Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 | 1:43 PM ET

Small Business Group: The Individual Mandate Is Unconstitutional

Posted By: Lori Ann LaRocco

Today is the one year anniversary of the passage of the giant health care reform bill. The future of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is still uncertain. More than half of the nation's states are suing the federal government over this law.

Some federal courts have ruled that portions of the law are unconstitutional. Others have upheld the law. It seems certain to come before the Supreme Court.

One segment of the population that has been extremely vocal in its opposition to the law is the small business community. I asked Karen Harned, executive director of the NFIB Small Business Legal Center, to discuss the one year anniversary of health care reform and their efforts to expedite the case to the Supreme Court. The National Federation of Independent Business is a part of this lawsuit to overturn this controversial law.

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  Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 | 1:03 PM ET

The Puckiest Guy on the Bond Desk

Posted By: Cadie Thompson
Marty Reasoner and Adam Reasoner
Source: miamiherald.com
Marty Reasoner and Adam Reasoner

The guys on the trading floor were probably a tad bit jealous when one of their own was called to play goalie for the Florida Panthers hockey team's practice at Madison Square Garden Tuesday morning.

Adam Reasoner, a 26-year-old bond trader and the younger brother of the Panthers center, Marty Reasoner, was called to fill in for the Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen. Clemmensen was unable to play because of an injury.

Adam played hockey at Boston College for two seasons and said he keeps in shape playing with other financial professionals on Wednesday nights at Chelsea Pier, he told the Miami Herald.

The Miami Herald's sportswriter George Richards reports:

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  Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 | 10:59 AM ET

Here's How Raj's Defense Team Might Try to Impeach Lloyd Blankfein's Credibility

Posted By: Courtney Comstock, Business Insider
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein
Getty Images
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein

It's confirmed. Lloyd Blankfein will testify at the trial of Raj Rajaratnam for insider trading, according to letters sent to Judge Holwell, from government prosecutors and Raj's defense \(via Bloomberg \).

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  Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 | 9:17 AM ET

Lloyd Blankfein to Testify at Galleon Trial

Posted By: Julia La Roche

Woah! Estimated damage from Japan quake is about $309 billion — that's about four times Katrina [Bloomberg]

Egyptian stock market opens and tumbles [MarketWatch]

Fed objects to Bank of America dividend increase so the bank will ask again. [CNBC.com]

Lloyd Blankfein to testify at Galleon trial [NYTimes DealBook]

Fed's Fisher compares US Congress to Lindsay Lohan [CNBC.com]

Donald Trump said he 'duped' Gaddafi [CNN Money]

»Read more
  Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 | 8:55 AM ET

Why GDP Isn’t a Good Proxy for Ability to Pay Muni Debt

Posted By: John Carney
Photo by: John Carney

The big question on everyone’s mind when it comes to municipal bonds is simple: Will states and cities be able to pay their interest and principal on time, and in full?

Unfortunately, no one really knows the answer. The source of our ignorance, ironically, is the historical strength of muni bonds—the low default rates. So few muni bonds have defaulted historically — only four major cities in 40 years, and zero states — that we just don’t know what metrics to use to predict defaults.

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  Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 | 4:36 PM ET

Black Swans Don’t Fly Far, Apparently

Posted By: Ash Bennington
  Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 | 4:29 PM ET

The Muni Leverage Explosion

Posted By: John Carney
Frank Rossoto | Stocktrek | Getty Images

Is the muni leverage explosion a statistical illusion?

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  Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 | 3:16 PM ET

When Rajiv Goel Told Raj He Was A Good Man, The Galleon Chief Responded: 'Highly Suspicious!'

Posted By: Katya Wachtel and Courtney Comstock, Business Insider
Raj Rajaratnam
Getty Images
Raj Rajaratnam

On Day 9 of the Raj Rajaratnam insider trading trial, the wiretaps were pulled out again after a day and half of straight testimony from Intel, PeopleSupport and Moody's executives.

As always, Raj starred in the recording. This time, his guest was Rajiv Goel, the former Intel executive who has already plead guilty to occasionally tipping his longtime friend on a merger between Sprint and Clearwire .

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  Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 | 2:00 PM ET

For ETFs, Flows Into Japan Could Be an Ominous Sign

Posted By: Jeff Cox
Shares in Tokyo dropped following the deadly March 11 earthquake and tsunami
Yoshikazu Tsuno | AFP | Getty Images
Shares in Tokyo dropped following the deadly March 11 earthquake and tsunami

That sound of pounding hooves you’ve been hearing is of investors entering Japan, not leaving the disaster-ravaged country, which has become an unlikely darling for fund money.

Inflows into Japan ETFs since an earthquake and tsunami ravaged the nation have confounded market strategists and generated as many cautions as buy signals.

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  Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 | 12:40 PM ET

The Mystery of Consumer Confidence

Posted By: John Carney
retail sales
Steven Puetzer | Getty Images
retail sales

The preliminary estimate of the University of Michigan consumer confidence index unexpected dropped in March to the lowest level since last October. The headline index dropped from 77.5 to 68.2. But by far the worse drop was in the expectations of the future, which plunged from 58.3 to 71.6.

So what does plunging consumer confidence in the future mean for businesses, investors and consumers?

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    Lawrence Delevingne is the ‘Big Money’ enterprise reporter for CNBC.com and NetNet.

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