Yesterday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) — the independent agency responsible for assisting consumers in “obtaining reliable, efficient and sustainable energy services at a reasonable cost through appropriate regulatory and market means” — released a notice on the allegations against a J.P. Morgan Chase affiliate. JPMC has been accused by federal energy regulators, after a investigation that began approximately one year ago, of using ”eight manipulative bidding strategies” to garner what the regulators deem to be “excessive payments” from electricity markets.… [Read more]
Since the City of Detroit made history by declaring the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation’s history, there has been much talk about credit ratings, debt burdens and the legalities of bankruptcy, which allows those who declare it to take time to restructure their financial obligations and, often, to repay less than what was previously owed.… [Read more]
H.R. 1105, the Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act, was introduced by Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia). The purpose of the Act is to exempt advisers to certain private equity funds from the new registration requirements required by Title IV of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Wall Street reform act that is supposed to regulate the practices of Wall Street to prevent another financial crisis. … [Read more]
Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963 as part of his New Frontier program. The federal law amended the Fair Labor Standards Act that was directed at abolishing wage disparity based on gender.
Today, 50 years to the day, President Obama marked the anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.… [Read more]
Congressional Republicans are trying to keep alleged White House “scandals” simmering well past al dente doneness. As facts unfold, it’s more like vainly trying to keep a wave upon the sandy beach.
Let’s remember last year’s GOP presidential primaries. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) made a seemingly intoxicated tirade about a tax return the size of a postcard.… [Read more]
Education can be an individual’s or a nation’s greatest investment. We talk about the disparity between the public education provided to students with fewer economic resources and those who have greater financial means. We also talk about gender differences in that young women are often steered away from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields of study.… [Read more]
President Obama’s salary and pension may be exempt from sequestered cuts but that hasn’t stopped him from taking the same cut that other federal employees are being subjected to due to budget sequestration. Today, it was announced that the POTUS plans to return 5% of his $400,000 annual salary in response to and in support of federal workers who are going to be furloughed.… [Read more]
A few days ago, the issue of earned sick days for workers was in the news. Its was noted that, for example, more than a million residents of New York who do not have paid sick days and that suffering an illness means losing out on a pay check at best and a job at worst. … [Read more]
Legacies. If or when elected officials think about how their constituents will remember them once they’re out of office, what thoughts cross their minds? Do they think about how they could have left their jurisdictions better than they found them? Do they give thought to how they could have reached back a little bit more to help those who were most in need of their support?… [Read more]
Though the news this week is of the election of Pope Francis and what this means for the Catholic Church’s Legacy following the resignation of Benedict XVI, I want to focus on the big news last week. Last Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit the astronomical all-time high of 14,253.77, and has continued breaking records for nine straight trading days.… [Read more]
So the Republican-controlled House of Representatives proposed a $982 billion bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year instead of more brinksmanship. Before we start dancing in the streets, and name a few golf courses and watering holes after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the devil is again in the details.
As a former Federal agency budget analyst and before that, a military comptroller, we need to look beyond the spin platitudes and delve into the numbers.… [Read more]
Two-time Pulitzer winning cartoonist Mike Luckovich, of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, sketched an appropriate cartoon the other day on the string of inept GOP brinksmanship showdowns. Yes, America is tired of it. Making a mess in the kitchen, and leaving it for the missus is not a path to domestic bliss.
Kowtowing to the Tea Terrorists, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) “led” his ‘Party of No’ on another sabotage raid on the American economy.… [Read more]
How many times must the GOP and its laughable public relations firm, Fox News, be wrong before they realise that it’s a good idea to remain silent?
When an announcement came from the office of the Israeli President, Shimon Peres, on Monday that President Obama will receive the Presidential Medal of Distinction – the first time ever that Israel has given this honour to a sitting US president – I wondered just what will it take?… [Read more]
For a guy who never has to face another election to keep his job, President Obama confidently strode to the dais to deliver a bright, ambitious smorgasbord of public needs and his answers to a weary, but recovering, nation saddled by an obstructionist Congress.
In a stirring address, the President told the Joint Session of Congress, America, and the world, that while much has been accomplished, much remains to be done. … [Read more]
A FRONTLINE documentary titled “The Untouchables” aired on PBS stations last night. The focus on the financial system meltdown of over four years ago may have been eye-opening to anyone who hasn’t been paying attention to the financial services industry but, for the rest of us who have a Wall Street-sized chip on our shoulders, the excellent documentary served to heighten our disgust at the fact that no bankers were jailed for crumbling the U.S.… [Read more]
Yesterday, 10 US banks and mortgage firms agreed to pay $8.5 billion to settle complaints of wrongful foreclosures. Federal regulators undertook an extensive review process of homeowner foreclosure files as required under an enforcement action filed during 2011. According to terms of the agreement the banks – which include several of the nation’s largest financial institutions such as Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo – will end up paying individual homeowners anywhere from several hundred dollars to $125,000 once it has been determined that those individuals were wrongly foreclosed upon.… [Read more]
Yes, by now many of you have heard that a fiscal cliff deal was passed late last night in the House of Representatives. Neither side of the political aisle is completely happy with the final deal; those who wanted more spending cuts are dismayed that so-called entitlement programs were taken off the table, and those who sought more revenues are not happy that President Obama received only half of the revenues – about $600 billion – requested from an increase in taxes currently paid by the wealthiest Americans.… [Read more]
For many months those of us who have been paying attention to financial and economic reports have heard that the economy is growing, albeit too slow for our tastes. That’s great news on a macro level but, on an individual level, it’s all too common to still hear stories about people who are falling through the economic recovery’s cracks.… [Read more]