Driving the Day: 4/23/12

Apr 23, 2012

Need to know…

  • Fate of Cybersecurity Bills Rest in the Senate. The House is set to vote on a host of cybersecurity bills this week, but the fate of the legislation rests in the Senate. The House is expected to approve the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which would tear down legal barriers that discourage companies from sharing data about cyber attacks. The goal of the bill is to help companies protect against hackers who steal business secrets and customers’ financial information. The White House and Senate Democrats argue CISPA is inadequate.
  • JOBS Act Gives Small Banks a Freer Hand. The JOBS Act signed into law earlier this month aims to increase jobs by reducing regulations on companies. One way it’s doing this is by including a provision that raises the number of shareholders at which small banks must register with the SEC to 2,000, meaning that small banks are free to raise capital by attracting new investors without taking on new regulatory burdens. This provision could also give new life to bank mergers and acquisitions.
  • IMF Spring Meetings End on Mixed Note. The IMF’s spring meetings ended in Washington with a doubling of its war chest to $430 billion. Managing Director Christine Lagarde fell short of her original $600 billion goal as the U.S. declined to chip in, while Canada proposed making it harder for Europe to tap aid. The tensions leave Lagarde pushing Europe to better fight the crisis, as Spain’s interest rates soar and Dutch austerity talks flop. If Europe resists, Lagarde could find it harder to rally support for sending the region more money or face criticism for bailing out undeserving governments.
  • General Motors to Add 600 Dealerships in China. General Motors Co. chairman Dan Akerson announced Monday that the automaker plans to open 600 dealerships in China this year and nearly double production capacity despite a showdown in sales growth. The company’s luxury Cadillac unit plans to introduce a new model in China in hopes to raise annual sales from 30,000 last year to 60,000 by 2016.
  • Immigration Law Goes Before Supreme Court This Week. In its second-biggest case this term, the Supreme Court will consider on Wednesday whether a tough Arizona immigration crackdown strayed too far into the federal government’s powers. A pro-Arizona decision would be a legal and political setback for President Obama, who has criticized the state’s law and vowed to push for immigration legislation if re-elected.

Worth the read…

The U.S. Chamber turned 100 yesterday, celebrating a century in support of free enterprise and pro-business policies that create jobs and grow the economy. Continuing its trend of becoming the leading trade association in digital communications, the Chamber introduced a Facebook Open Graph application -- the first-of-its-kind in the business advocacy space -- that will allow its fans to ‘stand up for American enterprise.’  Join us by clicking here

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