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Fed speaks again as weak indicators cloud outlook

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is set to give his second-ever press conference Wednesday as signs of weakness in the world’s biggest economy cloud prospects for a stimulus reduction. The central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Tuesday debated an eventual exit strategy from the…

Nissan 350Z has highest driver death rate: report

WASHINGTON — US drivers of Nissan 350Z sports car and Titan pickup, as well as the humble Chevrolet Aveo run the most risk of dying in a crash, while Audi’s luxury A6 cruised in relative safety, according to an insurance report Thursday. Meanwhile sports utility vehicles (SUVs), formerly known as…

Republican jobs plan pushes tax cuts and deregulation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congressional Republicans unveiled a jobs agenda on Thursday, hitting President Barack Obama where it hurts — the stubbornly high 9 percent unemployment rate. Two days after suffering a stunning election defeat, largely because of their unpopular proposal to privatize Medicare, Republicans sought to focus attention on the…

World’s millionaire ranks seen soaring through 2020

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The rich keep getting richer, both here in the United Statesand especially in the world’s emerging markets. Public and private investments controlled by the richest families are expected to more than double in value to $202 trillion by 2020, from $92 trillion this year, according to survey of…

Rising divorce rates a sign of economic recovery

WASHINGTON — A telltale sign of US economic recovery: the divorce rate is on the rise, after falling sharply in 2008 and 2009. “People were afraid they were going to lose their jobs so they were very cautious about getting a divorce because you have to split your assets,” said…

Analysis: CEO pay soars while workers face layoffs, stalled pay

CEOs are getting even richer while workers are hit with stagnate pay and even layoffs. A recent USA Today analysis of data from GovernanceMetrics International showed that CEO pay jumped 27 percent last year, nearly reaching pre-recession levels. Workers, however, saw their pay rise at a paltry 2.1 percent in…

African-Americans worse off in 2011: study

WASHINGTON – African-Americans are worse off and have less access to health care than white Americans this year compared to 2010, an annual report released Thursday said. In the 35th annual “State of Black America” report, the National Urban League (NUL) said blacks have slid down on an “equality index”…

Japanese corporations agree to forgo tax cuts, for good of their country

Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, said the influential lobby would not fight the government if it decided to shelve a plan to lower the corporate tax rate, which at around 40 percent is among the highest in the industrialized world. Economics Minister Kaoru Yosano suggested last week the government…

Top Republican: Cut taxes by 10% … for the rich

Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said he hopes to cut the tax rate for the richest individuals and corporations to 25 percent to help spur job growth. The top U.S. tax rate has been 35 percent for both individuals and corporations since…

US teen birth rate falls to record low: study

WASHINGTON — The US teen birth rate has fallen to its lowest level in 70 years, a study said Wednesday, as an expert pointed to regular contraceptive use by teens as the main cause of the drop. The 2009 rate was 39.1 births per 1,000 girls aged 15-19, or 59…

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