Tag: economic news
This week Apple announced that the Fair Labor Association would do new, special audits of working conditions at the Chinese plants where more than 90% of its products are made. The company, which is now the world’s largest as based on the value of its shares, is responding to the backlash from a recent New York Times investigation into employee suicides and harsh, unsafe working conditions at Foxconn, its main supplier.
Both the Fair Labor Association and Apple tout the FLA’s “independent external monitoring” function, under which third-party monitoring associations that have been accredited by the FLA pay unannounced visits to the factories. (Obviously in the case of Apple the suppliers are now well aware that these visits are and will be happening.) However as the New York Times further reports, FLA has been “criticized by numerous labor unions and anti-sweatshop advocates as toothless and too cozy with its corporate members.” Continue Reading
2012 has barely reached the toddler stage, but it’s never too early to look ahead. There are a lot of milestones that we may, must or should hit in 2020 — assuming that we all survive that long. Here are some 2020 goalposts for those who make it past the Mayans’ sell-by date. Continue Reading
Show of hands: assuming that you have a pension fund, how would you like it if your old age money was invested in something called the “walking dead”? Sound good?
The “walking dead” is how investors are referring to companies that were leveraged to the hilt by a Romneyesque retinue of private equity firms. Their bonds are very much in junk territory, and they’re now rallying because investors can’t find enough returns elsewhere. Continue Reading
The United States Postal Service has been in the red for years. Most recently it lost $3.3 billion in what should have been its best quarter. High labor costs, sharp competition from UPS and Fed Ex, and the internet especially, have conspired to drive the 237-year institution to the brink of extinction. Market forces are screaming, “Let it die!” Should we listen?
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who enjoys the post office experience. The lines are long and the employees can be slow and irksome. The air smells like dead dreams and everybody looks like they would rather be someplace else. What a sorry state of affairs for an agency born directly of our Constitution. Continue Reading
Here’s what you may have missed on the Finance Addict this week. Also check out our GIF of the Week after the jump!
- Risky repos rear their head and threaten us all. Looks like there’s a storm brewing in the U.S. repo markets.
- Why Dodd-Frank has already failed. Here’s why Dodd-Frank is irredeemably flawed and won’t do enough to protect our economy from troubled financial institutions.
- The Super Bowl & general ad spend: bullish indicator? Super Bowl commercials, and ad spending in general, are great economic indicators since ad budgets are usually the first to go in a downturn.
- The saga of Maiden Lane II. Nothing better captures the bailout dilemma than the saga of Maiden Lane II.
- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to really leave the stage? Can we realistically abolish Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s central role in the housing market? What are the implications?
- Of fallen angels and demons restored. Alan Greenspan is a fallen angel. Who else do you think will go from hero to zero, and vice versa, when we look back again?