Obama moves to ease student loan burdens [WaPo]
President Obama on Wednesday will announce a plan to allow college graduates to cap federal student loan repayments at 10 percent of discretionary income starting in January, two years before the cap was due to take effect under federal law. The accelerated “pay as you earn” program, which Obama will authorize through executive order, could benefit up to 1.6 million borrowers and reduce their payments by as much as a couple hundred dollars a month, administration officials said. All remaining debt on the federal loans would be forgiven after 20 years — five years earlier than under current law.
Perry Calls His Flat Tax Proposal ‘Bold Reform’ [NYT]
The plan represents a gamble for Mr. Perry, who is trying to reinvigorate a once-high-flying campaign by capturing some of the energy Herman Cain generated with his flat tax plan and by drawing a sharply conservative contrast with Mitt Romney. But in proposing what he called “bold reform” that may trim Social Security and Medicare benefits for many, Mr. Perry is also advocating potentially sweeping changes in entitlement programs that may open him to new lines of attack from Republican rivals, all at a time when polling shows many Americans want to see higher — not lower — taxes on the wealthy.
Olympus chairman to step down [FT]
The chairman of Olympus, Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, is to leave the Japanese optical equipment company after coming under fire over large undisclosed payments made in relation to acquisitions while he was chief executive. Olympus has scheduled a news briefing for 5:30pm Tokyo time. A spokesman said the company planned to announce Mr Kikukawa’s departure but declined to give further details.
Gupta Surrenders to FBI [WSJ]
The 62-year-old Mr. Gupta surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Wednesday on criminal charges of leaking inside information to Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam. Mr. Rajaratnam this month was sentenced to 11 years in prison, the longest-ever for insider trading. If prosecutors are able to prove their case against him, Mr. Gupta would be by far the highest-ranking corporate executive to fall in an unprecedented push by the government to root out insider trading, which prosecutors have said they believe is rampant. Since late 2009, federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged 55 individuals with insider trading, resulting in 51 convictions or guilty pleas.
IBM names Rometty as next chief executive [FT]
IBM has named Virginia Rometty to succeed Sam Palmisano as its chief executive from the start of next year, making her the first female leader in the 100-year history of the US computing giant and one of only a handful of women to head a large US corporation. Currently head of sales, marketing and strategy, Ms Rometty is also the first head of IBM not to have run part of its traditional hardware business. At one time she headed the business services unit that accounts for around a third of IBM’s total services division, but has otherwise spent her 30-year career at the company mainly in sales and marketing roles.
Jack Daniel’s distillery facing possible $3.5 million property tax increase [DMWT]
Who needs a drink?