September 2012

Rising optimism among consumers may lead some companies to expand hiring plans

New reports indicate that the public's overall level of optimism about the U.S. economy is on the rise, particularly among consumers. This is considered to be critical, as consumer spending constitutes nearly 70 percent of economic activity in the United States. One positive indicator is an increase in the Consumer...
ExecutionistRising optimism among consumers may lead some companies to expand hiring plans

Post-election possibilities: implications for U.S. financial professionals

We've previously discussed how the U.S. presidential election may impact U.S. businesses' financial plans. However, after November, we will also see the effects of Congressional contests realized. The composition of key committees may be altered next year, which could have wide-ranging implications. There are a number of...
ExecutionistPost-election possibilities: implications for U.S. financial professionals

California debt level higher than previously believed

California Governor Jerry Brown has led a high-profile effort to close the state's budget gap since taking office in 2011. Earlier this year, Brown signed a budget that contains deep cuts to public services. At the time, Brown said the budget "reflects tough choices that will get California back on track." The budget...
ExecutionistCalifornia debt level higher than previously believed

The complex relationship between international trade and domestic employment

As the U.S. trade deficit - the difference between the amount of goods and services purchased from abroad and the amount exported - has expanded, many Americans have expressed frustration at what they see as using the nation's wealth to support jobs in other countries. The trade imbalance between the U.S. and China is...
ExecutionistThe complex relationship between international trade and domestic employment

Studies suggest generational shift in employment experiences, attitudes

A recent study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) posits that many young people are now leaving college without the tools they need to start making their way up meaningful career ladders. Ed Koc, a research director at NACE, asserts that there is simply a lack of preparation and more...
ExecutionistStudies suggest generational shift in employment experiences, attitudes

Small Business Administration proposes revising size standards in three industries

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is currently seeking public input on two new proposed rules that it unveiled on September 14. The changes would revise the definition of "small business" for three sectors in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). For the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and...
ExecutionistSmall Business Administration proposes revising size standards in three industries

CFO/Duke survey shows financial professionals uncertain about Fed’s asset-purchase plan

We recently explored the details of a decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve to purchase mortgage-back securities (MBS) in a policy initiative referred to as quantitative easing. In addition to making $40 billion in fresh asset purchases each month, the Fed will also continue its current policy of using principal returns...
ExecutionistCFO/Duke survey shows financial professionals uncertain about Fed’s asset-purchase plan

Federal Reserve Announces Further Quantitative Easing Measures

On September 13, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board of Governors announced that the country's central bank is beginning a new program of asset purchases - dubbed "quantitative easing" by analysts and media commentators - with the goal of fostering an increase in economic activity and employment. The program will focus on...
ExecutionistFederal Reserve Announces Further Quantitative Easing Measures

Moody’s considering downgrade of U.S. credit rating, citing concerns about federal debt

On September 11, Moody's Investor Service issued an update on its outlook for the credit rating of the U.S. federal government, indicating that rising public debt and Congressional intransigence in budgetary negotiations may lead the agency to downgrade the U.S. rating from its current AAA status. Last year, Standard...
ExecutionistMoody’s considering downgrade of U.S. credit rating, citing concerns about federal debt

European Central Bank pushes controversial program to buy troubled nations’ bonds

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), recently outlined a proposal that would see his organization engage in purchases of troubled European Monetary Union (EMU) member governments' bonds. Draghi portrayed this program as an "effective backstop" that would allow the ECB to address "distortions" in...
ExecutionistEuropean Central Bank pushes controversial program to buy troubled nations’ bonds