The Obamacare marketplace one year later: How you’re faring
I am on Medicare and Social Security Disability Income because I have Multiple Sclerosis. My wife works part-time because I’m in a wheelchair and I need a lot of assistance. She also has a pre-existing condition, a very mild case of Crohn’s Disease. No matter where we tried to get health insurance, we couldn’t get it at any cost. She was uninsured for five to six years. When the ACA came up we were excited, of course. We jumped at the chance to enroll. My wife is on the plan and we added our daughter, who’s 19. For people with preexisting conditions, it’s meant the most. People become financially devastated with MS because the drugs that are used to slow MS progression are hideously expensive, $30,000 to $50,000 a year. Our plan is accepted everywhere with our existing doctors, hospital and test facilities with a $0 deductible and excellent prescription [drug] coverage. My wife's prescriptions dropped from $130 a month to $4. “Unless something changes drastically, we can last one more year, maybe two.” View gallery.Kim Murphy Kim Murphy, 48, Elmwood Park, N.J. Job status: Co-owner of a manufacturing plant Her company’s employee plan: Bronze There’s a lot of misinformation out there that the changes with Obamacare didn’t apply to small-business employees who had insurance through their employer.
Froth is Non-Linear
Slate Money, featuring Cathy O'Neil filling in for host Felix Salmon with Slate's own Jordan Weissmann and special guest Cardiff Garcia. This week: the gender gap part II, Chinese debt, and stock buybacks.
Ray Dalio: Bridgewater Is Not Business Cult: Video
Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Ray Dalio, chairman and co-chief investment officer at Bridgewater Associates and Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner at Bloomberg LP, discuss the importance of staffing decisions, how management helps employees and the importance of creating a business culture and not a cult. They speak at the “Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit” on “In The Loop.”
The iPhone Sales Chart That Keeps Climbing for Apple
Sales of the iPhone 5s and 5c jumped in 2013, the first year that China was included in the initial rollout. You have to wonder how many more iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units Apple could have sold this weekend had the country been included again. In the meantime, the uncertainty over when the new devices will be sold in China has fueled a black market -- and led to fistfights. Shoppers at an Apple store near Yale University in Connecticut got into a scuffle as they stood in line to buy iPhones that they were going to resell in China. According to a story by Bloomberg News reporter Doni Bloomfield, the markup on these phones can "be upwards of 300 percent."
Divestment From Fossil Fuels Isn’t the Best Path for Eco-Conscious Universities
As a kid reporter at the Cornell Daily Sun in the mid-1980s, I covered the heady South Africa divestment protests. The moral case was quite clear: Universities and the people who studied and worked there wanted to reject the repressive apartheid regime. But it’s more complicated with fossil fuels. Pressuring a company to leave a country is a much less complicated proposition—and an easier ask—than asking a company to leave a global industry. And simply selling stock doesn’t actually punish a company much these days. Push a button and sell some shares of Peabody Energy or Exxon Mobil, and they will very likely be snapped up by another investor: an index fund, a mutual fund, perhaps even another college endowment. In the 1980s, it was very easy for individuals to boycott South Africa personally. But even if your university divests its shares in oil and coal companies, it—and you—will continue to provide revenues to many of those exact same companies. Fill up your gas tank at a Mobil station, ride a gasoline-powered university bus, fly home for the holidays, or turn on the university-provided air conditioning or heating, and you’ll be paying companies to find and consume fossil fuels.
Climate protesters to 'flood' Wall Street on Monday
The #FloodWallStreet campaign is part of a series of demonstrations taking place this week as world leaders gather in New York for a climate change summit on Tuesday at the United Nations.
SEC to Pay $30 Million Whistleblower Award, Its Largest Yet
The Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday that a foreign tipster will collect a record whistleblower award of more than $30 million, more than twice as much as the highest previous award.
Mariupol, Ukraine: Dispatch From the Front Line: Video
Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) –- Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels held peace talks over the weekend, discussing the country's fragile truce. With signs the conflict could expand, Bloomberg's Ryan Chilcote visited the Ukraine front line. (Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. Existing-Home Sales Fall 1.8% in August
Sales of previously owned homes fell 1.8% from July to an annual rate of 5.05 million, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. That ended four months of gains and pushed sales down 5.3% from a year earlier.
To Get People to Buy Insurance, Change How You Talk About Risk
Are there ways to deal with this problem? Research shows that homeowners can be persuaded to consider insurance simply by recharacterizing the risks they face. Property owners in a flood-prone area are far more likely to take the flood risk seriously if they are informed that there is a greater than 1-in-5 chance (precisely 22 percent) of at least one flood occurring in the next 25 years, instead of learning that they are in a “one-in-100-year flood plain” (as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency). These two probabilities are equal, but they don’t seem the same to homeowners.
Colombia Banks Extend Reach With Billionaire Buying Spree
Aval now plans to raise $1.1 billion by selling shares in New York for the first time, a goal it has had since its Colombian initial public offering 15 years ago. The proceeds will help raise capital at its subsidiaries, including Banco de Bogota SA, through which most of its acquisitions were made.
Michael Bloomberg: Why I'm Back at Work: Video
Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg LP Founder and Majority Owner Michael Bloomberg and Bridgewater Associates LP Founder Ray Dalio discuss their reasons for going to work. They speak at the “Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit” on “In The Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)
Celeb Butcher Pat LaFrieda's Five Favorite Cuts of Meat: Video
Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) –- If you love a finely crafted steak, chances are you’ve heard of Pat LaFrieda. The butcher, author and third-generation owner of Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors, supplies meat to restaurants from Eleven Madison Park to Shake
Shack. Pat tells Bloomberg Pursuits his five all-time favorite cuts of meat. (Source: Bloomberg)
Activists plan to shut down NY stock exchange
The protesters blocked traffic as they staged a sit-in and shouted slogans on climate change. But they couldn't march on the actual Wall Street after running into barricades and had to abandon plans to "shut down" the New York Stock Exchange.
John Kerry and the Afghan Stalemate
On Sept. 11, UN Under Secretary General Jeffrey Feltman traveled to Afghanistan to push the two candidates to resolve their differences. But it may take another trip by Kerry to break the impasse. Regardless of the audit results, the election has lost much of its legitimacy in the eyes of not only Afghans but also of Afghanistan’s international supporters. Given the divisions the contest has raised, the declared winner cannot rule effectively without the committed support of the runner-up. That’s the only way Afghanistan can regain the stability it needs to beat back a resurgent Taliban and meet its staggering economic challenges.
The Week Ahead: Expect At Least Short Term Weakness
All of that said, the overall pattern in RUT is concerning. Below is a weekly chart since the early 1990s. Previously, when RUT has run up strongly and then formed a choppy horizontal pattern over many months (like now), it has been a noteworthy top. In each of these prior cases, RUT has subsequently fallen at least 15% and sometimes 30% or more. SPX is not likely to emerge unscathed if RUT falls more than 15%. As we have continually pointed out, RUT is valuable canary for the overall market, for both strength and possible weakness.
Common Misconceptions About Alibaba
When you search for “Alibaba” on Google in English, one of the first websites that come up is Alibaba.com. That is the site that Alibaba founder Jack Ma launched in 1999 when he started the company. It’s a business-to-business matchmaking site that connects Chinese manufacturers with overseas clients. For people outside China, Alibaba.com is often the only website they have seen or heard of. But today, Alibaba.com is a relatively small part of Alibaba Group’s overall operations, compared to its Taobao and Tmall marketplaces for consumers, which have hundreds of millions of users and account for the majority of its revenue. Even though Taobao and Tmall are household names in China, most consumers outside of China have never heard of them because most of the sites’ services are only available to Chinese speakers. Alibaba launched Taobao in 2003 and Tmall in 2008, and the two sites now dominate China’s e-commerce for consumers. Those marketplaces last year handled $248 billion in transactions, largest than the figures for Amazon and eBay combined.
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For Paul Allen and Peter Jackson, Dogfight Over Vintage Warplanes
A Grumman F6F Hellcat, its dark-blue wings glistening in the sun, banks sharply to evade a pursuing Japanese Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero. The planes pull out of their steep descent and accelerate, the roar of their engines rattling the heavens.
Most Influential 50 Are the Bankers, Investors Who Move Markets
Hedge-fund manager Paul Singer took a stand after Argentina defaulted, holding onto his bonds and refusing to swap them in the restructuring the government began in 2005. Jump ahead to 2014. Singer, still fighting for full recovery on the debt, has, with help from U.S. courts, pushed Argentina into a second default as the country maintained its stance against paying him.
The glaringly obvious guide to the next crash - FT.com
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Chinese City Launches Special Lane for Cellphone Addicts
If you’re tired of walking behind someone who’s trudging along as they text, has this Chinese city got the sidewalk for you.
Alibaba’s Banks Boost IPO Size to Record of $25 Billion
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) ’s initial public offering became the biggest ever at $25 billion, after the compay’s bankers exercised an option to boost the deal size by 15 percent.
BlackBerry CEO: New Smartphone Will Cost $599
SINGAPORE—BlackBerry Ltd. plans to sell its new square-screen smartphone at a lower price than rival products, as the company attempts to regain some of the ground it has lost in the global market.
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Richard Branson's Tech Essentials
My favorite mode of transport is hot-air ballooning. I have a balloon from Lindstrand . It's so graceful to be blown by the wind, to go where the wind takes you. Just drifting over beautiful rivers in a balloon is perfect. I once flew over Mount Everest by mistake. We went all the way down the Himalayan chain for a day and a half. That was magnificent, except the Chinese told us they were going to shoot us down if we came out the far end. So I spent a lot of my time contacting former Prime Minister
begging him to tell the Chinese we were coming in this direction by mistake and could he please say we have no nasty motives for flying into their territory.
Competition Is for Losers
A monopoly like Google is different. Since it doesn't have to worry about competing with anyone, it has wider latitude to care about its workers, its products and its impact on the wider world. Google's motto—"Don't be evil"—is in part a branding ploy, but it is also characteristic of a kind of business that is successful enough to take ethics seriously without jeopardizing its own existence. In business, money is either an important thing or it is everything. Monopolists can afford to think about things other than making money; non-monopolists can't. In perfect competition, a business is so focused on today's margins that it can't possibly plan for a long-term future. Only one thing can allow a business to transcend the daily brute struggle for survival: monopoly profits.
Hong Kong Tops List of Donors to U.S. Schools
HONG KONG—Two billionaire brothers' pledges this month of a combined $370 million are just the latest example of Hong Kong's wealthy lining the coffers of U.S. universities.
Arab Bank Found Liable for Hamas Terrorist Attacks
Arab Bank Plc, the biggest lender in Jordan, helped Hamas militants carry out a wave of violence in Israel that killed and wounded hundreds of Americans, a New York jury decided in the first trial of its kind in the U.S.
Dangers Aside, Railways Reshape Crude Market
In May 2008, a locomotive with a grizzly bear painted on its side pulled into a railroad siding next to an abandoned grain elevator in the ghost town of Dore, N.D. The engine, property of the Yellowstone Valley Railroad, hitched up a couple of tank cars of crude from nearby oil wells and set off on a thousand-mile journey to Oklahoma.
U.S. Stocks Weighed Down by China
Traders have been building positions in recent weeks that profit from market declines as stocks climbed back to all-time highs, said
head of derivatives strategy at Susquehanna Financial Group. She said prices for put options on the S&P 500 index, contracts that are used to hedge against stock-market declines, have risen above those of bullish call options.
Obama Administration Issues New Rules to Combat Tax Inversions
The Treasury Department tightened tax rules Monday to deter U.S. companies from moving their legal headquarters to lower-tax countries, part of a White House effort to slow a wave of so-called corporate inversions that effectively reduce federal revenues.
Gynecologists Resist FDA Over Popular Surgical Tool
Doctors nationwide are still using a gynecological tool months after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned that it can spread undetected cancer, demonstrating the limits of the regulator's reach into clinical practice.
Hundreds of Thousands Attend Climate March
My goodness... so many weak minded in one place at one time. Apparently they have nothing better to do on a Sunday but block traffic in Manhattan and take up all the oxygen from we more knowledgeable and realistic ones. You almost have to feel bad for this easily led and duped mass. Look carefully at the protesters...you will never see a mass of lower IQ grouped in one place.
Ferrari's Trapped-in-the-Trunk Recall
The latest Ferrari glitch may or may not be a flaw, depending on how often you plan to use your $234,000 sports car in kidnappings.
iPhone 6 Review: Apple's Cure for Android Envy
For these basic reasons, I considered Android to be ahead of Apple. Now, they have addressed all of these issues. Will I go back to Apple? The new phones look great but probably not. While it is not the reason I switched, I really like that Android has a larger variety of phones and apps on the market. The thought of being back in Apple's closed ecosystem seems stifling. I fully expect Samsung, HTC, Motorola, and Google to add new features and watch Apple to play catch up again as they cannot innovate as fast even though their phones look very nice.
Jack Ma: Alibaba Wants to Help U.S. Small Businesses: Video
Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma talks about the company's initial public offering and business strategy.
He speaks with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop." (Source: Bloomberg)
MONEY’s best places to live in America
In a country so full of great, unique places, choosing the best is no easy task. This year, MONEY set out to find the nation's top small cities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000. Starting with a pool of 781 cities, we used data from Onboard Informatics and other sources to comb through everything from the local economy and housing market to schools and healthcare—more than 50 factors in all. Then, we sent reporters to visit the 35 top scoring places, looking for a sense of community and other intangibles you'll never find in a spreadsheet. We found many places to love, but in the end, only one can take the top spot.
Here's how much you need to make to be in the top 1% in your state
Using 2012 American Community Survey household income data from the Minnesota Population Center's IPUMS dataset , we estimated what income a household would need to earn (rounded to the nearest thousand) in order to be in the top 1% of the income distribution in each state ( click here for larger version of map ):
A war by any other name
Two other principles of Mr Obama’s foreign policy have been on display since he gave a speech on September 10th announcing plans to support some Syrian rebels and to weaken IS. As a presidential candidate, Mr Obama argued that the armed forces should not go to war without authorisation from Congress. In office he has claimed the authority to do so, in both Libya and Syria. The administration’s legal arguments have relied on one use-of-force resolution secured by George W. Bush three days after the terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001, another secured by the same president a year later and powers included in the constitution to protect Americans abroad: the recent operation to secure the Mosul dam in Iraq was justified in part on the grounds that blowing it up might threaten the lives of Americans in the embassy in Baghdad.
The Real Reason Destiny Is a Hit
Durkin’s timing may have been a bit off. Within 24 hours of the game’s introduction on Sept. 9, Destiny took in $500 million in online orders and shipments to retailers, a record for a video game that’s not a sequel. And if estimates by Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter and other analysts are right, Destiny probably moved into the black soon after Activision shipped its first game disc. “It’s an unquestionable success out the door for what appears to be an average game,” says Mike Hickey, an analyst at investment firm Benchmark Company. “For how much money they’ve put into it, being profitable is definitely an achievement.”
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Review: Big vs. Extremely Big
First, some basics. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are significantly redesigned compared with last year’s iPhone 5S and 5C. Both devices utilize an ultrathin unibody aluminum enclosure, one that bears a startling resemblance to the original iPhone from 2007, and the devices can be bought in “space” gray, silver, or gold. The iPhone 6 is just 6.9mm in thickness (in comparison the 5S seems flabby with its 7.6mm profile), while the 6 Plus is only 7.1mm. Both feel svelte and lean in your hand—solid, with good weight, but incredibly skinny. Though I must say, while the iPhone 5S stood out in a crowd of Android smartphones with its chamfered edges and Leica-esque controls, you might not know the iPhone 6 next to the latest Galaxy S5 or the HTC One. And while the design is still impressive, some details feel a bit off. The bold antenna lines that run around the back of the devices and the protruding camera lens make the phones seem slightly less disciplined compared with the company’s previous work.
FBI launches a powerful facial recognition system
Surprised the FBI didn't have this before? It actually had a limited, low-tech version that only stored fingerprints. But that old system was slow to respond. Police who took fingerprints from people they arrested would wait two hours for a response from the FBI's database. The new wait time? 10 minutes. And the 24-hour wait for employers performing background checks is now down to 15 minutes.
Commodities tank to 5-year low on strong greenback, weaker China
Commodities are 12% lower this quarter, set for the biggest such loss since the financial crisis in 2008. China’s Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said in a statement Sunday that growth in Asia’s largest economy faces downward pressure.
Remember the CEO Who Quit to Be a Dad? He’s Loving It.
MongoDB was getting to a point where it was a good time to make a transition to new leadership and a different skill set. I had led the company from a small group of 20 employees to a large organization of 400. In many ways my decision was a win-win; I could still stay involved as Vice Chairman but we could bring in new leadership talent to the company for the next stage in our development.