Fri 23 June, 2017

07:04 Cloud database technology can no longer be ignored in financial services» Finextra Research Headlines
Recent developments in cloud based data technology points to the beginning of a wider step change in...
07:02 AI could increase corporate profitability by 38% - Accenture» Finextra Research Headlines
Businesses that successfully apply artificial intelligence (AI) could increase profitability by an a...
06:57 Japan and Australia ink fintech co-operation agreement» Finextra Research Headlines
The Japan Financial Services Agency ('JFSA') and Australian Securities and Investments Commission ('...
06:22 In-app payment messaging startup PayKey raises $6 million» Finextra Research Headlines
Fresh from a stint at the Fintech Pavillion at this year's EBAday in Dublin, social payments startup...
06:11 CA rolls out suite of products for PSD2» Finextra Research Headlines
CA Technologies (NASDAQ:CA) today announced Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) Solution by CA to he...
06:06 Lyft's Goal: Gain From Uber's Stumbles Without Gloating» WSJ.com: US Business
As Uber has grappled with the leadership turmoil that led to its chief executive’s resignation this week, its much-smaller rival has built market share and expanded aggressively, even as its founders counsel humility.
06:06 Isbank moves deeper into the startup ecosystem with 'Workup' programme» Finextra Research Headlines
İşbank, the largest private bank in Turkey has made a bigger move into the startup ecosystem.
06:05 Alipay and PayPal Are Disrupting The Finance Sector, But The Big Banks Are Here To Stay. Here's Why» Forbes Real Time
From Alipay to PayPal, and from Seedrs to EdAid, technological innovation is reshaping the financial system at an unprecedented pace. Both customers and newcomers stand to gain, but it doesn't mean the end of the financial sector as we know it. Here is why.
06:00 JC Penney and Dillard's are about to be kicked out of this big index» Top News & Analysis
Friday is set to be the heaviest volume day of the year as the Russell indexes get rebalanced.
06:00 Use Wisdom And Caution When Deciding Whether To Address Social Issues In Ads» Forbes Real Time
There's a big difference between thoughtfully joining in on a social or political conversation and being opportunistic – and consumers can tell.
06:00 11 Design Trends You May Be Overlooking» Forbes Real Time
Swap out your light fixtures, choose dovetail drawers for heavy dishes and know where to stop your kitchen backsplash.
06:00 AI Will Disrupt Brand Building As We Know It Says Gartner's Andrew Frank» Forbes Real Time
Andrew Frank has been studying AI since the 1980s and now as VP Distinguished Analyst with Gartner for Marketing Leaders, he assesses the impact of AI on marketing. He is both optimistic about the impact AI will have and realistic about the disruption the capabilities will have on brand building.
05:58 We asked CFOs to describe Trump’s management style, and it’s not pretty: Survey» Top News & Analysis
Business leaders are turning bearish on Trump's agenda, according to the latest CNBC Global CFO Council survey.
05:58 One quarter of CFO Council members say A.I. is ‘critical’ to their companies» Top News & Analysis
One quarter of CFO Council members say A.I. is “critical,” according to the latest CNBC Global CFO Council Survey.
05:57 Deadly London tower blaze began in a Hotpoint fridge freezer, police say» Top News & Analysis
A fire that engulfed a London tower block killing at least 79 people started in a Hotpoint fridge freezer, London police said on Friday.
05:56 Remnants of tropical storm drench the US Gulf Coast, spawning twisters and flooding» Top News & Analysis
The remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy brought tornadoes and flooding to the Gulf Coast and its heavy rains will drench much of the eastern U.S. in coming days.
05:52 Senate Bill Poses Risks to Health-Care Companies» WSJ.com: US Business
Senate Republicans’ health overhaul carries big risks for many health-care companies because of its cutbacks to federal Medicaid funding and the uncertain impact of its broad changes to individual health-insurance markets.
05:46 European Central Bank seeks power over key financial sector» AP Top Business News at 5:48 a.m. EDT
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- The European Central Bank is asking for legal powers to oversee how transactions involving financial derivatives are settled - a hot topic in negotiations over Britain's departure from the European Union....
05:40 Santander launches in-branch mortgage video service» Finextra Research Headlines
Santander is to beam specialist mortgage advisors over the ether to talk to customers via video scre...
05:31 After Brexit, U.K. needs to rethink over 600 treaties» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
05:31 What It Takes To Make It To Demo Day At One Of Hong Kong's Top Accelerator Programs» Forbes Real Time
Hong Kong accelerator Betatron boasts its very first Silicon Valley-esq demo day
05:21 Parents are spending $20,000 for camps where their kids ‘rough it’» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
Some summer camps cost as much as a semester at a private four-year college.
05:18 Financial News: European Central Bank eyes U.K.’s euro clearing as it asks for more powers» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
The European Central Bank wants changes made to its mandate that would give it greater oversight of clearing houses in the region — a hot-button issue for regulators and policy makers in the wake of the U.K.’s Brexit vote.
05:17 ANZ appoints e-commerce exec to run digital transformation project» Finextra Research Headlines
ANZ has appointed a non-banker with sizeable e-commerce experience at eBay, Virgin Media and Expedia...
05:16 Toshiba gets earnings report extension, faces delisting risk» AP Top Business News at 5:48 a.m. EDT
TOKYO (AP) -- Money-losing Japanese electronics and nuclear company Toshiba Corp. has until Aug. 10 to get auditors to sign off on its earnings statements, or else it faces the risk of getting delisted....
05:11 Stocks exhale — but the next leg of the bull run is on the way» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
There’s solid breadth on the NYSE, which is bullish, says Kevin Marder.
05:10 Outside the Box: Value investing isn’t dead — but it has gotten harder» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
Investors need to focus on economic earnings rather than accounting earnings, and then valuations don’t look so stretched, say David Trainer and Sam McBride.
05:09 Finastra to support Banco de Mexico with FusionRisk» Finextra Research Headlines
Mexico’s central bank, Banco de Mexico, has selected Finastra to transform its legacy risk managemen...
05:07 World shares mixed as investors assess oil, China clampdown» AP Top Business News at 5:48 a.m. EDT
HONG KONG (AP) -- World stock markets were mixed on Friday as oil prices stabilized and investors assessed Beijing's moves to tighten up on some Chinese companies as well as the latest survey on eurozone economic growth....
05:06 Gold and silver IRAs: approach with caution» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
Are precious metal IRAs a smart choice? Reasons to be wary include high costs, volatility and a mixed investment record.
05:03 The Wall Street Journal: Tell your teen to get a job» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
Teens who work a part-time job get higher grades and have lower dropout rates than those who don’t work at all.
05:02 Mark Hulbert: Chill: Summer isn’t the season for a bear market » MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
Mark Hulbert studies the calendar and says don’t sell a dull market short.
05:00 Is Bitcoin Money?»

Authored by Valentin Schmid via The Epoch Times,

Up 158 percent against the U.S. dollar this year, bitcoin is now the best-performing currency. Many are confused as to how this mathematical protocol can be worth more than $2,600, and why it keeps going up. The short answer: Bitcoin is money, just a little better and cheaper than the alternatives.

If you don’t understand money, you cannot understand bitcoin. For most of us, money is the U.S. dollar, the fiat currency of the United States issued by the Federal Reserve and maintained by the commercial banking system.

But even this system is confusing. Most people don’t hold Federal Reserve notes anymore; they hold money in checking accounts or use their credit cards to buy things. This is electronic fiat money, stored on the servers of banks like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America.

This type of money is a great medium of exchange. Because the state mandates the acceptance of fiat money by all commercial actors, you can pay everywhere with dollars and, as a bonus, the prices of consumer goods seldom change more than a few percent per year.

Other attributes that make the dollar useful as a medium of exchange are its divisibility, recognizability, and indestructability—at least in electronic form—and the ease with which it can be exchanged.


However, there is a problem with the dollar as a medium of exchange over time. Since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, the dollar has lost about 95 percent of its purchasing power. This devaluation is hardly visible over the course of days, months, and even years, but it is painfully felt over the span of decades.

So it’s hard, if not impossible, to exchange the same value over time with the U.S. dollar, and investors need to expose themselves to other assets to protect purchasing power. This is a general problem of fiat currencies and bank money, which are both prone to mismanagement by the state and banks, mostly because they can be reproduced at will. More dollars chasing the same amount of goods leads to rising prices.

Value Over Time

This is the reason why people have traditionally resorted to gold to protect themselves from monetary inflation. Gold is also easily recognizable, divisible, durable, and concentrates a lot of value in little space. One troy ounce now costs about $1,250.

However, its uses as legal tender have been limited since the demise of the true gold standard at the beginning of the 20th century, and it is not easily transferred in physical form like the electronic dollar. Furthermore, its price is relatively volatile when measured in dollars in the short term, and the IRS collects tax on gains in dollars, making gold even less exchangeable.

But gold cannot be replicated at will and therefore is a better way of exchanging value over time. One dollar bought almost 20 bottles of Coca-Cola in the 1930s. It now buys less than one. One ounce of gold bought 700 bottles of Coke in the 1930s; it now buys almost 800.

Decentralized Electronic Money

Once one understands that money needs to be able to exchange value in time and space, it is easier to see why bitcoin is so attractive.

Although it cannot handle as many transactions as the banking system, it is relatively easy and cheap to transfer. Hundreds of thousands of businesses and individuals voluntarily accept bitcoin as payment. Its mathematical properties are recognizable, infinitely divisible, and indestructible.

As a medium of exchange, mainly because of legal tender laws, bitcoin is not as widely accepted as the dollar or other fiat currencies, but it is easier to transfer than gold and it is also subject to taxation.


In the long term, bitcoin has similar properties to gold because it cannot be replicated at will and the number of coins is limited to 21 million. This means that bitcoin is better than the dollar for transferring purchasing power through time.  It is similar to gold, although gold has a far longer track record.

Its decentralized management is another factor making it attractive for people who distrust fiat currency and the banks.

Cheap Alternative

Given that bitcoin is better than gold in the short term and much better than the dollar in the long term across the dimensions we have described, it’s not surprising that people chose to diversify their money holdings into this independent currency due to frustration with the mismanagement of fiat money and manipulation of gold prices.

There is another reason why bitcoin is attractive as a currency. Despite its record high in dollar terms, it is still cheap in aggregate. All Bitcoins are only worth $43 billion. All gold ever mined is worth around $7.5 to $10 trillion, although estimates vary. As for the U.S. dollar, just the M2 measure of bank money, including checking accounts, puts its worth at $13.5 trillion.

If bitcoin were to establish itself as an alternative currency and store of value alongside gold and the dollar, a total valuation of $1 trillion would not be inconceivable. That’s $47,600 per coin.

04:59 The Wall Street Journal: Smart tax moves to make right now. Yes, now» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
Here are a few steps that tax experts say are likely to look smart even if Congress does nothing.
04:59 Euro up at $1.1172 after June eurozone services, manufacturing data » MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
04:58 Stocks: 7 things to know before the bell» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
Here's what you need to know about the markets before you start your business day.
04:42 Brexit one year later: 5 ways the U.K. could now leave the EU» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
Almost a full year after the U.K.’s Brexit referendum, the divorce talks between Brussels and Britain finally kicked off this week, but the outcome of the final agreement remains extremely uncertain.
04:42 Beijing Investigates Loans to China's Top Overseas Deal Makers» WSJ.com: US Business
China’s banking regulator is conducting a sweeping check in one of the most forceful attempts yet to get a grip on runaway debt.
04:37 Key Words: SocGen strategist identifies ‘the sacrificial lambs’ of the next financial crisis» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
Albert Edwards, Société Générale’s bearish strategist, hasn’t exactly hidden his disdain for central bankers during this go-go era of quantitative easing. His latest take is no different.
04:26 Arab States Issue 13 Demands To Qatar - Include Unfriending Iran, Shutting Down Al-Jazeera And Nixing Turkish Base»

Content originally published at iBankCoin.com

Two days after the US State Department formally inquired about WTF is going on between Arab States and Qatar, the countries of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Baahrain, and the UAE sent a list of 13 demands to the tiny Gulf nation to be met within 10 days in order to lift their total blockade of the country. Among them - reducing diplomatic ties with Iran, shutting down broadcaster Al Jazeera (and affiliates), and immediately cease working to open a Turkish military base announced in May of 2016. Also interesting is the demand that Qatar give up their intel on terrorist groups they have supported and "provide all databases related to oppositionists..." (Scroll down for full list of demands)

This formal list comes on the heels of a June 6th rumor that Arab States issued a list of 10 demands to be fulfilled within 24 hours, however Qatar said they never received them according to Al Jazeera journalists who are now dusting off their resumes.


On June 5th, news broke that Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt had cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar over accusations of 'spreading chaos' by 'funding terrorism and supporting Iran' - shutting down all land, sea, and air crossings with the tiny energy-rich nation that has the highest per capita income in the world. Qatari visitors and residents were given two weeks to leave - while diplomats had just 48 hours.

 While Qatar has been friendly with Iran for years, the prelude to the embargo began after a broadcast which showed Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani speaking with no audio - and scrolling text at the bottom of the screen which stated his support for Iran and terrorist groups. Qatar claims the broadcast was 'hacked.'

After the broadcast, Saudi Arabia and the UAE blocked Qatari news organization Al-Jazeera.

Amid Qatar’s denials, Saudi-owned satellite television networks immediately began airing repeated stories about the disputed comments. By early Wednesday morning, those living in the UAE and subscribers to local cable providers couldn’t access the channels of Al-Jazeera, the pan-Arab satellite broadcaster based in the Qatari capital, Doha.


Attempts to reach its websites brought up a warning from the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority saying the site “contains content that is prohibited.”


In Saudi Arabia, internet users also found Al-Jazeera websites blocked with a warning from the kingdom’s Culture and Information Ministry.


Full List of demands (translated by @hxhassan)

1. Qatar must reduce diplomatic representation with Iran

2. Qatar must immoderately shut down the Turkish military base that is being established

3. Qatar must announce severance of ties with terrorist, ideological & sectarian orgs: MB, ISIS, AQ, HTS, Hizbollah

4. Qatar must cease any funding activities to extremist and terrorist individuals

5. Qatar must hand over all designated terrorists

6. Qatar must shut down Al Jazeera and all affiliated channels

7. Qatar must stop interference in these countries' domestic andforeign affairs; stop naturalisation of their citizens; extradite such citizens

8. Qatar must provide reparations to these countries for any opportunity costs incurred over the past few years because of Qatari policies. (How do they even begin to comply with this in 10 days?)

9. Qatar must become in sync with its Gulf and Arab neighbourhood on all levels, and to activate Riyadh Agreement 2013/2014

10. Qatar must provide all databases related to oppositionists that it provided support to & clarify what help was provided.

11. Qatar must all media outlets backed by it directly or indirectly, like Arabi21, Rasd, New Arab, Middle East Eye, Mkamlin, Sharq etc

12. These demands must be agreed within 10 days, otherwise they would be invalidated.

13. Agreement will involve clear goals and mechanism, monthly reports in the first year, every three months the next & annually for 10 years

If these demands are not met - it may only be a matter of time before Qatar catches a case of regime change...


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04:18 Eurozone economy enjoyed 'best quarter in over 6 years'» AP Top Business News at 5:48 a.m. EDT
LONDON (AP) -- The economy of the 19-country eurozone has just enjoyed its best quarter for more than six years, according to a closely watched survey....
04:15 Visualizing What Happens To Trading During A Market Crash?»

It’s hard to predict when a stock market crash will occur, so the best defense is to be prepared.

Today’s infographic comes to us from StocksToTrade.com, and it explains what happens when a large enough drop in the market triggers a “circuit breaker”, or a temporary halt in trading.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

As Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins notes, these temporary halts in trading, or “circuit breakers”, are measures approved by the SEC to calm down markets in the event of extreme volatility. The rules apply to NYSE, Nasdaq, and OTC markets, and were put in place following the events of Black Monday in 1987.


Previously, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was the bellwether for such market interventions.

However, the most recent rules apply to the whole market when a precipitous drop in the S&P 500 occurs:

Upon reaching each of the two first thresholds, a 15-minute halt in trading is prompted. This is the case unless the drop happens in the last 35 minutes of trading.

Upon reaching the third threshold (-20% drop in S&P 500), the day’s trading is stopped altogether.


In theory, the use of circuit breakers can help curb panic-selling, as well as limit opportunities for massive gains (or losses) within a short time frame. Further, by creating a window where trading is paused, circuit breakers help make time for market makers and institutional traders to make rational decisions.

Regulators and exchanges hope that all of this together will give investors a chance to calm down, preventing the next market crash.

But do circuit breakers actually work? While they make logical sense, recent evidence from China paints a murkier picture.


In Paul Kedrosky’s piece from The New Yorker, titled The Dubious Logic of Stock Market Circuit Breakers, he makes some interesting points on the series of market crashes in China from late-2015 to early-2016.

To understand why circuit breakers can make markets less ‘safe,’ imagine that you’re a Chinese trader on a day when markets are approaching a five-per-cent decline. What do you do?


– Paul Kedrosky, The New Yorker

Kedrosky continues by explaining that a market participant in that situation would try to get as many sell orders in as possible, before the circuit breaker is triggered.

Further, when the markets re-open, the same trader would again sell immediately to avoid the second breaker (which triggers an end in trading for the day). Each time the breakers get triggered, it creates a market memory of the events, and traders try to avoid future shutdowns by selling faster.


Whether they work or not, it is essential for investors to understand the rules behind circuit breakers, as well as how markets think and react after these pauses in action.

In the event of a market crash, this preparation could help to make a difference.

04:11 The pain and gain of Brexit vote: British economy a year on» AP Top Business News at 5:48 a.m. EDT
LONDON (AP) -- Few events outside of war can have quite as much potential impact on the economy of a country as Britain's decision a year ago to leave the European Union....
04:10 Trump says he has not obstructed FBI's probe Russia probe» Top News & Analysis
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he had not obstructed the FBI's investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion by his campaign.
04:07 Brexit 12 months on: Here’s what has happened since the UK voted to leave the EU» Top News & Analysis
Friday marks the one year anniversary of the UK's vote on its EU membership, CNBC looks back at what's happened since.
03:57 Total solar eclipse casts spotlight on rural Oregon town» AP Top Business News at 5:48 a.m. EDT
MADRAS, Ore. (AP) -- Just before sunrise, there's typically nothing atop Round Butte but the whistle of the wind and a panoramic view of Oregon's second-highest peak glowing pink in the faint light....
03:56 James Comey Visits The New York Times»

Just hours after President Trump admitted he did not record any of his conversations with James Comey, the former FBI Director was spotted entering The New York Times office, in Times Square, NYC.

As The Daily Mail notes, Comey confessed to being the source of a leak to the Times about private, unorthodox meeting he had with the president before he was fired in June.

Comey, disguised behind dark sunglasses stared straight ahead as entered the Times Square office building, accompanied by his wife Patrice Failor.


Unmistakably towering above everybody with his 6ft 8in frame; in a crisp navy suit and tie on one of the warmest days of the year, The Daily Mail reports Comey drew second-glances from some stunned by-passers.


It appears President Trump's warning maybe about to come true...


Just when the torents of daily leaks, anonymously sourced lies was slowing to a drip... is Comey about to serialise his brief few weeks with President Trump... or maybe, just maybe, The New York Times wants to investigate a little deeper just what went on with Loretta Lynch...?

03:34 FLASHBACK FRIDAY: The Reg NMS Debate Goes On and On» Traders Magazine - Latest News
The time year was 2005 and the SEC had just passed the new Regulation National Market System (Reg NMS) proviso, setting the stage for a brave new world in the equities trading markets. But, like today, the controversial set of rules and procedures, was up for debate as to whether it would either help or hurt traders and investors.
03:30 Everything You're Not Being Told About The US War Against ISIS In Syria»

Authored by Darius Shatahmasebi via TheAntiMedia.org,

It’s time to have a sane discussion regarding what is going on in Syria. Things have escalated exponentially over the past month or so, and they continue to escalate. The U.S. just shot down yet another Iranian-made drone within Syrian territory on Tuesday, even as authorities insist they “do not seek conflict with any party in Syria other than ISIS.”

Col. Ryan Dillon, chief U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, seemed to indicate that the coalition would avoid escalating the conflict following Russia’s warning that it will now treat American aircraft as potential targets. He stated:

“As a result of recent encounters involving pro-Syrian regime and Russian forces, we have taken prudent measures to reposition aircraft over Syria so as to continue targeting ISIS forces while ensuring the safety of our aircrews given known threats in the battlespace.”

So what is really going on in Syria? Is the U.S. actually seeking an all-out confrontation with Syria, Iran, and Russia?

The first thing to note is that a policy switch under the Trump administration has seen the U.S. rely heavily on Kurdish fighters on the ground as opposed to the radical Gulf-state backed Islamist rebels, which the U.S. and its allies had been using in their proxy war for over half a decade. Even the Obama administration designated the Kurds the most effective fighting force against ISIS and partnered with them from time to time, but Turkey’s decision to directly strike these fighters complicates the matter to this day.

Further muddling the situation is the fact that the U.S. wants the Kurds to claim key Syrian cities after ISIS is defeated, including Raqqa. However, the reason this complicates matters is that, as Joshua Landis, head of the Middle Eastern Studies Center at the University of Oklahoma explains, the Kurds have “no money” nor do they have an air force.

“[T]hey’ll be entirely dependent on the US Air Force from now to eternity, and the United States will be stuck in a quagmire, defending a new Kurdish state that America had partnered with to defeat [ISIL],” Landis said, as reported by Quartz.

So what has the U.S. proposed as a solution to this perpetual dilemma? To put it simply, the U.S. is not only training the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to retain the vitally strategic border crossing area of al-Tanf, which, if owned and operated by the Syrian government, could link Iran to Syria, Iraq, and right through to Hezbollah in Lebanon (incidentally, al-Tanf is the latest instance of the U.S. shooting down an Iranian-made drone took place). The U.S. is now also backing these Kurdish fighters to retake an area known as Deir ez-Zor.

The Syrian government retains an isolated outpost at Deir ez-Zor, and the region is almost completely encircled by ISIS fighters. Just last week, a video emerged of convoys of ISIS fighters fleeing the war in Raqqa unscathed. Anti-Media speculated that these fighters were most likely headed towards Deir ez-Zor as they have done in the past, and this area is now widely regarded to be the scene of ISIS’ last stand in Syria.

The U.S. needs a strong ISIS presence in Deir ez-Zor to justify an offensive to retake the city, especially considering the fact that Syrian government troops are already present there. This is why the U.S. delivered airstrikes to stop government forces from repelling ISIS fighters in an air raid in September of last year that reportedly lasted well over an hour and killed over 60 government troops.

Deir ez-Zor is immensely important because it is home to Syria’s largest oil fields. As Quartz explains, according to Landis, America’s strategy is “for the Kurdish forces to take Deir al-Zour, the major regional city and the hub for its oil fields. That way, the Kurds would be able to afford to buy airplanes from the US, rather than require Washington to give them for free.

As Iranian-backed militiamen — supported by Iranian-made drones — amass upon a U.S. training base in al-Tanf, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Syrian government and its allies will not want to cede strategic territory to the U.S. without a fight. At the very least, Iran intends to encircle al-Tanf and cut the U.S. off from the rest of Syria, rendering the base useless for America’s goals in the country.

However, Deir ez-Zor is where things could potentially get more heated than they already are between the U.S. and the pro-Assad alliance in al-Tanf and Raqqa.

Russia, a staunch ally of Iran and Syria, is already bombing the areas around Deir ez-Zor in full preparation for this battle. According to the Independent, Russia just claimed it killed around 180 ISIS militants and two prominent commanders, Abu Omar al-Belijiki and Abu Yassin al-Masri, very close to ISIS’ stronghold in Deir ez-Zor.

Iran launched a mid-range ballistic missile attack on a position in Deir ez-Zor over the weekend, as well. According to Military Times, Iranian officials said the purpose of the strike was to send a message to the United States and Saudi Arabia and have warned of more strikes to come, with former Guard chief Gen. Mohsen Rezai — an Iranian politician — stating “[t]he bigger slap is yet to come.

Landis believes these recent escalations only mark a “gnashing of teeth and growling” between the Russians and the Americans and that both powers are merely working out where the new boundaries will fall between American-backed forces and Syrian government forces.

But there is a crucial difference between the Russian-led campaigns and the American-led campaigns within Syria: Russia was invited by the Syrian government and is not clearly not attempting to invade Syria in the traditional sense of the word, as they are relying on local troops to retake the territory that still belongs to the Syrian government. In contrast, the United States has invaded Syrian territory without authorization from Congress or the international community and has partnered with incredibly controversial militias on the ground to claim Syrian territory, further partitioning the country and over-complicating an already convoluted battle arena.

And what will happen if Syria decides that the oil-hub area of Deir ez-Zor is too important to allow the U.S.-backed forces to take it away from them? The fact that Russia and Iran are already bombing this area speaks volumes as to its strategic value, and it seems increasingly unlikely that the pro-Assad alliance will give up the location freely.

Further, having complete control of Deir ez-Zor without opening up the al-Tanf border to Syrian government control would make the liberation of Deir ez-Zor almost meaningless to Syria and its allies, as Deir ez-Zor would be cut off from the rest of Syria. The two offensives go hand in hand, and this is exactly why we see the war escalating rapidly on these two fronts.

Not to mention, Syrian Member of Parliament Ammar al-Asad reportedly just told Russian state-owned Sputnik that the Syrian army will respond to America’s provocative actions by conducting “massive strikes” on positions held by American-backed militants.

*  *  *

An optimist would view the recent developments in the humanitarian disaster that is the so-called Syrian revolution with the hope that the U.S., Iran, and Russia are merely muscle-flexing inside Syria in an attempt to control as much of the country as realistically possible following the downfall of ISIS – and will eventually settle amicably on a drawing of Syria’s new boundaries.

A pessimist might not be so hopeful, as Iran and China held naval drills in the Strait of Hormuz just days after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson admitted the U.S. is officially targeting Iran for a regime change operation.

03:27 The Absurd Idea That Amazon Should Be Broken Up As A Monopoly» Forbes Real Time
At which point, why on Earth would we want to break up a company like Amazon, one that is driving that process so successfully?
03:26 'King of Good Times' Gives Diageo a Hangover» WSJ.com: US Business
The world’s largest liquor company struck a deal with Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya to buy United Spirits. Now the British firm finds itself in a legal quagmire.
03:22 Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to» AP Top Business News at 5:48 a.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie "The Shining," where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck....
03:18 Chinese parents alarmed by miniature crossbow craze» Top News & Analysis
Powerful mini-crossbows that shoot toothpicks and needles are the new must-have toy for schoolkids across China — and a nightmare for concerned parents and school officials
03:02 Germany's DAX opens 0.3% lower at 12,761.48 » MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
03:01 France's CAC 40 opens 0.2% lower at 5,269.76 » MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
03:01 U.K.'s FTSE 100 opens 0.3% lower at 7,417.75» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
03:01 Stoxx Europe 600 opens fractionally lower at 388.40 » MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
02:58 If China Turns Its Back On Liberal Reforms, What Does The Future Hold?» Forbes Real Time
If China's economic future really is one of increasing prosperity and international influence, then they will either have to prove that largely state directed non-market economies can succeed over the long term–a dubious proposition with no historical precedent–or engage in rapid course correction.
02:45 These Are America's Most Dangerous Cities»

Given that 2016 was the worst year for homicides in nearly two decades in Chicago, it comes as little surprise that the city has a reputation as one of the most violent places in the United States.

Last year, there were 762 murders, 3,550 shooting incidents and 4,331 shooting victims with an average of 12 people shot every single day.

In fact, the Windy City experienced more murders than New York and Los Angeles combined last year with the number of homicides there since 2001 eclipsing U.S. war dead in Iraq and Afghanistan by late November.

However, as Statista's Niall McCarthy notes, even though it had more murders than any other U.S. city last year, is Chicago's violent reputation entirely justified?

Infographic: America's Most Dangerous Cities  | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

According to nonprofit news outlet The Trace, Chicago is actually far behind other major U.S. cities in homicides per 100,000 residents.

It found that between 2010 and 2015, New Orleans had a homicide rate of 46.9 per 100,000 inhabitants compared to just 16.4 in Chicago.

As bad a problem as Chicago has on its hands, this metric does show that many other cities actually have higher levels of violence.

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02:00 "Tone Policing" And The Left's Anger Privelege»

Authored by Daniel Greenfield via CanadaFreePress.com,

If you want to know who has privilege in a society and who doesn’t, follow the anger...

There are people in this country who can safely express their anger. And those who can’t. If you’re angry that Trump won, your anger is socially acceptable. If you were angry that Obama won, it wasn’t.

James Hodgkinson’s rage was socially acceptable. It continued to be socially acceptable until he crossed the line into murder. And he’s not alone. There’s Micah Xavier Johnson, the Black Lives Matter cop-killer in Dallas, and Gavin Long, the Black Lives Matter cop-killer in Baton Rouge. If you’re black and angry about the police, your anger is celebrated. If you’re white and angry about the Terror travel ban, the Paris Climate treaty, ObamaCare repeal or any leftist cause, you’re on the side of the angry angels. But if you’re white and angry that your job is going to China or that you just missed being killed in a Muslim suicide bombing, your anger is unacceptable.

If you’re an angry leftist, your party leader, Tom Perez will scream and curse into a microphone, and your aspiring presidential candidate, Kirsten Gillibrand, will curse along, to channel the anger of the base. But if you’re an angry conservative, then Trump channeling your anger is “dangerous” because you aren’t allowed to be angry.

Not all anger is created equal. Some anger is privileged rage.

Good anger gets you a gig as a CNN commentator. Bad anger gets you hounded out of your job. Good anger isn’t described as anger at all. Instead it’s linguistically whitewashed as “passionate” or “courageous”. Bad anger however is “worrying” or “dangerous”. Angry left-wing protesters “call out”, angry right-wing protesters “threaten”. Good anger is left-wing. Bad anger is right-wing.

Socially acceptable displays of anger, from Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter riots to the anti-Trump marches to the furious campus protests, are invariably left-wing.

Left-wing anger over the elections of Bush and Trump was sanctified. Right-wing outrage over Obama’s victory was demonized. Now that left-wing anger led a Bernie Sanders volunteer to open fire at a Republican charity baseball practice outing. And the media reluctantly concedes that maybe both sides should moderate their rhetoric. Before listing examples that lean to the right like “Lock her up”.

Not all anger is created equal. Anger, like everything else, is ideologically coded

Why were chants of “Lock her up” immoderate, but not Bush era cries of “Jail to the chief”?


Why were Tea Party rallies “ominous” but the latest We Hate Trump march is “courageous”?


Why is killing Trump on stage the hottest thing to hit Shakespeare while a rodeo clown who wore an Obama mask was hounded by everyone from the Lieutenant Governor of Missouri to the NAACP?

Not all anger is created equal. Anger, like everything else, is ideologically coded. Left-wing anger is good because its ideological foundations are good. Right-wing anger is bad because its ideology is bad.

It’s not the level of anger, its intensity or its threatening nature that makes it good or bad.

And that is why the left so easily slips into violence. All its ideological ends are good. Therefore its means, from mass starvation to gulags to riots and tyranny, must be good. If I slash your tires because of your Obama bumper sticker, I’m a monster. But if you key my car because of my Trump bumper sticker, you’re fighting racism and fascism. Your tactics might be in error, but your viewpoint isn’t.

There are no universal standards of behavior. Civility, like everything else, is ideologically limited.

Tone policing is how the anger of privileged leftists is protected while the frustration of their victims is suppressed

Intersectionality frowns on expecting civil behavior from “oppressed” protesters. Asking that shrieking campus crybully not to scream threats in your face is “tone policing”. An African-American millionaire’s child at Yale is fighting for her “existence”, unlike the Pennsylvania coal miner, the Baltimore police officer and the Christian florist whose existences really are threatened.

Tone policing is how the anger of privileged leftists is protected while the frustration of their victims is suppressed. The existence of tone policing as a specific term to protect displays of left-wing anger shows the collapse of civility into anger privilege. Civility has been replaced by a political entitlement to anger.

The left prides itself on an unearned moral superiority (“When they go low, we go high”) reinforced by its own echo chamber even as it has become incapable of controlling its angry outbursts. The national tantrum after Trump’s victory has all but shut down the government, turned every media outlet into a non-stop feed of conspiracy theories and set off protests that quickly escalated into street violence.

But Trump Derangement Syndrome is a symptom of a problem with the left that existed before he was born. The left is an angry movement. It is animated by an outraged self-righteousness whose moral superiority doubles as dehumanization. And its machinery of culture glamorizes its anger. The media dresses up the seething rage so that the left never has to look at its inner Hodgkinson in the mirror.

The angry left has gained a great deal of power

The left is as angry as ever. Campus riots and assassinations of Republican politicians are nothing new. What is changing is that its opponents are beginning to match its anger. The left still clings to the same anger it had when it was a theoretical movement with plans, but little impact on the country. The outrage at the left is no longer ideological. There are millions of people whose health care was destroyed by ObamaCare, whose First Amendment rights were taken away, whose land was seized, whose children were turned against them and whose livelihoods were destroyed.

The angry left has gained a great deal of power. It has used that power to wreck lives. It is feverishly plotting to deprive nearly 63 million Americans of their vote by using its entrenched power in the government, the media and the non-profit sector. And it is too blinded by its own anger over the results of the election to realize the anger over its wholesale abuses of power and privileged tantrums.

But monopolies on anger only work in totalitarian states. In a free society, both sides are expected to control their anger and find terms on which to debate and settle issues. The left rejects civility and refuses to control its anger. The only settlement it will accept is absolute power. If an election doesn’t go its way, it will overturn the results. If someone offends it, he must be punished. Or there will be anger.

The angry left demands that everyone recognize the absolute righteousness of its anger as the basis for its power. This anger privilege, like tone policing, is often cast in terms of oppressed groups. But its anger isn’t in defiance of oppression, but in pursuit of oppression.

Anger privilege is used to silence opposition, to enforce illegal policies and to seize power. But the left’s monopolies on anger are cultural, not political. The entertainment industry and the media can enforce anger privilege norms through public shaming, but their smears can’t stop the consequences of the collapse of civility in public life. There are no monopolies on emotion.

James Hodgkinson absorbed all this. The left fed his anger. And eventually he snapped

When anger becomes the basis for political power, then it won’t stop with Howard Dean or Bernie Sanders. That’s what the left found out in the last election. Its phony pearl clutching was a reaction to the consequences of its destruction of civility. Its reaction to that show of anger by conservatives and independents was to escalate the conflict. Instead of being the opposition, the left became the “resistance”. Trump was simultaneously Hitler and a traitor. Republicans were evil beasts.

James Hodgkinson absorbed all this. The left fed his anger. And eventually he snapped.

Anger has to go somewhere.

The left likes to think that its anger is good anger because it’s angry over the plight of illegal aliens, Muslim terrorists, transgender bathrooms, the lack of abortion in South Carolina, the minimum wage at Taco Bell, budget cuts, tax cuts, police arrests, drone strikes and all the other ways in which reality differs from its utopia. But all that anger isn’t the road to a better world, but to hate and violence.

Millions of leftists, just like Hodgkinson, are told every day that Republicans are responsible for everything wrong with their lives, the country and the planet. Despite everything they do, all the petitions they sign, the marches they attend, the donations, the angry letters, the social media rants, Republicans continue to exist and even be elected to public office. Where does that anger go?

Leftist anger is a privileged bubble of entitlement that bursts every other election

Either we have a political system based on existing laws and norms of civility. Or we have one based on coups and populist leftist anger. And there are already a whole bunch of those south of the border.

Leftist anger is a privileged bubble of entitlement that bursts every other election. Its choice is to try to understand the rest of the country or to intimidate, censor, oppress and eventually kill them.

James Hodgkinson took the latter course. His personal leftist revolution ended, as all leftist revolutions do, in blood and violence. The left can check its anger privilege and examine its entitlement.

Or his violence will be our future.

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01:49 OTC Markets Says CAT Fees Are Catastrophic» Traders Magazine - Latest News
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01:48 One striking chart shows traders don't believe the Fed» Markets

The Federal Reserve keeps telling the bond market it wants interest rates to move higher, but traders aren’t listening.

That suggests investors don’t believe the Fed’s justification for interest rate increases, which are predicated not only on recent economic improvement but also on a continued bright outlook.

One startling chart from Societe Generale's Albert Edwards illustrates the Fed’s dilemma. Two-year notes are historically the maturity that is most responsive to moves in the official federal funds rate.

Yet look at what’s happened to the two-year note's yield this year as the Fed ratcheted up its monetary tightening campaign despite an inflation rate that continues to undershoot the central bank's 2% target: Absolutely nothing.

Fed Funds

SEE ALSO: One chart shows why a September rate hike is a 'hard sell'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: An economist explains the key issues that Trump needs to address to boost the economy

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01:08 Trump: Mueller And Comey's BFF Status 'Very Bothersome'»

Content originally published at iBankCoin.com

President Trump told Fox News' Ainsley Earhardt in a Fox and Friends interview scheduled to air Friday that he is bothered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's close relationship with fired FBI Director James Comey.

When asked of Mueller should recuse himself, Trump stated "Well he's very, very good friends with Comey which is very bothersome... We're going to have to see."

As Radio Host Mark Levin pointed out last week:

John Legato is a former deep cover FBI special agent - and he writes that Comey and Mueller -their families have vacationed together, have had picnics together, hours spent at the office together, had a few cocktails after work. So Mueller can't possibly be impartial here. Not when he's very close friends with a key witness.


The point is this - he's not independent

Hatchet Job

Trump also made mention of the four democrat-supporting attorneys Mueller has hired for the investigation.

"There's been no collusion, no obstruction and virtually everybody agrees to that... So we'll have to see. I can say that the people that've been hired [by Mueller] were all Hillary Clinton supporters." -Donald Trump

Something Newt Gingrich tweeted about on June 12:

Michael Dreeben - donated to Obama and Clinton

Jeannie Rhee - deputy assist AG, Wilmer Hale, Donated to DNC, Obama, Clinton

James Quarles - asst. special prosecutor, Wilmer Hale, long history of Dem donations, Clinton

Andrew Weissman - oversees fraud at Justice. Donated six times to Obama PACs as well as DNC in 2006

Levin also noted "He's [Muellernot looking into any of the financial relationships between the Clinton Foundation and Russia. Any of the violations of the espionage act by Hillary Clinton and if the Russians got a hold of any of those emails. Mr. Comey nicely and neatly closed that investigation."


No Investigation!

Trump Attorney Jon Sekulow has been making the rounds to defend the President, telling a testy Chris Wallace that James Comey himself said Trump was "not a target or subject of investigation."

"There has been no notification from the special counsel's office that the president is under investigation... I can't imagine a scenario where the president would not be aware of it."

Sekulow then went on Hannity yesterday to suggest that James Comey should be the one under investigation for leaking a classified memo created after a meeting with President Trump.

Trump's interview with Fox and Friends airs on Friday.

Follow on Twitter @ZeroPointNow § Subscribe to our YouTube channel

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Qatar Airways said it intends to buy a significant stake in American Airlines Group—a brash approach by the state-owned carrier that American Chief Executive Doug Parker called “puzzling and strange.”
01:00 Connecticut Campus Shut As Professor Flees Following "Let Them F**king Die" Tweet»

A professor at a Connecticut college said he was forced to flee the state after he received death threats for appearing to endorse the idea that first responders to last week’s congressional shooting should have let the victims "f**king die” instead of treating them, according to the Hartford Courant.

Trinity College Professor Johnny Eric Williams shared a link to a medium post which suggested that “bigots” should be left to die in life threatening situations. The medium article was accompanied by a photo of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was wounded in the shooting, along with the title “Let Them F**ing Die,” which Williams later used as a hashtag in his ill-conceived posts.

In the post, the author describes a list of disturbing situations in which “bigots” should be left to die, while also encouraging readers to “smile a bit” as these figurative deaths unfold.

“If you see them drowning. If you see them in a burning building. If they are bleeding out in an emergency room. If the ground is crumbling beneath them. If they are in a park and they turn their weapons on each other: do nothing,” the article instructs readers."

“Least of all put your life on the line for theirs, and do not dare think doing so, putting your life on the line for theirs, gives you reason to feel celestial. Save the life of those that would kill you is the opposite of virtuous. Let. Them. Fucking. Die. And smile a bit when you do.”

Williams also expressed his rage toward white people in a series of tweets. In one, Williams said he was “fed the f**k up” with white “bigots” who demean minorities, immigrants and LGBTQ people. In another, he said the time had come to “put end to the vectors of their destructive mythology of whiteness and their white supremacy system.”



As a result of the posts, which gained national attention, Williams said he has received more than 1,000 threats. The situation briefly forced the closure of Trinity College’s campus in downtown Hartford Thursday morning. The campus had reopened by late morning, though Hartford police provided heightened security.

Unlike the administration at Evergreen State College in Washington, which has been willing to countenance threatening behavior and other provocations from its students, Trinity’s administrators have promised to hold Williams accountable for his actions, promising in a statement that there would be “an investigation" into Williams' conduct.

"The Dean of the Faculty will review this matter and advise me on whether college procedures or policies were broken. I told Professor Williams that in my opinion his use of the hashtag was reprehensible and, at the very least, in poor judgment. No matter its intent, it goes against our fundamental values as an institution, and I believe its effect is to close minds rather than open them."

Williams said he regrets the affect his actions have had on his family.

"It was overwhelming for my family," Williams said. "I have to look out for family. I've got young kids."

But rather than apologize for offending millions of Americans - not to mention the families of Scalise and the other four victims of the rampage shooting at an early-morning practice of the House Republicans baseball team – Williams claims his tweet was misinterpreted. He says the tweet was a response to the fatal shooting of a pregnant woman in Seattle who was armed with a knife.

And what’s worse, he has committed 100% to playing the victim, saying that he’s considering filing a lawsuit.

"This is about free speech as well as academic freedom," he said. "From my perspective, I'm considering whether I should file a defamation against Campus Reform, the site that first shared Williams’ posts.


"The black community is beside itself all over the country with the constant killing. It doesn't matter what we do, we still be killed, we still go to jail. Just being black and living is a crime. That's what seems to be the problem," Williams told the Courant.

Read the full text of Trinity's statement below:

Dear Members of the Trinity Community,


As many of you are aware, a set of social media posts by one of our faculty members has resulted in a loud and public rebuke and landed Trinity College in a national spotlight, both in the media and across various social media platforms. I understand the concerns many have expressed, and I’m especially grateful for the inquiries we’ve received from members of our community who’ve asked whether what they’re reading and hearing is accurate. To be clear, both personally and on behalf of the College that I represent, I do not condone hate speech or calls to incite violence.


I’ve spoken with Johnny Williams, who has been a sociology professor at Trinity since 1996. I wanted to hear directly from him about the messages he posted and what has transpired since. It is important to clarify a few details. On June 16, a writer who goes by the name “Son of Baldwin”—and who is not Johnny Williams—wrote a piece for Medium.com that cited another writer’s perspective on the shooting that occurred at the Congressional baseball practice in Virginia last week. The Medium piece went on to explore broader issues concerning race and the relationship between “victims of bigotry” and “bigots.” The piece culminated with a call to show indifference to the lives of bigots. That call was reprehensible, and any such suggestion is abhorrent and wholly contrary to Trinity’s values.


While Professor Williams did not write that article, he did share it on his personal social media accounts this week, and he did so with the use of a hashtag that connected directly to the inflammatory conclusion of that article. Professor Williams, who teaches about race and racism, shared the article on his personal Twitter account using that hashtag; he also shared it on his personal Facebook page.


The Dean of the Faculty will review this matter and advise me on whether college procedures or policies were broken. I told Professor Williams that in my opinion his use of the hashtag was reprehensible and, at the very least, in poor judgment. No matter its intent, it goes against our fundamental values as an institution, and I believe its effect is to close minds rather than open them.


I want to underscore that what we seek is to build a diverse college community that is welcoming to all viewpoints and backgrounds and that engages in civil discourse on even the most vexing issues. That requires that we continue to uphold our fundamental belief in academic freedom and support our community members’ constitutional right to free speech. But our aspirations for the community we want to be also demand we take particular care with the words we use and the contexts in which we use them.


This incident has caused distress on our campus and beyond; threats of violence have been directed to Professor Williams and to our campus community, neither of which is an acceptable response.


I denounce hate speech in all its forms, I will explore all options to resolve this matter, and I will be back in touch with our community members with our decisions.

00:59 The Science Behind The Headlines Needs Funding Too -- Here's Why» Forbes Real Time
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00:51 The next big stock market shift could come from an unexpected source» Markets


In an ironic twist, the most downtrodden part of the stock market could be the main driver of its next leg higher.

Even more surprising: the investor base most responsible for this shift won't be flashy Wall Street types, armed with their sophisticated trading algorithms. It'll be retirees.

The market segment in question is value stocks, or companies seen as trading at a discount to fair value. Retirees are already attracted to value stocks because of the dividend yield the group has historically provided, but the pot just got even sweeter.

Value stocks are now expected to see stronger profit expansion than growth stocks, or companies viewed as having high potential for share appreciation, but not necessarily yield growth.

value vs. growth EPS growth

Meanwhile, rock-bottom bond yields have left retirees starved for returns, and the Federal Reserve has done little to improve the situation. This only adds to the appeal of value stocks.

"Even as the Fed has continued to slowly raise the Federal Funds rate, fixed income yields have held at historically low levels, leaving few options for retiree investors who need to generate income from their investments," Mike Thompson, chairman of S&P Global Market Intelligence's Investment Advisory Services portfolio strategy committee, wrote in a client note. "Many of these investors are turning to value stocks to fill the void."

Looking beyond the Fed's actions, US economic conditions are also creating an ideal situation for value investing. Thompson at least partially attributes the shift in earnings growth expectations to the continued slow recovery of the US economy — a development seen hindering the further appreciation of growth stocks from current levels.

Political stagnation is also having an effect, with the proposed policies that drove stocks higher after the election seemingly stuck in limbo. Because of that, "investors are adjusting to a slower-growth mindset," Thompson wrote.

Further, while value stocks are, by definition, cheaper than their growth peers, the price divergence between the two groups in recent months is creating even more of a buying opportunity than usual. Thompson points out that while the S&P 500 Value Index is trading just below historical levels, the S&P 500 Growth Index currently sits well above its three-year average.

This valuation development "may switch investors from momentum stocks and still keep pushing the market higher," he said.

S&P Value vs. Growth valuations

SEE ALSO: The safety net of the stock bull market is vanishing — but it may not matter

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: An economist explains the key issues that Trump needs to address to boost the economy

00:43 China's latest crackdown highlights some of its biggest problems» Top News & Analysis
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00:37 Governors wary of Medicaid cost shift in Senate health bill» AP Top Business News at 5:48 a.m. EDT
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00:37 This Company Is Cashing In On India's E-Commerce Boom» Forbes Real Time
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00:30 FEMA Is Preparing For A Solar Storm That Would Take Out The Grid»

Authored by Maco Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) is planning for a massive solar storm that would be so strong, it would take down the power grid.

Noting that the rare, yet “high-consequence” scenario has “the potential for catastrophic impact on our nation and FEMA’s ability to respond.”

According to unpublished FEMA documents obtained by Government Attic, a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) database and non-profit organization, the Department of Homeland Security agency once mapped out a disaster plan for the occurrence of another geomagnetic “super storm” like the one the occurred in 1859.

Back then, the sun flung a giant plume of magnetized plasma out into space. The coronal mass ejection (CME), the sibling of a massive solar flare, traveled the 93 million miles between the Sun and Earth in only 17.6 hours. Today, it’s known as the Carrington Event and is remembered by the largest geomagnetic storm in the history of recorded space weather.

No other storm has matched it in speed or magnitude. When the shock wave of accelerated particles arrived on September 1, 1859, the disturbances to Earth’s magnetosphere were so great that telegraph communications across Europe and North America went on the fritz. Sparks leaped from the telegraph infrastructure, and machinery was so inundated with electric currents that operators were able to transmit messages while disconnected from battery power. Compasses even wiggled, and brilliant auroras were reportedly seen as far south as the Caribbean.

But that doesn’t mean the ill-equipped government isn’t preparing for the inevitability, in fact, they are. Despite our superior ability to predict these events, the stakes are exponentially higher in a modern, hyper-connected world.  FEMA predicts that a geomagnetic storm of this intensity would be “a catastrophe in slow motion.” Space weather events happen all the time, and many are harmless. For example, an event causing radio blackouts, solar radiation storms, and geomagnetic storms would be abnormal, yet the ripple effects on the power grid and communications would severely limit FEMA’s ability to respond to a nationwide crisis.

Within 20 minutes of the CME’s occurrence, FEMA estimates that 15 percent of the satellite fleet would be lost due to solar panel damage.


Solar radiation from the incoming storm would add “3-5 years worth of exposure” to the panels, degrading older satellites to the point of inoperability.


Low orbiting satellites, such as Iridium and Globalstar, may be less affected. Cellular service would be disrupted, and a loss of GPS capabilities could complicate FEMA operations.



Should a storm of this magnitude hit, there wouldn’t be much the government can do. And of course, this would be the perfect opportunity to round up the masses for a trip to a FEMA camp. Individuals would need to band together to help get things back online, but it would all take time.  Those in heavily populated regions would be hit the hardest and evacuation of over 100 million people would be impossible, and even if it was, there would be no unaffected region to send the evacuees – other than the FEMA camps.

Prepare yourself, because the mere fact that this government document exists could mean that there is something we don’t know.

00:29 How Businesses Use Controversial Device Fingerprinting To Identify And Track Customers» Forbes Real Time
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00:28 Traders betting against restaurants are getting clobbered (CMG, SBUX, MCD, DRI, CBRL, DPZ, YUM, DNKN, CAKE, SHAK)» Markets

Shake Shack

It was forecast to be a tough year for chain restaurants

Cheaper groceries and more expensive food at restaurants slowed restaurant sales in 2016. Restaurants were also faced with rising pressure to raise their workers' wages. 

But traders who bet against some of the industry's big names are mostly counting losses. 

"The entire restaurant sector has not been kind to short sellers this year with only one stock in the top ten, The Cheesecake Factory, profitable in 2017," said Ihor Dusaniwsky, the head of research at the financial-analytics firm S3, in a note on Thursday. 

This year, investors placed the most bearish bets on Chipotle, the fast-casual restaurant chain that saw an exodus of customers after E-coli outbreaks in 14 states were linked to its food in late-2015. 

Betting against Chipotle in 2016 was a winning move: short sellers earned $355 million, or were up 20%, on their bet. 

This year, they have lost 71.4% on a mark-to-market basis, S3 said.

The stock's 7% drop this week, however, provided some reprieve, as short sellers made back $157 million of their total $404 million losses before the slide. Chipotle said on Monday June 19 that it expected to spend more on marketing in the second quarter than the first.  

Year-to-date, Chipotle's shares have gained 11%, a performance that's not dissimilar to other restaurant chains that Wall Street is betting against. Starbucks, with almost $1.6 billion in short interest — ranking second — is up 7%, while McDonald's has soared 27%. 

The table below shows the most shorted restaurant stocks, and the losses that short sellers have incurred year-to-date: 

Screen Shot 2017 06 22 at 1.46.18 PM

And the chart below shows that most of the most shorted restaurant stocks have traded the other way:


SEE ALSO: PRESENTING: The most important charts in the world from the brightest minds on Wall Street

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NOW WATCH: An economist explains the key issues that Trump needs to address to boost the economy

00:19 Bitcoin: Why The 'Flippening' Failed» Most popular articles
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00:17 Boeing plans job cuts at South Carolina facility where Trump declared he would 'fight for every last American job'» Markets

Donald Trump Carrier jobs

Some workers at a Boeing facility in South Carolina are being laid off from the company, nearly five months after President Donald Trump visited the plant, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

“We are going to fight for every last American job,” Trump said during a stop at the North Charleston plant in February.

In a statement from Boeing cited by The Post, the company said, "Our competition is relentless, and that has made clear our need as a company to reduce cost to be more competitive. We are offering resources to those affected by layoffs to help them in finding other employment and ease their transition as much as possible."

Although Boeing declined to state exactly how many people would lose their jobs and when the layoffs would start, affected employees appeared to be coming from a diverse set of departments, including engineering, quality control and training, and operations management, according to The Post.

The latest layoffs coincide with Boeing's announcement in December, when the company announced it would downsize its staff after scaling down this year's production of the Boeing 777 aircraft by 40%, due to lower demand.

This particular Boeing plant holds some significance to Trump's campaign promise for job growth in the manufacturing industry. It was one of the president's first visits to a company after his inauguration.

"We're here today to celebrate American engineering and American manufacturing," Trump said during his visit on February 17. "We're also here today to celebrate jobs. Jobs!"

Carrier, another company that Trump put the spotlight on during his campaign, was set to layoff around 600 employees starting in July, CNBC reported.

Due in part to Trump's admonishments shortly after the 2016 election, Carrier said it would preserve about 1,069 jobs for 10 years at its Indiana plant in exchange for $7 million in incentives from the government. Trump touted the arrangement in November last year.

"The jobs are still leaving," said Robert James, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, in CNBC's report. "Nothing has stopped."

"To me this was just political, to make it a victory within Trump's campaign, in his eyes that he did something great," said T.J. Bray, an employee at Carrier. "I'm very grateful that I get to keep my job, and many others, but I'm still disappointed that we're losing a lot."

SEE ALSO: 600 layoffs coming to Carrier plant Trump claimed to save last year

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Thu 22 June, 2017

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23:22 There's frightening new data on the effects of a blockbuster drug Wall Street loves to hate» Markets

Andrew Left, Citron Research

  • Adverse events for those taking Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals' drug Acthar spiked last year, according to FDA data. Hospitalizations tripled, and "other serious" side effects quadrupled.
  • In a lawsuit, a former Mallinckrodt sales rep says he was pushed to promote Acthar for off-label uses.
  • A neurologist who has studied the drug says the spike in hospitalizations could be a sign it is being overused.

Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and its $36,382 blockbuster drug — a decades-old treatment called Acthar — are under siege from short sellers.

These traders — who are profiting from the stock's decline — have questioned the drug's efficacy, Mallinckrodt's dependence on deals with pharmaceutical middlemen for the drug's expanding use, and why a drug that is primarily indicated as a treatment for infants is turning into a massive expense for Medicare, a program for the elderly.

Now the critics have a new line of attack. Data from the Food and Drug Administration shows that reports of adverse events for those taking the drug — everything from hospitalization to death — have spiked recently. The increase is far faster than the rate of prescriptions.

Andrew Left of Citron Research pounced on the data, releasing a report Thursday saying Citron "believes the reason for the increase in adverse events is the company's expansion of Acthar into new indications where it has not conducted clinical trials in order to test its safety in new indications."

He's not the only short seller targeting the company, but he is the shrillest. Mallinckrodt shares tumbled in early trading Thursday before regaining their losses.

To be clear: The raw numbers are relatively small, with only about 9,000 people taking Acthar, according to Mallinckrodt.

Eighty-two deaths were reported in 2016, up from 69 the year before. Hospitalizations nearly doubled to 427, and "other serious" side effects quadrupled to 436.

The company released a statement saying that side effects linked to the drug were often relatively minor and that correlation of side effects with Acthar didn't necessarily mean causation. You can read that here.

adverse effects associated with ActharWhat the data does show us is that Mallinckrodt's strategy of taking an old drug that never went through the rigors of FDA approval and trying to expand its use could be running into serious limits. The company has turned Acthar into a drug with over $1 billion in annual sales by persuading doctors to prescribe it even to the sickest patients and even when there are much cheaper alternatives.

I asked Dr. Dennis Bourdette, the chair of neurology at the Oregon Health & Science University, about the FDA data. He has studied Acthar's use — and he's not a fan.

To Bourdette, the spike in adverse events could be a sign the drug is being overused in a way that is triggering side effects.

"Some doctors are using Acthar like an ongoing, monthly, or weekly therapy over long periods of time, and when you do that there are all sorts of side effects that can occur because of the steroid effects that can occur," Bourdette said.

On Acthar's website, the company takes pains to say it is not a steroid, even though it "works by helping your body produce its own natural steroid hormones." Bourdette says that doesn't matter because it still acts like one. "ACTH is having all these effects on the immune system apart from releasing cortisol," Bourdette said, referring to the adrenocorticotropic hormone in Acthar.

"When your body produces too much cortisol you're going to have chronic steroid side effects we've known about for decades, and every doctor is trained in those side effects."

'No idea'

So why are the doctors prescribing so much Acthar?

"I have no idea," Bourdette said.

Acthar is supposed to be taken for about five to 15 days to treat infantile spasms and multiple sclerosis, but there's no specification on dosage for the 17 other conditions that Mallinckrodt says can be treated with Acthar.

Screen Shot 2017 06 22 at 10.25.09 AMThe drug was grandfathered into FDA approval because it dates back to the 1950s before clinical testing was required. As such, some have questioned its efficacy.

To be fair, Mallinckrodt has said repeatedly that only the most desperate patients take Acthar, suggesting it's not the primary treatment for many of the ailments it is used against. Instead, the company says, it is used only after other drugs don't work.

Mallinckrodt also says on its website that while "the exact way that Acthar works in the body is unknown, further studies are being conducted" and that some information on the website "is based on laboratory data, and how it relates to patient benefit is unknown."

Emergency Room Hospital

Some ideas

So why would doctors prescribe too much Acthar for the wrong ailments? We can't be sure, but we do know that in December a former Acthar sales rep, Barry Franks, filed a whistle-blower suit against Mallinckrodt.

Franks accused the company of pushing him to promote Acthar's use for off-label indications — in fact, he's saying his bonus depended on it. He says when he wouldn't do things Mallinckrodt's way — and his sales team didn't see the "explosive growth" other teams did — he was fired.

From the complaint:

"Franks ... alleges that there were illegal sales practices being committed in other regions, and that Mallinckrodt used these regions as the gold standard or basis Incentive Bonus Plans for which all regions were compared and asked to duplicate. Franks was expected to deliver sales that were not supported by lawful practices.


"Franks was also aware of other compliance related issues at Mallinckrodt, which Franks ... alleges that these issues include but were not limited to: potential insurance/Medicare fraud ... HIPPA violations where four or eight week prescriptions were provided where there was no patient visit and violations where Mallinckrodt permitted, for a certain period of time, certain employees to manipulate the compensation plan by having physicians wrote shorter prescriptions that were refilled, to earn a bonus on the patient at the shortest prescription interval.

"(Shorter prescriptions did not allow sufficient time to see if a patient responded to the drug. In some cases the drug was shipped the same day as the referral was received. This was done to 'game the system' and potentially commit insurance/Medicare fraud.)"

Mallinckrodt didn't respond to a request for comment on Franks' claims.

Another reason doctors may want to prescribe Acthar goes back to Bourdette's study on the few doctors who do prescribe Acthar. Mallinckrodt, like a lot of other drug companies, also has a speakers program through which it can book and pay doctors to talk about its drugs.

Typically, the top prescribers of Acthar not only have received payments from Mallinckrodt but also "are typically getting larger payments from companies that are developing disease-modifying therapies," Bourdette told us back in March.

One top prescriber, Dr. Regina Berkovich, an assistant professor of clinical neurology at the University of Southern California, accepted $23,895 for writing a paper and talking about Acthar in 2013. That was out of $142,978 in speaking and other fees from various drug companies she collected that year.

HP Acthar chart priceAnother doctor, Robert Baughman, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Cincinnati, is collaborating with Mallinckrodt on a study on Acthar's efficacy curing patients with sarcoidosis, a disease that affects the lungs and lymph glands. This is part of the "investigator-initiated research," which Mallinckrodt supports financially through grants.He has also received $21,625 for promoting Acthar from 2013 to 2015 (that's out of $116,000 for speaking and promotion fees for drugs during that period). He declined to comment on his research when we asked him about it March.

What he's published about Acthar is not encouraging. Of 47 patients, 18 discontinued the program because of "cost (four patients), death (two patients), or drug toxicity (eleven patients), or noncompliance (1 patient)."

Still, both his study and Berkovich's study are being touted as advancements by Mallinckrodt.

The No. 1 prescriber of Acthar (making up 1% of all prescriptions) is an Ohio rheumatologist named David Mandel, according to the most recent government data. In August of 2014, he was forced to pay a $640,000 fine for the "shipment of misbranded drugs." From 2013 to 2015, Mandel has received $22,762 in speaking and other fees from Mallinckrodt for promoting Acthar.

Until rigorous, independent clinical trials are done, there will continue to be questions about the efficacy of Acthar. At least, there should be for the sake of anyone taking it.

SEE ALSO: A Wall Street investor call revealed part of the secret of why drugs are so expensive

SEE ALSO: Something weird's going on with the doctors prescribing one of pharma's most controversial blockbuster drugs

Join the conversation about this story »

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21:12 Doctors and patient advocates are slamming the Senate Republicans' healthcare plan» Markets

surgeon surgery doctor

Doctors and patient groups slammed the Better Care Reconciliation Act released by Republican Senators on Thursday, taking issue in particular with Medicaid cuts in the bill.

The groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Hospital Association, are critical of Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

The Senate's plan, like one passed by the
House of Representatives rolls back many of the provisions of Obamacare, including taking deep cuts from the Medicaid program.

Here's what the groups thought of the bill

The American Academy of Pediatrics, which represents 66,000 pediatricians, opposed the BCRA, especially because it was left out of the conversation around its drafting.

"The bill that the Senate unveiled today was crafted without the benefit of groups like pediatricians weighing in with what children need," Dr. Fernando Stein, president of the AAP, said in a statement. "The result is that the bill would tear down the progress we've made by achieving health insurance coverage for 95% of America's children."

The AAP was critical of the changes to Medicaid.

"The bill includes misleading 'protections' for children by proposing to exempt them from certain Medicaid cuts," Stein said. "A 'carve-out' for children with 'medically complex' health issues does little to protect their coverage when the base program providing the coverage is stripped of its funding." 

 The American Lung Association also opposed the bill, citing the Medicaid cuts. 

"The proposed cuts to Medicaid under this bill will be devastating for children, seniors and people living with disabilities for whom healthcare is critical. Cuts to Medicaid will lead to more asthma attacks," ALA President Harold Wimmer said in a statement Thursday. 

Leading up to the bill's release, the ALA didn't get a chance to share their thoughts on the BCRA. 

"You're never going to get everything right," Erika Sward, the assistant vice president of national advocacy at the ALA told Business Insider. But when you completely exclude patient organizations from the conversations, "you're more likely to get it wrong," she said. 

The March of Dimes criticized the cuts to coverage for children and pregnant women.

"This bill penalizes pregnant women, children and families at every turn," the organization's president Stacey Stewart said in a statement.  

The American Hospital Association, which represents thousands of hospitals and health systems, was unhappy with the cuts to the Medicaid program. 

"Medicaid cuts of this magnitude are unsustainable and will increase costs to individuals with private insurance. We urge the Senate to go back to the drawing board and develop legislation that continues to provide coverage to all Americans who currently have it," AHA President Richard Pollack said in a statement on Thursday. 

SEE ALSO: This map shows where people with HIV live in the US — and points to some troubling trends

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NOW WATCH: HENRY BLODGET: Tech market is nowhere near the dotcom days

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18:15 Here's what the Senate healthcare bill means for all types of Americans» Markets

doctor patient health care

Senate Republican leadership released a long-awaited Obamacare repeal and replace bill Thursday, providing the first look at their vision of the future for America's healthcare system.

The 142-page discussion draft, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act, has the potential to affect a wide scope of Americans' lives — from taxes on medical equipment to tax credits for people to buy coverage.

For people who have insurance through their employers, a bulk of the country, there would be substantial but less-direct effects. The more immediate impact would come on people who get their insurance through the individual insurance marketplace, like the exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act, or government programs like Medicaid.

We've broken it down by income strata with some additional information on the broader effects. (Note: Income levels are chosen to highlight distinctive features of the bill.)

Low-income Americans

  • Definition: 138% of the federal poverty limit, the cutoff to qualify for Medicaid under Obamacare's expansion. That translates to an annual income of $20,782 for an individual and $42,435 for a family of four.
  • Effect on costs: The upper portion of this group — those making between the federal poverty limit and 138% of it — are currently eligible for Obamacare's Medicaid expansion in the 32 states that took up the program. The Senate bill would continue the expansion through 2020 and then slowly taper it until it is dropped altogether after 2023. Those people would then be shifted to the individual marketplace and given subsidies, which cover much less than Medicaid.

    For those under the federal poverty line, the Senate bill would shift Medicaid funding to a block-grant system that is less generous than the current system, which matches a percentage of whatever states spend. States would be forced to choose between having to shoulder more of the burden for Medicaid or letting it get more expensive for consumers.

    Bottom line: Costs would likely rise for people on both Medicaid and the expansion.
  • Effect on care: Without the expansion, it is more likely that more people would go uninsured. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that 14 million fewer Americans would be on Medicaid in 2026 under the House's version of the law. The Senate version's CBO score will come next week, but it is likely to be similar.

    Additionally, the Senate bill would allow states to apply for waivers to repeal a regulation in Obamacare called essential health benefits (EHBs). EHBs standardize 10 types of care that are the bare minimum for insurance plans including mental health and maternity care. Without those, insurers could offer skimpier plans that cover less.

    Bottom line: There would be fewer lower-income people covered — and in states that take up waivers, their plans would cover less.

Middle-income Americans

  • Definition: The Pew Research's definition cuts off middle income at $72,500 for an individual and $145,000 for a family of four. (This is based on the national median income, so it is not adjusted for cost of living in different areas.)
  • Effect on costs: For middle-income people who access coverage through the individual market, the Senate bill would have tax subsidies similar to Obamacare based on income. One proposed change: The cutoff for subsidies would drop from 400% of the poverty line to 350% of the poverty line. So the highest income a person could make and qualify for assistance is $52,710 for an individual (down from $62,240) and $107,625 for a family of four (down from $123,000). More people would be left out from getting help paying for premiums.

    The subsidies also make it so a person cannot pay more than a certain percentage of their income on premiums. Under the Senate bill, the percentage would increase with age. For instance, a 33-year-old person who makes $50,000 annually, or 332% of the poverty line, would pay up to 8.9% of their income on premiums, or $4,450 a year. For a person age 61, that increases to 16.2% of their income, or $8,100 a year.

    Additionally, the benchmark plan for Obamacare has an actuarial value — in essence, the percentage of all costs covered — of 70%. Under the Senate bill, the value would drop to 58%. In practice, that would mean many plans would have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.

    The bill also would repeal the mandate that employers provide coverage, so more people (in any income bracket) could also end up in that boat.

    Bottom line: People receiving subsidies would likely end up paying more, and fewer middle-income Americans would receive assistance with premiums.
  • Effect on care: The potential repeal of essential health benefits would also affect this group. But without larger subsides to purchase optional packages that would make up for those losses, people would likely choose lower-cost plans that cover much less. And higher deductibles and co-pays would mean people would be less likely to utilize their insurance.

High-income Americans

  • Definition: Above $72,500 for an individual and $145,000 for a family of four.
  • Effect on costs: People at this income level on the Obamacare exchanges are not eligible for subsidies, so direct costs would not increase. The biggest difference would be for people making over $200,000 as an individual or a married couple making over $250,000, regardless of where they get their insurance. Since the Senate bill would repeal Obamacare's taxes, this group would likely see their tax bills decline.

    Bottom line: The most wealthy people could pay a lot less in taxes, while maintaining the same price for their insurance.
  • Effect on care: Higher-income Americans would be subject to the same EHB repeals in states that get waivers. These people would be more likely to be able to afford plans that still cover those baselines, however.

SEE ALSO: Check out the full Senate healthcare bill

Join the conversation about this story »

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mitch mcconnnells office bcra healthcare obamacare repeal protest

Senate Republican leadership on Thursday released a draft of its long-awaited healthcare bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.

Like the American Health Care Act, passed by the House in May, the bill proposes a fundamental restructuring and deep cuts to Medicaid, the government-run health program that provides insurance primarily to pregnant women, single mothers, people with disabilities, and seniors with low incomes.

But the BCRA, the Senate's bill, makes even more drastic changes to Medicaid in the long run.

One major change could result in global economic shifts, with no relation to healthcare, having a profound impact on the level of funding to the program — like an oil crash.

Here's how:



A fundamental change

While the BCRA and the AHCA would phase out the Medicaid expansion established by the Affordable Care Act — which extended the program to those making 100% to 138% of the federal poverty limit — both proposals call for a fundamental change in how Medicaid operates. 

Since its establishment in 1965, Medicaid has been an open-ended entitlement program. Anyone who meets the eligibility requirements has a right to enroll, and if costs go up because of new, expensive treatments or increasing healthcare needs, states receive more federal money. While states fund a big portion of their individual Medicaid programs, the federal government matches up to a certain percentage, with bigger matches for poorer states.

Both bills would change Medicaid to a program where funding would be set on a per-capita basis — meaning the federal government would send states a fixed amount of money per Medicaid enrollee, regardless of whether that would cover needs or care — and then peg funding growth to a rate related to inflation.

"It's no longer an open-ended matching program," Richard Frank, a professor at Harvard Medical School professor, told Business Insider in May. He added that changing funding to per-capita cap grants "fundamentally changes the kind of contract that exists between the states and the federal government."

The BCRA would take it a step further.

The AHCA called for growing funding by consumer price index for medical care (CPI-M), generally a figure between 2% and 5% each year. The Senate's bill, meanwhile would grow the figure initially by CPI-M before switching to the CPI for all goods (CPI-U)— a significantly lower level of growth — in 2025.

The switch from CPI-M to CPI-U would mean far more restrictive growth for Medicaid funding.

The difference between CPI-M and CPI-U since 2000:

The CPI-U is subject to more economic movements than CPI-M as well, most of which have nothing to do with the cost of healthcare. 

In September 2015, the year-over-year CPI-U was -0.008%. If the BCRA had been in effect then, funding would have actually gone down.

And the CPI-U was below zero due in no small part to a major oil crash that was holding down inflation at the time. The CPI-M in September 2015 was 2.44%.

It's no stretch to think that, if the BCRA passes, future decisions made by OPEC or major conglomerates could have a major effect on the quality of healthcare for impoverished Americans.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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17:24 6.8-magnitude quake hits Guatemala, second in eight days: USGS» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

6.8-magnitude quake hits Guatemala, second in eight days: USGSA powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Guatemala's coast Thursday, injuring four people and damaging homes and roads, officials said, just eight days after another strong tremor killed five people in the Central American country. The quake struck at 6:31 am (1231 GMT) with its epicenter in the Pacific Ocean at a depth of 46.8 kilometers, about 23 kilometers (14 miles) southwest of Puerto San Jose, the US Geological Survey said. The Guatemalan Seismological Institute measured the quake at a magnitude of 6.7.

17:24 Oracle's blow-out earnings caused over 20 Wall Street analysts to raise price targets» Markets

Larry EllisonCloud computing really is starting to breath new life into Oracle.

The company had blow-out Q4 2017 earnings Wednesday thanks to 58% year-over-year growth for the quarter in cloud.

A sunny outlook caused the stock to hit a 52-week high of $51.85 on Thursday before settling down to about $50 in the afternoon.

And that inspired 21 of 38 analysts surveyed by FactSet to predict that the stock will rise even higher, according to MarketWatch's Tomi Kilgore.

Analysts, on average, now believe the stock will reach $54.84, up from $48.96 on Tuesday, before the company reported earnings.

Not that it was all good news. The cloud business is cannibalizing the company's biggest business: software. Total software revenues declined 1% to $7.52 billion (with new software licenses declining 5%). And the hardware business continues to whither away, down 13% for the quarter.

But cloud is starting to pick up the slack. Cloud revenues were $1.4 billion. And overall revenues were up and crushing expectations. Revenues climbed 3% to $10.9 billion, compared to analyst expectations of $10.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. It earned 89 cents per share, excluding items, compared to expectations of 78 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

For the full year, Oracle reported non-GAAP total revenues of $37.9 billion, up 2%. 

While these numbers certainly made for a buoyant Thursday, Oracle and analysts seem convinced at this point that Oracle's cloud computing business will carry the company well into the future.

Analysts estimate non-GAAP revenues will climb to $39.26 billion for its fiscal 2018 and to $41.12 billion in 2019, according to Bloomberg data.

Oracle is also touting up some big-name customers moving to its cloud like the major agreement it announced with AT&T in May. 

"AT&T has agreed to migrate thousands of existing Oracle databases containing petabytes of data plus their associated applications workloads to the Oracle Cloud," said Larry Ellison, Oracle executive chairman and CTO, in a statement. "In the coming year, I expect more of our big customers to migrate their Oracle databases and database applications to the Oracle Cloud."

SEE ALSO: Uber's Kalanick was in Chicago to interview a COO candidate when he got the letter demanding his resignation

SEE ALSO: Cisco thinks it’s solved an “unsolvable” encryption security challenge

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NOW WATCH: Former Navy SEAL commanders explain why they still wake up at 4:30 a.m. — and why you should, too

17:14 Trump Promises Telecom Executives Less Red Tape» WSJ.com: US Business
President Donald Trump on Thursday told technology and telecom executives the government will tackle federal regulations they consider too restrictive but stopped short of announcing any specific policies aimed at their industries.
17:12 The Latest: Lawyer for Manson follower blasts parole denial» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

The Latest: Lawyer for Manson follower blasts parole denialSACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the parole hearing for Patricia Krenwinkel, a follower of cult leader Charles Manson (all times local):

17:12 Deutsche Bank unexpectedly pulled an offer to hire a top executive at the last minute (DB)» Markets

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank unexpectedly pulled an offer to hire a top executive at the last minute, people familiar with the matter said, delaying its efforts to end churn at its fixed-income operation.

Rob Allard, a former Deutsche Bank executive who ran the structured product sales team before moving to Goldman Sachs in 2008, was due to join the bank as head of US fixed-income sales. He was set to replace John Gallo in that role. Matt Scully at Bloomberg reported the hire last week. 

However, the job offer has since been rescinded, according to three people who did not want to be identified discussing the matter. It's unclear why, they said. A Deutsche Bank spokesman declined to comment, as did Allard.

Allard was most recently CEO of hedge fund Firebreak Capital. The fund is closing.  

It marks a strange turn of events for Deutsche Bank, which has seen a high level of churn in fixed-income sales. 

Dixit Joshi, who previously led the bank's fixed-income sales force globally as head of the institutional client group for debt, moved to the role of group treasurer earlier this year. 

Suzanne Cain, who had been European head of debt sales, left for a role at BlackRock in February. Her departure was followed by that of Kevin Burke, who held the same role in Asia

The departure of Gallo meant that the global head, the US head, the European head, and the Asian head of fixed income sales either moved internally or left in 2017. 

Deutsche Bank reported debt sales and trading revenues of €2.3 billion in the first quarter, up from €2.1 billion in the first quarter of 2016. The bank cited strong revenues in credit and rates in particular. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: JIM ROGERS: The Fed is clueless and is setting us up for disaster

17:04 'Pizzagate' gunman in DC sentenced to 4 years in prison» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

'Pizzagate' gunman in DC sentenced to 4 years in prisonWASHINGTON (AP) — An online conspiracy theory dubbed "pizzagate" ended Thursday with real-world consequences when a North Carolina man was sentenced to prison for arming himself with an assault rifle, traveling to the nation's capital and firing his weapon inside a neighborhood pizza restaurant.

16:53 Father of missing Chinese scholar: 'Give my daughter back'» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Father of missing Chinese scholar: 'Give my daughter back'URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The father of a visiting Chinese scholar missing from the University of Illinois made an emotional appeal on Thursday for his 26-year-old child's safe return, saying in an interview: "Give my daughter back."

16:45 Will Qatar Help American Airlines Stock Fly Higher?» Barron's Most Viewed Today
In a bold and politically complicated move, Qatar Airways said it plans to buy up to 10% of American’s shares.
16:30 Best Bath and Beyond plunges after missing across the board (BBBY)» Markets

bed bath and beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond is falling after missing earnings.

Shares are down 11.38% in aftermarket trading Thursday, trading around $30.06.

The company announced adjusted earnings of $0.53 per share, which was lower than the $0.66 that Wall Street was expecting. The results were much lower than the $0.80 per share in the same quarter of last year.

Comparable sales also missed estimates, decreasing by 2% compared to estimates of a slight 0.3% increase.

Revenue came in at $2.74 billion, which was shy of the $2.79 billion that analysts were looking for.

The company said the first quarter is typically the least impactful quarter in the year, but explains the declining comparable sales.

"The Company continued to have strong growth in its customer-facing-digital channels this quarter, [but] the Company did experience increased softness in transactions in stores, as well as higher net-direct-to-customer shipping expense, coupon expense, and advertising costs during the quarter," the company said in a release.

To read more about Bed Bath & Beyond click here...

bbby stock price

SEE ALSO: IT'S WAR: Walmart is telling vendors to stop using Amazon's cloud

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NOW WATCH: An economist explains what could happen if Trump pulls the US out of NAFTA

16:21 Personetics puts money management on autopilot with AI» Finextra Research Headlines
Personetics, the leading provider of cognitive applications for the financial services sector, is ta...
16:18 KeyBanc initiates coverage of Starbucks with overweight rating, $68 price target» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:18 Bed Bath & Beyond Q1 rev. $2.7 billion vs. expectations $2.8 billion» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:17 Bed Bath & Beyond Q1 same-store sales down 2%» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:16 Bed Bath & Beyond EPS 53 cents vs. expectations 66 cents» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:16 Kalanick's resignation as Uber's CEO has put an IPO in doubt — but there's still a precarious path to a public offering» Markets

Travis Kalanick

•Uber has been in crisis for months, culminating in CEO Travis Kalanick's resignation.

•A much-anticipated IPO will now be even more delayed.

•The Uber board is now in a very challenging position.

Travis Kalanick stepped down on Tuesday as Uber's CEO, amid a series of crises that have roiled the ride-hailing startup and it's nearly $70-billion valuation.

The explanation is that the big money had seen enough of the Travis show (although Kalanick will remain on Uber's board). A group of major investors demanded that Kalanick, who had already decided to take a leave of absence, resign immediately. After consulting some advisors — board member Arianna Huffington reportedly among them — Kalanick fell on his sword.

The Uber IPO, if it happened, was supposed to be the Big One, the massive payout that Silicon Valley has been anticipating since the Facebook IPO in 2012. Stock-market millionaires and billionaires would be created overnight.

The only problem was that despite the enormous stakes of venture-capital firms, huge institutional investors such as Fidelity, and the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, Kalanick and the Uber board wanted to stay private for as long as possible, tapping private-market funding due to its less demanding (some would say willfully ignorant) nature. 

An IPO in 2017, for example, would have meant that Uber would go public at a vertiginously high valuation, with continuing, voracious fundraising needs. Public investors would likely be less patient with Uber's spend-hugely-to-grow-massively approach. Playing on Kalanick's mind was obviously the requirement to fully divulge Uber's financial condition to regulators, in the process showing the competition exactly what the ride-hailing giant was up to and how much cash it was burning to maintain its dominant market position.

An unprecedented challenge?

With Kalanick out, no new CEO on tap to step in, no chief operating officer in place to command the bridge, and not even an experienced CFO to sell a money-losing startup to the markets, Uber is in no shape to go public. But investors are still going to want to get paid, and Uber being acquired by another company seems borderline impossible.

BI Graphics_Vacancies at Uber

The challenge now is to take a monumentally valued startup that defines both post-Facebook Silicon Valley and the prevailing winner-take-all tactics that VCs favor and reorganize it. I'm not sure there's a precedent for this undertaking in all of US business history. Uber's board will be searching, effectively, for a crisis-turnaround specialist, to revive the most valuable private company in world — a company that less than a year ago looked like it could be valued at $100 billion, pre-IPO.

The biggest issue is that a new Travis isn't plausible. Kalanick's hard-charging style was already ill-suited for Silicon Valley tech-geek culture, and that's why Uber became the biggest brogrammer company ever, emblematic of everything that was wrong with the tech industry at the same time as defining tech's latest innovation phase.

Uber requires operational excellence and execution, to find a way to get the cash burn under control while not allowing competitors such as Lyft to chew into Uber's market share. The company also doesn't necessarily have much in the way of a competitive moat. It's effectively an app on an iPhone, with a tenuous relationship to its non-contract driver workforce. Not a difficult business model to copy. The key factor for users with Uber and other ride-hailing services is wait time, so if you can beat Uber to the customer, you can win.

Hurry up but handle with care

What's tricky here is that Uber very badly needs a CEO and a COO right now, but the board can't rush into a hire, unless it wants to go the dangerous route of naming an interim CEO while the search in underway. You just hand the keys to a $70-billion car to anybody.

This makes the path to an IPO difficult in the short term, but possibly easier long-term. Once the C-suite leadership situation is straightened out, Uber can take a look at the markets and determine whether an IPO will net the payout investors require. Then it can move fast.

There is, of course, a nightmare scenario in which Uber's mega-crisis continues and the company's valuation spirals down. If that happens, the board and major Uber investors could panic and race for the exits. But with so much money already sunk into the company, that wouldn't be a cut-your-losses move — it would be the Uberpocalypse and could trigger another tech-economy meltdown.

SEE ALSO: Travis Kalanick is no longer CEO, but he'll have a hand in picking his successor

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Travis Kalanick’s resignation as CEO of Uber comes after a firestorm of scandals

16:16 Bed Bath & Beyond shares down 7% after Q1 results» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:15 Millennials are about to benefit from 'one of the largest intergenerational wealth transfers in history'» Markets


Millennials matter. 

That's the thesis of a white paper out by UBS. According to the Swiss bank, Wall Street is at the precipice of a massive transfer of wealth, the likes of which has never been seen.

Older millennials are approaching "peak income" age and Baby Boomers, the generation born following WWII, are set to pass on trillions of dollars of wealth in the coming years to younger generations. 

In just three years global millennial wealth could stand at $24 trillion, according to UBS, up $7 trillion from 2015. 

Millennials are about to benefit from "one of the largest intergenerational wealth transfers in history," according to Tom Naratil, president of UBS Americas, and Jürg Zeltner, president of UBS Wealth Management.

As such, the bank believes "it is critical" that Wall Street firms pay attention to millennial-specific tastes when it comes to wealth management.

Following are the three preferences the bank thinks Wall Street firms should consider when shaping their offerings to attract people in the millennial generation.

SEE ALSO: Morgan Stanley is going after a $500 billion opportunity

SEE ALSO: High-net-worth wealth managers can't survive the digital age on just 'their name and wood paneling'


Whether its a ride to the airport or every episode of their favorite show, millennials are accustomed to getting what they want when they want it. According to UBS, millennials want that same on-demand service for their finances. 

"Millennials are more than twice as likely as Baby Boomers to demand a mobile banking service that allows for financial advice to be delivered by in-app chat or via video conference," the bank said. 


Multi-channel delivery

It's no secret that millennials want to be able to access their finances via their mobile phone. But that doesn't mean financial firms should close their physical branches en masse. According to UBS, millennials utilize their local branches. In fact, they do so even more than Baby Boomers. 

"Millennials also visit branches nearly twice as often as Baby Boomers (29 times against 16 times respectively), and engage with a broker or agent three times as often as Boomers," the bank said. 

As such, financial firms that offer their services through both digital and traditional channels are best positioned to attract millennials, according to the bank. 


Millennials are the least private generation. Generally speaking, they don't mind when firms collect data about their habits, purchases, and google searches so long as it translate into higher quality services and products. This trend extends to financial services, according to UBS, and Wall Street firms should take advantage.

"23% of millennials would be willing to share their cell phone number, 21% their purchase history, and 15% their household income (compared to 11%, 12%, and 6% respectively for Baby Boomers)," the bank said, citing a study done by the University of Columbia Business School.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
16:07 Zuckerberg: Why I've changed Facebook's mission » Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
Read full story for latest details.
16:01 STOCKS ERASE GAINS, END FLAT: Here's what you need to know» Markets

Baseball Fan Yawns

Stocks were little changed on Thursday as surging healthcare companies that got a boost from the much-anticipated GOP Senate healthcare bill were offset by losses in consumer staples and financials.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were almost completely flat, while the Nasdaq eked out a less than 0.1% increase. All three indexes moved higher earlier in the day before erasing gains in the last hour of trading.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 21,397.29, -12.74, (-0.06%)
  • S&P 500: 2,434.50, -1.11, (-0.05%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,236.69, +2.73, (+0.04%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.153%, -0.002
  • WTI crude oil: $42.72, +0.19, +0.45%

1. The next big stock market shift could come from an unexpected source: Retirees. They're going to lead a recovery in value stocks that are currently inexpensive relative to history, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

2. The safety net of the stock bull market is vanishing — but it may not matter. Share buybacks declined in the first quarter, raising questions about their sustainability. But earnings growth is surging, and could offset any negative effects.

3. Wall Street has been brutally wrong when it comes to making one of its most important predictions: The 10-year US Treasury yield. Heading into the second quarter, Wall Street was expecting the benchmark yield to rise to 2.90% over the next 12 months. After hitting a high of 2.64%, yields have been drifting lower ever since.

4. One striking chart shows traders don't believe the Fed. Usually the maturity that's the most responsive to moves in the official federal funds rate, two-year notes have done next to nothing.

5. Qatar Airways wants to buy a 10% stake in American Airlines. The airline received an unsolicited notice from Qatar Airways stating its intention to make a "significant investment."

6. Altice USA opens up 5% in the second biggest IPO of the year. The $1.9 billion was the most raised by a telecom IPO in 20 years. After the IPO, Altice will have a market cap of about $22 billion.



JPMORGAN: There's a chance Walmart will go head-to-head with Amazon to buy Whole Foods

Wall Street is waking up to a key demand of millennial investors

Traders betting against restaurants are getting clobbered

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Doctors and patient advocates are slamming the Senate Republicans' healthcare plan

Here's where Americans are moving to and from

Tesla is rallying after announcing it's exploring a factory in China

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: An economist explains the key issues that Trump needs to address to boost the economy

15:48 JPMORGAN: There's a chance Walmart will go head-to-head with Amazon to buy Whole Foods (AMZN, WMT, WFM)» Markets


Amazon's deal to acquire Whole Foods merger may seem like a dream come true to some, but there's a realistic chance Walmart could still swoop in to trump Amazon's $13.7 billion offer, according to JPMorgan. 

Whole Foods stock has been trading above Amazon's offer of $42 a share, signaling that investors believe a bidding war could emerge and drive up the final price for Whole Foods.

Competitors like Target, Costco, and Kroger have been rumored as potential suitors, and they'd do anything to make this deal harder for Amazon, according to Barclays analyst Karen Short.

According to JPMorgan, Walmart is the only retailer with a legitimate shot of entering the fray.

Here's JPMorgan (emphasis added):

"From our perspective, we have a hard time seeing Kroger, Costco, or Target coming in over the top. We do think there is a chance that Walmart makes a bid. There are compelling reasons for it to do so (adding new, generally wealthier customers; acquiring a strong brand; generating synergies and efficiencies; et al), in addition to keeping Amazon out of its wheelhouse." 

Walmart is the only company with the financial might to play ball with Amazon. The current offer for Whole Foods comprises only 3% of Amazon's market cap and only 6% of Walmart's. It would match 64% of Kroger's. 

Here's how other companies would fare, including Costco (COST), Publix (PUSH), Target (TGT), and Netherlands-based Ahold-Delhaize (AD NA). 

JPMorgan note whole foods walmart

Walmart also has plenty of incentives to make a move for Whole Foods, according to JPMorgan. Among them:

  • Grocery is its strongest advantage right now against Amazon, its top competitor. That moat is significantly diminished once Whole Foods is safely in Amazon's clutches. 
  • Walmart could leverage the distribution network of its roughly 4,000 locations to help expand Whole Foods' audience. 
  • Whole Foods would also fit nicely into Walmart's network of stores without overlapping too much, as their stores are concentrated in urban, high-income locations. 

That's not to say that a Walmart bid would be a slam dunk. While JPMorgan thinks Walmart is the only competitor in the group "with the means and motive to counterbid," doing so would have serious downsides.

For starters, it puts Walmart in a defensive position rather than offensive: It already owns a colossal network of brick and mortar grocery stores; what it really needs to improve is its online platform. 

Here's JPMorgan: 

"Given Walmart’s 20%+ share in grocery, why should the company spend $14B+ on what it’s already good at (selling food via brick-and-mortar) when the money instead could be used to expand and improve Jet.com and Walmart.com? Jet.com is Walmart’s urban/millennial alternative to Amazon Prime, and Walmart.com is in many ways the 'forgotten man’s' alternative to Prime." 

It would also be very difficult to overcome the culture clash. For instance, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey has focused intently on employee welfare — even to the detriment of shareholders, he acknowledges — while Walmart is notoriously stingy on benefits and has reputation for paying minimum wage, JPMorgan notes.

When Walmart spent $310 million last Friday to acquire Bonobos — a high-end brand like Whole Foods — fans of the hip fashion brand were furious, saying it was "no longer cool." It's hard to imagine Whole Foods loyalists would be more subdued. 

"As cultural similarity is often a key determinant of a successful merger, we think WMT and WFM have conclusively different guiding principles for the two entities to combine and thrive," JPMorgan wrote in the note. 

Walmart is probably the only company out there with the financial firepower and the motive to compete with Amazon for Whole Foods. But it wouldn't be easy, and Amazon, with a cash war chest nearly $20 billion larger than Walmart's, will have the right to match or beat any offer that comes in.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: A top Wall Street strategist says there's nothing to worry about and we examine bitcoin's surge

15:41 Pandora Stock Seen Valued at $12» Barron's Most Viewed Today
Pandora is trading at a low valuation pro forma for the Sirius investment compared with Internet peers.
15:38 German fintech startup zuper targets crowdfunding raise» Finextra Research Headlines
“Higher and higher fees, little innovation, fewer branches: banks have left their customers behind,”...
15:32 HDFC chooses ZineOne Customer Interactions Hub» Finextra Research Headlines
HDFC Bank Ltd., one of India's premier digital banks has partnered with ZineOne to provide rich digi...
15:22 Wall Street is waking up to a key demand of millennial investors» Markets

friends tourists selfie millennials colorful

Millennials are more connected and aware of global issues than ever, which is changing the way they approach investing their wealth.

According to a new UBS report, millennials as a generation will likely be worth $24 trillion by 2020. That figure is one and a half times US gross domestic product.

But young investors are not only looking for financial returns — they want to put that wealth to work for the public good.

"Our wealthiest millennial clients are at the forefront of the trend towards digital networking and mobilizing investments for public good," writes Simon Smiles, CIO for Ultra High Net Worth at UBS Wealth Management in a news release for the UBS report. "To meet related needs, wealth managers and financial advisers must prioritize new digital services like financial networks and help mainstream impact investing and other sustainability-related initiatives."

Sustainability is a key issue for millennials. Investors under the age of 35 are roughly twice as likely as other age cohorts to withdraw from investments that have sustainability problems, according to UBS.

And with millennials poised to inherit roughly $30 trillion from the baby-boomers, catering to the preferences of the younger generation will be key for wealth managers and financial advisers. Wealth managers hoping to win younger clients will likely need to help their investors identify companies meeting standards for sustainability and community impact.

While there are currently no uniform standards in evaluating a company's sustainability efforts, there are several initiatives underway from groups such as the Global Reporting Initiative, the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate Change, and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board that aim to educate and inform the public on the performance of companies' efforts to increase sustainability.

Mark Haefele, Global CIO at UBS Wealth Management, wrote that this focus on impact investing "gives wealth managers and financial advisers a renewed opportunity to improve their digital capabilities as well as using private capital to help make the world a more sustainable place."

Screen Shot 2017 06 22 at 2.16.58 PM

SEE ALSO: A startup that wants to change the way people think about saving money has named a new CEO

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NOW WATCH: A $16B hedge fund CIO explains what it takes to work at a hedge fund today

15:15 Warren Buffett lives in a modest house that's worth .001% of his total wealth — here's what it looks like» Markets

Located in a quiet neighborhood of Omaha, Nebraska lies the home of billionaire Warren Buffett. He bought the house for $31,500 in 1958 or about $250,000 in today's dollars. It's now worth an estimated $652,619. He calls it the "third-best investment he's ever made." 

Join the conversation about this story »

14:58 Here's where Americans are moving to and from» Markets

The US Census Bureau recently released its annual statistics on population change between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016 in the 3,142 counties and county-equivalents that make up the country.

The release included estimates of the components of that population change, including net domestic migration, or how many people moved into a county from somewhere else in the US minus how many people left that county.

Oil-rich counties in North Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas all saw big numbers of people moving out. Meanwhile, the northwest Pacific coast and big cities in the south saw high levels of positive net domestic migration.

domestic migration county map

SEE ALSO: Here's the fastest-growing city in each state

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NOW WATCH: An economist explains what could happen if Trump pulls the US out of NAFTA

14:53 Tesla is rallying after announcing it's exploring a factory in China (TSLA)» Markets

Shares of Tesla are popping, up more than 2%, after the company announced it is exploring a car factory in China.

Rumors have been circulating ever since Musk visited the country and met with high-ranking officials at the end of April, but the news was confirmed Thursday afternoon. Tesla shares jumped shortly after the confirmation.

The company had previously announced plans to increase car production to 500,000 vehicles a year. That's something a Chinese plant would help accomplish.

"Tesla is deeply committed to the Chinese market, and we continue to evaluate potential manufacturing sites around the globe to serve the local markets," the company said in an emailed statement to The Verge.

Shares of Tesla are up 79.2% this year and are currently trading at $384.53.

Click here to watch Tesla's stock price in real time...


Tesla stock price

SEE ALSO: UBS: Oracle jumps 10% after earnings — and the gains won't stop there

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NOW WATCH: An economist explains what could happen if Trump pulls the US out of NAFTA

14:10 4 GOP senators, including Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, come out against Senate healthcare bill — enough to kill it» Markets

rand paul

Hours after the release of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the Senate Republican vehicle to repeal and replace Obamacare, four Republican senators signaled they opposed it in its current form.

Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Ron Johnson said they will not support the current version of the bill, enough defections to prevent the legislation from passing the Senate.

"Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor," the joint statement said. "There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current health care system, but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs."

"The current bill does not repeal Obamacare. It does not keep our promises to the American people," Paul said in a separate statement. "I will oppose it coming to the floor in its current form, but I remain open to negotiations."

Other Republican senators also issued tepid statements indicating they weren't ready to offer support for the bill.

One group that is skeptical is members in states that expanded the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act, the law better known as Obamacare. Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, whose state expanded Medicaid and is up for reelection in 2018, said proposed cuts to Medicaid leave his support for the bill up in the air.

"At first glance, I have serious concerns about the bill’s impact on the Nevadans who depend on Medicaid," Heller said in a statement following the release. "I will read it, share it with Governor Sandoval, and continue to listen to Nevadans to determine the bill’s impact on our state. I will also post it to my website so that any Nevadans who wish to review it can do so. As I have consistently stated, if the bill is good for Nevada, I’ll vote for it and if it’s not – I won’t."

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, whose state also expanded Medicaid, said he had not made up his mind on the bill.

"Just got my copy of the healthcare bill and I'm going to take time to thoroughly read and review it," Flake tweeted.

Senate GOP leadership drafted the bill in closely guarded quarters over the past few weeks, and many members of the conference have not had access to the details of the plan.

A spokesperson for Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, another moderate Republicans who has expressed concern with the bill, said the senator will not pass judgment yet on the legislation.

"She has a number of concerns ans will be particularly interested in examining the forthcoming CBO analysis on the impact on insurance coverage, the effect on insurance premiums, and the changes to the Medicaid program," said the spokesperson.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to vote on the bill by the end of next week.


Join the conversation about this story »

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13:53 Police drag protesters away from McConnell’s office in ‘die-in’ against Medicaid cuts» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Police drag protesters away from McConnell’s office in ‘die-in’ against Medicaid cutsPolice forcibly removed protesters who had pretended to die in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office after he unveiled the Better Care Reconciliation Act on Thursday morning.

13:25 Not Your Father’s NYFIX» Traders Magazine - Latest News
In this sponsored article, connectivity provider Ullink reviews the origins of FIX and examines what makes a successful network in the current market microstructure.
13:16 Analysts Say This Game Has Become the New Call of Duty» Barron's Most Viewed Today
For years, Activision relied on big sales from Call of Duty, but the latest version of the game floundered. Overwatch is picking up the slack.
13:11 Trump says he did not record conversations with former FBI Director Comey» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Trump says he did not record conversations with former FBI Director ComeyU.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he did not make and does not possess any tapes of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, laying to rest speculation that arose after he tweeted last month that Comey better hope there were no tapes. "With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are 'tapes' or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings," Trump wrote on Twitter.

13:05 How to Trade Amazon With Shares Near $1,000» Barron's Most Viewed Today
This options strategy may appeal to well-heeled investors who want to collect big premiums.
12:40 Aviation Industry Seeks to Strengthen Cybersecurity Defenses» WSJ.com: US Business
Escalating concerns about cyberthreats are prompting the aviation industry to devise an unlikely new safeguard: real-time warnings to pilots about potential hacking attempts.
12:37 Turkey's İşbank launches startup programme» Finextra Research Headlines
İşbank; the largest private bank in Turkey has made a bigger move into the startup ecosystem.
12:36 12 Bizarre Kitchen Ingredients That Get Rid Of Stains Fast» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

12 Bizarre Kitchen Ingredients That Get Rid Of Stains Fast

12:23 Indian digital payments jumps post demonetisation - survey» Finextra Research Headlines
A recent study from financial services technology leader FIS (NYSE: FIS) shows a dramatic increase o...
11:55 10 Reasons You Should Buy Apple Now» Most popular articles
11:54 British Schoolboys Wear Skirts During Heatwave in Uniform Protest» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

British Schoolboys Wear Skirts During Heatwave in Uniform ProtestA group of teenage boys in England wore skirts to school during sweltering heat in defiance of their school's shorts ban.

11:53 Fed's Bullard Calls Officials' Projected Rate Path 'Unnecessarily Aggressive'» WSJ.com: US Business
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said he doesn’t see any need for further interest-rate increases but the central bank should begin shrinking its $4.5 trillion portfolio of assets “sooner rather than later.”
11:49 Trump fumes on Twitter after ex-Homeland Security chief testifies about Russian cyberattacks» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Trump fumes on Twitter after ex-Homeland Security chief testifies about Russian cyberattacksFormer U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson testifies about Russian meddling in the 2016 election before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill June 21, 2017. President Trump fired off a barrage of tweets Thursday morning, hammering away at the “big Dem scam” and “big Dem HOAX!” in the aftermath of former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s testimony the day before about Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election. In particular, Trump seized upon Johnson’s comment that the Democratic National Committee was among those who rebuffed his department’s offer for assistance during the Russian attack.

11:47 Man invents tsunami sensor, internet obsesses over his dog» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Man invents tsunami sensor, internet obsesses over his dogThis pensive dog upstaged his owner and wasn't even aware of it. SEE ALSO: Friendly island doggo followed a street view mapper and photobombed all his shots Inventor Jerry Paros posed for a photograph for an article in the publication Nature about his invention — an ultra precise quartz sensor that could contribute to an early-warning system designed to detect shifts in the sea floor that cause tsunamis. Tsunamis are caused primarily by earthquakes that occur in the seafloor, since rapid shifts in elevation can generate waves that cross oceans in a matter of several hours. In 2011, a massive tsunami hit northern Japan following a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast, resulting in the meltdown of nuclear reactors at the Fukashima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The article and the photograph were shared on Nature's Twitter page.  Meet the man hoping to transform the way we gather data from the seafloor to detect the next big earthquake: https://t.co/GmICfBMSDR pic.twitter.com/zvRlwpyADX — Nature News&Comment (@NatureNews) June 21, 2017 While many found the article interesting, most people were busy obsessing over Paros' photobombing canine companion. Yeah that's interesting and all but can we talk about the DOG ON THE DESK! — Weird Science News (@GCweirdscience) June 22, 2017 the dog looks philosophical. the dog must think about how to save this world from natural disasters. great dog. — SaveSouthKorea (@SaveSouthKorea) June 21, 2017 PLEASE PROVIDE DOG NAME. And, is he a good boy? — Bepps, The (@l_____88_____l) June 21, 2017 Wow look at the picture on the desk! pic.twitter.com/GS8cIHYvRx — Sojiro (@The_clark_Side) June 21, 2017 pic.twitter.com/f37p3lsdUt — Jon (@jonheheman) June 21, 2017 No doubt @Paroscientific #earthquake research important. But am mostly obsessed by doggo looking out the window in the pic #dogsoftwitter https://t.co/i3DJAU6D5F — Amanda Cronkhite (@abcronkhite) June 21, 2017 Please can we talk about this man's dog — Stefan (@StefanRautnbach) June 21, 2017 Ok but interview that dog. — Ashley (@ashcech) June 21, 2017 Not one word in this article about the man's dog.  — ♥️ (@LoveRunandPray) June 21, 2017 Dog is studying squirrels behavior and how subtle changes in behavior predict seismic activity. — Luminous Numinous (@LuminousNumino1) June 22, 2017 Twitter has spoken. We need to know more about that doggo. (H/T Twitter Moments) WATCH: This drone will play with your dog

11:47 FCC Regulators Are Now Imposing Record Fines for Robocalls» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

FCC Regulators Are Now Imposing Record Fines for RobocallsA Miami man is facing a record $120 million fine for what the FCC calls a massive spoofing operation. He allegedly made 96 million robocalls over a three month period.

11:24 Senate finally unveils secret health care bill» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
11:06 Will HP Flatten the 3-D Printing Sector?» Barron's Most Viewed Today
3D Systems and Stratasys look likely to give up share. Materialise could be a pick.
10:52 U.S. Jobless Claims Rose Last Week» WSJ.com: US Business
The number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment benefits rose last week, though overall numbers remain consistent with steady job gains.
10:50 ECB preps eurozone-wide instant payments service» Finextra Research Headlines
The European Central Bank has outlined plans to build an instant payment settlement system that will...
10:21 Instinet Agrees to Purchase BlockCross ATS from State Street» Traders Magazine - Latest News
Instinet Holdings Incorporated today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire State Street's BlockCross ATS, an industry leading alternative trading system (ATS).
10:15 T-Mobile is having network problems across the country, reports show» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

T-Mobile is having network problems across the country, reports show

T-Mobile users across the country have woken up to widespread network outages. According to reports on the Down Detector and Twitter, thousands of users are having problems getting any data connectivity, even if a cell signal is still showing.

The Down Detector map shows reports across the country, with a concentration on the East Coast. It could be a problem with a regional data center, or a nationwide problem that isn't being reported yet on the West Coast, thanks to the time difference.

T-Mobile has not publicly issued a statement yet, but is responding to individual users on the official @TMobile Twitter page, saying that they're looking into the issue.

Some users say that turning LTE off can get data service working on 3G, but that's a temporary fix at best. For the time being, staying on Wi-Fi and turning your device on and off every hour or two is likely the best solution.

Assuming that the outage is related to a software issue in T-Mobile's network, you can assume that a fix is being worked on at speed. Turning your device on and off forces it to re-register on the local cell tower, which means you'll get connectivity back as soon as the problem is resolved on T-Mobile's end.

10:13 Gilead: The Conundrum» Most popular articles
10:00 Teekay Corporation: Our Highest Conviction Long Idea Ever» Most popular articles
09:48 Danish m-payments scheme adds lock-screen payments and Touch ID» Finextra Research Headlines
Users of the Dankort app and mobile wallets from more than 60 Danish banks can now tap-and-go for lo...
09:43 Free exchange: The Federal Reserve risks truncating a recovery with room to run» Economic Issues
Print section Print Rubric:  Janet Yellen’s productivity scepticism could prove self-fulfilling Print Headline:  Diminished expectations Print Fly Title:  Free exchange UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  India’s prime minister is not as much of a reformer as he seems Fly Title:  Free exchange WHEN it comes to inflation, the Federal Reserve sometimes resembles a child freshly emerged from an age-inappropriate horror film. To its members, runaway price increases seem to lurk in every oddly shaped shadow. On June 14th America’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate for the third time in six months, even as inflation lingered below its 2% target, as it has for most of the past five years. Some critics reckon the Fed’s 2% inflation target is too constraining. Indeed, in recent comments on a letter from prominent economists calling for a higher target, Janet Yellen, the chairman, signalled openness to the idea. But the ...
09:43 Financial assets, made in China: China enters the big leagues of global markets» Economic Issues
Print section Print Rubric:  Index inclusions will force investors to buy Chinese stocks and bonds Print Headline:  Financial assets, made in China Print Fly Title:  Global markets UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  India’s prime minister is not as much of a reformer as he seems Fly Title:  Financial assets, made in China Location:  SHANGHAI Main image:  20170624_FND001_0.jpg FROM shoes to shirts and phones to fridges, made-in-China goods have blanketed the globe over the past three decades, entering every country and just about every home. But one kind of Chinese good few abroad dare touch: its financial assets. Outsiders own less than 2% of its shares and bonds, far below the levels of foreign ownership seen in other markets. Capital barriers and financial risks have put investors off. ...
09:43 The art of the deal: The promise and pitfalls of privatising public assets» Economic Issues
Print section Print Rubric:  The promise and pitfalls of privatising public assets Print Headline:  The art of the deal Print Fly Title:  Privatisation UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  India’s prime minister is not as much of a reformer as he seems Fly Title:  The art of the deal Location:  WASHINGTON, DC Main image:  20170624_USP002_0.jpg DONALD TRUMP ran for office promising to spur the private sector to rebuild America’s roads, bridges and airports. But it seems that Republicans want to start their modernisation in the sky. On June 21st House Republicans unveiled a bill that would privatise air-traffic control, a policy the president announced earlier this month. If the administration is to be believed, this is just one of many privatisations that could increase efficiency and ...
09:43 When the gloves come off: British business prepares for a bare-knuckle fight with the government» Economic Issues
Print section Print Rubric:  Business squares up for a bare-knuckle fight against too hard a Brexit Print Headline:  When the gloves come off Print Fly Title:  The government and business UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  India’s prime minister is not as much of a reformer as he seems Fly Title:  When the gloves come off Main image:  20170624_BRD001_0.jpg IT HAS been a dispiriting year for many British businesspeople. Most voted to remain in the EU in last year’s referendum. They accepted defeat, but then looked on in horror as Theresa May, the new prime minister, veered towards an extreme form of hard Brexit, promising to leave the single market and customs union and to impose harsh migration restrictions. This has been accompanied by a ceaseless flow of vitriol from politicians on all sides, triggered in part by the controversial bankruptcy of BHS, a ...
09:38 How SFTR compliance creates a new vantage point for firms» Finextra Research Headlines
With the deadline for the Securities Finance Transaction Regulation (SFTR) advancing rapidly (end of...
09:25 Stephen Hawking: Humans Should Ride a Beam of Light to Other Planets» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Stephen Hawking: Humans Should Ride a Beam of Light to Other PlanetsHumanity should focus its efforts on exploring other worlds that we might inhabit, and to get there, Earthlings may need to ride on a beam of light, famed physicist Stephen Hawking says. The human imagination has led us to peer ever deeper into the universe with scientific tools, Hawking said. The answer is, no," Hawking said in his address.

08:44 Column: Big Social Security COLA will be offset by Medicare premiums» Reuters: Money
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Retirees can look forward to the largest Social Security cost-of-living adjustment next year since 2012 - but don’t break out the champagne just yet. For many, higher Medicare...
07:53 Biotech Breaks Out: Bulls Rejoice as Stocks Surge» Barron's Most Viewed Today
Biotech joins a growing list of sectors scoring technical breakouts. Celgene, Regeneron, Amgen on fire.
07:43 Philippine banks testify to Senate over recent system glitches and scams» Finextra Research Headlines
Representatives of two of the Philippines' biggest banks, BPI and BDO Unibank, on Wednesday reassure...
07:37 Canadian Marksman Fires World's Longest Kill Shot» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Canadian Marksman Fires World's Longest Kill ShotThe Canada Special Forces marksman shot from a distance of 3,450 meters and hit his target, breaking the previous record by almost 1000 meters.

07:02 Tanger Factory Outlet: Blue Chip On Sale - Brad Thomas' Idea Of The Month» Most popular articles
07:00 Wall Street Breakfast: First Look At Senate Health Bill» Most popular articles
06:58 Conrad Roy III's Mother Sympathizes With Michelle Carter's Family» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Conrad Roy III's Mother Sympathizes With Michelle Carter's FamilyRoy's girlfriend Michelle Carter was convicted Friday after she was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2014 suicide of her boyfriend.

06:49 DBS fintech accelerator switches to 'always on' mode» Finextra Research Headlines
Hong Kong's DBS Accelerator, run by DBS Bank and early-stage VC Nest, is switching the format of the...
05:53 The EU and blockchain: taking the lead?» Finextra Research Headlines
Introduction Long time the European Union has taken a positive, but wait-and-see attitude towards bl...