| Business

John Browne, a financial analyst and former member of the British Parliament, is a financial columnist for the Tribune-Review. John Browne can be reached via e-mail

Browne: Rate hike prospect has mixed reactions

By John Browne
The Federal Reserve has kept short-term interest rates at near zero for more than nine years. Starting in 2013, the Fed announced the possibility of rate increases. Though a rate hike was predicted for the Fed meeting on Sept. 17, ...

Banks focus on Blockchain but reject Bitcoin

By John Browne
The U.S. banking business is being challenged by unregulated virtual currencies, known as digital or cryptocurrencies. The largest and most well-known of these is Bitcoin, started in 2009. While banks evaluate Bitcoin’s key software “Blockchain” for their own internal use, ...

U.S. oil waits out decline

By John Browne
West Texas Intermediate crude oil has dropped in price more than 50 percent this year. The International Energy Agency, meanwhile, reports rising oil inventories. Whether the dramatic fall in oil prices indicates a short term dip or a permanent deterioration, ...

Browne: China makes inroads in U.S.-based manufacturing

By John Browne
China Railway Rolling Stock Corp., owned partly by the Chinese government, was the lowest bidder with a $566.6 million contract to build 284 rail cars in Springfield, Mass. for the Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority. China’s investing in the United States ...

Judiciary lashes peer lending

By John Browne
Peer lending has exploded in the last several years as a viable alternative to conventional lending methods. Internet-based peer lending platforms act as brokers, receiving fees for linking up borrowers and lenders at mutually agreed rates. But peer lending is ...

U.S. closes in on offshore tax evasion

By John Browne
The Internal Revenue Service loses billions of dollars annually because of offshore tax evasion. For years, a number of American taxpayers have evaded federal income taxes by channeling income into secret foreign or offshore bank accounts in some 70 ...

Gold’s woes less than oil, other metals

By John Browne
The price of gold is at a five-year low. But it has fallen proportionately less than oil and even other metals. The differential is attributed to gold being a commodity and a monetary asset. Concern that gold prices will drop ...

SEC rule scrutinizes CEO pay

By John Browne
The Securities and Exchange Commission has adopted a new rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose the ratio of chief executive officer compensation to the median compensation of employees. The announced purpose is to afford shareholders a better informed basis ...

Beijing struggles with change

By John Browne
When Apple Inc. announced its second quarter earnings, it became clear how important China is to its sales. As China transitions from a centralized economy, financed heavily by substantial debt, into an entrepreneurial consumer market, economic growth is slowing. Already ...

Fed may be biased on inflation

By John Browne
The Federal Reserve’s next move on interest rates will depend on policymakers’ views on progress toward their dual mandate of maximum employment and keeping inflation in check. The Fed’s comfort level for inflation is 2 percent. But inflation has been ...

SEC uses its claws

By John Browne
The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed rules extending incentive-pay clawbacks and disclosures to a wider group of corporate executives. The 3-2 vote on July 1 represents the SEC’s most recent attempt to curb excessive compensation and discourage risk-taking that ...

Click here for John Browne archive stories.