While major banks have backed away from charging customers to use their debit cards, many of them have been imposing fees elsewhere, such as raising the cost of a basic checking account. Commenting on the new fees, Richard Davis, U.S. Bancorp’s chief executive, said “we’ll see if our customers complain and move, or just complain.”
With only a week left to strike a deal to cut $1.2 trillion, the deficit super committee is trying to raise taxes while deferring the details until next year. Under this approach the panel would decide how much revenue should be raised, but leave tax-writing committees to figure out the specifics. With many already predicting the super committee’s failure, this “escape hatch” is a last-ditch effort to salvage a deal before automatic cuts kick in.
Contrary to GOP claims, the effect government regulations have on jobs is minimal, economists say. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that very few layoffs are caused primarily by stronger regulations. Last year, 0.3 percent of people who lost their jobs in layoffs were let go because of “government regulations/intervention.”
A judge in the U.K. has opened a third inquiry into News Corporation tabloids’ use of phone hacking. The two other inquiries are being conducted by the police and by a parliamentary panel, which last week interviewed James Murdoch, owner Rupert Murdoch’s son.
Jordan’s King Abdullah called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to resign because of the violence, saying, “If I were in [Assad's] shoes, I would step down.” Meanwhile, President Obama praised the Arab League’s decision to suspend Syria’s membership in rebuke of Assad’s deadly crackdown on protesters” that have left more than 3,500 Syrians dead.
All of the world’s major economies are headed for a slowdown, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OED) said today. The organization’s growth index slowed for the seventh straight month to its lowest point since December 2009, indicating that economic growth momentum is expected to dwindle around the globe.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood slapped American Airlines with a $900,000 fine for keeping 608 passengers on 15 flights stuck on the tarmac for more than three hours. “We put the tarmac rule in place to protect passengers, and we take any violation very seriously,” LaHood said. The rule was adopted in April 2010 to prevent airlines from keeping passengers sitting on the tarmac for more than three hours.
In her first public appearance, Gloria Cain told Fox News that Herman Cain “totally respects women”. Though at least four women have accused Cain, his wife insists, “I know that’s not the person he is.”
With cities around the country evicting occupiers, protesters are moving to college campuses to continue their efforts. Tent encampments have gone up at Harvard and the University of California-Berkeley. Organizers plan occupations at dozens of the state’s schools in the Golden State as well.
And finally: Much to the chagrin of political satirists everywhere, President Obama nixed the so-called “silly shirts” photo traditionally taken every year at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, a meeting of world leaders from the region. At a press conference, Obama said he gave the leaders Hawaiian shirts to wear in the photo if they wanted — none did. “I didn’t hear a lot of complaints about breaking precedent,” he added.