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Morning Brief: Systemic Approach Needed to Solve Competitiveness Problem

by Jonathan Masters
February 17, 2012


The United States faces a multi-faceted competitiveness problem, writes Harvard Business School dean Nitin Nohria in the Harvard Business Review (HBR), and while one-off reforms in taxation, education, and other areas are helpful, what is needed is a “systemic, well-choreographed approach to creating positive change.” The new March issue of HBR draws on thought, leaders from Harvard and other organizations, and offers a detailed appraisal of U.S. competitiveness.

Debt and Deficits

Paying for the Payroll Tax Cut

Republicans and Democrats have tentatively agreed to use proceeds from the privatization of public airwaves to help pay for the extension of the payroll tax cut (NYT), set to be voted on today. The public auction is expected to generate $25 billion and will be used to pay for the $30 billion cost of extending unemployment insurance.

Debt and deficits. Read more from experts on the challenges in reducing U.S. debt.

International Trade and Investment

Obama to Boost Export-Import Bank Funding

U.S. President Barack Obama is set to announce that the Export-Import Bank (WSJ) will match funding by other countries like China in order to guarantee U.S. exporters stay competitive in the international market. The announcement comes just days after Obama met with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping to discuss bilateral relations and international business practices.

CFR’s Edward Alden examines the growing global competition over export financing and urges Congress to expand the loan capacity of the Export-Import Bank in this Renewing America blog post “What Congress Needs to Know About Export Finance.”

International trade and investment. Read more from leading analysts on the debate over next steps in U.S. trade policy.

Corporate Regulation and Taxation

Regulating Derivatives

The quantity of derivates a firm can sell before it falls under strict new U.S. trading guidelines is set to increase twenty-fold, according to the Financial Times. The proposed change comes just ahead of a vote at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on how to classify participants in swaps, the previously unregulated derivatives that helped fuel the financial crisis.

Corporate regulation and taxation. Read more from top economists and business experts on solutions for addressing corporate tax reform.

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  • Posted by mustafa

    Some rdonam comments:The reason outsourcing has not happened in Germany and Japan is not only because of taxes, but also because of cultural differences. The idea of putting profit before people can be put on a scale, and the US would be way over to the profit side. In Germany and Japan, social responsibility is also a significant factor in corporate decisions.Also, an overall wealth tax is a bad idea. Assets are not just a source of profits, but also sources of security and possible future investments. It is possible, but then certain things should be excluded, such as:- Housing (especially the home one lives in)- Savings, at least up to $100,000- Pension fundsI wonder how much it would bring in with those restrictions.

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