David Kirkpatrick

March 10, 2010

Treasury eases rules on exporting free speech tools

Filed under: Media, Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:21 pm

This move just makes sense.

From the link:

Looking to facilitate what it calls free speech rights in countries that don’t look favorably at such liberties, the US government today said it would ease the regulations around exporting Internet-based applications such as e-mail, blogging and social networking software to Iran, Sudan and Cuba.

Specifically the Treasury Department said it would add general licenses authorizing the exportation of free personal Internet-based communications services – such as instant messaging, chat and email, and social networking – to Cuba, Iran and Sudan. The amendments also allow the exportation of related software to Iran and Sudan, the department said in a release (the US Commerce Department controls software exports with Cuba). Until now all such exports were would have broken federal laws.

September 30, 2009

The economy wasn’t quite as bad as thought for Q2

More of that, “Well, the news still isn’t good, but it is better than we thought.” There’s a lot of looking for any ray of positive economic news still going on.

From the link:

The U.S. economy contracted at slower pace than previously thought in the second quarter as improved consumer and business spending cushioned the impact of a record decline in inventories, according to a government report on Wednesday.

The Commerce Department’s final estimate showed gross domestic product fell at a 0.7 percent annual rate instead of the 1.0 percent decline reported last month.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast GDP, which measures total goods and services output within U.S. borders, slipping at a 1.2 percent rate in the second quarter after dropping 6.4 percent in the January-March period.

This will probably mark the last quarter of decline in output for the U.S. economy, which slipped into recession in December 2007. The economy is believed to have rebounded in the July-September quarter.

With the second-quarter contraction, the country’s real GDP has shrunk for four straight quarters for the first time since government records started in 1947.

March 2, 2009

Economy in fast retreat

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:34 pm

Shrinking at fastest pace in 26 years. Yikes.

From the link:

The economy contracted at a staggering 6.2 percent pace at the end of 2008, the worst showing in a quarter-century, as consumers and businesses ratcheted back spending, plunging the U.S. deeper into recession.

The Commerce Department report released Friday showed the economy sinking much faster than the 3.8 percent annualized drop for the October-December quarter first estimated last month. It also was considerably weaker than the 5.4 percent annualized decline economists expected.

A much sharper cutback in consumer spending _ which accounts for about two-thirds of economic activity _ along with a bigger drop in U.S. exports sales, and reductions in business spending and inventories all contributed to the largest revision on records dating to 1976.

Looking ahead, economists predict consumers and businesses will keep cutting back spending, making the first six months of this year especially rocky.

“Right now we’re in the period of maximum recession stress, where the big cuts are being made,” said economist Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics.

January 30, 2009

GDP drops hard

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:53 pm

Drops hard as in biggest economic shrinkage in 27 years. This dates back to Reagan’s first term.

From the link:

The Commerce Department on Friday said gross domestic product, which measures total goods and services output within U.S. borders, plummeted at a 3.8 percent annual rate, the lowest pace since the first quarter of 1982, when output contracted 6.4 percent. GDP fell 0.5 percent in the third quarter. These were the first consecutive declines in GDP since the fourth quarter of 1990 and the first three months of 1991.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast GDP contracting 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter. The U.S. economy slipped into recession in December 2007, driven by the collapse of the housing market and resulting global credit crisis.

November 19, 2008

No corporate socialism for automakers

Or so it seems. The Big Three flew their private jets to DC with very natty, custom-made hats in hand for a little government scratch to tide ’em over for a while.

Looks like maybe they should have flown coach on a commercial carrier and crawled in with moth-eaten ski caps. Image is everything there guys.

From the link:

A year-end drive to win new aid for the ailing auto industry was near collapse in Congress on Wednesday, pulled down by old resentments toward Detroit’s Big Three and continued fighting between Democrats and the outgoing Bush administration.

Midwestern senators mounted a last push to try to craft a compromise $25 billion loan package to be administered by the Commerce Department and financed in a manner acceptable to the White House. But even on a day of punishing economic news, the leadership vacuum in Washington is such that many prefer to leave any bailout in the hands of the two men who have handled so many already: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Also from the link:

“They don’t have a lot of chits here. They have people who are upset at them,” Reid told Politico. “I want to help them. It’s not the companies. I want to help the workers. That’s where I am. The people who work there deserve our attention. But the path has been laid by these bosses who came here yesterday on their corporate jets. … They all flew down here in their corporate jets. It’s just not the right picture.”