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A $9 trillion corporate debt bomb is ‘bubbling’ in the US economy

At first glance, it looks like a $9 trillion time bomb is ready to detonate, a corporate debt load that has escalated thanks to easy borrowing terms and a seemingly endless thirst from investors. On Wall Street, though, hopes are fairly high that it’s a manageable problem, at least for the next year or two. The resolution is critical for financial markets under fire. Stocks are floundering, credit spreads are blowing out and concern is building that a combination of higher interest rates on all that debt will begin to weigh meaningfully on corporate profit margins. “There is angst in…

Ikea to slash 7,500 jobs, focus on smaller stores as online competition heats up

Furniture giant Ikea plans to cut 7,500 jobs worldwide as part of a plan to cater more to online customers, the company said Wednesday. The shake-up at the Swedish company, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, shows that even Ikea — known for its massive suburban stores and affordable assemble-yourself furniture — is not immune to the online competition that has affected other bricks-and-mortar retailers. Most of the job cuts will not hit Ikea’s retail workers, but rather those in office positions including human resources and communications, the Journal said. Meanwhile, the retailer plans to create thousands of new…

Gap looking to close hundreds of stores at malls ‘quickly and aggressively’

Gap Inc. is considering shutting hundreds of its namesake stores at shopping malls as sales at the Gap brand continue to slide. The retailer said Tuesday evening that it still has 775 Gap-branded stores globally, in addition to those under the Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta banners. Gap Inc. has more than 3,000 stores around the world. The namesake brand, however, has been the weakest unit of the company of late. In the fiscal third quarter, sales at Gap stores open for at least 12 months fell 7 percent, while those at Old Navy and Banana Republic were positive.…

Sears CEO Eddie Lampert in 2017: “We don’t need more customers. We have all the customers we could possibly want”

Despite years of deep sales declines, Sears doesn’t need more customers, or so says the retailer’s chief executive. Sears Holdings, (shld, +0.00%) which operates the namesake department store chain and Kmart, has been bleeding business for years and lost a total of almost $10 billion in the last six years. Sales at existing Kmart stores fell 7.4% last year, while at Sears they were down 9.3%, much bigger drops than at almost all other major retailers, despite the closing of dozens of the weakest stores in each chain. Despite all that, Sears CEO Eddie Lampert, a hedge fund manager who…

Bankrupt iHeartMedia Wants to Pay Top Brass Up to $33 Million in Bonuses

iHeartMedia Inc., a radio-station operator that filed for bankruptcy in March, is seeking a judge’s approval for a bonus plan that could pay its top executives as much as $33 million next year. In papers filed Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston, iHeart lawyers said the bonuses — earmarked for 11 executives — are needed to motivate its top managers. Without the bonuses “in a highly competitive and challenging industry,” compensation for top executives would fall well below peer companies and that “could significantly undermine” iHeart’s ability to motivate senior management, court filings said. Among those in line for…

Amazon Rolling Out ‘Amazon Pay’ Digital Wallet In Physical Stores

As FAANG stocks lead the market lower during what has become a relentless Q4 selloff, Amazon is hoping to reassure anxious investors that the company’s relentless expansion and revenue growth will continue. To wit, the company is taking another big step toward establishing itself as the American WeChat or Alipay as it seeks to become the dominant player in electronic consumer payments in the US and beyond. According to the Wall Street Journal, the e-commerce giant is hoping to undercut Apple’s Apple Pay by persuading more brick-and-mortar merchants to accept its Amazon Pay digital wallet. As it tries to build…

Bitcoin plunges as much as 16% to below $4,100, a new low for the year

Bitcoin is still struggling to find a bottom this week. The digital currency dropped as much as 16 percent on Tuesday to its lowest level since Sept. 30, 2017, according to data from CoinMarketCap.com. Bitcoin fell as low as $4,076.59, bringing its total losses in seven days to roughly 30 percent. The cryptocurrency briefly pared those losses and was down about 7 percent in afternoon trading. As U.S. stock markets closed though, bitcoin was still down 12 percent over 24 hours, trading near $4,299, according to data from CoinDesk. The price plunge came after weeks of rare stability for the…

The Homeless Crisis Is Getting Worse in America’s Richest Cities

It was just after 10 p.m. on an overcast September night in Los Angeles, and L. was tired from a long day of class prep, teaching, and grading papers. So the 57-year-old anthropology professor fed her Chihuahua-dachshund mix a freeze-dried chicken strip, swapped her cigarette trousers for stretchy black yoga pants, and began to unfold a set of white sheets and a beige cotton blanket to make up her bed. But first she had to recline the passenger seat of her 2015 Nissan Leaf as far as it would go—that being her bed in the parking lot she’d called home…

Toys R Us workers finally get severance: $660 each

$20,000,000 ÷ 30,000=$666.666667 A months-long campaign to get severance for more than 30,000 former Toys R Us workers is partially paying off, with two private-equity firms setting aside $20 million for a financial assistance fund. Bain Capital and KKR — two of the three companies that took over the retailer in a $6.6 billion leveraged buyout in 2005 — on Tuesday said they will each contribute $10 million to a financial assistance fund for employees laid off without severance when the chain closed 735 U.S. stores earlier this year. The draft payment schedule would provide at least $200 those eligible and…

U.S. Job Losses Accelerate: Here Are 10 Big Companies That Are Cutting Jobs Or Laying Off Workers

Job cuts and layoffs are coming fast and furious now as the U.S. economy really starts to slow down.  We haven’t seen anything like this since 2008, when millions of Americans lost their jobs in just a matter of months.  Things are certainly not that bad yet, but there has been a very noticeable shift over the last couple of months.  Back during the summer, everyone was talking about how well the U.S. economy was doing, but now things have dramatically changed.  At this point, economic activity has slowed down so much that even Jim Cramer of CNBC is admitting…

Another One: David’s Bridal files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection…(another private-equity buyout)

David’s Bridal, the nation’s largest wedding retailer, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday with plans to stay in business. The company is saddled with hundreds of millions of dollars in debt from a private-equity buyout several years ago and faces a surge of digital competition. David’s Bridal assured customers that its bankruptcy would not disrupt their weddings – in part because it secured support from key lenders to stay alive. It expects to continue operating more than 300 stores and its website. “Orders will arrive on time and bridal appointments will not be impacted,” the retailer said. Another wedding retailer, Alfred…

Walmart passes Apple to become No. 3 online retailer in U.S.

Walmart has overtaken Apple to become the No. 3 online retailer in the U.S., according to a report this week from eMarketer. While Amazon still leads by a wide margin, accounting for 48 percent of e-commerce sales in 2018, Walmart – including also Sam’s Club and Jet.com – is poised to capture 4 percent of all online retail spending in the U.S. by year-end, totaling $20.91 billion. The news of the shift in e-commerce rankings comes alongside Walmart’s strong earnings which saw the retailer reporting a 43 percent increase in online sales and upping its year-end forecast for both earnings and sales.…

$14 Billion Wiped Out of Crypto Market as All Major Assets Plunge in Value

Over the past 24 hours, more than $14 billion has been wiped out of the crypto market as Bitcoin (BTC) dropped by five percent. Bitcoin, the most dominant cryptocurrency in the market in terms of price, market cap, and volume, demonstrated the smallest loss out of all major cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Stellar (XLM), Litecoin (LTC), EOS, and many other cryptocurrencies recorded losses in the range of 7 to 15 percent. Why is Crypto Tanking? Cryptocurrencies have been in a bear market since January 2018 and have not initiated a proper mid-term recovery since then. The…

How China Took Over Your TV

It’s not just about powering growth. It’s also about national security and self-sufficiency. China wants to build homegrown champions in cutting-edge industries that rival Western giants like Apple and Qualcomm. While China has a long way to go, the Communist Party is bringing the full financial weight of the state and forcing other countries to play defense. In doing so, China is staking out a new manufacturing model. Economic textbooks lay out a common trajectory for developing nations. First they make shoes, then steel. Next they move into cars, computers and cellphones. Eventually the most advanced economies tackle semiconductors and…

Largest container-shipping company says Chinese exports to the U.S. actually grew 5-10% last quarter…meanwhile, U.S. exports to China fell by 25-30%

The man running the world’s largest container-shipping company says he has access to data that shows Donald Trump has so far failed to wean the U.S. off Chinese imports. Soren Skou, the chief executive of A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, says Chinese exports to the U.S. actually grew 5-10 percent last quarter. Meanwhile, U.S. exports to China fell by 25-30 percent. “It’s an ironic development,” Skou told reporters in Copenhagen on Wednesday. “But after Trump has turned up the volume, the U.S. has only increased their imports from China even more.” There are two reasons behind the development, Skou said. Firstly, the…

After the Retail Apocalypse, Prepare for the Property Tax Meltdown

Kraig Sadownikow doesn’t look like an anti-corporate crusader. The mayor of West Bend, Wisconsin, stickers his pickup with a “Don’t Tread on Me” snake on the back window, a GOP elephant on the hitch, and the stars-and-stripes logo of his construction company across the bumper. His fiscal conservatism is equally well billboarded: In the two hours we spent at City Hall and cruising West Bend in his plush truck, Sadownikow twice mentioned the 6 percent he has shaved off the Wisconsin city’s operating budget since becoming mayor in 2011, and stressed its efforts to bring more business to town. So…

This Could be YOU: A Million Americans Are Living In Their RVs As The American Dream Continues To Be “Redefined”

Could you imagine living in an RV on a permanent basis?  On the one hand, such a lifestyle can offer a sense of freedom that is absolutely exhilarating.  Instead of being tied down to just one place, you can freely travel the country and live anywhere that you want.  Such a lifestyle makes it easy to escape the cold in the winter and the heat in the summer, and if you don’t like your neighbors you can literally leave the next day.  But of course there are a lot of negatives too.  Life in an RV can be extremely cramped,…

Surprise: Pentagon fails its first-ever audit…

The Pentagon has failed what is being called its first-ever comprehensive audit, a senior official said on Thursday, finding U.S. Defense Department accounting discrepancies that could take years to resolve. Results of the inspection – conducted by some 1,200 auditors and examining financial accounting on a wide range of spending including on weapons systems, military personnel and property – were expected to be completed later in the day. “We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters, adding that the findings showed the need for greater discipline in financial matters…

Tricked: Trump Tax Cut to Be Eroded Next Year by Inflation Switch

Last year’s big tax cut is about to start shrinking. The Internal Revenue Service on Thursday announced the tax code’s parameters for 2019, implementing a new method for making inflation adjustments that will result in higher tax payments—and government revenue—over time. The shift will cost Americans $133.5 billion over a decade, according to Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation. The tax law enacted last year lowered tax rates and reduced tax burdens for most households in 2018. It also required the IRS to switch to a different, slower-moving measure of inflation to adjust a variety of tax-code features for rising prices.…

Worlds Most Hated Bank to cut 1,000 jobs…

Wells Fargo, the single largest private employer in the Des Moines metro area, will lay off 400 workers, company officials announced Thursday. Local bank spokesman Steve Carlson said the company notified employees in the home lending department Thursday. About 1,000 positions were cut across the company, including those in consumer lending, payments and the virtual solutions and innovations groups. “This very difficult decision was made following much thought and careful consideration,” Carlson said. “It in no way reflects the quality or performance of these team members. The team members affected by these changes have each been an essential part of…

J.C. Penney Next to File Bankruptcy?

Like Sears, J.C. Penney hasn’t been profitable since 2010. It posted $3.9 billion in losses since then and has been closing stores in an an attempt to stanch the bleeding. And like Sears, it has run up debt while its credit rating has sunk deep into junk territory. The longtime department store rivals have made similar missteps and could share a similar fate. Like Sears, J.C. Penney hasn’t been profitable since 2010. It posted $3.9 billion in losses since then and has been closing stores in an an attempt to stanch the bleeding. And like Sears, it has run up…

11 Signs That The U.S. Economy Is Starting To Slow Down Dramatically

The pace at which things are changing is shocking the experts.  Just a few months ago, many of the experts were still talking about how the U.S. economy was “booming”, but since then a major shift has taken place.  Most of the headlines have been about the huge stock market declines that we have been witnessing, but things have not been going well for the real economy either.  Home sales are way down, auto sales are plummeting, the retail apocalypse is escalating, the middle class continues to shrink and economic optimism is rapidly evaporating.  We haven’t seen anything like this…

Layoffs: Starbucks dumps 350 workers from Seattle headquarters….

Starbucks is notifying about 350 corporate employees Tuesday that they no longer have a job with the Seattle coffee giant, an expected wave of layoffs associated with a reorganization announced earlier this fall. The company, under pressure to accelerate sales growth and in the midst of a multiyear changeover of its top leadership, spent the fall engaging in a function-by-function review of its corporate teams, beginning with senior vice president and vice president levels. Most of the job cuts were expected to hit employees — or partners, in Starbucks’ parlance — at the company’s Sodo headquarters, where about 5,000 people…

Layoffs: Massive restructuring at Nationwide will reduce its workforce by 1,100 employees

A massive restructuring at Nationwide will reduce its workforce by 1,100 people, including cutting hundreds of jobs in Columbus. The Columbus-based insurance and financial services giant is telling 430 people today that their jobs will be eliminated – 350 in Columbus and 80 in Des Moines – with more to come in the next few weeks. Departments facing layoffs include IT, marketing, property and casualty operations and bank organizations. In all, the layoffs are expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2019. “We are making these changes from a position of strength and stability to…

Amazon Confirms New York, Northern Virginia Picked For HQ2; Will Invest $5BN To Create 50,000 Jobs, Get Over $2BN In Incetives

As reported last night by the WSJ, moments ago Amazon confirmed that it has selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the locations for its new headquarters. Amazon will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters locations, with more than 25,000 employees each in New York City and Arlington, according to a blog post. The new locations will join Seattle as the company’s three headquarters in North America. In addition, Amazon announced that it has selected Nashville for a new Center of Excellence for its Operations business, which is responsible for the…

Here Is How Walmart Plans To Seize Further Control Of Your Community

At the most recent International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) conference in Atlanta, Walmart announced new plans to repurpose twelve of its locations into Town Centers — an outdoor gathering area with seating, community activities, entertainment, dining facilities, jogging paths, fountains, green spaces, playgrounds, and even space for live music. The idea behind Walmart’s seismic shift is that it wants to recreate the downtown of small communities that it was instrumental in destroying. “We want to provide community space, areas for the community to dwell,” said L.B. Johnson, vice president of realty operations for Walmart in his ICSC keynote speech.…

Understanding the Global Recession of 2019

2019 is shaping up to be the year in which all the policies that worked in the past will no longer work. As we all know, the Global Financial Meltdown / recession of 2008-09 was halted by the coordinated policies of the major central banks, which lowered interest rates to near-zero, bought trillions of dollars of bonds and iffy assets such as mortgage-backed securities, and issued unlimited lines of credit to insolvent banks, i.e. unlimited liquidity. Central governments which could do so went on a borrowing / spending binge to boost demand in their economies, and pursued other policies designed to bring…

Creditors DEMAND Sears shut down all its stores, calling its plan for survival ‘wishful thinking’

Sears’ creditors are demanding that the company shut down all its remaining stores. The retailer’s plan to survive bankruptcy is “nothing more than wishful thinking” and “an unjustified and foolhardy gamble with other people’s money,” a group of unsecured creditors has declared in a new filing. Sears has proposed cutting its store count to roughly 400 profitable stores, then selling the associated real estate to raise cash while the company works to return to profitability. The company had 687 stores when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in mid-October. Creditors seem to believe that Sears has little chance of achieving…

California is paying inmates $1 an hour to fight wildfires

California is currently suffering from several devastating and deadly fires. The Camp Fire in Butte County, California, has killed at least 29 people and left more than 200 people unaccounted for, making it the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history. The Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles County and Ventura County has killed at least two people, consumed over 85,000 acres and, as of the latest official report, is only 15 percent contained. In August, the Mendocino Complex Fire scorched approximately 350,000 acres of northern California and destroyed over 146 homes. At the time, the blaze was the largest fire in…

A Fifth of China’s Homes Are Empty. That’s 50 Million Apartments

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s mantra that homes should be for living in is falling on deaf ears, with tens of millions of apartments and houses standing empty across the country. Soon-to-be-published research will show roughly 22 percent of China’s urban housing stock is unoccupied, according to Professor Gan Li, who runs the main nationwide study. That adds up to more than 50 million empty homes, he said. The nightmare scenario for policy makers is that owners of unoccupied dwellings rush to sell if cracks start appearing in the property market, causing prices to spiral. The latest data, from a survey…

When customers can skip the cashier line, what happens to the nation’s 3.6M cashiers?

The new wireless checkout that Walmart, Target, and other retailers are rolling out for the holiday season may lower stress for shoppers — but tension may be building among the roughly 3.6 million people nationwide who work as cashiers. It’s another nail in the occupational coffin. Amazon opened its first store with checkout-free shopping and automatic billing almost two years ago, and self-checkout at Walmart, Target, grocery stores, fast food restaurants, and some department stores is further reducing the need for people manning registers. Technology continues to race ahead. The question is whether artificial intelligence, automation, robotics, and other developments…

Food Stamp Participation Reaches Lowest Level in Nearly a Decade

Participation in the nation’s food stamp program has sunk to an all-time low, reaching its lowest level in nearly a decade, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The most recent USDA data reveals that 38,845,997 Americans took part in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the federal government program responsible for administering food stamps, in August 2018. The last time American participation in the food stamp program dipped this low was nine years ago, when 38,184,306 Americans received food stamps, according to the data. The most up-to-date numbers also show enrollment in food stamps has declined for…

U.S. on a Course to Spend More on Debt Than Defense

In the past decade, U.S. debt held by the public has risen to $15.9 trillion from $5.1 trillion, but financing all of that debt hasn’t been a problem. Low inflation and strong global demand for safe U.S. Treasury bonds held the government’s interest costs down. That’s in the process of changing. Interest rates are rising as inflation normalizes around the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. That and the sheer scale of debt being accumulated by the federal government has put the U.S. on a path of rising interest costs that in the years to come could crowd out other government spending…

10 Black Friday Tips Before You Shop

According to retail experts, November is now the new retail boom month as more people start to do their Christmas shopping online. The shift happened in 2016 when, for the first time ever, November retail sales outpaced December. The trend continued last year with November sales climbing 1.3%, while December was down 0.6%. Shopping events like Black Friday, Singles Day and Cyber Monday are big drivers in this move, as well as consumers taking into account postage time for online orders. If you plan to take advantage of this month’s Black Friday deals, you want to make sure you’re getting…

Why Are so Few Americans Able to Get Ahead?

Despite the rah-rah about the “ownership society” and the best economy ever, the sobering reality is very few Americans are able to get ahead, i.e. build real financial security via meaningful, secure assets which can be passed on to their children. As I’ve often discussed here, only the top 10% of American households are getting ahead in both income and wealth, and most of the gains of these 12 million households are concentrated in the top 1% (1.2 million households). (see wealth chart below). Why are so few Americans able to get ahead? there are three core reasons: 1. Earnings (wages…

90% of Americans would take a pay cut for a more meaningful job

How much of your lifetime earnings would you sacrifice to work a job you find always meaningful? The answer is 23 percent, assuming you’re like the 2,000 workers who were surveyed in a recent report from Harvard Business Review. It’s a steep number, no doubt, but it’s not exactly surprising in light of data showing how American workers have, over the past decade, been increasingly expressing a desire for more meaningful work. The new report, authored by Shawn Achor, Andrew Reece, Gabriella Rosen Kellerman and Alexi Robichaux, builds upon past research on workplace attitudes in an attempt to quantify the…

Yelp craters as much as 32% as advertisers abandon the site

Yelp Inc. signage is displayed on a monitor on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York. Yelp cratered as much as 32 percent Friday, a day after releasing third-quarter earnings that revealed advertisers are abandoning the site and denting revenue. Shares fell as low as $29.33, a new 52-week low, before paring some losses to close nearly 27 percent down at $31.92. The plunge makes for the stock’s worst day of trading since going public in 2012. Yelp added zero net new advertising customers during the quarter. Yelp earlier this year switched from long-term advertising…

Hedge Funds Brace For A November 15 Bloodbath

A few weeks ago, we reported that even when the market was hitting all time highs ahead of the historic October bloodbath, hedge fund investors were growing increasingly nervous, and rushed to redeem $15 billion from the space in September, the largest single monthly outflow in years, bringing year-to-date net flows to flat after being stubbornly in the green for much of the year despite what has been another deplorable year for hedge funds. This was not the first time either: over the last three years, investors had removed over $100 billion from the industry, but performance gains had offset…

Tax evasion helps US corporations steal $180bn from the rest of the world every year

A new study by top economists and experts found that tax avoidance and evasion translate into hundreds of billions of dollars in unpaid taxes every year, with the money ending up in the pockets of the world’s wealthiest people. The paper, ‘The Exorbitant Tax Privilege’, was co-written by Thomas Wright and University of California, Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman, one of the world’s top authorities on tax havens. The research shows that almost 50 percent of US multinationals’ profits are currently generated in tax havens, while back in 1970, the number was less than 10 percent. The corporations effectively pay tax…

Wells Fargo cuts 26,500 jobs, shutters branches, declares “excess capital” and drops $40.6 billion on stock buybacks

Wells Fargo is America’s most scandal-haunted bank, which is quite an accomplishment in a heavily competitive field; now the bank has started closing its branches and cutting jobs (after pressuring employees to commit mass fraud on pain of being fired and blacklisted from the industry). The company has also declared itself to have an “excess of capital” and has committed to spending $40.6 billion on stock buybacks — a form of financial engineering that drives up stock prices without improving the company’s underlying financials or business. Some of Wells Fargo’s largest individual shareholders are its executives, who’ve effectively just voted…

Coinbase Users Can Now Buy and Sell Brave’s Basic Attention Token

Crypto exchange Coinbase is adding web browser Brave’s Basic Attention Token (BAT) to its retail trading platform, less than a week after listing it on Coinbase Pro. The exchange announced Thursday that customers would be able to buy, sell, trade or otherwise transact with the token on coinbase.com, as well as its Android and iOS apps. Coinbase first said it was supporting the token on its professional trader platform Friday, making BAT the second ERC-20 token to be listed by the company, after 0x. That being said, not all customers can trade the token at press time. The exchange noted…

The Welfare Generation: 51.7% Kids in 2017 Lived in Households Getting Govt Assistance

The Census Bureau has released new data that strengthens the case for calling the current generation of American children “The Welfare Generation.” Among American residents under 18 years of age in 2017, according to the Census Bureau, 51.7 percent lived in households in which one or more persons received benefits from a means-tested government program. That was down slightly from the 52.1 percent of Americans under 18 in 2016 who lived in households receiving means-tested government assistance. (Also, because this new Census Bureau estimate is for 2017, it predates the significant economic and job growth the United States has seen…

Watch out for Black Friday Scams in 2018: Retailers found to inflate prices in the lead up to Black Friday in order to overstate discounts

It’s November 23rd, Amazon is listing that new TV you’ve had your eye on with a 50% Black Friday discount. Everything looks great, so you take the plunge and bag yourself a nice new 50-inch plasma. It’s the best time to buy, right? Maybe not. When researching Black Friday deals by looking at price history last year, our team came across an interesting trend. It all started with the Crock Pot. We noticed that the highest price of the year for the popular slow cooker was the day before Black Friday. But why would retailers do this? The answer is…

US now pumping more oil than Russia and Saudi Arabia; OPEC could strike back

U.S. oil production jumped to a record 11.6 million barrels a day last week, and rising U.S. output is a factor that could prompt OPEC members and allies to react when they meet over the weekend. Oil prices have cratered amid concerns of a global supply glut, and the jump in U.S. output to a point where it is now surpassing Russia, in addition to Saudi Arabia, only adds to these concerns. West Texas Intermediate futures are now down 20 percent from the near four-year high reached on Oct. 3. U.S. production is up a stunning 2 million barrels a…

Bombardier to cut 5,000 jobs, sell off turboprop and flight training businesses

Bombardier has announced measures that will result in 5,000 job losses over the next year and a half. The Montreal-based company announced it will sell its Q Series turboprop aircraft program to Longview Aviation Capital for $300 million. The carrier reached another agreement to sell its business aircraft flight and technical training unit, which is run out of Montreal, Quebec City and Dallas, to another Montreal multinational, CAE. Bombardier said the moves will result in $250 million in annual savings. Bombardier is also selling training services to CAE for $645 million. The transactions with CAE will total $800 million in revenue for Bombardier and are expected…

Big investors sue 16 banks in U.S. over currency market rigging

A group of large institutional investors including BlackRock Inc and Allianz SE’s Pacific Investment Management Co has sued 16 major banks, accusing them of rigging prices in the roughly $5.1 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market. The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan by plaintiffs that decided to “opt out” of similar nationwide litigation that has resulted in $2.31 billion (£1.76 billion) of settlements with 15 of the banks. Those settlements followed worldwide regulatory probes that have led to more than $10 billion of fines for several banks, and the convictions or indictments of some traders.…

Cord cutting accelerates as pay TV loses 1 million customers in largest-ever quarterly loss

Scratch the theory that cord cutting might be decelerating. Cable and satellite TV providers lost about 1.1 million subscribers during the July to September period, the largest quarterly loss ever – and the first time the industry lost more than 1 million subscribers in a quarter, according to media and telecommunications research firm MoffettNathanson. After Dish Network reported its third-quarter earnings Wednesday, the New York-headquartered research firm tallied up the publicly reported subscriber losses to arrive at the finding. Dish lost 341,000 subscribers in the third quarter, compared to adding 16,000 in the same period a year ago. Overall, Dish…

The Economy Does Not Care Who Won The Midterm Elections

Over the past few weeks I received numerous requests from readers to publish my predictions on the outcome of the midterm elections, but I did not do so for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, I view the election process very differently from many people. I do not see it as legitimate in the slightest; therefore, my predictions of the past have been based not on voter turnouts, polls or any other such nonsense. Elections are molded events, framed under the false pretense that the Left/Right paradigm in politics is real. As far as the upper echelons of politics…

BROKE: Americans take out $50 billion in payday loans a year…

Americans take out roughly $50 billion in payday loans a year, each racking up hundreds of dollars in fees and interest. But a small and growing service that allows its users to take an advance on their paycheck might be giving the payday loan industry a run for its money. San Francisco-based financial technology company Even made headlines late last year when Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, announced it would start offering Even’s service as part of its employee benefits package. Along with providing tools that allow employees to track their spending and save money, Even features Instapay, which…

8 retailers that could go bankrupt in the next year

Last year Retail Dive ran its first list of companies in the industry that were most at risk of filing for bankruptcy. Much has changed since then. For one, we’ve run three more watch lists, as Chapter 11 filings reached recession-era proportions. This year, though, each list has gotten shorter, in part because the general aura hanging over retail has changed. It’s become considerably less gloomy. One might even say partly sunny. But one factor has been constant since mid-2017: Sears has appeared on every watch list we’ve run. Not this time. It’s happened before that we’ve moved a retailer from…

Senior Citizens Are Replacing Teenagers as Fast-Food Workers…restaurant chains are recruiting at churches, senior centers and AARP

The sullen teenager grinding through a restaurant shift after school was once a pop culture cliche—as American as curly fries. Nowadays, Brad Hamilton, the teen played by Judge Reinhold in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” would probably be too young to work at the fictional Captain Hook Fish and Chips. That’s because senior citizens are taking his place—donning polyester, flipping patties and taking orders. They’re showing up at casual dining chains such as Bob Evans and fast-food operators like McDonald’s Corp., which says it plans to make senior citizens one hiring focus in the coming year. Restaurants are recruiting in senior…

Why are so many Americans over 65 declaring bankruptcy?

The definition of bankruptcy is given as “legal status of a person or other entity that cannot repay debts to creditors.” In most parts of the U.S., bankruptcy is imposed by the court after a petition by the creditors. All over the country, thousands of people file for bankruptcy on a daily basis as a last resort after failing to live up to the financial burdens imposed upon them. But a worrying trend that has been highlighted closer to home is the fact that a more significant number of older American citizens are beginning to file for bankruptcy at a…

Foxconn May Bring Chinese Workers To Its New Wisconsin Facility

Back in the summer of 2017, to much fanfare President Donald Trump announced that Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn, best known for making the iPhone, would build a new plant producing LCD panels in Wisconsin that will bring thousands of jobs to the state. On the surface it was great deal: in what’s being called the “largest economic development project in state history”, Foxconn said it would build a $10 billion plant that will eventually employ as many as 13,000 people, according to the White House and Gov. Scott Walker. To be sure, it was a quid pro quo: to help…

Silver poised to outpace gold in 2019 ( I sure hope so..silver has been suppressed since it hit $50 in 2011)

Global demand for silver is expected to grow, according to a Canadian investment bank and financial services provider TD Securities. It has projected silver outperforming the sister metal gold next year. There have been several factors conspiring against the entire precious metals sector, such as rising interest rates, a strong US dollar, and a weaker yuan, according to the head of commodity strategy at TD Securities Bart Melek. He told Kitco News silver was further weighed down by concerns that the global economy will be hurt because of a worldwide trade war. Right now we think the market is underpricing…

Organic Prepper: 55 Ways To Save Money on Your Utility and Water Bills

The single biggest expense most households have are their utility and water bills. Sometimes those two bills combined are more expensive than the mortgage. Sometimes those two bills are the same as the mortgage and monthly groceries. In other words, they are just expensive. In the twenty plus years of paying for a utility bill and growing up in a house that was very conscious of its water and electrical use, I have learned some tips and tricks to drive down the costs of those bills. Some of these tips will not cost you a thing and will provide immediate…

Papa Gino’s Pizza closed dozens of locations across New England

Customers, employees and communities are outraged after Papa Gino’s Pizza abruptly closed dozens of locations across New England overnight. The Herald visited locations in Watertown, Arlington and Brockton, where signs posted on the window announced permanent closures. Papa Gino’s made no comment yesterday, leaving many confused and upset. In Arlington, Edward Witham Jr. and his 8-year-old daughter, Anneliese Stifler-Witham, looked despondently at the shuttered Papa Gino’s, where they planned to grab dinner last night. “We have ordered many a pizza from there,” Witham said. Anneliese normally opts for cheese, while her father is partial to pepperoni. “I wonder what the…

The end of cashiers? 7-Eleven is testing a ‘scan and go’ mobile checkout system

Cashier-less checkouts are supposed to be all about convenience, so it’s only right that a convenience store gets in on the action. 7-Eleven is launching a new pilot program called Scan and Pay that lets you scan your purchases and checkout with your smartphone without needing to visit the cashier. The chain is testing Scan and Pay at 14 locations in Dallas. Here’s how 7-Eleven’s Scan and Pay program works: Shoppers will download the 7-Eleven app on their phone and sign up for the 7Rewards loyalty program. Once inside an eligible store, a “Start scanning” option will appear in the…

Lowe’s is closing 51 stores in the US and Canada

Lowe’s announced on Monday it will be closing 51 “underperforming” stores in the United States and Canada, including two locations in the Bay Area. The Bay Area locations that will be closing are 750 Newhall Drive in San Jose, located next to Avaya Stadium, and 720 Dubuque Avenue in South San Francisco, the company announced Monday. “While decisions that impact our associates are never easy, the store closures are a necessary step in our strategic reassessment as we focus on building a stronger business,” Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “We believe our people…

Amazon Hires 20,000 Less Workers For Holiday Season As Robots Continue To Take A Larger Slice of The Workforce Pie

Amazon is staffing up for the holiday rush with around 100,000 additional hires. As big as that number sounds, it’s actually fewer people than the e-commerce giant added in either the 2016 or 2017 holiday seasons, when it brought in 120,000 additional workers Most people are not aware the extent to which robots are replacing humans in the workforce. Mega-companies like Amazon, Google and Apple have been spending billions on robotics and AI, as companies like Tesla and others work to perfect the self-driving automobile. Wages are going up for existing employees, but new hires are dropping drastically. Don’t think that…

Are E-Books Finally Over? The Publishing Industry Unexpectedly Tilts Back to Print

In a world where we do everything online, consider this: Independent bookstores are on the rise, while e-books are on the decline. Does this mean that the verdict is finally in on e-books? Does this mean that people, or at least the market forces through which they manifest, have chosen the paperback over the Kindle edition? It seems that may be the case. And there are a litany of reasons why. Independent bookstores are the places where you drop in for the latest paperback, listen to a reading from a favorite author or find a unique gift for a unique…

The Next Big Market Risk: Here Comes A Sharp Slowdown In Stock Buybacks

Stock buybacks may be back as blackout session ends, but suddenly companies’ appetite to repurchase their own shares appears to be slowing sharply. After an initial record surge in the amount of US corporate cash repatriated from offshore jurisdictions (if only for accounting purposes, as the bulk of said cash was already largely invested in domestic securities via offshore entities) following Trump’s tax law overhaul and tax repatriation holiday, the movement of foreign cash has slowed sharply. This comes at a time when record notional corporate buybacks have not only surpassed total capex spending for the 2nd quarter in a…

What The Looming Bear Market Might Look Like 

Reuters wants you to assume the stock market correction on Wall Street has entered into a full-blown bear market. Their equity analyst then asks: What kind of bear market can we expect? As shown below, all bear markets are not equal, they come in different shapes and sizes, but are less frequent than bull markets and, on average, much shorter. They can be very damaging if counter-cyclical buffers via the government or central banks are not properly deployed. “The stock market is not the economy and the economy is not the stock market, but every U.S. recession over the last half century has been accompanied…

Why Russia, Turkey and China Are Buying Gold at Record Pace

Central banks around the world are increasing their gold reserves at an incredible pace. Over the last three months alone, they have purchased gold worth 5.82 billion dollars, which is roughly a quarter more than the year earlier. It is noteworthy that the Bank of Russia and the Turkish Central Bank have broken a record in terms of gold purchases. Gold Rush According to data provided by the World Gold Council, central banks have bought as much as 148 metric tons of gold, which is 22 percent more than the same period last year. The Bank of Russia is leading in the purchases, which stand at 92 metric tons.…

10 Numbers That Prove That We Are Rapidly Becoming A Nation Of Government Dependents

Today, we live in a country where most workers do not earn enough to support a middle class family, and we are seeing the homelessness crisis spiral out of control in major cities on both coasts.  During this election cycle, many conservatives have been freaking out that an increasing number of Democrats are openly embracing socialism, but the truth is that we are already most of the way to becoming a socialist country.  In fact, as you will see below, more than half of all Americans currently receive more money from the government than they pay in taxes.  We have become absolutely…

Handcuffed: Americans Are Now Trapped In Their Homes For The Longest Period Ever

After the financial crisis of 2007–2008, housing-market headwinds limited the economic mobility of many American homeowners, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, as per a new report from MarketWatch. Starting in 2009, the average tenure of homes sold in 3Q broke a critical neckline of resistance above 4-years and doubled to 8-years by the end of 2017. This analysis shows Americans are holding on to their homes for the most extended length of time ever. As the Trump administration continues to promote the “greatest economy ever,” stagnation is building in the housing market, and it could get much worse in 2019.…

Student Loan Debt Crisis Threatens America

The student loan debt crisis is quickly getting out of control and is threatening America’s economy. In fact, student loans are the fastest growing kind of debt in America. Student loan debt has grown by 157% since 2007, Bloomberg estimates. Particularly, around 44 million Americans owe a combined $1.52 trillion in student loans, Knowledge@Wharton calculates. Furthermore, the average college graduate owes $37,000 in student loans. Significantly, the amount of student loan debt exceeds America’s credit card and auto loan debt. Additionally, the amount of credit card debt for Americans shrank by 1.2% in the past decade, Bloomberg states. The Student…

The American Dream Shatters: The Death Of The Middle Class

Middle-class families, which used to be the backbone of the United States economy are becoming poorer. Despite the constant bombardment of news of a “healthy economy,” 62% of middle-class families struggle to afford a basic middle-class lifestyle. Even though the unemployment rate that has reached a 50-year low of 3.7 percent, most jobs across the U.S. don’t support a middle-class or better lifestyle, leaving many Americans struggling, according to a new study. When factoring in both wages and the cost of living in the metro area where the job is located, 62% struggle to provide a middle-class lifestyle according to the…

Only 28% of Americans are considered “financially healthy”

The finances of Americans may not be as good as they look from the outside. Despite optimistic metrics like a nine-year-long bullish, if volatile, stock market, higher than expected job and wage growth, and consumer confidence levels nearing record highs, millions of Americans continue to struggle, a study released Thursday from financial consultancy nonprofit the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) found. Only 28% of Americans are considered “financially healthy,” according to a CFSI survey of more than 5,000 Americans. “Financial health enables family stability, education, and upward mobility, not just for individuals today but across future generations,” the CFSI…

Ready To Work Until You Die? Economists Recommend Delaying Retirement To Afford Old Age

Real talk: are you really on track to retire by the time you turn 65? Don’t worry, pretty much no one is. Well, OK, if you’re the kind of sucker who’s here for a long time instead of a good time, then you may be fine. But many Americans are stuck in an unforgiving job market (we’re looking at you, gig economy), unable to afford the most fundamental assets that our parents were, just as safety nets like social security seem to be sliding out of reach. And those of us in that latter group, the outlook, especially post age 65,…

According to the Wall Street Journal, Inflation Is About to Increase the Prices of EVERYTHING

We’ve been pretty lucky over the last ten years in terms of inflation, which has remained at about 2%. However, if the Wall Street Journal is correct, our luck is about to run out. The price of just about everything is set to increase in the coming months. Part of this is because manufacturers and suppliers are facing rising costs, just like the rest of us. Airlines are paying about 40% more for jet fuel than they were a year ago. Trucking costs were up 7% annually in September, as trucking companies passed along their own higher labor costs. Private-sector wages and…

Make or Break For These 8 Retailers This Holiday Season…

In retail, it’s getting harder and harder for the have-nots to join the haves. As Amazon, Walmart and Target increasingly suck up the retail oxygen, a slew of high-profile competitors are wheezing, turning the always-crucial holiday shopping season into a make-or-break scenario for some. Department store chains Sears, J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus are ailing, while strip-mall stalwarts Kmart and Bed Bath & Beyond are struggling to lure customers. And flailing mall retailers such as Claire’s and Charlotte Russe must deliver results. Many major retailers are already showing signs of suffocation. Seventeen have defaulted on their debts since the start of…

Majority Of Student Loan Borrowers Have Less Than $1,000 In Bank

A majority of student loan borrowers polled by an advocacy group have less than $1,000 in their bank accounts, according to a survey released Thursday. Student Debt Crisis conducted the survey on behalf of Summer from Oct. 9 through 24, according to the report. Student Debt Crisis is an advocacy group interested in “reforming student debt and higher education loan policies,” and Summer is a start-up that helps users track their loans. “People are terrified of how they’re going to be 40 years from now,” Student Debt Crisis Executive Director Natalia Abrams said, Market Watch reported. Eighty percent of survey respondents said their student loan…

The US will issue over $1.3 trillion in new debt in 2018, the highest amount since the depths of the recession

The federal government will issue more than $1.3 trillion in debt in 2018, according to a new estimate released by the Treasury Department on Monday, the highest total debt issuance since the depths of the Great Recession: Total net marketable securities issued in the fourth quarter will be a projected $425 billion, according to the Treasury report. That will bring total debt issued in 2018 to $1.34 trillion, the highest since $1.59 trillion was issued in 2010. 2018 debt issuance also jumped 146% from 2017, when just $546 billion was issued. The numbers come after the Treasury announced in early…