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Financial News from The Fiscal Times

  • GAO Flags FEMA’s Spending Practices The Fiscal Times - 28 minutes ago
    GAO Flags FEMA’s Spending Practices

    At a time when natural disasters are more expensive than ever, the agency responsible for responding to them is under scrutiny for the way it’s spending its money. A new report from the Government Accountability Office, the congressional watchdog, expresses concern over the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s soaring …

  • The Hidden Threats from Your ‘Smart’ Home The Fiscal Times - 1 hour 47 minutes ago
    The Hidden Threats from Your ‘Smart’ Home

    Whether you’re use home automation technology to remotely regulate the heat in your house, help write your grocery shopping list (based on what’s left in your fridge), or make sure your kids are sleeping soundly, you’re experiencing a newfound security, knowing that you are in control of your home even while you’re away. …

  • The Heritage Foundation, one of Washington’s preeminent right-wing think tanks, has a reputation for pulling no punches when it comes to going after President Obama. So if you are a Republican, and the Heritage Foundation is warning you that your political strategy may be a little too aggressive, you might want to listen. …

  • Congress on the Verge of Major Veterans Affairs Deal

    With only days left before the start of Congress’s five-week summer vacation, House and Senate negotiators have reached a tentative deal to bolster spending by the Department of Veterans Affairs to address many of the scandalous conditions that contributed to the deaths of dozens of veterans, according to media reports. …

  • The Immigration Problem We’re Not Talking About

    One of the biggest factors driving the surge of unaccompanied children making the dangerous journey from Central America to the United States’ Southern border has been the incorrect impression that, once they arrive, they will be allowed to stay. Unfortunately, by vastly understaffing the country’s immigration courts, …

  • Investor Advisory: Market Volatility Set to Return

    After a period of calm and tranquility, with geopolitical chaos being set aside as investors focused on better-than-expected second quarter earnings, volatility made a comeback on Friday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average tested below its 20-day moving average. How else can you explain the speculative frenzy and pure …

  • Is the ever-tougher economic squeeze of Russia for its not-quite-clear role in the Ukraine crisis a 21st century rerun of the Treaty of Versailles, the recklessly punitive settlement that turned out to be the mulch of the global conflagration that defined the five decades following 1945?  The Obama administration appears …

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Narcissistic CEOs

    While narcissist CEOs can use their charisma and risk-taking tendencies to lead a company to great financial success and innovation, narcissism among top management is often a double-edge sword. Companies led by narcissistic CEOs reported higher earnings-per-share and share price than companies with non-narcissistic CEOs, …

  • EU Agrees to Russia Sanctions; US Could Arm Ukraine The Fiscal Times - Sun, Jul 27, 2014 3:13 PM EDT
    EU Agrees to Russia Sanctions; US Could Arm Ukraine

    There was a time, in the days following the missile attack that brought down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, when it appeared that the sheer volume of international revulsion at the death of 298 innocent people and the subsequent mistreatment of their remains by separatist rebels in Eastern Ukraine might force Russian president …

  • Sorry, Hillary: The Russian ‘Reset’ Never Worked The Fiscal Times - Sun, Jul 27, 2014 10:15 AM EDT
    Sorry, Hillary: The Russian ‘Reset’ Never Worked

    In the netherworld of America’s political subconscious, John F. Kennedy had nothing to do with starting the Vietnam War; So in advance of Hillary Clinton’s formal campaign for president, let us put this one to bed right now: The Obama administration’s Russia reset never worked. It’s important to remember this, because …

  • Why Perry’s National Guard Border Fix Is Fraught with Danger The Fiscal Times - Sun, Jul 27, 2014 6:15 AM EDT
    Why Perry’s National Guard Border Fix Is Fraught with Danger

    When Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently announced plans to send 1,000 National Guard troops to the border to help cope with the flood of young Central Americans crossing into this country illegally, he further fueled a debate within Congress and the Obama administration over the value and risks of such a maneuver. To tighten …

  • Why Israel, Under Siege from All Sides, Stands Firm The Fiscal Times - Sun, Jul 27, 2014 6:00 AM EDT
    Why Israel, Under Siege from All Sides, Stands Firm

    Hamas, the terrorist organization engaged in a quickly evolving war with Israel, fired rockets toward Tel Aviv this weekend – rejecting the U.N.-requested extension of the 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire. In doing so, the group has restarted the age-old conflict after Israel had briefly paused the battle while giving credence …

  • Why Movies on Netflix Just Don’t Matter Anymore The Fiscal Times - Sat, Jul 26, 2014 12:30 PM EDT
    Why Movies on Netflix Just Don’t Matter Anymore

    This week Netflix made several announcements regarding their streaming properties that will forever change the shape of video content consumption. Netflix’s announcement that they had increased their subscriber base this quarter by 1.7 million to a total of more than 50 million globally was paired with a plan to go live …

  • 5 Fast-Growing Small Business Industries The Fiscal Times - Fri, Jul 25, 2014 10:51 AM EDT
    5 Fast-Growing Small Business Industries

    If you’re an entrepreneur looking to start a business, focusing on some of the fastest-growing small business industries such as architecture, employment services and computer services could make your venture a success. Sageworks, a financial information firm, has identified five industries with the highest sales growth …

  • Congress Eyes 5-Week Vacation While Urgent Issues Fester The Fiscal Times - Fri, Jul 25, 2014 6:15 AM EDT
    Congress Eyes 5-Week Vacation While Urgent Issues Fester

    Only recently, lawmakers were outraged that dozens of veterans had died waiting for care at a VA health center in Phoenix, that thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America were pouring across our border, and that local governments were preparing to cancel highway and bridge construction projects because the …

  • How the U.S. Allowed ISIS to Form a Terrorist Army The Fiscal Times - Fri, Jul 25, 2014 6:00 AM EDT

    The United States has sent additional military advisers to Iraq and increased the number of drone flights to 50 per day, up from one flight a month. Yet so far this has done little to stop the rise of the jihadist terror group, the Islamic State, abbreviated as ISIS or ISIL, which has transformed itself from a loosely …

  • From Public Service to Lobbyist—The Revolving Door Is on Auto Pilot The Fiscal Times - Fri, Jul 25, 2014 5:45 AM EDT

    Our political debate between the two parties often boils down to whether citizens benefit from government actions. In his book The Payoff, former lobbyist and Senate chief of staff Jeff Connaughton called them “The Blob,” the army of hangers-on and glad-handers who rotate between government and industry, getting rich off …

  • Chikungunya, and Other Diseases You Now Have to Worry About The Fiscal Times - Fri, Jul 25, 2014 5:00 AM EDT
    Chikungunya, and Other Diseases You Now Have to Worry About

    With daily temperatures in many regions of the U.S. expected to exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit for, in some cases, several months of the year, public health officials have warned state and local health authorities that not only do they need to be prepared for unfamiliar tropical disease, but that heat-related emergencies …

  • Social Security Has Squandered $300M on Technology The Fiscal Times - Thu, Jul 24, 2014 8:42 PM EDT
    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 Fiscal Times - Thu, Jul 24, 2014 5:30 PM EDT
    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 The Fiscal Times - Thu, Jul 24, 2014 3:45 PM EDT
    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 The Fiscal Times - Thu, Jul 24, 2014 2:45 PM EDT
    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 The Fiscal Times - Thu, Jul 24, 2014 2:15 PM EDT
    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 - Thu, Jul 24, 2014 12:46 PM EDT
    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 - Thu, Jul 24, 2014 6:15 AM EDT
    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 - Thu, Jul 24, 2014 5:45 AM EDT
    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 …

  • The Secret Fingerprint That’s Following Your Every Click The Fiscal Times - Thu, Jul 24, 2014 5:15 AM EDT

    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 - Thu, Jul 24, 2014 5:00 AM EDT
    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 2:30 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 …

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