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Ed Yardeni predicts a second roaring 20s

The 2020s began as a tumultuous period for the economy, marked by a pandemic-induced recession. Nevertheless, the subsequent economic recovery was rapid, leading to continued growth to this day. According to Ed Yardeni, market veteran and president of Yardeni Research, the current decade is on a trajectory for significant economic wins. “I’ve been kind of looking at previous decades for analogies, and I'm still thinking this will turn out to be the roaring 2020s, kind of similar to the 1920s where we had tremendous productivity growth and tremendous prosperity,” Yardeni said in a recent interview with CNBC. Of course, what came after the last roaring '20s was far from prosperous. The stock market crash of 1929 marked the onset of the Great Depression, a severe economic downturn characterized by massive unemployment and widespread poverty. Yardeni acknowledged the historical outcome, remarking, “Obviously, it didn't end well, but for a good time there, it was a good time.”

By Jing Pan | 04.12.24

The 2020s began as a tumultuous period for the economy, marked by a pandemic-induced recession. Nevertheless, the subsequent economic recovery was rapid, leading to continued growth to this day. According to Ed Yardeni, market veteran and president of Yardeni Research, the current decade is on a trajectory for significant economic wins. “I’ve been kind of looking at previous decades for analogies, and I'm still thinking this will turn out to be the roaring 2020s, kind of similar to the 1920s where we had tremendous productivity growth and tremendous prosperity,” Yardeni said in a recent interview with CNBC. Of course, what came after the last roaring '20s was far from prosperous. The stock market crash of 1929 marked the onset of the Great Depression, a severe economic downturn characterized by massive unemployment and widespread poverty. Yardeni acknowledged the historical outcome, remarking, “Obviously, it didn't end well, but for a good time there, it was a good time.”

By Jing Pan | 04.12.24

What is the current US inflation rate?

The current annual inflation rate is 3.5%, compared to 3.2% last month. Inflation rose 0.4% month-over-month in March, after increasing 0.4% in February, according to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released on April 10, 2024. Back in June 2022, inflation hit a 40-year high of 9.1%.

By Dina Al-Shibeeb | 04.12.24

The current annual inflation rate is 3.5%, compared to 3.2% last month. Inflation rose 0.4% month-over-month in March, after increasing 0.4% in February, according to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released on April 10, 2024. Back in June 2022, inflation hit a 40-year high of 9.1%.

By Dina Al-Shibeeb | 04.12.24

Mortgage rate trends this week

Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates are up again this week, from an average of 6.82% last week to 6.88%. “Mortgage rates have been drifting higher for most of the year due to sustained inflation and the reevaluation of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy path,” says Sam Khater, chief economist at housing giant Freddie Mac. “While newly released inflation data from March continues to show a trend of very little movement, the financial market’s reaction paints a far different economic picture. Since inflation decelerated from 9% to 3% between June 2022 and June 2023, the annual growth rate of inflation has remained effectively flat, ranging from 3.1% to 3.7% and averaging 3.3%. The March estimate of 3.5% annual growth is in the middle of that range. However, the market’s reaction was dramatically different, as illustrated by a significant drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average post-announcement.”

By Leslie Kennedy | 04.12.24

Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates are up again this week, from an average of 6.82% last week to 6.88%. “Mortgage rates have been drifting higher for most of the year due to sustained inflation and the reevaluation of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy path,” says Sam Khater, chief economist at housing giant Freddie Mac. “While newly released inflation data from March continues to show a trend of very little movement, the financial market’s reaction paints a far different economic picture. Since inflation decelerated from 9% to 3% between June 2022 and June 2023, the annual growth rate of inflation has remained effectively flat, ranging from 3.1% to 3.7% and averaging 3.3%. The March estimate of 3.5% annual growth is in the middle of that range. However, the market’s reaction was dramatically different, as illustrated by a significant drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average post-announcement.”

By Leslie Kennedy | 04.12.24

Spotify employees reportedly blast lavish spending

Some current and former Spotify employees have reportedly slammed the tech giant for splurging on swanky parties and exclusive events despite announcing mass layoffs in order to cut down on costs. Take Spotify’s “Intro Days” in Stockholm, for example — where the popular music streaming provider is headquartered. During these events, new hires are brought to the Swedish capital to network, hear from speakers and learn more about Spotify culture. However, one former employee described it as the company "spending tons of money flying people to Sweden to drink the Kool-Aid," according to Business Insider. "You literally just sit in a room and listen to executives talk back-to-back for three days, and then there's a party at the end," another person told the publication. "It's just such a stupid waste of money." In total, Business Insider says it spoke with 14 current and former employees about the extravagant parties thrown by the company. Each one asked to remain anonymous

By Serah Louis | 04.11.24

Some current and former Spotify employees have reportedly slammed the tech giant for splurging on swanky parties and exclusive events despite announcing mass layoffs in order to cut down on costs. Take Spotify’s “Intro Days” in Stockholm, for example — where the popular music streaming provider is headquartered. During these events, new hires are brought to the Swedish capital to network, hear from speakers and learn more about Spotify culture. However, one former employee described it as the company "spending tons of money flying people to Sweden to drink the Kool-Aid," according to Business Insider. "You literally just sit in a room and listen to executives talk back-to-back for three days, and then there's a party at the end," another person told the publication. "It's just such a stupid waste of money." In total, Business Insider says it spoke with 14 current and former employees about the extravagant parties thrown by the company. Each one asked to remain anonymous

By Serah Louis | 04.11.24

Biden announces new loan forgiveness plan

President Joe Biden is set to unveil his new student debt relief plans today in Madison, Wisconsin — which could rally more support amid election season. Other members of the Biden administration are traveling to important swing states to announce the plan as well, with Vice President Harris speaking in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff in Phoenix, Arizona and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in New York City. “Today’s announcement shows that we are continuing to fulfill our promises,” Miguel Cardona, the secretary of education, told reporters. “We’re delivering as much relief as possible, for as many borrowers as possible, as quickly as possible.” The White House says its newly proposed plan would completely wipe away the accrued interest for 23 million, cancel the student debt burden for over 4 million and provide more than 10 million borrowers with at least $5,000 in relief.

By Serah Louis | 04.08.24

President Joe Biden is set to unveil his new student debt relief plans today in Madison, Wisconsin — which could rally more support amid election season. Other members of the Biden administration are traveling to important swing states to announce the plan as well, with Vice President Harris speaking in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff in Phoenix, Arizona and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in New York City. “Today’s announcement shows that we are continuing to fulfill our promises,” Miguel Cardona, the secretary of education, told reporters. “We’re delivering as much relief as possible, for as many borrowers as possible, as quickly as possible.” The White House says its newly proposed plan would completely wipe away the accrued interest for 23 million, cancel the student debt burden for over 4 million and provide more than 10 million borrowers with at least $5,000 in relief.

By Serah Louis | 04.08.24

Closing store cites California's minimum wage hike

California's decision to increase the minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 an hour is primarily aimed at improving the standard of living for these workers in a state that's notoriously expensive. However, there's concern that this new law, which went into effect on April 1, may have a more complicated impact on the local economy. A Fosters Freeze outlet in Lemoore shut down on Monday — the same day the new minimum wage kicked in — and its workers are now out of a job. Some employees initially thought it was an April Fool’s joke. “We had gotten a text in the group chat that we were shutting down, and I completely thought it was an April Fools joke,” former employee Jason Boado told KMPH Fox 26 News. Unfortunately, it was not a joke. In a text to KMPH, Loren Wright, the owner of the Fosters Freeze, wrote, “Last thing I ever wanted was to close down. By Friday night I knew I was most likely not gonna be able to stay open but I didn't want to ruin their Easter Sunday.”

By Jing Pan | 04.05.24

California's decision to increase the minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 an hour is primarily aimed at improving the standard of living for these workers in a state that's notoriously expensive. However, there's concern that this new law, which went into effect on April 1, may have a more complicated impact on the local economy. A Fosters Freeze outlet in Lemoore shut down on Monday — the same day the new minimum wage kicked in — and its workers are now out of a job. Some employees initially thought it was an April Fool’s joke. “We had gotten a text in the group chat that we were shutting down, and I completely thought it was an April Fools joke,” former employee Jason Boado told KMPH Fox 26 News. Unfortunately, it was not a joke. In a text to KMPH, Loren Wright, the owner of the Fosters Freeze, wrote, “Last thing I ever wanted was to close down. By Friday night I knew I was most likely not gonna be able to stay open but I didn't want to ruin their Easter Sunday.”

By Jing Pan | 04.05.24

Hedge fund tycoon Ken Griffin warns about US debt

Hedge fund tycoon Ken Griffin has slammed the “irresponsible” U.S. government for letting the national debt balloon to $34.6 trillion and counting. In his 2023 year-end letter to investors, the Citadel boss stated: “The surging U.S. public debt is a growing concern that cannot be overlooked.” Total U.S. debt has more than doubled 2013 and is up nearly $3 trillion since the government suspended the debt ceiling in June 2023 — averting what would have been a first-ever default with just two days to spare. The country’s money woes have become one of the most prominent political issues in the build up to the presidential election in November — and influential figures like Griffin haven’t been shy about sharing their two cents on the matter. “We must stop borrowing at the expense of future generations,” wrote Griffin, who is worth a cool $35 billion, according to Forbes. “The Western world urgently needs a significant increase in productivity growth as the burden of rising government debt and entitlement spending strains almost every major economy.”

By Bethan Moorcraft | 04.05.24

Hedge fund tycoon Ken Griffin has slammed the “irresponsible” U.S. government for letting the national debt balloon to $34.6 trillion and counting. In his 2023 year-end letter to investors, the Citadel boss stated: “The surging U.S. public debt is a growing concern that cannot be overlooked.” Total U.S. debt has more than doubled 2013 and is up nearly $3 trillion since the government suspended the debt ceiling in June 2023 — averting what would have been a first-ever default with just two days to spare. The country’s money woes have become one of the most prominent political issues in the build up to the presidential election in November — and influential figures like Griffin haven’t been shy about sharing their two cents on the matter. “We must stop borrowing at the expense of future generations,” wrote Griffin, who is worth a cool $35 billion, according to Forbes. “The Western world urgently needs a significant increase in productivity growth as the burden of rising government debt and entitlement spending strains almost every major economy.”

By Bethan Moorcraft | 04.05.24

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. Earlier this week, her profile was removed from the City of Orlando's website as per an executive order from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Hill is expected to appear in court in the coming days. But 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 | 04.05.24

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. Earlier this week, her profile was removed from the City of Orlando's website as per an executive order from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Hill is expected to appear in court in the coming days. But 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 | 04.05.24

Biden administration changes mind on SPR strategy

The Department of Energy (DOE) unexpectedly axed plans to refill its “oil piggy bank” in August and September due to surging oil prices. The DOE previously announced in March that it was soliciting 3 million barrels of oil for its Bayou Choctaw site in Louisiana — one of four major storage facilities for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The SPR is the world's largest supply of emergency crude oil and was established back in 1975 in case of a severe oil supply crisis or economic disruption. "We monitor market dynamics to remain nimble and innovative in our successful replenishment approach to protect this critical national security asset," said DOE spokesperson Charisma Troiano, noting the energy department is keeping “the taxpayer’s interest at the forefront.”

By Serah Louis | 04.04.24

The Department of Energy (DOE) unexpectedly axed plans to refill its “oil piggy bank” in August and September due to surging oil prices. The DOE previously announced in March that it was soliciting 3 million barrels of oil for its Bayou Choctaw site in Louisiana — one of four major storage facilities for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The SPR is the world's largest supply of emergency crude oil and was established back in 1975 in case of a severe oil supply crisis or economic disruption. "We monitor market dynamics to remain nimble and innovative in our successful replenishment approach to protect this critical national security asset," said DOE spokesperson Charisma Troiano, noting the energy department is keeping “the taxpayer’s interest at the forefront.”

By Serah Louis | 04.04.24

Restaurant owner says wage hike costing him $470K

California's new minimum wage legislation is now in force. As of April 1, the Golden State has raised the minimum wage for employees at fast food restaurants to $20 an hour, aiming to improve the living standards of this specific workforce segment. For restaurant owners, though, this change can be costly. Alex Johnson, the owner of five Auntie Anne’s and five Cinnabon locations in San Francisco. In an interview with Fox Business, Johnson revealed how much this new legislation will cost him. “Across my 10 locations, the increase in the wage rate is going to cost me $470,000. So, just about $50,000 per location,” he said. Asked if he will cut staff due to this sudden rise in labor costs, Johnson said “everything's on the table,” but warned increased menu prices are imminent. “I think immediately what we're doing though, is raising prices, something that I really don't want to do, you know, we've had to raise prices several times over the past couple of years because of the COVID-induced inflation,” Johnson explained, noting that he’s seeing a decline in both sales and customer traffic.

By Jing Pan | 04.04.24

California's new minimum wage legislation is now in force. As of April 1, the Golden State has raised the minimum wage for employees at fast food restaurants to $20 an hour, aiming to improve the living standards of this specific workforce segment. For restaurant owners, though, this change can be costly. Alex Johnson, the owner of five Auntie Anne’s and five Cinnabon locations in San Francisco. In an interview with Fox Business, Johnson revealed how much this new legislation will cost him. “Across my 10 locations, the increase in the wage rate is going to cost me $470,000. So, just about $50,000 per location,” he said. Asked if he will cut staff due to this sudden rise in labor costs, Johnson said “everything's on the table,” but warned increased menu prices are imminent. “I think immediately what we're doing though, is raising prices, something that I really don't want to do, you know, we've had to raise prices several times over the past couple of years because of the COVID-induced inflation,” Johnson explained, noting that he’s seeing a decline in both sales and customer traffic.

By Jing Pan | 04.04.24