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  • Talk of QE Withdrawal Impacts Wall Street - 13 June 2013
  • Stocks on Wall Street fell for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, driven by uncertainty and speculation on how US central banks will go about ending stimulus measures. Analysts think it likely that in the coming months the Federal Reserve will reduce its monthly bond purchases, thereby removing one of the pillars that has been supporting the rally stock markets have been enjoying this year. The Dow lost more than 200 points, as it has done seven times since Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's May 22 congressional testimony where he implied that the Fed may start to reduce its quantitative easing in coming months.

  • Financial Sector No Longer Preferred Career Path for Graduates - 30 may 2013
  • As thousands of students attending college prepare to graduate, the Harvard Crimson reports that only 15% of Harvard graduates are planning to carve a career in finance, compared to the 47% who took jobs in finance in 2007, prior to the financial crisis of 2008. The decline of job opportunities on Wall Street over the past few years is likely a factor in this trend, but it appears that a large number of current job seekers are looking for job satisfaction rather than financial compensation.

  • American Airlines/US Airways Merger Edges Forward - 16 may 2013
  • The American Airlines/US Airways merger moved a step closer to completion, when US Judge Sean Lane signed off on the proposed agreement to merge the two airlines, thereby creating the largest airline in the world, one that will have more than 100,000 workers in its employ. The signing off of the agreement came more than six weeks after Judge Lane heard the motion in a hearing during which he rejected the proposal to hand AMR Corporation CEO Thomas Horton a severance package of $20 million.

  • Facebook Has Positive First Quarter - 2 may 2013
  • Facebook's first quarter results released on Wednesday revealed that its monthly active users rose by 23 percent compared with the same period in 2012. This puts active Facebook users at 1.11 billion, with up to 751 million users accessing the network from mobile devices. An average of 665 million users visited the world's number one social media platform every day in the month of March. First quarter revenue totaled $1.46 billion, reflecting an increase of 38 percent over last year's $1.06 billion.

  • Pre-Dispute Mandatory Arbitration Challenged - 18 April 2013
  • On Wednesday April 17 up to seventeen members of the North American Securities Administrators Association Inc. (NASAA) met with lawmakers in Washington to garner support for ending, or at the very least restricting, the use of pre-dispute mandatory arbitration clauses in client contracts with investment brokers. With these clauses generally being presented as standard procedure, investors may not be aware that they are, in effect, losing their right to use the judicial system in any dispute arising out of agreements entered into with brokers. In other words, they cannot sue a broker who violates the terms of the agreement or neglects to act in the best interests of a client, the investor. Critics of mandatory arbitration clauses note that investors should be given the choice of omitting the clause from an agreement, thereby giving themselves a greater measure of protection should the client/broker relationship go sour.

  • Solar Energy Surging Ahead as Alternative Energy Option - 4 April 2013
  • A recent Gallup poll revealed that three out of four Americans are in favor of the United States government increasing the use of solar energy, with up to 71 percent of those surveyed being in favor of developing wind power. The expansion of oil production received the thumbs-up from 46 percent, with only 37 percent approving of expanding nuclear power and less than 30 percent approving of increasing coal production as a means of generating energy. While results of the survey revealed trends associated with geographic location and political affiliation, the overall result was in support of solar power as an alternative source of energy. These finding are supported by activity taking place on Wall Street as solar energy costs come down and more home and business owners take advantage of the option to lease the equipment for solar power generation.

  • Foreclosed Homes Group Investment Booming - 19 March 2013
  • In March 2012 it was reported that the Federal Housing Finance Agency was considering selling off foreclosed homes in bulk, with high-profile investors, private equity and hedge fund firms apparently keen to buy up these properties, some with the intention of cashing in on the growing market for rental accommodation by becoming landlords. Having lost their homes to foreclosures, many Americans are forced to pay rent for alternative housing and the FHFA's first offering of 2,500 foreclosed homes in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Phoenix drew a response from more than 4,000 investor groups that appeared undeterred by the possibility of being branded as vulture investors.

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