Daily Digest 3/27 - Why Young Americans Aren't Buying Cars, Tax vs. Penalty, Japan's Final Reactor To Close In May
- Why Don't Young Americans Buy Cars?
- Countries 'Hoarding' Crude Oil, Say Analysts
- IRS Audit Rate Nears 30% for Those Making $10 Million and Up
- Can This Man Save the American Economy?
- Financial Review Team Declares Emergency For Detroit; Agreement Can Avert Takeover In 10 Days
- You Say Tax, I Say Penalty
- Japan's Final Nuclear Reactor to Close in May
- Geopolitics Informs Gaza's Energy Crisis
Why Don't Young Americans Buy Cars? (Ben Johnson)
This week, the New York Times pulled back the curtain on General Motors' recent, slightly bewildered efforts to connect with the Millennials -- that giant generational cohort born in the 1980s and 1990s whose growing consumer power is reshaping the way corporate America markets its wares. Unfortunately for car companies, today's teens and twenty-somethings don't seem all that interested in buying a set of wheels. They're not even particularly keen on driving.
The Times notes that less than half of potential drivers age 19 or younger had a license in 2008, down from nearly two-thirds in 1998. The fraction of 20-to-24-year-olds with a license has also dropped. And according to CNW research, adults between the ages of 21 and 34 buy just 27 percent of all new vehicles sold in America, a far cry from the peak of 38 percent in 1985.
Countries 'Hoarding' Crude Oil, Say Analysts (video, Jeff B.)
Across the Atlantic, President Obama is facing mounting criticism over sharp rises in the cost of gasoline.
The main reason for higher prices at the pump is the rising cost of crude oil on the global market.
“We will take a unified look at the entire web of business entities controlled by a high-wealth individual, which will enable us to better assess the risk such arrangements pose to tax compliance and the integrity of our tax system,” IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman said in a December 2009 speech. “We want to better understand the entire economic picture of the enterprise controlled by the wealthy individual and to assess the tax compliance of that overall enterprise.”
Can This Man Save the American Economy? (jdargis)
When faced with a recession and high unemployment, advanced economies ask the central bank to cut interest rates. Lower rates spur interest-sensitive purchases, primarily in vehicles for both consumer and business-investment purposes, and in physical structures like housing, offices, warehouses, and storefronts. This helps reduce unemployment in highly cyclical sectors and helps stabilize the economy by bolstering incomes. Conversely, if inflation is too high, the central bank does the reverse and raises interest rates. But economists have long observed that the short-term rates the Fed controls can’t really impact decisions about longer-term investment and durable goods. The relevant issue for those decisions is longer-term interest rates.
Dillon said the financial review team, in a recommendation letter to Snyder, said they preferred to see the city and state enter into a consent agreement. He said there are three steps left in the process within the next 10 days: Mayor Dave Bing would have to accept the agreement, City Council would also have to vote to accept it and the governor would have to sign off as well.
You Say Tax, I Say Penalty (jdargis)
Long describes the Anti-Injunction Act as a “pay first, litigate later” rule that allows the collection of taxes to occur efficiently. (Justice Stephen Breyer will later describe taxes as “the life’s blood of the government.”) Long tries to persuade the court of the dangers of allowing the “taxpayer to go into court at any time,” but Justice Sonia Sotomayor seems dubious, asking him to lay out the “parade of horribles” that might happen if the tax law doesn’t apply here.
A veritable powerhouse in the nuclear power industry before the incident, Japan now has only one of its 54 reactors running, after another was closed down today. Its reactors are being idled in order to undergo safety check-ups, and general maintenance.
Geopolitics Informs Gaza's Energy Crisis (James S.)
The political wing of the Hamas militant outfit took control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority (headquartered in the Wes Bank), led by President Mahmoud Abbas, in 2007. With that development, Israel and Egypt (under Mubarak) sought to minimize Hamas control by imposing a border blockade. This relationship, however, has been in flux since Mubarak’s ouster. This is the root of the energy crisis.
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