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$1 bills being scrubbed to make fake $100 bills

Maelyn Ramos, a cashier at Ohana Foods in Hilo, Hawaii, had an inkling something was wrong when a customer handed her a $100 bill for a $15 purchase. “I did our protocols and procedures which is to mark the bill with the marker and lift it up to see if it has the black line that all real money has,” Ramos told KHON2 News. “When she gave me the bill, it looked different from a regular $100.” When the customer told Ramos it was an old bill, she compared it to an old bill in the store’s tip jar, noting the genuine old bill had more of a yellowish tone. Ramos used a counterfeit bill detector pen to test the money — but the mark it left behind was yellow, indicating it was real currency. When Ramos lifted up the bill to the light just to be sure, she noticed a faded “1” marking in the top corner and faint lettering printed on the bill, and she took out a $1 bill to compare. “I realized this is real money, it was a one dollar bill they bleached or washed and printed $100 on top,” Ramos said. “My gut instinct was telling me something was wrong, and it's scary what people are doing now because a lot of people would have looked at it and said it’s real — which I was close to doing at that point — but something in me was like, it doesn’t look okay.”

By Serah Louis | 05.14.24

Maelyn Ramos, a cashier at Ohana Foods in Hilo, Hawaii, had an inkling something was wrong when a customer handed her a $100 bill for a $15 purchase. “I did our protocols and procedures which is to mark the bill with the marker and lift it up to see if it has the black line that all real money has,” Ramos told KHON2 News. “When she gave me the bill, it looked different from a regular $100.” When the customer told Ramos it was an old bill, she compared it to an old bill in the store’s tip jar, noting the genuine old bill had more of a yellowish tone. Ramos used a counterfeit bill detector pen to test the money — but the mark it left behind was yellow, indicating it was real currency. When Ramos lifted up the bill to the light just to be sure, she noticed a faded “1” marking in the top corner and faint lettering printed on the bill, and she took out a $1 bill to compare. “I realized this is real money, it was a one dollar bill they bleached or washed and printed $100 on top,” Ramos said. “My gut instinct was telling me something was wrong, and it's scary what people are doing now because a lot of people would have looked at it and said it’s real — which I was close to doing at that point — but something in me was like, it doesn’t look okay.”

By Serah Louis | 05.14.24

Druckenmiller gives Biden an F grade on economics

Billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller has delivered a scathing review of President Joe Biden’s economic policies. “If I was a professor, I’d give him an F,” the former hedge fund manager said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on May 7. In an ardent dismissal of so-called Bidenomics, Druckenmiller slammed the government’s spending habits — and the Federal Reserve for being “the great enabler” of fiscal policies that have fed into inflation. “Since my last interview here in October, there does seem to be a lot more recognition ... of the fiscal situation facing us,” he said. “Everybody seems to get it but [Treasury Secretary Janet] Yellen, who just keeps spending and spending. I think it’s dumb politically because it’s causing inflation, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the average American is getting hurt by the inflation.”

By Bethan Moorcraft | 05.13.24

Billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller has delivered a scathing review of President Joe Biden’s economic policies. “If I was a professor, I’d give him an F,” the former hedge fund manager said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on May 7. In an ardent dismissal of so-called Bidenomics, Druckenmiller slammed the government’s spending habits — and the Federal Reserve for being “the great enabler” of fiscal policies that have fed into inflation. “Since my last interview here in October, there does seem to be a lot more recognition ... of the fiscal situation facing us,” he said. “Everybody seems to get it but [Treasury Secretary Janet] Yellen, who just keeps spending and spending. I think it’s dumb politically because it’s causing inflation, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the average American is getting hurt by the inflation.”

By Bethan Moorcraft | 05.13.24

Buffett is holding $182B in cash — here's why

In the world of investing, few have achieved a track record as remarkable as Warren Buffett. From 1964 to 2023, he steered Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) to a staggering total return of 4,384,748%, far surpassing the S&P 500's already impressive gain of 31,223% during the same timeframe. Despite his knack for making savvy investments, the Oracle of Omaha doesn’t always go all in on the markets. In fact, Berkshire’s latest quarterly report reveals that as of the end of Q1 2024, Buffett's company was holding more than $182 billion in cash. Don't miss Commercial real estate has beaten the stock market for 25 years — but only the super rich could buy in. Here's how even ordinary investors can become the landlord of Walmart, Whole Foods or Kroger Cost-of-living in America is still out of control — use these 3 'real assets' to protect your wealth today, no matter what the US Fed does or says These 5 magic money moves will boost you up America's net worth ladder in 2024 — and you can complete each step within minutes. Here's how In Berkshire’s latest annual shareholders meeting, Buffett addressed the question of why the company is maintaining such a substantial cash position. “I don't think anybody sitting at this table has any idea of how to use it effectively, and therefore we don't use it,” he stated, emphasizing that “we only swing at pitches we like.” Some view Buffett’s massive cash position as a sign that he is bearish on the stock market. And Buffett has voiced concerns about future complexities, noting, “As the world gets more sophisticated, complicated and intertwined, more can go wrong.” He added that the company aims to be prepared to “act when that happens.” If you share that cautious outlook, here are a few ways to diversify your investments beyond the stock market.

By Jing Pan | 05.11.24

In the world of investing, few have achieved a track record as remarkable as Warren Buffett. From 1964 to 2023, he steered Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) to a staggering total return of 4,384,748%, far surpassing the S&P 500's already impressive gain of 31,223% during the same timeframe. Despite his knack for making savvy investments, the Oracle of Omaha doesn’t always go all in on the markets. In fact, Berkshire’s latest quarterly report reveals that as of the end of Q1 2024, Buffett's company was holding more than $182 billion in cash. Don't miss Commercial real estate has beaten the stock market for 25 years — but only the super rich could buy in. Here's how even ordinary investors can become the landlord of Walmart, Whole Foods or Kroger Cost-of-living in America is still out of control — use these 3 'real assets' to protect your wealth today, no matter what the US Fed does or says These 5 magic money moves will boost you up America's net worth ladder in 2024 — and you can complete each step within minutes. Here's how In Berkshire’s latest annual shareholders meeting, Buffett addressed the question of why the company is maintaining such a substantial cash position. “I don't think anybody sitting at this table has any idea of how to use it effectively, and therefore we don't use it,” he stated, emphasizing that “we only swing at pitches we like.” Some view Buffett’s massive cash position as a sign that he is bearish on the stock market. And Buffett has voiced concerns about future complexities, noting, “As the world gets more sophisticated, complicated and intertwined, more can go wrong.” He added that the company aims to be prepared to “act when that happens.” If you share that cautious outlook, here are a few ways to diversify your investments beyond the stock market.

By Jing Pan | 05.11.24

On X, Elon Musk agrees with post disparaging Meta

Turkey's competition board has imposed a 1.2 billion lira ($37.2 million) fine on social media giant Meta Platforms (META). The penalty stems from two separate investigations into data-sharing practices involving the company’s Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Threads platforms. The news has ignited a discussion on rival social media platform X. User cb_doge shared the headline of the story with the comment, “Meta can't be trusted.” The post also caught the attention of Tesla CEO and X owner Elon Musk, who replied with a single word: “True.”

By Jing Pan | 05.10.24

Turkey's competition board has imposed a 1.2 billion lira ($37.2 million) fine on social media giant Meta Platforms (META). The penalty stems from two separate investigations into data-sharing practices involving the company’s Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Threads platforms. The news has ignited a discussion on rival social media platform X. User cb_doge shared the headline of the story with the comment, “Meta can't be trusted.” The post also caught the attention of Tesla CEO and X owner Elon Musk, who replied with a single word: “True.”

By Jing Pan | 05.10.24

DeSantis slammed for banning lab-grown meat

The lab-grown meat industry represents a groundbreaking shift in food technology. This innovative sector aims to produce meat directly from animal cells, without the need to raise and slaughter livestock. But Florida governor Ron DeSantis has taken a firm stance against it. In fact, you won’t be able to taste this new source of protein in the Sunshine State. On May 1, DeSantis signed a bill that prohibits the sale of lab-grown meat in Florida and followed up with a statement on his reasoning that reads like it’s been cooked in conspiracy theory rather than based in fact. “Florida is fighting back against the global elite’s plan to force the world to eat meat grown in a petri dish or bugs to achieve their authoritarian goals,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Our administration will continue to focus on investing in our local farmers and ranchers, and we will save our beef.” The ban has been met with criticism from experts, including Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.

By Jing Pan | 05.10.24

The lab-grown meat industry represents a groundbreaking shift in food technology. This innovative sector aims to produce meat directly from animal cells, without the need to raise and slaughter livestock. But Florida governor Ron DeSantis has taken a firm stance against it. In fact, you won’t be able to taste this new source of protein in the Sunshine State. On May 1, DeSantis signed a bill that prohibits the sale of lab-grown meat in Florida and followed up with a statement on his reasoning that reads like it’s been cooked in conspiracy theory rather than based in fact. “Florida is fighting back against the global elite’s plan to force the world to eat meat grown in a petri dish or bugs to achieve their authoritarian goals,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Our administration will continue to focus on investing in our local farmers and ranchers, and we will save our beef.” The ban has been met with criticism from experts, including Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.

By Jing Pan | 05.10.24

$929B in commercial real estate debt set to be due

Entrepreneur Tom Ellsworth believes “a crisis is about to happen” in the U.S. banking system — and there are two competing issues battering the foundation. One-fifth, or $929 billion, of the $4.7 trillion of outstanding commercial mortgages held by U.S. lenders and investors will come due in 2024, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)’s 2023 Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Survey of Loan Maturity Volumes. This spells trouble for America’s small- and medium-sized commercial banks and private mortgage lenders feeling the strain of America’s high interest rate environment. “The Fed just said the rates will be higher longer. Uh-oh!” Ellsworth said on a recent episode of the PBD podcast. “There’s going to be bank failures and there’s going to be commercial real estate that goes into receivership.” Is he right that the U.S. banking system and CRE sector is teetering on the brink?

By Bethan Moorcraft | 05.08.24

Entrepreneur Tom Ellsworth believes “a crisis is about to happen” in the U.S. banking system — and there are two competing issues battering the foundation. One-fifth, or $929 billion, of the $4.7 trillion of outstanding commercial mortgages held by U.S. lenders and investors will come due in 2024, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)’s 2023 Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Survey of Loan Maturity Volumes. This spells trouble for America’s small- and medium-sized commercial banks and private mortgage lenders feeling the strain of America’s high interest rate environment. “The Fed just said the rates will be higher longer. Uh-oh!” Ellsworth said on a recent episode of the PBD podcast. “There’s going to be bank failures and there’s going to be commercial real estate that goes into receivership.” Is he right that the U.S. banking system and CRE sector is teetering on the brink?

By Bethan Moorcraft | 05.08.24

Bernie Sanders tables bill to cancel medical debt

Bernie Sanders just introduced legislation to wipe a stunning $220 billion in medical debt held by Americans across the country. The bill, introduced with Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, California Rep. Ro Khanna and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib — all Democrats — proposes canceling all existing medical debt, removing it from credit reports and dramatically restricting the accrual of any future medical debt. “This is the United States of America, the richest country in the history of the world. People in our country should not be going bankrupt because they got cancer and could not afford to pay their medical bills,” Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont, said in the press release. “The time has come to cancel all medical debt and guarantee health care to all as a human right, not a privilege.”

By Serah Louis | 05.08.24

Bernie Sanders just introduced legislation to wipe a stunning $220 billion in medical debt held by Americans across the country. The bill, introduced with Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, California Rep. Ro Khanna and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib — all Democrats — proposes canceling all existing medical debt, removing it from credit reports and dramatically restricting the accrual of any future medical debt. “This is the United States of America, the richest country in the history of the world. People in our country should not be going bankrupt because they got cancer and could not afford to pay their medical bills,” Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont, said in the press release. “The time has come to cancel all medical debt and guarantee health care to all as a human right, not a privilege.”

By Serah Louis | 05.08.24

Social Security and Medicare go-broke dates pushed

Social Security and Medicare advocates are celebrating a win — albeit a small one — after the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds announced the programs’ go-broke dates have been pushed back by one year and five years, respectively. This small win for the U.S. social safety net was lauded by Social Security Administration Commissioner Martin O’Malley as “a measure of good news for the millions of Americans who depend on Social Security.” But O’Malley also noted that a one-year reprieve won’t solve the problems plaguing Social Security, which is relied upon by about 71 million Americans, including retirees, disabled people and children. He called on Congress to “take action,” stating: “Eliminating the shortfall will bring peace of mind to Social Security’s 70 million-plus beneficiaries, the 180 million workers and their families who contribute to Social Security, and the entire nation.” Here’s when Social Security and Medicare are projected to go broke — and what lawmakers in Washington plan to do about it.

By Bethan Moorcraft | 05.07.24

Social Security and Medicare advocates are celebrating a win — albeit a small one — after the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds announced the programs’ go-broke dates have been pushed back by one year and five years, respectively. This small win for the U.S. social safety net was lauded by Social Security Administration Commissioner Martin O’Malley as “a measure of good news for the millions of Americans who depend on Social Security.” But O’Malley also noted that a one-year reprieve won’t solve the problems plaguing Social Security, which is relied upon by about 71 million Americans, including retirees, disabled people and children. He called on Congress to “take action,” stating: “Eliminating the shortfall will bring peace of mind to Social Security’s 70 million-plus beneficiaries, the 180 million workers and their families who contribute to Social Security, and the entire nation.” Here’s when Social Security and Medicare are projected to go broke — and what lawmakers in Washington plan to do about it.

By Bethan Moorcraft | 05.07.24

Commissioner accused of power of attorney fraud

When Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill heard about an older woman living in her community in “deplorable conditions” back in 2021, she decided to reach out. But rather than helping the vulnerable adult, who reportedly has a cognitive disability and is exhibiting some natural signs of aging, Hill appears to have taken advantage of the senior. Within a month of first contacting her, Hill had a power of attorney prepared for the now-96-year-old, leaving her in control of the woman’s financial affairs. And with that power, over the next two years, she helped herself to more than $100,000 of the woman’s savings — treating herself to a facelift, vitamin IV infusions, a Miami getaway for New Year’s and even purchasing a home in the woman’s name, with her as a cosigner. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is currently investigating the commissioner, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel. She is facing seven felony charges to which she's entered a plea of not guilty. In April, her profile was removed from the City of Orlando's website as per an executive order from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. There are currently 11 people who have filed to run in a special election to serve as the interim commissioner. The election is set for May 21. As the baby boom generation continues to age, a “great wealth transfer” is just on the horizon. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself from predatory actors.

By Sigrid Forberg | 05.07.24

When Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill heard about an older woman living in her community in “deplorable conditions” back in 2021, she decided to reach out. But rather than helping the vulnerable adult, who reportedly has a cognitive disability and is exhibiting some natural signs of aging, Hill appears to have taken advantage of the senior. Within a month of first contacting her, Hill had a power of attorney prepared for the now-96-year-old, leaving her in control of the woman’s financial affairs. And with that power, over the next two years, she helped herself to more than $100,000 of the woman’s savings — treating herself to a facelift, vitamin IV infusions, a Miami getaway for New Year’s and even purchasing a home in the woman’s name, with her as a cosigner. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is currently investigating the commissioner, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel. She is facing seven felony charges to which she's entered a plea of not guilty. In April, her profile was removed from the City of Orlando's website as per an executive order from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. There are currently 11 people who have filed to run in a special election to serve as the interim commissioner. The election is set for May 21. As the baby boom generation continues to age, a “great wealth transfer” is just on the horizon. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself from predatory actors.

By Sigrid Forberg | 05.07.24

This Florida mom made $85K renting out baby gear

Melissa Avey and her husband needed a double stroller for their young children while on a family vacation in St. Augustine, Florida, in 2021, but didn’t want to purchase a brand-new pram for just a short-term stay. Avey did a quick Google search and found exactly what she needed from a parent in the area renting out gently used baby gear through an online marketplace called BabyQuip. “It was a really great experience,” Avey told Moneywise. The couple was inspired to sign up as renters on the platform. “We were just, like, this would be so great in our town. So we just took the ball and ran with it from there.” Run with it they did. Avey and her husband last year earned over $85,000 through BabyQuip — after the company's cut — renting out things like strollers, car seats and beach toys in Panama City Beach. It was more than what Avey makes in a year from her full-time job as a community association manager. She says one of the best parts about her side gig is that she genuinely enjoys the work. “It's way better than my day job,” Avey said. “You get to work with moms and kids and help them — and I'm a mom, so I can really relate to them. It's just really rewarding.”

By Serah Louis | 05.05.24

Melissa Avey and her husband needed a double stroller for their young children while on a family vacation in St. Augustine, Florida, in 2021, but didn’t want to purchase a brand-new pram for just a short-term stay. Avey did a quick Google search and found exactly what she needed from a parent in the area renting out gently used baby gear through an online marketplace called BabyQuip. “It was a really great experience,” Avey told Moneywise. The couple was inspired to sign up as renters on the platform. “We were just, like, this would be so great in our town. So we just took the ball and ran with it from there.” Run with it they did. Avey and her husband last year earned over $85,000 through BabyQuip — after the company's cut — renting out things like strollers, car seats and beach toys in Panama City Beach. It was more than what Avey makes in a year from her full-time job as a community association manager. She says one of the best parts about her side gig is that she genuinely enjoys the work. “It's way better than my day job,” Avey said. “You get to work with moms and kids and help them — and I'm a mom, so I can really relate to them. It's just really rewarding.”

By Serah Louis | 05.05.24