Driving the Day: 5/15/12

May 15, 2012

Need to know…

  • Federal Judge Strikes Down NLRB’s Union Election Rule. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled on Monday that a rule to speed up union elections proposed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is invalid. Boasberg struck the regulation down, saying that the labor board only had two members when it voted on the final rule in December 2011. A Wall Street Journal editorial states, “Some of the Obama Administration's worst regulatory abuses have arrived via the NLRB… But such overreach is too much for at least one federal judge … Given the NLRB spectacle of the last three years, this probably won't be the only time the commission loses in court.”
  • Reid Agrees to Move Forward with Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) agreed to Republican requests for votes on five amendments to legislation reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. This will allow the Senate to proceed to the bill on Tuesday, but it is unclear whether the chamber can finish its work by the time the bank’s charter expires on May 31. All of the amendments demanded by Republicans would either limit the power of the bank or add requirements to its charter.
  • Taxmageddon Sparks Widespread Anxiety. The Washington Post reports this morning on the rising anxiety about “the potential for widespread disruptions after the November election, when a lame-duck Congress will have barely two months to resolve a grinding standoff over taxes and spending.” The uncertainty is “prompting some firms to take action, and many more say they will be forced to contemplate layoffs and other cost-cutting measures long before the end of the year unless the Republican House and the Democratic Senate come up with an alternative path to tame deficits.”
  • Investors Eagerly Await Facebook IPO. Facebook's coming IPO has set off a frenzy of anticipation among investors, the Wall Street Journal reports. The social network raised its price range late Monday to $34 to $38 a share, resulting in a target valuation of up to $104 billion. The initial price range, $28 to $35 a share, put Facebook’s valuation at $77 billion to $96 billion.
  • U.S. Stocks Drop Sharply Amid Political Stalemate in Greece. Political turmoil in Greece helped push U.S. stocks to three-month lows yesterday. The Dow fell 125.25 points, closing at 12,695. The Dow has now lost more than half of its gains for the year in two weeks as worries resurface about Europe. The price of oil and Treasury yields hit their lowest levels of the year, while the euro sank to a three-month low against the dollar.

Worth the read…

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