Dodd-Frank, Albums of the Year, and Congressional Pay Raises

It's been awhile since I've put together a list of what's going on with the sites in the Spend Matters family. Here's the latest from MetalMiner, Spend Matters UK/Europe, and Healthcare Matters.

Get ready to regulate... -- Seems that the US government has a penchant for putting US businesses on the hook for ensuring that foreign governments don't mistreat their citizens, or carry on with corruption -- principally through the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC (more precisely, its enforcement of the now-notorious Dodd-Frank legislation) is still causing a ruckus within the American business community.

Why some corporations aren't happy about the Fiscal Cliff deal -- Although certain business-tax breaks have been extended under the most recent deal, the biggest issue is that uncertainty still reigns, as Congress will have to come together again in a few months to deal with the debt ceiling -- and that is what stifles decision-making for a host of manufacturers, including metals producers.

I 100% agree with Grimes and Alt-J. -- Here we are – the top 5 albums of the year in our humble Spend Matters opinion! Do tell us what you think of our choice....

New plans for Seimens -- Yesterday we featured recent announcements at Siemens, particularly the planned departure later this year of Barbara Kux, their CPO. So today we'll discuss the (hypothetical) reasons for her departure, based on no particular knowledge of the Siemens situation, but purely extrapolating from what we've seen before in other businesses and with other CPOs we have known personally.

Saved by the Bell: The "Doc Fix" & Congressional Pay Raises -- Amidst all the "fiscal cliff" acrimony, did you happen to hear (again) about the so-called "doc fix?" Simply put, it was an idea passed by Congress to make sure that doctors didn't take the blunt end of all the proposed/pending cuts to Medicare. The natural concern was that doctors would simply stop seeing Medicare patients. Although the doc fix has always enjoyed bi-partisan support, this year Congress had to deal with it as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations. And had Congress not acted this time around, doctors' payments would have been cut by as much as 26.5%!

Big Fines, Small Breaches: HIPPA Turning it Up -- I'm part of a conspicuous minority who thinks the huge fines and settlements being paid that are related to HIPPA violations –not necessarily data breaches– are over the top. It's one big fine after one small breach, and more often than not, they're honest mistakes being made by good employees who haven't been properly trained. Although it's fair to point out that HIPPA has never been known for draconian practice, it's also time to recognize that those days appear to be numbered.

- Sheena Moore

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