Obama meets with owners of small businesses on fiscal plan | Debt threatens public pensions in Puerto Rico | Commentary: New SEC chief needs to fix the market
November 29, 2012
Capital Markets SmartBrief

In This Issue
Obama meets with owners of small businesses on fiscal plan
President Barack Obama met with a group of small-business owners Tuesday to seek support for his plan to avert the combination of tax increases and spending cuts set to go into effect next year. If Congress doesn't act, taxes will increase for 98% of Americans on Jan. 1, according to a White House official. Reuters (11/27), Bloomberg Businessweek (11/27)
In This Issue
News Roundup
Debt threatens public pensions in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico's public pension plan is dangerously close to insolvency as the U.S. territory struggles under an enormous debt load, this article says. For years, Puerto Rico has issued long-term debt to finance its short-term liabilities, and now it is at risk of a credit rating downgrade. The New York Times (11/26)
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Commentary: New SEC chief needs to fix the market
The Securities and Exchange Commission's new leader will be Elisse Walter, who has spent much of her career as a regulator at the National Association of Securities Dealers, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. One of her priorities should be to assemble a top-tier team for improving oversight of market operations, David Weidner writes. MarketWatch (11/27)
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European finance ministers ease debt terms for Greece
European finance ministers hope they've found the solution for easing Greece's debt terms, as they recently cut the rates on bailout loans, suspended interest payments for a decade and devised a Greek bond buyback. A major concern, however, is that Greece might still require outright debt relief, which would be a political and economic nightmare, experts say. Bloomberg (11/27)
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Large EU banks need $520 billion, OECD says
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that large banks in the euro area need to raise $519.2 billion -- about 4.25% of the region's gross domestic product -- in order to bring their leverage ratios close to those of their peers. Bloomberg Businessweek (11/27)
Spanish banks get bailout
Four banks in Spain will share a payment of $48 billion from the eurozone bailout fund. The payment is part of a negotiation that requires the banks to restructure, in part by laying off thousands of employees and closing offices. The New York Times (11/28)
Surveys & Studies
Rural areas see 3.8% increase in inflation-adjusted income
The oil and natural gas boom in the U.S. has helped spur a 3.8% increase in inflation-adjusted income in many small towns and rural areas since 2007, according to a USA Today analysis. In 2011, larger cities and suburbs saw 1.8% income growth, compared with 3% in smaller towns. USA Today (11/27)
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Consumer confidence reaches highest level in nearly 5 years
The consumer confidence index rose to 73.7 this month, its highest level since February 2008, in part because of optimism about the job market. The index was at an all-time low of 25.3 in February 2009. USA Today (11/27)
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We acquire the strength we have overcome."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson,
American writer
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