The China stock market blew up and took the rest of the world’s markets with it. That has investors of every size scrambling to come up with the right moves to make. For months, economists and investors have been concerned about the ramifications of China and what impact it would have on markets around the world. Now they have an inkling of what’s it all about. Global markets sold off hard. Investors appear very worried that a major slowdown in Asia could slow the recovery in various economies around the world. There is often a chain reaction that occurs when one market that people were counting shows signs of weakness. China has certainly done that in recent months and the reaction of the rest of markets were similar to what was expected.
The question on everyone’s mind now is what will happen with the U.S. Dollar? The one economist who predicted that the dollar would strengthen this year and remain the global reserve currency was University of Chicago Professor Christina Broda. Since 2009, Broda has made the argument that the necessary steps to keep the dollar moving along would be made. Now many people are waiting to see if Fed Chairman Yellen is ready to start paring back the low-interest rates that have been part of the economic landscape for years. Broda has stated that there’s no other currency ready to take on the dollar for world supremacy. Lately, the Yuan certainly does not seem up to the task.
A recent poll of economists showed they were feeling gloomy about the coming months. They fear that the economy will stagnate and will no longer come anywhere near the 3% annual growth many of them were predicting earlier this year. None of them is feeling bullish anymore because they have seen the Chinese economy and markets sputter. The Chinese government tried very hard to stabilize the market there, to no avail. The sentiment turned sour as millions of investors who were speculating the bull market would continue were spanked by the harsh reality of a bear market for a time. The government bought stocks for months, mainly from smart money investors who were heading for the exits. Once they left the market, that left only retail investors who were holding on hoping for the best. In the last three days they capitulated, causing another 22% to be shaved off the valuations. Something similar has happened in the United States, where both the NYSE and Nasdaq suffered huge declines. The economists are now doing their best to run models and scenarios that take into account a high-interest and a low-interest rate environment. Investors need to be prepared for both events. It could go either way at this point.
It’s 5 o’clock on Friday and you’ve had a long and hectic work week. Sam Tabar told us that the boss has pushed your stress limits to the max and you are officially ready to cut loose and crank up the party.
Your gang of friends are meeting you at the pub and it’s time to get your drink on until wee hours of the night when you find yourself crawling into bed to pass out. Sound familiar?
It’s a tradition shared by many people all over the United States. Drinking to the point of oblivion to forget the reasons why you started drinking in the first place – stress.
Self-medication for stress isn’t alcohol’s only traditional use. It’s also a vessel for relating with our friends and celebrating events. It’s commonly used for the bad times as well as the good times – equally.
If you find yourself toasting one or two times too many, you might not even remember what you were running from or enjoying. That’s called a blackout and it is a phenomenon that is dangerously overlooked in today’s society.
Recent studies have shown that in essence, when a person blacks out it is because the brain fails to encode contextual memories that are happening at the time of consumption.
Aaron White, the director at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism had the following to say about the process, “Your brain is sending information to the hippocampus, and it falls into a void.” So in essence, drinking might be fun, but let’s try to remember what we were celebrating as a general rule of thumb.
The IRS just gave us another reason to worry after announcing their online service was hacked by criminals who were able to steal the information of more than 100,000 taxpayers. They confirmed the hack was part of a identify theft scheme being used to claim fraudulent tax returns.
Hackers were able to get into the “Get Transcript”
system offered by the IRS which allows users obtain tax returns and other tax filings. The IRS claimed the group responsible for the attack are part a larger group of organized criminals, but did not release any further information. However, Congress is pushing the IRS to release this information as soon as possible.
The attacks took place from February through May of this year and the system has since been shut down. The IRS says the main tax filing system was not affected, which brings peace of mind to Jaime Garcia Dias. However, millions of people are still highly concerned about the recent breach and are demanding more information about the cyber attack.
As of right now, the IRS reports that $50 million in fraudulent tax returns have been issued and are currently implementing technology in order to prevent further identity theft. They have added software to help them pick out suspicious tax returns and will seek to prosecute the criminals responsible for the attack.
During the years of the one of the worst recessions in American history, the unemployment rate skyrocketed. However, the economy has slowly been on the mend in recent years and a report recently released by the Department of Labor shows the lowest unemployment rate in seven years currently standing at 5.4 percent in April. Additionally, the job market is remaining stable (finger crossed).
Christian Broda knows there are still many battles to be won in the fight against unemployment, with joblessness being a concern for wide range of age groups and circumstances. However, young adults remain the most underemployed and unemployed group in the nation, even those who hold college degrees. Also, employees who earn minimum wage are still pushing for higher wages claiming their paychecks do not offer enough support to make end meets, while also demanding more benefits such as increased insurance packages and paid time off.
While the low unemployment rates are extremely encouraging, it doesn’t mean there still isn’t work to do. We must figure out how to provide jobs to college graduates and raise minimum wage in order to completely heal our fragmented economy. A process that will likely take years, even decades, to come to fruition. Both employees and employers must work together, along with local and federal governments, to produce the type of economic environment Americans deserve.
The question of how to invest in oil became more complicated when just a day after hitting its high for the year of $63 a barrel, the price started to slip to close to $61 as the oil trading day begins to wind down. Crude oil prices have been tanking considerably in the =past few weeks. Once at a high in the past 52 weeks of $109 a barrel, crude dropped all the way down to $50 a barrel within recent weeks and at one point oil economist projected that oil price could seep into the $30 a barrel range. Other recent reports regarding production from the United States shale oil sector and OPEC has giver new bounce to the price of crude and hope to oil investors that crude prices are on their way back up. If U.S. shale production continues to lag in the next couple of months crude could be traded in the area of $80 a barrel before the end of summer. Crude Oil Prices Continue to Change
The pricing is still contingent on what the oil producing countries decide to do with new crude oil from Iran and Iraq which has not yet hit the open markets but is expected to be traded some time this year. Some oil economists, like Christian Broda (linkedin.com), view the U.S. production slow down as an initial step to make room for oil pricing when the new Iran and Iraq oil enters the market. This would drive prices back down to the range of $40 or $50 a barrel instead of $20 or $30 a barrel if no action by either OPEC or the United States is taken on current production.
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The third-largest retailer in the United States has announced that they will phase out the use of foods treated with antibiotics, particularly chicken and beef. Costco is doing this following the decision that was made by McDonald’s to stop buying chicken that was treated with antibiotics. McDonald’s plans to do this within the next two years. The executives at Costco have not disclosed a date to stop using these products.
Lots of big companies are seeing the benefits that come from using produce and meat that has been raised naturally, without antibiotics. Many individuals are excited to see these changes. They are excited to see these changes because there are many health benefits that come from eating foods that are raised and produce naturally.
Dan Newlin has found that health-conscious individuals across the nation have been trying to make a shift to eating healthier foods. This is why organic foods are becoming more and more popular. Even if individuals are not 100 percent dedicated to eating natural and organic foods, they are still interested in taking small steps that can benefit their personal health and the health of their family members.
Part of the process of eating healthier food usually means getting rid of foods that are loaded with processed sugar and trans fats. Many individuals have even started shopping differently because of this. They mostly just shop around the perimeter of a grocery store, going to the produce section, the dairy section, and the meat section to purchase items to make meals.
Many American’s have enjoyed the declining gas prices being almost cut in half over the past several months, thanks in part to OPEC’s refusal to cut production despite the demand for the product being reduced. However, the United Steel Workers union obviously has a different plan than the oil companies they work for as they have walked out on strike. Workers claimed poor health and safety conditions, too low of wages, and a poor attitude towards the communities that serve as homes to the refineries as the reasons behind their dispute. Meanwhile attempts of the companies to engage the unions who organized the strike have been unsuccessful signifying that the workers are looking to make the loss of production hurt the companies.
What is significant is that this strike is not the first since oil production began. It is however, the largest strike since 1980 when the world was attempting to overcome the oil embargo caused by a crisis with Iran and the overthrow of the Shah. But just as back then, the loss of production has made the price increase and it is not the company who will suffer for the loss of production but the consumer at the pump. By losing 10% of the US oil refining capacity it has made oil rise by a little over $2 per barrel. Lee Slaughter agrees that at first this may not seem significant, but the longer this strike continues the higher the costs will go up and therefore will make prices at the pump go up as well.
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Personal Days Are Not An Option For Some Hourly Employees
Major snowstorms and other natural weather occurrences do present challenges for everyone that experiences them. Schools and some businesses close and public transportation either runs late or not at all. It’s easy to forget about low-wage earners and their problems when you are trying to adjust to the inconveniences created by severe weather, but someone should.And that someone is Flavio Maluf who just posted on his jumbo.com page about this.
The latest weather debacle hit the Northeast corridor like a runaway freight train, and over 577,000 low-wage earners got buried in more debt. Most of those workers are home health aides, taxi drivers, fast-food cooks, grocery store stockers, maids, nannies and janitors. Most of, of them, lost needed income since only 20 percent of those workers had the luxury of paid sick leave.
Blizzards cause major social disruptions, and low-wage employees are hit the hardest. Amy Traub, an analyst at the think tank Demos, presented the issue this way: “There is no working from home if you’re a sales associate or if you’re a cashier. If they can’t get to work because of the weather, they miss a paycheck. There’s no recourse if [the boss] says, ‘Come here, or you’re fired,’ unless you have a union contract.”
Low-wage earners keep the economy running efficiently. Perhaps it’s time for lawmakers to give them what we all want. A chance to earn a living regardless of the weather.