January 2012 archive

Possible double-counting “new value” in bankruptcy preference actions

A creditor-friendly, minority view comes from a First Circuit District Court. If this rationale catches on, this could have a significant impact on bankruptcy preference litigation. Generally speaking, a “preference” under Section 547 of the Bankruptcy Code is a payment of an old (or “antecedent”) debt. The Bankruptcy Code allows a bankrupt company to recover …

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Why Twitter and Facebook Are Not “Blacked Out” Like Wikipedia

Since midnight EST on January 18th, Wikipedia has been “blacked out” in protest of the upcoming congressional bills to counter internet piracy. Wikipedia and other critics of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) attack these bills as restricting freedom of speech by allowing copyright holders to disrupt traffic to sites …

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Natural Disasters’ Economic Losses Hit Record High in 2011

In a recent report issued by Munich Re, a reinsurance group in Germany,  2011 was the costliest year in history for natural disasters with $380 billion in economic losses.   Although some believe that global warming will continue to increase both the number and the extent of natural disasters, this report shows that 2011 was more about the geographic location, and less about the cause …

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Geithner had it all wrong in 2006

Timothy Geithner is President Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury website, here is Geithner’s job description” The Secretary of the Treasury is the principal economic advisor to the President and plays a critical role in policy-making by bringing an economic and government financial policy perspective to issues facing …

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SEC Changes it Policy on Fraud Settlement Language…Somewhat

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has made a nuanced policy shift toward its fraud investigation settlements.  Previously the SEC allowed companies to settle fraud charges by paying a fine without admitting wrongdoing.  This practice has received widespread criticism despite SEC claims that it encouraged settlement and avoided expensive litigation. Going forward, the SEC will no longer allow defendants to say …

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Get Smarter in 2012: 31 Ways to Get Smarter, or 31 Ways Smart People Act?

Newsweek Magazine and the Daily Beast recently compiled a list of “31 Ways to Get Smarter –Faster in 2012,” offering an eclectic, “how-to” regimen of some commonly-accepted and other newly discovered ways to improve memory, analytical reasoning and overall thinking. The premise of this list is that if readers adopt some of these 31 behaviors, …

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Choo-choo’s, Trains, and Keeping up with the Joneses

My two young boys, ages 3 and 1, have quickly developed the sort of childish jealousies that parents hope children will learn to restrain as they mature.  When our one-year-old received a small toy “choo choo” (his words) as a gift, the older one protested that he too should have a toy train because his …

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My Insecure Social Security Card

In this day and age, we Americans anticipate—almost expect—to be asked for identification for a number of activities.  We understand that law enforcement and others entrusted with public safety have a right to know who we (and those around us) are.  So we produce our IDs to board airplanes and enter government buildings.  Even many …

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IMF Report Tells The U.S. What It Apparently Cannot Figure Out For Itself

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently released a report entitled “United States Sustainability Report”. The report is part of a series addressing certain countries that the IMF identifies as having significant economic challenges that are not sustainable. There is nothing in the report that is jaw dropping.  Nevertheless, with all the political wrangling that U.S. …

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1 in 8 Millionaires Get Audited by the IRS

The IRS released data this past Thursday that provides some insight into who the IRS targets to audit.  The data showed that 1 in 8 people earning $1 million or over was audited last year by the IRS.  This 12% audit rate was higher than last year, where only 8% of millionaires were audited by the IRS.  The …

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