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Financial News from The Fiscal Times

  • Social Security Has Squandered $300M on Technology

    Somewhere in between the Stone Age and the Digital Age, we find the Social Security Administration.  The McKinsey report does not specifically point fingers at Lockheed Martin, and for now, the agency intends to continue working with them.

  • Paul Ryan’s State-Based Poverty Plan Could Assure “Two Americas”

    The central anti-poverty proposal released by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) this morning was an odd mix of traditional conservative Republican ideas joined with what can only be described as a “big government” proposal to closely monitor the lives of the poor as they try to progress up the socioeconomic ladder.  Ryan presented …

  • First Superman Comic Book, Worth Millions, to Be Auctioned

    One of the best preserved copies of the first comic book featuring Superman will be auctioned on eBay starting August 14. “The publication of Action Comics No. 1 marked the first time that Superman rushed to the scene to restore order and peace in the world,” eBay said in a blog post Wednesday. Published in 1938 and initially …

  • Why the GOP Can’t Count on a Midterm Wave Election

    These are glum times for Democrats in their struggle to retain control of the Senate.  The race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa has gone from “leaning Democratic” to a “toss-up,” as Republican State Senator Joni Ernst continues to surge in popularity.   Meanwhile, recently appointed Democratic Sen. …

  • You’ll Never Guess Where the World’s Best Hotel Is

    If you had to guess the location of the world’s best hotel, you’d probably choose exotic  Abu Dhabi or luxurious Singapore or some world-class setting like Paris or Tokyo. But Montana? (No offense intended ...

  • Jeb Bush Warns GOP on Immigration Reform The Fiscal Times - 12 hours ago
    Jeb Bush Warns GOP on Immigration Reform

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, usually a key Republican voice on immigration issues, has been conspicuously silent with regard to the plight of thousands of unaccompanied children from violence-wracked countries in Central America crossing the Southern border illegally. Last night, though, he jumped into the debate, calling …

  • Obamacare Fraud Controls Found Severely Lacking The Fiscal Times - 18 hours ago
    A man looks over the Affordable Care Act signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York in this photo illustration

    At the moment there’s no way of knowing whether any significant portion of the millions of people who signed up for health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s Health Care Exchanges did so fraudulently. The GAO, at the request of members of Congress, conducted what amounted to a sting operation against …

  • How Al Qaeda Morphed into a Deadly Global Hydra The Fiscal Times - 19 hours ago
    How Al Qaeda Morphed into a Deadly Global Hydra

    The death of Osama bin Laden and the dismantling of the al Qaeda leadership responsible for planning and executing the 9/11 attacks has transformed global terrorism into a multi-headed monster with dangerous branches springing up in hot spots around the globe. Bin Laden’s death, and the success of the American war on terror …

  • As he surfed around he began seeing ads for pregnancy-related merchandise from Target, one of his daughter’s favorite stores. The first large-scale study of advanced web tracking mechanisms, conducted by researchers at Princeton University and KU Leuven University in Belgium, reveals that people are unwillingly tracked …

  • Obamacare OK’s Fake Accounts and Fake Promises The Fiscal Times - 19 hours ago
    Obamacare OK’s Fake Accounts and Fake Promises

    For months after the official launch date of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failures in the systems involved the near-impossibility of successfully enrolling in Obamacare health insurance coverage. To this day, the federal exchange still lacks the “back end” needed to determine how many sign-ups actually have coverage …

  • Paul Ryan Ventures Again into Poverty Policy Minefield The Fiscal Times - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 5:46 PM EDT
    Paul Ryan Ventures Again into Poverty Policy Minefield

    If you can be sure of one thing in this world, it’s that when Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) starts talking about poverty, things are about to get interesting.  So when he appears at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday morning to deliver his latest proposal for reforming the social safety net, he’s almost certain to make …

  • The Battle of the Beefed-Up Breakfast Sandwiches The Fiscal Times - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 3:30 PM EDT
    The Battle of the Beefed-Up Breakfast Sandwiches

    In the heightened competition for your breakfast buck, fast-food restaurants are engaging in a fierce battle for your stomach – though your waistline could be the biggest casualty of all. Related: The Big Fat Lie We've Been Fed About Our Diet

  • More Women Become Household CFOs The Fiscal Times - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 2:25 PM EDT
    More Women Become Household CFOs

    A recent study by Ameriprise Financial, “Women and Financial Power,” looked at women ages 25 to 70 with at least $25,000 in investable assets. It found that 41 percent are making financial decisions alone, while 42 percent said they viewed themselves as the most financially astute person in their homes and 56 percent said …

  • Another Regulator Thumbs His Nose at U.S. Consumers The Fiscal Times - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 1:40 PM EDT

    In another of the depressingly long list of examples of U.S. regulators stepping out of their government jobs and into well-paid sinecures with the very industry they recently regulated, it was announced today Scott O’Malia, a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will leave his post to take a job as CEO of …

  • Perry Tests Obama by Sending Troops to the Border The Fiscal Times - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 1:00 PM EDT

    Talk about living in a parallel universe.  Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whose state is “ground zero” for illegal immigration, is exasperated at what he sees as Washington’s inaction. He’s deploying National Guard troops to the border and claims the Obama White House is still spewing “empty promises” to relieve the crush of …

  • GAO Asks Agency to Stop Selling Its Free Reports The Fiscal Times - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 9:15 AM EDT
    GAO Asks Agency to Stop Selling Its Free Reports

    A handful of lawmakers are on a crusade to abolish a tiny, little-known agency within the Commerce Department, that’s primary purpose is to sell federal documents like Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports and Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections that are almost all available online for free.   The National …

  • The Other Secret Gov’t Agency That Operates Outside the Law The Fiscal Times - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 6:15 AM EDT

    About the only way the year 2012 could have been more Kafkaesque for the owners of Delaware-based Ralls Corporation is if they had awakened one morning transformed into a giant bug. Early in the year the company, which is owned by two Chinese nationals, purchased four wind farms near Butter Creek, outside the small Oregon …

  • Obamacare Could Go Back to the Supreme Court The Fiscal Times - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 6:00 AM EDT
    Obamacare Could Go Back to the Supreme Court

    It looks like the president’s health care law might be heading back to the Supreme Court, as two conflicting federal appeals court rulings today threw the fate of Obamacare back into question. The issue this time is over subsidies provided to people who signed up for health coverage through the federal exchange. Today, …

  • Obama Take Heed: Aussies Repeal ‘Economy Killer’ Carbon Tax The Fiscal Times - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 5:45 AM EDT

    Those very outcomes were by anticipated by U.S. legislators from both sides of the aisle when they refused to endorse President Obama’s early push for a cap-and-trade program.. A fall-out he now risks in implementing new carbon regulations proposed by the EPA earlier this year. By demanding that power plants chop carbon …

  • Publishers Finally Gain a Bit of Leverage in Fight with Amazon The Fiscal Times - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 5:30 AM EDT
    Publishers Finally Gain a Bit of Leverage in Fight with Amazon

    I signed up for a 30-day trial of Amazon’s new Kindle Unlimited service. I suppose it was inevitable, and really, if Amazon can’t persuade someone like me to give their new subscription-based reading service a spin, it would be an astonishing failure. Intriguingly, this is one time that Amazon isn’t the first mover in …

  • Here’s Why We Won’t Quit Our Jobs, Even If We Could The Fiscal Times - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 5:15 AM EDT
    Here’s Why We Won’t Quit Our Jobs, Even If We Could

    You may dream of saying goodbye to your boss, going on endless vacations and not caring one whit about money – but most American workers wouldn’t quit their jobs even if they could. A CareerBuilder survey finds that 51 percent of workers would still work after winning the lottery, while 30 percent of them said they would …

  • The Case of the Missing IRS Emails: An $18M Whodunit The Fiscal Times - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 6:15 PM EDT
    The Case of the Missing IRS Emails: An $18M Whodunit

    The congressional search for smoking gun documents that might incriminate the former head of IRS’s Exempt Organizations Division Lois Lerner in the so-called Tea Party targeting scandal is leaving a major money trail. More than 250 IRS employees have spent more than 120,000 hours sifting through documents in an effort …

  • Lerner Computer Damage May Have Been Intentional: Camp The Fiscal Times - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 5:15 PM EDT
    Lerner Computer Damage May Have Been Intentional: Camp

    In a sensational press release issued Tuesday afternoon, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) claimed that he had evidence that the Internal Revenue Service destroyed a computer belonging to a key figure in the IRS targeting scandal despite being told by experts that its data was recoverable. Lois Lerner, …

  • 5 Smart Steps to Combat Workplace Bullying The Fiscal Times - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 4:30 PM EDT
    5 Smart Steps to Combat Workplace Bullying

    Roughly a third of workers say they’ve experienced bullying on the job, according to a 2014 Zogby poll by the Workplace Bullying Institute – but 56 percent of employers say they have no formal procedures in place for combating workplace bullies. Remember that if you are being bullied, you didn’t cause it, you’re not alone …

  • Market 'Black Swan' Fear at Record High The Fiscal Times - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 2:30 PM EDT
    Market 'Black Swan' Fear at Record High

    After last Thursday's volatility surge, driven by the horrific missile strike against Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and fresh violence between Israel and the Palestinians, the stock market has calmed down. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), which measures current market volatility or fear, spiked last Thursday but has fallen …

  • The Long-term Unemployed May Finally Get a Break The Fiscal Times - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 2:15 PM EDT

    It’s been a rough year for the long-term jobless, with Congress refusing to renew an extension of federal unemployment benefits and some states slashing already-meager safety net programs, but a new study by a pair of Federal Reserve Board economists offers some hope for the future. In a paper issued this week, Tomaz Cajner …

  • Putin’s Bold Power Play in America’s Backyard The Fiscal Times - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 1:27 PM EDT

    The downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 near the border of Russia and Ukraine, allegedly at the hands of Russian separatists, has gobbled up the attention of world media. It’s obscuring what amounts to Russia’s most audacious power play in the Western Hemisphere since the end of the Cold War. Earlier this month, Russian …

  • Appeals Court Strikes Down Federal Exchange Subsidies for Obamacare The Fiscal Times - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 10:56 AM EDT
    Appeals Court Strikes Down Federal Exchange Subsidies for Obamacare

    A federal appeals court panel in the District struck down a major part of the 2010 health-care law Tuesday, ruling that the tax subsidies that are central to the program may not be provided in at least half of the states. The ruling, if upheld, could potentially be more damaging to the law than last month’s Supreme Court …

  • In NYC front doors are for the one percent The Fiscal Times - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 8:00 AM EDT
    A policeman on a horse waits at a traffic light in the Upper West Side neighbourhood of New York

    Income inequality has dominated Democrats’ political rhetoric across the country with politicians in Washington and on the campaign trail introducing plans to narrow the growing gulf between the rich and the poor.  Yet, in the country’s largest city, which recently elected a mayor who ran on a platform deriding income inequality, …

  • Wages Rise and – Surprise – Skilled Workers Are Now Easier to Find The Fiscal Times - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 6:00 AM EDT
    Wages Rise and – Surprise – Skilled Workers Are Now Easier to Find

    The National Association for Business Economics produced some figures in its quarterly Business Conditions survey yesterday that ought to raise the eyebrows of anybody who has been paying attention to the debates over the pace of the economic recovery and, specifically, the persistently high unemployment rate.  The news …

  • Why Europe Is Hesitant to Punish Russia The Fiscal Times - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 5:45 AM EDT
    Why Europe Is Hesitant to Punish Russia

    Prior to the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, the United States issued harsh sanctions against Russian businesses and individuals. European leaders, however, paid lip service to new financial penalties against Russia, but ultimately failed to impose new penalties.  This creates a symbiotic relationship: Russian …

  • GS vs. MS: Who’s Winning Wall Street’s Battle of the Bulge Bracket? The Fiscal Times - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 5:30 AM EDT
    GS vs. MS: Who’s Winning Wall Street’s Battle of the Bulge Bracket?

    They aren’t quite the Montagues and the Capulets, but if the fierce rivalry between Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) varies from that family feud chronicled by William Shakespeare, it’s only in the absence of literal dead bodies — and, for that matter, a love affair that might serve to unite surviving …

  • Credit Cards at College: Making Smart Choices from Day One The Fiscal Times - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 5:15 AM EDT

    With the back-to-school season fast approaching, many college students will be getting their first credit card. Some first-time credit card applicants may benefit from cash-free purchases and from cash-back deals. The real benefit—if done right—is building a solid credit history for the long run if you pay your monthly …

  • How Do You Get a New Generation to Invest? Ask This Harvard Guy The Fiscal Times - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 5:00 AM EDT
    How Do You Get a New Generation to Invest? Ask This Harvard Guy

    The rap against millennials is that they believe they’re exceptional and ought to be treated that way. Zach Lupei, a 28-year-old Harvard Business School student, believes that his generation’s sense of specialness extends to how they invest their money, so he recently launched his own millennial-focused investment advisory …

  • How Congress Is ‘Killing Our Transportation System’ The Fiscal Times - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 4:49 PM EDT
    How Congress Is ‘Killing Our Transportation System’

    The Department of Transportation’s top chief is accusing lawmakers of “killing our transportation system slowly” as Congress scrambles to approve a short-term solution to keep the nation’s highways from going broke.  The Highway Trust Fund is on the brink of insolvency. The Senate is expected to vote on highway funding …

  • Why Your MRI or CT Scan Costs An Arm and a Leg The Fiscal Times - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 3:00 PM EDT
    Why Your MRI or CT Scan Costs An Arm and a Leg

    Medical imaging is one of the most common and overused diagnostic techniques used today, and by far the costliest. While cancer caused by radiation from medical imaging can be a long-term concern, the more immediate worry for someone facing a new diagnosis is usually cost. The good news is that there are at least a few …

  • The Best and Worst States for a Life Well-Lived The Fiscal Times - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 2:36 PM EDT
    The Best and Worst States for a Life Well-Lived

    A project of the non-partisan Social Science Research Council, "The Measure of America 2013-2014" attempts to gauge the well being of the nation by focusing on the well being of individuals, with a broader perspective than that of pure economics. The metric used by Measure of America is called the American Human Development …

  • Multi-Billionaire Says You’re Working Too Hard The Fiscal Times - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 1:30 PM EDT
    Multi-Billionaire Says You’re Working Too Hard

    Billionaire business tycoon Carlos Slim thinks you would be more productive if you had time to take a yoga class, play with your kids more, have a leisurely lunch with a friend, or perhaps take a long weekend before heading into the office.  At the 20th annual meeting of the Circulo de Montevideo Foundation in Paraguay, …

  • Treasury Dept IT System Flagged for Security Issues The Fiscal Times - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 1:13 PM EDT
    Treasury Dept IT System Flagged for Security Issues

    Serious tech troubles at the Treasury Department are so severe that they could disrupt accounting practices within a system that manages about $16.7 billion of federal debt. The Government Accountability Office flagged at least 20 problems within the Bureau of the Fiscal Service’s tech system—all of which involve security …

  • Dump Terror Insurance Bill, Lose Investment and Jobs The Fiscal Times - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 6:15 AM EDT

    At a time when passenger airliners are being shot out of the sky in Eastern Europe and a virulently anti-American terrorist group has taken over large swathes of the Middle East, U.S. business owners are getting letters from their insurance companies informing them that as of January 1, 2015, they may no longer be covered …

  • A New Round of Budget Turmoil—Shut Up or Shutdown The Fiscal Times - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 6:00 AM EDT
    A New Round of Budget Turmoil—Shut Up or Shutdown

    As Congress moves towards its summer recess, the budget picture is its usual chaotic mess. The House and Senate are in a tug-of-war over what to do with President Obama’s emergency request for $3.7 billion to deal with the humanitarian crisis along the Southwest border. Congress must either pass a raft of fiscal 2015 …

  • Let Europe Do the Heavy Political Lift with Putin The Fiscal Times - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 5:30 AM EDT

    “It’d be unwise to say, well, the Russians did it, or the Ukrainian government did it, or the rebels did it.” For this moment in the Ukraine crisis, Paul competes as the truth-teller with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Liow Tiong Lai, Malaysia’s transport minister. Citizens of 11 nations, none of whom are involved …

  • Americans’ Favorite Cars Are No Longer Sedans The Fiscal Times - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 5:15 AM EDT
    Traffic on the Interstate 405 freeway near Los Angeles International Aiprort

    The American love affair with cars is still going strong, as an analysis of new vehicle registrations by IHS Automotive shows. For the first time, new registrations of SUVs and crossovers through the first five months of the year have surpassed those of sedans, by a margin of 36.5 percent to 35.4 percent. “I don’t think …

  • Don’t Ignore Janet Yellen’s Stock Market Warnings The Fiscal Times - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 5:15 AM EDT
    Don’t Ignore Janet Yellen’s Stock Market Warnings

    Janet Yellen is taking a lot of flak for speaking her mind. Last week, the Federal Reserve released a biannual policy report just as Yellen, the Fed’s chair, began testifying to Congress on the state of the U.S. economic recovery, the outlook for inflation and what’s happening in financial markets these days. What Yellen …

  • Kerry Accuses Russia of Role in Malaysian Plane Attack The Fiscal Times - Sun, Jul 20, 2014 5:55 PM EDT

    Secretary of State John Kerry made the rounds on the talk show circuit Sunday confirming the U.S. has “evidence” to conclude that Russia provided separatists in Eastern Ukraine with the weapons used to shoot down the Malaysia Airlines jet last Thursday.  In an interview with CBS “Face the Nation” Kerry said the U.S. has …

  • What the U.S. Can Do Now to Punish Russia The Fiscal Times - Sun, Jul 20, 2014 6:00 AM EDT

    A day after President Obama announced a new round of sanctions against Russian companies and individuals, the unthinkable happened: A Malaysian Airlines jet carrying nearly 300 passengers was shot out of the sky near the border of Russia and Ukraine.  No formal blame has been assigned, but all evidence is pointing toward …

  • Investors Are Getting Nervous, Even if They Aren’t Showing It The Fiscal Times - Sun, Jul 20, 2014 5:45 AM EDT
    Investors Are Getting Nervous, Even if They Aren’t Showing It

    Bond market spreads have collapsed near all-time lows. While Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen may have brushed aside complaints that six years of zero percent interest rates have fueled another asset price bubble, she as well as other Fed officials have been warning of specific areas of growth and extended valuations. …

  • Lawmaker Wants to Stop Killer Robots While He Still Can The Fiscal Times - Sun, Jul 20, 2014 5:30 AM EDT
    Lawmaker Wants to Stop Killer Robots While He Still Can

    While the Pentagon’s top scientists develop technology that may one day replace human soldiers on the battlefield, Rep. Jim McGovern is trying to put an end to the “killer robots” while he still can. Earlier this week, the Massachusetts Democrat held a panel on Capitol Hill with Pentagon officials, robot experts and anti-killer …

  • FedEx, One of America’s ‘Most Admired Companies,’ Faces Drug Charges

    On Thursday, the Department of Justice charged transportation company FedEx with distributing restricted prescription drugs for illegal online pharmacies. FedEx is indicted for “conspiracies to traffic in controlled substances and misbranded prescription drugs for its role in distributing controlled substances and prescription …

  • Federal Consumer Site Will Post Unverified Complaints About Banks The Fiscal Times - Fri, Jul 18, 2014 5:15 PM EDT

    Many people may not realize it, but the popular ratings website Yelp does more than allow people to review restaurants. “Credit unions take great care to address their members’ complaints directly and foster ongoing relationships with their members,” Coleman said.

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