President Barack Obama is inviting Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders to the White House next week for talks on how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. Speaking at the White House, Obama said he is "open to compromise" and "new ideas" that would break the impasse over deficit reduction. But he adds that increasing tax revenues, including higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans, is an essential part of a balanced approach to the nation's fiscal problems.
- House Speaker John Boehner says any deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff should include not only lower tax rates but also revisions in the tax code and the elimination of special interest loopholes. Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Boehner insisted that making the tax code more efficient would lead to greater revenue for the government.
- Stocks have been swinging from negative territory to positive and back on Wall Street today. Talk of compromise over a budget deal that would keep the U.S. economy from falling off the so-called fiscal cliff of tax hikes and government spending cuts has buoyed shares. But analysts say investors will remain skittish until a deal is firmly in place.
- A jump in sales prompted U.S. wholesale businesses to increase stockpiles at a faster pace in September. The Commerce Department says wholesale stockpiles grew 1.1 percent as sales at the wholesale level jumped 2 percent, the largest gain in 18 months. The increase could mean the economy grew at a faster rate in the July-September quarter than first estimated.
- Britain's revenue and customs service says it is looking into allegations that criminals may have used offshore accounts with HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, to launder money. The Daily Telegraph newspaper is reporting that a whistleblower has disclosed a list showing drug dealers and other criminals were using accounts based in Jersey. The British dependency off the coast of France has its own currency and tax laws.