Worried about the economy? Watch bank earnings (Thomas R.)
Concerns about whether the economy can continue expanding have gripped investors in recent weeks, and spurred erratic swings in global markets. Such fears threaten to weigh on banks this year, because their performance is closely tied to the health of the economy.
Bank profits suffer when the economy stumbles and businesses are scared to borrow. They become especially vulnerable when a recession hits and some customers aren’t able to pay back loans.
Most mortgages are considered conventional loans, meaning they aren’t backed by the federal government. However, they are facilitated by government-sponsored enterprises, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
As private companies, Fannie and Freddie aren’t directly affected by the shutdown. Mortgage processing is continuing as usual, except in cases where the federal government provides information required for underwriting.
“Investing in real estate seems like a natural result once the basics are covered and excess cash is generated,” John, who retired early at the age of 52 with a $3 million net worth and writes personal finance blog ESI Money, wrote in a blog post.
John would know — he spent the past few years interviewing 100 millionaires. Here, he breaks down the four-step process many of the millionaires he spoke with used to build wealth:
Farm groups have found an unusual ally in state Sen. Carol Blood, a city-dwelling vegetarian from the Omaha suburb of Bellevue. Blood, who grew up on a farm, said she introduced the measure because agriculture is Nebraska’s largest industry and needs to be protected for the good of the whole state.
However, just because something has monetary functions doesn’t mean it’s money, anymore than using a hairbrush to brush your teeth makes it a toothbrush. While there are some metaphysical questions about the notion of intrinsic value (that term was chosen because it’s shorter and more convenient than saying, “Something to which most people would assign a value apart from its potential value as money,” every time) the important point is that by SLL’s definition, using debt as money, including the debt in your wallet known as Federal Reserve Notes, doesn’t make it money.
The cuts will be felt across the company, which employs roughly 6,000 people. But as the Los Angeles Times noted Friday, cuts have been intermittent at SpaceX. Musk reportedly fired at least seven people last summer over disagreements about the performance speed of the company’s Starlink satellite program; all were reported to have been senior management staffers. SpaceX also in 2014 laid off a significant number of workers, with two former structural technicians later suing the company over claims that SpaceX violated labor laws by failing to properly notify them beforehand.
The higher costs resulting from Trump’s tariffs have yet to inflict much overall damage to a still-robust American economy, which is less reliant on international trade than most other countries are. Fueled by lower taxes, the economy grew at an impressive 3.4 percent annual rate from July through September after having surged 4.2 percent in the previous quarter. And employers added 2.6 million jobs last year, the most since 2015.
Kaye, 30, had been hired to carry out the attacks by a senior employee at rival operator Cellcom, Britain’s National Crime Agency said in a statement, although there is no suggestion that Cellcom was aware of the activity.
He pleaded guilty to creating and using a botnet, a series of computers connected in order to attack systems, and possessing criminal property last month. Kaye was sentenced on Friday at Blackfriars Crown Court in central London to two years and eight months in prison.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said during a press conference Thursday that his office would be making an announcement related to PG&E within the next few days and that the issue was at the top of his agenda. He said in a later interview that the announcement would involve appointments to the California Public Utilities Commission, the state’s grid operator and to a commission established by legislature to explore wildfire issues.
2019 will look quite different, according to the EIA. Wind power alone, at 10.9GW, is currently scheduled to come online before the end of the year, likely spurred by the phase-out of an Investment Tax Credit (ITC) on newly built large wind projects that expires at the end of 2019. (Small wind projects, with turbines smaller than 100kW, can still take advantage of the ITC for some years to come.) In addition, 4.3GW of solar photovoltaics are set to come online in 2019.
For a few years Cadillac sold an ELR hybrid coupe that was criticized for being overpriced at $75,0000 — $35,000 more than the Volt that shared its powertrain. Its follow-up CT6 Plug-In Hybrid hasn’t fared much better. The “flexible platform” referred to is called BEV3, a replacement for BEV2 (Battery Electric Vehicle 2), which the Bolt is based on.
2018 Was A Record Breaking Year For Energy Markets (Michael S.)
Natural gas prices have been depressed for several years, but natural gas inventories opened the year lower than normal. I was originally going to predict that natural gas prices would spend the year trading in a range of $2.50 to $3.00 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu) — which they did for the most part — but I decided to make the prediction a bit more aggressive than that. Primarily on the basis of lower inventories, I predicted that the average price would be over $3.00/MMBtu.
Last week, Saudi Arabia announced it has 268.5 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, a figure 2.2 billion barrels higher than previously known. The kingdom’s Energy Ministry also revised upward the country’s gas reserves by around 10 percent, to 325.1 trillion standard cubic feet as of the end of 2017.
New Ocean Measurements Are Bad News (Thomas R.)
Oceans are heating up about 40% faster than previously measured, scientists say—which only seems to confirm the world’s biggest headache. Published Thursday in Science, a review of recent studies says ocean temperatures are more in sync with dire climate model simulations than scientists knew. The new measurements confirm that oceans could warm 1.5 degrees Celsius and rise almost a foot by 2100 from warming alone, with melting ice caps adding more, Scientific American reports.
Sure enough, when he exposed volunteers to the equivalent of 30 minutes of summer sunlight without sunscreen, their nitric oxide levels went up and their blood pressure went down. Because of its connection to heart disease and strokes, blood pressure is the leading cause of premature death and disease in the world, and the reduction was of a magnitude large enough to prevent millions of deaths on a global level.
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