Money Matters - Simplified


U.S. Government to Sue BP

 Just when BP  (NYSE: BP) looked like its recovery from the Deepwater Horizon disaster was starting to strengthen, here comes news that the U.S. government is suing.


How to Tell Your Advisor's Real Agenda

 We hire professionals for their expertise, and pay them for guidance on topics that are unfamiliar to us. And there's the rub: How can we judge whether it's sound advice, or advice that just sounds good because you're being told what you want to hear?


BP challenges oil spill estimates

Washington -- An attorney for the U.S. Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling Commission said oil company BP is challenging estimates of this summer's oil spill.

Attorney Priya Aiyar said BP attorneys had challenged the commission's estimate that 5 million barrels of oil were released by the Madondo oil well spill that began with an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico in April that killed 11 workers.

The estimate is the key figure for arriving at a fine, which would cost $1,100 per barrel if the spill is ruled an accident and $4,300 per barrel if the spill involved company negligence, The New York Times reported.

Picking Your Financial Planner

Even before you decide to hire a financial advisor, do your homework well. You must be clear in your mind as to what it is that you wish to achieve by hiring one.

Arizona pushes power efficiency

Phoenix -- Regulators in Arizona have set a goal of reducing electric power consumption in the state by 22 percent in 10 years in a push towards conservation.

The Arizona Corp. Commission voted 5-0 to force electric companies to promote conservation efforts through efficiency, The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.

The new goals were supported by environmental groups and consumer advocates, including the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, which projects a savings for consumers of $9 billion by 2020.

SEEP representative Jeff Schlegel said, "Utilities that under-invest in energy efficiency will deliver their customers the highest utility bills."

Obama launches deficit commission

Washington -- President Barack Obama in Washington Tuesday defined the new National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform as a no-holds barred budget watchdog.

On the day stock markets reeled as Standard & Poor's downgraded Greek debt to junk status, Obama said, "Everything has to be on the table," in terms of trimming the federal deficit.

The day he was sworn into office, "the deficit stood at $1.3 trillion, with projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next 10 years," he said.

Obama said there was a long-standing political culture in which "folks in Washington deferred politically difficult decisions and avoided telling hard truths."

"We're not playing that game," he said.