Business & Economy
Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman recusal in order on MF Global Holdings matters PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 13:23
Friday, Nov. 4, 2011

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa made the following comment on whether Gary Gensler, the chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, should recuse himself from matters related to MF Global Holdings Ltd., the fund that was run by former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, in light of media reports outlining close, longstanding ties between Gensler and Corzine.  Media reports say Gensler and Corzine “rose through the ranks” together at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for 18 years and collaborated on Capitol Hill when Corzine was a senator and Gensler was a staffer.

“The chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is supposed to look out for investors.  MF Global’s case is a big collapse that requires a lot of work from the commission to try to figure out what went wrong and minimize further investor losses if possible.  It’s hard to see how the commission chairman could be completely objective in looking out for wronged investors when he has such strong ties to the principal of the failed firm.  It seems recusal would be the best outcome for investors.”

 
Hundreds of Thousands of Consumers, Billions of Money Move to Credit Unions PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Emily Caropreso   
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 12:52

Rising fees at banks spark consumer action during October in run-up to ‘Bank Transfer Day’

Des Moines, Iowa— Reacting to rising fees at banks, hundreds of thousands of consumers have rushed to credit unions over the past four weeks, and have joined existing credit union members in depositing or shifting billions of savings to credit unions, according to estimates released today by the Credit Union National Assn. (CUNA), the nation’s largest credit union advocacy group.

Based on the responses of a nationwide survey of 5,000 credit unions, CUNA estimates that at least 650,000 consumers across the nation have joined credit unions since Sept. 29 (the day Bank of America unveiled its now-rescinded $5 monthly debit card fee). Also during that time, CUNA estimates that credit unions have added $4.5 billion in new savings accounts, likely from the new members and existing members shifting their funds.

The survey results also show that more than four in every five credit unions experiencing member growth since Sept.  29 attributed the growth to consumer reaction to new fees imposed by banks, or a combination of consumer reactions to the new bank fees plus the social media-inspired “Bank Transfer Day,” Nov. 5.

“Bank Transfer Day” urges consumers to transfer their accounts from banks to credit unions by Saturday, Nov. 5.

Membership in Iowa has increased by three percent from June 2010 to June 2011. This growth number is prior to the Bank Transfer Day movement.

Many Iowa credit unions are doing whatever they can to help serve this consumer surge in interest in credit unions. Some credit unions are extending hours and staffing for this Saturday (Nov. 5), performing email blasts to members, maximizing social media campaigns, putting up banners in lobbies, offering bonuses to members who bring in new members (and giving bonuses to new members as well), said Patrick S. Jury, President/CEO, Iowa Credit Union League.

“Credit unions have always been in the business to protect the interests of their members and to ensure their financial needs are being met,” said Jury.  “We encourage consumers to make the change to credit unions so they can experience the credit union difference and take steps to become more financially secure.”

To find a credit union visit www.IowaCreditUnions.com.

The Iowa Credit Union League is the trade association that represents the interests of Iowa credit unions and their more than 900,000 members. Credit unions are not-for-profit, financial cooperatives owned and operated by their members. Iowans use their credit union membership to receive higher interest rates on savings and lower interest rates on loans. For more information on ICUL and Iowa credit unions, visit www.IowaCreditUnions.com. Follow ICUL on Twitter at www.twitter.com/icul or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/iowalittleguy.

 

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Outstanding Debt Obligations Increase in 2011 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Karen Austin   
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 09:15

DES MOINES, IA (11/03/2011)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald reports that outstanding debt obligations for state and local governments in Iowa totaled nearly $13.8 billion as of June 30, 2011. Overall, this represents an increase of 6.61% from last year. All political subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the state are required to disclose this information annually to the State Treasurer.

Cities continued to report the greatest amount of outstanding obligations with 35% or $4.8 billion of all outstanding debt. Cities mainly issued debt for utility/sewer projects (35%). Most city debt was issued as general obligation debt (59%).

Schools and Area Education Agencies reported the second largest amount of outstanding debt with an increase of 9.46% over last year. Of the $2.7 billion reported, the majority (over $2.6 billion) was for public buildings and schools.

State agencies accounted for the largest increase in debt for fiscal year 2011, due largely to the I-Jobs program and the new Iowa State Penitentiary being constructed in Fort Madison. The IJOBS financing secured bonds to strengthen Iowa's economy and help Iowa recover from the natural disasters of 2008. I-Jobs bonds account for $160 million of the increase, while the State Penitentiary bonds account for $130 million of the increase.

Iowa counties reported an increase of 22.9% in debt over last year. Polk County reported 35% of the $828 million in outstanding county debt.

Other entities with outstanding debt issues include state authorities with $2.3 billion, community colleges with $573 million, the Board of Regents with $1.3 billion, and others (utility systems) with $38 million.

The report is available in its entirety at www.treasurer.state.ia.us (can also be viewed by county, excluding short term/anticipatory debt) or from the Office of the State Treasurer, State Capitol Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319.

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Wallace to Verschoore: Repeal the Amazon Tax PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Jonathan Wallace   
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 09:52

Rock Island, IL...Yesterday, the Illinois Policy Institute released a statement calling the Amazon Tax “all pain, no gain.” The group released a YouTube video featuring local businessmen Mike Martin and Jonathan Wallace. Wallace, founder of NoCollarMedia.com, and candidate for State Representative in the Illinois 72nd criticized his opponent Pat Verschoore on the “Amazon Tax.”

Wallace is specifically referring to the affiliate nexus law, voted for by State Representative Pat Verschoore earlier in 2011, and signed by Governor Pat Quinn. The law is commonly called the Amazon Tax. The controversial law shifts the complex burden of sales tax collection from individuals to out-of-state retailers who have no physical presence in Illinois. As a result, Amazon and Overstock.com decided to cut ties with business affiliates, thereby driving businesses to Iowa and surrounding regions.

“I think this law is a flashing neon sign to new startups and young entrepreneurs that you aren’t welcome in Illinois,” said Wallace. “My opponent is an advocate of raising taxes, creating burdens for an already challenging small business environment. Illinois has the potential to be the next Silicon Valley but that potential is continually squandered by politicians like Verschoore.”

Wallace continued to discuss the economic impact that this law has on Illinois businesses and jobs, “This is just another part in the entire exodus of the state,” referring to small businesses who are leaving or are looking to leave Illinois due to new taxes being imposed and an unfavorable policy environment.

Jonathan Wallace is a candidate for the Illinois State Representative in the 72nd District. Jonathan is a small businessman, entrepreneur, former Township Trustee, and serves as an advisor for State Representative Rich Morthland.

The link to the YouTube video can be found here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d3mzePWxPQ&feature=relmfu

The link to the Illinois Policy Institute brief can be found here:

http://illinoispolicy.org/news/article.asp?ArticleSource=4480

For more information, visit http://www.jonathanwallace2012.com or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Braley Questions DOT as Mexican Trucks Hit US Highways PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 13:37

Braley has long opposed program allowing Mexican trucks to enter and operate in United States 

 

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) wrote US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, urging him to explain what steps the US Department of Transportation is taking to ensure Mexican trucks operating in the United States are doing so safely.  Mexican trucks are being allowed to operate freely in the United States for the first time starting today under an agreement announced by the US DOT in July.

“Allowing this program to continue puts US drivers at danger and threatens American jobs,” Braley said.  “Mexican truck safety standards don’t even compare to ours, and letting tens of thousands of potentially unsafe Mexican trucks onto our highways poses a threat to American drivers.  Allowing thousands of Mexican workers to operate trucks in the US takes jobs away from American workers.

 

“At the very least, Mexican trucks in this program should be held to the same standards as American trucks.”

 

For years, Braley has worked to stop programs allowing Mexican trucks and drivers to enter the US despite not being held to the same safety standards.

Earlier this year, Braley introduced the Protecting American Roads Act to block the US Department of Transportation from allowing Mexican trucks into the United States.

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