European banking talks deadlocked and Spain hesitant to seek bailout
European stocks fell today from a 15 month high after finance ministers deadlocked over plans for the unified banking system, according to Bloomberg. The group also failed to discuss a potential Spanish bailout and an extension for the Greek bailout. Additionally, Spain has become more concerned about seeking a bailout due to facing even more austerity measures. Thousands protested in Spain over the weekend. The President is reluctant to request the bailout while the finance minister feels it is essential. Asian stocks were mostly up. The Dow was up 53 points on Friday, ending at 13,593.
US government resists selling GM stake for a loss
The Treasury Department is resisting selling its stake in General Motors, according to the Wall Street Journal. US taxpayers kept GM afloat with a $50 billion bailout in 2009 and currently owns 26.5 percent of the company. GM has grown unhappy with the ownership saying it clouds the company’s reputation and puts in place salary restrictions and prohibitions against the use of private jets. Earlier this summer GM asked Treasury officials if it could repurchase 200 million of the 500 million shares through a public stock offering. But a sale at current prices would cause the US to lose about $15 billion. GM shares would have to be selling at $53 per share for the US to break even. Friday’s closing price was $24.14.
Chinese likely to impact cotton prices
The US Department of Agriculture estimates that Chinese imports of cotton will fall 51 percent in the 2012-13 marketing year that began August 1 compared to the previous year. Domestic consumption is also predicted to be down. The Wall Street Journal reports that China is the world’s top producer, importer and consumer of cotton and lower consumption has caused prices to fall more than 30 percent since September 2011. The US currently has an oversupply of cotton. Additionally, cotton continues to compete with cheaper synthetic fibers. Slowing global growth will continue to impact the price of cotton.
Obama to launch trade complaint against China
President Obama will launch a trade complaint against China over Beijing’s unfair government backing of its auto industry, according to Reuters. Obama will announce in a campaign stop in Ohio, that he is launching a complaint with the World Trade Organization against China for illegal subsidies for automobiles and auto parts. Obama indicates that China is not playing by the rules of the global trading system and is abusing trade laws by imposing more than $3 billion in duties on US auto exports. Critics indicate that Obama is making the claim in a key swing state to attract votes and will be slow to follow through on the claim.
AT&T says set sales record for iPhone 5
Reuters reports that AT & T is acknowledging that it set a sales record over the weekend and during the first day of pre-orders for the iPhone 5. It did not provide the number of phones sold.
Wolves lose public aid
Wolves will no longer be protected by the federal government, according to the WashingtonPost. In 1973 they were listed as an endangered species. In 1973 only a few hundred wolves existed in the contiguous 48 states but now there are more than 6,000 in the lower 48 and between 7700 to 11,000 in Alaska. But many in the rural Western states now view wolves as a predator. Wyoming has indicated that wolves can be shot on sight. The Fish and Wildlife Department has said that wolves are now fair game but will continue to monitor the balance of wolves in the country.
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.