Detroit's Emergency Manager has released a new plan for the city. It's not looking good.
Detroit's population has fallen by 60% since its peak. 15% of its land parcels are vacant, and over 70,000 buildings stand empty. As the city's finances plunged deep, deep into the red, the state appointed an emergency manager, who just released his preliminary plan for the city. The plan suggests, though it does not quite say, that things are pretty hopeless. Consider what has happened to income taxes over the last decade: The city's gambling tax now takes in more than its property tax.
SCOTUS rules against farmer.
Farmers better be careful whose seeds they plant. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Monsanto in its suit against an Indiana farmer who planted its genetically modified seeds without paying the company. The case has been closely watched for its bearing on companies that hold patents on DNA molecules and other self-replicating products, but Justice Elena Kagan stressed that the court was ruling narrowly, addressing only the farmer’s violation of patent law. The farmer first bought seeds for a crop of soybeans that had been engineered to be resistant to the pesticide Roundup, which is also a Monsanto product. But for his second crop, he took a mix of seeds from a grain elevator, sprayed them with Roundup, and planted seeds from the plants that survived, exploiting what he believed to be a loophole in the contract.
A look at statistical significance, and what Oregon can really tell us
Last week, I asked Jim Manzi for his thoughts on the Oregon health care experiment. Manzi is a very smart guy who has founded a very successful company that helps other companies do experiments. He is also the author of the terrific Uncontrolled, a book about using randomized controlled trials to improve business, policy, and life in general. Jim was kind enough to send me his very long, very smart, very wonkish thoughts, which you'll see below.
By Tom Lowry The escalating controversy over Bloomberg reporters accessing private information on Wall Street through the company's terminals puts the data and media empire founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg into strange, new territory. It is now in the rare position of having to explain its actions to an industry that puts billions of dollars into its coffers every year.Since news of the privacy breach broke on Friday, some of Bloomberg LP's biggest customers on Wall Street are re-examining their agreements with the company to see how much information the company can access from desktop terminals, say sources at those firms.
Despite lousy expectations.
The fundamentals of the economy are ... strong? With healthy numbers out of the automobile and construction sectors, retail sales were up 0.1 percent for the month of April. Analysts had expected a drop in retail sales on the back of the sequester cuts the expiration of the payroll tax cut. Core sales, which leave out cars, gas, and construction supplies, were actually up 0.5 percent.
For garment workers.
Following a deadly factory collapse in April, Bangladesh’s government says it plans to raise wages for garment workers. In Bangladesh, the minimum wage per month is $38, half of Cambodia’s. Factory owners are protesting the planned raise, arguing that shoppers in Western countries expect cheap clothing. The death toll so far from the factory collapse stands at 1,118.
Awards down 52 percent.
April must have seen a lot of worried dinner conversations in McLean, Virginia. As the sequester takes effect, Pentagon defense contracts decreased 52 percent in April to $19 billion from March’s $39.4 billion. The sequester’s reductions, which began March 1, will require $37 billion in cuts to the Pentagon this year. The Defense Department has yet to announce whether or not it will carry out the furloughs requiring unpaid leave for up to 750,000 civilian defense employees.
When a billionaire mayor’s news company uses his financial company’s products to spy on the nation’s top bankers and officials, no line is left uncrossed.
It’s the sort of overblown abuse of power we like to laugh at in other countries, confident it could never happen here.A multibillionaire, dissatisfied with being just a business tycoon, starts a media division, brands it with his name and starts to gobble up competition and talent. Then he decides to run for office, knowing his opposition will do the good-citizen thing and stay within the established public-finance law, considered a national model of good government.
Though Luhrmann’s flick has respectable haul.
Tony Stark rained on The Great Gatsby’s parade. Iron Man 3 took an impressive $72.5 million at the weekend box office, beating Baz Luhrmann’s flick’s equally impressive $51.1 million. Despite mediocre reviews for a soap-opera love story, 70 percent of Gatsby viewers were above the age of 25. As expected, the bulk of the movie’s audience came to see Leonardo DiCaprio and listen to the popular soundtrack. It’s a healthy debut for the buzzed-about event of the summer, and Luhrmann’s best opening yet. Iron Man 3 has raked in $950 million globally.
From the continuing subsidies for the nation’s biggest banks to the story behind the billion dollar sale of Instagram, the Daily Beast brings you the best in business and finance for the week of May 11.
Six banks that were rescued from the precipice in 2008 have advantages over their competitors – advantages provided by the public. Just how big? According to one calculation, $102 billion over the last four years.Subprime bond bounces back, leaving behind a subprime borrower Carrick Mollenkamp, ReutersOne of the most profitable trades on Wall Street has been scooping up the toxic assets – securities stuffed with subprime mortgages – at bargain basement prices.
International Business Times
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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.
Talk amongst yourselves
Zachary Braiterman reviews Shaul Magid's new book, American Post-Judaism: Identity and Renewal in a Postethnic Society.