Bitcoin’s rally is accelerating as the U.S. Department of Justice’s description of the digital currency as a “legal means of exchange” bolsters the prospect of wider acceptance as an alternative payment system.
The integrity of U.S. data on joblessness, one of the main measures of the strength of the economy, is at risk the longer some government agencies remain closed, according to former Labor Department officials.
Detroit has become the largest U.S. city to crumble under the weight of huge, unfunded public employee benefits such as pensions and retirement health care. It is unlikely to be the last: Recent bond-rating downgrades in Chicago and Cincinnati indicate that more municipalities could be forced to seek bankruptcy protection.
A bullet point on Page 18 of President Barack Obama’s 2014 budget sounds ominous: “Prohibit Individuals from Accumulating Over $3 Million in Tax-Preferred Retirement Accounts.” That it appears in a section titled “Strengthening the Middle Class” is odd since such a proposal would seem to undermine the goal.
Whenever a free-market research or business group releases a “best and worst” list of states, my eye goes straight to the bottom: To see whether California is last or was edged out for the lowest rank by one of the other mismanaged liberal bastions. Illinois seems to exist to boost the self-esteem of Californians.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest U.S. public pension, voted to lower its assumed rate of return for the first time since the recession dragged down stock and real-estate prices.