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FIELD GUIDE TO BUSINESS ETIQUETTE WHEN WORKING WITH OTHER CULTURES

Posted on Monday, January 31, 2011

Want to make a good first impression with your international clients? Should you commence the relationship with a handshake, polite bow, or a simple nod? What steps do you need to take to go the extra mile with an international or foreign client? This Updated Field Guide will assist you in building ...

Financial Meltdown Was 'Avoidable,' Crisis Panel Finds

Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011

The financial crisis could have been avoided and was the result of poor decision making both in Washington and at top financial firms that fostered a culture of excessive risk taking, according to a draft report written by Democrats on a panel that investigated the meltdown and obtained by Reuters. ...

SEC Illinois Pension Fund Probe Confirmed, WSJ Reports

Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011

On Monday night, the Illinois state governor's office confirmed that the Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into public officials' statements concerning the state's chronically underfunded pension fund -- which faces one of the biggest shortfalls in the nation. The Wa...

Identifying and Regulating Systemically Important Financial Institutions: The Risks of Under and Ove

Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Certain financial institutions are so central to the American financial system that their failure could cause traumatic damage, both to financial markets and to the larger economy. These institutions are often referred to as “systemically important financial institutions” or SIFIs. Among its numerou...

'The Last Name Effect' -- Study Says Your Name Affects Your Buying Habits

Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011

When your e-mail inbox lights up with a new message advertising "Get it while supplies last!" how do you respond? Do you delete it, save it for later or jump at the chance to get the deal before it's gone? Your reaction depends on the first letter of your last name, according to a recent study co-a...

Taxpayers Footing $160M Legal Bill for Fannie and Freddie

Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In November, Texas representative Randy Neugebauer sent a letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) requesting a report from Acting Director Edward DeMarco detailing how much taxpayer dollars are being spent on legal costs for former Fannie and Freddie execs. A report released last week ...

SEC Requires Reporting Of Data On Loans

Posted on Friday, January 21, 2011

WASHINGTON — Federal regulators are requiring firms selling securities tied to mortgages, credit cards and student loans, which froze during the financial crisis, to publicly report information on the loans that back them. The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted new rules Thursday requiring ...

Private Equity Real Estate Fundraising Took a Hit in 2010

Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Private equity real estate funding totaled $35.8 billion globally in 2010, which is the lowest annual total since 2003, when funds raised just over $14 billion, a study found. The numbers are 28 percent lower than the $49.8 billion raised in 2009. The study, conducted by Preqin, an information co...

The Chinese Yuan vs. the Power of the Dollar

Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2011

China and Russia's recent agreement to allow their currencies to trade on spot inter-bank markets should be welcomed as a sign that both countries have matured to a stage where they can compete in the global currency markets. Although the official purpose of the move is to promote bilateral trade an...

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AT HOME AND ON THE GO CAN EASE PAIN OF COLD WEATHER, ADVISES ALLIANCE TO SAVE ENER

Posted on Saturday, January 15, 2011

Winter’s chill pervades much of the nation, and escalating gas prices are putting their own chill down the spines of U.S. consumers. But until the spring thaw arrives, simple energy-efficiency steps at home and on the road—potentially supplemented by federal income tax credits for specific energy-ef...

Economists Need a Code of Ethics

Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2011

Economists, no less than anyone else, need a code of conduct. The economics profession already has such a code, which the vast majority of economists respect and observe. Economists learned about this code of conduct not by seeing it in black and white (it's not written down), but by observing the b...

Good News for Real Estate: The Probable Scenario

Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2011

A raging debate has been taking place concerning the health of real estate, and how long it will take to absorb the excess supply. Here is a probable scenario (data thanks to Century Management): In September 2010, there were 3,585,000 homes listed for sale. At the current average rate of 350,000 h...

The day of reckoning for public employees unions is here

Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2011

In July 2009, economist Barry Bluestone wrote an op-ed article for the Boston Globe warning that his state's public employees unions were on the same path to economic and political decline as the United Auto Workers was back in the mid-1980s. Voters, he warned, would no longer accept wages and ben...

Minimum Wage Workers In Florida Are Getting Short Changed

Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2011

Six-cents seems like small change, but for nearly two hundred thousand low-wage workers in Florida, it's adding up to a legal battle. The National Employment Law Project (NELP) and Florida Legal Services (FLS) filed suit today against Florida's Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI) for not raising...

Gauging Those Tremors in Municipal Bonds

Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

MARILYN COHEN, the founder of Envision Capital Management, manages $300 million in bond portfolios for individual investors. Since early November, she says, she has also taken on the job of running “the municipal bond equivalent of the Butterball turkey hot line,” fielding calls from investors worri...

Identity Theft Victim Can't Convince Freddie Mac He Owns His Home

Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Identity Theft Resource Center says Ty Powell is a victim of identity theft. Freddie Mac says he hasn't paid his mortgage in two years. The local paper says he's dead. Powell says, "I don't know what to say." He's afraid to leave his Casa Grande, Ariz. house for an extended period of time ...

Big business is back in business

Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

There was a festive atmosphere at U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters Tuesday morning as the corporate lobby delivered its annual "State of American Business" address. Margaret Spellings, the former Bush Cabinet officer who cashed out and joined the business group, made the introductions, tellin...

JPMorgan Chase economist sees turnaround in Florida, nation

Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

JPMorgan Chase's senior economist says "the lights are starting to come on" in both the nation's and Florida's economy. James E. Glassman said the key message for Florida is that while its economy is still struggling, "I personally think that we are closer to the end in Florida because the pace of ...

New Decade, New Hopes for Job Growth

Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The December employment numbers, released today by the U.S. Department of Labor, show signs of improvement in the labor market. The economy added 103,000 jobs last month—although encouraging after last month’s disappointing growth, this is not large enough to absorb new entrants and make a dent in t...

Shadow Elite: Do Economists Need a Code of Ethics?

Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"An ethical code for economists? That's a bit like adopting a chastity vow at the Bunny Ranch." -reader comment to the New York Times, This comment is striking, and not just because it manages to put "economists" and "Bunny Ranch" in the same unlikely sentence. It shows the stark disillusionm...

Number Of Poor May Be Millions Higher

Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP By Hope Yen) - The number of poor people in the U.S. is millions higher than previously known, with 1 in 6 Americans -- many of them 65 and older -- struggling in poverty due to rising medical care and other costs, according to preliminary census figures released Wednesday. At the sa...

Mistrust and Betrayal: The Far Deeper Costs of the Foreclosure Crisis

Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The financial costs of the seemingly endless foreclosure crisis have been widely reported with Credit Suisse estimating that as many as 12 million families will lose their homes before this is all over. The predatory lending that led to the spike in foreclosures, and the robo-signings coupled with t...

Report Says Struggling Cities May Not Recover for Years

Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A report conducted by a professor at the Rockefeller Institute of Government in New York and sponsored by the Mortgage Bankers Association paints a dire picture for the future of struggling neighborhoods and cities. A Study of Real Estate Markets in Declining Cities analyzes the recession’s impact ...

HOPE NOW Celebrates 4 Years, Releases November Data

Posted on Monday, January 10, 2011

HOPE NOW, the industry alliance of mortgage servicers and other professionals, investors, and counselors, completed its fourth year in existence in 2010. The alliance includes companies such as Bank of America, GMAC Mortgage, and Wells Fargo. The organization’s latest market report estimates 1.6...

Restarting the economic machine

Posted on Monday, January 10, 2011

"We have magneto trouble. How, then, can we start up again?" mused John Maynard Keynes in December 1930, likening the stagnant economy of the Great Depression to a broken generator in an automobile. Fear not, he wrote, the car eventually would get rolling again, and "we need not assume . . . that mo...

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