Just when everyone wrote us off as the next Greece, we started shrinking our deficit, then shrunk it some more. Daniel Gross on what’s behind the numbers.
A few funny things happened this spring as the U.S. hurtled along the road to fiscal degeneracy. The annual deficit shrunk by nearly a third, the size of the debt owned by investors began to shrink, and the government borrowed money for free.Yes, the Golden Age of Deficit Reduction has begun.The official April Treasury Monthly Statement comes out on Friday. But the Congressional Budget Office’s monthly review for April, released earlier this week, bears good news.
In just a matter of hours.
You really can find anything on the Internet these days. A group of cyberthieves pulled off two precision operations in February and made off with more than $45 million from thousands of ATMs in just a matter of hours, according to an indictment that was unsealed by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn on Thursday. The thieves, who were located in over a dozen countries, pulled off the heist with “surgical precision,” according to The New York Times, and made 36,000 transactions in just 10 hours. The organization’s suspected ringleader, a 23-year-old named Alberto Lajud-Peña, was found dead on April 27 in the Dominican Republic. Seven other people, all American citizens, have been charged with conspiracy to commit “access device fraud.”
After a decade of losses, the controversial maker of expensive electric cars actually makes a profit.
For years, the rap on electric cars has been that they are too expensive and it’s too hard to make money on them. And the evidence certainly seems to bear it out. General Motors says it loses money on every unit of the Volt, which is really a plug-in hybrid not a full-on electric car, and Nissan is has been cagey over whether it is making money on the small number of all-electric Leafs it produces and sells. Neither company specifically breaks out the profit and loss statement of its electric car production.
Don't blame the fund managers, blame the tax code.
This week, I had a piece in the magazine arguing that retirement is trouble. That's a golden oldie for those of you who've been reading a while; my favorite evergreen topic is haranguing my readers to save 15-20% of their income, or fer goshsakes at least 10%, towards retirement. (I mean it guys. You need to save more.)But this piece had an interesting peg: Republic Services, Inc. is in the middle of an epic battle with the Teamsters International over the pension plans that cover their workers.
China has stopped taking thousands of tons of recyclable trash from the U.S., which could mean huge garbage back-ups for cities.
For years China has been one of the main importers of recyclable trash from the U.S. but the country just can’t take it anymore—literally. Quartz reports that the Chinese have put up an import wall on foreign waste and recycling stations in the US are backing up with plastic bottles and products that aren’t going anywhere.Most people likely don’t know that the majority of the trash and recyclables collected in the US isn’t re-processed here, it’s sent to other countries.
Receive smaller checks than they were owed.
Ninety-six thousand homeowners who were victims of foreclosure abuse continued their unlucky streak last week. Rust Consulting, the firm hired to distribute the victims’ share of a $3.6 billion settlement over faulty and fraudulent foreclosures serviced by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, issued compensation checks for less money than the victims were supposed to receive.
Silicon Valley advocacy group runs pro-conservative ads.
Fwd.Us, a nonprofit advocacy group created by Mark Zuckerberg and other big Silicon Valley leaders, is coming under fire for running ads supporting the Keystone XL pipeline, and another ad that criticized health-care policies championed by President Obama. The push, in support of three conservative lawmakers, is claiming to be part of a new approach by Silicon Valley to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Liberal groups like the Sierra Club have criticized the move and have questioned some of the big names behind the group, including clean-tech investor John Doerr, Bill Gates, and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman.
Will limit ads to kids, label calorie counts.
As obesity rates skyrocket worldwide, soda makers like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have come under fire for their marketing strategies as well as the sugary content of their beverages. Now Coke, the world’s largest drink maker, will not only cut down on its advertising targeting children but also announced it will now label all its drinks worldwide with calorie counts, and work to promote its less sugary products.
Founder of Italian fashion house passes away at 92.
Ottavio Missoni, the patriarch of the iconic fashion brand known for its zigzag-patterned knitwear, died Thursday in his home in northern Italy. He was 92 years old. Missoni founded the company in 1953 with his wife, Rosita Jelmini, who survives him. They went on to create a fashion dynasty, with the couple’s three children all working to expand the family business. Launched in 1966, the brand never conformed to fashion trends. “I've never done what was fashionable," Missoni told WWD in February 2011. "I didn't want to work with preset schemes, and I paint my own way.” Missoni’s death comes only months after his eldest child, company CEO Vittorio Missoni, disappeared with his wife and four others while flying a small plane en route to a Venezuelan island. Tragically, they were never found.
National Review's Reihan Salam considers a scary hypothetical: how will the public respond to a 2016 GOP presidential candidate if nearly a decade of "Doom Is Coming" fiscal warnings turn out to be less than accurate?[I]magine 2016 in the unlikely but not completely impossible event that a budget surplus does materialize. Republican elevation of the deficit issue will allow the Obama administration and its Democratic allies to declare “mission accomplished,” all without taking the blame for entitlement reform.
International Business Times
Huffington Post Tech
International Business Times
Huffington Post Politics
International Business Times
After a University of Massachusetts student found significant errors in a study beloved by budget cutters world over by Harvard economists Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, Stephen Colbert does what he does best -- leaves them in the dust.
Paying a living wage comes at a cost, but it can help the bottom line, says Charney, who... More
Apple has avoided billions in taxes. Congress says it wants to know why. But we know why—and it’s probably not going to change.
Because they tend to share his broad outlook on politics, too many journalists for too long have been in the tank for Obama, writes Nick Gillespie.