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Remembering Erica Kane, One Fierce Businesswoman: The Ticker
By Stacey Shick Sep 23, 2011 11:22 AM GMT+0000 Comments
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In 1988, the world's major cosmetics companies were run by men. Ronald Perelman was in the middle of turning around Revlon Inc.; Leonard Lauder headed the company named for his mother, Estee; Lindsay Owen-Jones was appointed chairman and CEO of L'Oreal SA.
And Erica Kane, a former model, founded Enchantment, a cosmetics company that would take on them all from the fictional town of Pine Valley, Pennsylvania​.
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SEC Employees ‘Weeping With Fear’ Under Scrutiny: The Ticker
By Susan Antilla Sep 23, 2011 6:39 AM GMT+0000 Comments
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To hear the ranting and whining surrounding the flap over the Securities and Exchange Commission's former general counsel, you would think we are supposed to rally around the agency just because some of its 3,800 employees feel bad about getting picked on for rotten performance.
David M. Becker, the former SEC general counsel who was under the hot lights yesterday before the House Financial Services and Oversight and Government Reform committees, may have violated criminal law by taking a lead role in deciding how investors should be compensated for losses in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, according to a report issued this week by the SEC's inspector general. Becker and his two brothers were sued in February by the trustee in the Madoff bankruptcy case, who says they inherited $1.5 million in fictitious profits after their mother died. The inspector general, David Kotz, says Becker pushed a legal concept for compensating Madoff victims that could have benefited him financially.
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Housing Stress Rises Despite Fed's Efforts: The Ticker
By Mark Whitehouse Sep 23, 2011 6:09 AM GMT+0000 Comments
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The Federal Reserve's efforts to lower interest rates are supposed to ease the financial pressure on homeowners by helping them reduce their mortgage payments. Judging from the latest Census data, they're not having much success.
As of 2010, some 37.8 percent of households with mortgages were spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs -- a level the government considers excessive. That's up from 37.5 percent in 2009 and 34.5 percent in 2005. The increase came despite the fact that the average 30-year mortgage rate fell to 4.69 percent in 2010, from 5.04 percent in 2009 and 5.87 percent in 2005.
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Chanos Bets on China's Economy Recoupling: The Ticker
By William Pesek Sep 22, 2011 1:13 PM GMT+0000 Comments
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Investors don't tend to make lots of money betting against China. Just ask hedge fund manager Jim Chanos, who's been shorting the second biggest economy since at least 2009. The place is still growing 9.5 percent, and both Standard & Poor's and Moody’s Investors Service rate China on par with Japan.
Why, then, does Chanos, president of Kynikos Associates Ltd. in New York, appear to be doubling down? China may be recoupling with the West.
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Defining Stimulus Grows More Elusive: The Ticker
By Caroline Baum Sep 22, 2011 12:06 PM GMT+0000 Comments
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It's the day after, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note is lollygagging around 1.7 percent, an all-time low.
Hold off on that victory lap just yet. For those who believe the shape of the yield curve has relevance for the economy, the Federal Reserve's entry into the twisting arena looks to be counterproductive. After all, the Treasury is extending the average maturity of its debt at the same time the Fed has committed to buying $400 billion of notes and bonds maturing in six to 30 years by the end of June 2012.
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The Unbearable Heaviness of Government Debt: The Ticker
By Mark Whitehouse Sep 22, 2011 11:17 AM GMT+0000 Comments
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For anyone who believes the U.S. is immune to the sovereign-debt problems  plaguing Europe, the latest analysis from the International Monetary Fund provides some sobering reading.
In its semi-annual Fiscal Monitor published this week, the IMF notes that the U.S., by some measures, is worse off than several countries at the center of the European crisis. Consider Italy, which has seen its bond yields rise as investors increasingly worry about its government finances. To get its debt burden down from the current level of about 120 percent of GDP to a more sustainable level of 60 percent by 2030, the Italian government would have to raise revenue or cut spending by an annual 4.1 percent of GDP.
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Hewlett-Packard Snarls Show Peril of Outside CEOs: The Ticker
By George Anders Sep 22, 2011 10:44 AM GMT+0000 Comments
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Hewlett-Packard Co.’s latest leadership turmoil isn’t just an embarrassment for the world’s biggest technology company. It is a stark reminder of the risks involved when companies keep seeking heroic outsiders to take command instead of developing top talent internally.
Less than a year ago, Hewlett-Packard announced that former SAP AG software executive Leo Apotheker would be its next chief executive officer. Directors seemed undeterred by the fact that two previous outsider CEOs – Carly Fiorina in 1999 and Mark Hurd in 2005 – had arrived with great fanfare, only to be sent packing a few years later when the board soured on each.
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Google's Schmidt in the Congressional Hot Seat: The Ticker
By George Anders Sep 21, 2011 3:17 PM GMT+0000 Comments
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Today's performance by Google Inc. chairman Eric Schmidt on Capitol Hill was a good reminder why corporate bosses don't enjoy testifying before Congress.
Schmidt appeared at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on "The Power of Google: Serving Consumers or Threatening Competition?" As much as Schmidt tried to share a pro-consumer message, senators generally pounded away at potential antitrust issues. The Federal Trade Commission earlier this year said it is looking into allegations of anticompetitive behavior by Google, which dominates the online search market.
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The New Twist in the Fed's Operation Twist: The Ticker
By Paula Dwyer Sep 21, 2011 12:19 PM GMT+0000 Comments
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With a "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" attitude, the Federal Reserve just announced that it will indeed do the twist and buy $400 billion of bonds with maturities of six to 30 years through June, 2012, while selling an equal amount of debt maturing in three years or less. The goal is to flip the yield curve to reduce long-term borrowing costs, convince consumers and companies to buy and invest more, and keep the economy from falling back into recession.
Such unconventional monetary policy is opening the Fed to political criticism by Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a November letter to Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, said the central bank's $600 billion quantitative easing risked depreciating the dollar and causing inflation. 
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UBS Reminds Us Risks Abound Amid Chaotic Markets: The Ticker
By William Pesek Sep 21, 2011 9:35 AM GMT+0000 Comments
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Singapore is not happy. This, of course, may be a vast understatement as the city-state's sovereign wealth fund assesses the fallout from a $2.3 billion unauthorized trading loss at UBS AG.
The Government of Singapore Investment Corp. is UBS's biggest investor. The hit Singapore may take in the short term is another sobering blow for the state wealth funds that were supposed to alter the face of capitalism forever.
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THE TICKER CONTRIBUTORS
GEORGE ANDERS
George Anders is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board, focusing on the high-tech economy. He lives in Silicon Valley and is the author of the forthcoming "The Rare Find: Spotting Extraordinary Talent Before Everyone Else."
CAROLINE BAUM
Caroline Baum is a Bloomberg View columnist covering the bond market and U.S. economy and is the author of "Just What I Said."
MAX BERLEY
Max Berley is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board, focusing on U.S. and European politics.
LISA BEYER
Lisa Beyer is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board, focusing on energy.
WILLIAM D. COHAN
William D. Cohan is a Bloomberg View columnist and the author of "Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World."
PAULA DWYER
Paula Dwyer is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board, focusing on the political economy and regulation, and is the co-author of "Take on the Street."
TOBIN HARSHAW
Tobin Harshaw is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board and writes a daily e-mail, Share the View, highlighting the section's upcoming content. To subscribe email: tharshaw2@bloomberg.com​.
JAMES GREIFF
James Greiff is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board, focusing on markets and finance.
SIMON JOHNSON
Simon Johnson is a Bloomberg View columnist who writes about economics. He previously was chief economist of the International Monetary Fund.
MICHAEL KINSLEY
Michael Kinsley is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board. He previously was the editorial page editor of the Los Angeles Times and the editor of the New Republic, Harper's and Slate.
TIMOTHY LAVIN
Timothy Lavin is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board, focusing on politics and policy.
WILLIAM PESEK
William Pesek, Bloomberg View's Tokyo-based columnist, writes on Asian economic and political issues.
STACEY SHICK
Stacey Shick is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board.
DAVID SHIPLEY
David Shipley is executive editor of Bloomberg View.
JONATHAN WEIL
Jonathan Weil is a Bloomberg View columnist covering finance and accounting.
MARK WHITEHOUSE
Mark Whitehouse is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board, focusing on global economics and finance.
FRANCIS WILKINSON
Francis Wilkinson is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board focusing on national, state and local politics in the U.S.
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