position of strength. We must demonstrate how it is socialist interventions in the marketplace that are responsible for high costs. We must demonstrate how our ...
MERS, the law, and the State
Post Date: 2012-01-17 12:12:19 by lucysmom
Trotter told me that the true horror of MERS [1818 Library Street, Suite 300 Reston, VA 20190, 1-800-646-6377] was what it could do to homeowners who were current on their mortgage payments: The good homeowners who still had a job and werent facing foreclosure. If there was no legal record of which bank owned their debt [see below if you haven't been following NC on MERS], and the MERS-mortgaged homeowners had been making payments, then who exactly was the homeowner paying? The checks, clearly, were going out every month, cashed by a bank that claimed to own the note. But without the legal record to certify the owner of the note, it followed that the bank ...
Capitalism In Crisis: Perilous Path To Prosperity
Post Date: 2012-01-17 12:11:15 by Brian S
A few years ago, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to imagine European leaders, begging bowl in hand, turning to China for a financial bail-out. Equally, few would have predicted that Chinese leaders visiting Washington would publicly berate US policymakers about their mismanagement of the worlds biggest economy. But the world has changed. The implosion in 2008 of the financial system in the US and Europe and last years European sovereign debt crisis have accelerated the shift of economic momentum to Asia. In 2012, the US and Europe are likely to be flirting with recession for much of the time. Barring a hard landing in China, Asia-ex Japan should continue to ...
NY Manufacturing Index Makes Record In January
Post Date: 2012-01-17 11:50:08 by Brian S
Manufacturing in the New York region expanded in January at the fastest pace in nine months, reflecting improving orders, sales and employment. The Federal Reserve Bank of New Yorks general economic index rose to 13.5, the highest level since April, from a revised 8.2 in December. That gauge exceeded the median forecast of 56 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, which projected an increase to 11. Readings higher than zero signal expansion among companies in the so-called Empire State Index, which covers New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut. Factories may keep driving the economic expansion as they maintain production to meet household and business demand. At the ...
Mafia now "Italy's No.1 bank" as crisis bites-report
Post Date: 2012-01-11 12:32:02 by lucysmom
ROME, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Organised crime has tightened its grip on the Italian economy during the economic crisis, making the Mafia the country's biggest "bank" and squeezing the life out of thousands of small firms, according to a report on Tuesday. Extortionate lending by criminal groups had become a "national emergency", said the report by anti-crime group SOS Impresa. Organised crime now generated annual turnover of about 140 billion euros ($178.89 billion) and profits of more than 100 billion euros, it added. "With 65 billion euros in liquidity, the Mafia is Italy's number one bank," said a statement from the group, which was set up in Palermo a ...
Job Outlook Brightens From U.S. Factories to Fracking
Post Date: 2012-01-11 12:02:45 by Brian S
Manufacturing and mining are set to power U.S. job gains again this year, from auto assembly plants in Ohio to the oil and gas fields of North Dakota. The two industries combined helped spark the biggest annual job gains for the economy in five years in 2011, with factory payrolls expanding the most in 14 years and mining adding more jobs than any period in the past three decades, according to Labor Department figures. Economists Peter Cappelli and John Silvia say those gains are likely to be extended in 2012. The improvement may spread beyond factory floors and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, used to drill for oil: retailers, the leisure industry and even construction may also ...
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