Payrolls in U.S. Jumped 243,000 in January Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.3% [Bloomberg]
Employment climbed more than forecast in January and the U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly fell to the lowest in three years, casting doubt on whether the Federal Reserve can wait until 2014 before raising interest rates. The 243,000 increase in payrolls was the most since April and exceeded all forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey, Labor Department figures showed in Washington. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent, the lowest since February 2009.
Corporate income-tax receipts typically fall during recessions, and they declined sharply after the 2008 financial crisis, which wiped out big swaths of profits across the huge financial sector. But U.S. profits have rebounded sharply in recent quarters, while tax receipts have stayed low. So where is the money? There are a lot of moving pieces, budget watchers say, but one view shared inside Washington is that a temporary tax break—supported by both political parties—is a key reason. This tax break, known as "bonus depreciation," has allowed companies to write off investments in goods like industrial equipment, manufacturing machinery and computers in the year in which they're bought rather than over time. The White House estimates the subsidy has saved companies roughly $55 billion in corporate income taxes over each of the past two years.
Ezra Klein: "Republicans occasionally flirt with the idea that tax cuts don't increase deficits. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has said this directly. Speaker John Boehner has decreed that tax cuts don't need to be offset, but spending cuts do. But there's a very easy way to see that Republicans don't really mean this: They believe that tax cuts cause deficits when Democrats are behind them."
Even as the Securities and Exchange Commission has stepped up its investigations of Wall Street in the last decade, the agency has repeatedly allowed the biggest firms to avoid punishments specifically meant to apply to fraud cases. By granting exemptions to laws and regulations that act as a deterrent to securities fraud, the S.E.C. has let financial giants like JPMorganChase, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America continue to have advantages reserved for the most dependable companies, making it easier for them to raise money from investors, for example, and to avoid liability from lawsuits if their financial forecasts turn out to be wrong.
Accountants want more applications to enable them to work from iPads, according to new research. A Thomson Reuters Digita survey of more than 400 respondents from a cross-section of firms found that practitioners want more integration between their office and mobile tools.