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Nov 2, 2010

MarketWatch: Personal Finance Daily

MarketWatch
Personal Finance Daily
NOVEMBER 02, 2010

Tuesday's Personal Finance stories

By MarketWatch



Don't miss these top stories:
Did you vote? The politicians who win big in this election will go to Washington in January ready to enact laws on a variety of issues that affect you and me. But which laws, specifically, will they manage to get through a Congress that likely will be gridlocked?

Read Ruth Mantell's story today for a look at some of the key issues affecting consumers and workers, both employed and not, and the likelihood of Congress passing legislation to cure those ills.

And don't miss Kristen Gerencher's blog post today for why some states' votes on the post of insurance commissioner are of key importance this year.

Also on the health-care front, read how more small businesses are offering health insurance to workers. Now there's some good news.

Andrea Coombes , personal finance editor

ELECTION 2010

Gridlock may stall key consumer, job bills
Lingering high unemployment. Food that sickens thousands. Confusing credit products. As a mother (and wife, daughter, sister, friend and coworker), these are a few of the pressing issues on my radar screen as Americans head to the voting booth Tuesday.
Read more on gridlock's likely impact on key consumer and job bills.


Health reform stirs up insurance commissioner races

State insurance commissioners rarely make for sexy election news, but this year may be different, thanks to the health-care reform law.
Read Kristen Gerencher's Health Matters blog for more on health reform and the insurance commissioner races.


GOP wave looms as Americans go to polls

In schools and churches, car dealerships and recreation centers across the country on Tuesday, Americans worried about jobs and the economy cast ballots in the historic midterm election with the Democratic Party's congressional majority hanging in the balance and Republicans poised to make major gains.
Read more on the GOP wave.


TAXES

How to lower your taxes with ETFs

Thinking about selling some losing investments to offset capital gains? To get your tax deduction and potentially boost your portfolio returns at the same time, you should be thinking about exchange-traded funds as well.
Read more about how to lower your taxes with ETFs.

What the election means for your taxes

With the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire Dec. 31, you'd expect that the first order of business for Congress after Tuesday's election, no matter who controls the House or Senate, would be to deal with tax law.
Read more on what the election means for your taxes.


Higher taxes for you, while Wall St. skates

In Washington, a bipartisan panel of lawmakers is readying a deficit-reduction plan that promises to raise your taxes and cut your services.
Read more on your taxes and Wall Street.


SHOPPING

Bring on the bargains

Warm weather for much of the month of October may lead to hotter discounts for shoppers in the coming months.
Read more about bargain hunting.


HEALTH CARE

More companies offering health-care benefits

The number of small businesses offering health insurance to workers is projected to increase sharply this year, recent data show, a shift that researchers attribute to a tax credit in the health law. Many small businesses, however, remain opposed to the law.
Read how more companies are offering health-care benefits.


ECONOMY & POLITICS

Commentary: Economy caught in real-estate Catch-22

Housing prices won't stabilize until buyers emerge, but buyers won't emerge until housing prices stabilize.
Read more about the economy's real-estate Catch-22.


The biggest ‘QE' surprise: nothing

As the Federal Reserve gets ready to start a program that could see the central bank snap up trillions of dollars' worth of government bonds, perhaps the most surprising reaction of economists isn't support or alarm, but indifference.
Read more on the biggest QE surprise may be nothing.


INVESTING

These mutual funds win gold, silver and bronze

Take 19,000 different share classes of stock and bond mutual funds, keep only the ones with above-average performance and low risk and cost, and the list gets pretty thin — exactly 27 diversified stock funds and two taxable-bond funds.
Read more on the mutual funds that win gold, silver and bronze medals.


November by the numbers

Talk about beating the odds. Not only was September one of the best months for the stock market in decades, October was no slouch, either. The 3.3% return achieved by the Dow Jones Industrial Average was far better than October's long-term average of just 0.2%.
Read more on November by the numbers.


Commentary: Wall Street is like a heist movie

The best way to understand Wall Street is to view it as a heist movie, like "The Sting," "The Italian Job" or "Ocean's Eleven." There's just one difference: In your traditional caper, a bunch of little guys get together to steal money from the big guys — a tycoon, big bank or major corporation.
Read more about the similarities between Wall Street and heist movies.


Commentary: Sell bonds now, as Fed's ‘QE2' is doomed to fail

Warning: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's foolish gamble to stimulate the economy will backfire, triggering a new double-dip recession. Bernanke is "meddling" too much in the economy, say Marc Faber, Bill Gross, Jeremy Grantham, Joseph Stiglitz and others.
Read more about selling bonds in anticipation of Fed failure.

FINANCIAL & FOREX INFO NEWS ( F & F I N ).- The Australian Business Briefing



FROM:

  The Australian Business Briefing  
Westpac's profit skyrockets 84pc
Westpac Ross Kelly WESTPAC posted an 84 per cent rise in full-year net profit today, helped by a reduction in troubled loan charges.
$A extends gains above parity
US dollar Don Curren THE Australian dollar extended its gains above parity in the New York session, reaching as high as $US1.0025 after the RBA's rate hike.
Wall St climbs on Fed stimulus hopes
Wall Street Donna Kardos Yesalavich US stocks climbed broadly today as the Federal Reserve began it two-day meeting expected to yield more economic stimulus.
Defiant CBA doubles rate rise
Commonwealth Bank raises interest rates above RBA Scott Murdoch THE Commonwealth Bank has blamed global financial markets and the deposit war for raising lending rates by almost double the RBA rise.
China worried about inflation risks
China oranges Andrew Batson, Shen Hong and Owen Fletcher CHINA'S central bank, fresh from its first interest-rate increase in nearly three years, says it remains concerned about inflationary risks.
Westfield to raise $3.5bn and spin off assets
Westfield Florence Chong WESTFIELD Group will spin off its Australian and New Zealand shopping centre portfolio as part of a major restructuring.
Leighton to face investor anger
Leighton Holdings Tracy Lee and Damon Kitney LEIGHTON Holdings will face disgruntled shareholders at its annual meeting tomorrow after revealing a net profit downgrade of 23 per cent.
Gyngell takes the reins at bullish time
David Gyngell, PBL Geoff Elliott, James Chessell DAVID Gyngell's elevation as the head of PBL Media comes at an increasingly bullish time for media assets.
Financial Markets
$A extends gains above parity
US dollar Don Curren THE Australian dollar extended its gains above parity in the New York session, reaching as high as $US1.0025 after the RBA's rate hike.
Wall St climbs on Fed stimulus hopes
Gold prices edges up as Fed meets
Financial Markets Coverage
Mining & Energy
Gold prices edges up as Fed meets
gold Matt Whittaker INVESTORS today continued to buy gold ahead of an expected Federal Reserve monetary-stimulus announcement tomorrow.
Canada still considering BHP's bid
Chevron floats LNG expansion

Breaking News Alert The New York Times Rand Paul Wins Kentucky Senate Race

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Tue, November 02, 2010 -- 7:13 PM ET
-----

Rand Paul Wins Kentucky Senate Race

Rand Paul, a Republican, has defeated Jack Conway, a
Democrat, in the Kentucky Senate race, The New York Times is
projecting.

Mr. Paul becomes the first of the high-profile Tea Party
candidates to emerge victorious from a nasty and contentious
campaign.

Read More:
http://www.nytimes.com?emc=na

CNBC Evening Brief: Warning to Politicians: Fixes to Housing Mess Affect Everyone



LATEST STORIES


»click here to see the latest top stories from CNBC.com

Decision 2010: Your Money, Your Vote
CNBC 360 Special Coverage Tonight Starting 7:00PM ET
This election night, when the economy is topic A, CNBC is the choice for the first word on the results that will shift the balance of power from coast to coast. Only CNBC has the expert analysis and perspective from corporate and political powerbrokers on the changes impacting your money and your bottom line.
»more info


LATEST VIDEO

»click here to see the latest top video from CNBC.com

The Australian Capital Circle.- Cup Day Hangover As RBA, Raises Rates

Capital Circle Newsletter

Cup day hangover as RBA raises rates
Joe Hockey's push for interest rate relief for working families now looks canny.

The cup day rate rise from the Reserve Bank - and the Commonwealth Bank's decision to almost double the 25 basis point rise is dominating front pages.
Treasurer Wayne Swan has a response, of sorts. He has promised to unveil a set of reforms next month to improve competition the sector and impose a fresh round of regulations, as David Uren writes.
Peter Martin says "AUSTRALIA'S biggest bank humiliated Mr Swan yesterday and thumbed its nose at a parliamentary inquiry by lifting its mortgage rates by nearly double yesterday's surprise 0.25 percentage point increase in the Reserve Bank's official cash rate.
And while Michael Stutchbury has backed the RBA boss's decision to raise rates, writing "SOMEONE is finally making a clear policy call and backing it with action, even if it's unpopular. Glenn Stevens is backing his judgment that Australia confronts a once-in-a-century mining boom that could blow up the economy unless reined in by higher interest rates'', that's hardly a majority position.
What does it mean for the average punter? Michael Harvey writes "THE Commonwealth Bank will cream an extra $40 a month from average mortgage-holders on top of increased repayments flowing from yesterday's surprise official interest rate rise.  Home buyers with $300,000 25-year loans from the bank will pay $88 extra per month. That figure would have been $48.79 if the bank had kept the Reserve Bank's cash rate rise - the first since May.
Michael Madigan reports that "THE LATEST shock interest rate rises might have torpedoed Christmas pla
Read more...

FINANCIAL & FOREX INFO NEWS ( F & F I N ).- Reuters - Daily Investor Update.


FROM: REUTERS - DAILY INVESTOR UPDATE

Wall St gains as big Republican win seen
BP ups spill cost to $40 billion, profits beat forecast
Pfizer sales lag, hurt by generic Lipitor, Effexor
Barry Diller raises his Coca-Cola stake
Fed set to launch fresh round of bond purchases
Canada to rule on BHP's Potash bid on Wed: source
GM to sell over $13 billion of shares: sources
Medco sees generic drug gains to 2020, shares jump
LSE says Turquoise glitch suspicious, delays plans
Option traders turn wary before Fed, jobs report

NYT: Aftyernoon Business News Update: Markets Higher as Traders Await the Fed.


BUSINESS:

Japan Auto Parts Makers Look Ahead to Electric Cars

By HIROKO TABUCHI
Electric vehicles could render thousands of companies superfluous, but the suppliers are seeking ways to adjust to the coming changes.

Markets Higher as Traders Await the Fed

By CHRISTINE HAUSER
Investors are awaiting the outcome of the midterm elections and the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting amid speculation over stimulus programs.

BP Profit Down on Oil Spill Charges

By JULIA WERDIGIER
The company said it made $1.79 billion in the third quarter after setting aside another $7.7 billion to cover costs resulting from the Gulf of Mexico accident.

More Than 100,000 Pay for British News Site

By ERIC PFANNER
The Times of London is among the first prominent general interest newspapers to build a "pay wall" for its content.
Square Feet

In Waikiki, Fears That Redevelopment Will Spoil the Beach

By FRED A. BERNSTEIN
Critics say a new building will overpower a beach that is already losing one to two feet a year to erosion.

F & F I N : U. S. Stocks Markets At Close Snapshot.



U.S. Stocks Markets At Close Snapshot

Source: The Wall Street Journal

 Major Indexes
 LastChange% Chg
DJIA*11188.72  64.100.58
Nasdaq*2533.52  28.681.14
S&P 500*1193.57    9.190.78












The Washington Post Afternoon Edition: Most read articles.

Washington Post

 

 Most Viewed Articles on washingtonpost.com: 

1) Boudreau does not explain Fehr scratch

Bruce Boudreau made Eric Fehr a healthy scratch for the Washington Capitals ' 7-2 win over Calgary on Saturday, and neither coach nor player was in much of a mood to talk about the decision Monday morning after the team's first practice since.

2) Judge questions Justice Department's lawsuit against Arizona immigration law

A federal appellate judge expressed deep skepticism Monday about a Justice Department lawsuit challenging Arizona's new immigration law, leaving uncertain the Obama administration's chances of stopping the law from taking effect.

3) O'Donnell faces obstacles in effort to air 30-minute TV ad in Delaware

Christine O'Donnell is taking a page from the playbook of Barack Obama. The Republican Senate candidate has produced a 30-minute television advertisement in the form of a documentary chronicling her connection with the people of Delaware.

4) Companies may have to make amends after midterm elections

Republicans have a message for the businesses that worked closely with the Obama administration over the past two years on key controversial issues: We won't forget.

5) Record number of early ballots cast

A record number of voters have cast early ballots for a midterm election.

6) Sarah Palin: Ms. Conspiracy for president?

In her mind, it's all they and them and all those elites who... she'll show 'em.

7) Reid vs. Angle in Nevada shows 2010 divide

LAS VEGAS - It is the marquee race of the year: the all-powerful Senate majority leader against the scrappy tea-party favorite. Nearly $60 million has been spent. Accusations have been hurled. She was "extreme," he "disastrous." In a race equally defined by his unpopularity and her penchant for ...

8) Head of Alexandria Country Day School resigns, and police open probe

The head of Alexandria Country Day School has resigned, and the Alexandria Police Department has opened an investigation based on information provided by school officials.

9) Democrats bracing for major losses

Republicans enter Election Day confident that they will recapture control of the House as Democrats struggle to face what appears likely to be a significantly smaller majority in the Senate.

10) Iraqi police commander held in church attack

BAGHDAD -- Iraqi hospital and police officials say a series of explosions across Baghdad have killed 35 people.

Kiska Metals Corporation. report additional results of exploration drilling at Island Mountain.

News

  • 2010 News Releases
  • 2009 News Releases

News

 
Nov 02, 2010
Vancouver, BC - November 2, 2010: Kiska Metals Corporation ("Kiska" or the "Company") is pleased to report additional results of exploration drilling at Island Mountain, located 23 kilometres south of the Whistler Deposit at the Company's wholly-owned Whistler Project, Alaska. Hole IM10-013 was collared 110 metres northwest of the discovery hole and intersected 114.9 metres of 1.251 g/t gold, 4.0 g/t silver and 0.23% copper (1.74 g/t gold equivalent). This hole marks the first intersection of classic porphyry-style gold and copper mineralization at Island Mountain.

"We are certainly in the early stages of our interpretation of Island Mountain, but hole 13 is the best hole drilled to date. The recognition of classic porphyry-style mineralization suggests that the breccia bodies and Lower Zone styles of mineralization could be peripheral to a larger porphyry system laterally and at depth." stated Jason Weber, P.Geo., President and CEO of Kiska Metals. "In addition, this hole demonstrates that the mineralizing system can produce broad zones of gold and copper mineralization as well as high grade."

IM10-013 was drilled 110 metres northwest of the discovery hole (IM09-001) at an azimuth of 090 and a dip of -45 degrees. This hole intersected 252.0 metres of 0.707 g/t gold, 2.6 g/t silver and 0.15% copper (1.02 g/t gold equivalent) beginning at a depth of 42.0 metres and includes the higher grade 114.9 metre interval of 1.251 g/t gold, 4.0 g/t silver and 0.23% copper (1.74 g/t gold equivalent) from a depth of 50.1 metres. The bulk of this interval is diorite with disseminated chalcopyrite + pyrrhotite in association with K-feldspar and biotite alteration which represents the first appearance of more typical potassic porphyry-style alteration and mineralization at Island Mountain. The geological interval of 181 to 265 metres is comprised of copper-gold mineralized hydrothermal breccia correlative with the Breccia Zone encountered in the discovery hole and holes IM10-004, 010, 011, 008 and 009 (previous news release dated October, 25, 2010). Beyond the eastern edge of the breccia at 265 metres, disseminated gold-pyrrhotite mineralization is of the Lower Zone-style like that intersected in the eastern extremes of previously reported drill holes. Adjacent drill holes north and south suggest additional Lower Zone-style mineralization may lie further to the east of the termination of hole IM10-013. A plan map and cross-sections can be found at Kiska's website http://www.kiskametals.com/s/Whistler.asp?ReportID=405126.

Results from Hole IM10-013 indicate that gold-copper mineralization is open at depth and to the northwest of the Discovery Breccia, where recent surface work has mapped intrusive and hydrothermal breccias for a strike length in excess of 800 metres as well as expansive areas of altered and mineralized diorite intrusive rocks.

Extensive surface geochemical results are being compiled and will be used to guide aggressive drilling at Island Mountain in 2011 focusing on both continued expansion of the discovery zones and investigation of numerous other distinct targets.


Table 1: Island Mountain Hole IM10-013 - Significant Drill Intersections
Hole From
 (m)
To
(m)
Interval
(m)
Gold
(g/t)
Silver
(g/t)
Copper
(%)
Gold eq.*
(g/t)
IM10-013 42.0 404.0 362.0 0.557 2.0 0.11 0.80
      Including 42.0 294.0 252.0 0.707 2.6 0.15 1.02
Porphyry-style 50.1 165.0 114.9 1.251 4.0 0.23 1.74
Lower Zone 265.0 294.0 29.0 0.481 1.9 0.12 0.74
Lower Zone 395.0 404.0 9.0 0.829 1.0 0.05 0.94
*Gold equivalent calculations based on full recoveries and $550 per ounce gold, $8 per ounce silver, $1.50 per pound copper.

About Kiska Metals Corporation
Kiska Metals Corporation is a mineral exploration company focused on advancing the Whistler Project, Alaska, which includes a multi-million ounce gold-copper resource and excellent exploration potential. Kiska has renowned technical expertise and a quality exploration portfolio with numerous early stage exploration opportunities around the world, some held in partnership with a selection of the world's largest and most successful gold and base metal producers.

Qualified Person Statement
The content of this release has been reviewed by Mark Baknes, P. Geo., Vice President of Exploration of Kiska Metals Corporation. Mr. Baknes is a Qualified Person as defined under the terms of National Instrument 43-101. Rock samples were prepared for assay at ALS Chemex labs in Fairbanks, Alaska, and analyzed for multiple elements at ALS Chemex labs in North Vancouver, British Columbia.


On behalf of Kiska Metals Corporation

"Jason Weber"

Jason Weber, P.Geo., President & CEO

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT: No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein. This News Release includes certain "forward-looking statements". Other than statements of historical fact, all statements included in this release, including, without limitation, statements regarding future plans and objectives of Kiska Metals Corporation, are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Kiska's expectations are the risks detailed herein and from time to time in the filings made by Kiska Metals Corporation with securities regulators. Those filings can be found on the Internet at http://www.sedar.com and http://www.sec.gov/edgar.

Dell to buy business-software firm Boomi

MarketWatch
SPECIAL FINANCIAL SERVICES
 
Dell to buy business-software firm Boomi
 
By Benjamin Pimentel MarketWatch


The computer maker is seeking to boost its presence in the corporate technology market. 

The Washington Post: Ezra Klein's Wonkbook. Do markets like divided government? And what will lame duck look like?


From a policy standpoint, it's hard to say much of anything until tomorrow, when we know the size of the GOP's gains. A world in which they control the House will mean something very different from a world in which they control both the House and the Senate. But either way, prepare for gridlock.
The question, is what sort of gridlock? One possibility is nothing controversial will happen, but Democrats and Republicans will pull off the essential functions of government easily, and even manage to make progress in areas where they agree, like trade and potentially some elements of tax policy. Another is that nothing will happen, and they'll just barely kept the government functioning. And still a third is that the Republicans will try to make things that happened over the past two years -- like health-care reform and financial regulation -- unhappen, and the resulting government shutdowns and market uncertainty will turn gridlock into a pile-up.
The markets like gridlock, or they think they do. They tend to rally when midterm elections come around. But those rallies correct themselves, and researchers have found that the S&P 500, big-company stocks, and small-company stocks all perform worse under divided government than under unified government. Further, a recent poll (pdf) of market participants fund that moe than 60 percent thought things would get better under divided government, but a majority also allowed that they were looking for Republicans and Democrats to cooperate productively rather than tussle viciously. Of the three gridlock scenarios, that's the hardest to imagine. But it's not, of course, impossible.
Welcome to Wonkbook.
Top Stories

Corporations that worked with Democrats over the past two years will meet a cool reception if the GOP takes over, report Ylan Q. Mui and Jia Lynn Yang: "During a phone call with company lobbyists last year during the fight over the health-care bill, Camp bluntly reminded Wal-Mart of its unpalatable position on the issue, according to sources familiar with the conversation. Now, Wal-Mart's political team finds itself in an awkward position. Camp is poised to become the next chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee...The pharmaceutical industry, in particular, worked closely with the Obama administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill to pass health-care reform...John Boehner, who is likely to become speaker should the Republicans win control of the House, blasted PhRMA in a scathing letter."
The lame duck session will be dominated by the Bush tax cuts, but will also be more unpredictable than most, reports Damian Paletta: "Capitol Hill aides said this lame-duck session could be more unpredictable than most, in part because Republicans will probably have control of the House. That means they will likely spend at least a week determining who will take leadership roles. Republicans could also be less likely to compromise on key issues just two months before assuming more power. Other issues from the midterms are also clouding the process. For example, if Mr. Reid loses his re-election bid to Republican Sharron Angle, Senate Democrats would have to quickly nominate a future Senate leader even if Mr. Reid stays in his post until January."
The stock market might want divided government, but it tends to perform better under unified government, reports Annie Lowrey: "Stovall studied the performance of the S&P 500 from 1900 until this year under three scenarios: total unity (one party controlling the House, Senate, and White House), partial gridlock (one party controlling both houses of Congress and the other controlling the White House), and total gridlock (a divided Congress). Over all years, the S&P rose at a 6.8 percent annual pace. During times of total unity, 67 of the 111 years analyzed, it gained 7.6 percent annual pace. During times of partial gridlock, accounting for 32 years, they gained 6.8 percent. And during the 12 years of a gridlocked Congress, the S&P gained just 2 percent per year. Looking at more recent years, since 1945, the pattern holds. Under total unity, stocks climbed at a 10.7 percent annual pace. Under partial gridlock, they gained 7.6 percent per year. And under total gridlock, which accounts for eight of the 65 years, they gained just 3.5 percent per year."
Health care reform is already expanding coverage for small business employees, reports Janet Adamy: "The number of small businesses offering health insurance to workers is projected to increase sharply this year, recent data show, a shift that researchers attribute to a tax credit in the health law. Many small businesses, however, remain opposed to the law...According to a report by Bernstein Research in New York, the percentage of employers with between three and nine workers and which are offering insurance has increased to 59% this year, up from 46% last year. The report relies on data from a September survey by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation. A full tax credit is available to employers with 10 or fewer full-time workers and average annual wages of less than $25,000."
Neil Irwin and Alicia Parlapiano explain graphically how quantitative easing will work: "Because the Fed cannot cut short-term interest rates any further -- its targeted rate has been near zero for almost two years -- the central bank will use a less conventional, and less proven, technique called quantitative easing. The Fed will likely buy hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Treasury bonds on the open market, using money that it creates out of thin air. The newly created money is intended to energize the economy several ways."
Got tips, additions, or comments? E-mail me.
'80s college rock cover interlude: Patrick Stump plays "My Favourite Dress" by the Wedding Present.
Still to come: Robert Rubin is skeptical of further stimulus; Paul Volcker lays out his preferences on the Volcker rule; a conservative challenger for the chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee; elements of the health-care industry tries to moderate the GOP's repeal strategy; and the Mad Men theme played on the base.
Economy/FinReg

The GOP could work with Obama on a corporate tax overhaul: http://wapo.st/deHsQX
Paul Volcker has specified how he wants his namesake reform implemented, reports Deborah Solomon: "In a letter to the new Financial Stability Oversight Council, Mr. Volcker said 'clear concise definitions, firmly worded prohibitions, and specificity in describing the permissible activities will be of prime importance for the regulators as they implement and enforce this law.' But he also urged regulators to preserve flexibility in the so-called Volcker rule and said some terms 'should be defined broadly so as not to limit the supervisors' examination of trading activities.' The financial overhaul passed earlier this year sought to prevent banks from putting a firm's capital at risk by prohibiting proprietary trading and banning certain relationships with hedge funds and private-equity funds."
The debt commission might recommend raising the Social Security payroll cap: http://nyti.ms/c8AVk2
Robert Rubin is skeptical of further stimulus: "I agree with the administration’s targeted budget additions that might be particularly powerful economic catalysts, such as small business support, or might meet other immediate imperatives, such as extending unemployment insurance and state aid for teachers. Hopefully, other targeted proposals will be developed with especially strong economic impact or hardship relief. More broadly, a major new stimulus could well be constructive, if it is tied to real, trusted and enacted long-term structural deficit reduction. Otherwise, a major new stimulus is likely on balance to be counterproductive, initially or over time. It could seriously increase business uncertainty about future economic conditions and policy, or change market psychology unexpectedly and dramatically, causing serious market disruptions. Or, even if a major new stimulus worked initially, it could fail to generate lasting momentum due to the headwinds, leaving us worse off than we would have been, with more debt but no greater gross domestic product."
- Hide quoted text - The coming gridlock will hurt America, writes Steve Rattner: http://bit.ly/d2Nxwp
Income inequality is a policy outcome, writes Bob Herbert: "The authors, political scientists Jacob Hacker of Yale and Paul Pierson of the University of California, Berkeley, argue persuasively that the economic struggles of the middle and working classes in the U.S. since the late-1970s were not primarily the result of globalization and technological changes but rather a long series of policy changes in government that overwhelmingly favored the very rich...The book describes an 'organizational revolution' that took place over the past three decades in which big business mobilized on an enormous scale to become much more active in Washington, cultivating politicians in both parties and fighting fiercely to achieve shared political goals. This occurred at the same time that organized labor, the most effective force fighting on behalf of the middle class and other working Americans, was caught in a devastating spiral of decline."
Adorable animals playing board games interlude: A dog rolls a Large Straight in Yahtzee!
Energy

A conservative challenger is seeking the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee should the GOP win the House, reports Tony Romm: "Rep. Cliff Stearns hopes his conservative credentials can help guide him straight to the top of the House Energy and Commerce Committee next year...'I have an American Conservative Union rating of 96 percent, and you can’t get much better than that,' Stearns said in an interview, adding his ratings have increased over time...The congressman’s plan for the committee draws heavy influence from the general goals of his party: He hopes to scale back government regulation, question federal energy leaders, begin the repeal of Democrats’ health care law and watch the Federal Communications Commission with a skeptical eye."
Seafood from the Gulf is now safe: http://bit.ly/caafRw
The GOP will likely use the House Natural Resources Committee to expand drilling, reports Robin Bravender: "Republican efforts to expand oil production on public lands, ramp up oversight of the Obama administration’s domestic energy policies and scale back efforts to expand national parks would begin in a committee that hasn't had much respect lately. The House Natural Resources Committee has a broad jurisdiction - overseeing federal lands, oil and gas drilling policy, and endangered species laws, for starters - but hasn't flexed its muscles under the Democrats for the past four years...West Virginia Democrat Nick Rahall, the panel's chairman since 2007, has won kudos from the environmental community for his efforts to shepherd a host of wilderness bills through the committee and to overhaul federal onshore oil and gas and geothermal stream leasing systems."
Ten races that will have a major impact on energy policy: http://politi.co/d0vvEp
The Interior Department hired the company responsible for safety at the Deepwater Horizon for another job, reports Steven Mufson: "The Interior Department is planning to pay Det Norske Veritas (DNV) $1.3 million to conduct the autopsy of the 60-foot high, 380-ton blowout preventer, which is now sitting on a dock at the NASA Michoud assembly plant in Louisiana. But some government and industry officials say that the firm's earlier work for Transocean, the owner and operator of the Deepwater Horizon, poses a conflict of interest...The American Bureau of Shipping, a nonprofit organization that classifies marine vessels and offshore rigs, did not submit the firm's name to do the blowout preventer autopsy because of its earlier work on the Deepwater Horizon."
RJD2 cover interlude: The Mad Men theme song played only on bass.
Domestic Policy

The health industry is seeking to influence the GOP's health care reform repeal strategy, report Janet Adamy and Jonathan Weisman: "Insurers want to reverse tax increases and loosen restrictions on insurance premiums, and several groups hope to tack on medical malpractice protections. At the same time, the health-care industry is concerned that Republicans want to remove the requirement that most Americans carry health insurance--a provision that rewards health-care providers with millions of new customers...The insurance industry is working to persuade the next Congress to roll back a roughly $70 billion tax on insurance companies that takes effect in 2014, saying it will disproportionately hit small businesses that insure their workers."
The incoming GOP class will be tougher on immigration: http://politi.co/dvStfw
Governor's races will have a major effect on health care reform, reports Kelly Evans: " The GOP may well go from controlling fewer than half of governorships to roughly 60%. That may make friendlier conditions for health-care companies as they look to 2014. Right-leaning states aren't only expected to set up smaller, less ambitious exchanges, but could add to private insurers' rolls by shrinking public programs like Medicaid. Little wonder shares of some large health providers, like UnitedHealth Group Inc., have rallied by more than a quarter since July."
Appeals hearings suggest that the Justice Department's lawsuit against Arizona's immigration law could fail, reports Jerry Markon: "Judge John T. Noonan Jr. grilled administration lawyers at a hearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. He took aim at the core of the Justice Department's argument: that the Arizona statute is 'preempted' by federal law and is especially troublesome because it requires mandatory immigration status checks in certain circumstances...'We are dependent as a court on counsel being responsive...You keep saying the problem is that a state officer is told to do something. That's not a matter of preemption...I would think the proper thing to do is to concede that this is a point where you don't have an argument."
GM's IPO will make about $10 billion, and put the US ownership stake below 50 percent: http://wapo.st/aG1ej0
The Supreme Court refused to hear a case that could have lead to weaker campaign finance rules, reports Robert Barnes: "On Tuesday, in Keating, et al v. FEC, the court turned down a challenge from SpeechNow.org, which opposes candidates who favor restrictive campaign finance laws. The group won a big victory when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said it could accept unlimited donations to fund its ads. But the group appealed another part of the decision, which said it must comply with the disclosure requirements that come with being registered as a PAC...As is customary, the court gave no reason for declining to hear the SpeechNow.org challenge."
New GOP-related lobbying services are already sprouting up: http://politi.co/9LLm4x
Closing credits: Wonkbook is compiled and produced with help from Dylan Matthews, Mike Shepard, and Michelle Williams.