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Archive for November, 2013

‘Cyber Monday’ Sales Triple in Less Than a Decade

Saturday, November 30th, 2013 Leave a comment

Via the The Switch (The Washington Post):

As more and more people have become comfortable with online shopping, Cyber Monday sales have crept up. While online sales in the 2005 Cyber Monday were $484 million, according to digital research agency comScore, by 2012 they had more than tripled to $1.465 billion — making last Cyber Monday the heaviest online spending day in history. And many online retailers have extended the formerly one-day affair into a “Cyber Week” of deals. Last year, that week contained three individual days with online sales of more than $1 billion.

 

Wonkblog_Cyber_Monday_US_Online_Spending_reference

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NASDAQ Sector Breakdown (1999 vs. 2013)

Thursday, November 28th, 2013 Leave a comment

As the Nasdaq surged past 4000 for the first time in 13 years, here is a breakdown of how the index’s climb reflects vast shifts in the global economy.

 

WSJ_Nasdaq sector breakdown

 

Source: WSJ

The JOBS Act, 18 Months Later

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 Leave a comment

According to Forbes (via EY), the number of IPOs in the US has increased significantly this year, putting 2013 on track to be the strongest year for IPOs since 2007. The increase in IPOs is likely due, in part, to the  Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act). The Act encourages IPOs by easing regulatory requirements for a new category of issuer called an emerging growth company (EGC).

Here’s an infographic that highlights how EGCs are taking advantage of the JOBS Act:

Forbes_JobsAct

 

Source: Forbes

The Story of Bill, Hillary and Barack

Sunday, November 24th, 2013 Leave a comment

The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty examines the ups and downs of President Obama and the Clinton’s relationship, and looks forward to what that might look like in 2016.

 

For more videos from The Washington Post, click here.

Balance of Power in the Senate

Sunday, November 24th, 2013 Leave a comment

WSJ_Senate-NA-BZ018_FILIBU_G_20131121185704

 

The Wall Street Journal on the Senate’s attempt to rein in filibusters:

The result, a major change in how the Senate has operated for decades, is the culmination of accelerating partisanship in Washington and mounting frustration among Democrats in the face of GOP delaying tactics during the Obama years. The rule change could alter the balance of power in the current Congress by stripping Republicans of a lever for extracting concessions from Democrats.

In the future, if the same party controlled the White House and the Senate, as Democrats do now, presidents would have greater latitude to pick more-ideological nominees because they will not have to build support among the minority party.

Senate Changes Rules on Presidential Nominees, Invokes ‘Nuclear Option’

Sunday, November 24th, 2013 Leave a comment

The U.S. Senate enacted a major change to its rules, paving the way to allow a simple majority to confirm nominees for executive branch jobs and most judicial posts. The new rule changes, the so-called “nuclear option,” marks a major shift in the rules and folkways of the Senate.

 

 

To view more videos from Bloomberg TV, click here.

The Iran Nuclear Deal Explained

Sunday, November 24th, 2013 Leave a comment

Iran and six world powers agreed early Sunday on a historic deal that freezes key parts of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for temporary relief on some economic sanctions.

Here is a short primer on the deal via Business Insider:

What nuclear technology does Iran have?

Iran has an almost complete nuclear fuel cycle – the infrastructure to manage the entire process from digging the uranium out of the ground to generating power with it. That includes uranium mines and processing plants to refine the ore into yellowcake.

Iran has two reactors: a nuclear power station in Bushehr on the Gulf coast that was built with Russian help and uses Russian-supplied fuel rods; and a research reactor in Tehran that uses 20%-enriched uranium fuel and produces isotopes for medical, agricultural and other scientific uses.

How does the Geneva deal restrict it?

The deal would stop Iran making any uranium enriched to above 5% purity. It would dilute its roughly 200kg stockpile of 20%-enriched uranium, the most immediate proliferation concern, or convert it to oxide which is harder to turn back into the hexafluoride gas, which can in turn be enriched further to make weapons-grade fuel. Iran undertakes not to build a plant for re-converting uranium oxide back to uranium hexafluoride.

It would also not be allowed to increase its stockpile of 3.5%-enriched uranium, so any that is produced during the six months of the interim agreement would have to be blended down or converted to oxide.

Iran would also have to freeze its enrichment capacity. It would not be allowed to install any new centrifuges and would be able to use only the roughly 8,000 which are currently being used for enrichment. The other 8,000 that have been installed but are not being fed with uranium hexafluoride would have to be “left inoperable”.

Major development work at the Arak heavy water reactor would be suspended for six months. No fuel could be put into the reactor and it could not be turned on. Furthermore, no more fuel rods can be made for the reactor and no major reactor components could be introduced.

 

To learn more about the details of the Iran nuclear deal, read here.

 

See also:

Iran, world powers reach historic nuclear deal (The Washington Post)

Obama: Iran nuclear deal limits ability to create nuclear weapons (CNN)