Driving the Day: 4/12/12

Apr 12, 2012

Need to know...

  • Energy Costs Stir Worries in U.S. Economic Expansion. In its latest summary of national activity, the Federal Reserve issued a slightly upbeat report on the overall economy, including a slight uptick in hiring and manufacturing, but hedged that rising energy prices continue to be a growing threat to manufacturers and retailers across the country.
  • Government Report Says IP Supports 40 Million Jobs. A U.S. report released yesterday found that the creative works protected by copyrights, patents, and trademarks support 40 million jobs, or about 28% of the U.S. workforce.  Bloomberg, Reuters, National Journal, CNN, and others report that U.S. business and labor groups welcomed the study, which bolsters the case for strong action against piracy and counterfeiting. 
  • Swap Regulators Considering $8 Billion Threshold. Bloomberg reports that U.S. derivatives regulators are considering a threshold as high as $8 billion for determining which banks, hedge funds, and energy firms are swap dealers under the Dodd-Frank Act. The SEC and CFTC proposed a $100 million threshold in 2010, then this year considered setting a $3 billion rule and are now debating a threshold as high as $8 billion.
  • Bill Clinton and Frank Hochberg to Speak at Export-Import Bank Conference. Former President Bill Clinton at 10:40 a.m. will give the keynote address at the Export-Import Bank’s 37th Annual Conference following remarks by Ex-Im President Fred Hochberg, senior Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, and others. In prepared remarks, bank chairman Fred Hochberg will urge Congress to renew the Ex-Im bank’s charter for four years and increase its lending authority to $140 billion. He will say that critics of the U.S. Export-Import Bank “want to unilaterally disarm” American companies from competing in the global marketplace while countries including China support their industries.

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