Economy

Wonkbook: Why Boehner wants a conference committee

Dec 21st, 2011 | By

Speaker of the House John Boehner leaves at the end of a media availability Dec. 20 in Washington. (Alex Wong – GETTY IMAGES) The debate over the payroll tax has gotten, well, weird. House Republicans are accusing Senate Democrats of preferring a two-month payroll tax deal to a one-year payroll tax deal. The negotiations appear to have collapsed over something called “conference committee.” The Wall Street Journal editorial board has turned against Boehner. As I said: Weird. The beginning of clarity on this is to realize that it’s not about the payroll tax. If Republicans wanted a clean, one-year extension
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Oil rises to near $98 in Europe as report shows US crude supply drop, demand seen improving

Dec 21st, 2011 | By

The Post MostMost-viewed stories, videos, and galleries in the past two hours Most Popular Braveheart Republicans? Or false-hearted? Callista Gingrich: A Laura or a Hillary? On Football: At the end of a sorid affair, Ohio State comes away embarrassed but Carolyn Hax: Bowing out of the family Christmas 8 U.S. soldiers charged in death of comrade in Afghanistan Top Videos Verdict in murder of UNC student president Amish teen killed by stray bullet House GOP rejects two-month payroll tax cut NJ plane crash kills bankers, family Gingrich trims the Judicial branch Top Galleries Notable deaths of 2011 Inside North Korea
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Will the EPA’s mercury rule cause a wave of blackouts? No.

Dec 21st, 2011 | By

Later this afternoon, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson is expected to roll out the agency’s new regulations on mercury and toxic pollution from coal-fired power plants. That raises some questions: Just how many plants will end up getting shuttered as a result of all of the EPA’s new air-pollution rules? And how much of a pain will this be? The main plant facility at the Navajo Generating Station in Page, Ariz., which could be at risk of closure. (Ross D. Franklin/AP) It’s a hotly debated topic these days, with industry groups (and plenty of Republicans) predicting possible blackouts and economic havoc,
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US stock futures fall slightly as Europe markets slip after rising earlier on record ECB loans

Dec 21st, 2011 | By

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South China villagers who drove local authorities out score rare compromise in land dispute

Dec 21st, 2011 | By

“So now we are cautiously optimistic,” Yang said. The significance of the authorities’ unusual concession in Wukan depends on how the details are played out, but it could affect the way other protests are handled, particularly in the corner of coastal southern China that has seen periodic unrest over the last few years. To Wukan’s northeast, the coastal town of Haimen saw a second day of protests Wednesday over a planned coal-fired power plant. Conflicts over land disputes and other issues in much of Guangdong province have been intense because the area is among China’s most economically developed, pushing up
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Fed proposes reins on banks

Dec 21st, 2011 | By

Video Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) — Gary Townsend, a founder of Hill-Townsend LLC, talks about the outlook for the Federal Reserve’s proposed financial regulations aimed at averting a recurrence of turmoil following the collapse of U.S. mortgage finance. The rules target banks with assets totaling $50 billion or more and financial firms deemed “systemically important.” He speaks with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television’s “Bottom Line.” (Source: Bloomberg)



GOP wants to make unemployment more humiliating

Dec 20th, 2011 | By

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Oil climbs above $95 a barrel in Europe amid hopes of more favorable US economic data

Dec 20th, 2011 | By

In London, Brent crude was up $1.78 to $105.42 on the ICE Futures exchange. Asian stock markets bounced back Tuesday and European ones also gained as concerns eased that the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il could spark political turmoil. Energy analysts Cameron Hanover said Kim’s son and successor Kim Jong Un may need up to two years to consolidate his power and is unlikely to take a more militant stance toward the North’s longtime rival South Korea. It said European debt remains the biggest concern in financial markets. On Friday, Moody’s downgraded Belgium’s credit rating by two
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Wonkbook: The least popular Congress in history

Dec 20th, 2011 | By

Congress is ending the year with an approval rating of 11 percent. That’s the lowest they’ve dipped in the 30 years that Gallup has been asking Americans to rate them. And this isn’t some one-time drop. As Gallup notes, it’s been going on all year: “This earns Congress a 17% yearly average for 2011, the lowest annual congressional approval rating in Gallup history.” The statue of George Washington is silhouetted against the U.S. Capitol dome in Washington. (Manuel Balce Ceneta – AP) That’s all the more extraordinary because 2011 hosted a new congress following a wave election. Tired of Democrats,
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US stocks poised for higher open on surge in apartment construction, good signs from Europe

Dec 20th, 2011 | By

“The main support factor here continues to be the robust labor market coupled with a solid upward trend in effective wages,” UniCredit Research economist Alexander Koch said in a note to clients Tuesday. GfK, the German research institute that carried out the consumer confidence study, warned that while economic expectations are “defying the rising fears of recession,” that might change as the debt crisis becomes an increasing problem for Germany’s exports. The Commerce Department said builders broke ground on a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 homes last month, a 9.3 percent jump from October. That’s the highest level since
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