Business Breakfast: 5 Stories We're Following

By Derek Thompson

BP is horrible. Retail sales in gas and auto are dragging down spending. Toyota is partly exonerated. New rules for Alzheimer's diagnoses. Mitch McConnell is embarrassing himself.

Your Business Breakfast:

BP's Terrorist Connection: "Beleaguered by the continuing Gulf oil spill caused in part by the legacy of John Browne, BP's former CEO, Hayward finds himself stuck with another poisoned inheritance from Browne--who personally flew to Libya several times with MI-6 officers to secretly negotiate [the premature release of a terrorist to gain] access to Libya's oil. The deal, announced in 2004 by Tony Blair, was hailed as a breakthrough."

Retail Sales Drop, Again: "U.S. retail sales tumbled a second straight time in June, falling more than expected in a sign consumer spending is slowing and draining steam from an economy saddled with high joblessness."

It's Wasn't All Toyota's Fault: "The U.S. Department of Transportation has analyzed dozens of data recorders from Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles involved in accidents blamed on sudden acceleration and found that the throttles were wide open and the brakes weren't engaged at the time of the crash, people familiar with the findings said. The early results suggest that some drivers who said their Toyotas and Lexuses surged out of control were mistakenly flooring the accelerator when they intended to jam on the brakes."

Alzheimer's Population Set to Triple?: "For the first time in 25 years, medical experts are proposing a major change in the criteria for Alzheimer's disease, part of a new movement to diagnose and, eventually, treat the disease earlier.  If the guidelines are adopted in the fall, as expected, some experts predict a two- to threefold increase in the number of people with Alzheimer's disease."

Bush Tax Cuts Reduced the Deficit! "That's been the majority Republican view for some time," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told TPMDC this afternoon after the weekly GOP press conference. "That there's no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue. They increased revenue, because of the vibrancy of these tax cuts in the economy."

Read the full stories at the Daily Beast, Wall Street Journal, WSJ, New York Times, and TPMDC.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/07/business-breakfast-5-stories-were-following/59721/