US Economy Expands at 0.4 Percent Rate
WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy grew at a slightly faster but still anemic rate at the end of last year. However, there is hope that growth accelerated in early 2013 despite higher taxes and cuts in government spending. The economy grew at an annual rate of 0.4 percent in the October-December quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That was slightly better than the previous estimate of 0.1 percent growth. The revision reflected stronger business investment and export sales. Analysts think the economy is growing at a rate of around 2.5 percent in the current January-March quarter, which ends this week. Steady hiring has kept consumers spending this year. And a rebound in company stockpiling, further gains in housing and more business spending also likely drove faster growth in the first quarter. The 0.4 percent growth rate for the gross domestic product, the economy’s total output of goods and services, was the weakest quarterly performance in almost two years and followed a much ...
MPF schemes rated to build awareness and improve decision-making amongst members
Hong Kong’s compulsory saving scheme, the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF), has grown to over HK$440 billion (US$56.72 billion) in assets held on behalf of 2.6 million employees. These are underpinned by a combination of compulsory contributions and financial market performance. The recent implementation of employee choice arrangements (ECA), enabling members’ portability, is expected to bring the biggest changes to the Hong Kong retirement landscape since the MPF’s beginnings in December 2000.
Does President Obama Really Believe in Deficit Reduction?
It should come as no surprise that President Obama began last night’s State of the Union address discussing both the economy and federal government finances. After all, much of the debate in Washington has been focused on the historically large budget deficits the federal government has been running since the financial crisis. The President called for Congress to act to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years, through a combination of tax increases and spending cuts, but he offered no real specifics on how he’d like to get there. And that lack of specifics, combined with spending proposals elsewhere in the speech, have made many Republicans skeptical that the President considers deficit reduction a priority. This sounds like the same old story we’ve been hearing for years now: Republicans accusing the President of not really caring about deficits and debt. But given the improving economy and deficit reductions already in place, Republicans may have a point this ...
Berkshire Partners to Merge Two Fiber-Network Providers
Berkshire Partners plans to acquire control of two of the largest U.S. fiber-network providers, leading to a combination that the private-equity firm valued at more than $2 billion.
IntercontinentalExchange to Buy NYSE for $8.2 Billion
(NEW YORK ) — The New York Stock Exchange is being sold to a rival exchange for about $8 billion, ending more than two centuries of independence for the iconic Big Board. IntercontinentalExchange Inc., an upstart exchange based in Atlanta, said Thursday that NYSE Euronext Inc. shareholders can chose to receive either $33.12 in cash, .2581 IntercontinentalExchange Inc. shares, or a combination of $11.27 in cash plus .1703 shares of stock. The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies, but would have to be approved by regulators. Last year, IntercontinentalExchange and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. made a failed $11 billion bid to buy NYSE Euronext. Earlier this year, European regulators blocked Deutsche Boerse AG from buying NYSE Euronext. MORE: Should the NYSE Be Allowed to Merge?