December 3, 2014
T HE PRESSURE is on this holiday season. Cashiers will be pushing store-issued credit. And for many of you, the pushiness isn't pleasant. Yet you cave. Credit.com found that 31 percent of shoppers felt store clerks "bullied" them into opening store-branded credit accounts. During the holiday shopping season, 28 percent of consumers said they succumbed and signed up. But it turns out the discounts dangled to get people to give in aren't enough to overcome the regrets they have later.
November 24, 2014 |
We love to toast the Internet as an amazing engine for connection, creativity, and growth. We rarely want to dwell on its darker side - the vast cyber-badlands where ne'er-do-wells freely roam. On the Web, you can get away with nearly anything if you have the technical skills to pull it off and the wiliness to stay ahead of the law. Just ask a Nigerian prince - or one of his sorry victims. But if it's the Wild West out there, here's reason for hope. Last week, a Texas company became one of the first reined in by frontier marshals armed with new authority out of Washington - though this time, Wyatt Earp was played by the Federal Trade Commission and state officials in Texas, Illinois, and Ohio.
November 14, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania got a double whammy of bad news Thursday in separate reports, one projecting a nearly $2 billion budget deficit, and another saying the state had maxed out its borrowing. The Independent Fiscal Office, in its long-term economic and budget outlook report, estimates a $1.85 billion shortfall in fiscal year 2015-16, based in large part on reliance on onetime revenue sources. "The non-recurring revenues and one-time costs savings employed in the FY 2014-15 budget contribute significantly to this deficit," said Matthew Kittel, the fiscal office's director, adding that rising pension costs also are a factor in the poor fiscal outlook.
November 12, 2014 |
Defense contractor Lockheed Martin will receive $107 million in tax credits to operate in Camden, the state Economic Development Authority said Monday. The company will create laboratory facilities in two downtown buildings and move about 250 jobs from the company's headquarters in Moorestown, according to the EDA. The company also has a laboratory in Cherry Hill. The company told the EDA that some of the jobs that will go to Camden are in danger of being eliminated due to increased competition in the defense industry, and that the subsidy will help save them.
November 8, 2014 |
EVEN BEFORE the clues fell into place leading investigators to rescue Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, Detective James Sloan knew two things: The 22-year-old abduction victim was more clever than her captor, and she was going to make it home safely. "I won't say something if I don't believe it," Sloan said yesterday of the promise he'd made to Carlesha's mother, Keisha Gaither, early in the investigation, that she would see her daughter alive again. The first of many clues that led to Freeland-Gaither's safe return home after authorities found her in Jessup, Md., with her alleged kidnapper on Wednesday was provided by the young woman herself, police said.
November 4, 2014 |
A Philadelphia tax preparer pleaded guilty Monday to multiple counts of tax fraud after falsifying hundreds of clients' returns. Edward J. Rorie, 50, doctored 968 returns between 2009 and 2011, seeking inflated refunds totaling $3.85 million, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The returns claimed miscellaneous tax credits and fictitious expenses the filers were not entitled to receive, netting more than $100,000 in losses for the IRS. The credits Rorie fraudulently claimed included the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit, the Hope Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, education credits, child care credits, and the Recovery Act's Additional Child Care Credit.
November 1, 2014 |
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said Thursday its third-quarter profit rose compared with the same period last year in large part because it stopped trying to sell generic medicine in markets where the profit was too small, cut expenses, and converted patients to a new version of its multiple sclerosis medication. Teva's net income rose from $711 million in the third quarter of 2013 to $876 million in the same period this year. Sales for the third quarter were almost flat, decreasing from $5.059 billion in 2013 to $5.058 billion in the third quarter this year.
October 19, 2014 |
American Express unveiled a new effort Friday to combat credit-card fraud with a big assist - from President Obama. He announced the American Express Small Merchant EMV Assistance Program during a news conference in Washington, detailing a $10 million initiative designed to help merchants defray the cost of replacing check-out terminals with ones that will accept secure, chip-based credit cards. So-called EMV technology offers greater payment security by storing data on a chip embedded in a credit card, assuming payment terminals are equipped to read the chip.
October 18, 2014 |
City Council on Thursday approved a bill that would make it easier for fast-food firms, hotels, and other traditionally low-wage employers in Philadelphia to pay their workers $12 an hour. If signed into law by Mayor Nutter, an employer would get a $5,000 tax credit for each new full-time worker it hires and pays at least $12 an hour. The tax break would last five years. The bill, sponsored by Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. and unanimously approved, comes as some left-leaning groups are campaigning to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, while others want it raised to $15, as Seattle did in June.
October 13, 2014 |
TORONTO - The movie's over. The audience has laughed, cried, recoiled in horror at the bad behavior on display. But Bill Murray isn't finished. The titular star of St. Vincent - instantly a hallmark role of his career - creaks open the screen door to his character's pitiful backyard, headphones attached to a (yes!) portable cassette player, and starts singing along to Bob Dylan's "Shelter From the Storm. " For the next five minutes, as the credits roll for this feel-good comedy about a feel-bad guy, Murray fools around with a garden hose and echoes the Dylan verse on the sound track.