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  • Debt Ceiling, Corporate Results Dominate Wall Street - 25 July 2011
  • With the credit rating of the United States hanging in the balance as authorities continue negotiations and discussions regarding the country’s debt ceiling, individual states around the nation are reported to be drawing up contingency plans to deal with the consequences of failure to reach consensus by the August 2 deadline. Currently the United States does not bring in sufficient funds to cover its financial obligations, with deficits averaging $125 billion per month. If the debt ceiling is not raised, allowing the treasury to borrow additional funds to close the gap between income and expenditure, it has been estimated by the Bipartisan Policy Center that more than 40 percent of the 80 million payments the US government makes each month will not be processed. Although it is not yet clear as to who will be directly affected, these non-payments may include federal worker and military paychecks as well as social security checks, food stamps, and payments to Medicaid and Medicare providers.

  • NVCA – Funding Innovation - 21 July 2011
  • The stated primary goals of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) are:"Funding Innovation" and "Empowering Entrepreneurs", and while large corporate companies may become bogged down in red tape and bureaucracy, entrepreneurs have a vested interest in productivity and growth, making these fledgling companies a valuable asset in job creation and economic recovery. Venture capitalists identify innovative entrepreneurs and invest in them, giving them the capital, and often the expertise and mentorship, to overcome barriers to entry and establish their business in the sector of their choice. Turning good ideas into reality and helping them to grow is what venture capital investment is all about.

  • Second Quarter Results Gain Momentum - 18 July 2011
  • US stocks have travelled a rocky road over the past three months, as the disappointing job market continues to put a dampener on any positive market related news. Investors anticipate that the coming week will provide more insight into the state of the economy as reflected in corporate results, with up to half of the thirty Dow components and more than twenty percent of the S&P 500 member companies reporting second quarter results. Analysts note that stock market players should bear in mind that historically the second quarter of the year tends to be the weakest. They are, however pointing toward a 6.5 percent increase in second quarter earnings for the S&P 500 in comparison to last year. Corporate results being released this week represent all stock market sectors. In additional to earnings, investors will no doubt be following the Debt Ceiling saga and its effect on the US credit rating in the days ahead.

  • NYSE Euronext/Deutsche Boerse Deal Inches Forward - 14 July 2011
  • Deutsche Boerse shareholders, representing up to 60 percent of the German exchange's voting shares, indicated on Wednesday just hours before the close of the deal that they approve of the proposal to merge with NYSE Euronext. While 75 percent is required for the deal to move forward, it is reportedly quite common for institutional investors to hold back tendering their shares until just before an offer ends. Based on past trends, analysts have voiced confidence that the 75 percent requirement will be attained. The merger of these two historic exchanges will result in the largest stock exchange in the world. However, there is still plenty of red tape to cut through, and scrutiny by anti-trust authorities to be dealt with before it is a done deal.

  • Second Quarter Reporting Begins - 11 July 2011
  • With the US job situation and its related impact on economic recovery having dominated markets in the past two months or so, the release of second quarter results by stock market listed companiesis set to capture investor attention in the upcoming week. Influential companies publishing results in the week ahead include Alcoa (NYSE:AA), continuing the tradition of being first to make results known, as well as JP Morgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup (NYSE:C), and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Apart from a few other companies, other stock market listed firms will begin reporting from next week, but investors will be able to get an indication from this week's releases, all of which are prominent in their various sectors.

  • EU Queries CRA Impartiality - 7 July 2011
  • There has long been controversy over the influence credit rating agencies have on stock markets, with European Union members expressing concern that credit ratings can sometimes be biased. This could become self-fulfilling prophecies by influencing decision making processes of investors. Back in May 2010, Greece's credit rating was downgraded to 'junk' by credit rating agencies, with both Spain and Portugal being downgraded to just above junk rating. The downgraded rating had an almost immediate impact on worldwide markets, with investors selling bonds that had been issued by the three countries in question, which in turn pushed up borrowing costs, resulting in the need to request European Union financed bailouts. There was even talk at the time of creating a European credit rating company, although many expressed concern that investors would question the credibility of a credit rating agency charged with the task of rating the countries that created it.

  • Helping Women Entrepreneurs On Their “Path Forward” - 4 July 2011
  • President of the World Bank Group, Robert B. Zoellick, has been quoted as stating: "Whether it is the question of employment, opportunity, pay, or access to finance, there is a tremendous amount of work to do to level the playing field for women." When reviewing the activities of organizations such as Golden Seeds and Path Forward it becomes clear that women are determined to rise to the challenge of creating that level playing field - more specifically in harnessing the economic power of entrepreneurship, understanding that new businesses result in job creation, tackling the problem of unemployment and strengthening the economy.

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