Welcome back to our Friday re-cap of this week’s news on the money side of life.
No more Big Gulps in the Big Apple. Mayor Bloomberg has proposed a ban in New York City on the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 oz, intended to help curb the city’s obesity rate. Proponents believe the ban will promote improved health and healthcare costs, without having to impose a soda tax to discourage consumption. Those in disagreement say, “Nobody comes between me and my extra large Dr. Pepper.” (Big Gulps are technically okay, since they’re sold at convenience stores. Only restaurants, movie theaters and food carts would be affected by the rule.)
Student loan crisis? According to the latest quarterly report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student loan debt continues to grow substantially, even as other debt (like mortgages and credit card debt) has somewhat decreased. The current overall student loan debt is $904 billion–a 275% increase, as pointed out by CNNMoney, from this same time in 2003.
John Edwards is off the hook. Charges of campaign finance fraud against former presidential candidate John Edwards were dropped this week after nine days of trial. The scandal in question: whether Edwards accepted nearly $1 million in donations far above the legal per person donor limit in order to conceal an affair during his 2008 run for office. Edwards was acquitted of one charge, and another five were deemed a mistrial when the jury could not come to a conclusion. If anything, the trial highlighted the need for a clearer definition of what can be considered a campaign contribution.
Job report jitters. The latest unemployment figures from the White House reported a disappointing low number of jobs added in May, triggering a stock market dip that’s been the worst so far this year. The report’s dim numbers also prompted both President Obama and newly-minted Republican nominee Mitt Romney to place blame at who’s responsible. Unsurprisingly, Romney pointed fingers at the President, who turned it back on the Republicans in Congress.