Mergers and Acquisitions Boom! Is This a Good Sign for the Economy?
Wall Street dealmakers are off to a busy start to 2013, as some of corporate America’s most recognizable names have become involved in multi-billion-dollar mergers and acquisitions. Just yesterday, American Airlines and US Airways announced they would be merging in an $11 billion deal, while private equity firm 3G and Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway announced a $28 billion joint acquisition of food conglomerate H.G. Heinz. And these two deals follow hard upon $24.4 billion leveraged buyout of Dell by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners and the firm’s founder, Michael Dell. Indeed, according to data from Deallogic, U.S. companies have spent $219 billion on mergers and acquisitions so far in 2013, a sharp increase from 2012, when firms spent just $85 billion during the same period. And U.S. firms are on pace to have the biggest year in M&A activity since 2000. While all this activity will be surely benefit shareholders of acquired firms — as well as lots of Wall ...
Can the Estate Tax Solve the Fiscal Cliff?
The battle over the fiscal cliff has so far revolved around income taxes for the wealthy and entitlement reform. But there are many other ways the federal budget deficit could be trimmed that haven’t received much of the spotlight recently, and one of those is the estate tax. The estate tax has gone through many changes over the past ten years, as the tax cuts enacted early in President George W. Bush‘s first term reduced the rate Americans pay on inheritances and raised the threshold amount under which estates are exempt from the tax. The tax was briefly repealed altogether in 2010, before it was reenacted in a 2010 compromise which set the estate tax rate at 35% for estates valued at more than $5 million ($10 million for a couple), indexed to inflation. But without Congressional action, the estate tax will revert to its pre-2001 form January 1st. Under that version of the law, estates valued over $1 million were subject to an estate tax on a graduated basis from 37% to 55%, and a 5% ...
BOJ's Kuroda urges action on public spending, revenue
TOKYO - The Bank of Japan governor urged the government on Tuesday to take steps on both revenue and spending as public finances are on an unsustainable path.
Found 1 month ago on channel Reuters
The Post Office’s Biggest Problem Isn’t Saturday Delivery — It’s Congress
It may seem like the United States Postal Service is unwilling to adapt to a world of declining mail volume and increased digital communication. But the real obstacle in the way of true reform aren’t the folks running the postal service itself. It’s their bosses in the U.S. Congress. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe is like a man waiting for a package that never arrives. Donahoe, who has led the U.S.P.S. since 2010, has over the past few years made numerous proposals to get the money-losing postal service back in the black. He’s suggested closing post offices, modernizing post offices, “village” post offices, increased postal rates, decreased services, a reduced workforce, and a number of digital approaches involving tracking packages, QR codes, and mobile solutions. (MORE: How ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ is Making a Comeback) But there’s only so much the Post Office can do on its own to reduce the billions it loses every year. (Last year it lost $16 billion.) Congress holds ...
It is incongruous that, just as governments around the world lurch to the left, becoming heavily involved in governing financial markets, macroeconomic research – which studies the impact of significant actions and major trends in the political and economic spheres – is having a seizure. Such a mass of material for study, rather than driving the discipline, is disrobing it, say market veterans. Its harshest critics say macroeconomic research is the finance industry’s final fig leaf covering the uncomfortable truth that even those with experience and training have little-to-no idea about the way markets are affected by shifting patterns in economics or politics.