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Finance NetNet


  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.

» Read More
  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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  Friday, 25 Feb 2011 | 9:40 AM ET

World Gold Council: China and India Will Be Supportive of Gold Market No Matter the Price of Oil 

Posted By: Lori Ann LaRocco

The bullion bull run is strong as investors flock to gold and silver as a safe haven from the turmoil in the Middle East. On Thursday, the spot price of gold and silver hit an all time high in Mumbai, India's largest bullion market.

I caught up with George Milling-Stanley,Managing Director of Government Affairs at the World Gold Council, to talk about what some of my contacts are calling "a golden wave of opportunity."

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  Friday, 25 Feb 2011 | 9:13 AM ET

Wisconsin Assembly Passes Bill Taking Away Union Rights

Posted By: Julia La Roche

Uh-oh! Rising oil prices could pose threat to U.S. economy . [NYTimes]

U.S. economy grew 2.8%, below economists forecasts. [CNBC.com via Reuters]

London Stock Exchange halted due to technical glitch [CNBC.com via Reuters]

Wisconsin Assembly passes bill taking away Union rights [WSJ]

"Banks, Obama butt heads on mortgages" [NY Post]

"Time to Plot Fed's Exit Strategy Getting Closer: Lacker" [CNBC.com's Jeff Cox]

CBS cancels 'Two and a Half Men' after Charlie Sheen's rant [Reuters]

»Read more
  Thursday, 24 Feb 2011 | 5:22 PM ET

Undervalued Renminbi Kills US Manufacturing Competitiveness

Posted By: Ash Bennington
  Thursday, 24 Feb 2011 | 4:06 PM ET

What Is This Mortgage Settlement Anyway?

Posted By: John Carney
Mike Kemp | Getty Images

Has anyone figured out what this mortgage settlement floated in the Wall Street Journal today is supposed to be?

Here’s how it is introduced in the WSJ :

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  Thursday, 24 Feb 2011 | 3:41 PM ET

Obama Official Leaves Energy Department for Soros Backed Cleantech Fund

Posted By: Cadie Thompson
Cathy Zoi
Source: eere.energy.gov
Cathy Zoi

Cathy Zoi, who was the Acting Under Secretary for Energy and Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, is going to work for a new cleantech private equity fund sponsored by George Soros and a prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm.

The new fund will invest in...wait for it..."the energy and resource sectors."

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  Thursday, 24 Feb 2011 | 1:48 PM ET

Has MERS Captured the Government?

Posted By: John Carney
Tom Grill | Photographer's Choice RF | Getty Images

A persistent theme of NetNet is that faith in regulations to improve the financial sector is misplaced. Regulations are typically written under the direction of the most powerful financial institutions, and regulators operate as if they were agents of the companies they are allegedly regulating.

Economists use the phrase “regulatory capture” to describe this dynamic. But that’s a misnomer. It implies that at some point regulations and regulators were free and had to be captured. In fact, they are typically born captives, remain captive, and die captive deaths.

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  Thursday, 24 Feb 2011 | 12:30 PM ET

Budget Cut Storm Hits National Weather Service

Posted By: Stephanie Landsman

The National Weather Service is in the eye of a budget storm—one that has the potential to grow into a Category 5.

A bill in the House of Representatives is proposing to cut the National Weather Service's 2011 budget by reportedly 30 percent or about $126 million. The proposal is part of the Full Year Continuing Resolution Act.

If the act is passed, the reduction could take effect as early as next month.

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