Money Minute: U.S. Set to Lift Disco-Era Oil-Export Ban


After a 40-year ban, a few companies have been given the green light to export unrefined oil, which could lead to higher gas prices in the U.S.

Two Texas energy companies: Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) and Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) have reportedly just been told they can export an ultra-light oil that has become abundant thanks to the shale oil boom. For four decades there was a ban on exporting that kind of oil.

The Commerce Department says energy companies have improved their processing of the oil that now qualifies it for export. Experts say this could lead to a big chunk of the 3 million barrels a day of oil pumped from shale being exported and that could lead to higher gas prices here in the U.S.

Walgreen (WAG) is the latest U.S. company trying to dodge paying U.S. taxes by buying a foreign company and relocating its headquarters abroad where the taxes are lower. Under pressure from shareholders to boost profitability, the drug store chain is considering buying the remaining 55 percent of Alliance Boots it doesn't already own and moving its headquarters to Switzerland. Doing so-called "inversions" has been a hot tactic among the pharmaceutical industry but it is unusual for a U.S. based retailer to ponder moving abroad.

Here on Wall Street on Tuesday stocks took a breather with the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) falling 119 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) losing 18 points and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) down 12 points.

Bernard Madoff's accountant is headed for prison. Paul Konigsberg who provided tax and accounting services to Madoff for about two decades pleaded guilty to cooking the books and falsifying records. He also faces a minimum fine of $4.4 million to help compensate the victims of the Ponzi scheme. That's just a drop in the bucket when you consider victims were swindled out of billions of dollars. Konigsberg faces sentencing on Sept. 19.

And finally, Whole Foods Market (WFM), which some people call "whole paycheck" because items there are on the pricier end, is being fined $800 million for overcharging customers in California. Inspectors found that food weighed less than advertised and cashiers included the weight of salad bar containers when weighing salads. Prosecutors said that violates consumer protection laws. All Whole Foods stores in California will now face random audits. Whole Foods says it cooperated with the investigation and said prices were right 98 percent of the time.

-Produced by Karina Huber.

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Thats perfect! Take Natural Resources that belong to all Americans, sell it for profit AND
jack the prices at the pump FOR AMERICANS, what a deal! And create earthquakes, pollute our drinking water doing all the "fracking" in the shale fields. Another perfect example of who REALLY runs our Government.

June 25 2014 at 8:27 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Sounds easy? It isn't because we have to find a way to cover 1.2 trillion in tax revenue. That requires closing tax loop holes over years, not days. And tax atty's don't like closed anything.

June 25 2014 at 2:33 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Sen, Ron Wyden? He's a liberal democrat from Oregon . He wants to...

Lower the corporate tax rate and get those foreign profits back home.

June 25 2014 at 2:21 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

If they choose to leave their profits overseas...they can't

1. Use foreign profits to build anything on US soil.
2. Can't pay dividends on foreign profit
3. Can't acquire US technology .

June 25 2014 at 2:16 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

But it gets better.

June 25 2014 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Our tax code say this: US corporations that have foreign tax profits must be taxed at a rate of 35%.
Only if they bring their profits home. They can stay overseas as long as they want. With no tax penalty.

June 25 2014 at 2:12 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I'm waiting.

June 25 2014 at 2:04 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Say you were a US corporation with 2 trillion dollars of foreign profit sitting oversea, in a country with a lower corporate tax rate, way below 35%

Would you leave your profits abroad, or bring them back to the US to be taxed at 35% plus?

June 25 2014 at 2:02 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Corporations own this country and the politicos are merely their puppets. It has been this way for decades. Now companies are showing their arrogance by cheating the system in plain view. Profit over people. All because of our greedist American culture.....i.e. YOU.

June 25 2014 at 1:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Does anyone still believe the US government is working in our best interest?? REPLACE THE GOVERNMENT!!

June 25 2014 at 12:49 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply