Pity the Payrollers - America's Unsung Heros of the Fiscal Cliff

on , from zerohedge.com

It will be natural to sing the praises of our elected leadership after they have hammered out their deal to raise taxes in order to avert the crisis. To recall that raising taxes is ever always the solution will be just as easy as to forget to honor the unsung heroes of the fiscal cliff - the software people that maintain America's payroll systems. Such is the lot of America's Payrollers that they often do not know what parameters to enter into their systems until after the last possible moment. They know they must make payroll - or else. So they enter the worst case scenario into their systems, ... (Read the full story)

Yen poised for biggest yearly drop vs dollar since 2005

on , from reuters.com

* Yen gets bit of a respite after last week's drop. * But yen down nearly 12 pct vs dollar in 2012. * Dollar/yen backs off from highest since Aug 2010. * Near-term focus on U.S. fiscal cliff negotiations. The yen held above a two-year low versus the dollar on Monday but remained on track for its largest annual drop in seven years, pressured by expectations for more forceful monetary easing by the Bank of Japan. The dollar last stood at 85.91 yen, having retreated from Friday's high of 86.64 yen, which was the greenback's strongest level versus the Japanese currency since August 2010. As ... (Read the full story)

China manufacturing improving at fastest rate in 19 months

on , from markiteconomics.com

After adjusting for seasonal factors, the HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) – a composite indicator designed to give a single-figure snapshot of operating conditions in the manufacturing economy – posted 51.5 in December, up from 50.5 in November, signalling a modest improvement of operating conditions in the Chinese manufacturing sector. Moreover, it was the highest index reading since May 2011. Output at manufacturing plants in China expanded in December, and for the second month in a row. Although the rate of expansion was modest, it was the fastest in 21 months. Total new orders also increased ... (Read the full story)

Washington pushes United States to edge of "fiscal cliff"

on , from reuters.com

Lawmakers pushed the country to the edge of the "fiscal cliff" on Sunday as they struggled to reach a last-minute deal that could protect the world's largest economy from a politically induced recession. Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate had hoped to clear the way for swift action that would avert sweeping tax increases and spending cuts due to kick in on Tuesday. But with the two sides still at loggerheads in talks, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid postponed any possible votes and the Senate adjourned until Monday, leaving mere hours to pass any deal that may emerge ... (Read the full story)

George Osborne's fast-track deficit cuts won't even meet Labour's target

on , from guardian.co.uk

George Osborne is on course to miss Alistair Darling's deficit reduction plan, which was set down in law by the last government, and panned by the Tories at the time for failing to tackle the problem with sufficient rigour. But the chancellor will avoid any official censure after repealing an act of parliament, introduced by Darling in 2010, which called for the overall deficit to be halved in this parliament. Osborne said at the time that the Labour target did not go far enough and set out plans in his emergency budget in June 2010 to eliminate the structural budget deficit by March 2016. This is ... (Read the full story)