Building Your Company Culture

  Government, Politics and the Economy Climate Bill Helps Utilities, Factories and Farms More Than Oil Companies While the global warming bill passed by the US House sets up a cap-and-trade market for greenhouse gases, it also cushions the cost for power producers, manufacturers and farmers and limits aid to oil companies. Bloomberg.com Obama: Hints at Amnesty for Illegal Aliens President Obama shied away from any hot-button words in remarks last week on immigration reform, but he did hint at some kind of “amnesty” or “legal path” for illegal immigrants already in the US. BizJournals.com Manage... [Read Full Article]


Cap and Trade: Win or Lose, It Will Be Close

There is a last minute push going on around the country to get to as many fence-sitters on the climate change issue as possible to vote NO on the final ballot. Why is this? After all, the legislation is just to put a cap on the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that we pump into the atmosphere each day; we need it to fight global warming. The UN says so, and there is that consensus in the scientific community, and that guy from NASA has been going on about this for years! Al Gore made that movie! If anyone knows about climate and planetary atmospheres, it’s the folks a NASA and Al Gore. Right? Not so fast. There are a number of reasons why this bill is getting the opposition it is, but it all comes down to two things: Bad science, worse economics. He Blinded Us with (Bad) Science A recent article in the Wall Street Journal introduced us to a legislator named Ste... [Read Full Article]


Who Killed Small Business Credit Card Protections?

Government, Politics and the Economy Sentate Mystery: Who Killed Small Business Credit-Card Protection? When the amendment offered by Senator Mary Landrieu (D – LA) to get new consumer credit-card protections extended to small businesses was killed last month, the perpetrators left no fingerprints. In fact, no one knows precisely what happened, or why. NYTimes.com The Small Business Owners' Wish List for Obama Small business owners don't ask for much, but an end to the credit crunch, less talk of tax increases, and healthcare reform without coverage mandates do top t... [Read Full Article]


Community Banks: Safe and Profitable

  Government and Economy Is Obama Anti-Business? The weekly assault on business by President Obama is becoming a fixture of this administration, or is it, as some Democrats say, merely an assault on business-as-usual? Yahoo.com/USNews & World Climate Bill: It's On Its Way There is a compromise in the works on carbon caps and while it may not garner Republican votes, it could bring skeptical Midwestern and Southern Democrats on board. BusinessWeek.com [Read Full Article]


Talking Cap-and-Trade with the CEOs

  Government and Economy Obama's Budget: The Picture of Austerity? President Obama defended the $17 billion in cuts he’s making in his record-breaking $3.55 trillion budget, deflecting criticism and trying to make the case that his budget in an exercise in restraint. Politico.com Climate Czar Talks Cap-and-Trade With CEOs White House climate “czar,” Carol Browner, is set to meet with executives from companies seeking more business-friendly rules to the President's proposed cap-and-trade legislation. Bloomberg.com Management and Financial Issues [Read Full Article]


Velazquez: Small Business Needs a Break on Cap-and-Trade

  Government and Economy Velazquez: Give Small Business a Break on Cap and Trade Small businesses need rebates to ease the higher energy costs that may result from capping carbon dioxide emissions, the chairwoman of House Small Business Committee wrote today to the Democratic sponsors of the cap and trade legislation. Bloomberg.com Small Business Credit Continues to Tighten—Just Not by as Much According to the Fed’s quarterly survey of senior bank loan officers, banks are still—for the tenth quarter in a row—tightening credit standards for small businesses, but not to the d... [Read Full Article]


How Cap and Trade Affects Your Small Business

“Those price increases are essential to the success of a cap-and-trade program.” Those were the words of Peter Orszag the new White House budget director. He spoke them at a congressional hearing last year, answering a question about how the costs imposed by such a program would eventually hit consumers.  Here is how a system like that works. The government creates a scarce new commodity, carbon credits, in this case, and then makes a law that businesses buy it. There is then a competition for these credits among corporations large and small and their cost rises as high as the market will allow. Now you will be hit by these costs. Your energy bill will increase, or you will have to pay the government for the carbon you produce. However, as with sales taxes, you won’t pay this money yourself. No, the costs would inevitably be passed on to your customers in the form of higher prices.  Now, if we were discussing a fixed amount, a given percentage, then we would... [Read Full Article]