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Finance NetNet


  Friday, 25 Feb 2011 | 4:20 PM ET

Here's How We Get to Energy Independence

Posted By: Bradley P. Schaeffer
Henrik Weis | Lifesize | Getty Images

Respected columnist and author Thomas Friedman has been among the most audible voices in warning the USA about our dependency on foreign oil and our need to end our addiction to this commodity post haste. But his latest call for a $1.00 per gallon gasoline tax to curtail our fuel consumption, the proceeds of which would go towards deficit reduction, misses the mark.

First of all, where Mr. Friedman is absolutely correct is his concern itself which is well founded. Consider: in 1970 the USA imported 30 percent of its crude oil. That figure has effectively doubled in the last thirty years to just shy of 60 percent.

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  Friday, 25 Feb 2011 | 3:57 PM ET

The Threat to Corporate America from Union Shareholders

Posted By: John Carney
Fuse | Getty Images

Proxy access is supposed to make corporate governance more democratic. But evidence from recent shareholder proposals suggests something very different is happening—labor unions are gaining more power.

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  Friday, 25 Feb 2011 | 3:11 PM ET

Signal & Noise in the Energy Markets

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Teasing out short term trading noise from durable economic news is tricky business.

As I wrote about earlier this morning, a ten dollar per barrel increase in oil price can have an equivalent economic effect of negating $120 billion in payroll tax cuts.

So what are we to make of it when we are treated to headlines such as this one , from the Associated Press: "As Oil Markets Calm, Shares on Wall Street Rise."

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  Friday, 25 Feb 2011 | 2:48 PM ET

Wisconsin Democrats Shout 'Shame' to Republicans After Budget Vote

Posted By: Cadie Thompson

After 60 hours of debate , the Republicans called for a vote, and this is what went down.

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  Friday, 25 Feb 2011 | 1:53 PM ET

Austerity, Oil Prices Helping Put the 'Stag' in 'Stagflation'

Posted By: Jeff Cox
Oil Barrels
Oil Barrels

If you listen closely enough, you can hear the stagflation storm brewing across the economy. It’s the sound of rising prices and weak economic growth conspiring to create the Federal Reserve’s worst enemy.

Friday’s lame GDP print exemplified where we’re heading, with the economy gaining just 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 no matter how much government economists tried to talk up the robust corporate balance sheet and supposed gains in employment.

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  Friday, 25 Feb 2011 | 1:40 PM ET

It's Friday, Here's a Treat: Princeton Swim Team Does Katy Perry

Posted By: John Carney

Yes, this happened.

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  Friday, 25 Feb 2011 | 1:02 PM ET

Don't Bash the Bears, Everyone Was Wrong About 2010

Posted By: John Carney
Rose | Mueller | Stock4B | Getty Images

My friend Eddie Elfenbein has some fun taking jabs at the perma-bears today, pointing out that earnings for 2010 were way better than expected.

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  Friday, 25 Feb 2011 | 12:24 PM ET

The Muni Bond Market Signals Danger Ahead

Posted By: John Carney
Simon Willms | Stone | Getty Images

Municipal bond issuance dropped to an 11-year-low in January. It has not picked up substantially in February, according to the muni bond people I speak to.

January saw $12.2 billion of new debt, a decline of nearly 63 percent from January 2010. Volume hasn’t been this low since January of 2000.

The standard explanation for this is the end of the Build America Bond program, which offered qualified issuers a 35 percent federal tax subsidy to issue taxable debt.

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  Friday, 25 Feb 2011 | 11:34 AM ET

Will Oil Price Shock Kill the Recovery ?

Posted By: Ash Bennington
Demonstrators hold up a banner featuring Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi reading 'Kadhafi is a murderer' as they stage a protest outside the Libyan embassy in Istanbul on February 21, 2011
Mustafa Ozer | AFP | Getty Images
Demonstrators hold up a banner featuring Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi reading 'Kadhafi is a murderer' as they stage a protest outside the Libyan embassy in Istanbul on February 21, 2011

Massive instability in North Africa is terrible news for a fragile US recovery: Though just how terrible remains to be seen.

The New York Times cuts to the chase this morning :

"Higher oil prices restrain growth because they translate to higher fuel prices for consumers and businesses. Mr. Lafakas [a Moody's energy economist] estimates that oil prices are on track to average $90 a barrel in 2011, from $80 in 2010, an increase that would offset nearly a quarter of the $120 billion payroll tax cut that Congress had intended to stimulate the economy this year."

Those are staggering numbers.

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  Friday, 25 Feb 2011 | 10:38 AM ET

Nicole Lapin's Short & Long List

Posted By: Nicole Lapin

Nicole Lapin, of CNBC's Worldwide Exchange, explains what she's long and what she's short this week.

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