News Jun 2014

From the Week of June 22 – June 28
1. With Efforts to Buy Shire, AbbVie Tries to Join Rush to Go Abroad
An American drug company’s yet-unsuccessful attempts to purchase an Irish competitor make it the latest company to try to relocate through buyouts to a country with lower tax rates.

2. How Inherited Wealth Helps the Economy
When a family saves for future generations, it provides resources to finance capital investments, like the start-up of new businesses and the expansion of old ones.

3. An Employee Dies, and the Company Collects the Insurance
Many companies insure their employees’ lives with themselves as beneficiaries, a practice some deride as immoral. But companies say the policies, for which they get tax breaks, help them bolster pensions and health care.

4. House Resists S.E.C.’s Insider Trading Inquiry
Despite a law that makes members of Congress and their staff subject to insider trading laws, the House has shown little willingness to cooperate in an S.E.C. investigation, Peter J. Henning writes in the White Collar Watch column.

5. The Supreme Court Declines to Review Widely Opposed Ruling on Argentine Debt: Why?
The United States Supreme Court decided not to review a ruling whose effect is that Argentina must pay “holdout” creditors. But the ruling also has profound and disturbing implications for the functioning of the international financial system, and even the United States would most likely be adversely affected.

6. College liberals spurn $10M gift from Koch brothers
The CUNY college has turned down a $10 million grant offer from the Koch brothers, said business professor Mitchell Langbert — who called the decision by School of Business Dean William Hopkins a knee-jerk reaction to the mega-rich industrialists’ support of Republican causes.

7. The Capitol Since the Nineteenth Century: Political Polarization and Income Inequality in the United States
“polarization is strongly correlated with the extent of income inequality, but only weakly associated with the rate of economic growth.”

8. What if We Treated Labor Like a Startup?
We should move money toward innovation in the labor movement.

9. Barclays Faces NY Lawsuit Over Dark Pool and High-Frequency Trading
Eric T. Schneiderman filed civil fraud charges against the British bank, contending that it favored high frequency traders over other investors.

10. S.E.C. Stops Harvey, Ill., From Selling Municipal Bonds
Regulators say the City of Harvey sold $14 million in bonds under false pretenses since 2008 and was planning to bring more to market.

11. In Prisons, Sky-High Phone Rates and Money Transfer Fees
The jails and prisons get commissions from phone and financial companies, which then charge very high rates to inmates who have no other choices.

12. Investors Who Bought Foreclosed Homes in Bulk Look to Cash In
Rising home prices and a declining supply of inexpensive foreclosed houses that do not require extensive repairs have led some investment companies to lock in profits by unloading homes to bigger competitors.

13. Inequality Is Not Inevitable
Inexorable laws of economics aren’t tearing us apart. Our policies are.

14. Is The Government Keeping You Poor? Russell Brand The Trews (E88 )
In this episode of The Trews Russel meets financial expert Max Keiser to get the truth behind loan company Wonga. / UK based … explains general concepts…Piketty is mentioned too.
Subscribe to Russel’s channel:

From the Week of June 14 – June 20
1. How America became uncompetitive and unequal

2. Ruling on Argentina’s debt may give creditors more power The US Supreme Court transfers even more power to the 0.01%

3. Pentagon Preparing for massive civil breakdown

4. True Cost of Hidden Money
It’s really worse than Piketty portrays

5. Bank Account Screening Tool Is Scrutinized as Excessive
New York’s attorney general is taking aim at databases that have been criticized for limiting access to banking services.

6. The Big Lobotomy It is not an accident that Congress is so dysfunctional. It is by design.

7. Pension Funds, Dancing a Two-Step With Ratings Firms
Some government pension funds are suing ratings agencies — but are still relying on them to grade investments.

8. Finding Shock Absorbers for Student Debt
How to insure against the risks of investing in a college education? Allow student loan payments to rise and fall with the borrower’s income.

9. Politics of Picketty
…or what he leaves out … was suggested as relevant for an ‘activist reading’…check it out.

10. Study Asserts Startling Numbers of Insider Trading Rogues
Two professors have evidence of what has long been suspected: Insider trading is common, arising from perhaps a quarter of all public company deals.

11. The 67 People As Wealthy As The World’s Poorest 3.5 Billion
Both groups have $US 1.7 trillion. That’s $20 billion on average if you are in the first group, and $486 if you are in the second group.

12. New York Federal Reserve takes on key role in repo market
Decision to quadruple trading with government money market funds in the repurchase market a sign central bank engaging more directly with shadow banks.

13. Detroit Rolls Out New Model: A Hybrid Pension Plan
If it succeeds, the city’s cost-cutting hybrid pension plan could be a model for solving government budget crises across the country.

14. Ruling on Argentina Gives Investors an Upper Hand
The ruling made it far less likely that genuinely troubled countries will be able to restructure their debts and increased the power of investors to prevent needed restructurings.


From the Week of June 7 – June 13
1. NC House lawmakers file resolution calling for constitutional convention to overturn Citizens United

2. Newsweek is now owned by a Christian cult

3. The Ultimate Guide to Shutting Down Conservative Anti-Piketty Hysteria
“Capital in the 21st Century” has sent conservatives into a rage. Here’s how to debunk their favorite attacks.

4. Why you should root for the World Cup protesters
Fifa is the 1% of the global 1%, the apple of Thomas Piketty’s ire.

5. Remember the Problems With Mortgage Defaults? They’re Coming Back With Student Loans
Companies managing the loans have little incentive to devise forgiveness plans for borrowers who run into trouble.

6. Brokers Fight Rule to Favor Best Interests of Customers
The financial industry is fiercely fighting a change in a pension law that would require more finance professionals to act as fiduciaries for their customers.

7. Global Rules for Auditors? Don’t Hold Your Breath
Though a complete conversion to international rules by the United States is highly unlikely, it seems possible that some domestic companies will be allowed to convert to international rules if they wish.

8. How Obama Can Increase Taxes on Carried Interest
The White House has the legal authority to change the carried interest tax treatment of fund managers without consulting Congress, Victor Fleischer writes in the Standard Deduction column.

9. Reassessing Reversal of Adversary to S.E.C.
The Court of Appeals’ reversal of Judge Jed Rakoff’s decision to reject an S.E.C. deal with Citigroup has troubled many lawyers who specialize in securities law.

10. Cuomo Has Raised Millions Through Loophole He Pledged to Close
The governor has called for closing a gap in the state’s campaign finance laws, but he’s taken far more through the loophole than his predecessors, much of it from real estate developers.

11. Al Gore Tells Techpreneurs Some Truths They May Not Want to Hear About Inequality
“Democracy has been hacked by moneyed interests.”

12. CEO Pay and Income Inequality
CEO Pay Continues to Rise as Typical Workers Are Paid Less
CEO compensation ratios: Between 20-to-1 in 1965, peaking at 383.4-to-1 in 2000, and was 295.9-to-1 in 2013.
Including Facebook, excluded from this data due to its outlier high compensation numbers, would bring the average CEO-to-worker compensation ratio to 510.7-to-1. (!!!)
8 Reasons Some CEOs Make 331 Times As Much As Their Employees
We all know income inequality is a major problem, but the reasons for it rarely break into the mainstream media.

From the Week of June 1 – June 6
1. Matt Stoller just came out with a long review of Timmy Geithner’s book: The Con Artist Wing of the Democratic Party. I like this because it explains some of the weird politics around, for example, the Mexican currency crisis that I only vaguely knew about.

2. New York Magazine has a long profile of Stevie Cohen of SAC Capital insider trading fame: The Taming of the Trading Monster.

3. The power of Google’s algorithms can make or break smaller websites: On the Future of Metafilter. See also How Google Is Killing The Best Site On The Internet.

4. There is no such thing as a slut.


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