Read all about it! This Week’s Top Line News Summary – 12/21/09

So we’ve come to our last week in the office of 2009, and we’re going out in style! Please find below the headlines in the banking, bankruptcy, healthcare and retail sectors to kick off your week. See you in 2010!

Bankruptcy: Since being bought out 2 years ago by a private equity firm, the troubles of the Reader’s Digest Association have been fairly well documented. For a number of years it has been trying to overhaul the magazine’s image both externally and internally, only to file Chapter 11 in August of this year. The weekend NY Times ran an in depth piece on Sunday detailing the demise of Reader’s Digest and how the company plans to reshape for the future.

Banking: Following the UK Government’s announcement earlier this month that they would be imposing a 50% tax on the portion of discretionary banking bonuses above £25,000 ($40,355), banks across the globe are debating whether to “spread the pain” of this new bonus tax among their global workforce by reducing bonus pools across the board. An article in today’s Wall Street Journal states that banks have two options. The first is that banks may choose to pay out the planned amount of bonuses to U.K. employees in order to keep their top people and simply shoulder the 50% tax. Or, they could offset the tax by lowering bonus pools across the firm as a whole.

Healthcare: The Senate on Sunday evening, voting 60-40, approved the first of three motions needed to close off debate on the health bill. The action made clear the White House has enough votes to ensure passage – potentially on Christmas Eve – of the broadest health legislation in a generation.

Retail: Cadbury PLC’s chief executive said Friday his company’s shareholders do not embrace Kraft Food Inc.’s $16.2 billion offer to acquire the British confectionery company. Since Kraft made its initial approach to Cadbury, no additional bidders have entered the fray. Hershey Co. and Italian chocolate maker Ferrero Spa have acknowledged that they are considering a rival bid for Cadbury. Hershey has lined up billions of dollars in financing for a potential bid but has yet to decide whether to go forward. Read more: here

An update from last week’s retail news: Urban Outfitters said Thursday its CFO John E. Kyees will retire and will be replaced by Eric Artz, CFO of VF Contemporary Brands, who will join the company effective Feb. 1, 2010.Kyees will take the title of chief investor relations officer on Feb. 1 through his scheduled retirement date of June 30. Read more: here

What news has captured your attention as YOUR week gets started?

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