CNN Financial News Producer
For American workers rocked by layoffs and cutbacks, January really was as bad as it felt, according to a pair of troubling reports released this morning.
The number of planned layoffs announced last month increased by 45% to the highest level in seven years, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. And ADP's National Employment Report found that private-sector employers cut 522,000 positions.
We’ll get the government’s official reading on January’s job losses on Friday. The latest estimate from Briefing.com is that the economy shed another 525,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate is expected to jump to 7.5% — the highest level since the early 1990s.
The man who tried to blow the whistle on Bernie Madoff is on Capitol Hill telling his story. Harry Markopolos, who waged a decade-long campaign to alert regulators about Madoff’s alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme, says the SEC failed to act despite receiving credible allegations of fraud.
Markopolos told a House committee hearing this morning that the SEC is “captive to the industry it regulates” and is afraid to bring big cases against prominent individuals. He said the agency "roars like a lion and bites like a flea."
Madoff was arrested in December and is currently under house arrest in his $7 million luxury apartment on New York’s Upper East Side.
Wells Fargo is canceling a four-day business meeting in Las Vegas after news reports portrayed it a “pricey Las Vegas casino junket.”
The company, one of nine banks to receive billions in federal bailout money last fall, called the reports “intentionally misleading.”
“The event is not a ‘junket’ for executives but a four-day business meeting and recognition event for hard-working team members who made homeownership achievable and sustainable for borrowers across the nation," Wells Fargo said in a statement.
Gas prices rose 1 cent overnight to $1.90 a gallon. That’s the 7th consecutive increase.
Six states now have regular unleaded gas prices of $2 and higher. The highest gas prices are in Alaska ($2.517). Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have regular unleaded gas prices below $2. The cheapest gas prices are in Wyoming ($1.579)
Finally… are you looking for ways to save money on those things that are impossible to cut completely out of your budget? Gerri Willis, CNN’s Personal Finance Editor, has some answers.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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