Puerto Rico has voted overwhelmingly to apply to Congress to become the 51st state in the union. However, only about 23 percent of eligible voters participated in the vote on Sunday. Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said voters in the U.S. island territory sent a strong message to Congress. Puerto Rico has been struggling economically for some time and requested in early May to enter into a bankruptcy-like proceeding to restructure its massive debt load after talks with creditors failed. The restructuring of Puerto Rico's estimated $70 billion in outstanding debt would be the largest in the history of the U.S. municipal bond market. Currently, every Puerto Rican citizen also automatically receives U.S. citizenship at birth.
By George, they really did it. The Federal Reserve raised the interest rates to range between 0.75 percent and 1 percent. This is the third time in 15 months the rate has increased, signaling an end to the nine-year stimulus project. Spending and hiring numbers are up. The market keeps surging, showing investors are confident. The Fed is expected to raise rates again this summer. Better pay of your credit card debt.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits has hit a 44-year low. Claims for state unemployment benefits have dropped by 19,000. Only 223,000 people filed for benefits. This is the lowest this number has been since March 1973, according to the Labor Department. This is the 104th straight week where claims were below 300,000. The decreased number of Americans filing for benefits indicates a healthy labor market. This stronger labor market combined with rising inflation could push the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates soon.
Extremely low-interest rates are on their way out. The U.S. Federal Reserve decided to raise interest rates for the first time 2016 and the second time in a decade.The rate will change from 0.50 to 0.75 percent. Feds figure since jobs have increased, people are spending money and the last time rates were increased it helped the economy, this is a good bet. In, fact rates will increase three more times in 2017. So how’s it going to affect you? Any new loan is going to pricier. It’s a smart idea to pay that credit card bill much sooner than later since interest can compound and that means less shoe money.
Is tipping passé?
1. Come November, the 13 restaurants owned by famed restaurateurs Danny Meyer will do something out of the ordinary for eateries: say goodbye to tipping. Upset by uneven wages for his employees, Meyer hopes that eliminating tipping, and subsequently raising menu prices, spreads the wealth across his kitchen and dining rooms. Restaurateurs across the country are praising the move.
2. Meyer's plan isn't loved by everyone, however. One writer points out that the economics of Meyer's decision caters to one-percenters, as higher menu prices will drive away lower-earning patrons, making the often-inclusive world of fine dining even more unaccessible.
3. So, do you think getting rids of tips is revolutionary for the restaurant scene?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
Martin Shkreli, a capitalist or criminal?
1. Martin Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, has had an interesting week. The 32-year-old made headlines when he hiked the price of Daraprim, a drug he owns rights to, from $13.50 per pill to $750, despite the pill's $1 manufacturing cost. Shkreli defended his actions, claiming that his company needed to "turn a profit" on the drug.
2. Public outcry for Shkreli's price hike was loud. Loud enough to garner the attention of Hilary Clinton, who called his actions "price gouging," and vowed to take on such pricing on speciality drugs. Shkreli's has since vowed to revisit the price hike.
3. So, is Shkreli a model capitalist or criminal?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
Are you currently staring at your newly-framed diploma, dreaming of the millions of dollars coming your way? Keep dreaming, says a new study from the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. The center concludes that even with a shiny college degree, securing high-paying employment is becoming increasingly difficult over time. The study relied on data from the United States Census Bureau to disprove the notion that America's economy is in need of highly-skilled workers. In fact, it argues the opposite: highly-skilled workers (read: those with degrees) are often left settling for work below their skill level or pay grade. Raise your hand if you've ever felt personally victimized by the slow-adapting work force? *raises hand*
Honk if you hate traffic. The economy's recovery, population growth in big cities and cheap gas prices combined to contribute to the worst traffic conditions in three decades, a new study finds. Washington D.C. experienced the worst of the growth, as its residents lost about 82 hours per year in the car. Los Angeles, San Fransico, and New York rounded out the top four congested cities. On average, commuters lost about 42 hours per year in the car, wasting a combined 3 billion gallons of fuel. Think future improvements will cut down on numbers? Nope. The study predicts that by 2020, the average delay will balloon to 47 hours. Public transportation never looked so good.
China devalued its currency this week, and in terms of the global financial market, it's nothing to yuan about. With the devaluation, the Chinese central bank hopes to ignite its sluggish economy as a weak currency makes Chinese goods more attractive (read: cheaper) in the global marketplace. As soon as the devaluation was announced, financial pundits worried about a "currency war" breaking out as competing currencies (like the Australian dollar) would lower their value to remain competitive. For American consumers, this is great news as a cheaper Chinese currency means lower prices on Chinese imported goods (think clothes, electronics). But it's not so great for companies like Apple, whose producets are now more expensive to the Chinese consumer, which will ultimately lead to lower sales. Yuan some, you lose some, right?
With more back-and-forths than a professional Ping-Pong match, President Barack Obama finally cleared a crucial legislative hurdle that will give him more authority when negotiating upcoming trade deals. House Democrats initially sparred with Obama over certain “fast track” legislation, but the party’s support fell in line when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gave her blessing. This ended two weeks of bitter fighting amongst pro-trade Democrats and their party. The new legislation will allow votes on upcoming trade deals, like the blockbuster Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, to avoid filibusters and amendments when up for congressional votes. Basically, no more stalling from Congress. Perhaps most notable from Obama’s trade win was that top Republican support proved key. Bipartisanship: maybe not such a bad idea after all?
In 2020, your wallet will look a little different as the Treasury has announced that just a century after winning the right to vote, a woman will finally grace the front of the $10 bill. No word yet on exactly who will share the spotlight with current $10 occupier Alexander Hamilton, but a recent social media poll showed abolitionist Harriet Tubman, former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and civil rights activist Rosa Parks as frontrunners. Current Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew will reveal his choice by the end of the year.