This column highlights the top economic stories of the week.
Last weekend, the biggest players in the health care industry announced that they would put together a cost-cutting plan to present to the Obama Administration. The expectation is that the measures will save a family of four $500 a year in the first year, and $2,500 a year by the fifth year.
Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke said that the response to the governments bank stress tests, (carried out to see how the nation’s major banks could handle worsening economy), have been encouraging. The tests have apparently helped banks to access private capital. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced that smaller banks — that hold less than $500 million in assets — can apply for the same TARP funds that have been made available for the largest ones in the nation.
After repeated outbreaks of food based sicknesses such as salmonella and e-coli, food companies have now put the onus of food safety on consumers.
The latest industry to get a federal bailout is life insurance. The sector has been struggling for sometime but many have questioned where the line should be drawn when it comes to industries and companies being bailed out.