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Recessions may be good for your health. Here's how

When people think of the Great Recession in 2008, they don’t tend to think of it as a particularly healthy time for humanity. But it turns out that may have been exactly what it was for certain demographics. New research from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) shows that the Great Recession may have come with a side of health benefits for some people — and future recessions could provide those same benefits. So are you making unknown (health) gains from an economic downturn?

By Sabina Wex | 02.22.24

When people think of the Great Recession in 2008, they don’t tend to think of it as a particularly healthy time for humanity. But it turns out that may have been exactly what it was for certain demographics. New research from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) shows that the Great Recession may have come with a side of health benefits for some people — and future recessions could provide those same benefits. So are you making unknown (health) gains from an economic downturn?

By Sabina Wex | 02.22.24

Celebrity chef blasts $50 minimum wage proposal

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., is championing a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $50 per hour as part of her bid for the U.S. Senate. Given the substantial gap between this figure and the current federal minimum wage of $7.25, her initiative is drawing considerable attention. Among the critics is celebrity chef and restaurant owner Andrew Gruel, who expressed grave concerns about the proposal in an interview on Fox Business. “This would completely decimate every single business in the state of California,” he said, speculating that only a small fraction of high-end retail businesses might withstand a $50 an hour minimum wage. Gruel contends that California hosts thousands of state jobs, challenging the state to lead by example and immediately raise those workers’ wages to $50 an hour. "They can't afford it," he stated, pinpointing the financial impracticality of such a wage increase. Furthermore, Gruel suggested an alternative method to enhance workers' earnings without escalating wages: reduce payroll taxes to increase net take-home pay. However, he noted this strategy would not be pursued, attributing the inaction to the same financial constraints.

By Jing Pan | 02.22.24

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., is championing a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $50 per hour as part of her bid for the U.S. Senate. Given the substantial gap between this figure and the current federal minimum wage of $7.25, her initiative is drawing considerable attention. Among the critics is celebrity chef and restaurant owner Andrew Gruel, who expressed grave concerns about the proposal in an interview on Fox Business. “This would completely decimate every single business in the state of California,” he said, speculating that only a small fraction of high-end retail businesses might withstand a $50 an hour minimum wage. Gruel contends that California hosts thousands of state jobs, challenging the state to lead by example and immediately raise those workers’ wages to $50 an hour. "They can't afford it," he stated, pinpointing the financial impracticality of such a wage increase. Furthermore, Gruel suggested an alternative method to enhance workers' earnings without escalating wages: reduce payroll taxes to increase net take-home pay. However, he noted this strategy would not be pursued, attributing the inaction to the same financial constraints.

By Jing Pan | 02.22.24

Mortgage rate trends this week

Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates have increased, from an average of 6.64% last week to 6.77%. "Strong incoming economic and inflation data has caused the market to re-evaluate the path of monetary policy, leading to higher mortgage rates,” says Sam Khater, chief economist at housing giant Freddie Mac. “Historically, the combination of a vibrant economy and modestly higher rates did not meaningfully impact the housing market. The current cycle is different than historical norms, as housing affordability is so low that good economic news equates to bad news for homebuyers, who are sensitive to even minor shifts in affordability.”

By Leslie Kennedy | 02.22.24

Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates have increased, from an average of 6.64% last week to 6.77%. "Strong incoming economic and inflation data has caused the market to re-evaluate the path of monetary policy, leading to higher mortgage rates,” says Sam Khater, chief economist at housing giant Freddie Mac. “Historically, the combination of a vibrant economy and modestly higher rates did not meaningfully impact the housing market. The current cycle is different than historical norms, as housing affordability is so low that good economic news equates to bad news for homebuyers, who are sensitive to even minor shifts in affordability.”

By Leslie Kennedy | 02.22.24

CEO to staff: ‘winning’ means ‘working long hours’

How would you react if your boss told you that “working long hours [and] blending work and life is not anything to shy away from”? That's exactly what Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah said in a company-wide email, obtained by Business Insider, in which the head honcho of the online retailer sought to refute what he called a “laughably false” claim that he doesn’t think his employees should “work late.” On the contrary, Shah wrote: “There is not a lot of history of laziness being rewarded with success. Hard work is an essential ingredient in any recipe for success. I embrace this, and the most successful people I know do as well.” Unsurprisingly, Shah’s almost militant musings about “winning” — which came after the housing furnishing company finally turned a profit following a series of cost-cutting measures, including layoffs — have triggered an outburst of dismay among those unwilling to bend to Shah’s version of the hard graft. CNN Business editor-at-large Richard Quest said he “didn’t know whether to laugh or cry” over the memo “because it is so out of touch” with best business practice today. He was joined by Stanford economics professor and remote work researcher Nicholas Bloom, who said: “If Wayfair wants to run a business where people work 80 hours a week, he’s going to have to put up their salaries by 50% to pay them for it. I don’t see this as being successful for the typical employee.” The backlash to Shah's arguably tone-deaf missive comes amid signs that the U.S. is trending toward working less, not more. Several states, including California, have recently seen legislation that would mandate four-day workweeks. And recent polling has shown that some 87% of American workers are open to the idea of dropping a day from their weekly work schedule. If you find yourself broadly in the camp of people for whom blending work and home life does not seem like “winning” at all, here are three smart ways to make your money do the hard work for you.

By Bethan Moorcraft | 02.22.24

How would you react if your boss told you that “working long hours [and] blending work and life is not anything to shy away from”? That's exactly what Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah said in a company-wide email, obtained by Business Insider, in which the head honcho of the online retailer sought to refute what he called a “laughably false” claim that he doesn’t think his employees should “work late.” On the contrary, Shah wrote: “There is not a lot of history of laziness being rewarded with success. Hard work is an essential ingredient in any recipe for success. I embrace this, and the most successful people I know do as well.” Unsurprisingly, Shah’s almost militant musings about “winning” — which came after the housing furnishing company finally turned a profit following a series of cost-cutting measures, including layoffs — have triggered an outburst of dismay among those unwilling to bend to Shah’s version of the hard graft. CNN Business editor-at-large Richard Quest said he “didn’t know whether to laugh or cry” over the memo “because it is so out of touch” with best business practice today. He was joined by Stanford economics professor and remote work researcher Nicholas Bloom, who said: “If Wayfair wants to run a business where people work 80 hours a week, he’s going to have to put up their salaries by 50% to pay them for it. I don’t see this as being successful for the typical employee.” The backlash to Shah's arguably tone-deaf missive comes amid signs that the U.S. is trending toward working less, not more. Several states, including California, have recently seen legislation that would mandate four-day workweeks. And recent polling has shown that some 87% of American workers are open to the idea of dropping a day from their weekly work schedule. If you find yourself broadly in the camp of people for whom blending work and home life does not seem like “winning” at all, here are three smart ways to make your money do the hard work for you.

By Bethan Moorcraft | 02.22.24

Biden economic adviser brushes off inflation worry

U.S. inflation came in higher than expected in January — but one of President Joe Biden’s top advisers claims he’s “not worried” about this stumbling block. Jared Bernstein, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told CNN’s “Before the Bell”: “When it comes to inflation, the trend is our friend. The trend is the underlying momentum of an economic indicator, and that trend has been quite supportive and consistent in terms of easing prices.” Consumer prices jumped 3.1% in January from a year earlier, versus a December gain of 3.4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That marked the lowest reading since June 2022 — but it was still higher than the predicted 2.9% increase, according to The Wall Street Journal. But Bernstein says the “underlying dynamics still look solid.” Do you agree?

By Bethan Moorcraft | 02.21.24

U.S. inflation came in higher than expected in January — but one of President Joe Biden’s top advisers claims he’s “not worried” about this stumbling block. Jared Bernstein, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told CNN’s “Before the Bell”: “When it comes to inflation, the trend is our friend. The trend is the underlying momentum of an economic indicator, and that trend has been quite supportive and consistent in terms of easing prices.” Consumer prices jumped 3.1% in January from a year earlier, versus a December gain of 3.4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That marked the lowest reading since June 2022 — but it was still higher than the predicted 2.9% increase, according to The Wall Street Journal. But Bernstein says the “underlying dynamics still look solid.” Do you agree?

By Bethan Moorcraft | 02.21.24

RFK Jr. slams the Fed, government spending

Inflation impacts everyone by eroding the purchasing power of money. However, independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. asserts that it is the poor who suffer the most from rising price levels. “Inflation is the most pernicious and insidious regressive tax on the poor,” Kennedy stated in an interview with Fox Business. To combat rampant inflation, the U.S. Federal Reserve has implemented substantial interest rate hikes. However, Kennedy contends that this strategy carries considerable repercussions, emphasizing, “high interest rates are also an enormous tax on the poor. “The access to capital now that I'm seeing in poor neighborhoods all over the country is bankrupting small business in those neighborhoods.”

By Jing Pan | 02.20.24

Inflation impacts everyone by eroding the purchasing power of money. However, independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. asserts that it is the poor who suffer the most from rising price levels. “Inflation is the most pernicious and insidious regressive tax on the poor,” Kennedy stated in an interview with Fox Business. To combat rampant inflation, the U.S. Federal Reserve has implemented substantial interest rate hikes. However, Kennedy contends that this strategy carries considerable repercussions, emphasizing, “high interest rates are also an enormous tax on the poor. “The access to capital now that I'm seeing in poor neighborhoods all over the country is bankrupting small business in those neighborhoods.”

By Jing Pan | 02.20.24

Kevin O'Leary on why America is seeing a slowdown

Manufacturing in the U.S. appears to be experiencing a slowdown. The Institute for Supply Management reported a manufacturing purchasing managers index reading of 49.1% for January, marking the 15th consecutive month of contraction within the sector. “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary argues that the issue isn't so much a slowdown in manufacturing as it is a reduction in capital expenditures. “Better to look at it, Larry, as a CapEx slowdown,” he suggested during a conversation with Fox Business’ Larry Kudlow, when asked about the manufacturing downturn. He elaborated on the broader economic context, stating, “If you think about what's going on in 60% of the economy, and I'm always an advocate for small business, those companies — five to 500 employees — they're having a hard time borrowing money and part of it's the regional bank story you've been following for two years now.” O’Leary noted that his own companies are particularly concerned about the high costs of borrowing. Due to regional banks’ reluctance to lend, they are forced to turn to the gray market, which typically comes with much steeper interest rates. “So if terminal [rate] right now it's 5.5%, they're borrowing at sort of nine to 11%,” he detailed. He argued that these elevated borrowing costs directly impact businesses' ability to invest in or amortize new machinery, which in turn, is reflected in the manufacturing sector's ongoing contraction.

By Jing Pan | 02.20.24

Manufacturing in the U.S. appears to be experiencing a slowdown. The Institute for Supply Management reported a manufacturing purchasing managers index reading of 49.1% for January, marking the 15th consecutive month of contraction within the sector. “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary argues that the issue isn't so much a slowdown in manufacturing as it is a reduction in capital expenditures. “Better to look at it, Larry, as a CapEx slowdown,” he suggested during a conversation with Fox Business’ Larry Kudlow, when asked about the manufacturing downturn. He elaborated on the broader economic context, stating, “If you think about what's going on in 60% of the economy, and I'm always an advocate for small business, those companies — five to 500 employees — they're having a hard time borrowing money and part of it's the regional bank story you've been following for two years now.” O’Leary noted that his own companies are particularly concerned about the high costs of borrowing. Due to regional banks’ reluctance to lend, they are forced to turn to the gray market, which typically comes with much steeper interest rates. “So if terminal [rate] right now it's 5.5%, they're borrowing at sort of nine to 11%,” he detailed. He argued that these elevated borrowing costs directly impact businesses' ability to invest in or amortize new machinery, which in turn, is reflected in the manufacturing sector's ongoing contraction.

By Jing Pan | 02.20.24

Kevin O'Leary calls New York a 'loser state'

In a pivotal ruling by a New York judge, former U.S. President Donald Trump and his company have been found guilty of fraudulently inflating the value of their assets, misleading banks and insurers. Trump has been ordered to pay nearly $355 million in fines. “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary says the ruling has left him shocked. “I can't even understand or fathom the decision at all. There's no rationale for it,” he said during a recent interview with Fox Business. He proceeded to reproach the state of New York over this decision. “It doesn't matter what the governor says. New York was already a loser state, like California is a loser state,” he remarked. O’Leary went on to say that he considers several states "loser states" thanks to their policies, high taxes and “uncompetitive regulation” — with New York leading the loser pack. And now, he’s steering clear of investing in New York, affirming, “I would never invest in New York now.”

By Jing Pan | 02.20.24

In a pivotal ruling by a New York judge, former U.S. President Donald Trump and his company have been found guilty of fraudulently inflating the value of their assets, misleading banks and insurers. Trump has been ordered to pay nearly $355 million in fines. “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary says the ruling has left him shocked. “I can't even understand or fathom the decision at all. There's no rationale for it,” he said during a recent interview with Fox Business. He proceeded to reproach the state of New York over this decision. “It doesn't matter what the governor says. New York was already a loser state, like California is a loser state,” he remarked. O’Leary went on to say that he considers several states "loser states" thanks to their policies, high taxes and “uncompetitive regulation” — with New York leading the loser pack. And now, he’s steering clear of investing in New York, affirming, “I would never invest in New York now.”

By Jing Pan | 02.20.24

Kevin O'Leary says California is worst run state

Blessed with stunning coastlines and splendid weather, California is renowned for its scenic beauty, dynamic urban centers and diverse cultural fabric. But “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary is not a fan of the Golden State. He recently labeled it as the “worst managed” and “most uncompetitive” state in the country. O’Leary's comments emerged during a recent Fox Business interview when he was asked about the push for a $50 per hour federal minimum wage by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. “The problem with that narrative is it does not discuss the real root issue,” O’Leary said. He specifically criticized San Francisco, describing the city as “an absolute warzone” and citing it as an example of “how you can get to being a rat hole over 10 years.” He suggested that rather than focusing on minimum wage issues, California's politicians should improve how the state is run. “So why not discuss better management of the resources versus just continuing to pay for inefficiency and lack of executional skills? That place is a loser state — the number one loser state on my list of winners and losers,” he stated.

By Jing Pan | 02.20.24

Blessed with stunning coastlines and splendid weather, California is renowned for its scenic beauty, dynamic urban centers and diverse cultural fabric. But “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary is not a fan of the Golden State. He recently labeled it as the “worst managed” and “most uncompetitive” state in the country. O’Leary's comments emerged during a recent Fox Business interview when he was asked about the push for a $50 per hour federal minimum wage by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. “The problem with that narrative is it does not discuss the real root issue,” O’Leary said. He specifically criticized San Francisco, describing the city as “an absolute warzone” and citing it as an example of “how you can get to being a rat hole over 10 years.” He suggested that rather than focusing on minimum wage issues, California's politicians should improve how the state is run. “So why not discuss better management of the resources versus just continuing to pay for inefficiency and lack of executional skills? That place is a loser state — the number one loser state on my list of winners and losers,” he stated.

By Jing Pan | 02.20.24

Biden unveils new student debt forgiveness scheme

President Joe Biden is not backing down in his quest to free Americans from their student debt shackles. Just weeks after canceling almost $5 billion in student loan debt for thousands of public servants and low-income borrowers, the Biden Administration has announced a new proposal to expand forgiveness to those facing financial “hardship.” This could be one of President Biden’s biggest student debt cancelation moves yet — as alluded to by the Department of Education under secretary James Kvaal, who said the plan is to “give breathing room to as many student loan borrowers as possible.” Here’s who stands to benefit.

By Bethan Moorcraft | 02.16.24

President Joe Biden is not backing down in his quest to free Americans from their student debt shackles. Just weeks after canceling almost $5 billion in student loan debt for thousands of public servants and low-income borrowers, the Biden Administration has announced a new proposal to expand forgiveness to those facing financial “hardship.” This could be one of President Biden’s biggest student debt cancelation moves yet — as alluded to by the Department of Education under secretary James Kvaal, who said the plan is to “give breathing room to as many student loan borrowers as possible.” Here’s who stands to benefit.

By Bethan Moorcraft | 02.16.24

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