Jun 17, 2013, 11:58 am EST
A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin is dismissing reports that the former-KGB-operative-turned-nationalist-politician swiped an expensive ring almost a decade ago.
According to Robert Kraft, who owns the New England Patriots, the Russian leader made off one of the team’s Super Bowl rings during a 2005 meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia. After Putin expressed interest in the ring, Kraft says he allowed him to put it on his finger. Putin then pocketed the ring — and accompanied by security — left the meeting, the Washington Post notes.
The ring featured 124 diamonds and is valued at $25,000. Read
Jun 16, 2013, 8:00 am EST
The Federal Reserve meets next week, and this meeting will be a biggie. I’d love to be a fly on the wall (and maybe NSA will have some flies on duty), but the minutes from the meeting won’t be released for another three weeks.
We’re at an interesting time for the market because normally, the jobs reports and Fed policy statements are by far the most important economic events. But now, I’d say the release of the minutes of the Fed meetings has taken center stage.
Why’s that? It’s because investors are on the lookout for any sign that the Fed is going to wind up their massive bond-buying program. The stock market has clearly been aided by the Fed’s bond purchases. Heck, the Fed even said that was one of their intentions. But I think some investors believe the entire rally has been due to the Fed’s pulling the bull along. That’s a giant overstatement. But you don’t have to go far on Wall Street to find folks who think: no Fed help, then sell everything you got. They’re wrong, but they can cause us headaches. Read
Jun 11, 2013, 11:42 am EST
Last night, the Senate passed a new farm bill that the Congressional Budget Office estimates will cost taxpayers $955 billion over the next 10 years.
The debate is now moving to the House, where the bill is slightly difference and The NY Times reports that the farm bill “faces a much tougher road” there.
Regardless, let’s take a look at just what’s behind this nearly $1 trillion piece of legislation. The bill will: Read
Jun 7, 2013, 12:50 pm EST
With apologies to Detroit’s $15.7 billion long-term debt, and the budget problems in California that led Stockton to become the largest U.S. city ever to file bankruptcy, Illinois might be in the worst financial shape of any city or state in the country.
The issue is Illinois has racked up nearly $100 billion — yes, with a “B” — in unfunded state employee pension liabilities.
As a result, Fitch downgraded the state’s already-lowest-in-the-nation credit rating even further Monday. Moody’s followed suit Thursday, also citing its belief that nothing will change on the pension front anytime soon. These downgrades come days after the state legislature adjourned for the summer without addressing the unpaid obligations it owes, though the situation has become so dire, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has called the state Congress back for a June 19 special session. Read