regulation

Big Oil Isn't as Profitable as Everyone Thinks

Americans spend a lot of money on oil: about $632 billion a year. And the big oil producers report eye-popping annual profits, like ExxonMobil's $41 billion in 2011. Numbers like that may make you feel like we're getting robbed at the pump ... but it's not that simple.

Court Upholds Rules to Stop 'Deceptive' Airfare Advertising

The government can regulate airlines' "unfair and deceptive" advertising practices by requiring them to show consumers a total ticket price that includes taxes and fees in their ads, the U.S. Court of Appeals said Tuesday, rejecting an industry challenge.

New Safe-Sex Porn Law Could Cost L.A. Billions

Many industries complain that new government regulations are bad for business; now, we're hearing it from the adult film biz. A proposed L.A. city regulation to require porn actors to use condoms has adult film makers threatening to leave Tinseltown -- and to take the lion's share of an $8 billion-a-year industry with them.

Alabama County Avoids Bankruptcy Filing

Jefferson County, Alabama's, sewer debt crisis is coming to a close. Commissioners voted Friday on a deal framework that will let it restructure and partially write off $3.14 billion debt, saving the county from filing for Chapter 9 in what would have been the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Oil Speculators: Manipulators or Savvy Investors?

As the price of oil has soared over the past few months, an army of commentators has accused "speculators" of manipulating the oil market to profit from the misery of the American people. But how much are these big investors to blame for our pain at the pump, and how much is simply a matter of supply and demand?

Goodbye, Free Checking; Hello, New Bank Fees

The era of free checking accounts is coming to an end. Many consumers will face an extra $144 a year in account fees, plus higher dues for their debit cars, and increased ATM charges, too. It's all part of a banking industry backlash against last year's consumer friendly financial reforms.

Obama Orders Review of Federal Business Regulations

President Barack Obama said he will order an overhaul of U.S. business regulations in a bid to cut unnecessary red tape and improve consumer protection. In an opinion piece in today%u2019s Wall Street Journal, Obama said the overhaul will address issues such as the need for new safety rules for infant formula and a faster procedure for approving new medical devices.

What Facebook's Goldman Deal Says About Tech IPOs

Facebook and many other tech startups have realized that the hassles and headaches of an IPO in the U.S. aren't always worthwhile. Thanks to willing venture capitalists and private investors, it's easier than ever to avoid the lure of going public.

New Year Hurdles: Top 10 Challenges for CEOs in 2011

With the recession over -- in a sense, anyway -- some CEOs are just happy to still be standing. After three years of turmoil, there's even cautious optimism about the year ahead. But for those whose job is to steer a company to profits and growth, there are plenty of worries ahead. Here's our list of top CEO challenges for 2011.

U.K. Banks Face Government Levy

Five U.K. banks may have to pay hundreds of millions of pounds in a levy that aims to charge them for the risks they pose to the country%u2019s economy. The planned bank levy will raise a total of 2.5 billion pounds ($3.59 billion) a year from 2012 onwards, The Wall Street Journal said.

BMW Allegedly Blocked Car Sales to Swiss Citizens

Swiss antitrust authorities are investigating BMW for allegedly blocking vehicle sales to Swiss citizens in some parts of Europe. The Swiss Competition Commission said it has information that BMW distribution branches in the European Economic Area are barring sales of BMW and Mini brand vehicles to Swiss citizens, Bloomberg News said.

Why Happy Meals Toys are Controversial in California

Forget California's huge budget deficits, high unemployment levels and nasty political campaigns. One of the most polarizing issues in the Golden State today is about a proposal to ban Happy Meals toys in San Francisco.

Regulators Probe 'Inherently Deceptive' Insurance Marketing

In three states, regulators have started or widened investigations into insurers after a judge described MetLIfe Inc%u2019s (MET) marketing of asset accounts as "inherently deceptive." On Sept. 10, U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks in Reno, Nevada said that MetLife gave customers the misimpression that its Total Control Account Money Market Option account for death benefits was protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Bloomberg News said.

Regulators to Take Aim at Bank 'Window Dressing'

Regulators may outline new rules to target so-called window dressing, a practice that some banks use to temporarily reduce their debt levels before reporting their finances. The SEC is scheduled to raise the matter at a meeting on Friday, then issue proposals for public comment, The Wall Street Journal said.