In the Orange County Register, veteran California journalist and political analyst Dan Walters, examines the hard choice facing city officials in Sacramento, and state officials in California. The problem both governments have is their pensions. Despite problems with its pensions, Sacramento officials are already thinking up ways to spend money they haven't received from future taxes on things like "infrastructure, affordable housing, cultural amenities and incentives to attract new business," while ignoring the massive hole in the city's retirement funding. Walters writes: As they pore … [Read more...]
Archives for August 2019
Will Facebook’s Libra Pass the Anti-Trust Test in Europe?
Over the last two years Facebook has been a regular target of European regulators, and the plan for its new crypto-currency, Libra, is bringing the social media giant under new scrutiny. The FT reports: Facebook’s new digital currency, Libra, is under early scrutiny from the EU’s antitrust regulators, according to two people familiar with the matter. The European Commission has sent out questionnaires to groups involved with the Libra project as part of a preliminary information-gathering operation, amid concerns the currency could unfairly disadvantage rivals, the people … [Read more...]
This is the Best Summer for Teenagers in Over 50 Years
The American summer unemployment rate for those between 16 and 24 is the lowest it has been since 1966. Sarah Chaney reports at The Wall Street Journal: In July, the largest percentage of young working Americans were in leisure-and-hospitality jobs, which includes restaurant work. A sizeable share of youth also worked in retail. Employers like fast-casual chain Mooyah, based in Plano, Texas, are eager to snatch up workers. Tony Darden, the franchised burger chain’s chief operating officer, said there are fewer teens filling out applications as they opt to pursue education and competitive … [Read more...]
Tesla Finally Getting the Competition it Deserves?
Companies like GM, Toyota and Nissan have been trying to compete against Tesla for years with sub-par electric vehicle offerings. Inexpensive, but ultimately not up to the standards of vehicles produced under Elon Musk's guidance. Now, however, Tesla's years of minimum competition may be over. High-end automakers like Jaguar and Audi are bringing new models to customers with features and performance that rival Tesla, and according to some analysts are stealing market share from the electric vehicle pioneer. Maggie Fitzgerald reports for CNBC: Competition is weighing on Tesla’s sales, … [Read more...]
The Final Richard C. Young’s Intelligence Report
After meeting monthly strategy report deadlines since 1978, I have decided it’s time to switch gears. The name Intelligence Report will survive, but with no contribution from Richard C. Young. Instead, I am transitioning aggressively to full-time research on behalf of private clients of our family investment management firm, Richard C. Young & Co. Ltd. In this expanded venture, I will completely shift away from common stock mutual funds. I will concentrate laser like on “Dividends Around the World” from domestic and foreign common stocks with track records of increasing dividends … [Read more...]
Dividends Then and Now Are the Answer
I learned from Ben Graham nearly six decades ago that there's no better way to assess an investment than the cold hard cash it returns to you in the form of dividends or interest. In September of 2012 I wrote: While at Babson College, I studied Ben Graham’s Security Analysis. I still return to it regularly. In Chapter 35, Ben Graham writes, “For the vast majority of common stocks, the dividend record and prospects have always been the most important factor controlling investment quality and value…. In the majority of cases, the price of common stocks has been influenced more markedly by the … [Read more...]
The World Just Got Serious About Regulating Cryptocurrencies
For years anonymous crypto-currencies have been criminals' favorite method of hiding and laundering their money. That could all be about to end. Mike Orcutt explains at the MIT Technology Review that the Financial Action Task Force, a global standard-setting group, has put cryptocurrencies in its crosshairs. The group wants to clamp down on cryptocurrencies being used as a way to launder money. Orcutt reports: One of the biggest knocks against cryptocurrency has always been its status as a refuge for tech-savvy criminals. Even as some bigger players—particularly exchanges that handle many … [Read more...]
Have You Cut the Cord Yet with Cable?
If you have cut the cord from cable, you are one of a rapidly growing number of Americans. In 2019, the number of American households that will have made the switch will reach 22 million. Anna Nicolaou reports that costs and the annoyance of commercial breaks are driving Americans to get rid of traditional cable and to instead watch streaming television. She writes at The Financial Times: More and more Americans are rejecting cable’s hefty monthly costs and commercial breaks as they decide on-demand streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime can satisfy their viewing … [Read more...]
Does Your State Just Cost Too Much to Retire In?
If you live in Hawaii, California, or New York, your state is costing you a lot of money. According to the Tax Foundation, in those states respectively, $100 will only buy you 84%, 86% and 87% of what you can get in an average cost of living state. Meanwhile, if you live in Mississippi, Arkansas, or Alabama, your dollar will last you much longer, with a buying power of 117%, 116% and 115% of average in those states respectively. If you're retired and living on a fixed income, the boost in purchasing power could make a major difference in your standard of living. Analysts from the Tax … [Read more...]
Incumbents Fight Back Against Amazon’s Rx Inroads
Amazon is trying to disrupt the pharmacy business, but the industry's incumbents aren't willing to simply assist Amazon in killing them off. Now a minor war has broken out over the ability to share information on patients across prescription providers. Joseph Walker reports for The Wall Street Journal: Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -1.25% ’s foray into the pharmacy business is causing the company to clash with entrenched industry incumbents that are putting roadblocks in front of the company’s growth plans. Last week, Surescripts LLC, a provider of the technology widely used to route electronic … [Read more...]