While You Were Out/Busy/Etc...

  • The U.S. Senate and House finally voted in favor of provisions to avert the long-discussed fiscal cliff that pitted Democrats/the Obama Administration and Republicans against each other on issues including taxes, budget spending and debt.

  • The last Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) of 2012 showed a small decline on a drop-off of sales levels. Fiscal cliff uncertainty throughout last month of the year was seen as a significant driver of problems.

  • Proponents of Chapter 9 (municipal bankruptcy) got a boost in the form of a court decision against a pension group in California and a new law in Michigan easing filing requirementes somewhat.

  • A deal was struck to push back contract talks for 30 days to avert a late-December port strike that would have affected more than a dozen of the largest East Coast ports at a time when retail could ill afford delays.

  • India inked a Free Trade Agreement with its fourth largest trading partner, ASEAN (a block of Southeast Asian nations) and remains at work on several bilateral deals.

  • Exporting levels in Asia improved slightly though the steep decline in the European Union amid the debt crisis looms as a massive concern for exporting nations and businesses there and virtually worldwide.

  • Tribune Company finally exited bankruptcy.

  • European Union manufacturing levels declined by levels greater than expected.

  • Retail bankruptcies among British companies continued to rise for the calendar year 2012.

  • Russia launched a registry of companies that declare bankruptcy.

  • U.S. consumer and business confidence continued to slump at year's end.

(Note: For more on several of these stories, check out Thursday’s edition of NACM eNews, available late Thursday afternoon).

-Brian Shappell, CBA, NACM staff writer

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