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.

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

 

 

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.

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.

Nigeria to privatise power firm PHCN

Nigeria is to sell off the state power monopoly, PHCN, President Goodluck Jonathan has announced.

“We need a revolution in the power sector,” he said, in what was touted as a major policy speech.

Nigeria is one of the world’s largest oil exporters but lacks many basic services, such as a regular electricity supply.

Black-outs are common and those who can afford to, use generators.

Many business leaders say the lack of electricity is one of the biggest obstacles they face.

Meanwhile, many Nigerians joke that PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria) really stands for Please Hold Candle Now.

Household finance under pressure in August

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11053227

Household finances came under pressure on all fronts in August, according to market researchers Markit and YouGov.

Their survey of 2,000 households showed people were increasingly worried about losing their jobs and higher costs of living.

The Household Finance Index suggests individuals are feeling few benefits from the growing economy.

Some 30% of polled households said their finances had worsened, compared to 6% who said they had improved.

Nearly 69% of respondents reported a rise in the price of their goods and services in August from July, the highest level since the survey began 18 months ago.

Tim Moore, economist at Markit, said: “Stronger growth in the UK economy has done little to put a floor under the downturn in household finances.”

Tottenham Hotspur name Investec as second shirt sponsor

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10997870

Tottenham Hotspur has signed a deal under which specialist bank and asset management firm Investec will become its second shirt sponsor.

Software infrastructure company Autonomy is the White Hart Lane club’s shirt sponsor in the Premier League.

Now Investec will become shirt sponsor for Champions League and domestic cup competitions for the next two years.

The Autonomy deal is worth £20m, and the Investec deal is believed to be worth worth £5m over two years, although the club has not disclosed the value.

Vietnam Devalues Currency to Boost Exports as Stocks Approach Bear Market

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-18/vietnam-devalues-currency-to-boost-exports-as-stocks-approach-bear-market.html

Vietnam devalued its currency for the third time since November, moving to reverse a slump in exports that helped to drive stocks close to a bear market.

The dong slid to a record-low 19,425 per dollar at 9:28 a.m. in Hanoi after the central bank lowered the reference rate by 2 percent to help control a trade deficit. The Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange’s VN Index dropped 1.6 percent to 455.96, extending its decline from the May peak to 17 percent, near the 20 percent that would indicate a bear market.

A weaker currency may boost exports and demonstrates the government’s focus on boosting economic growth over further easing inflation, said Prakriti Sofat, a Singapore-based economist at Barclays Capital. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said in June the economy may expand as much as 7 percent this year, beating the 6.5 percent target, from 5.3 percent in 2009.

“The main reason for the central bank’s move is to balance onshore foreign-exchange demand-and-supply and to support exporters,” Sofat said. “Vietnam largely exports low value- added goods and typically competes on prices.”

Football clubs set for reality check on pay

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a31752aa-a710-11df-90e5-00144feabdc0.html

As the new Premiership season kicks off in England on Saturday, more lower-league clubs find themselves battling winding-up petitions. This week Sheffield Wednesday, Cardiff City and Southend United made appearances in the High Court for that reason. Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs is no longer happy to overlook unpaid taxes.

New quarterly checks on team finances are around the corner, however.

As witnessed at Liverpool, whose heavily indebted US owners have disappointed fans, people are ever more cautious of potential buyers who may lack the financial backing and wherewithal they initially boast.

“Debt is not inherently bad,” says Ms Clark. “Debt associated with building a stadium is usually sensible. Debt to purchase a player is perhaps a less sensible business practice.”

But she is unlikely to be heeded. Much of the joy related to clubs’ triumphs over the Revenue have to do with one fact: player trading bans can then be lifted, and clubs can get spending again.

Google Steps Up Acquisitions as Some Internal Projects Falter

Google Inc. Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt has doubled the anticipated pace of acquisitions this year and expects to maintain that rate after some internal projects have failed to spur growth.

“The opportunities are there,” Schmidt said in an interview from the company’s Mountain View, California, headquarters this week. “We can afford it. We’re in a mode of investment for the long term.”

Google, the search engine with almost two-thirds of the U.S. market, is making acquisitions every couple of weeks –more than the once-a-month pace Schmidt projected when it began buying companies again last year after the recession. Its latest deal was last week’s purchase of Slide Inc., which makes games for social networks.