Today’s News and Commentary – October 2
The New York Times is reporting on the efforts of Texas Governor Rick Perry to lure American employers to the Lone Star state. In the past seven months alone, Perry has traveled to six states, trumpeting Texas’s low-tax laissez faire business environment. Some, however, wonder whether the trips are part of a broader effort to raise Governor Perry’s national profile for an eventual presidential bid.
The Washington Post Wonkblog is reporting that the recent government shutdown has created uncertainty for federal contractors, who do around $1.4 billion of business a day with the government. Except for certain industries, like health-care providers, “[c]ompanies will essentially have to find out as they go.”
Detroit has defaulted on $600 million of its $11.9 billion of unsecured debt, as the efforts to make the cash-strapped city solvent continue. TheWashington Post reports that the Detroit public pension funds and retiree health care fund are among the city’s unsecured creditors, but no word on whether they held the defaulted on obligations.
Merck, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, has announced plans to lay off 8,500 employees amid recent setbacks in the company’s drug research. The New York Times reports that the market reacted favorably to the news.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal notes that Walgreen Co. is reporting an 86% increase in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings. Readers may recall last month’s announcement by Walgreen Co. that it would no longer administer its traditional health plan and require its employees to buy coverage through a private exchange due to rising costs.