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This Week at Third and State: Corporate Tax Cuts, Payday Lending, More on Inequality and Food Stamp Challenge

This week at Third and State, we blogged about state legislation that would cut corporate taxes by close to a billion dollars by the end of the decade, what inequality has to do with the funding of infrastructure, the Philadelphia Food Stamp Challenge, payday lenders eyeing a return to Pennsylvania, and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward highlighted concerns about a state House bill that would cut corporate taxes by close to a billion dollars by the end of the decade.
  • On income inequality, Chris Lilienthal blogged about a recent op-ed connecting inequality with an underfunding of the nation's infrastructure. In Morning Must Reads on inequality, Mark Price shared a New York Times analysis on increasing income inequality in America and an editorial on the "festering problem" of exorbitant CEO pay.
  • On poverty and food assistance, Chris Lilienthal blogged about the Philadelphia Food Stamp Challenge going on this week and the importance of food assistance to Pennsylvania families struggling in this economy.
  • On the financial industry, Mark Price had a Morning Must Read highlighting news coverage of an effort by payday lenders to advance legislation in Pennsylvania allowing interest rates on short-term loans as high as 419%.
  • Finally, Mark Price had a Morning Must Read on rising mortgage foreclosures and an effort to provide better disclosure of fees for 401K plans.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

High CEO Pay Comes Under Fire from Shareholders

Channeling my inner Mark Price ... without the nice hair!

In the news today, a couple of instances of CEOs being taken to task by shareholders over excessive pay.

Morning Must Reads: Remembering the Accounting Scandals, Bernanke vs. Plosser and Health Care Reform Art and Success!

The Harrisburg Patriot-News has a somewhat nostalgic look at the accounting scandal at the cable company Adelphia

In a study of contrasts, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser both gave speeches on Monday. Bernanke's talk focused sharply on the poor performance of the labor market while Plosser voiced again his concern that Central Banks have done too much to aid in the recovery.

Morning Must Reads: Local Jobs Data, Holding the Jobless Hostage and the History of Banker Pay

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) has released local data on jobs in December. Later today L&I will release the full data here. What follows is a run down of how newspapers across the commonwealth covered the new release.

Third and State This Week: PA Jobs Report, Revenue Outlook and Kids Denied Health Care

This week, we blogged about the state's revenue picture, Pennsylvania's December jobs report, a new report on the cost of interest rate swaps, and the termination of public health insurance for 88,000 Pennsylvania kids.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget and the economy, Michael Wood shared his analysis of the state's revenue picture midway through the 2011-12 Fiscal Year. And Mark Price highlighted some of the key takeaways from a conference hosted this week by the Independent Fiscal Office on Pennsylvania's economic and revenue outlook.
  • On jobs and unemployment, Mark Price provided his analysis of the December Pennsylvania jobs report and what the outlook is for 2012.
  • On financial matters, Sharon Ward blogged about a new report from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center documenting the hundreds of millions of dollars that interest rate swap deals negotiated with Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and other banks have cost the City and School District of Philadelphia. Chris Lilienthal highlighted some of the media coverage of the report.
  • On health care, Mark Price shared a report from The Philadelphia Inquirer that Pennsylvania has terminated public health coverage for 88,000 kids since August. Mark also linked to a news report on the resignation of a Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare adviser.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Developing Story: Bank Swaps and Philadelphia

As Sharon Ward wrote yesterday, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center put out a new report documenting the millions made by large financial institutions like Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs off interest rate swaps negotiated with the City and School District of Philadelphia. Those swap deals have cost the city and school district $331 million in net interest payments and cancellation fees. If interest rates continue to remain low, still-active swaps could cost the city another $240 million in future net interest payments.

Here's a quick look at how the story is being told in the daily news clips.

Morning Must Reads: PA Department of Public Welfare Adviser Resigns $100K Job Over Conservative Journal, More on Banks

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports this morning that Bank of New York Mellon has reached a partial settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Under the deal, the bank will stop listing services as "free" that it, in fact, charges a fee for. What remains to be settled are monetary damages for allegations that the bank overcharged pension plans and other clients for financial services.

Bank Swap Deals Cost Philadelphia City, School District

Large financial institutions, including many that received financial bailouts in the wake of the financial crisis, are making hundreds of millions of dollars off interest rate swaps negotiated with the City and School District of Philadelphia.

That's the key finding in a new report the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center out today. We found that swap deals negotiated with banks such as Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have cost the city and school district $331 million in net interest payments and cancellation fees. If interest rates continue to remain low, still-active swaps could cost the city another $240 million in future net interest payments.

Third and State This Week: Corporate Tax Avoidance, Insurance Rate Review and Prevailing Wage

This week, we blogged about a new report on state tax avoidance by some of the largest U.S. corporations, how to really save money on public construction projects, and legislation that undermines the state’s ability to review most health insurance rate hikes.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!
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