Part 2 of the movie trilogy of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged is, by turns, eerie, chilling, disappointing, and affirming. With twice the budget of Part 1, Atlas Shrugged Part 2 is broader in scope and adheres more closely to the original book. It also has a new cast. Many had high expectations. In some respects it succeeded; in others it didn't.
President Obama's latest executive order that allows the "freezing" of all accounts belonging to "sanctioned persons" in the US is one in a series of orders going back to President Washington.
After 42 years of building an immense real estate and time share company, with 7,000 employees and revenues of $1 billion, its owner is close to giving it all up and, in his words, “calling it a day.” David Siegel, the owner of Westgate Resorts, started his company out of his garage in the early 1970s and, working full time including weekends and holidays, slowly built the company into a powerhouse which, in 2007, just before the real estate crash, employed more than 12,000 people and served more than 3 million customers a year.
But the start of the Great Recession left Siegel and his company with nearly $1 billion in debt which forced him to give back the Las Vegas project to lenders and stop work altogether on his massive 90,000 square-foot home.
Business is better now, but Siegel is nervous about the election and what it means to his company if President Obama is reelected.
3-D printing technology is developing so fast that individuals will soon be able to download free software from the internet and print their own weapons at home.
The response to the admission by Deputy Director for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Penny Thompson, made in September before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), that payments made by the federal government to New York’s state-run development centers were “excessive and unacceptable,” was simple and to the point: those overpayments were “inexcusable” and “exceeded the entire Medicaid budgets of 14 states” and added that “the failure … suggests an institutional failure and a pattern of irresponsible actions that have cost the taxpayers billions.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) issued its latest jobs report on October 5 and confounded nearly everyone. The first part of the report, based on their survey of households, showed a surprising – even astonishing – rise of total employment in September approaching a million jobs (873,000, to be exact). But in the same breath the report noted that, based on their survey of businesses, only 114,000 new jobs were added, about in line with most economists’ expectations.
In his October newsletter to clients of Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), founder Bill Gross summarized the coming disaster that faces the country, and noted that “only gold and real assets would thrive…”
Gross manages the world’s largest bond fund along with CEO Mohamed El-Erian, with nearly $2 trillion of assets under management. His clients include individual retirees, pension plans, educational institutions, foundations, and endowments, each seeking safety of principal along with reasonable returns. Accordingly he must temper his words not to frighten away the very people he serves. But he’s courageous enough to tell the truth.
The passing of the former publisher of The New York Times, Arthur Ochs "Punch" Sulzberger, at age 86 on September 29 was noted by editors and publishers in the mainstream media in the most favorable terms.
Waiting for the economy to improve before turning off the printing presses is likely to take a very long time. The August numbers on the economy were disheartening for those waiting for such an improvement: U.S. durable goods production fell for the third month in a row, astonishing economists who had predicted much better numbers. GDP continues to slow, and companies such as Caterpillar, the world’s biggest construction and mining equipment manufacturer, cut its earnings outlook because of the continuing slowdown in the world economy.