Key to the Obama administration's proposal for financial industry reform is the establishment of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The proposed agency would "have a broad mandate to cover the spectrum of consumer financial products and to fill gaps in current regulations." Not surprisingly, big business is fighting back.
From March 2008 to January 2009, the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) spent $7.6 million on public relations and marketing, to "instill confidence in the stability of the insured banking system" and mark the agency's 75th anniversary.
AIG spokesman Nick Ashooh has defended the company -- which received $180 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds -- over criticism of its hiring of four PR firms. Michael Weisskopf reports that Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Cigarette makers are taking advantage of the upcoming 62-cent increase in the U.S. federal excise tax on cigarettes to raise prices.