Posts filed under “Legal”

Minimum Pricing Battle

These Minimum Advertised Prices — floors under which retailers cannot drop a product price — always struck me as anti-competitive, and well, just wrong.

The Supreme Court has been all over the map with them.

Why not simply let retailers and manufacturers compete in the marketplace?

“A group of major discounters, including eBay Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp., is expected Thursday to call for new laws blocking manufacturers from setting minimum prices on everything from flat-screen TVs to power drills. That move could ratchet up a battle between retailers and a little-known but powerful industry that’s taken off in just the past year.

Tiny firms like NetEnforcers Inc. — with only 56 staffers jammed into a dim, spare cubicle farm here in Arizona — wield economic power far beyond their size. These companies scour hundreds of thousands of Web sites daily, looking for retailers offering bargains below the “minimum advertised price,” or MAP, set by manufacturers on an array of consumer goods.

When NetEnforcers finds goods like cameras, handbags or ovens for sale at too-low prices, as it claims to do 5,000 to 10,000 times a day, it alerts its clients, including Sony Corp., Black & Decker Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., JVC Kenwood Holdings Inc. and Samsung Inc.

For discounters, the consequences of not respecting MAP are usually speedy and decisive. If the seller is an authorized dealer of the product in question (which means it is bound to honor a MAP agreement), it gets a notice from the manufacturer or NetEnforcers and typically brings its price into line within hours, the company says.”

Let’s see what happens as Deflation starts slowly working its magic on manufacturers minimum pricing . . .

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Source:
Discounters, Monitors Face Battle on Minimum Pricing
JOSEPH PEREIRA
WSJ, DECEMBER 4, 2008

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122835660256478297.html?mod=yhoofront

Category: Consumer Spending, Legal, Retail

Chrysler Hires Bankruptcy Firm

Chrysler has hired bankruptcy firm Jones-Day, sources say. WSJ: Chrysler several weeks ago hired the prominent law firm of Jones Day as bankruptcy counsel, suggesting the auto maker is preparing for imminent financial failure should its efforts to obtain federal rescue funds fall short. Gee, I wonder if that will put any pressure on Congress…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Legal, Markets

What Did the Repeal of Glass-Steagall Do ?

Here is a question that I have been wrestling with: What exactly did the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act accomplish? Were there positives as well as negatives? Should the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act be repealed, and Glass-Steagall reinstated? > ~~~ What say ye? >

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Finance, Legal, Regulation

Bush WH Ignored Mortgage Meltdown Warnings

“In hindsight, it was spot on.” -Jeffrey Brown, former top official at the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, one of the first agencies to raise concerns about risky lending. > A brutally damning article about the warnings the Bush administration received and ignored was published this morning by the Associated Press. The AP summed…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Finance, Legal, Real Estate, Regulation

The Plunge Protection Team ?!?

Definitely check out the cafe post on the Debate on the Existence of Plunge Protection Team Its well worth your time (the video is pretty amusing, too).

Category: Bailouts, Federal Reserve, Legal, Markets, Psychology

‘Maverick’ Is Called On Insider Trading

WSJ’s Ashby Jones talks about the Securities and Exchange Commission filing (civil) insider trading charges against Mark Cuban, owner of Dallas Mavericks. (Nov. 17)

Category: Legal, Video

Cuban Indicted Sued By S.E.C.

WSJ: SEC charges Dallas Mavericks owner and Internet entrepreneur Mark Cuban with insider trading related to sales of Mamma.com, now known as Copernic. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed insider trading charges against Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks, for allegedly dumping shares in Mamma.com upon learning it was raising money in…Read More

Category: Legal, Trading

Phil Gramm: A Deregulator Unswayed

“Some people look at subprime lending and see evil. I look at subprime lending and I see the American dream in action. My mother lived it as a result of a finance company making a mortgage loan that a bank would not make.” -former United States senator Phil Gramm > There was a fascinating front…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Derivatives, Legal, Politics

Personal Bankruptcy Rising

Front page NYT article on the increasing number of personal bankruptcy filings:

The number of personal bankruptcy filings jumped nearly 8 percent in October from September, after marching steadily upward for the last two years, said Mike Bickford, president of Automated Access to Court Electronic Records, a bankruptcy data and management company.

Filings totaled 108,595, surpassing 100,000 for the first time since a law that made it more difficult — and often twice as expensive — to file for bankruptcy took effect in 2005. That translated to an average of 4,936 bankruptcies filed each business day last month, up nearly 34 percent from October 2007.

Let me remind you that this bill was pushed by the credit card industry — mostly based on claims that were factually inaccurate. Now, the same industry weasels who pushed this legislation thru are going back to DC begging for TARP money and a handout.

Question: How long before The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 act — a 1997 credit card industry drafted boondoggle, signed by President Bush — gets revised or even revoked?

The wide-opposed bill — dislike by consumer advocates, legal scholars, retired bankruptcy judges — was passed after the credit card industry spent more than $100 million lobbying for the bill. (See this Bloomberg video on Credit Cards and the TARP)

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Source:
Downturn Drags More Consumers Into Bankruptcy
TARA SIEGEL BERNARD and JENNY ANDERSON
NYT, November 15, 2008

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/business/16consumer.htm

Read More

Category: Economy, Legal, Wages & Income

Bailout Money Goes Rogue

Yesterday’s Washington Post had a chilling article about the trillion dollars in bailout money. It is, lacking a better word, rogue — there is no real oversight committee or audit rules in place. The key watchdog roles remain unfilled. WaPo: In the six weeks since lawmakers approved the Treasury’s massive bailout of financial firms, the…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Legal, Taxes and Policy