finance

Larry Summers has removed his name from the running to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. The former Treasury secretary informed President Obama of his decision in a phone call Sunday. The withdrawal was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Yale’s School of Management wants the nation’s regulators to learn the lessons of the financial crisis, and they’re designing a new program to help them do it. When Wall Street hit the skids in 2008, it was Main Street that largely paid the price. Andrew Metrick, professor of finance at the Yale School of Management, says one reason is that regulators weren’t looking in all the right places in the years before the crash.

Photo by Justin Auciello

On Wednesdays on Where We Livewe try to tackle as much of the news you need to know now as we possibly can. But it's a long, long week, don't ya know. So, the Wheelhouse Digest was created to let you see what we're looking at, talking about and shaking our heads over in the newsroom on those other days. 

Let's get to it. It's Friday the 13th, and I'd like to crawl back under my desk and hide.

Ed G (Flickr Creative Commons)

The executive director of Amistad America Inc., a New Haven-based non-profit, asserts that all money it has received from the state has been used appropriately. Amistad America owns and operates the Freedom Schooner Amistad, and recently lost its non-profit status after falling behind in filing federal tax returns.

There's a lot of searching on Capitol Hill but no discovery yet of a way to avoid a federal government shutdown at the start of next month.

Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are searching for enough House GOP votes for a spending bill that could pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate and keep the government open past Sept. 30.

Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers are searching for a way to repeal the Affordable Care Act with the help of the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Obama.

Economist Tyler Cowen has some advice for what to do about America's income inequality: Get used to it. In his latest book, Average Is Over, Cowen lays out his prediction for where the U.S. economy is heading, like it or not:

"I think we'll see a thinning out of the middle class," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "We'll see a lot of individuals rising up to much greater wealth. And we'll also see more individuals clustering in a kind of lower-middle class existence."

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System is facing a significant budget deficit this fiscal year, and ConnSCU officials are hoping the state will step in and pick up most the tab.

ConnSCU governs 12 Connecticut's Community Colleges; Central, Eastern, Western and Southern Connecticut State Universities, and Charter Oak State College. The projected $18 to $20 million budget gap accounts for about two percent of ConnSCU's overall budget.

When the global financial system started to collapse five years ago, leaders from the Treasury Department, Congress and the Federal Reserve jumped up and started running.

Like men on a burning wooden bridge, they raced along, making crazy-fast decisions. They seized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bailed out big banks, saved automakers, slashed interest rates and funded a massive infrastructure-building project to stimulate growth.

But that was then.

Why More Expensive Insurance Can Pay Off

Sep 10, 2013

One of the most far-reaching provisions of the federal health overhaul prohibits insurers from refusing to cover people who are sick or charging them more for policies.

Still, for people with serious medical conditions, the online health insurance marketplaces present new wrinkles that could have significant financial impact.

Heather Brandon

University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst is defending raises that were recently awarded to two dozen top school administrators. The pay hikes, which range from $10,000 to more than $25,000, have raised eyebrows. They come at a time when the state is struggling to balance its budget.

Herbst said administrators’ salaries need to be competitive in a national labor market. "We have a study of what these different positions--deans, vice presidents--make around the country," she said on WNPR's Where We Live, "and I stay within that range to make sure our salaries are normative. But I will tell you that I will only hire great people." 

DonkeyHotey on Flickr Creative Common

In August, President Obama signed a bill preventing the doubling of interest rates on federal student loans for those entering college this year. Students borrowing the maximum amount this year will save about $4,600 in extra interest...but it’s a temporary fix.

Saying a college education is the "surest path to the middle class," President Obama announced a plan Thursday to allocate federal aid to colleges and universities based in part on their affordability.

While you probably never give a second thought to the clippings scattered about when you get a haircut, Philip Musica turned this trash into cash. Millions of dollars of cash. 

http://www.thehallofinfamy.org/

We're fascinated by Bernie Madoff and Frank Abagnale, larger than life con men who somehow got perfectly sane and intelligent people to trust them when there was ample reason not to.

The state Supreme Court has overturned a $6 million award to beer and soda distributors who sued the state.

It's going to be another ugly fall in Washington.

The federal government runs out of money on Oct. 1, unless spending authority is granted to agencies for the new fiscal year. If Congress can't pass its spending bills by then, most of the government will shut down.

It's no empty threat. Many who watch the budget process closely think there's a very good chance that's exactly what's going to happen.

Obama Proposes Cuts In Corporate Tax Rates

Jul 30, 2013

U.S. home prices continue to surge. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index out today shows a 12 percent increase in May compared to a year ago.

Low interest rates and an improving job market are boosting demand for homes and driving prices up.

President Obama is out with a plan that he says will improve the job market even more. The president is touring an Amazon distribution center in Chattanooga, Tenn. to announce a so-called “grand bargain” to overhaul the corporate tax system.

Prosecutors said a large volume of evidence including electronic messages, court-ordered wiretaps and consensual recordings is stacked against a Connecticut-based hedge fund that pleaded not guilty Friday to criminal charges accusing it of letting insider trading flourish for more than a decade.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Antonia Apps told a federal judge in Manhattan that investigators had “voluminous” evidence against SAC Capital Advisors, a Stamford, Conn.-based firm owned by billionaire Steven A. Cohen.

What Detroit Can Learn From Other Cities

Jul 23, 2013

As officials in Detroit move forward with the city’s bankruptcy filing, what can they learn from other cities across the country that have gone down this path?

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, filed for bankruptcy in October of 2011. There’s also San Bernadino, California; Jefferson County, Alabama; and Central Falls, Rhode Island, among others.

David Shepardson, Washington bureau chief for The Detroit News, joins us to explain how other cities have handled tough issues such as whether pensions will be paid.

The freshman Congresswoman is getting big money from outside the state, building up an early lead over challenger Mark Greenberg.

The U.S. Department of Education has issued new data on the cost of college in America. Three Connecticut colleges rank among  the nation’s most expensive. 

Trinity College’s tuition is  5th highest in the nation for private, not-for-profit 4-year colleges. The sticker price at Trinity is $44,070 dollars.  Connecticut College ranks 7th .  Wesleyan University comes in a close 8th. 

The data can be found on the USDE’s website called College Scorecard, which offers students and families a variety of ways to compare the cost of college.

With a July 1 deadline looming, it seems unlikely that Congress will be able to stop interest rates on new federal student loans from doubling.  But there may be time to address the situation before classes begin next fall.

About 7 ½ million students nationwide pay for a portion of their college tuition through subsidized Stafford Student loans. Right now, interest rates will go from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1st.

"There is a window of opportunity for Congress to still act."

Todd Huffman / Creative Commons

The backyard beekeepers now include a group of kids in Connecticut. An artist paints gorgeous, impressionistic scenes of World War II, including secret Nazi meetings that took place. There's lots of buzz about his work at the Sand Gallery in New York. And there's lots of buzz about the Connecticut Wannabess—kids into beekeeping and honey. And, if you're wondering about creating a trust and estate planning, we have a CPA who explains how it works and how you can avoid a probate mess.

Todd Huffman/flickr creative commons

The backyard beekeepers now include a group of kids in Connecticut. An artist paints gorgeous, impressionistic scenes of World War II, including secret Nazi meetings that took place. There's lots of buzz about his work at the Sand Gallery in New York. And there's lots of buzz about the Connecticut Wannabess—kids into beekeeping and honey. And, if you're wondering about creating a trust and estate planning, we have a CPA who explains how it works and how you can avoid a probate mess.

Melanie McCue (Flickr Creative Commons)

Connecticut is offering $5 million in emergency assistance for farmers who have been hurt by severe weather.

Governor Dannel Malloy announced yesterday that the assistance may be used to repair damaged property, replant lost crops, purchase feed, apply fertilizer and perform activities needed for recovery.

Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky says the rough winter in early 2011, Hurricane Irene, the October snow storm, Superstorm Sandy, this year's blizzard, and recent rain have taken a toll on farmers.

Stamford Residents Protest Bridgewater Project

Jun 20, 2013
Dru Nadler

Governor Dannel Malloy is going forward with plans to move Bridgewater Associates to Stamford. But some local residents have been working hard to delay that project. They expressed their opposition in a public hearing in Stamford this week.

Governor Malloy’s plan is to give the hedge fund Bridgewater more than $100 million in tax breaks to move from its current location in Westport to Stamford.

Energy Tomorrow, Flickr Creative Commons

Environmentalists are giving state legislators a mixed report card for the session that's just ended. They're happy with parts of the state's new energy policy. But a raid on clean energy funds is causing major concern.

Exporters Shift Focus

May 23, 2013
Sujata Srinivasan

The great recession drove many companies to look for sales overseas. A new survey of Connecticut companies shows that half of those responding said exports helped them weather the downturn. Now, domestic markets are looking up, but those firms still want to diversify across the world. 

 

 

Commercial insurers are very close to revealing the rates they’ll charge for healthcare plans under the new Connecticut healthcare exchange. It’s been a long, uncertain road to get here.

Caviar Takes its Toll

May 9, 2013

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has made headlines recently for questionable city spending -- like dining on caviar at taxpayer expense. Now, it looks as though the city council is taking concrete action to push back. It's likely the council will reject Segarra's appointment for the city's chief operating officer.

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