Quote of the week."Laughter is by definition healthy."- Doris Lessing
How about a too-big-to-fail tax?Last week, President Obama proposed a Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee - a tax on the largest U.S. banks to help repay $117 billion in TARP losses. Would banks respond to this populist move with higher lending fees for customers? Or would executives and shareholders effectively bear the cost? One certainty: designated banks would have to pay the fee for 10 years or longer.1
CPI slightly up, retail sales slip down. The Consumer Price Index inched north 0.1% in December. That puts it up 2.7% over the last 12 months, with core CPI up 1.8% in that span. Retail sales fell 0.3% last month, with the decline ranging across many sectors; economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a gain of 0.5%.2,3
Cool consumer sentiment.The preliminary January Reuters/University of Michigan survey came in at 72.8. That was less than the 75.0 economists had hoped for, yet higher than the 72.5 December mark.4
Industrial output up again.The Federal Reserve noted a 0.6% advance in December, with utilities behind most of that gain. Industrial production has risen for six straight months.5
Oil back under $80 a barrel. Crude futures slipped more than 5% for the week on reduced demand projections with warmer weather. Oil prices fell 1.8% Friday to close at $78.00 per barrel on the NYMEX.6
Fears of fees affect the market. The second full trading week of the year was not as great as the first. The Dow lost 0.08%; the S&P 500 retreated 0.78%. Even with these losses, the Dow and S&P wrapped up their best 2-week stretches since mid-November.7
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C.W. Copeland "Your Personal CFO" C.W. Copeland & Associates Lifestyle Management Advisors 3401 Norman Berry Drive Suite 253 East Point, GA 30344 404.567.3275 (direct) 404.601.9534 (fax) www.PhDinMoney.com
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A degreed engineer (in a past life) business owner, business development coach, project manger, and organizational strategist with a strong background in surveillance, ES&H redesign, project management, process engineering, organizational operations, management, business law, and ISO internal auditing. Am an organzing member of NSBE-AE, Organizing Board member Greenwood Festival Chorale, former Omega Psi Phi Graduate Chapter President (Baselius) a former Shelter BOD Chair, a former Regional Chair, former Lander Board of Visitors Member, former Chamber BOD member, as well as many other organizational leadership positions. Owner Spearman Enterprises and Managing Partner Top Flight LLC.