Daily Digest 12/23 - Health Insurance Premiums, Homeless in Foreclosed Homes, Price of Gold
- Rising Health Insurance Premiums Prompt New Rules
- Wednesday’s Worry – ETF Madness hits $1,000,000,000,000
- High Metal Prices Spur Fourmile Fire Thefts; Victims Feel 'Violated' (Colorado)
- Officials Warn of Catalytic Converter Thefts (Ohio)
- Homeless Squatting In Foreclosed City Homes (Video)
- Jewellers Find Silver Lining In Price Of Gold
- Spaniards Pin Hopes On Lottery During Austere Christmas
Pushing to restrain skyrocketing health insurance premiums, the Obama administration Tuesday set out new rules requiring insurers to justify any increase of more than 10% a year....Under the new rules, insurance companies that seek rate increases of more than 10% next year will have to post their justifications on the federal government's new healthcare website, http://www.healthcare.gov.
After adding $209Bn (26.3%) in total assets so far this year, the US ETF industry has passed the Trillion Dollar mark led by $31Bn of inflows into fixed income ETFs, of all things as well as $29Bn of inflows into emerging markets, and $21Bn into domestic. Recent outflows have knocked commodity ETFs down to $11.4Bn, miles down from last year’s $32.6Bn inflow – rats leaving a sinking ship, perhaps? That would be very bad news for the firm that bought up 90% of the LME copper supply recently. Do ETF traders really know something or are they a lagging indicator?
At least five people now have been arrested for stealing scrap metal from the remains of homes destroyed by the Fourmile Fire, although the theft of copper and aluminum is not unusual throughout Boulder County, according to sheriff's officials.... Thefts of metal have been increasing around the county -- and the country -- along with the rise in metal prices. Thefts nationwide began increasing in 2006, when prices began to spike, but they fell again in 2008 when the economy crashed. This year, prices have again been on the rise again, with copper prices hovering around record highs in the last week. "Metal thefts have been an ongoing issue -- it's all over the place," Brough said.
After a rash of catalytic converter thefts in the Columbus area, Ohio Department of Insurance Director Mary Jo Hudson released a list of ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim.... The converters contain precious metals such as palladium, platinum and rhodium. Converters can be sold for up to $200.
The City of Rochester has about 3,000 vacant buildings. Several of them have new occupants – homeless people – who moved in, changed the locks, and turned on the lights. Legally, they’re known as “squatters,” people who live in a place without a deed or tenant agreement. They’ve been living in the houses for months without anyone noticing. “It’s just wonderful to have a house, to have heat, to have food in your refrigerator,” said a woman who moved into a three-bedroom house last week with her two children, including a 3-week-old newborn.
[The cost of] a good piece of gold jewellery is starting to climb out of the reach of a lot of people and consequently silver jewellery has taken a big leap. You can still buy a nice piece for hundreds of dollars, rather than thousands." Jewellery manufacturers had changed their styles and were using less gold to counteract rising prices and even though labour rates and manufacturing costs were the same, a gold wedding ring that had recently sold for $790 would cost $980 to replace.
Spaniards are cutting back on food and gifts this year as an economic downturn grinds on but ticket sales for an annual Christmas lottery have bucked the trend as they look to the world's biggest payout for relief from the crisis. The State Lottery and Betting organisation estimates sales for Wednesday's draw for "El Gordo" or "The Fat One", as the lottery is called, will match or be slightly higher than last year's total of 2.7 billion euros (3.5 billion dollars).
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