December 31, 2008 |
Federal regulators officially rejected a banking industry push to suspend accounting rules that force banks to value assets on their balance sheets at current market prices even if they plan to hold them for years. The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a report to Congress that recommended maintaining so-called mark-to-market rules but suggested improvements to current accounting practices.
December 26, 2008 |
When a Colorado emergency room nurse fell gravely ill after treating a gas field worker, doctors struggled to figure out what was wrong with her. Her liver, heart and lungs were failing, probably a result of inhaling ZetaFlow -- a substance used in natural-gas drilling -- from the patient's boots. But doctors could find little treatment information in the medical texts or on the Internet because the fluid's formulation is a closely guarded trade secret.
November 20, 2008 |
Nike Inc., Starbucks Corp., Levi Strauss & Co. and two other U.S. companies called Wednesday for aggressive policies to limit global warming to help rescue the country from an economic crisis. The coalition appealed for steep cuts in U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions, investment in renewable energy from the wind and sun, and limits on polluting coal-fired power plants. Congress and President-elect Barack Obama should take action on the matter early in 2009, they said.
November 19, 2008 |
The Environmental Protection Agency is completing new air quality rules that will make it easier to build coal-fired power plants, oil refineries and other major polluters near national parks and wilderness areas, despite the fact that half of the EPA's 10 regional administrators have formally dissented from the decision and another four have criticized the move in writing.
November 12, 2008 |
The Bush administration is moving in its last weeks to adopt final regulations to enforce a controversial law that seeks to block Internet gambling. The move is drawing hot protests from Democratic lawmakers and supporters of online betting. "This midnight rule-making will tie the hands of the new administration, burden the financial services industry at a time of economic crisis and contradict the stated intent of the Financial Services Committee," the House panel's chairman, Rep.
October 2, 2008 |
Royalties that digital music companies, including Apple Inc. and record labels, pay songwriters for selling their music as ring tones, CDs and permanent digital downloads are to be set today by a federal agency. This is the first time in nearly three decades that the industry has been unable to decide the fee for sales of recorded music on its own. Apple has so strongly opposed increasing the rate, now 9.
October 2, 2008 |
As financial collapse threatened Wall Street and consumed Washington, John McCain appeared to undergo a dramatic transformation. The candidate who would shrink government became the candidate who would bulk it up. Just a day after debuting a television ad warning that "big government casts a big shadow on us all," the Republican presidential hopeful told business leaders in Wisconsin that a new federal agency was needed to intervene in the markets.
October 1, 2008 |
The multibillion-dollar implosion of insurance giant American International Group Inc. has state and federal officials pointing fingers of blame at each other. Who should have raised alarms that the company, which had to be rescued with an $85-billion federal bailout, was in trouble?
September 25, 2008 |
Once the smoke clears from the conflagration in the financial markets, Congress and the next administration will face a new challenge: how to keep the next fire from burning down the house. New regulations, or better enforcement of the old, are certain to be high on the agenda. "We've got to have the most dramatic rethinking of our regulatory structure since the New Deal," says former Securities and Exchange Commissioner Harvey J. Goldschmid, now a law professor at Columbia University.