Despite being surrounded by the two states ranked by Moody's as having the worst debt service to state revenue ratios in the country, Rhode Island managed to come in 18th highest. Connecticut was worst, and Massachusetts just behind in second place. Is there a lot of work to be done in Rhode Island? Absolutely, but in New England, 18th worst is cause for celebration where debt is concerned. Rhod Island certainly has its weak points. Woonsocket is much deeper in debt than the State's Public Finance Management Board recommends. The Newport Daily News reports: “At the state level, the debt of … [Read more...]
Archives for August 2019
Can You Put the American Dream on Your Credit Card?
According to reporting from The Wall Street Journal, Americans are increasingly turning to debt to finance what many consider typical parts of the middle-class American lifestyle; cars, college, houses, and healthcare. AnnaMaria Andriotis, Ken Brown and Shane Shifflett report: Consumer debt, not counting mortgages, has climbed to $4 trillion—higher than it has ever been even after adjusting for inflation. Mortgage debt slid after the financial crisis a decade ago but is rebounding. Student debt totaled about $1.5 trillion last year, exceeding all other forms of consumer debt except … [Read more...]
Apple Stops Listening to You
After years of eavesdropping on Siri users to improve the product's voice recognition, Apple has announced that it will suspend its "grading" system of listening to users. This comes as Google and Amazon are also coming under increased scrutiny for listening to customers' conversations. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports: Apple Inc. said on Thursday it is suspending its global internal program for “grading” a portion of user Siri commands after some consumers raised concerns about the program. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant employs people that listen to less than 1% of Siri … [Read more...]
Spy Trains? Are Chinese Trains and Buses Spying on Americans?
Congress is working on legislation aimed at banning the purchase of Chinese bus and rail infrastructure by Americans. Some advocates are happy about protecting U.S. manufacturers, but others are more focused on the possibility that cameras and location tracking devices in Chinese manufactured buses and trains could pose a surveillance threat to Americans. The Wall Street Journal's Terfor Moss and Lindsay Wise report: The effort threatens to further fray U.S. trade talks with China, which wants to become a global player in transport and is already fuming over the U.S. decision to blacklist … [Read more...]
Most Investors Fail to Learn This One Thing
Through more than half a century of guiding investors in their efforts, the greatest failure I have seen is an inability to learn from history. Repeatedly market participants set unrealistic goals, use overly complex strategies in an attempt to achieve those goals, and inevitably fail. In February of 2013 I explained this phenomenon, writing: The Needy Investor Most investors, I’m sorry to say, are greedy, lack perspective and even a modicum of patience, and simply will not embrace the ultimate power of compound interest. I have found that too many investors fail to learn from history and … [Read more...]
How Well do You Really Know Someone?
Jason Zweig and Andrea Fuller report for The Wall Street Journal that there are deficiencies in one of the most popular tools for finding help with investments online. They write: Many people seeking a financial adviser begin their search at LetsMakeAPlan.org, a directory operated by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. The Board, which controls the CFP label coveted by financial planners, boasts of its high standards and has touted its directory of professionals as a place where people can find a screened, skilled and trustworthy financial planner. What they won’t … [Read more...]
Even Democrats Don’t Want Kamala Harris to Bring Back the Bad Old Days of Taxation
Democrats currently vying for the party's presidential nomination are unveiling their plans for government. Many of the plans include an idea known as "Medicare for All." Senator Kamala Harris from California has released her own "Medicare for All" plan, and to pay for it, her plan would raise taxes domestic and offshore profits at the same rate. The idea could be opposed by Harris' own party leadership, as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal helped end the practice. Bloomberg's Laura Davison reports: That could face resistance within … [Read more...]
Your Retirement Life: NewportFILM Outdoors
To kick off the Newport Folk Festival weekend, Newport FILM in partnership with Newport Folk Presents, showed Echo in the Canyon outdoors at St. Michael’s Country Day School. Becky and I walked there from our house and as you can see in my quick video we weren’t alone. It was a beautiful night. From NewportFILM: Echo In The Canyon celebrates the explosion of popular music that came out of LA’s Lauren Canyon in the mid-60’s as folk went electric and The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield, and The Mamas and the Papas gave birth to the California Sound. It was a moment (1965 to … [Read more...]
Is CVS Pioneering a Revolution in Dialysis?
It's not often a drug store/insurance company begins building its own medical devices. In fact, this may be a first. CVS is testing its own home dialysis machine. The machine could make the process of dialysis easier for the nearly 500,000 Americans on dialysis. Anna Wilde Mathews reports at The Wall Street Journal: CVS Health Corp. CVS -1.17% is making an ambitious move into kidney care, launching a clinical trial for a new home-dialysis device designed by the firm of Dean Kamen, the Segway inventor. The company is delving into unusual territory for a drugstore and health insurer. The … [Read more...]
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