Economics

U.S. Stocks: Dow Jones Industrial Average Closes At All-Time High of 14,254

March 5, 2013

“The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 126 points, or 0.89%, to 14254, the S&P 500 gained 14.6 points, or 0.96%, to 1540 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 42.1 points, or 1.3%, to 3224.”

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Analysis: Sequester Affects Large Cities and Military Communities More Than Suburban and Urban Areas

March 4, 2013

“The disparity in some ways mirrors the nation’s electoral divide between Democrats and Republicans.”

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Student Loans: The Next Great Big Bubble to Pop

March 4, 2013

“But while investors are piling into student loans, borrowers are falling behind on their payments at a faster clip. According to a Thursday report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 31% of people paying back student loans were at least 90 days late at the end of the fourth quarter, up from 24% in the fourth quarter of 2008.”

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Federal Reserve’s Asset Purchases Will Lose Government Hundreds of Billions of Dollars if Interest Rates Abruptly Rise

February 26, 2013

“MSCI puts the Fed’s mark-to-market loss at less than half that, or $216 billion, if the economy performs in line with consensus forecasts of gradually rising growth, inflation and interest rates.”

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Defends Asset Purchasing in Senate Testimony

February 26, 2013

“Bernanke and his colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee are debating whether to curtail $85 billion in monthly bond-buying amid concern the Fed’s record $3.1 trillion balance sheet may encourage excessive risk-taking by investors and complicate the Fed’s exit from easing.”

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Bankrate.com Survey: Only 55% of Americans Have More Emergency Savings Than Credit Card Debt

February 25, 2013

“Greg McBride, Bankrate.com’s senior financial analyst, said Americans aren’t saving nearly enough as they should.”

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1999 Study: Evidence Indicates Minimum Wage Increases Raise Long-Term Unemployment

February 25, 2013

“The results suggest that a greater minimum wage increases long term unemployment rates. Further evidence indicates that increased minimum wage coverage also raises long term unemployment rates. Subsequent analysis yielded similar patterns for other aggregate labor market measures.”

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USA Today: Raise the Minimum Wage, But Not As Rapidly As President Obama Proposed

February 25, 2013

“A better approach would be to simply start adjusting the minimum wage for inflation, backdating the first increase to 2009. In the current low inflation environment, $7.25 would have only grown to $7.76 as of last year.”

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USA Today/Pew Research Center Poll: 71% of Americans Support Increasing the Minimum Wage to $9.00 an Hour

February 24, 2013

“President Obama’s plan would raise the minimum wage and link additional increases to inflation.”

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Retailers Preparing for Lower Consumption Due to the High Gas Prices, Payroll Tax Increase, and Stagnant Income

February 24, 2013

“In a survey released Thursday, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said some 46 percent of consumers plan to spend less as a result of the payroll tax increase”

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Analysis: Great Britain’s Economic Uncertainty Directly Led to Credit Downgrade

February 24, 2013

“…the British government will end this year with a primary deficit — the purest measure of how much more a government spends than it receives in taxes — of 4.3 percent of gross domestic product. That is by far the highest such figure in Europe.”

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Moody’s Investors Services Downgrades Great Britain’s Credit Rating From AAA to Aa1

February 24, 2013

“Moody’s announced on Friday night that it had cut the Government’s bond rating one notch from ‘Aaa’ – the highest possible level – to ‘Aa1’.”

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White House Considering Trade Restrictions as Punishment for State-Sponsored Cyber Attacks

February 20, 2013

“The White House plans come after a Virginia-based cybersecurity firm released a torrent of details Monday that tied a secret Chinese military unit in Shanghai to years of cyberattacks against U.S. companies.”

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Obama Administration Announces New Initiative to Reduce Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets

February 20, 2013

“The Obama administration warned Wednesday that it will launch new efforts to persuade China and other countries to halt the theft of billions of dollars’ worth of U.S. trade secrets.”

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Federal Reserve Officials Contemplating Early Reduction of Asset Purchases

February 20, 2013

“Late last year, the Federal Reserve linked its monetary policy to to the situation in the labor market for the first time. Borrowing costs would stay at rock-bottom, it pledged, until the U.S. jobless rate drops to 6.5 percent, provided inflation doesn’t rise past 2.5 percent.”

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