Senate passes symbolic bill taxing Chinese currency
Last night the Senate passed a bill that would add tariffs on imports from countries whose currency is undervalued. According to CNN, the bill is aimed primarily at China who has notoriously controlled the value of its currency, the yuan. While the bill will now move to the House, likelihood for passage is slim. There are fears that the duties would create a trade war with China. President Obama is wary of the legislation fearing it violates World Trade Organization agreements.
Dow down 17 while markets awaited Slovakian vote
The Dow closed down 17 points on Tuesday as the markets waited to see whether Slovakia would support the European initiatives to strengthen the European bailout funds. All 17 members of the Eurozone must approve the initiatives and Slovakia was the last to vote. Ultimately the vote was "no" but it was tied to a "no confidence" vote for the existing party. The rhetoric now coming from Slovakia indicates that the measure will ultimately be passed, according to the Associated Press. The Dow closed at11,416. Asian and European markets are mixed but mostly up on Wednesday anticipating strong news from corporate earnings reports of US companies. PepsiCo is anticipated to soon announce strong Q3 earnings.
Insurance for your reputation?
AIG has announced a new product called Reputation Guard. The insurance, offered through AIG's Chartus division, protects small and mid-sized companies against the costs of media relations and other specialists needed to protect a company's reputation. According to the Wall Street Journal, when asked whether AIG could have used this insurance in the past, the company had no comment.
Assistance for the internet non-savvy
Best Buy, Microsoft and the FCC are teaming up to assist the 100 million Americans that do not have access to internet broadband in an initiative called "Connect to Compete". The goal of the program is to move the 68% rate of US broadband usage up to over 90% , similar to countries like South Korea and Singapore. According to USA Today, the supporters indicate that the inability for some Americans to fill out job applications online continues to hurt the country. Best Buy will use its Geek Squad to provide basic seminars throughout rural America and elsewhere. Microsoft intends on providing training for online job skills. Funding will be increased for libraries that have access to broadband to stay open later. The program will be announced today.
OPEC cuts demand forecast
OPEC has cut its demand forecast for the fourth month in a row primarily due to decreased demand caused by a slow economy. The Wall Street Journal indicates that this is the deepest cut of the year. Oil prices have fallen 25% since their peak in May of this year.
City credit ratings
Wausau, WI has been deemed the city with the highest credit rating in the US, according to USA Today. The rating is based on low numbers of foreclosures and overall economic growth. This is the first year that Wausau has been eligible for consideration because it was too small in the past.