This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary from around the Web each day. Use our comments section to post your own suggestions for blog content that you've read or written.
"The Justice Department could sue Apple as early as Wednesday over e-book price fixing, Reuters reports, citing 'two people familiar with the matter.' No final decision has been made, Reuters reports, and it said Apple declined comment. In a similar story, Bloomberg reports Apple and Macmillan, one of the publishers that would be expected to also be a party to such a suit, 'are preparing to be sued as early as today.' Bloomberg, too, cites 'two people familiar with the matter.'" (Also Read Four Long-Term Risks Facing Apple
Real Time Economics
The cost of goods imported into the U.S. charged ahead in March, posting the largest gain in nearly a year, as petroleum prices jumped. U.S. import prices climbed by 1.3% from the month before, Labor Department said Wednesday. It was the largest monthly gain since April 2011.
"...A lot of people are still pooh-poohing the recovery because it has been so slow. Just to remind you, three years ago I said Technical recovery won’t feel like a recovery to most because this was a ‘fake recovery‘ predicated on monetary and fiscal stimulus. My contention all along has been that the underlying systemic issue of excess private sector indebtedness has merely been masked and it will re-assert itself in the next downturn." (For related content, see Banking on a Recovery: Understanding the Mood-Driven Decompression Trade
"Most people would think that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court would need more security than Alan R. Mulally, the chief executive of Ford Motor Company. Ford’s directors don’t seem to agree. The board requires that Mr. Mulally — for safety reasons — fly on a private jet whether he is going to Washington for business or Hawaii for vacation." (Also Read Could Corporations Take Tax Breaks on Political 'Dark Money'?
"Perhaps the most important indicator in economics is the standard of living, often identified with “consumption”: the amount of consumer goods and services that people acquire. Despite a wealth of data on other economic subjects, our measurement of consumption is still rather primitive. A recent study by my University of Chicago colleague Erik Hurst and Profs. Orazio Attanasio and Luigi Pistaferri attempts some repairs on the little consumption data we have, in order to get a better understanding of how living standards relate to income."
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