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O'Leary on why restaurants are closing across US

From Red Lobster declaring bankruptcy to Applebee’s shuttering dozens of locations this year — big American restaurant chains are getting gobbled by inflation and declining foot traffic since the COVID-19 pandemic, says “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary. “The U.S. restaurant industry finds itself on the menu,” he wrote in a column for the Daily Mail. “Seemingly every day, there's a headline announcing a bankruptcy, layoff or store closure impacting one of the country's most beloved brands.”

By Serah Louis | 06.17.24

From Red Lobster declaring bankruptcy to Applebee’s shuttering dozens of locations this year — big American restaurant chains are getting gobbled by inflation and declining foot traffic since the COVID-19 pandemic, says “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary. “The U.S. restaurant industry finds itself on the menu,” he wrote in a column for the Daily Mail. “Seemingly every day, there's a headline announcing a bankruptcy, layoff or store closure impacting one of the country's most beloved brands.”

By Serah Louis | 06.17.24

Single mom in NC faces squatter nightmare

A single mom in Durham, N.C. is fighting for repossession of her Airbnb rental property after two guests decided to overstay their welcome and claim they are “legal residents” of the home. Farzana Rahman is the unlucky owner of the two-bed, two-bath property currently being held hostage by squatters — who took possession of the home after completing and paying for a legitimate seven-month stay, booked via Airbnb. “They’re refusing to leave until we give an eviction notice,” Rahman told ABC11/WTVD. “I think they’re just trying to gain time to stay there for free.” After several unsuccessful attempts to get her former guests, now squatters, to leave — including a visit to the property with the police — Rahman was left with no other option than to file a formal eviction notice in court. “This is my place. I’m counting on this income. My son is in college [and] I’m a single parent,” she said, adding that the eviction process is “wasting my time, it’s wasting my energy [and] it’s stressing me out.” Here’s what happened — and how you can reap the benefits of rental income without all the stress of being a landlord.

By Bethan Moorcraft | 06.14.24

A single mom in Durham, N.C. is fighting for repossession of her Airbnb rental property after two guests decided to overstay their welcome and claim they are “legal residents” of the home. Farzana Rahman is the unlucky owner of the two-bed, two-bath property currently being held hostage by squatters — who took possession of the home after completing and paying for a legitimate seven-month stay, booked via Airbnb. “They’re refusing to leave until we give an eviction notice,” Rahman told ABC11/WTVD. “I think they’re just trying to gain time to stay there for free.” After several unsuccessful attempts to get her former guests, now squatters, to leave — including a visit to the property with the police — Rahman was left with no other option than to file a formal eviction notice in court. “This is my place. I’m counting on this income. My son is in college [and] I’m a single parent,” she said, adding that the eviction process is “wasting my time, it’s wasting my energy [and] it’s stressing me out.” Here’s what happened — and how you can reap the benefits of rental income without all the stress of being a landlord.

By Bethan Moorcraft | 06.14.24

How Biden's budget blueprint could impact you

President Joe Biden has a message for the wealthiest Americans: get ready to pay your fair share. Biden's federal budget proposal includes plans to cut taxes for working families by increasing them for both the wealthy and big corporations. The budget blueprint for fiscal 2025 (which begins in October) will serve as the first of many tax battles expected to go down in Washington over the next year. Republicans have already taken issue with the proposed $7.3 trillion budget, with House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson referring to it as an “insatiable appetite for reckless spending” and a “disregard for fiscal responsibility,” according to a Reuters report. While it remains to be seen if Biden’s policy priorities will make it into the final draft of the budget since that’ll require approval from a Republican-led Congress, here’s a closer look at how some of these proposals could impact Americans.

By Laura Grande | 06.14.24

President Joe Biden has a message for the wealthiest Americans: get ready to pay your fair share. Biden's federal budget proposal includes plans to cut taxes for working families by increasing them for both the wealthy and big corporations. The budget blueprint for fiscal 2025 (which begins in October) will serve as the first of many tax battles expected to go down in Washington over the next year. Republicans have already taken issue with the proposed $7.3 trillion budget, with House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson referring to it as an “insatiable appetite for reckless spending” and a “disregard for fiscal responsibility,” according to a Reuters report. While it remains to be seen if Biden’s policy priorities will make it into the final draft of the budget since that’ll require approval from a Republican-led Congress, here’s a closer look at how some of these proposals could impact Americans.

By Laura Grande | 06.14.24

Fish taco chain Rubio's closes 48 Calif. locations

Starting as a humble taco stand in San Diego in 1983, Rubio's Coastal Grill has since grown into a beloved restaurant chain known for its coastal-inspired cuisine, particularly its signature fish tacos. However, following recent struggles to stay afloat, the company announced on June 5 that it's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The news came just a few days after Rubio's closed 48 “underperforming” locations in California. The company noted that the closings “were brought about by the rising cost of doing business in California." Rubio’s remaining 86 restaurants in California, Arizona and Nevada will continue operating. The company plans to sell its business to an entity formed and controlled by its existing lender. “Despite the company's best efforts to right-size the company, the continued challenging economic conditions have negatively impacted its ability to meet the demands of its debt burden,” Rubio’s chief restructuring officer Nicholas Rubin said as part of the announcement. “The company believes the best path forward for Rubio's is through a court-supervised sale process that will position the brand for long-term success to grow and flourish.”

By Jing Pan | 06.13.24

Starting as a humble taco stand in San Diego in 1983, Rubio's Coastal Grill has since grown into a beloved restaurant chain known for its coastal-inspired cuisine, particularly its signature fish tacos. However, following recent struggles to stay afloat, the company announced on June 5 that it's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The news came just a few days after Rubio's closed 48 “underperforming” locations in California. The company noted that the closings “were brought about by the rising cost of doing business in California." Rubio’s remaining 86 restaurants in California, Arizona and Nevada will continue operating. The company plans to sell its business to an entity formed and controlled by its existing lender. “Despite the company's best efforts to right-size the company, the continued challenging economic conditions have negatively impacted its ability to meet the demands of its debt burden,” Rubio’s chief restructuring officer Nicholas Rubin said as part of the announcement. “The company believes the best path forward for Rubio's is through a court-supervised sale process that will position the brand for long-term success to grow and flourish.”

By Jing Pan | 06.13.24

Mortgage rate trends this week

Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates rates decreased, down from an average of 6.99% last week, to 6.95%. “Mortgage rates continued to fall back this week as incoming data suggests the economy is cooling to a more sustainable level of growth,” says Sam Khater, chief economist at housing giant Freddie Mac. “Top-line inflation numbers were flat but shelter inflation, which measures rent and homeownership costs, increased showing that housing affordability continues to be an ongoing impediment for buyers on the house hunt.”

By Leslie Kennedy | 06.13.24

Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates rates decreased, down from an average of 6.99% last week, to 6.95%. “Mortgage rates continued to fall back this week as incoming data suggests the economy is cooling to a more sustainable level of growth,” says Sam Khater, chief economist at housing giant Freddie Mac. “Top-line inflation numbers were flat but shelter inflation, which measures rent and homeownership costs, increased showing that housing affordability continues to be an ongoing impediment for buyers on the house hunt.”

By Leslie Kennedy | 06.13.24

USAA members speak out on fraud

Curtis Murrah says he’d been a loyal customer with USAA for 28 years — until his wife rang him up one day saying she couldn’t make their mortgage payment because there wasn’t any money in their account. Murrah, who’s based in Georgia, says he took a closer look at his accounts and discovered someone was making deposits in and out of his accounts. “It was like they were playing mind games,” he told News 4 San Antonio. “They would deposit $9,800 then turn right around and withdraw $9,800. They would deposit $4,000, turn right around and withdrew it.” Murrah contacted USAA and convinced the institution to conduct an investigation — but USAA allegedly told him there was no evidence of fraud, despite a $14,174 loss across two of his accounts, including his emergency savings. Then, the bank unexpectedly closed his account. “The transactions were taking place in totally different states, they could see everything,” Murrah said. “They knew it wasn’t me, but for some reason they said it wasn’t fraud.”

By Serah Louis | 06.13.24

Curtis Murrah says he’d been a loyal customer with USAA for 28 years — until his wife rang him up one day saying she couldn’t make their mortgage payment because there wasn’t any money in their account. Murrah, who’s based in Georgia, says he took a closer look at his accounts and discovered someone was making deposits in and out of his accounts. “It was like they were playing mind games,” he told News 4 San Antonio. “They would deposit $9,800 then turn right around and withdraw $9,800. They would deposit $4,000, turn right around and withdrew it.” Murrah contacted USAA and convinced the institution to conduct an investigation — but USAA allegedly told him there was no evidence of fraud, despite a $14,174 loss across two of his accounts, including his emergency savings. Then, the bank unexpectedly closed his account. “The transactions were taking place in totally different states, they could see everything,” Murrah said. “They knew it wasn’t me, but for some reason they said it wasn’t fraud.”

By Serah Louis | 06.13.24

US economy ‘ready to crack’: Former Home Depot CEO

The U.S. economy may soon enter a perilous phase, according to Bob Nardelli, former CEO of Home Depot and Chrysler. In a May 20 interview with Fox Business, Nardelli used a metaphor to illustrate the state of the country since President Joe Biden took office. “What I've seen over the past three and a half years is a series of debacles and missteps have created a tremendous pressure on the fault lines, if you will, of our economy and they're about ready to crack,” he said. With the presidential election approaching, Nardelli believes the next president will face significant challenges. “Whoever gets the next step in the White House is going to be hit with a wrecking ball in trying to correct the missteps and the overspending of this current administration,” he stated, adding that “we're in for a rough time.” Here’s a look at what he means by that.

By Jing Pan | 06.12.24

The U.S. economy may soon enter a perilous phase, according to Bob Nardelli, former CEO of Home Depot and Chrysler. In a May 20 interview with Fox Business, Nardelli used a metaphor to illustrate the state of the country since President Joe Biden took office. “What I've seen over the past three and a half years is a series of debacles and missteps have created a tremendous pressure on the fault lines, if you will, of our economy and they're about ready to crack,” he said. With the presidential election approaching, Nardelli believes the next president will face significant challenges. “Whoever gets the next step in the White House is going to be hit with a wrecking ball in trying to correct the missteps and the overspending of this current administration,” he stated, adding that “we're in for a rough time.” Here’s a look at what he means by that.

By Jing Pan | 06.12.24

Harry Dent warns of 'a bigger crash' than 2008

Many investors still remember what it was like during the 2008 financial crisis, when panic swept through the markets and wiped out trillions of dollars in wealth. The fear and uncertainty led to massive sell-offs, plummeting stock prices, and a severe liquidity crisis. Many individuals saw their retirement savings decimated, homes lost value, and unemployment rates soared as businesses closed or downsized. It’s a chapter that no one wishes to revisit. However, economist Harry Dent foresees an even more severe crisis on the horizon. In a recent interview with Fox News Digital, Dent highlighted that the U.S. has been experiencing an extended bubble, which poses a significant threat to the stock market. “This bubble has been going [for] 14 years. Instead of most bubbles [going] five to six, it’s been stretched higher, longer. So you’d have to expect a bigger crash than we got in 2008 to ’09,” he explained. Just how significant could this crash be? Massive, according to Dent. “I think we’re going to see the S&P go down 86% from the top, and the Nasdaq 92%. A hero stock like Nvidia, as good as it is, and it is a great company, [goes] down 98%. Boy, this is over," Dent predicted. Given the extensive exposure many people have to the stock market through their retirement savings, a severe downturn in these benchmark indices could be devastating. During the market sell-off in 2022 — which pales in comparison to Dent's projections — CBS News reported that 401(k) and IRA plan participants experienced an estimated loss of around $3 trillion. It's worth mentioning that this isn't new for Dent. As an October 2023 article from ThinkAdvisor noted, "For several years now, Dent has been forecasting 'the crash of a lifetime.' Now, he says, 2024 will be the year it hits — 'two years later than it should have,' according to his calculations. But 'it’s starting now,' he insists."

By Jing Pan | 06.12.24

Many investors still remember what it was like during the 2008 financial crisis, when panic swept through the markets and wiped out trillions of dollars in wealth. The fear and uncertainty led to massive sell-offs, plummeting stock prices, and a severe liquidity crisis. Many individuals saw their retirement savings decimated, homes lost value, and unemployment rates soared as businesses closed or downsized. It’s a chapter that no one wishes to revisit. However, economist Harry Dent foresees an even more severe crisis on the horizon. In a recent interview with Fox News Digital, Dent highlighted that the U.S. has been experiencing an extended bubble, which poses a significant threat to the stock market. “This bubble has been going [for] 14 years. Instead of most bubbles [going] five to six, it’s been stretched higher, longer. So you’d have to expect a bigger crash than we got in 2008 to ’09,” he explained. Just how significant could this crash be? Massive, according to Dent. “I think we’re going to see the S&P go down 86% from the top, and the Nasdaq 92%. A hero stock like Nvidia, as good as it is, and it is a great company, [goes] down 98%. Boy, this is over," Dent predicted. Given the extensive exposure many people have to the stock market through their retirement savings, a severe downturn in these benchmark indices could be devastating. During the market sell-off in 2022 — which pales in comparison to Dent's projections — CBS News reported that 401(k) and IRA plan participants experienced an estimated loss of around $3 trillion. It's worth mentioning that this isn't new for Dent. As an October 2023 article from ThinkAdvisor noted, "For several years now, Dent has been forecasting 'the crash of a lifetime.' Now, he says, 2024 will be the year it hits — 'two years later than it should have,' according to his calculations. But 'it’s starting now,' he insists."

By Jing Pan | 06.12.24

Many GOP voters now identify as 'lower class'

Democrats have long been known as the party of the working class, but the GOP may be taking over that title — at least according to Gallup poll data. Since 2022, Republicans have been more likely than Democrats to identify as working or lower class while the majority of Democrats now put themselves in the middle or upper-middle class. So, how did the party known for its billionaires and hedge fund executives replace the “party of the common man,” as the working class favorite? There's a lot of factors, ranging from an increase in college attendance to a decrease in union membership to an unusual billionaire named Donald Trump who stepped off an escalator and shook up politics like no one else could. Here are the big three shifts that have led to major changes in the political landscape.

By Christy Bieber | 06.11.24

Democrats have long been known as the party of the working class, but the GOP may be taking over that title — at least according to Gallup poll data. Since 2022, Republicans have been more likely than Democrats to identify as working or lower class while the majority of Democrats now put themselves in the middle or upper-middle class. So, how did the party known for its billionaires and hedge fund executives replace the “party of the common man,” as the working class favorite? There's a lot of factors, ranging from an increase in college attendance to a decrease in union membership to an unusual billionaire named Donald Trump who stepped off an escalator and shook up politics like no one else could. Here are the big three shifts that have led to major changes in the political landscape.

By Christy Bieber | 06.11.24

Legendary Applebee's franchisee on dining trends

From headlines about $18 Big Mac meals to $24 Five Guys combos, Americans are finding rising fast food prices hard to swallow. Consequently, many are rethinking their dining choices. According to legendary Applebee’s franchisee Zane Tankel, the restaurant industry is divided into three segments: fine dining, casual dining, and quick serve (fast food). While fast food was once popular for its low cost, that may no longer be the case. “They're abandoning fast food, quick serve more and more and ironically, going to casual dining,” the Apple-Metro Chairman and CEO, which operates a number of Applebee’s restaurants in the New York City area, said in a recent interview with Fox Business. To address the controversy of $18 Big Macs, McDonald's USA president Joe Erlinger recently wrote an open letter to the company’s American “fans.” “I can tell you that it frustrates and worries me, and many of our franchisees, when I hear about an $18 Big Mac meal being sold — even if it was at one location in the U.S. out of more than 13,700,” he wrote.

By Jing Pan | 06.10.24

From headlines about $18 Big Mac meals to $24 Five Guys combos, Americans are finding rising fast food prices hard to swallow. Consequently, many are rethinking their dining choices. According to legendary Applebee’s franchisee Zane Tankel, the restaurant industry is divided into three segments: fine dining, casual dining, and quick serve (fast food). While fast food was once popular for its low cost, that may no longer be the case. “They're abandoning fast food, quick serve more and more and ironically, going to casual dining,” the Apple-Metro Chairman and CEO, which operates a number of Applebee’s restaurants in the New York City area, said in a recent interview with Fox Business. To address the controversy of $18 Big Macs, McDonald's USA president Joe Erlinger recently wrote an open letter to the company’s American “fans.” “I can tell you that it frustrates and worries me, and many of our franchisees, when I hear about an $18 Big Mac meal being sold — even if it was at one location in the U.S. out of more than 13,700,” he wrote.

By Jing Pan | 06.10.24