Pay Czar has tackled tough tasks before

When the stakes could not be higher, the U.S. government looks to Kenneth Feinberg to untangle and defuse its most politically and emotionally challenging disputes. Read Full Article here.

California to stop issuing IOU's in September

California state controller said Thursday the state will stop issuing registered warrants or IOUs as payment on September 4, approximately a month earlier than originally planned. The decision came after last month's enactment of a revised budget that closed California's $24 billion deficit. Read the complete article here.

Blackstone's Schwarzman tops U.S. CEO payroll: study

Taking his private equity firm public paid off big for Blackstone Group LP's Stephen Schwarzman, who became the top-paid chief executive in the United States last year, a title he is likely to retain for some time, according to an analysis released on Thursday. Read Full Article here.

July Retail sales decline unexpectedly

Retail sales fell unexpectedly in July, the government reported on Thursday despite the boost from the cash-for-clunkers automobile incentive program. U.S. retail sales fell 0.1 percent the Commerce Department reported, marking the first decline in seasonally adjusted sales in three months.

Walmart earnings beat expectations

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s second-quarter earnings came in above analysts' expectations, the retailer however saw a fall of 1.2 percent in same-store sales. For the upcoming third quarter, Wal-Mart has adopted a conservative outlook seeing same-store sales flat to up 2%. Our customers are more disciplined in their spending, Mike Duke, Wal-Mart's president and chief executive, told investors during a prerecorded call Thursday. There is a new normal now where people are saving more, consuming less and being more frugal and thoughtful in their purchases, the Associated Press reported.

$2.3 billion in tax credits for clean energy equipment makers

The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced on Thursday they will allocate $2.3 billion in tax credits for manufacturers of solar, wind, and geothermal energy equipment; fuel cells, microturbines, and batteries; electric cars and electric grids to support the transmission of renewable energy; energy conservation technologies; and equipment that captures and sequesters carbon dioxide or reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Natural Gas inventories report

The U.S. Department of Energy's Information Administration said Thursday natural gas stockpiles increased by 63 billion cubic feet to 3,152 Bcf for the week ended August 7. According to a Bloomberg survey, analysts expected that natural gas inventories had gained 66 billion cubic feet last week, a larger than average increase.

Shell may build carbon capture, storage plant

Royal Dutch Shell is joining a competition to build the U.K.'s first commercial size carbon capture and sequestration system from a coal-fired power station by 2014. Shell will join a consortium that is in the process of submitting a bid to the U.K. government, which is sponsoring the race, the company said.

Microsoft prices Zune HD below iPod

Microsoft Corp put its new Zune HD digital music and video player on sale on Thursday, pricing it below comparable Apple Inc iPod devices, in an attempt to claw some market share away from the dominant leader. Read Full Article here.

Court slaps ban on some Microsoft Word sales

A U.S. federal court has ordered Microsoft Corp to stop selling some versions of its widely used Word software in the United States in two months, ruling in favor of a small Canadian firm that accused the software giant of violating its patents. Read Full Article here.