US jobless claims fall and consumers keep spending
CNBC is reporting that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly last week. Jobless claims dropped to a seasonally adjusted 345,000, in line with economists’ expectations. The Commerce Department also indicates that consumer spending in May increased 0.3 percent, after a decrease of 0.3 percent in April. Consumer activity accounts for 70 percent of US economic activity.
US Boss held captive by workers in China is released
Chip Starnes, the president of Florida based Specialty Medical Supplies, has been released after a deal was launched with labor unions that had held him captive in the company’s plant in a suburb of Beijing. CNBC reports that Starnes was released once a deal was reached that provided severance packages to workers who were laid off. Starnes indicates that he is being forced to pay severance packages to workers who are still working at the plant. Starnes is on a flight from Beijing scheduled to arrive in the US this evening.
EU creates 7- year budget
In a surprise breakthrough today, the European Union may soon have a new seven-year, $960 billion euro ($.127 trillion) budget. While the deal still needs the approval of the European Parliament, the budget is significantly more flexible than in the past. The Associated Press reports that the budget includes the first cut to spending in EU history, at a time when many of the bloc countries are in recession. The budget sets what the EU can spend on everything from infrastructure and farming to development aid and employment measures. The EU budget is designed to balance out the economic development of its members by injecting funding into poorer countries.
ICAP Brokerage firm linked to Libor rate scandal
A top executive at brokerage firm ICAP PLC knew of an arrangement with UBS AG that US and British regulators believe was part of the Libor benchmark rigging scandal. According to the Wall Street Journal, regulators have emails in which ICAP and UBS negotiate a deal designed to compensate ICAP brokers for helping UBS traders to manipulate the Libor rate. The Libor rate is the rate at which banks loan money to each other. UBS and other banks have already been fined millions of dollars due to the Libor scandal.
French restaurants selling processed food?
Bloomberg is reporting that a third of the restaurants in France acknowledge serving industrial prepared food that they warm-up prior to serving. Restaurants that serve this type of food make around 9 to 10 percent in profit while restaurants that prepare their own food are making only 6 to 7 percent of profit. But French legislators are worried that the industrial food will chase away tourists who come to France for the love of food. France’s restaurants have revenue of 43 billion Euros and employ 405,000 workers. The proposed legislation would allow only those restaurants that prepare their own food to be designated as a restaurant while others are deemed a “grill” or “bar”…or whatever the appropriate French word might be.
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.