Tag Archives: CPI

Is The End Of Gigantic, Unfair, And Absurd CEO Pay Near?

By Richard Finger, Contributor

CEO (Chief Executive Officer) pay is like an out of control wildfire with firefighters who have seemingly all but giving up combating a blaze they deemed too infernal to extinguish. With great help from Forbes statistician Scott DeCarlo we can put some numbers to this conflagration. Way back in 1986 the top 10 CEO’s on the Forbes list earned in aggregate $57.88 million and the top paid corporate chieftain was legendary Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca at $11.50 million. Leap ahead to the 2012 Forbes list on which the highest paid ten totaled a whopping $616.40 million or 10.65 times the amount of the class of 1986. I did some more arithmetic and determined that during these intervening 26 years the CPI (Consumer Price Index) “snailed” ahead only about 103 percent. With my calculator still revved up I then determined that the top ten of class of 2012, if they had just kept pace with the CPI since 1986 would have earned cumulatively only $117.50 million, about a half billion less than their actual haul of $616.40 million. Inflation adjusted, in 2012, Mr. Iacocca would have grossed $23.34 million or about 17.8 percent of the $131.19 million of 2012 pay champion John Hammergren of McKesson. Even at the adjusted $23.34 million number Mr. Iacocca would be in only 46th place on the 2012 list just behind Larry Fink of Blackrock. Bear with me for a final telling statistic and I’ll leave you alone. CEO remuneration since 1986 has shown accretion of 965 percent versus 103 percent for the CPI. Does this conflagration continue unchecked, fueling the flames of animosity and fraying the fabric of American society, or is the rubber band finally at a breaking point? Let’s have a look at how we got to this parlous state and finally examine the implications for American executives of some of the positive developments on the compensation front from across the Atlantic in Europe. …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Consumer Confidence Cools Dow

By Jeremy Bowman, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

After 10 straight days of gains, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finally gave back ground today, falling 25 point,s or 0.2%. The blue chips never broke into positive territory, because a poor consumer sentiment report, and a higher-than expected Consumer Price Index dampened the optimism that’s fueled this month’s rally.

Consumer prices jumped 0.7% in February, in large part due to a 9% increase in gas prices during the month. Overall, it was the biggest increase in consumer prices in over three years. The core CPI, which excludes food and energy, rose just 0.2%.

Meanwhile, consumer confidence dropped to 71.8, from 77.6 last month, a figure economists thought would hold, according to a University of Michigan survey. The current mark is the lowest level since December 2011, as worries about sequestration and the layoffs that may result appear to have disquieted the average consumer. The survey reported a record percentage of unfavorable responses to government fiscal policies, and consumer expectation of conditions over the next few months dropped sharply.

As for individual stocks, banks were big movers today after the Fed released its decision on which of the 18 too-big-to-fail banks could return capital to shareholders. The Fed approved the plans of 14 of the lenders, asked JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs for resubmission, and outright rejected the plans of BB&T and Ally Financial. JPMorgan shares dropped 1.9% as a result, and the bank cut its share buyback plan in half, to $6 billion. It also raised its quarterly dividend from $0.30, to $0.38. Separately, in Senate hearings today, JPMorgan’s former Chief Investment Officer Ina Drew, who was in charge of the unit that lost $6.2 billion in the “London Whale” trade, denied wrongdoing as the bank continues to defend itself.

Bank of America shares shot up 3.8% today after the Fed approved its plan to buy back $5 billion worth of common stock and $5.5 billion in preferred shares. B of A did not submit plans to increase its dividend, which sits at just $0.01 per quarter. Still, the approval was a big step for the lender as it’s struggled to return to solvency following the financial crisis.

Boeing was also a big winner today, climbing 2.1% to a new five-year high after it said the 787 should be back in flight in just a few weeks, thanks to a fortified power pack that would negate the fire risk.

Bank of America’s stock doubled in 2012. Is there more yet to come? With significant challenges still ahead, it’s critical to have a solid understanding of this megabank before adding it to your portfolio. In The Motley Fool’s premium research report on B of A, analysts Anand Chokkavelu, CFA, and Matt Koppenheffer, Financials bureau chief, lift the veil on the bank’s operations, including detailing three reasons to buy, and three reasons to sell. Click here now to claim your copy.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Gas Prices Fuel 0.7% Consumer Price Increase

By Justin Loiseau, The Motley Fool

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The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis for February, according to a Labor Department report (link opens in PDF) released today. After its January flatline, market analysts had estimated a 0.5% increase for February.

Source: Labor Department

The main boost behind the Index comes from a 9.1% spike in gasoline prices, which accounted for nearly 75% of the CPI‘s increase. Overall, energy prices jumped 5.4% in February. As U.S. refineries pull back on gasoline production, high costs also boosted February’s Producer Price Index.

Excluding energy and food costs from the index, analysts’ 0.2% estimated bump proved correct. In the last 12 months, consumer prices have gone up 2%. Energy commodities have increased the most (+3.1%), while used cars and trucks have dropped 0.2% in price for the Index’s only reduction .

The article Gas Prices Fuel 0.7% Consumer Price Increase originally appeared on Fool.com.

ou can follow Justin Loiseau on Twitter @TMFJLo and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFJLo.
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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Rising Gas Prices Fuel Inflation As Headline CPI Hits Highest Level In More Than Three Years

By Agustino Fontevecchia, Forbes Staff

Rising fuel prices pushed inflation up in February, with the consumer price index (CPI) gaining 0.7%, its largest monthly gain in nearly four years.  Sustained higher prices at the pump will act as a drag on GDP by obstructing consumption, yet inflation remains at comfortable levels for the Fed, which is expected to continue with its ultra-accommodative monetary stance. …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Gasoline Prices Hike Consumer Prices

By 24/7 Wall St.


Filed under:

The U.S. Labor Department this morning reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for February rose 0.7%, led by a 9.1% spike in gasoline prices. CPI is up 2% over the past 12 months.

The spike in gasoline prices boosted the overall energy index, which includes natural gas and electricity prices, by 5.4%. Food costs rose 0.1% in February on a sharp rise in the costs of fruits and vegetables.

Excluding food and energy, core CPI rose 0.2% in February and the 12-month rise in core CPI also totaled 2%.

The consensus estimates called for a rise of 0.5% in CPI and a rise of 0.2% in core CPI.

Hourly earnings fell by 0.6% as the average increase in earnings rose just 0.2%, far short of the overall 0.7% rise in the index.

Gasoline prices have moderated in March, which is likely to lead to a reversal of at least some of the rise in energy prices. Natural gas prices have risen this month, but probably not by enough to affect seriously the overall index.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy, Index, Research

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Obama Reassures House Democrats On Cuts To Social Security, Medicare

By The Huffington Post News Editors

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama assured House Democrats Thursday he won’t slash Social Security and Medicare, moments after he reaffirmed his commitment to entitlement reform in a meeting with Senate Republicans.

Obama sat down with Democrats in late afternoon, just after he emerged from a 90-minute face-to-face with Republicans in the upper chamber, where his willingness to cut entitlement spending dominated the conversation. House Democrats hadn’t seen the reports of what Obama discussed with the Senate GOP — they were reacting instead, they told reporters after the meeting, to reports about the president restating his support for a grand bargain with Republicans that includes so-called chained CPI and other cuts to Medicare.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Mich.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was first to ask Obama about chained CPI, a way of calculating the consumer price index that would decrease monthly payments to Social Security recipients. Ellison, one of the strongest opponents of the Social Security benefit cut, was soon joined by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who also expressed concerns to the president.

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More on Barack Obama

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Huffington Post

HUFFPOST HILL – God Gets New Flack

By The Huffington Post News Editors

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio managed to overcome pontifical opposition and was elected pope with a filibuster-proof supermajority. Vice President Biden will lead the U.S.’s delegation to Pope Francis’ first mass and will, presumably, be the first person on Earth to call the holy father “Pope Frank” to his face. And back in the States, the American economy finally recovered after one House Republican used a meeting with President Obama to ask why he canceled White House tours. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, March 13th, 2013:

OBAMA MEETS WITH GOP HOUSE CONFERENCE, SOLVES ALL OUR PROBLEMS – Politico: “President Barack Obama tangled with House Republicans for more than an hour Wednesday, answering questions on topics ranging from whether the White House spends too much time campaigning to how serious the administration is about slashing the nation’s deficit. Republicans focused on political issues — quizzing Obama on why his White House stopped giving tours after the sequester took effect. But the House GOP also delved into policy, where Republicans heard Obama say he doesn’t want to balance the budget in 10 years. That’s the challenge issued by Rep. Paul Ryan in the GOP budget unveiled on Tuesday… [Rep. Candice Miller] also asked why the the White House decided to suspend White House tours, citing the sequester. Why not cancel the White House-Congressional picnic, as well? Obama, according to a source in the room, said the decision to suspend the tours was made by the Secret Service. The president said that the Secret Service would have had to furlough more people in order to keep the tours going…Obama said he would not tweak entitlements without more taxes. Ways and Means chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) praised Obama for supporting ‘Medicare capping for high net worth people’ and ‘chain CPI on Social Security.'” [Politico]

Obama when he walked out of the meeting: “It was good. It was useful. I enjoyed it.” Sure you did.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Huffington Post

Will Silver Move on U.S. Jobs Report?

By Douglas Ehrman, The Motley Fool

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A stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs report on Friday adds one more to a list of competing factors that are struggling to give some direction to the silver market. The report, which showed that the economy added 236,000 workers last month, provides evidence that the economy is improving and was sufficient to drive the U.S. dollar index higher — two bearish factors for silver. With the deadline for sequestration cuts more than a week in the rearview mirror and the Federal Reserve still pumping $85 billion a month into the system, the bullish factors are represented as well. Silver, as represented by the iShares Silver Trust , exists in the vortex between all of these forces. While short-term volatility is likely to increase, the significant industrial demand for silver will couple with general economic weakness and should drive silver higher.

Is the employment picture really improving?
While the 236,000 number is a significant beat over the 160,000 that was expected, it still falls short of the 250,000 jobs that most economists believe must be consistently added if the employment picture is really to change. The overall unemployment rate fell from 7.9% a month earlier to 7.7%, representing the lowest reading since December 2008; numbers for the past two months were revised lower by 15,000, meaning that the previous two months were even weaker than expected.

The unemployment statistics and the calculated rate of inflation have become the two most criticized figures in economics, having been accused of poor methodology, miscalculation, and outright manipulation. Many, myself included, trust the anecdotal evidence we get by going grocery shopping or putting gas in our cars as evidence that prices are rising. While the CPI or PPI may be stable, if the goods that we’re most exposed to on a regular basis are getting more expensive, claiming no inflation is disingenuous to ignorant. Still, because the Fed has made clear that policy will be set based on these stats, knowing them and understanding them is a critical part of trading precious metals.

The Fed, and specifically Chairman Ben Bernanke, has made it clear that as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5% and inflation remains in check, the current course of quantitative easing will remain in force. The concern is that by the time inflation begins to show up in some of the statistics being used, there may be so much pent-up supply of capital that inflation will spike beyond what is easily manageable. This is not a certainty, nor is it a conspiracy theory or doomsday prophecy — just a legitimate concern.

The global influence
The positive surprise from the U.S. jobs number was sufficient to drive the U.S. dollar index higher by 0.9% on the news, as the yen and euro fell. A strong dollar has been an upside constraint for precious metals as dollar strength makes dollar-denominated assets alternative defensive plays to silver and gold. When the dollar is weak, investors looking for …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

A Journalism Nonprofit’s Nonagenda Agenda

By Breaking News

Obama Golden Calf Liberal Media SC A journalism nonprofits nonagenda agenda

Among the standout names of outfits recently whacking the Donors Trust is the nonprofit investigative journalism organization known as the Center for Public Integrity. To many, the group’s name seems presumptuous and agenda-laden, despite its insistence that it is “nonpartisan and does no advocacy work.”

Because most of CPI’s funding comes from wealthy foundations, it’s possible to investigate the investigators through the IRS Form 990 reports of its donors. Those handy documents publicly reveal everything about every grant to CPI, including the grant description — what the money is for.

The bulk of those descriptions reinforce CPI’s assertion with such purposes as “general support” and “operating support,” meaning to pay the crew, pay the rent, keep the lights and heat on, and feed the office cat. In other words, no agenda there.

There’s also $150,000 from the Public Welfare Foundation (based on the fortune of the late Texas newspaper owner and Democratic activist Charles E. Marsh) for “regulating worker exposure to chemicals” — which, when you think about it, sounds like advocacy for an anti-industry agenda.

Read more at The Washington Examiner. By Ron Arnold.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Western Journalism

Medtentia International and clinicalprojects international Tap BioClinica for Express EDC, Data Mana

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Medtentia International and clinicalprojects international Tap BioClinica for Express EDC, Data Management, and Centralized Imaging Reads

International Experience, Flexibility, and Speed to Support Innovative Cardiac Device Research

NEWTOWN, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– BioClinica®, Inc. (NAS: BIOC) , a global provider of clinical trial management solutions, today announced an agreement for BioClinica Express EDC, data management, and imaging core lab services with Finnish company Medtentia International, in partnership with the contract research organization (CRO) clinicalprojects international (CPI). Medtentia International Ltd. is a medical technology company which develops solutions for mitral valve repair based on its proprietary helix ring concept. Medtentia’s technology has the potential to reduce the invasiveness, operation time and morbidity associated with mitral valve repair operations.

Medtentia is the latest European customer to select BioClinica eClinical and Imaging Core Lab offerings. BioClinica services will support Medtentia’s multi-country, multi-year study of a medical device for mitral valve (heart) repair. “We awarded this clinical trial to CPI and BioClinica based on the excellent feedback we received from their reference clients,” commented Olli Keranen, CEO of Medtentia. “We were already familiar with BioClinica’s Imaging Core Lab solutions and wanted to outsource EDC and DM to a stable global eClinical vendor. We are confident that both companies’ reputations for customer focus and respective strengths will well serve the needs of an innovative medical device company like Medtentia.”

Based in Bonn, Germany, CPI is focused on the planning and execution of Phase I-IV as well as post-marketing studies for innovative medical devices, combination products and (Bio)Pharmaceuticals. “We are delighted that Medtentia has entrusted us with their trial and look forward to another successful collaboration with the BioClinica team,” said Jörg Breitkopf, Managing Director of CPI. “BioClinica has a strong service and technology reputation among medical device companies. Our partnership will provide Medtentia with the utmost in clinical trial support.”

“BioClinica’s fresh and more cost-efficient approach to clinical trial support is currently driving unprecedented sponsor and CRO partnership growth across both eClinical and Imaging Core Labs solutions,” said Mark Weinstein, CEO of BioClinica. We continue to expand our team, especially in Europe, adding to our experience and global reach, and are pleased to have been selected to help support this important cardiac device research.”

Follow BioClinica on the Trial Blazers blog at http://info.bioclinica.com/blog, and on twitter at http://twitter.com/bioclinica.

…read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Consumer prices unchanged as gasoline falls

File photo of shopper walking down aisle in newly opened Walmart Neighborhood Market in Chicago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Consumer prices were flat for a second straight month in January, providing scope for the Federal Reserve to maintain its very accommodative monetary policy stance to stimulate the sluggish economy. The Labor Department said on Thursday its Consumer Price Index was held back by weak gasoline prices and food prices, which were unchanged after rising over the past months. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the CPI to edge up 0.1 percent. In the 12-months through January, consumer prices rose 1.6 percent, the smallest gain since July. They had advanced 1. …

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Yahoo Business

What’s On Your Mind • This solves serious problems–by Warren Buffet

By Frank Jenkins Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just
pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more
than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible
for re-election.

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds)
took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple!
The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail,
cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year
or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to
a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask
each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will
have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed

Congressional Reform Act of 2012

1. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no
pay when they’re out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the
Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into
the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the
American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all
Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and
participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the
American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void
effective 12/1/12. The American people did not make this
contract with Congressmen/women.

Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in
Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their
term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will
only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive
the message. Don’t you think it’s time?


Statistics: Posted by Frank Jenkins — Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:13 pm

Source: FULL ARTICLE at gov.summit.net

Government Expenditure Growth

By Karl Smith, Contributor Matt Yglesias writes: If you believe that restraining government spending should supercharge private sector economic activity, then you ought to know that since 2010 we’ve been living through a nearly unprecedented level of public sector spending restraint. Counterfactuals are, of course, hard. Perhaps private sector growth would have been even weaker had public sector spending risen at a more normal level. But an unusually low level of spending growth isn’t a policy we might try in the future, it’s a policy that we’re trying right now and have been trying for the past few years. That seems correct though, the graph he has accompanying it seems to just show federal expenditures. We can look at the growth rate of all expenditures directly Now, of course growth rates were higher in the past in part because of higher inflation. If we use “real government consumption and investment” we get the resources used in government production which doesn’t count transfer payments. So, we can try deflating total expenditures by the CPI. We can pull into to 1980 to get rid of some of the previous volatility caused mostly by war. And, of course I like to use a bar chart with the growth rates centered roughly around trend, get a since of how much total growth is sloshing about the trend. So far, not as big a divot in spending as from the 90s, but there is likely still a fair bit of below trend spending growth to come.
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest