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>Has the U.S. Lost its Grip on the Credit-Rating Business? 

[Editor’s Note: Money Morning’s Martin Hutchinsona noted commentator, author and longtime international merchant banker, outlines how the credit-rating-agency business will function in the post-financial-crisis world – and explains what that will mean for investors. His predictions may surprise you.

By Martin Hutchinson, Contributing Editor, Money Morning


There’s a new name in the credit-rating-agency business these days: It’s Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. Ltd., and this Beijing-backed business is China’s bid for a spot in the global-credit-rating oligopoly.

And Dagong’s Chairman Guan Jianzhong doesn’t think much of his long-established U.S. competitors. 

The Western rating agencies are politicized and highly ideological and they do not adhere to objective standards,” Jianzhong told The Financial Times earlier this month.

Is he right? And does the newly passed Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act correct their flaws, or does it make matters worse? It’s a question that affects all investors – even those of us that don’t invest in bonds, as we’ll soon see.

To understand how credit-raters will influence investments going forward, please read on…

Hutchinson on…
— 
The CIVETS: Windfall Wealth From the ‘New’ BRIC Economies
— 
The Global Double-Dip Recession: Which Markets to Hold… And Which Ones May Fold


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Sounds too easy? Well it is. Once you read my Free report (by clicking here) you’ll see exactly why… heck, you may want to pick up a hundred thousand shares right now!


BP Hopes for a CEO Savior in American Robert Dudley

By Kerry Shannon, Associate Editor, Money Morning 


BP PLC (NYSE ADR: BP) plans to oust Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward from the top spot and to appoint Robert Dudley – an American and an insider – in an attempt to regain U.S. trust after a highly criticized, ineffective response to the Gulf oil spill. 

BP is expected to announce the change today (Tuesday) when it releases its second-quarter financial report and Hayward addresses shareholders. The official appointment would be effective Oct. 1 – following a transition period that would give BP time to permanently seal the massive oil leak and to clean up most of the five million barrels of oil that have polluted the Gulf region as a result of the worstenvironmental disaster in U.S. history.

Read full story…


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“ALL BRANCHES… of our government ARE IN BUSINESS with Wall Street…”
from Money Morning Reader, T.S.


Battle Over Expiring Bush Tax Cuts Likely to Shape Fall Elections

By Don Miller, Associate Editor, Money Morning 


A colossal battle is shaping up in Congress over what to do about the Bush-era tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of this year. It’s an issue that entails sufficient economic and political consequences that could shape the fall elections and fiscal policy for years to come.

The expiring tax breaks received little public attention this year as Congress tussled with heavyweight issues like healthcare reform andfinancial regulation. But the fate of the tax cuts will be a major focus of debate in September when lawmakers return to Washington from their summer recess and the midterm campaign gets rolling.

“It has enormous ramifications for the fall and clearly will be one of the dominant issues,” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR, told The New York Times. “This is code for the role of the federal government, the debate over the size of government and the priorities of the nation.” 

Democratic party leaders, including President Barack Obama, have said they want to extend the tax cuts for individuals earning less than $200,000 and families earning less than $250,000, while letting the cuts expire as scheduled for those exceeding those thresholds.

Most Republicans, and some Democrats, want to extend the tax cuts for everyone, characterizing any tax increases on anyone in this fragile economy as unwise. If no action is taken, taxes on income, dividends, capital gains and estates will all rise.

Read full story..

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