Now that the U.S. has survived the debt-ceiling debate, the downgrade and the topsy-turviest Wall Street week in recent memory, we can get back to focusing on the gloomy big picture. Specifically, are we going to have a double-dip recession? More specifically, are we already in one?
Sita Magar is a single mother of four who earns whatever she can wring from six goats and the muscle of a rented water buffalo. After paved roads end, it takes four hours to reach her farm along a trail where felled trunks, like twisted balance beams, span a raging stream. Even so, a recruiter feeding migrant workers into the global electronics industry found Magar in her mountainside Nepalese village last year. He convinced her to borrow more money than she’d ever seen, about $1,000, and pay him to get her daughter a position at a factory in Malaysia.
General Motors Corp.’s bankruptcy, which wiped out shareholders and left taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars, is generating a new wave of profit for hedge funds that supersized their claim by betting on an obscure pool of GM debt issued in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.
Britons’ disposable income plunged the most in more than a quarter of a century in the first quarter, indicating continued pressure on the economy even as data showed the U.K. avoided a double-dip recession in 2012.
Honeywell International Inc., whose political action committee donates more money than any other corporate PAC, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spends more to lobby Congress than anyone else, saw long-sought legislation on asbestos claims advance in Congress today.