Sat 27 May, 2017

02:07 Virgin Active Becomes First Gym To Integrate Amazon Alexa» Forbes Real Time
Members can preserve their energy for when it matters the most, and schedule workouts, check out the newest classes and their locations from the comfort of their couch
01:50 The newest version of 'Trumpcare' may have some alarming implications for the opioid crisis» Markets

Donald Trump Paul Ryan

The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday released an updated analysis of the American Health Care Act, the House GOP healthcare bill, that economists and advocates said contained some alarming takeaways for the future of the fight against the opioid crisis.

While the nonpartisan CBO projected that 23 million more Americans would be uninsured by 2026 under the AHCA compared with projections under the current healthcare system, two other issues are contained within those numbers.

The first: The newly amended AHCA keeps largely in place the more than $800 billion in cuts to federal Medicaid spending over the next decade from the original version of the bill.

It does so by rolling back the Medicaid expansion established under the Affordable Care Act as well as other changes under the law. The CBO estimates that, under the AHCA, approximately 14 million people would come off the Medicaid rolls by 2026.

The second issue, and one not present in the previous version of the AHCA, is the so-called MacArthur Amendment, which would allow states to apply for permission to rescind some of the Affordable Care Act's regulations if they introduce policies designed to lower insurance premiums.

The CBO found that about one-third of the US population lives in states that would most likely make "moderate changes" to regulations under the MacArthur Amendment and about one-sixth lives in states that would make more extensive changes.

Christine Eibner, a health economist for the Rand Corporation, said that while there was a lot of uncertainty about how states would change regulations, it was reasonable to think state legislators would be under a lot of pressure to cut back on so-called essential health benefits, or certain conditions that insurers are required to cover, if other states are able to show that doing so brings down premiums. If that happens, substance-abuse treatment is viewed as the benefit "most at risk" to be cut, Eibner told Business Insider.

Approximately 1.84 million people in the US are receiving treatment for substance-use disorders or mental illnesses through the Medicaid expansion or the ACA's individual insurance marketplace, according to research conducted by Richard Frank, a professor of health economics at Harvard Medical School, and Sherry Glied, a dean at New York University. All of those people would be at risk of losing the approximately $5.5 billion paid out for treatment through those two avenues of insurance.

A 2017 Health and Human Services report found that approximately 34% of individual-market insurance plans did not cover substance-abuse treatment before the Affordable Care Act. Under the AHCA, a similar number would most likely either not cover treatment or begin underwriting substance-use disorder as a preexisting condition for thousands of dollars in premium surcharges, making insurance prohibitively expensive, Frank told Business Insider.

Eibner said the individual market wasn't the only place where treatment coverage would be affected. While she said employer-sponsored insurance would most likely continue to cover treatment, she expected Medicaid programs in states rolling back regulations related to the essential health benefits to cut substance-abuse treatment coverage as well.

Amendments to the AHCA allocate $15 billion over nine years and $8 billion over five years, respectively, to offset some of the costs to consumers if states waive benefits like substance-abuse treatment coverage and coverage for Americans with preexisting conditions. Frank found in his preliminary calculations, however, that those funds would be exhausted many times over in just a few short years just to pay for treatment for opioid-use disorder and serious mental-health conditions, leaving aside the myriad other conditions those funds are supposed to help cover.

BI Graphics_Drug OverdosesGary Mendell, the CEO of Shatterproof, a national nonprofit working to end the opioid crisis, has come out fervently against the bill.

"It's unbelievable that in the middle of a crisis our legislators would even consider reducing access to insurance for those needing treatment for substance-use disorder," Mendell told Business Insider.

While Mendell said he had engaged with the Trump administration over its ongoing commission dedicated to tackling the opioid crisis, he said that if the AHCA were signed into law, the administration and Republicans would have "zero credibility" in trying to fix the crisis because of how many people would be likely to lose access to treatment.

An analysis conducted by Eibner and Christopher Whaley, a policy researcher at Rand, found that in places that waive substance-treatment benefits, the out-of-pocket cost for consumers who use those benefits could rise by $1,333 a year. For "high-need" consumers, like those who need an in-patient stay at a treatment facility, out-of-pocket costs could rise to $12,261 a year.

"This assumes people still continue to use treatment," Eibner said. "Some may not seek it at all if it becomes too expensive."

Mendell said the AHCA would make substance-abuse treatment prohibitively expensive and, in particular, medication-assisted treatment, or MAT.

Considered by many experts to be the "gold standard" for overcoming opioid addiction, MAT uses prescription medications like buprenorphine or methadone to reduce cravings, allowing patients to work on the underlying issues leading to their substance use without the constant pressure of withdrawal.

Because of its promising results, MAT has gained bipartisan support in statehouses and on Capitol Hill, but it's expensive and remains difficult to access.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said in West Virginia earlier this month that MAT amounted to "substituting one opioid for another," a claim almost universally rejected by scientific, medical, and treatment communities. Mendell went so far as to call Price's statement a "dangerous comment that perpetuates misinformation."

SEE ALSO: Trump's proposed trillion-dollar cuts to Medicaid are a stunning reversal from one of his biggest campaign promises

DON'T MISS: GOP healthcare bill would leave 23 million more uninsured, undermine protections for people with preexisting conditions

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: China built a $350 million bridge that ends in a dirt field in North Korea

01:32 Some Of The Best Websites For Seniors To Find New Ways To Get Up, Get Out And Meet Up In 2017» Forbes Real Time
Opportunities abound today for older adults to get up, get out and meet up. And whatever activity you choose, the Internet has no doubt made it easier than ever for older adults to connect with friends, family and their communities and to find out what passions they may want to pursue in retirement.
01:23 Bitcoin and Tech Stocks: A 21st Century Tulipmania?» Barron's Most Viewed Today
Investors’ enthusiasm is reminiscent of the mania that struck the Dutch in the 1600s.
01:07 Q1 US GDP Growth Revised Up To A Still Weak 1.2%» Forbes Real Time
US GDP has been revised up from terribly weak to solidly weak. But we know very well there are calculation errors in there contributing to some to much of that.
00:53 Oh, Lord, Why Won't Donald Trump Buy Me A Mercedes Benz?» Forbes Real Time
Donald Trump should applaud, not scorn, German auto companies selling cars, investing in plants and employing workers in America.
00:52 Zuckerberg's Harvard Speech Shows He Doesn't Quite Get The Economics Of Jobs And Automation» Forbes Real Time
Only if we do get this right in our own minds are we going to be able to react correctly to technological change. There's absolutely nothing wrong at all with grand projects, with million cooperating to achieve them. But it's the project we want to achieve, the jobs are the cost of doing so.
00:12 After trip's final day, Trump to return to tumult at home» AP Top Business News at 12:09 a.m. EDT
TAORMINA, Italy (AP) -- Down to the final day of his lengthy first international trip, President Donald Trump will lift off for Washington having rattled some allies and reassured others, returning to a White House that sits under a cloud of scandal....

Fri 26 May, 2017

23:37 The Tell: Why one hedge-fund titan is bracing for ‘all hell to break lose’ in the stock market» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
Billionaire investor Paul Singer has a bleak outlook for Wall Street and has built a $5 billion rainy-day fund in preparation for what he describes as “all hell” to be loosed upon the world.
23:36 After 33 hours, Delta Air Lines finally releases puppy from cargo in Guatemala » MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
Woman says her German Shepherd, Bunny, was held ‘hostage’ by bureaucracy and paperwork.
23:13 Debt ceiling could be hit this summer: Sources» Top News & Analysis
The White House is starting to warn that the debt ceiling could be reached late this summer, according to two sources.
23:08 NASA's Latest Capsules Expected to Pose Greater Risks Than Projected» WSJ.com: US Business
NASA’s next-generation manned spacecraft, initially envisioned to be roughly 10 times safer than the retired space shuttle fleet, will fall significantly short of that goal, according to industry and former agency officials.
23:00 Medal Of Honor Recipient Warns: "It's Going To Come Here... Trump Must Release The Gates Of Hell" On Islamic State»

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

With British Prime Minister Theresa May warning that another attack may be imminent, Medal of Honor Recipient Dakota Meyer says that it’s time to strike Islamic State strongholds without mercy, because sooner or later we could well witness suicide bombers detonating themselves in the middle of large crowds right here at home.

Arguing that President Obama, who awarded Meyer his Medal of Honor, was weak on ISIS and terrorism in general, he says President Trump should take a completely different strategy.

In short… it’s time to unleash the gates of hell…

I’ve been saying this is going to happen for a long time.


When is it coming here?


I think the only way you get this point across is that we release the gates of hell on them and we start making war so ugly that…their recruitment videos… it won’t be cool to join ISIS anymore.


And at some point we’re going to have to do that… this labeling of ‘it’s a lone wolf’ attack… or saying it’s not connected or this or that…


You can’t just ignore this problem because it’s going to come here…


The only thing I am optimistic about with this situation is that we have a President… think whatever you want about his politics…


At least we have a president that’s in place that’s not going to allow us to be the victims… you can guarantee he’s going to do whatever it’s going to take… no matter if it’s popular in the court of public opinion… he’s going to do what’s right to protect America…

Our guess?

President Trump was just warming up when he dropped this mother of all bombs on an ISIS complex in Afghanistan earlier this year:

22:40 Chairman of Meatpacker at Center of Brazil Corruption Probe Resigns» WSJ.com: US Business
The chairman of the world’s largest meat producer, JBS SA, stepped down Friday, weeks after telling prosecutors his company bribed Brazilian politicians, including President Michel Temer, in exchange for taxpayer-subsidized loans and other favors.
22:35 The Most Popular Books In History All Shared One Trait»

Throughout history, people have turned to works of literature for guidance, entertainment, and education. Modern businesses aim to tell stories that leave a long-lasting impact as well, and should look to examples of historical success to influence how they create their own content.

Today’s infographic comes to us from Global English Editing, and it looks at 20 of the most popular books in the world. As Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins notes, all of the books listed, even those published decades or centuries ago, have made an enduring impact on readers to this day. They have achieved this by stirring discussion and sparking debate wherever they are read.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist


One of the important traits shared by every book on this list is the controversy that has swirled around each of them. This can be seen across different time periods and genres.

People have questioned the identity and authorial authenticity of Homer and decried the upending of creationism proposed by Darwin. Even a children’s book like the modern bestselling series, Harry Potter, can be a magnet for discussion over what is morally right and wrong.

It is often the case the that most popular and enduring literary works will not only captivate, but also address controversial issues in such a way that people will be talking about them for generations.


The recent bestselling streak of George Orwell’s 1984, first published in 1950, is an interesting illustration of this trend.

The dystopian novel was banned upon its translation and release in the former USSR due to its implicit critique of Stalinist political ideology. By contrast, in the 1970s and 1980s, several American counties challenged 1984 on the grounds that it might promote communist ideals. In the 21st century, Orwell’s best-known work has been revisited by a new generation of readers as the American political climate continues to create new uncertainties about governance, the distortion of facts, and social control.


The most popular books ever written can teach modern businesses a great deal about what it takes to make content that is evergreen, meaningful, and primed to engage their readers. Creating discussion is key in the age of the reactive “hot take” style of article. Your ability to stand out in the cultural, historical, or political context for having a point of view that many people find worthy of debating will give your work the staying power it needs.

Considering that within any given minute there are 2.4 million Google searches taking place and over 700,000 people logging into Facebook, this is no easy task. But whether it’s through a new product or via customer engagement, creating meaningful discussion is key to making a business’ voice heard through all the noise.

22:30 15 Ways To Make Yourself More Marketable» Forbes Real Time
Joe can tell that big changes are afoot in his company but he doesn't know whether or not his job will be affected. Either way, Joe wants to start thinking about a job search and needs advice on making himself more marketable to employers. Here are 15 suggestions!
22:22 OANN Releases Report On Seth Rich Murder, Raises Questions About Chinese Corruption»

Via Disobedient Media

The San Diego based One American News Network has released a new report highlighting key elements of the mystery surrounding the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. OANN cites a number of inconsistencies and lingering questions in the case, while also noting that Rich's murder occurred in close proximity to the similarly strange death of UN official John Ashe. Ashe was found dead just days before he was set to testify against Clinton in relation to matters pertaining to a corruption case where Chinese billionaire Charlie Trie helped launder $1.2 million dollars as part of Chinese government efforts to influence Bill Clinton's 1996 presidential election. Ashe's death was originally reported as a heart attack, but the story changed after it emerged that the cause was in fact a crushed windpipe in what was labeled a "workout accident." The full report can be viewed here:

On May 25th, one day before OANN's report, a representative of the media company made a post on the online messageboard 4chan appealing for help locating information regarding the doctor who treated Seth Rich for gunshot injuries he sustained during the incident. Within minutes of the post, OANN's website was taken offline in a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack.

Screenshot taken on 5/26/2017 showing that OANN's website was taken offline

The findings of the report offer fresh insights what is appearing to be a story of complex political corruption and Democratic National Committee (DNC) attempts to downplay the scandal. Disobedient Media has previously reported on the extensive ties that key players in the Seth Rich case have to the DNC, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Rose Law Firm, the law firm which was at the center of the 1990's Whitewater Controversy.

22:10 Why Bother?»

Authored by Robert Gore via Straight Line Logic blog,

The best strategy for dealing with crazies is to keep your distance.

You try to ignore the ravings of the paranoid lunatic on a street corner, but if he’s waving a gun, you can’t.  He may kill himself, but he may kill you. Protecting yourself is your first consideration. You want to get as far as possible from him.

As an intellectual exercise, imagine how the Chinese and Russian leadership look at the United States, its government, and those of its allies. It will get you labeled as a “sympathizer” or “agent,” but take the risk and try seeing the world through their eyes:

We hear the Americans raving about the exceptional and indispensable nation, the American imperium, and maintaining world order. What other conclusion can be drawn: like many lunatics, the US suffers from delusions of grandeur. As we know, it’s difficult to maintain order in one country, and the US wants to take on the whole world? They’re having a tough time maintaining order in the US. Half the country hates the other half, and many of their experts warn of civil unrest that could be ignited with the smallest of sparks. Take it from us, spark suppression is a full-time job in big countries with many people and few common interests, even those with powerful, intrusive governments like the US.


How can the US think that it can rule the world when it can’t win wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq? That’s crazy talk! There are smart people in their military. They must recognize that guerrilla warfare, terrorism, knowledge of the people, language, and terrain, and the availability of cheap but effective defensive weapons and munitions give a huge advantage to nationals resisting domination in their own territory. Why hasn’t the US learned anything from their disastrous wars, or the Soviet fiasco in Afghanistan?


We in Russia are not altogether comfortable with our Syrian involvement and know it poses substantial risks. However, Syria is in the same neighborhood, is a long-time Russian ally, and hosts Russia’s only Mediterranean port. The US has no such compelling interests and is apparently there at the behest of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Turkey, and Israel. (How do these nations get the US to fight its wars? It must be baksheesh.) It pretends to fight Islamic terrorists while aiding them in another idiotic, and so far futile, attempt at regime change. The biggest danger for us in Syria isn’t the rebels, it’s those crazy Yanks.


The US and its allies’ (what curious allies—the US defends them and picks up most of the tab while they fund cradle-to-grave welfare states) interventions have created refugees—some innocent victims, some potential terrorists—who have fled en masse to Europe and trickled into the US. More intervention will create more refugees, yet that is their policy. Russia and China both have problems with native Muslim populations; it’s pure lunacy to import them. Yet, the American and European intelligentsia condemn not the proponents but the detractors of military intervention and refugee creation and admittance.


If those are supposed to be the smart people, it’s no wonder those countries are in such poor shape. A country is only as good as its people. The Americans and Europeans have voted themselves benefits from their governments that can only be paid for with debt. How long can that last? What will beneficiaries do when the well runs dry? The US used to be one of the most industrious countries on the planet. Now most of its people are fat, lazy, and soft, with no idea how to provide for themselves. The so-called smart people worry if transgenders can enter the bathroom of their choice, and cheer a great Olympic decathlon champion who turned himself into an approximation of a woman. These idiots are not useful to anybody.


The only rational policy is to keep our distance from the US, while trying to protect ourselves from its depredations, and concentrate on jointly developing the immense potential of Eurasia. In other words, to continue doing what we’ve been doing. Our primary economic initiatives, One Belt One Road and the Maritime Silk Road, under the auspices of the Eurasian Economic Union, are going well. We will develop extensive commercial and transportation links among nations stretching from China to Europe, an area which encompasses over half the world’s population and natural resources. China will providing much of the infrastructure investment through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Russia will spearhead security arrangements, particularly against Islamic extremists, through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which includes China and central Asian nations that were formerly part of the USSR, and will soon admit India, Pakistan, and Iran.


Financially, self-protection means moving away from fiat dollars and euros and stockpiling real money—gold. China is reducing its vast pile of US treasury securities, and Russia its much smaller pile. We will continue to advocate for replacement of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, preferably with the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights. The Chinese yuan recently became part of that currency basket. We have also taken steps to develop an alternative to the SWIFT system, the US’s monopoly on international bank clearing.


Militarily, some of the bluster coming out of the US is insanity: the possibility of “winning” a nuclear war. No matter what their computer simulations might suggest, there is no way that a US first strike would wipe out our means and will to retaliate, regardless of their anti-ballistic missile systems in Eastern Europe and South Korea. Sometimes it is an advantage to be underestimated by one’s enemy, but in this case, US underestimation could lead to extinction of the human race. Our nuclear weaponry, military strategies, and defense systems must continue to be state of the art, to assure that destruction in the event of a US attack is mutual.


Keeping our distance from the US certainly does not entail getting involved in their elections. Donald Trump didn’t have a positive thing to say about China during his campaign. Although he made noises about reducing America’s foreign interventions, we heard the same from George W. Bush and Barack Obama and look how that turned out. Trump also made noises about rapprochement with Russia, but it was clear that he’d be fighting his own Deep State if he won, which we did not expect. Why would we poison relations with Hillary Clinton, who we and most experts did expect to win, before she even took office? It’s a further sign of rampant delusion, a complete unwillingness to deal with reality, that Clinton’s Democrats are blaming Russia for problems they brought upon themselves.

Why bother manipulating an election when America seems so bent on self-destruction? It would be like trying to leash a rabid dog.


22:05 Market Extra: Want to invest in bitcoin? Investors need to be willing to lose it all, adviser says » MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
A cursory glance at extreme volatility of bitcoin suggest that it’s likely not suitable for most.
22:02 The Tell: Wall Street laughed at a call for bitcoin at $25,000—but after a 400% surge, the laughter is fading» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
As the digital currency, bitcoin, has surged a breathtaking 400% over the past year, Wall Street may be apt to take Yves Lamoureux’s call a little more seriously. At least, that is the hope of the 54-year-old former retail broker and trader who established what he describes as macroeconomic research firm, Lamoureux & Co., about four years ago.
21:59 Sears is in 'free-fall' and its rate of decline is 'very concerning' (SHLD)» Markets

Sears Pembroke Mall

Sears' shares enjoyed a strong surge this week, soaring as much as 20% on Thursday after the company reported its first net profit in two years. 

But traders' cheer quickly wore off and shares dipped again, as the grim reality behind the initially rosy headlines set in: Sears' operational decline is in fact accelerating, and its odds of survival beyond 2017 remain uncertain, according to Evercore ISI analyst Greg Melich.

A closer look at Sears' earnings show that the company's sale of its Craftsman brand in March is responsible for its net income of $244 million in the first quarter. Excluding the sale, Sears' losses deepened to $230 million from $199 million the prior year.

"Operating losses... show no sign of improvement" and "sales remain in a state of free-fall decline," Melich wrote in a research note. 

Sears' sales overall tumbled more than 20% to $4.3 billion in the first quarter, which the company blamed on store closures and declining sales at its stores open at least a year. Same-store sales plunged 12.4% at Sears stores and 11.2% at Kmart stores. 

SearsSears says it is "fighting like hell" to turn business around and has promised to cut costs by $1.25 billion. The company has announced more than 180 store closures so far this year and recently told investors that it has bids for $700 million in real estate sales, which would provide much-needed cash to help keep it afloat.

Assuming those sales occur and Sears can achieves success with its cost-cutting plan, "it should have sufficient liquidity to make it through holiday, although the cash burn and rate of sales decline are very concerning," Melich wrote. 

But the company is still a very sick patient with little evidence of any sustainable forms of cash flow going forward, according to his note. 

"Improving the cash burn rate is imperative as the company shrinks, and Sears remain very far from sustainable levels of loss that does not require external liquidity," Melich wrote. "Given the very weak store base, continued comp declines, anemic sales productivity, and continued share loss in most major categories, Sears does not appear well positioned for the rest of 2017."

Moody's vice president and senior analyst Christina Boni last month delivered a similar assessment on Sears' survival, saying the real estate sales will help the company survive a little longer, but at the same time diminishes the company's lifeline as it struggles turn business around.

"Sears’ financial performance remains extremely weak," Boni said. "Its effort to sell real estate which has produced over $700 million of bids currently will enhance liquidity, but accelerates the timeline required to stem operating losses as it asset base diminishes." 

Sears CEO Eddie Lampert addressed bankruptcy concerns recently and said the company has "as much time as our vendors and our lenders and our shareholders are willing to give us."

"The reality needs to be better than it is for us to really demonstrate to people that the transition is starting to take hold," he said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune.

SEE ALSO: This is what Sears stores could look like in the future

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 7 colors that might get you sued

21:45 Pelosi Concerned POTUS' Trip Wasn't Alphabetized: "I Mean, Saudi Arabia. It Wasn't Even Alphabetical"»

Over the years, Nancy Pelosi has garnered somewhat of a reputation for saying things that don't seem to make a whole lot of sense.  As most will recall, the pinnacle of her illogical ramblings seemingly came in March 2010 when she argued that voters would only be allowed to read the details of the Obamacare legislation after it had been passed. 

For those who somehow managed to miss it...here you go:


Oddly, comments like the one above seem to have had absolutely no impact on San Franciscans who continue to re-elect her to public office year after year.  And while we find that somewhat disturbing, it at least affords us all the opportunity to enjoy an endless supply of gaffes from Pelosi's very active public speaking schedule.

In fact, the latest gift from San Francisco to the world came yesterday when Nancy held her weekly press briefing and was caught completely off-guard by a journalist who asked for her thoughts on Trump's first international trip.  While this would seem like a 'softball question' designed specifically for Nancy to knock out of the park, she proceeded instead to have yet another on-air nervous breakdown that ended with her questioning why Trump's first foreign stops weren't organized in alphabetical order.

“I thought it was unusual for the President of the United States to go to Saudi Arabia first. Saudi Arabia!”


“It wasn’t even alphabetical. I mean, Saudi Arabia.”


She goes on to point out that 4 of the 5 previous presidents all visited Canada for their first foreign trip which she seemed to find more appropriate given its rank in the alphabetical list of foreign countries.  Of course, it does beg the question of why Obama didn't visit Afghanistan first...hmmm, quite suspicious indeed.

21:30 Seven Things Never, Ever To Say In A Job Interview» Forbes Real Time
If you aren't prepared or you aren't careful, it's easy to blurt out the wrong thing in a job interview. Here are seven things never, ever to say!
21:21 Rural America Is the New 'Inner City'» WSJ.com: US Business
A Wall Street Journal analysis shows that since the 1990s, sparsely populated counties have replaced large cities as America’s most troubled areas by key measures of socioeconomic well-being—a decline that’s accelerating.
21:20 On Gold, Dollars, & Bitcoin»

Authored by Paul Brodsky via Macro-Allocation.com,

We have been bullish on gold – the barbarous relic; King Dollar – the modern hegemon; and Bitcoin – the crypto currency investors love to hate. One might say our feet have been planted firmly in the past, present and future. (We may not have three feet, but let’s go with it.) Are we hedging our bets, being too cute by half, or is there a cogent rationale that unifies bullishness for money forms most would consider incongruous and at-odds with each other?

The short answer is we like:

1) gold, because central banks around the world own it and are buying more, ostensibly to devalue their fiat currencies against it someday, after they are forced to hyper-inflate in order to reduce the burden of systemic debt service and repayment;


2) the dollar, because dollar-denominated financial markets are broader and deeper than any other market and because the Fed is years ahead of other major central banks when it comes to normalizing policy and maintaining bank solvency (i.e., other fiats are in worse shape), and;


3) Bitcoin, the borderless digital currency that is already being perceived as a better store of value than gold and all fiat currencies, and potentially a more expedient means of exchange too. All three should win in different ways.

It may be easier to accept this discussion by first reminding one’s self that monetary regimes come and go every fifty years or so. The last transition was in 1971 and the world is due for another. We have a high level of conviction that the evanescence of the current global monetary system is rooted in sound economics and already has been firmly established. A global monetary reset is necessary and likely.

To understand why we must break down money into its two main components: a means of exchange and a store of value. When it comes to using money in exchange for goods and services, fiat currencies have it all over gold and crypto currencies presently. That’s because governments demand taxes be paid with their fiat currencies (legal tender), forcing producers and labor to demand compensation in those currencies. As a result, banking, payment systems and all goods and service channels are set up to use fiat-sponsored currencies.

When it comes to a store of value, however, the factors of production may choose to save in whatever form of money they want. If the general perception is that government-sponsored, bank system-created fiat currencies will have to be greatly diluted in the future so that systemic debts can be serviced and repaid, then savers will migrate to money forms with capped floats, like gold and Bitcoin.

Prior to 1971, if a major government-sponsored currency was threatened with dilution, global sovereigns and savers and producers would exchange that currency for gold at a fixed exchange rate to the dollar. Or, they could simply exchange that currency for another currency less likely to be diluted. In the current regime, all economies are highly levered and all fiat currencies must be greatly diluted in the future. It comes down to timing and we think the US dollar is the best positioned of all major fiat currencies. That said, it will eventually have to be diluted too and will lose value in gold and Bitcoin terms.

As mentioned above, gold is still owned by the world’s major treasury ministries and central banks. (In fact, it is effectively the only asset on the Fed’s balance sheet that is not someone else’s liability.) If US or global economic growth were to fall enough, or contract, and central bank monetary and credit policies were to fail to stimulate positive growth, then the value of all outstanding sovereign, household and corporate debt (and bank and bondholder assets) would become stressed.

The Fed would have no choice but to devalue dollars against its other asset – gold. Other central banks would either follow suit or go along with a coordinated plan to fix their currencies to the dollar (i.e., a new Bretton-Woods agreement). If this were to happen the price of gold in dollar terms would rise by as much as five to ten times current levels, in our view. (We arrive at this magnitude of change by taking the level of bank assets needed to be reserved and then using the Bretton Woods formula for currency valuation, base money divided by gold holdings.)

The new gold price would reflect a level at which gold holders would be willing to exchange their gold for the diluting currency. This dynamic is basically what happened in another form with US interest rates in 1980/1981. US treasury yields were forced higher by the Fed (22 percent to 15 percent along the inverted yield curve), a level at which trade partners like OPEC would accept dollars with a floating exchange rate.

Finally, Bitcoin. The BTC/USD exchange rate has gotten a lot of notice lately because it has almost doubled in the last month (se chart below)...

To listen to financial media commentary, the extraordinary move must be the result of unsophisticated financial rubes looking to get rich quick on the latest tulip fad.

We disagree. While the dollar price of BTC may drop significantly any time as it reflects people’s understanding of dynamic global economic and monetary conditions and of Bitcoin itself, we are highly confident the exchange rate will appreciate dramatically from current levels over time.

To be sure, faith in the flexible exchange rate fiat monetary system remains strong in G7 economies and those that actively trade with them. But major currencies require continued faith in perpetual growth without recessions and that highly leveraged, irreconcilable balance sheets will never have to be diluted.

Meanwhile, access to Bitcoin takes only internet connectivity, it is free to store, and there is no need to hide it traveling across borders. Bitcoin, itself or as a proxy for all crypto currencies, is quickly becoming a more reliable and accessible store of value for 5 billion people across the world residing in economies without major currencies, strong central banks or stable pegs.

The store-of-value benefit is beginning to make itself clear to wealth holders in developed economies too, those becoming aware of the need for future fiat currency inflation by monetary authorities.

Those unfamiliar with crypto currencies tend to fear bubble bursting outcomes. While this fear is understandable given its newness, complexity, past volatile market action and lack of a central or sovereign regulator, it is not reality-based. Bitcoin cannot be successfully hacked due to its underlying block chain recordkeeping system, which documents every transaction and every sequential custodian in the chain (all anonymously to the world). No one can create Bitcoins outside its system or sell Bitcoins that do not exist.

Further, Bitcoin’s float cannot be diluted without the express agreement of 51 percent of all Bitcoin holders. Bitcoins are widely dispersed across the world and there is no central authority with a political agenda. It is inconceivable why Bitcoin holders would agree to being diluted anytime soon.

At a $50 billion total market valuation, of which Bitcoin is about $30 billion, crypto currencies have almost incalculable appreciation potential vis-à-vis fiat currencies. They should gain significant market share for store of value purposes, and this could be sped up if payment systems adopt Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or another crypto currency as a global means of exchange. After all, global fiat money amounts to nearly $100 trillion.

Many of us who have toiled over the years as professional investors are deluded with the explicit or subconscious expectation that the perception of wealth and markets will someday revert to what they were five, ten or twenty years ago. They will not, in our view. Yes, this time IS different (as it always has been). Our money will change (as it always has).

Given the highly leveraged state of the current monetary regime, the most dominant variable for future wealth maintenance and creation, in our view, may not be asset selection but rather money selection. Something to think about...

21:13 What the contents of this Depression-era purse says about American women in 2017» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
The recent discovery in a Chicago theater of a 1930s clutch purse is a revealing time-capsule.
21:13 This is why Dutch kids are much happier than American children » MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
In the Netherlands, kids get chocolate sprinkles on their breakfast and early sex education.
21:12 When Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg sound the same dire warning about jobs, it’s time to listen» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
The founders of Microsoft and Facebook have cautionary words for the Class of 2017.
21:06 Jared Kushner reportedly discussed setting up secret channel with Moscow» Top News & Analysis
Kushner — Donald Trump's son-in-law — reportedly proposed the channel to the Kremlin at an early December meeting.
20:55 Connecticut Credit Risk Soars To Record High As Tax Receipts Tumble»

Connecticut’s general-obligation bonds are riskier than ever as plummeting income-tax collections and a $2.3 billion budget deficit moved all three credit rating companies to downgrade its debt.


As Bloomberg details, tax receipts for the current fiscal year ending in June will be about $451 million short of estimates from January, prompting Governor Dannel Malloy to empty the state’s already small budget stabilization fund. To help close the gap, public employees agreed to accept a 3-year wage freeze and to contribute more for their pension and health-care benefits under a tentative deal that would save more than $1.5 billion over the next two years.

As we previously detailed, The state of Connecticut has been hit hard by the double whammy of a deteriorating local economy, coupled with a plunge in hedge fund profits - as well as hedge fund managers permanently relocating to Florida - leading to a collapse in tax revenues. According to the the latest Connecticut budget released last week, the state is reeling from the consequences of sliding tax revenue from the super-rich, i.e. the state's hedge fund managers. The latest figures showed that tax revenue from the state’s top 100 highest-paying taxpayers declined 45% from 2015 to 2016. The drop adds up to a $200 million revenue loss for Connecticut.

In a dramatic, if of questionable credibility, soundbite Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan says these wealthy people are “dramatically less wealthy than they were before.” He was referring to annual income, not actual asset holdings, because judging by the all time high in the S&P, the local financial elite have never had a higher net worth.

“When you look at the top 75, top 50 ... this is a group of wealthy people who are dramatically less wealthy than they were before,” said Kevin Sullivan, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services. “These folks, for a number of reasons, are either not realizing as much income or don’t have as much income.”

Just don't expect tears from the general public. Sullivan also noted how several international hedge funds have recently failed, resulting in “significant retrenchment” from investors. That drop in tolerance for risk brings smaller margins and ultimately less personal income for the state to tax, he added. It's fascinating how the Fed's central planning, superficially meant to restore "confidence" in a rigged, manipulated market is having such proound and adverse 2nd and 3rd order effects on state budgets.

Sullivan also acknowledged part of revenue decline can also be attributed to “a handful” of wealthy individuals who moved to more tax-friendly states — an issue frequently raised by legislative Republicans, who argue Connecticut’s tax policies encourage the state’s super-rich to move out.

None of this should be a surprise... it's no wonder more people than ever are looking to leave the increasing tax burden of this troubled state?

20:53 Market Snapshot: S&P 500, Nasdaq book narrow records ahead of Memorial Day weekend» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite logged tiny gains on Friday, but they were enough for the benchmarks to finish in record territory and book a seventh straight advance, ahead of the long Memorial Day weekend.
20:52 The New Starbucks CEO Seems To Stumble Out Of The Gate» Forbes Real Time
The first major initiative under new CEO Kevin Johnson, the North Star project, has landed with a thud.
20:35 Russian bankers sue BuzzFeed over unverified Trump dossier» AP Top Business News at 12:09 a.m. EDT
NEW YORK (AP) -- The owners of a Russian bank filed a lawsuit against the online publication BuzzFeed on Friday for publishing an uncorroborated dossier that alleged they were part of a Russian scheme to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election....
20:30 Shari'ah-Compliant Crypto Gold: Could Islam Be Preparing For A New World Reserve Currency?»

Authored by Shannara Johnson via HardAssetAlliance.com,

It all started pretty harmlessly: in December 2016, after about 12 months of deliberations, the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and the World Gold Council announced a new “Shari’ah Standard on Gold.”

The new standard was celebrated as a potentially big boost for global gold demand as it would give more than 2 billion Muslims in the world access to gold-based financial products that were previously forbidden to them.

That included vaulted gold, gold accumulation plans, gold certificates, gold-backed ETFs like GLD, and gold mining stocks.

Under Shari’ah law, physical gold was considered a “ribawi item,” which means it could only be used as a currency and worn as jewelry, but it couldn’t be traded for speculation or future value. However, Muslim investors were well aware that the $1.8 trillion Islamic finance business was missing out on important opportunities.

Under the new standard, Shari’ah-compliance is guaranteed as long as physical gold is the underlying asset.

And we didn’t have long to wait for a brand-new financial product coming from the Islamic world that combines the popularity of Bitcoin with the timeless value of physical gold: OneGram, a gold-backed, fully Shari’ah-compliant crypto currency.

The new currency was announced on May 4 at the Ritz Carlton, Dubai International Financial Center—with the official ICO (Initial Coin Offering) following only 17 days later.

“In recent years, the Middle East has seen incredible growth in fintech innovations including digital tokens and smart contracts,” said Ibrahim Mohammed, the founder and CEO of OneGram, in his first press release. “With OneGram, we’re excited to provide an opportunity for investors who care about Islamic financial markets and the security of commodity-backed investments to benefit from rapid technological advances in the blockchain industry.”

According to OneGram’s website, initially each OneGram coin (OGC) is backed by one gram of gold and can be used for digital payments, just like Bitcoin.

The total number of OGCs is fixed and won’t change after the ICO. The digital transaction fees (minus admin costs) will be reinvested to buy more gold.

“Therefore,” states the website, “the amount of gold backing each OGC will increase with time.”

Plus, of course, a rising gold price and the growing acceptance of OneGram in the market are also poised to pump up its value.

Gold and crypto-currency experts are already speculating about the implications of the launch. A recent CoinDesk review stated:

Bitcoin is often referred to as a “good” money because of its limited supply, relative fungibility and ease of exchange. If gold can also start to satisfy those requirements, a seismic shift from fiat to digital could be easier to “sell”—the public is predisposed to trust gold, certainly more so than cryptography.

It could also open the door to the creation of a new global currency as an alternative to the dollar, something that Russia and China are rumored to be looking at.

[Emphasis mine.]

We sure do live in interesting times - and it is not all that far-fetched to think that OneGram, or another gold-backed crypto currency like it, could be a stealthy way to introduce a new global gold standard.

20:16 Fallen Navy pilot's children hug as remains brought home» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Fallen Navy pilot's children hug as remains brought homeSAN DIEGO (AP) — Deborah Crosby touched her father's flag-draped casket as her three brothers hugged her in a tearful embrace on the tarmac at the San Diego airport Friday — ending a more than half century search to find and bring home the remains of Lt. Cmdr. Frederick P. Crosby, shot down as a Navy pilot in the Vietnam War.

20:02 WaPo Reports Kushner Sought "Secret" Back-Channel With Moscow, Admits It's Normal Practice»

Looks like we spoke too soon. The holiday-weekend Trump bombshell has arrived courtesy of The Washington Post. This time, the paper is reporting that Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and one of his closest advisors, discussed the possibility of setting up a secure communications channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

The scene was set earlier in the week when NBC reported on Thursday that Kushner is now “under FBI scrutiny” before explaining that he’s not an official target in the investigation.

And now, WaPo reports, according to the anonymous US officials, sensitive information 'incriminating Kushner' was intercepted by US intelligence agencies when Kislyak relayed the details of the discussion to his superiors in Moscow.

At first brush, the report appears damning: If accurate, WaPo has unearthed actual evidence of collusion between a senior Trump associated and the Russians, one might think.

But it’s important to keep in mind two crucial facts that WaPo decided to bury further in their "reporting."

First, this alleged discussion occurred during a meeting at Trump Tower in early December, nearly a month after Trump’s upset victory over Hillary Clinton.  The investigations being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the House and the Senate are focused on uncovering evidence of collusion between Trump associates and the Russian government during the campaign.


And second, if it weren’t for the implications (that this is evidence of collusion between a close Trump associated and Moscow), this would be a non-story, as WaPo readily admits, 16 paragraphs deep: It is common for senior advisers of a newly elected president to be in contact with foreign leaders and officials. But new administrations are generally cautious in their handling of interactions with Moscow, which U.S. intelligence agencies have accused of waging an unprecedented campaign to interfere in last year’s presidential race and help elect Trump.”

So, to summarize - after Trump won the election (thus not before the election and not showing any election-tampering collusion), Kushner began discussions with the US representative of another world super-power to set up the back-channel-communications that are standard when any new president is elected.

If that's the best the media has for a long weekend, then perhaps, just perhaps, we have jumped the shark in terms of 'damning' leaked intercepts? Or perhaps the assumption is that the average WaPo reader will not reach the 16th paragraph, merely content with the headline confirmation of their own bias?

In a separate story published Friday evening, Wapo reported that the Senate Intelligence Committee has asked President Trump’s political organization to gather and produce all documents, emails and phone records going back to his campaign’s launch in June 2015. The development is notable because it's the first time that any Congressional investigators have requested documents from the Trump campaign.

20:01 This Week In Hip-Hop: Bryson Tiller Surfaces, Gucci Mane Returns & Lil Yachty Debuts» Forbes Real Time
Bryson Tiller, Gucci Mane and Lil Yachty all release albums on the same day.
19:54 Kell Brook Vs. Errol Spence Jr: The Ultimate Bettor's Guide» Forbes Real Time
The value in the betting odds for the Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence Jr. International Boxing Federation welterweight championship fight on May 27 favor the hometown underdog. Kell Brook is a strong bet at +200 (wager $100 to win $200)
19:49 With Gianforte's win, two of Montana's three congressional reps have ties to Oracle» Top News & Analysis
Montana's newest Congressman Greg Gianforte and Senator Steve Daines both come from the same tech company, which sold to Oracle for $1.5 billion.
19:40 Western Washington University Hosts Workshop On How To "Reduce The Impact Of White Privilege"»

As part of its Campus Equity and Inclusion Forums, the enlightened faculty of Western Washington University have decided to host a workshop that aims to "reduce the impact of white privilege on social and academic relations"...because the best way to address racial barriers (real or imagined) is to host a workshop that targets individuals based purely on their race.

The workshop series, highlighted by The College Fix earlier today, will be hosted by history professor Randall Jimerson who presumably has a lot of personal atoning to do for his white skin.  Jimerson noted that while the seminar is open to everybody, it’s especially helpful for white folks who need to learn "how to reduce the expression and effects of their white privilege."

“Most people of color are aware of the existence of ‘white privilege,’ whether or not they have applied this term to the disparity between their experiences and those of white people,” he said via email. “Thus, I assume that the main focus will be on helping white participants to understand, explore, and accept (or reject) the concepts embedded in this phrase.”


“I hope that the conversation will then move to ideas about how to reduce the impact of ‘white privilege’ in our daily interactions with other people, and in our consciousness of race and other socially-constructed concepts.”

Thankfully, Jimerson noted that racism among white people is not based on "biology, but only on social constructs historically designed to privilege ‘white’ people over all others"...which means all white people can be cured of their illness through sensitivity training at any number of liberal bastions of higher education around the country...so it's a good news day.

Meanwhile, asked whether the country has made any progress at all on race relations over the past 50 years, Jimerson said he's encouraged that public schools are no longer segregated but is worried by the fact that Trump has filled his cabinet with a bunch of white supremacists.

“As a white male—even though I have a sister-in-law, a niece, and two nephews who would be described as persons of color—I do not think that I can provide a clear answer to this question,” he said. “The nature of race relations, and how this has changed in the past 50 years, is something that I can only sense indirectly.”


“Although I think that the United States has made progress in some aspects of race relations—such as overt or legal segregation—recent evidence suggest we have a long way to go,” he added. “These forms of evidence range from the racist attacks on former President Barack Obama, to documented incidents of excessive police violence towards people of color, to the increase of white supremacist organizations, and the only slightly veiled racism of many members of the Trump administration. These developments are seriously troubling for anyone who values concepts of fairness, equality, and social justice.”

The country that poor professor is living in sounds just awful...he might be better off just abandoning it and moving to some other country that is more tolerant.

And here's your opportunity to meet the forum organizers:

19:39 Anadarko's Colorado Operations Draw Criticism After Second Deadly Blast» WSJ.com: US Business
A second deadly accident in Colorado involving Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is spurring criticism of the company’s oil and gas operations in the state.
19:14 Memorial Day Sales Will Be Huge With Apparel Most Discounted» Forbes Real Time
The 33% of US consumers looking for deals Memorial Day weekend will find big discounts on apparel, appliances and online brands.
19:10 Apple Loop:New iPhone 8 Design Leaks, Apple Watch's Secret Power, Anger Over MacBook Pro Update» Forbes Real Time
This week’s Apple Loop includes the impossible iPhone design, the cost of Apple’s new smartphone, what’s happening with the new MacBooks, angry Mac customers, the patent deal between Apple and Nokia, improvements to the Apple Watch, and Apple’s change of direction with its web browser.
19:03 Oscar De La Hoya's Criticism Of The Floyd Mayweather Jr. Vs. Conor McGregor Bout Is Hypocritical» Forbes Real Time
Oscar De La Hoya has no room to judge Mayweather-McGregor.
18:50 Android Circuit: New Pixel 2 Details Leak, Galaxy S8 Killer Revealed, Microsoft's Android Ambitions» Forbes Real Time
This week’s Android Circuit includes hacking the Galaxy S8 Iris scanner, details on the Google Pixel 2, leaked images of the Nokia 9, rumors of the Galaxy S8 Active, how OnePlus is catching up to Samsung, a review of the BlackBerry KeyOne, and Microsoft continuing to build its Android base.
18:46 Mass Grave From Thirty Years' War Reveals Brutal Cavalry Attack» Forbes Real Time
A mass grave from the Thirty Years' War shows archaeologists the horror of 17th century battle.
18:46 Autistic Children Don't Benefit From Special Diets And Supplements, Study Shows» Forbes Real Time
Gluten-free, casein-free diets may be popular for autistic children, but there's no evidence it's doing them any good.
18:32 Customer Service In Deathcare: How The Funeral Home Industry Cares For The Living» Forbes Real Time
Customer service is an essential part of deathcare (also styled "death care"), the term for funeral home/burial/cremation/memorials industry; no industry is called on more to address emotional needs of customers in times of stress than this $20 billion (annual revenue in the U.S.) industry.
18:23 CEA Nominee Hassett Worked as Citigroup Consultant» WSJ.com: US Business
Financial disclosures filed by Kevin Hassett show the nominee to be chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers worked as a consultant for Citigroup Inc., whose ties with the previous administration rankled some Democrats.
18:09 The Wall Street Journal: White House weighing major changes, including vetting of Trump tweets» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
President Donald Trump is actively discussing major changes in the White House, including a shakeup of his senior team, after spending much of his free time during his overseas trip weighing the Russia investigation and the political crisis it poses for him, according to several senior administration officials and outside advisers.
18:04 In One Chart: These are the highest (and lowest) paying jobs in every state across the country» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
Microsoft founder Bill Gates dropped some knowledge on college grads last week by pointing them to artificial intelligence as one of the “promising fields where you can make a huge impact.” But right now the best wages are being paid in health care.
18:01 4 Content Marketing Hacks To Attract High Paying Freelance Clients» Forbes Real Time
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18:00 This Retailer Is Proving That Stores Still Work» Barron's Most Viewed Today
Sales at Ulta Beauty jumped 23% in the latest quarter. Online sales are helping but so are the company’s experiential-type stores.
18:00 How One Man's Passion Changed Men's Swimwear Forever» Forbes Real Time
Forbes' had the opportunity to interview the CEO of innovative swimwear company Vilebrequin, where he discussed research and development and the crucial role seduction played in the birth of the label.
17:59 Just One Driverless Car Could Ease Traffic Jams» Forbes Real Time
New data suggests that the days of variable speed limits could be over
17:51 My daughter's preschool just said they will accept bitcoins for tuition — I think that's a terrible idea» Markets

The rest of my daughter's preschool tuition is due on June 1st. I just got a message from the school informing me that they are pleased to announce that they will now be accepting bitcoins for tuition payments.

It's a really interesting time to be getting this email given that the value of a bitcoin has gone up 30% in the past week and has doubled in less than two months.

If I chose to take them up on their offer I would be paying them about nine and a half bitcoins at the current price. If I had paid my bill in bitcoins a month ago it would have cost over 17 bitcoins. Two months ago I would have owed them nearly 24 coins. 

This seems a bit too speculative for both us and the school. 

Are they betting that bitcoins are going to continue to go up? What if they don't? This week alone bitcoin saw a massive reversal that — had it continued — could've caused the school a lot of trouble. 


Or are they simply providing a service for extremely tech and finance savvy parents by converting the coins to cash immediately?

Either way, to me it seems too speculative for just a regular bill paying task. I know there is no difference between me paying with bitcoins I already own, because I can just purchase more at the same price.

But if I don't replace my bitcoins and the value doubles or triples before the first day of school, I will feel like I paid two or three times as much I should have. This feeling of regret avoidance is a behavioral bias that I should be able to see past — but I simply can't.

And it seems my husband feels the same. He emailed me immediately saying "I think we should pay in USD." 

So, for now, our few precious bitcoins will stay in our account and maybe we can pay next year's tuition with one coin instead of ten. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tested an economic theory by trying to buy people's lottery tickets for much more than they paid

17:50 Facebook is making a big push this summer to sell ads to drugmakers» Top News & Analysis
Facebook is hosting an invite-only summit in June to court health industry leaders.
17:47 U.S. GDP Growth Revised Up to 1.2% Rate in First Quarter» WSJ.com: US Business
U.S. economic growth in early 2017 was stronger than initially thought, and broad growth is poised to pick up in the current quarter.
17:40 The market will 'continue to see a slow melt-up,' expert says» Top News & Analysis
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17:28 Trump, G-7 Leaders Meet Amid Tensions Over Climate, Trade» WSJ.com: US Business
Trans-Atlantic tensions over trade and climate change hung over the start of the Group of 7 summit Friday in Sicily, the last stop in President Donald Trump’s first overseas trip since taking office.
17:27 Lawyers may start vetting Trump's tweets, as White House reportedly considers strategy shift» Top News & Analysis
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17:25 Mnuchin's fiancée to resign from Hollywood CEO job » Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's fiancée will sever ties to the Hollywood businesses Mnuchin was involved with.
17:22 PepsiCo in bid to acquire Vita Coco owner: Sources» Top News & Analysis
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17:16 Tesla: A Curious Case of Investor Opinion» Barron's Most Viewed Today
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17:10 Bitcoin briefly plunges below $2,100 as upward momentum fades» Top News & Analysis
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17:08 Hannity hangs on to sponsors after controversial week» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
Hannity's promotion of a fringe conspiracy theory has not prompted the same level of fallout that ultimately undid his former Fox News colleague, Bill O'Reilly
17:01 Texas nurse suspected of killing as many as 60 babies» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Texas nurse suspected of killing as many as 60 babiesA Texas nurse jailed for killing a baby more than 30 years ago has been charged with the murder of another infant, and could be behind the deaths of as many as 60 babies, officials said Friday. Genene Jones, 66, "is pure evil and justice warrants that she be held accountable for the crimes she committed," said Nico LaHood, district attorney for Bexar County in Texas. "Our Office will attempt to account for every child whose life was stolen by the actions of Jones.

16:57 Bitcoin is Soaring; Should You Buy?» Barron's Most Viewed Today
Experts are wary after a blistering rise for the cryptocurrency in the past few weeks.
16:52 Payless Vendors Take Aim at Company's Debt Restructuring» WSJ.com: US Business
Payless ShoeSource Inc.’s vendors and suppliers are crying foul at the bankrupt shoe retailer’s lender-backed debt restructuring.
16:42 Here's what a typical day is like at the New York Stock Exchange, which turned 225 years old this month» Markets
16:40 Democrats are warming up to new — and riskier — economic ideas» Top News & Analysis
As Republicans struggle with their economic agenda, Democrats want a new one. And they appear in a mood to take risks.
16:38 Trump aide: Coal doesn't make 'much sense'» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
While President Trump sees himself as the savior of coal, his most senior economic aide doesn't look like he's jumping on the coal train.
16:37 $1.3 trillion student loan problem facing Betsy DeVos» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
Betsy DeVos oversees a $1.3 trillion student debt program that touches 42 million Americans. Many borrowers complain about the servicing they receive.
16:34 Egyptian warplanes bomb targets in Libya after attack on Christians» Top News & Analysis
Egyptian air force planes on Friday carried out strikes directed at camps near Derna in Libya.
16:33 Trump's Fix for Post Office's Deep Losses: Cut Back Saturday Delivery» WSJ.com: US Business
President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would let the U.S. Postal Service cut back on delivery days, a move that helps the unprofitable agency save money while putting it at odds with longstanding congressional demands.
16:33 Chinese jets intercept US plane in ‘unsafe’ incident» Top News & Analysis
One of the Chinese jets came within 100 feet of the U.S. plane, NBC News reports.
16:29 Traders see less upside for the S&P 500 than ever before» Top News & Analysis
Options prices imply that a market slide over the next three months is more that six times as likely as a rally.
16:27 Trump to set up 'war room' to repel attacks over Russia probe, officials say» Top News & Analysis
The messaging effort will also focus on advancing Trumps stalled policy agenda and likely involve more trips out of Washington that will feature raucous rallies.
16:25 Company faces backlash for pulling Hannity ads» AP Top Business News at 12:09 a.m. EDT
NEW YORK (AP) -- Financial services firm USAA, facing a backlash to its decision to pull advertising from Sean Hannity's show on Fox News Channel, says it is withdrawing from other opinion-based television programs....
16:11 Apple's future iPhones may have chip dedicated to A.I.» Top News & Analysis
Apple is reportedly working to build its own artificial intelligence chip named the Apple Neural Engine.
16:06 Deckers Outdoor's stock soars 19% to 9-mo. high, paces NYSE advancers» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:06 Why the 'Avatar' sequels are taking so long» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
The colorful attraction, replete with towering alien creatures and glowing plants, was inspired by Cameron's 2009 blockbuster "Avatar."
16:03 Amazon's stock rises 0.2%, closes at record every day this week» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:01 S&P 500 ekes out new closing record» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:01 Nasdaq Composite Index ekes out new closing record» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:01 Gentlemen, a few things to keep in mind about your dress shirts» Markets

kellyanne conway steve bannon

We've seen some bad dress shirts. Don't pretend you haven't as well.

You've seen the guy at the office with the untucked billowy shirt.

You have the friend who still thinks it's okay to wear a dated black, striped dress shirt out to the bar. He is unaware that he looks like a member of Smash Mouth.

Most bad dress shirts fall under the categories of, too big; too wrinkled; wrong color; wrong fit. A bad dress shirt can make you look sloppier, fatter and cheesier than you ever want to look.

So we at Business Insider asked our friend Jessica Cadmus, stylist and founder of site The Wardrobe Whisperer, for her thoughts on dress shirts. 

Surprise, surprise, there are some simple rules — a few things to keep in mind as you're shopping or dressing — that will make picking something out a lot easier and make you look a lot better.

Understand when it's time to (un)tuck

"As a general rule, if the shirt is long enough to cover your bottom, it is meant to be tucked in," Cadmus told us. "Having said that, many shirts are cut shorter these days in order to avoid excess bulk when tucked - these are the shirts that cause confusion. In these instances it's important to listen to the subtle language of the shirt itself... For instance, if the shirt bottom has notches on either side, these indicate its ability to remain untucked (this is a "finishing" detail). "

"Similarly, if the shirt bottom is cut straight across in the front and back, the intention is for the shirt to be left untucked.  If the back is sloped, likely it was meant to be tucked.  If you are unsure, tuck it in.  Better to look overly polished than dumpy."

Do not buy a pattern everyone else is wearing, for the love of God

Remember this?

Always the topic of conversation #gingham #gingbros #basicbarwear (thanks @erinrobson)

A post shared by @thatjcrewginghamshirt on Mar 25, 2016 at 10:27am PDT on

There's a way to mix patterns without looking crazy

Here are the rules for that:

1 - Mix a large scale pattern with a small scale pattern

2 - Make sure the patterns are in the same or complementary color families

"So, for instance," said Cadmus, "a functional mix would be a navy suit with white window pane pattern (large scale), a solid light pink dress shirt, and a navy tie with small scale white polka dots."

Get the fit correct 

This is for you, billowy shirt in the office guy. Your shirt is too big, bro.

"Dress shirts stand at the core of a man's wardrobe considering, on average, he wears them 5 days per week.  Therefore it's essential to nail the fit. Take the time to have yourself measured by a professional," said Cadmus.

A few pointers she left us with:

  • When the neck fits properly, you should be able to get no more than one finger between cloth and neck.
  • The shoulder seams should line up with the end of your shoulders. 
  • The cuffs, when undone, should land approximately halfway down your hand. 
  • And the body should not have excess volume in the chest/torso area, nor excess length. Many shirts now have a small amount of stretch in them which assists with a closer fit.

Do yourself a favor — make sure your shirt's fabric is not sheer

If you don't have time to try a shirt on, test it against your hand, Cadmus suggested.

And yes you must wear an undershirt. She recommends Tommy John "because of the form hugging fit which does not contribute to bulk under a shirt. Incidentally wearing an undershirt also extends the life of your dress shirts because they wick moisture and will take on any stains prior to the fabric of your shirt discoloring. I'd rather replace a t shirt than an actual shirt any day."

Do not wear yellow

Oh yes, please don't.

"Unless your skin is a rich and luxurious color like that of, say, Idris Elba, please do not attempt to wear a yellow shirt," Cadmus said. "Pale skin and a yellow button down screams one thing: I AM AN INTERN WHO ONLY RECENTLY STARTED WEARING GROWN UP CLOTHES."

There's also a debate raging at BI over whether or not dark colors are acceptable. There's something to the argument that you are not Johnny Cash or a cast member on Jersey Shore, and you should dress accordingly. Use your mother's judgment on that one.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Jamie Dimon and trillion dollar Apple

16:00 S&P 500 ends flat on the day» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:00 For the week, Dow up 1.3%, S&P 500 up 1.4%, Nasdaq up 2.1%» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:00 Yahoo's top editor will leave after Verizon sale» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
Megan Liberman, the editor-in-chief of Yahoo News, announced Friday that she is leaving the company after the completion of its merger with Verizon.
16:00 Dow Jones Industrial Average closes unchanged on the day» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:00 Nasdaq Composite Index ends up less than 0.1% on the day» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:00 U.S. stocks close flat ahead of Memorial Day holiday» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
15:59 STOCKS GO NOWHERE: Here's what you need to know» Markets

retirement beach old people

Stocks took a summer Friday in trading as the market barely budged.

All three major US stock indexes finished less than 0.1% from where they started the day despite a slew of US economic data coming out.

We've got all the headlines, but first, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 21,080.28 -2.67, (-0.01%)
  • S&P 500: 2,415.82, +0.75, (+0.03%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,210.19, +4.94, (+0.08%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.250%, -0.005
  • WTI crude oil: $49.81, +0.91, (+1.89%)
  1. The second print of first quarter GDP beatThe US economy grew by 1.2% in the first quarter, better than initially reported. Economists had estimated that gross domestic product rose by 0.9%, improved from the advance estimate of 0.7%. The final revision for the quarter will come in June.
  2. Trump threatened to cut off auto sales from GermanyTrump said he would stop German automakers from selling "millions of cars" in the US, German media outlet Der Spiegel reported, calling Germans "very bad" on trade. Spiegel reports that it learned of Trump's comments from participants in the meeting. Economic adviser Gary Cohn later confirmed the remarks.
  3. US durable goods order whiffed. The measure of purchases of goods designed to last dropped in April for the first time in five months. Durable goods orders fell 0.7% in April after rising 2.3% in March. The downturn was the first since durable goods orders fell 4.6% in November.
  4. The Baker Hughes oil rig count increased to 722. The increase by two rigs marked the 19th straight weeks of increases for the measure. Combined rigs ticked up to 908.
  5. Traders are off Monday in observance of Memorial Day. US stock markets will be closed on Monday, the UK is also off for a bank holiday.


One of the most hated drug companies on Wall Street is facing another nasty probe

Iconic hedge fund manager Seth Klarman says investors are missing huge risks

Morgan Stanley offers a reality check on Tesla vs. Ford

There’s one particular Trump policy that would make US inequality even worse

There's one group that would get slammed by the GOP's healthcare bill

Corporate America investing in itself is going to be what powers stocks higher

SEE ALSO: Paul Ryan is fighting Trump over a tax idea that's 'deader than a doornail'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 15 things you didn't know your iPhone headphones could do

15:49 What do engaged couples want for wedding gifts? Spin classes, food deliveries — and cash» Top News & Analysis
Leave that blender on the shelf: Newlyweds are seeking "experience" gifts like SoulCycle or an Airbnb stay.
15:47 Apple is working on a chip to power artificial intelligence in future gadgets, including the iPhone» Markets


Apple is working on chips to power artificial-intelligence capabilities in its gadgets, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported Friday.

The chips would handle more advanced AI tasks, such as facial recognition, and help better manage battery life and power, the report says. The chips could also be used in future products, like self-driving cars or digital glasses, in addition to iPhones and iPads.

The news comes as Apple's competitors like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have made significant advancements in AI. At its developers conference last week, Google showed how it was adding AI to a variety of products, including phones, connected speakers, and cars. Apple is seen largely as behind the competition when it comes to AI, which could power the next wave of connected gadgets.

Last year, Apple made some improvements to its Siri AI assistant, giving access to third-party developers in limited categories like messaging and payments. Apple's developers conference starts June 5, and many will be paying attention to more advancements in Apple's AI.

SEE ALSO: Everything Google announced at its developers conference

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Microsoft just unveiled a $1,000 laptop — and it’s taking on Apple's MacBook Air

15:43 White House denies Trump threatened German automakers» Top News & Analysis
Last year, the U.S. trade deficit with Germany totaled $64.9 billion. The auto industry drives the much of the deficit.
15:40 Unlike his boss, Trump economic advisor Cohn isn't a fan of coal» Top News & Analysis
The president's chief economic advisor is casting doubt on the future of U.S. coal, saying it "doesn't really make that much sense anymore as a feedstock."
15:39 Trump criticizes German trade surplus, again» AP Top Business News at 12:09 a.m. EDT
TAORMINA, Sicily (AP) -- President Donald Trump has criticized Germany's trade surplus with the United States, drawing attention to a contentious issue at a summit of world leaders where trade is already a sticking point....
15:38 Google is reportedly launching yet another venture group to invest in A.I.» Top News & Analysis
Alphabet has reportedly set up a group to back artificial intelligence companies.
15:35 G7 leaders pressure tech firms on removing terror propaganda» AP Top Business News at 12:09 a.m. EDT
TAORMINA, Sicily (AP) -- Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy democracies on Friday put pressure on internet companies and social media sites to do more to stop the spread of "hateful ideology," appealing to their sense of social responsibility to more swiftly identify and remove terror propaganda....
15:30 Chips Lifted by Autos, Industrial, Data Center» Barron's Most Viewed Today
The overall demand environment appears seasonal/healthy across geographies and end-markets.
15:28 Billionaire to young people interested in business: 'Get your MBA'» Top News & Analysis
Billionaire Tilman Fertitta weighs in on whether or not you should get a master's degree.
15:28 Why your 401(k) can be a cash drain» Top News & Analysis
This is the counterintuitive downside to stashing money in 401(k) retirement accounts.
15:22 Barry Manilow visits the NYSE» Top News & Analysis
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15:22 Amazon doesn’t understand why you don’t understand why Amazon is opening bookstores» Top News & Analysis
It’s about the books. Really. Recode Reports.
15:20 The sport of the future is e-sports, according to Dodgers and Warriors co-owner Peter Guber» Top News & Analysis
Esports' young audience plays the games, making them more involved than the regular sports spectator.
15:14 5 ways becoming a better dater can help you at work» Top News & Analysis
As people learn to become more likable to potential partners, they often see improvements at work too.
15:09 Hillary Clinton: How to pick yourself up after a devastating fail» Top News & Analysis
Hillary Clinton: There was only one thing to do after losing the election to Donald Trump: "Keep going."
15:08 Tech stocks are shattering records—but they may be entering 'nosebleed territory,' one pro says» Top News & Analysis
Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet shares hit all-time highs this week.
15:00 Ariana Grande planning benefit concert in Manchester» Top News & Analysis
Grande suspended her Dangerous Woman world tour and canceled several European shows after the bombing, which left 22 dead.
14:58 Chipotle says hackers stole credit card data from some customers during last month's breach» Top News & Analysis
Malware collected track data — cardholder's name, card number, expiration date and verification code — last month.
14:58 Elderly Trump University plaintiffs die waiting for checks» Top News & Analysis
Others have said they are facing bankruptcy and foreclosure on their homes while they wait for the settlement checks, USA Today reports.
14:55 Trump's views on climate change 'evolving,' White House adviser says» Top News & Analysis
Trump's views on climate change are evolving after discussions with Group of Seven allies, but in the end he will put U.S. interests first.
14:52 Wall Street's Message to CEOs: Innovate Now» WSJ.com: US Business
Wall Street, long obsessed with quarterly profits, has a message for chief executives of big established companies: Pick up the pace of innovation and make riskier bets sooner.
14:51 One of the most hated drug companies on Wall Street is facing another nasty probe» Markets

Claire McCaskill

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has sent a letter to Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, asking the company for details about the pricing of its pain medication, Ofirmev.

Ofirmev can be used as a safer alternative to opioids, and Mallinckrodt acquired the drug in 2014 when it purchased Cadence Pharmaceuticals for $1.4 billion.

Almost immediately after the sale, Mallinckrodt doubled the price of Ofirmev to 1,019.52 for a pack of 24 vials.

This is costing hospitals a fortune, so some of them are using cheaper more dangerous painkillers — highly addictive opioids. So, Senator McCaskill, who is also investigating a number of opioid manufacturers, is looking into the impact Ofirmev's price increase has had on "hospital decision making."

Mallinckrodt says that it has and will cooperate with the Senator's investigation. 

Notorious MNK

Screen Shot 2017 05 26 at 2.37.02 PMMallinckrodt has gained notoriety on Wall Street over this year, but not for Ofirmev. Instead, it is because of its blockbuster drug, Acthar. That's another old drug that has seen its price skyrocket as it was sold from one drug company to the next. 

Earlier this month at a conference in Las Vegas, famed short seller Jim Chanos presented his case that Mallinckrodt's revenue relies too heavily on Acthar sales, despite the fact that it's a drug with questionable efficacy for many of the ailments it is prescribed for.

He's not the first on Wall Street to make that point either. Andrew Left of Citron Research has been challenging the company to test Acthar, which is primarily used to treat infantile spasms. 

What makes Acthar so strange, is that most of its revenue comes from Medicare, which is a program for the elderly — a point that hasn't escaped the short selling community. We should also note that former Turing CEO Martin Shkreli, a man who became public enemy number one after jacking up the price of a life-saving AIDs treatment, also took issue with Mallinckrodt. 

In 2014, he complained to the feds — specifically the Federal Trade Commission — about a drug company's anticompetitive behavior. It later settled that matter for $100 million.

Currently, the Department of Justice, the SEC and other US attorneys are all investigating the company. 

So you can see why the last thing the company needs is Senator McCaskill asking for documents.

You can read her full letter below.

2017-05-18 CMC to Mallinckrodt Re Ofirmev by Linette Lopez on Scribd

SEE ALSO: Here's Jim Chanos' Mallinckrodt presentation....

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is what Bernie Madoff's life is like in prison

14:44 WTI oil prices down 1.7% for the week» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
14:44 The Latest: Merkel reminds Trump about German investment» AP Top Business News at 12:09 a.m. EDT
TAORMINA, Sicily (AP) -- The Latest on the G-7 summit in Taormina, Sicily (all times local):...
14:26 Rome Court Ruling Allows Uber to Continue Service in Italy» WSJ.com: US Business
A Rome court issued a ruling Friday that will allow Uber Technologies Inc. to continue providing its car-booking service in Italy, revoking an order to suspend its service in the country earlier this spring.
14:24 Zuckerberg supports universal basic income. What is it? » Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
Read full story for latest details.
14:19 Thousands in Britain honor two mothers killed in Manchester attack» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Thousands in Britain honor two mothers killed in Manchester attackSeveral thousand people turned out on Friday to mourn two mothers from the same town who were killed by a suicide bomber while waiting to collect their teenage daughters from a Ariana Grande concert in the northern English city of Manchester. Alison Howe, 45, and Lisa Lees, 47, from Royton near Manchester, were among the 22 people killed by bomber Salman Abedi as they waited for their daughters in a foyer outside the concert. A Reuters photographer at the scene said several thousand people were gathering in a park at Royton, some holding pink balloons to honor "Royton's girls".

14:12 Caesars, Exiting Bankruptcy, Seeks Growth Beyond Gambling» WSJ.com: US Business
The casino giant, close to wiping out $10 billion in debt, faces a shifting market.
14:06 'What you need to know': Jared Kushner» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

'What you need to know': Jared KushnerJared Kushner now a focus of FBI Russian investigation.

13:59 Stable gas prices expected to boost Memorial Day road trips» AP Top Business News at 12:09 a.m. EDT
Stable gasoline prices are expected to fuel a slight increase in long trips this Memorial Day weekend....
13:56 Man Charged With Trying to Bite Flight Attendant, Jumping Out of Plane: Cops» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Man Charged With Trying to Bite Flight Attendant, Jumping Out of Plane: CopsTun Lon Sein tried to bite a flight attendant's hand to get to the plane's service door.

13:50 Loan overhaul would hurt doctors & lawyers» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
Government and non-profit doctors and lawyers earn less than their colleagues in the private sector, but they can have just as much student debt.
13:37 Some investors bet Brazil has further room to fall» Reuters: Money
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Some investors are betting the worst is yet to come for Brazil's stock market, even after a brutal selloff last week.
13:33 White House adviser differs with coal-loving president» AP Top Business News at 12:09 a.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The president's chief economic adviser is casting doubt on the future of U.S. coal, saying it "doesn't really make that much sense anymore as a feedstock," directly contradicting President Donald Trump's repeated promises to revive the struggling coal industry....
13:22 What you need to know on Wall Street today» Markets

FILE PHOTO - Paul Singer, founder of Elliott Management Corporation, speaks during the Skybridge Alternatives (SALT) Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada May 9, 2012.   REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File PhotoWelcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider's summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours.

A hedge fund led by an investing legend expects "all hell to break loose."

Billionaire Paul Singer's Elliott Management, which raised $5 billion in less than 24 hours earlier this month, says it has been building up its cash reserve to deploy during future market turmoil. The fund added that the US might be in for a recession if the Trump administration doesn't make changes in taxes, regulation, and healthcare. Elliott also shared five lessons that have shaped how it invests.

Meanwhile, iconic hedge fund manager Seth Klarman said investors are missing huge risks

The US economy grew by 1.2% in the first quarter, better than initially reported, according to the Commerce Department's second estimate of gross domestic product.

China says its currency policy is actually doing the US a favor. President Trump's budget contains some glaringly simple math errors. And there’s one particular Trump policy that would make US inequality even worse, according to Emmanuel Saez, a leading expert on inequality.

No area of the stock market has been hotter than tech since the election, and it seems investors still haven't gotten their fill.

Bitcoin could go to $1 million (or fall to $0), according to Business Insider's Henry Blodget.

Under Armour is still paying for a mistake that will take years to fix. Nintendo Switch helped GameStop earn its first sales increase in five quarters. And Costco same-store sales crushed estimates.

Nevada is close to passing a landmark bill to tackle high drug prices. And here’s what Trump’s head of the FDA wants to do about high drug prices.

President Trump reportedly slammed German carmakers and threatened to stop their sales in the US. Trump's ignorance of the auto industry is terrifying, according to Business Insider's Matt DeBord. 

Morgan Stanley offered a reality check on Tesla vs. Ford. And one of BMW's most famous cars from the 1990s has returned.

Here are the 12 most expensive dream homes in the Caribbean right now. Lastly, people in the Hamptons are so obsessed with rosé, a winery created a 'rosé drive-thru.'

SEE ALSO: The 27 most important finance books ever written

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: JAMIE DIMON: Trump's economic agenda is the right agenda

13:17 Off-lease used cars are flooding market, pushing prices down» AP Top Business News at 12:09 a.m. EDT
DETROIT (AP) -- In 2014, Infiniti leased more than 28,000 Q50 luxury sedans for as little as $329 per month in a growing U.S. market. The leases accounted for more than three-quarters of Q50 sales....
13:15 Treasury Chief's Fiancée Will Resign From Ratpac-Dune CEO Post» WSJ.com: US Business
Steven Mnuchin’s fiancée will resign from her temporary role as CEO of the film financing company he founded, leaving when he divests his interest in the company by mid-June, the Treasury Department said.
13:08 Iconic hedge fund manager Seth Klarman says investors are missing huge risks» Markets

Seth Klarman

An iconic hedge fund manager says investors are misperceiving risks in the markets — at a time when markets are hitting historic highs.

Baupost Group's Seth Klarman laid out his concerns in April in a client letter, a copy of which was reviewed by Business Insider.

Risk, Klarman wrote, is the most important consideration when investing, and investors are being too trusting.

To make his point, Klarman contrasted today with the start of the financial crisis.

"When share prices are low, as they were in the fall of 2008 into early 2009, actual risk is usually quite muted while perception of risk is very high," Klarman wrote. "By contrast, when securities prices are high, as they are today, the perception of risk is muted, but the risks to investors are quite elevated."

Klarman oversees one of the US's largest hedge fund firms, with some $30 billion under management. He has a huge following on Wall Street — investors named his book, "Margin of Safety," their favorite investment book in a recent SumZero survey. A used copy on Amazon costs more than $900.

He is no stranger to raising concerns on the markets under President Donald Trump. Earlier this year, he laid out his worries in a separate investor letter, raising red flags about Trump's proposed tax cuts, for instance, which could considerably raise the government's deficit.

Markets have rallied since Trump was elected in November, as Wall Street expressed confidence in the president's plans to cut taxes, roll back regulations, and boost infrastructure spending. Even as the Trump administration faces notable headwinds — investigations into Russia's influence on the election, flubs in passing healthcare reform — the markets don't seem to care.

There could be several reasons for that. In Klarman's more recent letter, he flagged three forces that investors are regularly combatting:

  • Greed and fear, which "pressure investors to do the wrong thing at every turn."
  • "Aggressive brokers, investment bankers, and traders who routinely promise more than they can deliver."
  • Investors focusing on the short term and trend following, and restrictions that are supposed to limit risk but prevent outperformance.

As for potentially missing the Trump rally by continuing to hedge and focus on the long term?

"We truly don't care," Klarman wrote. "We're not going to fall into the trap of trying to outsmart others with clever short-term trading."

Baupost managed $30.3 billion at the start of the year, according to Hedge Fund Intelligence's Billion Dollar Club ranking. A spokeswoman for the firm declined to comment.

SEE ALSO: A $30 billion hedge fund's foreboding letter on Trump starts with quotes from The Joker, 'Lord of the Flies,' and Thomas Jefferson

DON'T MISS: A $33 billion hedge fund is sounding the alarm on the economy

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Trump is reportedly selling his Caribbean estate for $28 million — take a look inside

13:03 Oil-rig count rises for 19th straight week» Markets

Oil rig

The US oil-rig count rose by two to 722 last week, according to oilfields-services company Baker Hughes. 

This week marks the one-year anniversary of when the tally bottomed after the price downturn. The stunning drop in the number of rigs was a proxy for how hard lower prices were hurting exploration companies. 

With 19 straight weeks of rig additions and oil near $50 a barrel, producers are clearly more confident in market conditions than they were a year ago.  

The gas-rig count increased by five to 185. With one miscellaneous rig remaining in use, the total rig count rose by seven to 908.

The front-month contract for West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the US benchmark, was on pace for a 1.6% weekly decline after the rig-count data release. Oil fell on Thursday even after OPEC and its allies extended their agreement to lower production by nine months. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries — a cartel of major oil producers — extended the deal that started in January to address the global supply glut that has subdued prices. 

But the extension had been widely expected, and traders realized that the robustness of US shale-oil production could undermine OPEC's cuts. 

5 26 17 oil rigs chart

SEE ALSO: Oil dives 3% as OPEC agrees to extend production cuts for another 9 months

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's what popular dog breeds looked like before and after 100 years of breeding

12:50 ID thieves used stolen data 9 mins after it was posted» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
The FTC studied tactics of identity thieves.
12:32 How this couple paid off $200,000 of debt in 2 years» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
Having $200,000 in debt can seem overwhelming. But this couple got real serious to pay it down in 26 months. Here's how they did it.
12:29 How Can India Best Prepare for a Cashless Economy?» Finextra Research Headlines
When Prime Minister Modi announced his demonetization policy on November 8, 2016, suddenly eliminati...
12:03 Disney's new 'World of Avatar' attraction is going to make a lot of money (DIS)» Markets


Disney has been heavily investing in its theme parks with projects such as the upcoming "Pandora: World of Avatar" attraction.

Once these projects are complete, analysts believe the returns will be substantial.

"We believe this growth potential in Parks cashflow is often overlooked by investors," the note said.

Credit Suisse analysts estimate that Disney's theme park cashflow could triple — reaching $2.7 billion —  but only if its investment to sales ratio can return to previous levels.

"With construction of two Star Wars lands, a Toy Story Land and two new cruise ships underway, [investment costs are] unlikely to change in the next two years," the Credit Suisse analysts said, "but at some point it seems logical to expect capital intensity to normalize."

Last year, theme park capital expenditures — the cost of upgrades to physical assets like buildings and equipment — cost Disney a quarter of what the parks were making in sales. That 25% rate was up from 16% from 2004-2016.

And while the new "World of Avatar" attraction cost Disney $500 million, Credit Suisse believes it will be money well spent.

"The centerpiece is a 3D augmented reality flying simulator called Flight of Passage, which we believe will become the 'go-to' attraction at Walt Disney World, further enhancing attendee demand and Disney's ability to drive up per cap spending."

Screen Shot 2017 05 26 at 11.34.06 AM

SEE ALSO: UBS: Ignore Disney's ESPN woes for these five reasons (DIS)

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NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Jamie Dimon and trillion dollar Apple

12:01 Senator to Treasury Sec: We need details on tax reform» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
Ron Wyden, the top Democratic tax writer in the Senate, tells Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin it's time to provide real specifics on the administration's tax plan, especially as it pertains to middle-income tax relief.
12:00 America loves fast food, soda and booze » Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
Who doesn't want to eat some burgers and drink some beer during the summer? So is it any surprise that McDonald's and other food and beverage stocks are now trading at record highs just before the long Memorial Day weekend?
11:52 OPEC & Russia have failed to fix epic oil glut » Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
OPEC and Russia want to mop up the massive oil glut keeping a lid on prices. So far, their strategy isn't working.
11:51 Melania Trump Takes the World Stage» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Melania Trump Takes the World StageFrom turning heads in a Dolce and Gabbana coat to joking with the Pope, here’s a look at some of Melania Trump’s most memorable moments on her first trip overseas as the First Lady.

11:49 What's Next for World's Biggest Bond Portfolio» Barron's Most Viewed Today
As the central bank cuts its holdings, it could still manipulate yields by deciding which maturities to hold.
11:46 Lawsuit: Zillow ‘Zestimates’ Are Wrong, Preventing Homes from Selling» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Lawsuit: Zillow ‘Zestimates’ Are Wrong, Preventing Homes from SellingZillow estimates values for 110 million homes across America as “zestimates,” but many have questioned the company’s accuracy, including one homeowner who claims she can’t sell her home because of it.

11:42 Morgan Stanley surveyed investors about Tesla and Ford, and the responses are bleak for Tesla (TSLA, F)» Markets

Screen Shot 2017 05 26 at 11.07.18 AM

Tesla's market value recently surpassed Ford's, and it was a big milestone for the smaller electric-car maker that contends with the traditional auto makers.  

But if investors had to buy and hold shares of either one company for three years, those who Morgan Stanley asked would rather own Ford.  

Morgan Stanley received 140 responses from investors to four questions on both companies.

"We are quite surprised how high expectations have recovered for Tesla's Model 3," said Adam Jonas, Morgan Stanley's lead auto analyst, in a note on Friday.

"On the other hand, [we] were also surprised to see how positive investors appear to be on Ford vis-à-vis Tesla in terms of forward looking share price performance. 

 Jonas noted that this outcome may be shaped by the fact that most respondents skewed towards the traditional auto industry. The survey result was more evenly split — 34% for Tesla to 33% for Ford — when investors were presented with a third option that was neither company.

The majority of respondents — 26% — said they thought Tesla's stock would be trading between $200 and $299 a share three years from now. That's lower than its current level, but leaps above the IPO opening price of $17 a share. Tesla opened at $317.47 on Friday.

Ford shares, meanwhile, fell nearly 40% from when former CEO Mark Fields took over through his departure announcement on Monday. Some analysts noted that the executive changes were made as the board became impatient with the stock's lackluster performance. 

Musk defended the company's valuation over the longer term in an April tweet. "Tesla is absurdly overvalued if based on the past, but that's irrelevant," he said. "A stock price represents risk-adjusted future cash flows."

Tesla's valuation came into focus again as its market cap surpassed GM and Ford's. 

"I do believe this market cap is higher than we have any right to deserve," CEO Elon Musk said in a recent interview with The Guardian, pointing out his company produces just 1% of GM’s total output. "We’re a money losing company," he added. 

SEE ALSO: Amazon is on the verge of hitting $1,000 a share for the first time

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 15 things you didn't know your iPhone headphones could do

11:41 Bob Iger: New 'Avatar' land features Disney's most advanced ride yet» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
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11:40 Trump wants to drill for oil in Alaska's fragile wildlife refuge» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
11:17 2017 grads: One mistake you can't afford to make» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
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11:13 Two Rail Picks Get a Boost From Plastic» Barron's Most Viewed Today
Kansas City Southern and Union Pacific are the key beneficiaries of the surge in plastic-resin production.
11:07 Trump Is Playing the International Strategy Game Like a Novice Among Experts» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Trump Is Playing the International Strategy Game Like a Novice Among ExpertsAn “America first” policy risks leaving America alone.

11:01 Newell Continues Reshaping Itself by Punting Its Winter Sports Business» WSJ.com: US Business
Newell Brands reached a deal to sell its Winter Sports Business to private-equity firm Kohlberg for about $240 million, in its latest move to pare down its portfolio.
10:59 US growth in Jan.-March upgraded to still-slow 1.2 pct. rate» AP Top Business News at 12:09 a.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. economy began 2017 with a whimper - though not quite as weak a whimper as the government had first estimated....
10:53 Cat visits every national park» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Cat visits every national parkThis adventurous feline really is an outdoors cat — as he is currently making his way around every national park in the United States.

10:50 Sweet Therapy: Chocolate May Help Prevent Irregular Heartbeat» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Sweet Therapy: Chocolate May Help Prevent Irregular HeartbeatEating chocolate has been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, and now a new study from Denmark suggests that regular consumption of the treat may help to prevent the development of atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat. Researchers found that adults in the study who ate chocolate at least once a month — or more frequently than that — had rates of atrial fibrillation that were 10 to 20 percent lower than those who ate chocolate less than once a month, according to the findings published today (May 23) in the journal Heart. Atrial fibrillation is a condition in which the heart's two upper chambers, known as the atria, do not beat at the same pace as the heart's two lower chambers, resulting in an irregular heartbeat.

10:43 Why do hackers always wear hoodies? » Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
Where the hacker hoodie stereotype came from.
10:41 GM sued over excess emissions in Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Sierra Duramax Diesel» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

GM sued over excess emissions in Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Sierra Duramax DieselToday's auto news headlines read like a warped version of Oprah Winfrey's infamous car giveaway: "You're getting sued for excess diesel emissions! And you're getting sued for excess diesel emissions! Everyone's getting sued for excess diesel emissions!" We say that because General Motors is now being sued for excess diesel emissions.  Fenner et al v General Motors LLC et al The suit filed in Detroit's federal court yesterday alleges that GM illegally outfitted 705,000 pickups with defeat devices similar to those deployed by Volkswagen in 11 million cars worldwide, including 565,000 registered in the U.S. The suit covers 2011-2016 models of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Duramax Diesel. Unlike the lawsuit filed earlier this week against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, this one comes from consumers, not the U.S. Department of Justice. It alleges that GM employed at least three defeat devices that allowed trucks to emit up to five times the legal limit of pollutants while on the road but to keep emissions within legal limits during regulatory tests.  Fenner et al v General Motors LLC et al alleges that GM broke a number of racketeering and consumer protection laws. Plaintiffs seek a wide range of compensation, including payouts for lost resale value and buybacks of their vehicles. They're also seeking punitive damages against the automaker. Interestingly, the suit also names German supplier Bosch as a defendant. If the case goes to trial, that could be significant, since Bosch was very closely linked to the Volkswagen scandal. If you follow car news, it probably won't surprise you to learn that plaintiffs in the GM case are represented in part by Hagens Berman law firm, which has been a key player in the Dieselgate settlement and many other auto-related suits. GM has issued a brief statement about the lawsuit that reads, in full: "These claims are baseless and we will vigorously defend ourselves. The Duramax Diesel Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra comply with all U.S. EPA and CARB emissions regulations." It's worth noting that this is one of at least two cases being brought by consumers against GM over its diesel vehicles--the other involving emissions in the Chevrolet Cruze diesel. Our take Who will prevail? We can't say because, much to some of our mothers' chagrin, we're not lawyers. However, we do know that the case puts GM in an awkward position. If the case goes to trial, it might prove GM's innocence, but GM's name would remain in the headlines for months and potentially years. Being associated with a high-profile case related to diesel emissions fraud at this time in history wouldn't do much for GM's diesel sales. That's a real problem, as GM appears to have banked on cornering the diesel market as other automakers retreat. On the other hand, settling this case (and the one involving the Cruze for that matter) out of court wouldn't do anything to exonerate GM. However, in terms of publicity, it might be for the best. Either way, shareholders will want GM to put the case to rest as soon as possible: stock prices took a plunge yesterday after the lawsuit was filed, though some of that value could be regained in trading today.

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10:19 Morgan Stanley offers a reality check on Tesla vs. Ford (TSLA, F)» Markets

tesla model 3

Ford ousted Mark Fields as CEO this week and replaced him with Jim Hackett, an executive with a futuristic outlook who will most likely be tasked with talking up Ford's efforts to transform itself into a Tesla-beating mobility company.

The development, which surprised much of the auto industry, has been chalked up to Ford lagging companies such as Tesla and Uber when it comes to the future of transportation.

But that analysis is wrong, even if it supports the story that Ford wants to tell. Fields was fired for a stock price that fell 40% during his tenure.

Rationally, Ford is a much less risky investment than Tesla, and although Tesla's upside could be massive, its downside could also be huge. The price of the risk is represented by Tesla's stock price and market cap, which has surged 50% so far this year, passing Ford's.

Ford isn't without a compelling upside of its own. The stock fell to $11 from $17 under Fields, at a time when Ford was racking up record profits and paying a 5.5% dividend.

But the action is with Tesla. Curious about this mismatch, Morgan Stanley's team of auto analysts, led by Adam Jonas, surveyed investors on their views about both companies. In a note published Friday, the results were summarized — the investors appear to be less bullish on Tesla than the stock price would indicate and less bearish on Ford.

Surprisingly bullish on Ford

Morgan Stanley sifted through 140 responses and was "surprised to see how positive investors appear to be on Ford vis-à-vis Tesla in terms of forward-looking share-price performance," Jonas wrote.

Investors were, in fact, very positive.

"When forcing investors to make a choice between just Ford and Tesla, we were surprised to see Ford receive 57% of the vote," Jonas wrote. "What's less clear is if investors are expressing an attraction to Ford's deep value and room for the shares to mean revert, or an aversion to Tesla's very strong run, lack of free cash flow generation, or other risks."

Tesla Detroit sales vs market cap

The analysts also zeroed on a not-much-discussed vulnerability that Tesla faces: making money on the forthcoming Model 3 vehicle, which is expected to launch in July and make up the bulk of Tesla's sales going forward.

"The majority of investors we surveyed believe Ford's stock will outperform Tesla, in spite of the very large majority of investors expecting the Model 3 to be successful," they said. "Perhaps the missing link is that the Model 3 may be a commercial success (i.e., a very nice car) but not necessary a financial success (i.e., a profitable car). Time will tell."

Nightmare scenario

This last point is a nightmare scenario of sorts for Tesla. The Model 3 could become the car that eats the company. With current distribution, there have been some indications that annual sales of the Model S and Model X luxury vehicles could plateau at about 100,000.

Even if the figure were double that, Tesla would still need to sell 800,000 Model 3s and mass-market variants, such as the Model Y crossover and possibly a compact pickup truck. Production at that level would mean Tesla would need to build a new factory or set up assembly lines at its Nevada Gigafactory. The capital expenditure to pull this off would be staggering for a company that isn't making money.

Ford, by contrast, has made over $20 billion in the past two years.

It's too late for Tesla to back out of the Model 3 and revert to being a potentially very profitable niche carmaker. Investors may finally be casting aside Tesla's remarkable story and taking a hard look at the business, which is facing remarkable challenges.

SEE ALSO: Ford is no longer just a car company

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NOW WATCH: Buying Tesla stock is like buying a call option on Elon Musk

10:16 Israel's Netafim draws interest from private equity, Chinese bidders» Reuters: Money
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10:11 There’s one particular Trump policy that would make US inequality even worse» Markets

trumpMassive US income disparities and the anger associated with it helped propel Donald Trump into office.

Trump's campaign speeches were littered with attacks on Wall Street bankers and hedge fund managers, who the candidate accused of robbing workers of the American dream. 

Yet rather than kicking off his economic agenda with worker-friendly policies that bolster poor- and middle-class Americans, like a fiscal stimulus or infrastructure spending, Trump is pushing for policies that, if implemented, would deepen an already destabilizing gap between the rich and poor that have polarized American politics to the point of paralysis.

Set aside the president's budget which, while draconian in its attacks on medical care and other social services for the neediest Americans is downright cruel. His tax proposals could have even longer-lasting implications. 

"Trump tax policies, by giving large tax cuts to the wealthy would further exacerbate inequality,” Emmanuel Saez, professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley and a leading expert on inequality told Business Insider.

"Historically, progressive income and inheritance taxation have been the more powerful tools to curb income and wealth concentration. The US economy grew fast from the 1933 to 1979 when top income tax rates were above 70%."

So is there a link between inequality and financial crises, given that the US rich-poor gap hit depression-era levels just before the Great Recession hit? 

"There is a connection in the sense that deregulated finance tends to generate large bubbles and when these bubbles crash, they take down the economy with it," Saez said. "Hence, it is critical to keep strong financial regulations such as Dodd-Frank. Trump and the Republicans want to do the reverse unfortunately.

 "Wealth concentration has kept increasing into 2014, the latest year available. Stock market gains typically increase wealth concentration while housing gains lower it as housing is more equally distributed but the stock market effect seems to dominate," Saez said.

Here are two startling charts from the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, of which Saez is a member, that really capture the magnitude of the inequality trend, and just how much it has accelerated over time.

 playfair 12


SEE ALSO: A technology gap between the rich and poor is deepening US inequality

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10:10 Credit Myths That Cost You Money» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Credit Myths That Cost You MoneyCredit scores are confusing. You can pay off your student loans and see your credit score drop. You can add significant credit card debt and see your score soar. It's no wonder there are so many misconceptions about how to build or improve credit.

10:02 Author Crusaded for Organic Food Long Before It Was a Big Business» WSJ.com: US Business
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09:53 A $33 billion hedge fund shared 5 lessons that have shaped how it invests» Markets

Paul Singer

A $33 billion hedge fund has some advice to share as its industry faces notable headwinds.

Elliott Management, an activist hedge fund founded by billionaire Paul Singer, laid out some of its major lessons in a private first-quarter letter to investors. A copy of the note was reviewed by Business Insider.

"Some of these lessons needed to be actually experienced to be incorporated at a deep level in the decision-making of a team, whereas others could be gleaned secondhand," the hedge fund said.

Here are the five pieces advice, which the fund said came in no particular order: 

  • "No security price is too high (or low) that it cannot go higher (or lower);
  • Turns in markets are impossible to time;
  • Big changes in market prices frequently occur far in advance of when the reasons for the changes become apparent, and by then it is too late to incorporate the new information into one’s trading at the old prices;
  • One of the most important reasons to avoid significant losses is to avoid the painful and sometimes terminal effect of severe adversity on the quality of money managers’ decision-making processes; and
  • A wide and deep education about the world, not just about capital structures, corporate business strategies and industry dynamics, is essential to the long-term success of money managers."

These lessons "have shaped Elliott’s attitude towards trading, investing, predictability of markets, risk management and building an organization," Elliott added.

The hedge fund industry has been facing notable challenges, such as complaints from clients over high fees and underperformance, and several iconic funds, like Eton Park and Perry Capital, have shut down. Elliott, in its letter, laid out this backdrop in explaining what it had learned over the past several decades as it has grown to be one of the biggest players.

Elliott appears to be growing even more.  The fund, which raised $5 billion in less than 24 hours earlier this month, says it has been building up its cash reserve to deploy during future market turmoil.

Elliott's flagship fund, called EALP, has a compounded annual return of 13.5% since launching on February 1, 1977, according to the letter.

SEE ALSO: A legendary hedge fund that raised $5 billion in 24 hours expects 'all hell to break loose'

DON'T MISS: $33 BILLION HEDGE FUND: There could be a recession if the Trump administration doesn't get its act together

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09:53 Funds to cut fixed income research as EU rules shake up sector» Reuters: Money
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09:51 There's one group that would get slammed by the GOP's healthcare bill» Markets

The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday released its long-awaited updated report on the GOP's healthcare bill.

In addition to estimating that 23 million fewer people would have insurance in 2026 than the current baseline and that the bill would decrease the deficit by $119 billion, the report looked at the American Health Care Act's potential effects on health insurance premiums for those in the individual market.

The report projected the net premiums for different income levels under the current Affordable Care Act and the proposed AHCA in 2026.

While the report found that, in general, premiums would decrease, it found that would mostly be due to the sky-high cost that would be faced by older and poorer people.

Instead of providing tax credits based on income and cost of living in an area — like the ACA does — the AHCA would give flat credits to people based on age, ranging from $2,000 for those under 30 to $4,900 for people aged 60 to 64.

According to the CBO, those flat credits mean that older people just shy of Medicare age would see premiums skyrocket.

For 64 year olds making $26,500, the average premium would increase from $1,700 a year to $16,100 under the base AHCA scenario. That would mean roughly 61% of the person's income would go to premiums, compared with just over 6% under the ACA.

There would be a slight adjustment for people in states that request waivers from two of Obamacare's biggest protections. That would occur, the CBO said, because states could rescind the essential health benefits provision, meaning insurance companies could offer skimpier coverage plans.

The biggest beneficiaries of the shift would be young people making close to $70,000 a year, who would see their premiums drop from $5,100 a year to just $1,750 under the baseline AHCA — and $1,250 if their state requests a waiver.

ACA vs. AHCA premium costs

SEE ALSO: Paul Ryan gets grilled about latest unflattering CBO report on GOP healthcare bill

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NOW WATCH: Watch Sally Yates go toe to toe with Ted Cruz over Trump's immigration ban

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09:25 How to Maintain and Repair Your Gas Grill» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

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09:18 New US-led Syria strike kills 80 relatives of IS fighters: monitor» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

New US-led Syria strike kills 80 relatives of IS fighters: monitorA US-led coalition air strike on the eastern Syrian town of Mayadeen early Friday killed at least 80 relatives of Islamic State group fighters, a monitoring group told AFP. "This is the highest toll for relatives of IS members in Syria," Abdel Rahman told AFP. The latest strike came as the United Nations urged all nations bombing jihadist targets in Syria to better distinguish between civilian and military targets.

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The world's richest countries need to drastically hike their retirement ages in order to prevent pension systems from collapsing, according to WEF.
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08:30 GDP beats on stronger business and consumer spending» Markets

american flag construction workers

The US economy grew by 1.2% in the first quarter, better than initially reported, according to the Commerce Department's second estimate of gross domestic product.

Economists had estimated that gross domestic product rose by 0.9%, improved from the advance estimate of 0.7% that was based on incomplete data. Revisions will be released again in June and next July.

The big upward revision in the second estimate was made to company spending on real estate, machinery, and other long-term expenditures — so-called nonresidential fixed investment.

Consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, was also revised higher. Personal consumption rose by 0.6%, improved from the 0.3% pace in the first estimate. Core personal-consumption expenditures, a measure of how much consumers spend on goods and services as opposed to how much they're saving for the future, was revised up to 2.1% from 2%.

"I don't think it changes the story a whole lot — GDP was soft in the first quarter," said Scott Anderson, the chief economist at Bank of the West, who forecasts a rebound in the second quarter.

After the first estimate, economists were split on the extent to which the slowdown in growth was caused by weaker consumer spending or by residual seasonality — a statistical quirk that has distorted the real pace of first-quarter growth throughout this recovery.

For example, in minutes of the Federal Reserve's May meeting released Wednesday, staff members judged that the weakness reflected soft consumer spending and inventory investment, not residual seasonality. Fed participants who decide on monetary policy, however, thought seasonality at least played a role.

SEE ALSO: The Fed says it'll be appropriate to raise interest rates again 'soon'

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06:51 Bitcoin is making a big comeback» Markets

Bitcoin is making a big comeback, trading up by 9.8% at $2,563 a coin on Friday.

Friday's gain follows a wild day Thursday, which saw the cryptocurrency ultimately put in its 27th gain in the past 30 sessions. Bitcoin climbed above $2,500 and ultimately put in a record high of $2,799. But then the bottom dropped out, and bitcoin plunged to a low of $2,200 before recouping some of those losses and finishing the day with a small gain.

The cryptocurrency climbed had climbed by much as 26% following Wednesday's announcement that the Digital Currency Group, representing 56 companies in 21 countries, reached a scaling agreement at the Consensus 2017 conference in New York.

It has been on fire in the past two months, gaining nearly 140% since the beginning of April, when Japan announced bitcoin had become a legal payment method in the country. Trade has also been boosted by news that Russia's largest online retailer, Ulmart, had begun accepting bitcoin despite Russia's saying it wouldn't consider the use of the cryptocurrency until 2018.

But the market is still waiting on a ruling by the US Securities and Exchange Commission on whether it will overturn its decision on the Winklevoss twins' bitcoin-exchange-traded fund. The SEC was accepting public comment on that decision until May 15, but it hasn't announced whether it will overturn its rejection of the ETF.

Bitcoin is up 169% this year.


SEE ALSO: Bitcoin just soared to a new $1,600 high — but the first investor in Snapchat thinks it could hit $500,000 by 2030

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06:49 NATO attempts to contain Russia, raising conflict risk: Moscow» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

NATO attempts to contain Russia, raising conflict risk: MoscowRussia on Friday accused NATO of increasing the threat of conflict, insisting attempts by the US-led alliance to curb Moscow have left ties at their lowest ebb since the USSR collapsed. "At present NATO-Russian relations are at their worst since the end of the Cold War," the foreign ministry in Moscow said in a statement. The ministry said NATO was pursuing a policy of "containment" towards Russia that has seen it bolster its forces along the country's border in eastern Europe.

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06:26 10 things you need to know today (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, COST, GME)» Markets

Go player

Here is what you need to know.

Trump reportedly slammed German carmakers and threatened to stop their US sales. During a meeting with European officials, President Donald Trump said he would stop German automakers from selling "millions of cars" in the US and called Germans "very bad," Der Spiegel reports.

The polls are tightening in the UK election. A YouGov poll published Thursday showed Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party holding a 43%-to-38% lead over Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party ahead of the June 8 election. The British pound is weaker by 0.5% at 1.2872 versus the dollar.

Consumer prices in Japan are picking up. Prices rose by 0.4% year-over-year in March, making for the fastest growth since March 2015.

Bitcoin is making a comeback. The cryptocurrency trades up by 4.5% at $2,577 a coin after falling to as low as $2,220 on Thursday.

Costco same-store sales crush estimates. Sales at stores open at least one year rose by 5% excluding the impact of gasoline prices and foreign exchange, easily beating the 3.7% gain that was expected.

GameStop's sales increased for the first time in 5 quarters. The world's largest video game retailer said sales rose by 21.5% in the first quarter, boosted by strong demand for the Nintendo Switch. But the GameStop shares fell by as much as 6% after the company left its guidance unchanged.

Stock markets around the world are lower. Japan's Nikkei (-0.6%) lagged in Asia, and France's CAC (-0.8%) paces the losses in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,414.

Earnings reporting is light. Big Lots reports ahead of the opening bell.

US economic data is heavy. GDP Second Estimate, core PCE, and durable-goods orders will all be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before University of Michigan consumer confidence crosses the wires at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down by 2 basis points at 2.24%.

US markets are closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day. Additionally, the US Treasury market will close at 2 p.m. ET on Friday.

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02:14 Alabama executes man for 1982 murder-for-hire» Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

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