Treasury continues to tighten its rules to prevent corporate "inversions" — the move in which a U.S. company merges with a smaller foreign company then shifts its official location abroad, to avoid U.S. taxes. Given the lack of congressional action on this issue, the new rule appears "reasonable," says the Smith School's Michael Faulkender. Still, he says, the U.S. tax system is "broken."
U.S.-based coal giant Peabody Energy’s bankruptcy filing on Wednesday reflects an industry on the ropes. Smith School economist Peter Morici cites three major factors: A glut of natural gas, a slowdown for steel in China, and U.S. environmental policy. He discusses Peabody and the coal industry more generally in this BBC Radio broadcast. Read more...
Appian Corp., a Reston, Va.-based maker of customized software for companies, made the news recently with the revelation that that it had reached enviable "unicorn" status: Based on private-equity valuations, it joins the club of pre-IPO businesses worth — in theory at least — $1 billion. But that's not what makes the company special, says the Smith School's Jonathan Aberman.
Clinical professor of finance David Kass is a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder and a close follower of Warren Buffett’s investment strategy since 1980. He says the recent release of a 103-page "Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Interview of Warren Buffett" provides "interesting insights into the causes of the financial crisis, its consequences on the shareholders of financial institutions, and on stock market
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