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Updated: 4 years 6 months ago

JPMorgan Chase Reaches $13B Settlement

Tue, 11/19/2013 - 8:06am
After years of investigations and lawsuits regarding its sales in subprime, mortgage-backed securities, JPMorgan Chase reached a $13 billion deal with the Department of Justice on Tuesday to settle all outstanding issues. It’s the largest settlement ever to be reached between a corporation and the government, CBS reports. JPMorgan agreed Friday to pay $4.5 million to investors who lost money in the housing collapse.
Categories: Financial News

Hyundai To Sell Hydrogen-Powered SUV Next Year

Tue, 11/19/2013 - 7:16am
Eleven years after George W. Bush announced that he was allocating more than $1 billion for hydrogen research, the hydrogen car is finally becoming a reality. Hyundai recently announced its plans to sell its first hydrogen-powered automobile, and on Wednesday, the company will unveil details of the Tucson, an SUV powered by hydrogen fuel. It will be the first massed-produced auto of its kind in the U.S, the Associated Press reports. For years, safety concerns and problems with refueling delayed the roll-out of the hydrogen car, but Hyundai says the rear-mounted tank has passed numerous crash tests. Nine filling stations are currently operational in California, and the state legislature set aside $200 million per year to build 100 more by 2023. During his State of the Union address in 2003, Bush said that “the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen and pollution free. Hyundai will unveil the Tucson at the Los Angeles Auto show on Wednesday. [AP]
Categories: Financial News

Helping Your Family Doesn’t Have to Mean You Can’t Retire

Tue, 11/19/2013 - 7:10am
An enduring legacy of the Great Recession has been the return to a profound sense of family. This was evident in polls throughout the downturn. Yet no one really knew if the feeling would stick in a recovery. Now four years into an expansion, new research from Merrill Lynch and research firm Age Wave suggests that family togetherness remains a powerful trend. So powerful that Merrill is rethinking its approach to serving clients, putting special emphasis on the needs of extended family members and how that factors into long-term financial planning. After a century of being torn apart by industrialization and job mobility, “families are coming back together,” says Andy Sieg, head of Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “We’re seeing a new level of generosity and willingness to help family members.” Six in 10 Americans past the age of 50 provide financial support to adult family members, according to the Merrill/Age Wave report Family & Retirement: The Elephant in the Room. Most commonly this support goes adult children (68%). But 26% support grandchildren, 16% support parents, 13% support siblings and 14% support other relatives. (MORE: Your Grandma’s Favorite Store Reinvents Itself as Hip, Experimental Retailer) The level of financial assistance generally rises with ability, and the amounts can be substantial. The average level of family financial support is $14,900 a year. But those with at least $500,000 of liquid assets contribute an average $34,100 to family members each year. Baby boomers are the original sandwich generation, and it seems they just can’t shake the financial pull of both their kids and their parents. This pull increasingly includes demands on their time as well as their money as elders require personal care giving. The Hartford found that 68% of boomers have missed work in the last six months due to care-giving duties. Yet the 50-plus population seems be rolling with it. The Merrill survey found that: The vast majority who offer financial support do not expect anything in return. Only one in 10 stop helping
Categories: Financial News

Your Grandma’s Favorite Store Reinvents Itself as Hip, Experimental Retailer

Tue, 11/19/2013 - 7:04am
The next hot, buzzworthy retail experience comes from a business best known for … old-fashioned greeting cards? Few would point to traditional paper greeting cards as a growth industry. Greeting card sales plunged 60% over the past decade, according to one estimate. The Postal Service has pointed to the decline in mailed greeting cards as one of the (many) reasons the agency is in horrible shape financially. A little over a year ago, most observers understood why the nation’s largest card maker, Hallmark, was closing a plant in Kansas where one-third of its cards were manufactured. In the era of daily correspondence via Facebook and other social media, as well as abundant choices of online greetings, invitations, and e-cards, traditional greeting cards seem increasingly irrelevant and unnecessary. Most observers also understand why Hallmark is now aggressively trying to move beyond its greeting card roots, via an experimental, perhaps even “buzzworthy” new concept store. Apparently because the name “Hallmark” comes with some baggage and more than a hint of outdatedness, the store has been dubbed HMK. Its sole location opened recently at Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza mall, strategically placed in between an Apple store and a Lucky clothing shop. “We wanted to get credit for doing something buzzworthy,” Jack Moore, Hallmark Gold Crown president, said to the Kansas City Star of the company’s new retail experiment. Customers are greeted with warm cookies at the door, and while plenty of greeting cards are for sale, the model specializes in gifts that can be customized on the spot—children’s books that allow a buyer to insert his kid’s name into the story, cutting boards that can be engraved immediately with a name or favorite phrase, and so on. (MORE: 10 Brands Remaking Themselves in Pursuit of Millennials) “We wanted our brand to feel younger and more exciting to today’s shoppers,” said Moore. “We want the consumer to say, ‘Wow. This is different. This store will help me create the perfect, personalized gift that is not available anywhere else.’” Increasingly, consumers are tiring of
Categories: Financial News

The Incredibly Simple Guide to Getting Totally Free Flights and Hotels

Tue, 11/19/2013 - 6:53am
There is a way to book flights and hotels all over the world without spending your own money. It’s called travel hacking, and it’s something that hardcore travelers around the world do with almost religious like fervor. Travel hacking is the art of collecting as many airline and hotel points as possible in order to travel for free. This is done through the use of credit card sign-up bonuses, mileage promotions, online shopping, point transfers, and much more. The ins and outs of travel hacking can fill a book; in fact, I wrote just such a book recently. A lot of travel hacking begins with credit cards because it’s an easy win – you receive a large sign-up bonus, as well more points for your everyday spending. Since the majority of Americans have at least one credit card they regularly use, it makes little sense to have one that doesn’t give you points, even if you don’t travel a lot. Let the points accrue for when you do want travel. My view is that if you are going to spend the money anyway, there is no reason to not get something extra for your spending. Otherwise, you are leaving free money on the table. (Note: If you don’t pay off your balance in full each month, do not get one of these cards – the higher interest rates negate any positive affect they have towards free travel.) A lot of people worry about the fees associated with these cards, as well as hurting their credit. While most good travel rewards card have yearly fees, it’s usually waived the first year you sign up. When that first year is up, you can either cancel the credit card or, in many situations, switch to a no-fee card. They will often waive the fee if you threaten to cancel. (MORE: 9 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Next Vacation) Secondly, if you are opening up one or two new cards, the ding from the credit inquiry is very temporary. Within a few
Categories: Financial News

Turkey Drought? Bacon Crisis? Don’t Believe the Hype

Tue, 11/19/2013 - 6:52am
You’re not going to get stuck eating chicken, ham, or takeout Chinese on Thanksgiving. Despite the calls for panic concerning a turkey shortage, which has conveniently hit the news just in time for Thanksgiving, there are plenty of gobblers to go around. You’ve probably heard: There’s a supposed shortage of turkeys. But before rushing out to the nearest supermarket—or perhaps to a farm with a cleaver in hand—to guarantee your family table won’t be without turkey on Thanksgiving, let’s rehash a few other recent food crises that were widely reported in the news but that wound up mainly being “shortages” in name only. A year ago, reports of an “unavoidable bacon shortage,” and even an “aporkalypse,” spread like wildfire in news stories and social media. It was all pretty much baloney. Shoppers now know that bacon didn’t disappear from supermarkets, and anyone who decided to hoard bacon did so out of fear, not necessity. The “story” originated via a European association in the business of promoting pork products, and in reality, the “shortage” was just a slight decrease in pork supplies (and an accompanying slight increase in prices) thanks to an increase in the price of corn—which farmers use to feed pigs. Similarly, the “chicken wing shortage” or “buffalo wing crisis” was a hot story around the time of the most recent Super Bowl. Someone even stole $65,000 worth of frozen wings, feeding into the idea that times were desperate, what with the rapidly escalating price of chicken wings. (MORE: How to Ruin Thanksgiving: An Hour-by-Hour Guide for Shoppers) But there wasn’t a whole lot of substance to the idea that there was a shortage of wings. Anyone who wanted to eat wings before, during, or after the Super Bowl had no trouble finding them available at supermarkets, restaurants, and bars. The wholesale price of wings had increased in early 2013, but that barely nudged the prices paid for wings by consumers. When droughts during the summer of 2011 caused a shortage of peanuts, prices for shelled peanuts and peanut
Categories: Financial News

Can Employee-Owned Companies Reboot the Economy?

Tue, 11/19/2013 - 6:51am
The American worker is doing so well. The median wage earner’s pay hasn’t grown in years, while most economic growth is being captured only by the already wealthy. While these problems are well-documented, finding a solution for the average wage-earner’s plight has been more difficult. In a new book out this month, The Worker’s Share, authors Joseph Blasi, Douglas L. Kruse, and Richard B. Freeman (a sociologist and two economists, respectively) offer a novel solution: If owners of businesses are reaping the rewards of economic growth at the expense of workers, then why not just try to increase the number of workers who also own a piece of the firms that employ them? The impulse toward broadly extending property ownership is a one that has a long history in America. The authors recount how the founding fathers were staunchly opposed to European traditions which required property to be passed down to first born sons. Some of the first federal programs ever instituted were efforts to support property ownership among the working class. One such scheme was a cod fishing subsidy that was aimed at helping the then-integral industry recover from the Revolutionary War, but which required any businesses that took the benefit to pass along their subsidies to their workers in the form of profit sharing. (MORE: Walmart Seeks Food Donations to Help Needy Employees) The propensity towards widespread property ownership culminated in the the Homestead Acts, which between 1862 and its repeal more than 100 years later was a powerful force for helping the landless masses obtain a stake in American society’s success. The authors write: “Between 1862 and 1938, 10 percent of the landmass of the United States–nearly the area of Texas and California combined–was claimed and settled by 1.6 million homesteads under the different Homestead Acts. This represents about 20 percent of all public land and is comparable to all the land granted to states and sold or awarded to corporations and land grant colleges.” America has long since run out of empty land, but luckily for us, we
Categories: Financial News

Jury Set to Decide How Much Samsung Owes Apple

Tue, 11/19/2013 - 1:43am
(SAN JOSE, Calif.) — A Silicon Valley jury is set Tuesday to begin deciding behind closed doors how much Samsung Electronics owes Apple for copying key features of the iPhone and iPad. Apple is demanding $380 million. Samsung counters that it only owes $52 million for using features such as “pinch-to-zoom” in 13 older-generation products. The jury is expected to begin deliberations Tuesday after lawyers deliver their closing arguments and the judge reads instructions. The one week trial was held to determine only damages. An earlier jury found Samsung had infringed Apple’s patents in making and selling 26 products and awarded Apple $1.05 billion. But U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled that the jury miscalculated damages for 13 products. The two companies have each won and lost legal skirmishes over the past couple of years, and analysts predict continued litigation for months to come. The current proceedings are somewhat of a warm-up for a much larger trial scheduled for March. That’s when Apple’s claims that Samsung’s newer and current products are also copying the iPhone and iPad will be considered by a jury. Apple’s attempts to ban Samsung from selling some of the devices in question got a leg up on Monday. The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. ordered Koh to reconsider Apple’s demands that some of the products a jury found infringed Apple’s patents be barred for sale in the United States. Koh in December turned down Apple, ruling that the company didn’t prove that consumers bought Samsung devices instead of Apple devices because of the infringement. The appeals court told Koh to apply a different legal standard that favors Apple’s arguments. The ruling could come into play next year if Apple prevails at trial and seeks another sales ban on the newer products. The two companies are locked in legal battles around the globe for supremacy in the more than $300 billion smartphone market.
Categories: Financial News

Government Finds Merit in Labor Claims Against Walmart

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 7:09pm
(WASHINGTON) — Federal officials said Monday they are prepared to file formal complaints against Wal-Mart for allegedly violating the legal rights of protesting workers last year. The National Labor Relations Board announced that its general counsel, Richard Griffin, found merit in charges that the retailer unlawfully threatened employees in California and Texas with reprisal if they engaged in strikes and protests ahead of Black Friday, the big shopping day after Thanksgiving. Griffin also is ready to press charges that Wal-Mart illegally threatened, disciplined or terminated more than 100 employees in 13 states for participating in legally protected strikes and protests last November over wages and working conditions. Formal complaints will be filed if Wal-Mart and the workers fail to reach a settlement in the next week or two, NLRB spokesman Gregory King said. The protests last year were organized by the union-backed group OUR Walmart, which has been pushing the company for years to raise wages and benefits. The same group is preparing to launch similar actions at Wal-Mart stores across the country next week in an effort to highlight thousands of store employees who make “poverty wages” of less than $25,000 a year. Wal-Mart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said the company disagreed with the labor board and planned to defend itself. “We believe this is just a procedural step and we will pursue our options to defend the company because we believe our actions were legal and justified,” Buchanan said. “The fact is we provide good jobs and unparalleled opportunities for our associates.” If complaints are filed, the cases would go before an administrative law judge. Wal-Mart could be subject to penalties and required to inform its employees about their legally protected rights. Workers could be awarded back pay, reinstatement and reversal of any disciplinary action. Barbara Collins, a fired associate who worked at Wal-Mart in Placerville, Calif., said she was glad to hear that the board was pursuing the complaints of hers and others. “We have the support of thousands of Americans standing with us for better jobs at
Categories: Financial News

Walmart Seeks Food Donations to Help Needy Employees

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 1:56pm
A Walmart store in Canton, Ohio, is holding a food drive to benefit employees in need, leading some in the community to raise questions about the wages the company pays its workers. The food drive boxes are not on display for customers, but rather are tucked away in an employee-only area — the food drive asks for donations from fellow employees to help out co-workers in need. “That Walmart would have the audacity to ask low-wage workers to donate food to other low-wage workers — to me, it is a moral outrage,” one Walmart shopper told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. A Walmart spokesperson defended the food drive as an example of employees — or “associates” as the company calls its workers — looking out for each other. “This store has been doing this for several years and is for associated that have faced an extreme hardship recently,” said spokesperson Kory Lundberg. The world’s largest retailer is facing some hardship of its own in recent months, reporting its third straight-quarterly decline in sales last week. It often faces criticism for the wages it pays workers. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]
Categories: Financial News

Study: Fewer Workers Using Cocaine and Marijuana, But Prescription Drug Use Is Up

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 10:43am
Fewer workers than ever are testing positive for illegal drugs at work. A new study found that the rate of U.S. workers testing positive for cocaine and marijuana has fallen sharply since 1998, but prescription drug abuse may be on the rise, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Quest Diagnostics study found that use of amphetamines, found in drugs like Adderall, among workers has more than doubled since 2002. Vicodin use on the job rose 172% and OxyContin rose 72%. since 2005. Despite the decrease in marijuana detection at work, more people than ever say they smoke pot. The Department of Health and Human Services found that 7.3% of Americans admitted to smoking marijuana in the last month, up from 5.8% in 2007. As more states relax restrictions on recreational marijuana use, some employers are facing a conundrum in crafting drug policies. Workers in safety-sensitive industries are prohibited from using marijuana regardless of state law, but employers in other industries are must decide whether smoking pot on the weekend should have professional consequences. [WSJ]
Categories: Financial News

Stocks Hit Record Highs Again

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 9:24am
Stocks in the U.S. jumped again after opening Monday morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 hitting new record highs and continuing on the upward surging trajectory of recent weeks. The Dow quickly rose 43.6 points, or 0.27 percent, to 16,005.3 — the first time the index has crossed the 16,000-point threshold. The S&P 500 rose 2.48 points, 0.14 percent, to 1,800.66. Stocks have been surging of late in the wake strong corporate profits and signals that the Federal Reserve is likely to continue its policy of monetary stimulus.
Categories: Financial News

Dow Hits 16,000 for First Time, S&P 500 Hits 1,800

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 8:46am
(NEW YORK) — Stock market indexes are hitting new milestones on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average crossed 16,000 points for the first time early Monday and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index crossed 1,800 points. Stocks have been rising sharply this year as the U.S. economy improves, companies report bigger profits and the Federal Reserve keeps up its easy-money policies. The S&P 500 index has risen for six weeks straight and is up 26 percent so far this year. A growing number of market watchers are calling for caution after the steep rise. Boeing rose the most of the 30 stocks in the Dow after the plane maker booked $100 billion in orders at the opening of the Dubai Airshow.
Categories: Financial News

How to get Professional Advice in a 401(k) Plan

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 6:52am
The venerable 401(k) plan has taken a lot of hits in recent years. Yet some flaws have been corrected while others are being addressed. You may not appreciate the way this retirement stalwart has evolved over three decades—or where it’s heading. Yes, fees are sometimes excessive. The plans do not guarantee income. Individuals bear all the market risk. Guidance may be poor and performance has been lackluster. But 401(k) plans were never meant to be fool proof, or a primary retirement savings vehicle. As they have morphed into most Americans’ main account, employers have moved to address some pitfalls. Just 10 years ago, virtually all 401(k) plans were the do-it-yourself variety. Workers picked each investment and set their own asset allocation with little or no help. Today, one in three participants gets professional management, according to Fidelity Investments, the nation’s largest 401(k) provider. The main innovation in this area has been the introduction and swift acceptance of target-date mutual funds. A typical target-date fund has below-average costs. It is broadly diversified and adjusts asset allocation by age, starting with an aggressive mix of stocks and bonds while you are young and slowly shifting entirely to bonds by age 65 or some other retirement date. (MORE: NFL, MLB Warn of the End of Free Sports on Television) At the end of the quarter, 33% of 401(k) participants had all their assets in a target-date fund, up from just 3% a decade ago, Fidelity reports. Younger workers, especially, have flocked to target-date funds. This one-stop solution has not only brought more of Gen Y into the savings game but also vastly improved their asset allocation from just a few years ago. More than half of Gen Y has all their 401(k) assets in a target-date fund. Target-date funds have some drawbacks, one being that they robotically shift assets as you age—not as market moves make different asset classes more or less attractive. So as you age and build assets in a 401(k) it becomes more important to have a manager watching your
Categories: Financial News

Worst Restaurant Customers Ever Use Religion, Racism as Excuses for Not Tipping Waiters

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 6:49am
It’s one thing to be too cheap to leave a tip at a restaurant. It’s another to justify your cheapness by telling your waitress—via a cowardly message scrawled on the receipt—that you disagree with her “lifestyle.” Last week, Dayna Morales, a 22-year-old Marine veteran who now works as a waitress at the Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, N.J., waited on a table with a family of four—mom, dad, and two kids about middle-school age. Morales has short black hair and tattoos on her fingers. When she introduced herself to the customers, the woman responded, “Oh, I thought you were gonna say your name is Dan. You surprised us!” Morales shrugged off the comment, but then grew outraged when the customers paid their bill, which came to $93.55 before tip. That wound up being the total paid by the family, who instead of a tip instead left a message written on the receipt: “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life.” After Morales posted a photo of the receipt and vented about the incident on Facebook (“Sorry lady but I don’t agree with YOUR lifestyle and the way you’re raising your kids”), the story has gone viral. It was picked up by the Huffington Post, the Daily Mail, and many other outlets. (MORE: McDonald’s Admits Service Has Slowed) This isn’t the only incident in which restaurant customers have tried to send some sort of message while conveniently saving themselves a few bucks. A few weeks ago, a 20-year-old waiter at a Carrabba’s in Kansas read a message on a customer receipt stating that his service was “excellent,” but that there would be no tip. “We cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD,” the note read. “F*gs do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours. We hope you will see the tip your f*g choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly.” After the
Categories: Financial News

3 Ways Being a Jerk at Work Pays Off

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 6:47am
You don’t want a reputation as the office bully, but it turns out there are some attributes of narcissistic or Machiavellian personalities that could give your career a boost.  Social scientists aren’t just looking for a silver lining; they theorize that there must be some evolutionary benefit to being a jerk. The trouble is, those shrewd or sneaky behaviors that kept our caveman ancestors alive don’t translate as well to the 21st-century water cooler. But there are things we can learn from the blowhards, braggarts and backstabbers we have to deal with, and there are even a few behaviors that, when decoupled from the rest of a toxic personality, can give you a leg up on the job. Here are three instances where the office jerks have an edge. People think they’re more creative. In a review of the literature about narcissists in the workplace, Binghamton University assistant professor of organizational behavior Seth Spain finds, “Narcissists were rated as more creative when they had a chance to pitch their ideas, largely because of their enthusiasm.” The thing is, they actually aren’t necessarily more creative. Narcissists’ inflated sense of self-esteem means they have total confidence that their ideas are better than anybody else’s, and they throw them out there without the hesitation that can strike the rest of us. (MORE: Candy Crush Saga: The Science Behind Our Addiction) They’re better negotiators. People with both self-centered narcissistic and conniving Machiavellian personalities are willing to push harder and be more combative to get what they want. “You’re negotiating all day long. We’re always operating in a world with competing interests — whose needs are met, whose ideas are used,” says Dana Carney, a University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business assistant professor who co-wrote a new study about narcissism’s role in successful negotiation. Empathy has its place in life (and in society) but it shouldn’t erode your bargaining power. “[Empathy] means two different things. On one hand it’s the ability to read a situation. On the other hand, it’s the automatic tendency to
Categories: Financial News

NFL, MLB Warn of the End of Free Sports on Television

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 6:44am
Aereo, the New York-based online video startup, has assembled an impressive run of legal victories over the top TV broadcasters that clearly has the industry rattled. Now, Major League Baseball and the National Football League have issued a stark warning: If Aereo prevails, the leagues might move football and baseball broadcasts to pay-TV outlets like ESPN, TNT, or other cable or satellite outlets, they wrote in an brief filed last week supporting the broadcasters. “The fact that the broadcasters are asking their most powerful allies, including the NFL and Major League Baseball, to support them in front of the Supreme Court, shows just how disruptive Aereo could be if the service is found legal,” says Rich Greenfield, a media and technology analyst at BTIG Research. Launched in February 2012, after raising more than $20 million from media mogul Barry Diller’s Internet conglomerate IAC and other investors, Aereo picks up free, over-the-air broadcast signals using thousands of tiny antennas, and then sends those signals to its customers via the Internet for $8 per month. Aereo’s users technically lease the tiny antennas, which the company houses in nearby “antenna farms,” including a facility in Brooklyn, which picks up signals broadcast from the tower atop the Empire State Building. Federal judges have repeatedly refused to issue an injunction shutting down Aereo, which has been expanding aggressively in cities around the country, including New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Miami, Houston and Dallas. The courts have repeatedly agreed with Aereo’s legal argument that it is transmitting “private performances” not copyright-protected “public performances.” In response, the broadcasters have asked the Supreme Court to intervene. Aereo has until Dec. 12 to respond to the broadcasters petition. (MORE: Disruptive TV Startup Aereo Is Winning in Court) The battle over Aereo underscores larger structural changes transforming the TV industry, as consumers increasingly have access to programming over the Internet and on their mobile devices. In particular, Aereo poses a threat to the existing TV business model, which involves cable and satellite companies paying billions of dollars in so-called “retransmission consent fees” to the
Categories: Financial News

Wedding Rings for Football Tickets: A Surprisingly Romantic Trade Has Been Made

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 11:16am
One woman in Kansas City makes the case for being the world’s biggest Chiefs fan by swapping a pair of diamond wedding rings for some tickets to upcoming games. On Thursday, a week after a woman posted an ad on Craigslist offering a trade of two diamond wedding rings appraised at $3,100 in exchange for tickets to the upcoming Broncos-Chiefs game, a deal was made. “The official trade was the ring for 4 tickets to the 12/1 Broncos game and 2 tickets to the 11/24 Chargers game,” the woman, who has remained anonymous, explained to the Kansas City Star. The cost for those six tickets was a pair of wedding rings, one a “size 7 ring [that] is nothing to sneeze at, a round brilliant-cut diamond — .45 carats — set in a white gold setting that contains 20 more small round diamonds weighing .50 carats,” according to the Star. Apparently, the jewelry symbolizing one’s lifetime commitment to marriage couldn’t compare to the opportunity to see the Kansas City Chiefs—who are undefeated thus far this season, and who set the record for loudest home crowd at Arrowhead Stadium early this year—take on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos at home in early December. The rival Chiefs and Broncos face off in their first regular season game of 2013 this weekend in Denver. According to Vivid Seats, demand for tickets is exceptionally high, with the average price of a seat costing $617 on the secondary market. As of Friday, pairs of field level seats to the game were commanding over $2,000 on resale sites such as StubHub. (MORE: ‘Fricking Ridiculous’ NFL Stadium Seat Fees Cost Thousands, But Fans Pay Up) Throughout the season, the Broncos have reliably helped their opponents sell out games whenever Peyton Manning and his record-setting offense come to town. At the beginning of the season, Vivid Seats noted a “Peyton Effect,” in which home ticket prices soar when teams host the Broncos. The “Peyton Effect” even significantly boosted the restaurant and hotel business in Indianapolis when Manning
Categories: Financial News

Timothy Geithner to Lead NYC Private Equity Firm

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 9:17am
The former U.S. treasury secretary who is most closely aligned with the financial bailout is heading to Wall Street to helm a private-equity firm. Timothy Geithner will join New York-based Warburg Pincus in March as the president and managing director, a departure from the typical hands-off positions public figures’ transitions following government roles, the Wall Street Journal reports. Geithner, who has been attributed with navigating the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 but was criticized for being too easy on Wall Street banks, will focus on the firm’s investment strategy and investor relations. The new gig will be Geithner’s first private sector job since his early days at Kissinger Associates Inc., a consulting firm owned by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. [Wall Street Journal]
Categories: Financial News

JPMorgan Chase Reaches $4.5 Billion Settlement

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 5:05pm
JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Friday it has reached a $4.5 billion settlement with investors over mortgage-backed securities. The settlement covers 21 major institutional investors. The mortgage-backed securities were issued byJPMorgan and Bear Stearns between 2005 and 2008. New York-based JPMorgan acquired the failing investment bank Bear Stearns in March 2008. The deal is the latest in a series of legal settlements over JPMorgan’s sales of mortgage-backed securities in the years preceding the financial crisis. As the housing market collapsed between 2006 and 2008, millions of homeowners defaulted on high-risk mortgages. That led to billions of dollars in losses for investors who bought securities created from bundles of mortgages. Those securities were sold by JPMorgan and other big Wall Street banks. JPMorgan also has been negotiating with the U.S. Justice Department to settle a civil inquiry into its sales of mortgage-backed securities. The bank reached a tentative deal last month to pay $13 billion, but the negotiations have hit a stumbling block. As part of the $13 billion deal, $4 billion will resolve U.S. government claims that JPMorgan misled mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about risky mortgage-backed securities. That part of the deal was announced on Oct. 25. Fannie and Freddie were bailed out by the government during the crisis and are under federal control. Mounting legal costs pushed JPMorgan to a rare loss in this year’s third quarter, the first under CEO Jamie Dimon’s leadership. The bank reported Oct. 11 that it set aside $9.2 billion in the July-September quarter to cover the string of legal cases against the bank. JPMorgan said it has placed a total of $23 billion in reserve to cover potential costs.
Categories: Financial News