Enron Ex-CEO Could See Shorter Sentence

A recent Wall Street Journal article reported that Jeffrey Skilling, ex-CEO of Enron, could face a shorter prison sentence. Apparently, there were some disputed matters over Skilling’s sentence and he has been discussing his sentence with lawyers ahead of a scheduled court date. 

In case you’ve forgotten, Skilling is the guy that built Enron on a house of cards and ran the company into a collapse by way of using predicted future profits on reports that stated current profits. It’s like saying you have a million dollars because you think you’ll be a millionaire in a year. Super solid business ethics.

Any sentence will ultimately be determined by the judge hearing Skilling’s case. 

More U.S. Profits Parked Abroad, Saving on Taxes

U.S. companies are making money hand over fist, but the profits are being stored offshore in order to avoid taxes. Since U.S. taxes are higher than in other countries, companies continue to store money in offshore accounts to avoid high tax rates on profits.

Sixty major U.S. companies stored a combined $166 billion dollars in profits offshore last year, which harms the U.S. economy by avoiding taxes that could be funneled into the economy. 

For more information, go here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324034804578348131432634740.html?mod=WSJ_business_whatsNews

New-Home Sales Jumped in January (from the Wall Street Journal)

BealeHouse_gtAnd I thought we were still in a recession. According to the WSJ article, home sales posted their biggest numbers in nearly two decades. The article also said housing prices have increased since the ‘great recession’ that began in 2008.

New home sales in January increased by nearly 16 percent, and the average cost of a new home was $226,400. According to the article, economists expect housing prices to continue to increase, along with sales, as they expect the economy to keep improving steadily. Take that, Republicans.

Humor aside, the article did mention that 2012 was still the third-worst year for new-home sales on record dating back to 1963. The housing market remains far from being fully, or even remotely, recovered, as most homeowners still owe more on their mortgages than their homes.

 

Other articles I read include one that was about the Senate clearing the Hagel nomination for defense secretary, and one about nearly 30% of benefit recipients being disabled.