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  • Wall Street Rocked by Disappointing May Jobs Report - 6 June 2011
  • Analysts are anticipating volatility on Wall Street in the upcoming week, as investors come to grips with Friday's dismal jobs report which noted that only 54,000 jobs were created in the month of May as compared to April's figure of 232,000. This came as a huge disappointment to economists who have estimated that the economy needs to add around 150,000 jobs each month purely to keep up with population growth. Jobs over and above that figure would be addressing the problem of job losses. While economists were not expecting to repeat April's figure and were aiming for 170,000 jobs in May, the figure of 54,000 came as a shock to all, sending stocks plunging, and causing economists to make major adjustments in their growth projections.

  • Coercive and Natural Monopolies - 22 December 2010
  • Competition is one of the key elements of a healthy economy, and in all major economies of the world authoritative bodies are in place to enforce competition and antitrust laws to prevent monopolies from dominating the market. However, not all monopolies are formed with the intent of deliberately squeezing out the competition. Some monopolies result from a situation where the first supplier in a newly created market, in other words the innovator of either a product or service, becomes firmly entrenched to the extent that potential competitors find it difficult, if not impossible, to break into the market. This type of monopoly is referred to as a 'natural' monopoly and the obstacles faced by potential competitors may be referred to as 'barriers to entry'. Examples of natural monopoly would include providers of public utilities such as water services, electricity and landline telecommunications in countries where these are supplied by private companies, or under government contract. Setting up these services requires substantial capital outlay, which is difficult to match.

  • Nobel Prize Awards Economists Due Recognition - 28 October 2010
  • Few would deny that economists and economic sciences play an integral role in stock market investing, as they analyze trends, develop and test theories in a technologically advanced world, and provide a host of valuable information on which to base investment decisions. The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to this field, and the committee has recently announced the recipients of the 2010 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. The award is to be shared by three economists, namely London School of Economics professor Christopher Pissarides, Northwestern University professor Dale Mortensen, and MIT economics professor Peter Diamond.

  • GM Moves Ahead With IPO Plans - 19 August 2010
  • It was thirteen months ago that the U.S. government rescued General Motors from bankruptcy and landed up owning around 61 percent of the company in return for financial assistance to the tune of $50 billion. And now, despite the weak IPO market and a less than inspiring track record, GM is set to offer shares to the public once again in an effort to pay off their debt and reclaim full ownership of a company that was once part of the portfolio of many serious investors. But opinion is divided as to whether they will be able to rise to those prominent levels again, with the most obvious question being whether investors will give the automaker another chance.

  • World's Most Ethical Companies Honored - 24 June 2010
  • In a world where corruption seems to have permeated society on many levels, a growing number of companies are recognizing the value of establishing solid principles of business ethics by which to conduct their day-to-day affairs. Not only does this ensure that they never run into trouble with authorities, but very often sound business ethics and transparency can attract investors and consumers alike. In recognition of companies that have not only set sound business ethics down on paper, but gone the extra mile to reach their goals, Ethisphere has selected 100 companies to receive the honor of being named as the "World's Most Ethical Companies" for 2010.

  • FCIC Probes CRA Role in Financial Crisis - 3 June 2010
  • While a number of indicators suggest that the US economy is on the road to recovery, albeit a long and rocky road, the probe into what caused the financial crisis in the fist place continues. Recently it was suggested that credit rating agencies such as Moody's, Fitch and S&P, may be wielding too much power as Greece's credit was cut to junk status, and both Spain and Portugal were downgraded, with a negative impact on international markets. Relating to the global financial crisis, it has been suggested that these same credit rating agencies gave troubled banks misleadingly high ratings, while at the same time failing to act promptly to warn of the risks posed by bonds and other securities that were tied to subprime mortgages.

  • Improved US Job Market Likely to Boost Market - 5 April 2010
  • Following the three-day Easter weekend, stock market investors return to a week ahead that holds some promise of better things as news on the US job market indicates that the economy may have reached a genuine turning point. Prior to the Good Friday closure of the market, it was revealed that employers had added up to 162,000 jobs in March, a monthly figure not seen in more than three years. Although economists were expecting 184,000 jobs to be added for March, the report was nonetheless greeted positively as it is seen as a move in the right direction for the labor market. A separate survey revealed that the unemployment rate remained at 9.7%, as was expected.

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