Politics & Business

Okay, Now I’m Full-On Mad About the Libor Scandal Like a Good Baltimorean

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Those are my eyes, and I’m looking off in the direction of London!

When I first posted about the alleged rigging of Libor, the London Interbank Offered Rate — a key interest rate in the global finance world which is set by banks using the honor system — I didn’t know how mad to be. First off, I didn’t really understand the allegation that the rate was set artificially low — it’s determined by banks themselves so isn’t it artificial from the get-go? — and secondly, as a borrower and not an investor, I may have won out with a lower interest rate.

Against Gay Marriage and Proud of It: Chick-fil-A “Guilty as Charged”

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I’ve always had a lot of respect for Chick-fil-A’s business practices – the books instead of plastic toys? Awesome. The guts to stay closed on Sunday? Awesome, even though that’s the only day I ever seem to be in the mood for waffle fries.

Should the Maryland Dream Act Really Be So Controversial?

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With the law up for referendum in November, a coalition of clergy, unions, and at least one university president has formed to uphold the Maryland Dream Act, which would grant in-state tuition rates to (gasp!) “illegal immigrants.”

The group, though it draws from the religious and the secular, left and right, faces an uphill battle. The law is very controversial — more than twice the required number of signatures was reached pretty handily in a Republican-led petition to put it on the ballot as a veto referendum — but should it be?

High Temps Freeze Farmers

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That awful phrase “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” is starting to take on a whole new meaning this summer. If you’ve stepped outside your house in Baltimore (or really anywhere in the U.S.) in the past couple of months, you’ve noticed how crazy stupid hot it has been. On the 18th we tied our record for hottest day ever in the city at 107°– the only other time it has been that  toasty was in 1936. And even before that, on the 17th, we learned five more Marylanders had died from heat-related causes, bringing our total to 20 for the summer.

O’Malley Ditches Tainted Campaign Contributions from Jeff Thompson

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Gov. Martin O’Malley just gave away $38,000 in campaign funds he received from Jeff Thompson, his associates, and businesses . The money is not dirty in itself and was donated legally to O’Malley’s campaign, but the funds are tainted by Thompson’s alleged involvement in a massive campaign finance scandal in D.C. involving more than $650,000 in undocumented funds funneled to Vincent C. Gray’s successful mayoral campaign. The money was donated to the Maryland Veteran’s Trust Fund

Maryland Ranks Seventh for Women-Owned Biz

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Courtesy Citybizlist – Move over Marissa Mayer,  Maryland ranks 7th in the country for women owned businesses in terms of growth and economic clout, according to a report commissioned by American Express OPEN.

Titled The State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, the second annual study indicates that the growth of businesses led by female entrepreneurs surpasses that of “all but the largest, publicly-traded firms” over the last 15 years.

Maryland ranked particularly high for overall growth in the number of firms and employment.

The following stats show how Maryland fared against other states for women owned firms between 1997 and 2002 for growth and economic clout.

Read more at citybizlist

Guilford’s Mary Miller Takes on Wall Street Regulation Reform

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Bloomberg News reported today on the uber competency of former T. Rowe Price exec and current Treasury honcho Mary Miller and the critical role the Guilford mom is playing juggling the Volcker rule with the housing overhaul:

Mary Miller knows all about risk.

As an executive at T. Rowe Price during the 2008 financial crisis, she reassured worried bond traders and portfolio managers when a competitor, the $62.5 billion Reserve Primary Fund, failed after investing in the debt of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

“It is not a small lift to say we are going to reform housing finance credit going forward,” said the U.S. Treasury’s Mary Miller, calling it a “fascinating exercise.”

Four years later, Miller is the U.S. Treasury official coordinating five agencies that are writing the Volcker rule intended to limit risk at banks. Regulators are now taking a closer look following JPMorgan Chase’s trading loss of at least $5.8 billion and analyzing whether the trade would have been allowed if the rule had been in place.

Johns Hopkins No Longer Nation’s Top-Ranked Hospital

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Mr. T, pitying Johns Hopkins

Speaking of rankings, In U.S. News & World Report‘s latest list of the top hospitals in the country, Johns Hopkins fell from its decades-long position of No. 1 all the way down to No. 2! Massachusetts General of Boston took over the top spot.

Ravens Worth a Billion Dollars, According to Forbes Magazine

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Maybe one of the greatest things about the free market is that nearly everything can be assigned a monetary value, and so everything can be perfectly ranked. Take sports teams, sure there are standings you can follow throughout the course of a season, but you haven’t really judged the value of a team until Forbes determines the fair market price.

Tribune Co., Parent of The Baltimore Sun, to Emerge from Bankruptcy

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Sam Zell

Dow Jones Bankruptcy News reports that a judge has cleared the way for The Baltimore Sun parent company the Tribune Company to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  In 2007, the company was purchased in a leveraged buyout by billionaire Sam Zell. The latest plan puts Zell at the bottom of payment priority, behind a group of junior bondholders.

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