Paper stock certificates soon to be retired
Paper stock certificates, already rare in the financial markets, will soon become a dinosaur. Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. is seeking to end the issuance of new securities certificates and speed up moves to take older ones out of circulation. The Wall Street Journal reports that the effort comes as DTC works to restore 1.7 million certificates damaged by the flooding of its lower Manhattan vault during superstorm Sandy. DTC is preparing to submit a request to the SEC to stop the issuance of paper stock certificates by companies. DTC argues that paper certificates now hold greater risk than electronic certificates.
Twinkies brand sold
Hostess Brands Inc. will seek court approval to sell its Twinkies and other cake brands to Apollo Global Management LLC and Metropoulos & Co after no rivals topped their $410 million offer. According to the Wall Street Journal, Hostess filed papers Monday with the US Bankruptcy Court that said it would cancel the auction for such brands as Dolly Madison, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs, as well as five bakeries and some equipment. The bankruptcy hearing is scheduled for May 19th.
FAA approves Boeing battery plan
The Associated Press is reporting that the FAA has approved Boeing’s plan to redesign the Dreamliner’s fire-plagued lithium-ion batteries. The plan includes changes to the internal battery components to minimize the possibility of short-circuiting, which can lead to overheating and cause a fire. The FAA also mentioned that additional changes include better insulation of the battery’s eight cells and the addition of a new containment and venting system. The FAA did not indicate when the grounded planes might return to service.
Despite market gains, many consumers spending less
According to a recent poll by Reuters/Ipsos, reported by CNBC, two thirds of consumers are cutting their spending, while most of the others indicate their spending has not changed. Of those who are cutting their spending, 72 percent indicate it is to increase savings and pay off debt. Sixty three percent cited higher gas prices. When individuals cut back, 81 percent indicate they will not eat at restaurants and 73 percent will cut back on movies and entertainment.
Sugary drinks supported by multiple allies
The New York Times indicates that the recent overturn of Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on sugary drinks brought together an unlikely set of allies. While it was a victory for the soda companies, dozens of Hispanic and African-American civil rights groups, health advocacy organizations and business associations joined the beverage industry in opposing soda regulation. The groups argued that the ban on large sugary soft drinks was discriminatory, paternalistic and ineffective. These groups also receive tens of millions of dollars from the beverage industry. Soda companies sponsor the National Hispana Leadership Institute. They pay for scholarships for local chapters of the NAACP. Soda companies support financial literacy courses for the National Puerto Rican Coalitions and the National Hispanic Medical Association. These organizations and others reached out to fight the ban on sugary drinks. The Bloomberg administration says it will appeal the decision.
Construction industry fears lack of skilled workers
The construction industry is now concerned that the recent lack of apprentices, due to the downturn in the economy, may impact growth. According to USA Today, experts indicate that apprentices in the mason, electrician, iron worker, insulator and painting fields all need three to five years of classwork and on-the-job training to become proficient. In January, 51 percent of National Association of Home Builders members said they were concerned about having enough skilled workers this year, up 13 percent from 2011. The Labor Department indicated that the construction industry added 28,000 jobs in January and has grown by almost 300,000 jobs since its low point in January 2011. Construction jobs still lag about 2 million behind the peak level from April 2006. There is still a long way to go.
US investigates release of credit information on First Lady and others
The US authorities are investigating whether hackers posted online financial information about the First Lady and many other celebrities, according to CNBC. The FBI and other agencies are investigating a website named www.exposed.su and determining whether the information was accurate and who posted it. The site listed Social Security numbers, addresses and credit reports belonging to 18 prominent Americans. The site included the First Lady, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Aston Kutcher, Arnold Scwarzenegger, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump and others. The FBI indicated that the incident is a matter of “doxing” in which someone creates a web page with a list of personal information about a target. Often having one piece of information allows one to obtain additional personal information from other sources. The celebrities declined to comment.
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.