Sunday, April 22, 2012

4th period: current event due 4/28

Last week, too many of you forgot to post your current event! Remember that doing your homework is an easy and interesting way to boost (or hurt) your grade. This week, please find an article that deals with economics. That should not be too difficult to can look in the money section of any news source. Have fun and I cannot wait to read your findings. Do you current event EARLY in the week. :)


  1. Nate M./ Pd. 4
    Microsoft's Windows sales pick up, but gaming softens
    By Julianne Pepitone
    April 20, 2012

    Microsoft's sales growth for Xbox and Kinect slowed sharply last quarter, but other sectors like Windows helped the company post earnings that beat analysts' estimates. Microsoft pulled in earnings of 60 cents per share on sales of $17.4 billion for its fiscal third quarter, which ended March 31. Earnings dropped a penny per share from the same quarter last year, although that quarter included a $461 million tax benefit. Without that one-time gain, earnings per share rose 7% over the year. Microsoft's sales for the quarter were $17.4 billion, up 6% from last year. Most of Microsoft's businesses posted solid sales growth compared with last year: 14% for the server and tools division; 9% for the business sector, which includes Office; 6% for online services; and 4% for Windows.

    Microsoft's gaming business, which has recently been a strong point for Microsoft, weakened compared to last year. Sales in that division fell 16%, to $1.6 billion. It really doesn't matter to me though since I don't own an Xbox360. Also it says that the brand-new Windows 8 operating system should also boost up sales. While gaming sales were strong in October and November, they began to decline in December, she said -- a trend that continued through March. I am not really a major PC gamer though, I still play PC games but not as much and I really don't care about the Windows 8 coming out soon cause I have a Mac.

  2. Danielle Bailey
    Pd 4
    Where Have All The Women Jobs Gone?
    Tami Luhby
    April 20, 2012

    Women were generally spared the worst of the recession, accounting for only one-quarter of the jobs lost. Men, on the other hand, were hit hard by the devastation in the construction and manufacturing industries. But the slow pace of recovery in women's employment has surprised and concerned some experts, who say it's unclear whether there will be a rebound anytime soon. While the private sector picked up nearly 2.9 million jobs over the course of the recovery, women secured only 23.5% of those positions. Women gained only 12.3% of the more than 2.3 million total jobs added to the economy during the recovery -- which include both public and private positions --according to the National Women's Law Center. Much of the blame lies in the steep loss of government jobs, particularly in local school districts, where women predominate. State and local governments were propped up in 2009 and 2010 by Obama's Recovery Act. But the funds largely ran out after that, prompting budgets and payrolls to be slashed.
    I do think that women are less likely to find a job now that we are in a recession. I think nothing will ever be the same; there will always be more jobs for men then women. Most jobs when have are in the school district, which I think the government could try to spread their horizons for women jobs!

  3. Desaree' Johnson
    Pd 4
    Wal-Mart shares drop after Mexico report
    By Aaron Smith

    Wal-Mart's stock price dropped Monday, after bribery allegations concerning the retailer's Mexican operations surfaced over the weekend. At the start of trade on Monday, stock fell almost 5%. On Mexico City's Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, the stock price for the company's Mexican division, Wal-Mart de Mexico dove 12%. The world's biggest retailer was written about in the New York Times about reported alleged bribery in Mexico. The story was posted on Saturday and was alleged that top executives at Wal-Mart de Mexico tried to hide a widespread bribery scheme from the company's headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. But an analyst from Buckingham Research named John Zolidis said that the scandal wasn't enough to bring down the biggest retailer ! "Although the story gives us pause, we believe the impact on the company's business will be minimal," wrote Zolidis in a research note. "We would use weakness to buy the stock."

    I think this is ridiculous. Why would the biggest retailer in the world bribe anyone for anything. What more do they need? Obviously no matter what they do, they won't get shut down. This company is TOO big to get stopped by little things like this. But oh well, hopefully Wal-Mart has learned from this because I have no idea what my life would be like without a Wal-Mart .

  4. Anna Baynes Period 4
    Test Scores and Housing Costs
    Motoko Rich
    The New York Times
    Monday, April 23, 2012

    In April 2012 a study by Johnathan Rothwell at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC states that houses that cost more are generally located closer to good schools. In the top hundred metropolitan areas in the country housing near schools whose students score in the top fifth percentile on standardized tests cost 2.4 times as much as schools whose students score in the bottom 5th. To move into a location with good public schools it would cost about $205,000 more and would cost more than sending children to private schools. Low income students perform generally perform at the 42nd percentile while middle to high income students are at the 61st percentile. This statistic cannot determine if the low percentile scores of the low income students were a result of worse teaching or less home support. This is significant because learning about this information will make us more aware and try to educate everyone equally.
    I never realized how big of a difference it costs to live in an area with a good school system. I knew it cost more but I didn’t know it may cost more than going to a private school. However, this makes sense because people with larger more expensive houses would pay more taxes so more money would be spent on education. I wonder what causes the low percentile scores of the low income students. I also want to know how we can make the system to pay for public education more fair. This has to do with economics because we are talking about services the government provides and how people must contribute to paying for it.

  5. Title: Global Manufacturing slowdown persists
    Author: Annalyn Censky
    Date: April 23, 2102
    Source: CNN

    For the first time in three years, manufacturing in 17 European countries has decreases significantly. Two reports showed that this was a feeble spot in the economy and the numbers from March and April appeared to be 46 and 47.7, and anything below a 50 shows a contracting sector. This market decline can be explained by Europe’s decrease in factory jobs and current recession, and China’s business shrinkage as well. China’s government may need to help boost the economy because the weakening of their economy could have negative effects on the demand for exports in the US. Exports showed a decline in February and manufacturers have now relied on a gradual housing market, better jobs, and auto sales to keep their economy steady.

    The US needs to stop relying so much on goods from other countries because they are not always economically reliable as seen in this article. If one country declines in manufacturing the US is bound to as well. If more goods are produced and sold nationally then it would help benefit our economy because we would bring money into our country alone. Europe’s recession shouldn’t have any effect on the US in my opinion.

  6. Maddie Mesaros

    Period 4

    Date: April 22, 2012

    Title: Economists upping their forecasts for 2012

    Author: Tim Mullaney and Barbara Hansen

    Source: USA Today


    Economists believe the U.S. Economy will be stronger and will grow faster than
    expected this year. They think job growth for the rest of the year will be 20% higher than they
    did after Christmas. People have bought more vehicles and gone out to eat more often despite
    the high gas prices. Economists estimated that more jobs would open up, there would be more
    revenue for the country, and the economy will be boosted. Even though economists are
    optimistic, they’re still worried about Congress’ actions after the election.

    I think it’s great that economists think the economy will be better. It’s really reassuring
    that more jobs may be opened up and our government may be in a better place. After learning
    more about our economy in class it’s slightly relieving to know that it could get better. What
    we learned about in class was scary. It was scary seeing how gargantuan our national debt is
    and to see it constantly rising is heartbreaking. I hope that our economy will improve after the
    upcoming election. Hopefully our country will take baby steps towards paying back our
    national debt and having a better economy.

  7. Johnnie Johnson



  8. Sam Williams
    period 4
    Obama challenges congress on student loans in speech at UNC
    News 14 Carolina staff

    Obama spoke to UNC students yesterday about how Congress may double the interest rate on student loans. This would make college much harder to fund for many people and could put it out of reach. The interest rate would double from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1 if nothing is done to stop it. Obama wants college education to be affordable for everyone so that the US can continue to be a world leader and produce the brightest students. Over 160000 students would be affected in North Carolina alone. He told the gathered students that a college degree is the best thing that you can do for your future.

    This is an important issue, especially in a weak economy. Many students would be incapable of paying for college with the doubled interest rates. The government is trying to raise interest rates to increase revenue and reduce the debt. This is important to economics and shows how the government has a large role in our everyday lives. I agree with Obama that everyone should have a chance to go to college and this hurts the chances of many. Many schools meet demonstrated financial need; so many people could still afford college. I think this would most affect students paying for college themselves and working. The government needs to reduce debt, and this is a way to do that, but a small increase to 4% could still generate income and give time to see how an increase affects college students.

  9. Nakeisha Revels/ 4th period
    Government borrowing ends year on target
    Chris Giles/April 24, 2012
    Financial Times

    On Tuesday, the government ended the borrowing for 2011-2012 financial years in the line with George Osborne’s budget. In the first two years of austerity, substantially and capital spending along with tax rate had been increased. They have borrows for then 126 billion and 8.3 percent of national income with the forecasts from the office for Budget Responsibility. The OBR forecast were revised mush higher for borrowing last November which expanded Britain’s capacity for economy. “With the economic recovery continuing to stutter, we think it will become increasingly difficult for the government to meet its ambitious deficit reduction plans in the coming fiscal year” is what Samuel Tombs of Capital Economics said.

    Debt Management Office has reduced its estimate of gilt issuance in 2012-13 by $3.3 billion which is a little lower than expected. This is crazy because we just finish watching a movie which involved the U.S. Debt which is a whole lot but at least the government is taking one step at a time. If the government continues to borrow lots money and don’t pay back then I believe a war will happen (which I don’t hope happen).

  10. Casey Molina
    NC unemployment rate drops for third month in a row
    WRAL News
    4/20/12 Period 4
    In March the state unemployment rate decreased for the third month in a row. North Carolina’s unemployment rate is above the national average of 8.2 percent, but Friday the state rate was estimated at 9.7 percent. This is a significant improvement from March 2011 when the unemployment rate was 10.4 percent. North Carolina businesses (mostly private) collectively added 38,800 more jobs than they cut. The financial sector gained 1,600 jobs alone. An economics professor at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, Dora Gicheva, says that the economy is slowly improving. She says we still have a long way to go, but that North Carolina has been hit especially hard by the recession. This is due to the financial corporations in North Carolina such as Bank of America, whose headquarters are in Charlotte. Charlotte also was the home of Wachovia, which was bought out in 2008. This has resulted in a significant loss of jobs. Gicheva expects the job rates to progress slowly throughout the next few months.
    It is frustrating to hear how the recession had impacted employment rates and how North Carolina had been put at a disadvantage because of the band headquarters. Still, there is hope as rates are currently dropping. I believe that if we are going to overcome this economic recession we should focus on providing jobs. We are fortunate to have people in the United States who want to work and want to contribute to the economy. However, if people do not have jobs and an income they will not be able to go out and purchase services, which stimulate the economy. It is good to hear that the unemployment rates are dropping, even if it is slowly. Hopefully we will continue to see this rise over the next months.

  11. Charles Wang / 4th Period
    Why half of us don’t pay income tax
    By: Jeanne Sahadi
    April 26, 2012
    In America, nearly half of the U.S. households do not end up owing federal income tax. This number can be surprising for some, for others not so much. The tax breaks that Bush approved have allowed many people not to owe any money for their income to the federal government. It is estimated that after the Bush tax cuts expire, it will drop to ~30%. Reasons that many people owe nothing in income taxes are being paid low wages and having children. High income people pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes because it is capped at $110,100. Lower income people are subject to paying a higher percentage because they can earn less than that.
    I feel that this is very bad for our economy. The rich people need to pay higher taxes because they have more money than they can spend. Some poor people can barely support themselves. It would only be fair that the richer people would pay more in taxes and that the poor people pay less, no the other way around. They also need a way to pay our national debt which could be increasing taxes but they should only do it to the richest people.

  12. Connor Smith
    4th period, 4-27
    Why half of us don’t pay income tax
    Jeanne Sahidi, CNN

    There is a huge number of Americans who one way or another end up not having to pay federal income tax. This is a result of extensive tax breaks enacted by parties on both sides of the political spectrum. They have created tax credits for work, kids, and education. Not to mention the amount of tax cuts the Bush administration passed over the years. For the 2011 fiscal year, 46% of households owed nothing in federal income taxes, including those belonging to millionaires.

    I think that the notion that there are such huge loopholes in our tax system is a testament to the economic anarchy our country has experienced in the two decades. Our debt grows exponentially by the second, and we don’t even correctly pay our taxes. This is a problem easily fixed, and fixed it should be.

  13. Garrett Young-Wright
    4th period, 4-27
    Tim Geithner's "taxmageddon" plan
    Richard Nieva, CNN Money

    "Taxmageddon" refers to the Bush tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year. The tax cuts expiration will add about 500 billion dollars to America's gross domestic product. Tim Geithner, who is the treasury secretary, has a plan to face taxmageddon. Geithner says that most of the work will be one after the elections and congress has two months to work something out. If congress does not tax hikes could send America into another recession. Critics say that replacing automatic tax cuts would be better, but Geithner thinks spending cuts and tax reform would be better.

    I think that we need to cut spending. Limiting medicare and medicaid would help save money in the future. I think we will also need to have tax hikes. We need the richer to pay a higher percent of taxes than low income people. I hope there will not be another recession.

  14. Alex Adams
    Period 4
    “GDP Recovery Slows in first quarter”
    The economy is growing slower in the first quarter of the year than previously predicted by the government. Economists expected a 2.5% increase but instead the economy only rose 2.2%. Experts believe that this isn’t reassuring enough for businesses to start hiring again. The first quarter was relatively strong as far as retail sales were concerned but didn’t put up satisfactory numbers in the rest of the economic data. The federal government will be revising these numbers for the next couple of months.

    Progress is progress. Personally, I’m just glad we’re moving forward as a country. The numbers aren’t exactly what I wanted to see but it makes me feel a bit better. The federal government just needs to work together to fix the economy once and for all.

  15. Justine Lockhart
    Period 4
    Spanish economy in "huge crisis" after credit downgrade

    Spain's economy is weakening, unemployment rate is up to 24 percent. Spain is in it's second recession within the past three years and people there worry about the deficit. Spain is relying on Italy and other European countries to assist them getting out of debt. According to the treasury ministry, their is an increase of 365,900 unemployed Spanish people. This would result in a loss of 953 million euros in tax income. Euro zone is an agency that assists countries in Europe to better manage their debt, but many people in Spain still fear for the increasing debt.

    I've actually been to Spain before so the fact that Spain is struggling economically makes me upset for them. It's terrible that 24 percent of people their are unemployed and they're in debt. USA is definitely doing poorly economically as well. If only money grew on trees...

  16. Annie Wilcosky/ Period 4
    Lehman Bros. elite stood to get $700 million/ Walter Hamilton, Andrew Tangel, Stuart Pfeifer
    LA Times,0,6481155.story
    April 27, 2012

    Before the 2008 collapse of the Lehman Bros. Corporation, records show that the Wall Street firm gave $700 million to its highest paid employees. The fall of Lehman Bros. initiated the economic crash that plunged us into the largest financial meltdown since the Great Depression. The company filed for protection in 2008 as the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. Prior to this, high-ranked employees received huge sums of money. Many are shocked at the enormous amounts paid to the executives at the company. The records of these money transfers have recently become available to the public, although they do not show a breakdown of salary levels.

    This article enlightened me a great deal about the economic crisis and its causes. The documents released from the company show a rare look into compensation practices for Wall Street; federal regulations do not usually require companies to show their entire financial statements. Although I do not understand the particulars of these exchanges and their outcomes, the widespread belief is that this money driven Wall Street culture is responsible for the triggering of the financial crisis.

  17. Caroline Stanton
    “Wall Street rally continues; Dow closes day up 23 points”
    Author: N/A

    The U.S. Dow has been advancing for the fourth day now, and has many had gains in technology. Amazon has is leading with a 15.5% climb which is raised to $226.30. So far in the quarter the 73% of companies have beaten the expectations. Although this is good news there is also mixed data, the quarter shows the GDP expanding at 2.2% rate which is .3% lower than expected. In conclusion the Dow closed up the day on Friday 23.62 points.

    I think that this is good that the companies are doing better than expected in the first quarter. There is more to be done if they are less than their anticipated gains, but I think given the economy right now this is a pretty good gain for the Dow Jones.

  18. Max LeMoine/period 4
    Stocks close out a strong week/Ben Rooney

    This article talks about stocks and how they are doing in this day and time. The article mentions Amazon and Expedia, which are both up about 20%. It also says that Ford is down 2% after announcing that they lost money this quarter. Experts say the GDP has risen 2.2% this quarter and may go even higher. Finally, this article talks about stocks and what they have been up to in the last quarter.

    I believe that this article is very helpful when buying stocks. However, if you are not planning to buy any stocks there is no point in reading this. In the end, I think that the stock market is very important in our lives and we should never ignore it.

  19. Johnnie Johnson Period 4
    Gas Prices seen heade lower at the pump

    I believe that this article may give the people of new york and around the country hope. It says that the price of crude oil has gone down. In says that this summer the prices my not be as high as expected. The pain at the pump may be over. Prices should be lower

    In my opinion i believe that the prices just might stay the same. I thik this article may be giving people false hope. IN nc the prices show no sign of going down. I believe they might not go back down until next fall. Through it all i may be wrong

  20. Hannah Hodge
    Pd. 4
    Corn Prices Surge on Export Sales
    Owen Fletcher
    April 27, 2012

    The price of corn has increased significantly in recent reports. There has been a sharp increase in demand for American corn from the Chinese economy. The spike can be attributed to a growing population of farmers who require the corn to feed the livestock and the large need for sweetener products. Along with corn, the cost of wheat also rose. Previously, sales with China have been sporadic and inconsistent, without following normal patterns that could indicate possible ramifications on our economy.
    The country of China has seen a shift in what people want and need. That has been reflected in economy of China. The trade relations between US and China mean that the supply changes in China will affect our economy. We are bringing in more money because we can sell more corn for more money. This is a good demonstration of the global economy and how the changes in a market can affect the economies and patterns all over the world. This also resulted in increases in the demand and prices of other products such as wheat and soy. This could be because they are supplemental goods. Because China has a growing demand for corn, they inevitably have a growing need for wheat, another form of feed for live stock. Basically, the wants and needs of the people shape the economy of a country and in a world as globally connected as ours, these wants and needs affect people and economies everywhere.

  21. Diego Lewis
    Pd. 4
    Spain's jobless rate reaches record high
    Aaron Smith

    Spain is currently in an economic crisis, and the basis of it is it's sputtering job market. The unemployment rate has skyrocketed to 24.4% in the first quarter of this year. Spain has struggled with unemployment for years, but this recent dip has been particularly brutal. The road to recovery is long and unclear. The government has growing debts and a shrinking economy.
    Being part Spanish this is very unfortunate. I knew that the economy in Spain was bad, worse even than the U.S. economy at its low point, but I had no idea the unemployment rate was so high. 24% is an astronomically high amount of people who need jobs. The government is going to have to bail out the banks, and to do that they are going to need more money. They can’t rack up more debt, they need more taxes. The only way to get more taxes is to get more people with jobs. It is a vicious cycle that I don’t clearly understand how you get out of. Their S&P credit rating has just been lowered and things are looking grim.

  22. Laura Buczek/4th period

    Growth in the US Economy falls back in first quarter

    Author: n/a


    April 27th, 2012

    According to the article “US economic growth slowed to an annualized pace of 2.2% in the first quarter of the year.” This was from 3% in the final three months of the year. Buisness in the US has cut back on things like investment which depressed the gross domestic product. However, the demand for cars boosted the US’s quarterly economic performance. A demand for consumers has increased. The sales of cars rose “at 2.1% in the fourth quarter”, this is the fastest that this rate has been in four years. Other statistics include business spending dropping “by 2.1%” and defence spending falling by 8.1% annualized.

    It’s hard for me to develop a strong opinion on this. While the numbers seem a little skeptical to me, a reporter interviewed for the article said that there was “good” in the numbers as well. I think this is both a positive and negative issue. Most of this article included statistics without an explanation for the numbers, which may affect the way people develop their opinions on this issue. However after reading the article more than once, I agree with the reporter that there is both good and bad in the numbers.