Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

Keeping it separate.
US to separate political contributions from federal procurement -- A panel of US senators has voted to keep information on political contributions separate from the federal government's procurement process. The move came when the Senate Armed Services Committee voted in favour of an amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that would prevent the inclusion of any regulation that would compel companies bidding for federal government contracts to disclose political contributions which they had made.

The blame game.
Transocean Report Blames BP for Gulf Spill -- Transocean, the Swiss company that owned the rig lost in last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, issued an extensive report on the disaster on Wednesday that largely blames BP, the well's owner. The conclusions of the 854-page, two-volume report may not be particularly surprising, considering the enormous liability in civil lawsuits and possible federal criminal charges.

...will they start passing to consumers now??
Swedish fashion retailer H&M blames higher procurement costs, campaigns for Q2 profit fall -- Purchasing costs were also higher than usual in the quarter, it said. This was mainly attributed to currency effects related to the strong krona and the weak U.S. dollar, cost inflation in the sourcing markets as well as lower spare capacity with suppliers. "H&M chose not to pass on the increased purchasing costs to the customers," it said, adding it had instead profited from increased market share as it strengthened its pricing position.

History lesson of the day.
A Brief History of the Corporation: 1600 to 2100 -- On 8 June, a Scottish banker named Alexander Fordyce shorted the collapsing Company's shares in the London markets. But a momentary bounce-back in the stock ruined his plans, and he skipped town leaving £550,000 in debt. Much of this was owed to the Ayr Bank, which imploded. In less than three weeks, another 30 banks collapsed across Europe, bringing trade to a standstill. On July 15, the directors of the Company applied to the Bank of England for a £400,000 loan. Two weeks later, they wanted another £300,000. By August, the directors wanted a £1 million bailout. The news began leaking out and seemingly contrite executives, running from angry shareholders, faced furious Parliament members. By January, the terms of a comprehensive bailout were worked out, and the British government inserted its czars into the Company's management to ensure compliance with its terms. If this sounds eerily familiar, it shouldn't. The year was 1772, exactly 239 years ago today, the apogee of power for the corporation as a business construct.

- Sheena Moore

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