As voters in Michigan prepared to head to the ballots Tuesday, President Obama delivered a rousing speech to the United Auto Workers Union in Washington D.C., taking the opportunity to campaign on the success of the auto-bailout. Three years and some $80 billion later, the rescue of Chrysler and GM has remained fresh in the minds of voters in Michigan. However, the significance of the bank and auto bail-outs may mean something else — or perhaps nothing at all — to voters in other parts of the country.
Greece has once again narrowly avoided defaulting on their $172 billion debt by agreeing to more austerity measures and selling off profits to euro zone countries. However, it's unlikely this development will ease the dire situation of its population: nearly 20,000 Greeks are homeless and 21 percent are unemployed. Stateside, there were signs of recovery when on Tuesday the Dow hit 13,000 for the first time since 2008. But if the last four years have proved nothing else, it's that what happens across the globe can directly impact a market at home.
The theme of last night's State of the Union was "an economy built to last." Vowing to protect the middle class and correct economic inequality, President Obama laid out his plans for financial reform: regulating home prices, penalizing banks that participated in the housing crash, imposing the "Buffet rule," and tightening regulations on private equity and Wall Street.
The issue of how to keep big banks in check is the topic of national conversation as the country slowly climbs out of the recession. Questions on how to prevent another economic recession and regulate the financial sector are part of the heated debate. Joe Nocera, Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times explains how "complexity risk" — what results when there are too many regulations — could pose a threat to the financial system.
Be it from ticket sales, memorabilia, television rights, or donors, college sports generate over $6 billion in annual revenue. Yet while coaches are receiving larger and larger contracts — the average college football coach's salary in 2010 was $1.36 million — the money doesn't trickle down to the players. The discrepancy has led many to call for stipends or other methods of paying college athletes for their work on the field. On January 14, the National Collegiate Athletic Association will review the issue.
Stephen Glass is now a 39-year-old law clerk at a firm in Beverly Hills, California. But more than decade ago, he was a young reporter on the rise. Glass's career in journalism came to an abrupt halt after it was discovered that over 40 of his articles — written for The New Republic, Harpers, Rolling Stone and other well-regarded magazines — were largely fabricated. Glass made up quotes, invented sources, and backed up his work with elaborate fake notes, fake websites, phony email addresses, phone numbers, and voicemail messages.
A series of recent filings from the Securities and Exchange Commission bring new charges against executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The SEC claims executives misled investors about Fannie and Freddie's exposure to subprime mortgages in the two years leading up to the housing market collapse. It is unusual to hear a defense of the mortgage giants — conventional wisdom holds that their risky loans were at the heart of the financial crisis from the beginning. But writing in his New York Times op-ed column, Joe Nocera argues that the SEC's latest complaint shows "how desperate the SEC has become to bring a crowd-pleasing case."
New York Times op-ed columnist Joe Nocera discusses news about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and explains what private equity firms actually do--all in the context of the GOP race.
There's no question that our American health care system needs fixing. Dr. Donald Berwick, the man who was in charge of Medicare and Medicaid until last Thursday, was committed to ending waste. "Much is done that does not help patients at all," Dr. Berwick recently told The New York Times, "and many physicians know it." Dr. Berwick's quest to reform Medicare and Medicaid, the result of a temporary appointment made by President Obama last year, came to an end after just 17 months.
Director Cyril Tuschi; Pavel Khodorkovsky, Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s son; and New York Times business writer Joe Nocera, discuss Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was once the richest man in Russia and is now one of the world’s most famous political prisoners. In the documentary “Khodorkovsky,” filmmaker Tuschi shows that Khodorkovsky’s tax embezzlement charges are bogus, and that his real crime was challenging Vladimir Putin. The film opens November 30 at Film Forum.
Much of the political turmoil surrounding the euro zone crisis has centered around the question of whether fiscally stronger nations, such as Germany and France, should have to bail out Greece and other struggling economies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has held the purse strings along with other leaders who have demanded strict austerity measures in those countries receiving assistance. Merkel is under political pressure at home with many in her government feeling that the Greeks, like the German people, should have lived within their means.
On Friday, the FDA ruled that cancer drug Avastin should not be used to treat breast cancer because Avastin’s risky side-effects outweigh its benefits for breast cancer patients. "Women who take Avastin for metastatic breast cancer risk potentially life threatening or serious side-effects, such as heart attacks or heart failure, severe high blood pressure, bleeding or hemorrhaging," FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said.
The fallout continues from the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked Penn State. Monday night Jerry Sandusky appeared on NBC to respond to the allegations against him. Yesterday the CEO of The Second Mile — the foundation Jerry Sandusky started in 1977 to mentor troubled youth — resigned. Meanwhile, the Big Ten Conference removed former Penn State coach Joe Paterno's name from a new championship trophy.
The twin political and fiscal disasters of Greece's sovereign debt crisis have spread to Italy, Europe's third largest economy. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's governing coalition has crumbled ahead of a crucial budget vote scheduled for Tuesday, and a key ally has demanded his resignation. Interest rates on Italy's debt rose to 6.47 percent, the highest since the country joined the euro. As Greece negotiates a transitional government, the fate of the euro remains in question.
Federal regulators say hundreds of millions of dollars of customer money is missing from MF Global, the brokerage firm which filed for bankruptcy on Monday. It is unclear where the estimated $700 million has gone, and no one has yet been accused of wrongdoing. Headed by former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, MF Global made risky bets on the European debt crisis. The Dow dropped 276 points in reaction to the news of the implosion, reminiscent of the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008.
When Herman Cain introduced his 999 plan, it put him in the spotlight and helped vault him to the top of the polls. It was just a matter of time before another Republican presidential contender offered something similar. Within days, Newt Gingrich proposed a 15 percent flat tax. Now Governor Rick Perry has responded with a flat tax plan of his own. Perry's plan centers around a 20 percent flat tax, and offers a choice. Taxpayers can either file under the current system, or opt to use Perry's flat rate.
Open a newspaper, go on the internet, or turn on the TV, and you're likely to hear a diagnosis of what will cure the ailing economy. Revising the tax code, reducing the deficit, super committees — all distractions, according to New York Times op-ed columnist Joe Nocera. He calls the political back-and-forth in Washington "meaningless noise." The real problem, Nocera says, is a lack of available credit.