Bill Clinton: How I’d fix the economy

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Move over Congress. Move over President Obama. Bill Clinton is back — and he has a lot of economy-fixing ideas.

The elder Democratic statesman has crammed his latest book — called “Back to Work” — with dozens upon dozens of policy prescriptions designed to get the economy back on track.

Clinton hammers one point over and over: Government is good, and the policies of “antigovernment ideologues” would only “push the pedal to the metal of the most destructive trends of the last thirty years.”

So how can the United States get back on track?

“We need to get our game face on,” Clinton writes.

A few of his ideas: Homeowners with underwater mortgages should have their loan principal reduced, U.S. companies should be allowed to repatriate profits held overseas and investment in green jobs and infrastructure must be increased.

Clinton says the country needs “a rapid, comprehensive effort to resolve the ongoing mortgage crisis.”

Every delinquent homeowner with a mortgage worth more than the house should have the principal written down or the loan’s term extended at a lower interest rate. Another option: If a homeowner can’t make reduced payments, they should be allowed to exchange a deed for a multi-year lease.

If those options don’t work for a homeowner, foreclosure should be expedited.

On the corporate tax code, Clinton says he favors reforming the system in a way that would lower tax rates but not the amount of revenue collected by the Treasury.

And in the near-term, Clinton says Congress should allow companies with earnings held overseas to repatriate that money at a tax rate below the usual 35% — say 15% to 20%.

If a company is able to prove they will use their repatriated profits to create new jobs in the United States, the tax rate should be dropped all the way to 0%.

The American tax machine

With as much as $1 trillion in profits being held overseas, the scheme could create a nice chunk of revenue for the Treasury. Clinton says that money should be used to fund infrastructure grants to the states.

Many of Clinton’s other proposals would try to create jobs linked to projects that would help change the way Americans produce and consume energy.

For example, Clinton wants an “aggressive, fifty-state building retrofit initiative” that is financed with a government-backed loan guarantee program. Meanwhile, states should launch their own retrofit programs. Congress should bring back full tax credits for green tech jobs.

The United States should also develop more efficient biofuels, work to harness geothermal heat and extract more natural gas — a process that often requires companies to use the controversial “fracking” technology.

At the very least, rooftops should be painted white, Clinton says, to help cut down on energy costs.

In all, Clinton lists 46 bullet-point ideas to help the economy, but he sneaks a few more in around the margin.

However, many of the ideas would require congressional action.

And as Clinton points out, Washington is tied in knots at the moment — totally consumed by partisanship. Very little legislation has successfully emerged from Congress this session.

And after all, that is where the rubber meets the road.

Analysis

With the US economy in turmoil and witnessing some of the highest rates of unemployment this is an interesting article showing Bill Clinton’s perspective on how to solve the economy. Bill Clinton is known for the 8 years of positive Economic growth during his time as President of the USA.
Yet, the tax code is vital for Americans and it is a tricky subject also for the GOP candidates for Presidency.

Making a profit in Burma

European companies operating in Burma face all sorts of pitfalls – pressure from their governments, campaigns by activists, boycotts by customers. So why do so many continue to work there?

Companies exist to make money, and there are plenty of opportunities to turn a profit in Burma.

But the US and several other nations have squeezed most of their firms out of Burma by maintaining tough sanctions.

Europe has imposed arms embargoes, asset freezes, import bans and penalties for companies knowingly supporting military activity or repression.

But there is no blanket ban on firms investing in the country – so travel agents, insurance firms, haulage companies, energy firms and telecom conglomerates can continue to work there.

In fact, doing business with the junta is “not so different from most other places”, according to one Western executive who has worked with the generals.

Analysis

Basically, Burma being a third-world country with a political crisis gives MNC’s (Multi National Corporations) a chance to exploit workers and the resources of the country. The military rule also makes more money out of this as the companies give them much more money than they give to the poorer people working in Burma. Hence, the economic growth for individuals or for the countries society.

Ford’s third-quarter profits jump to $1.7bn

US motor company Ford has reported net income of $1.7bn (£1.08bn) for the third quarter, a rise of 68% on the same period a year ago.

The company’s improved performance came as it increased its share of the US market and buyers paid more for its cars and trucks.

It was Ford’s sixth straight quarterly profit.

Ford chief Alan Mulally said that new cars and aggressive cost-cutting had helped to boost profits.

‘Growing product strength’

“This was another strong quarter and we continue to gain momentum with our One Ford [transformation] plan,” said Mr Mulally, Ford’s president and chief executive.

“Delivering world class products and aggressively restructuring our business has enabled us to profitably grow even at low industry volumes in key regions.

Japan ready to intervene again on strong yen

TOKYO — Japan on Friday voiced concern over the rise of the yen to fresh 15-year highs against the dollar and signalled it was ready to wade back into markets to intervene amid fears of a global devaluation battle.

“I am very concerned about the current situation,” Prime Minister Naoto Kan told parliament when asked about the yen’s strength, which puts Japan’s growth-driving exporters at a disadvantage by making their products more expensive overseas.

“We will take decisive steps when necessary, from the perspective of curbing excessive fluctuations in exchange rates,” Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda told a regular press conference.

Amid expectations the US Federal Reserve will adopt further easing measures to pump more liquidity into the world’s largest economy and further weaken the dollar, the unit Thursday plunged to fresh 15-year lows against the yen.

A surprise policy tightening move by Singaporean authorities to widen the trading band of its currency on Thursday also added to pressure on the greenback and pushed the Singaporean unit to record highs.

On Friday the dollar stood at 81.42 yen, little changed from 81.44 in New York Thursday, after the unit earlier plunged to a 15-year low of 80.89 yen.

 

Japanese economy ‘at standstill’

The Japanese economy is at a standstill, Japan’s government has said, as concerns about the strong yen continue to grow.

The recovery in the economy was “pausing”, the Cabinet Office said in a monthly statement.

It is the most negative the government has been about the economy in nearly two years.

The rising yen and a slowdown in global demand for Japanese exports was blamed for the downgrade.

In recent months, the government has insisted that the economy is “picking up”.

But it said it now expected the economy to remain weak for some time, with “weakening” exports a chief concern.

It said shipments to Asia in particular were becoming weaker, further hitting exporters that are already suffering from the strong yen.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11571644

 

 

China’s trade surplus falls to $16.9bn

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11530198

The gap between China’s imports and exports narrowed in September, official data has shown.

But analysts say the decline is unlikely to ease the pressure on Beijing to strengthen its currency.

The US has been among its strongest critics, claiming China deliberately undervalues the yuan, boosting China’s exports by making them cheap.

China’s trade surplus fell to a five-month low of $16.9bn (£10.7bn), down from $20bn in August.

Exports rose 25.1% year-on-year in September to $145bn, but the pace of growth was slower than the 34.4% growth seen in August.

Imports rose 24.1% year-on-year to a record high of $128.1bn, compared with August’s growth of 35.2%.

Liverpool remain confident takeover will be completed

Liverpool chief executive Christian Purslow is confident the proposed sale of the club to New England Sports Ventures (NESV) will go ahead.

The £300m takeover would wipe out the club’s debt, ending the possibility that parent company Kop Holdings could be placed in administration.

Purslow told BBC Radio 5 live: “I’m completely focused on making sure the sale completes.

“I’m not contemplating administration and nobody should be.”

Liverpool co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are set to oppose the sale of the club in the High Court because they value the Anfield outfit at double NESV’s bid.

Proceedings are likely to take place on Tuesday with the American pair’s Kop Holdings company owing £280m to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) which must be paid by 15 October.

Starbucks to hike prices on ‘labor intensive’ drinks

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Starbucks drinks, long considered symbols of Americans’ penchant to overspend, are about to get even pricier.

The coffee giant said late Wednesday that it will raise the price of “labor-intensive and larger-sized” beverages because of soaring prices of green arabica coffee beans.

Starbucks (SBUXFortune 500) said green coffee prices are close to a 13-year high, and costs for its other raw ingredients, including dairy, sugar and cocoa, have been volatile.

As CNNMoney reported earlier this month, coffee futures have climbed more than 40% since June.

“[This has] completely altered the economic and financial picture of many players in the coffee industry,” Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz said in a written statement. “We have thus far chosen to absorb the price increases ourselves and not pass them on to our customers. But the extreme nature of the cost increases has made it untenable for us to continue to do so.”

US creates $30bn small business fund

The US Senate has backed a bill that will establish a $30bn (£19.5bn) fund for small businesses.

President Obama’s Democrats won a 61-38 vote to pass the legislation, with backing from two Republicans.

The measure is designed to help open up lending for small businesses, cut their taxes and boost Small Business Administration loan programmes.

The new loan fund would be available to community banks to encourage lending to small businesses.

Supporters say banks should be able to use the fund to access up to $300bn in loans.

Coffee prices on the rise

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — You may soon find yourself paying more for your morning coffee – if you aren’t already.

A trifecta of bad news has sent coffee futures soaring 44% since June, and companies such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Green Mountain and Maxwell House are passing on those costs.

Bad weather in South America is threatening crops. Brazil and top exporter Vietnam are talking about hoarding their stocks. And U.S. stockpiles are reportedly at 10-year lows.

That means higher prices for U.S. coffee companies, which, in turn, may mean higher prices for consumers.

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