Fed's Fisher says U.S. government bears blame for slow recovery

Reuters: An ineffective, fractious and fiscally irresponsible government has slowed the U.S. recovery and counteracted the stimulative effects of Federal Reserve's super-accommodative monetary policy, a top Fed official said on Monday. "While the Fed has been moving at the speed of a boomer in full run, the federal government of the United States has at best exhibited the adaptive alacrity of a koala (without being anywhere near as cute)," Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Australian Business Economists. "Unlike in most recoveries, government has played a countercyclical, suppressive role," Fisher said in Sydney. "The inability of our government to get its act together has countered the pro-cyclical policy of the Federal Reserve."

 

SAC nears an insider trading guilty plea, but legal cases aren't shut

The New York Times: The criminal case against the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors has reached a conclusion, people briefed on the matter said, with the government expected to announce Monday that SAC will plead guilty to insider trading charges and pay a fine of roughly $1.2 billion. But the plea deal will hardly remove SAC and its owner, billionaire money manager Steven A. Cohen, from the legal spotlight. The agreement does not resolve a separate civil lawsuit that the Securities and Exchange Commission brought against Cohen in July, accusing him of failing to supervise his employees. Six former SAC traders have pleaded guilty to insider trading crimes. The firm and Cohen will also remain under scrutiny during the coming criminal trials of two other employees, one whose case begins in federal court in Manhattan this month. The $1.2 billion penalty for SAC, which at the beginning of the year managed $15 billion, would be a record fine for insider trading cases. It would come on top of a $616 million penalty that the fund already paid to the SEC, which previously filed civil charges against the firm.

 

Snap, Crackle, find a new job: Kellogg to cut 7 percent of global workforce

Bloomberg: Kellogg Co., the maker of Rice Krispies, will cut 7 percent of its global workforce, or about 2,000 jobs, as part of a four-year cost-saving plan amid a slowdown in breakfast items. The program, known as "Project K," will result in total, pre-tax charges of between $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion, the Battle Creek, Mich.-based company said today in a statement. Kellogg had about 31,000 employees as of Dec. 29, according to regulatory filings. Sales growth at Kellogg's snack and morning foods businesses has slowed amid increased competition at the breakfast table with new options such as Greek yogurt and oatmeal bars. Net sales were little changed in the third quarter, Kellogg also reported today.