* Retailers fear payroll tax will cut consumer spending. Serena Ng – The Wall Street Journal. The tax increase’s effect for companies is that the hit is likely to cement a frugal attitude that led consumers to cut back on eating out and shift to less-expensive store brands. Link
By Matthew Goldstein
It’s been a while since we last wrote about the legal struggles of Tyrone Gilliams, the Philadelphia commodities trader/hip-hop promoter/wannabe reality show star/self-styled preacher, whom federal authorities have charged with scamming investors out of $5 million. But the University of Pennslyania graduate is making news again with the scheduled start of his Jan. 22 criminal trial in New York federal court.
* States to seniors: Good times may be ending. Anne Tergesen – The Wall Street Journal. Some states are starting to have second thoughts about the tax breaks they give older people. For decades, state governments have been generous with those breaks, perhaps because older Americans tend to show up at the polls to vote. Link
By Matthew Goldstein and Svea Herbst-Bayliss
The WSJ is out today with a big story saying Stevie Cohen and SAC Capital are bracing for up to $1 billion in redemptions, or roughly 16 percent of the $6.3 billion it manages for outside investors. That’s a lot of money but sources are telling us redemptions will likely come in lower than that—think more in the $500 million range.
By Matthew Goldstein
Institutional money keeps rushing into the market for foreclosed homes, with some big players snapping up homes at breakneck speed. But the question is whether the big buyers are throwing money around indiscriminately and Wall Street’s big housing long will come up a bit short.
* Public goals, private interests in debt campaign. Nicholas Confessore – The New York Times. Many members of the ‘Fix the Debt’ campaign are juggling their private interests with their public goals: they are also lobbyists, board members or executives for corporations that have worked aggressively to shape the contours of federal spending and taxes, including many of the tax breaks that would be at the heart of any broad overhaul. Link
Welcome to the top tax and accounting headlines from Reuters and other sources.
* After Sandy, tax cuts fade from Christie plan. Heather Haddon – The Wall Street Journal. In his annual address to the state on Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie laid out what he said would be a difficult road ahead as the state recovers from Sandy—a somber departure from last year, when he extolled the state’s economic health and centered his agenda around an aggressive income-tax cut. Link
* Insiders benefited from special dividends. Maxwell Murphy and Emily Chasan – The Wall Street Journal. Many big companies raced to pay special dividends in the fourth quarter, ahead of potentially large tax increases on cash distributions this year. Most of the one-time payouts, however, came from smaller companies that had higher-than-average ownership by their management, employees and directors. Link