Monthly Archives: March 2011

Big Business finally decides to hire not hoard

Corporate America has decided it’s time to invest in the future and quit hoarding profits.

Many of the top companies in the country plan to increase capital spending and create jobs in the coming months, according to the most recent Business Roundtable’s First Quarter CEO Economic Outlook Survey.

Roundtable CEOs expect the gross domestic product to grow 2.9 percent this year, up from the 2.5 percent expected in the fourth quarter last year, the business group said in a statement released Wednesday.

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Where’s your tax refund going?

A survey released by this week by the National Endowment for Financial Education offersthumbnail.aspx.jpeg some interesting insights into how different taxpayers handle their tax refund.

Folks who deliberately have more withheld from their pay in order to get a larger refund are, not surprisingly, a conservative bunch —  49 percent plan to pay down debt and 44 percent plan to salt it away.

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Close corporate tax loopholes first, then cut federal tax rate

It’s a given in certain political circles that lowering the corporate federal tax rate will mean new jobs for Americans.

Unfortunately, it’s not true. Some of the biggest companies in the land, as several recent news reports have pointed out, routinely pay little or no federal taxes on their profits.

Zero!

And while paying no taxes, they have cut jobs here at home and created thousands of new jobs overseas.

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Fed’s Lockhart says don’t worry about inflation

featured-img-2.jpgShould be interesting when Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart hits town next week for a speech to the Knoxville Economics Forum.

The dreaded “I” word — inflation — is turning up in more headlines these days, but in remarks reported Monday, Lockhart said he sees no reason to be concerned about runaway inflation.

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Eat, drink and be merry at Schmoozapalooza IV

Get out of the rain and party with hundreds of your closest friends tomorrow afternoon at Schmoozapalooza IV, the Knoxville Chamber’s popular networking event .

The event is 4-7 p.m. at 1511 Downtown West Blvd. in the former Food City location.

More than 50 businesses are listed as exhibitors on the chamber website.

Click here for more info and to register.

Should E85 fuel prices rise just as fast as regular gas?

As oil prices have soared in recent weeks, so have retail gasoline prices. But what about YE+ETHANOL.jpgbiofuel prices? Why is the cost of crop-based fuel going up just as fast as regular gas?

A thoughtful reader recently asked me about the pricing of E85, a biofuel that contains 85 percent ethanol, which is made from corn, and 15 percent gasoline; and is available locally at various gas stations.

Here’s the reader’s question and an answer from a University of Tennessee expert.

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Tennessee personal income rises in 2010


State personal income data released today shows Tennessee’s income grew 3.8 percent PAULSON+MONEY.jpgfrom 2009 to 2010, another sign that the recovery is edging forward.


Only five other states posted larger percentage increases — New Mexico (4.2), New York (4.1), Kentucky (4.0), Mississippi (3.9), and Alaska (3.9), according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The national average was 3 percent growth.

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Is BP the worst company in Amerca?

BP is destroying Toyota in round one of Comsumerist.com’s Worst Company in America tournament.

Wow, what a surprise. The last time I checked, the despoiler of the Gulf of Mexico was running away with the contest with more than 90 percent of the vote.

A tougher choice is the first-round matchup pitting Time Warner cable vs. Facebook. The voting is fairly even with Time Warner ahead with about 52 percent of the vote.

Are your basketball brackets in shambles? Have some fun and vote in the WCIA tourney. Voting closes March 23 for these two matchups.

Check out more on the Worst Company in America tourney here.

Buffett: Invest now in Japanese companies

Investment guru Warren Buffett says now is the time to buy stock in Japanese companies, Economy+Leaders.jpgReuters reports today.

The billionaire heard of Berkshire hathaway Inc. said Japan will recover from the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant disasters that have racked the country.

“It will take some time to rebuild, but it will not change the economic future of Japan,” Buffett says in the Reuters story. “If I owned Japanese stocks, I would certainly not be selling them.”

Read the full Reuters story here.

Column on Amazon sales tax break sparks debate

Readers posted some interesting comments on my Sunday column in the News Sentinel on the national campaign to make Amazon.com collect sales taxes.

Some folks took issue with my position, some didn’t. And some readers went went off on tangets. Nonethess, the discussion was interesting.

Read the column and comments here.