IRS Needs Grilled
Congressional leaders on the House Ways and Means Committee, grilled Internal
Revenue Service former acting commissioner Steven Miller on Friday. Committee
Chairman Dave Camp said, "The reality is this is not a personnel problem. This
is a problem of the IRS being too large, too powerful, too intrusive and too
abusive of honest, hardworking taxpayers." The leaders had no problem coming
down hard on Miller, after all - any American citizen knows very well what it is
like to have the IRS come down hard on them, during an audit. Miller became
aware of the 'inappropriate' conduct of the IRS in reviewing conservative
groups' applications for tax-exempt status during May 2012 but, failed to notify
lawmakers at that time. Miller held his ground that he did not mislead Congress.
At one point during the hearing, Miller said he did not think the IRS had broken
any laws when it drew up its targeting list - a response that received a
profound "wow" from Republicans on the committee. Republicans are adamant in
finding out who was involved in the target list. U.S. Treasury watchdog's report
released this week did not identify individuals from the IRS's Washington
headquarters or its Cincinnati field office who were responsible for coming up
with the criteria used to single out conservative groups. During one of several
combative exchanges with congressional leaders, Miller said he had asked IRS
senior technical adviser Nancy Marks which agency employees were behind the
targeting, but Miller could not remember who was identified as a responsible
party by Marks. Representative Sander Levin of Michigan recommended that Lois
Lerner, the IRS official who made the scandal public last week, should be fired
for misleading Congress because she did not inform lawmakers about the problem
sooner. "That is wholly unacceptable, and one of the reasons we believe Ms.
Lerner should be relieved of her duty," Levin said. During the hearing Miller
readily noted that the IRS has 'horrible customer service'. The IRS has never
been one to believe in or trust in due to their ruthless actions which many
times, are directed toward innocent American tax payers. The IRS is notably the
most hated, in the USA. Anyone who was ever involved in an IRS audit knows the
pain and agony it causes. So, if the leader of the IRS knows how horrible the
customer service is, why was nothing ever done about it?
Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ORMP) - established in 2006 - shares were higher by
12% into late afternoon trading Friday after receiving U.S. Food and Drug
Administration clearance for ORMD-0801, an oral insulin capsule. In early
trading, shares were higher by 25%. Oramed Chief Executive Nadav Kidron said,
"We are very pleased to have the FDA clearance to proceed. The upcoming trial is
a major milestone for Oramed and we look forward to continuing to progress
ORMD-0801's clinical development in the U.S." ORMD-0801 is an orally ingestible
insulin capsule indicated for the early stages of type 2 diabetes, when it can
still slow the rate of degeneration of the disease by providing additional
insulin to the body and allowing pancreatic respite, the company said. Oramed is
currently initiating Phase 2 clinical trials for the potential treatment under
an investigational new drug application with the FDA.
Uni-Pixel, Inc. (UNXL) shares were lower by 19% amidst heavy trading volume into
mid-afternoon trading on Friday after an article surfaced that investors should
be wary of the supplier of touch screen technology. Uni-Pixel offers finger
print resistant and hard coat protective cover films for various touch enabled
devices. As of the close of trading Thursday, shares were up over 168% year to
Gold fell for the seventh straight session on Friday, facing its longest losing
streak in four years and a decline over the past week of nearly 5%. On the
trading session, gold for June delivery fell $13.30 or nearly 1% to $1,373.60 an
ounce. The drop in gold is driven by a drop in investor sentiment. Investors
appear to be moving gold investment funds into equities since equities have been
seen rising to recent record highs. Also, investors are seen potentially
investing in exchange-traded-products (ETPs) - investment vehicles that give
investors exposure to the gold price through issuing securities backed by
physical metal. ETPs have seen huge outflows since the start of 2013. New York's
SPDR Gold Trust, as of Thursday, reported an outflow of nearly 5.7 tonnes,
bringing the drop in its holdings this week to more than 10 tonnes. As of
Friday, SPDR Gold Trust is lower by nearly 14% on the quarter.
University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters preliminary May reading of consumer
sentiment index increased to a reading of 83.7, for its highest level since
2007. "In general, the LEI points to a continuing economic expansion with some
upside potential," said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at the Conference Board.
LEI (leading economic index) tacked on a 0.6 percentage point gain to 95.0 in
April. Led by housing permits, seven of the 10 components of the index expanded.
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