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The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:00:13 PM EST
Cash Hoard Grows by $187 Billion in Untaxed Overseas Profits - Bloomberg

U.S. companies led by General Electric Co. (GE) and Pfizer Inc. (PFE) stockpiled an additional $187 billion in untaxed overseas profits over the past year, boosting their offshore holdings by 18.4 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The 70 U.S.-based companies studied hold $1.2 trillion in profits around the world. GE and Pfizer have built up the most money outside the U.S., with $102 billion and $63 billion respectively, according to securities filings. Apple Inc. (AAPL), Google Inc. (GOOG) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) were among the companies that increased their accumulated overseas profits by more than 40 percent in 2011.

As U.S.-based companies expand globally, they keep profits overseas, legally out of the reach of the Internal Revenue Service. Lawmakers from both political parties point to the stockpiling as a symptom of a failed corporate tax system, even while they remain deadlocked over whether the U.S. should impose higher or lower taxes on its companies' global profits.

"You're seeing more and more business go on overseas, because that's where an increasing amount of the global purchasing power is," said Matt Miller, director of public policy at the Business Roundtable, a Washington-based association of chief executives at large companies that backs lower taxes on overseas profits. "We need to get a competitive tax system that is not antiquated and has all the complexities we have today."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:51:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BP Set to Gain as Gulf Oil Spill Settlement Lifts `Dark Cloud' - Bloomberg

BP Plc (BP/) is poised to gain at least 5 percent this week after a $7.8 billion settlement with victims of the worst U.S. oil spill, an analyst survey showed.

BP shares will probably rise to a minimum of 520 pence from the close of 496.5 pence on March 2, according to the forecasts of five oil industry analysts. Jason Kenney, an analyst for Banco Santander SA (SAN) in Edinburgh, said the stock may climb as high as 580 pence over time if additional spill costs stay within the company's estimates.

The deal with businesses and individuals, reached after markets closed last week, was lower than the $14 billion that had been discussed, according to people familiar with the talks, and the money for the settlement will come from the $20 billion compensation fund that Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley has already provisioned for. BP still faces pollution fines and penalties under the Clean Water Act in a suit by the U.S. Department of Justice.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:52:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When Living in Limbo Avoids Living on the Street - NYTimes.com

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Forced by the harsh realities of the real estate market, lenders are increasingly likely to allow defaulting owners to remain in their homes -- a change in attitude and strategy that is helping to buoy some neighborhoods while further slowing the nation's foreclosure process.

Some lenders are now willing to make deals with owners to let them stay after defaulting, offering to pay home insurance, for example, while the resident pays for utilities. Other lenders simply look the other way, quietly putting off foreclosure sale dates, knowing that the costs of the ordeal probably exceed the diminishing value of the properties.

The evolution in thinking was perhaps inevitable, experts say. Across the country, more than 644,458 properties were lingering in bank ownership at the end of January, but even more -- some 710,725 -- were coming down the foreclosure pipeline, according to RealtyTrac, a real estate and foreclosure analysis firm.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:07:26 PM EST
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