Most banks with legal exposure to the financial crisis are dealing with the lawsuits one-by-one. But today, J.P. Morgan Chase decided to deal with the whole issue in one go, and settle for $13 billion. We begin a special collaboration with the New York Times that we're calling The New Health Care Math. Plus, meatpackers and ranchers are fighting each other over new labeling rules that take effect Saturday, requiring packaged meat to state where the animal that contributed said meat was raised, slaughtered and processed. And finally, the Obama administration launches a $100 million race-to-the-top-style competition meant to overhaul career and tech education by pairing high schools with colleges and employers.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 16,000 today. The record-high means something to the trading and investing community, but how important is that mark to the rest of us? Also, Walmart has signaled that the ACA requirement that most Americans either carry insurance or pay a penalty could hurt sales. Plus, a Senate committee is trying to understand Bitcoin today. Will the rest of us have to understand the idea of a virtual currency some day? Right now Bitcoin functions mainly among early Bitcoin adopters – who have pushed the currency’s value to a record level.
The latest revelations about government snooping have to do with money transfers – the CIA is building a database of transactions through firms like Western Union and MoneyGram. Also, health insurers have spent retooling their business plan in order to prosper under the ACA. What do those companies do now that the President has announced a change that upends their strategy? Finally, Google Books gets the legal go-ahead to continue scanning copyrighted works into its enormous database.
Two hours of Senate testimony, countless pages of written documents. Peel away the caution, the Fed-speak, and the dense economic language, and what can we now say about The (economic) world according to Janet Yellen?Plus, #AskJPM's attempt at social media community engagement on Twitter was shut down not long after it was launched. What are the pitfalls businesses should watch out for as they try to engage their communities? Finally, you’ve got a business that’s never earned a dollar and someone offers you $3 billion for it. And you say no. For Snapchat, started by two college students a couple years ago, was it not enough money?
Stack ranking is the office equivalent of grading on a curve. Jack Welch, at GE, brought stack ranking to the fore. And Microsoft used to use it -- but has now killed it; even as Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s glamorous CEO, is ramping it up. Plus, new guidelines on the use of statins to lower cholesterol hold the promise to dramatically increase the number of Americans who take those drugs. Most of them are available as generics. Finally, a group of Occupy Wall Street activists has started to buy securitized personal debt on the cheap – and then forgive the debtors — not only to lift the burden from individuals, but to raise awareness about the debt collection industry and how to resist credit.
By all accounts, about 50,000 people have made it through the federal exchanges. So, what does it mean? We keep hearing 500,000 as a magic number that the Obama administration was counting on. Next, typhoons beat on the Philippines regularly, destroying roads, bridges and buildings in an already poor country with bad roads, bridges and buildings, where the population has tripled in 50 years. Finally, Michelle Obama has a new pet project: Getting kids into college. What are the economics of the First Lady?