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JPMorgan is investing billions in the tech arms' race. Here's everything you need to know.

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 3:54pm

  • JPMorgan has been shaking up executive ranks in recent months as the race to see who might succeed CEO Jamie Dimon one day heats up. 
  • The country's biggest bank by assets is trying to find new ways to use its monster $10.8 billion annual tech budget to better serve clients and compete with rival financial firms. 
  • It's also investing heavily in digital to lure millennial investors. 
  • JPMorgan is closely watched as a bellwether for the entire financial industry. 
  • Business Insider reports regularly on the latest developments at JPMorgan. You can read our stories by subscribing to BI Prime.

Here's what we know about what's going on inside of JPMorgan right now, from who is leading the race to succeed CEO Jamie Dimon one day, to how the bank is deploying its $10.8 billion annual tech spend to better serve clients and compete with rival financial firms. 


Technology Retail banking  Succession  Trading Deals Recruiting 

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NOW WATCH: WATCH: The legendary economist who predicted the housing crisis says the US will win the trade war

UBS puts its chief economist on leave following outrage over 'Chinese pig' comment (UBS)

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 3:08pm

  • Paul Donovan, UBS's chief global economist, was placed on leave from his role on Thursday for a comment he made about Chinese pork.
  • Donovan is a British economist who has been with the Swiss bank for more than 26 years and regularly comments on macroeconomic trends.
  • UBS shares were down more than 1% Friday afternoon. 
  • Watch UBS trade live.

UBS placed Paul Donovan, its chief global economist, on leave Friday morning in attempt to resolve backlash stemming from a comment he made about Chinese pork.

Donovan was discussing Chinese pork prices, which are rising because of a deadly pig virus on his podcast earlier this week. 

"It matters if you are a Chinese pig," Donovan said. "It matters if you like eating pork in China."

"Pig" is considered a derogatory remark in China, and some thought Donovan's statement was referencing Chinese people as opposed to actual sick pigs. UBS and Donovan issued an apology, and his podcast was removed from circulation.

Donovan went on Bloomberg TV on Friday morning to apologize again. 

"I apologize for anyone who took any offense from my remarks, which were clearly not intended to offend," Donovan said. "I got it wrong. I made a mistake, and I unwittingly used hugely culturally insensitive language."

The Chinese Securities Association of Hong Kong also sent a letter to UBS calling for the firing of Donovan, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The controversy comes at a difficult time for UBS, which was an early entrant into the Chinese market. The firm has recently ramped up efforts to attract more money from wealthy Asians.

UBS is now down about 7% so far this year. 

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NOW WATCH: WATCH: The legendary economist who predicted the housing crisis says the US will win the trade war

I've been an Airbnb host for a year, and while I'm glad we did it, I wouldn't tell just anyone to try

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 2:43pm

A year ago my wife and I decided to turn a recently purchased rental property into an Airbnb. A few of our friends and acquaintances had highly recommended going the Airbnb route instead of turning our home into a traditional rental.

We knew nothing about how to be Airbnb hosts. In fact, we weren't even experienced Airbnb guests, having only used the service once before.

But with reckless abandon, we began to research what it would take to be successful Airbnb hosts. We read endless blog posts and interviewed current hosts for pointers and ideas.

We tried to apply everything that we had learned. And then we dove in head first and hoped for the best.

It's been a full year since we took the Airbnb plunge and we've learned a lot along the way. If you're considering turning a rental property into an Airbnb, here are my three biggest takeaways from the past year.

1. Your income potential may be higher

There's no doubt that we bring in more income per month with Airbnb than we would ever be able to bring in as traditional landlords.

During the winter months, the income is usually double. During the hottest summer months, income can be three to four times what a tenant would pay to rent our home year-round.

That sounds great, but there's one big caveat that I should note: We happen to live in Daytona Beach, Florida, which is a popular vacation spot.

In a different area, it's possible that we wouldn't be able to ask as much per night for our house. It's also possible that our house would be booked 50% of every month, as opposed to our average booking rate of 75%.

If you're considering starting an Airbnb, make sure you do some market research first. Check to see what the average listing price is in your area. And try to get in contact with a local host to find out what they're bringing in on average.

As we'll see below, Airbnbs take a lot of work. You don't want to commit to all the extra effort that an Airbnb will require of you until you're confident that it will be worth it financially.

2. Your hassle factor will be higher

I'm not going to sugarcoat this. Hosting an Airbnb is a lot of work.

On a daily basis, you need to communicate with potential guests and answer questions from those who have already booked. And the house has to be cleaned in between each stay.

Now you can either do this yourself or pay someone else to take care of these things for you. But either way, "running" an Airbnb is going to cost you time or money.

With a traditional rental, you don't need to "run" anything. You just collect the check each month. And possibly fix a broken toilet every six months.

But an Airbnb is truly a side job. It requires attention on a weekly (and often daily) basis. Additionally, you'll be in charge of buying furniture, supplies, and amenities.

And you'll need to replace things as they get worn down. It's only been one year and we've already had to replace the living room couch and area rug due to wear and tear and spills.

These are things that you'll want to be aware of and prepared for before you start your Airbnb hosting adventure.

3. Your income will be inconsistent

As a landlord, monthly income is consistent and dependable (as long as you have good tenants).

But with Airbnb, no month is the same. As I mentioned earlier, summer is great in our area, but fall can be rough.

Certain months you may absolutely kill it. And the very next month, you could be checking your phone each day just hoping that a booking will come through.

To prepare for this "up and down" income roller coaster, I recommend saving up part of your extra income during the busy months so that you have a buffer built up for the slow times.

Overall, I'm glad we did it

So do I think that turning our rental property into an Airbnb was a good decision? The short answer: Yes.

But the long answer is if I didn't live in a tourist area where we can make three times the monthly income of a traditional rental by choosing Airbnb, I'm not sure I would do it.

Hosting an Airbnb is a lot of work and it can take away a lot of your daily freedom.

However, for where we live the income has been fantastic. So much so that we're willing to live with the extra hassle that comes with it.

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NOW WATCH: The reason people go gray in their 20s, according to a dermatologist

Republican lawmakers are closing in on a bill that would challenge Trump’s tariff powers

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 2:37pm

  • As President Donald Trump hails protectionist policies as a key way to gain leverage abroad, Republican lawmakers are moving toward legislation that would shift tariff powers to Capitol Hill. 
  • Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Rob Portman of Ohio put out competing bills this year that seek to rein in trade powers at the White House.
  • Toomey told Business Insider he hopes a markup will be ready "in the coming weeks."

As President Donald Trump hails protectionist policies as a key way to gain leverage abroad, Republican lawmakers are moving toward legislation that would shift tariff powers to Capitol Hill. 

Trump has upended a key GOP platform over the past year by igniting trade wars with multiple countries, including US allies. Now, senators appear to be closing in on a plan that seeks to limit presidential trade authority.

Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Rob Portman of Ohio put out competing bills this year that seek to reform Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, which lets the president unilaterally impose tariffs on the grounds of national security concerns. Toomey told Business Insider he hopes a markup will be ready "in the coming weeks."

Trump was met with sharp backlash from Republican lawmakers this month after holding the threat of tariffs over Mexico until the US ally agreed to take steps to stem the flow of migrants across the southern border. The president has separately drawn criticism from his party for invoking Section 232 to impose blanket duties on steel and aluminum imports.

"Misusing this trade tool not only hurts our exports and our manufacturers, but also our consumers, and I'm hopeful the Senate Finance Committee takes action on this legislation," said Portman.

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Both Toomey's Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act and Portman's Trade Security Act have bipartisan support and seek to rein in trade powers at the White House.

Toomey's plan is seen as the tougher of the two, requiring congressional approval for the president to declare an import a national security threat. It would also retroactively include all presidential orders up to four years prior to its passage.

Portman's bill would add administrative steps to the Section 232 process and allow congressional committees to issue a joint resolution of disapproval to tariff actions by the president. Proponents say that approach might be less likely to face opposition, while critics argue that it lacks binding language.

"The problem is that there's no guarantee that that bill would get time on the floor in the Senate or the House," said a Republican aide familiar with the legislation. "The Toomey legislation guarantees a vote."

Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is leading efforts to forge a compromise on the dueling bills. In a call with reporters Tuesday, the Iowa Republican acknowledged Trump would likely not be fond of the legislation but avoided criticizing the president.

"This is not about Trump," he said during the call, according to POLITICO. "It's about the balancing of power."

Economists say protectionist policies distort trade flows while acting as a tax on businesses and consumers at home. That has put some Republican lawmakers in an uncomfortable spot, especially as Trump restricts trade to address issues like immigration.

"Trump is unusual in his fondness for tariffs as a bargaining chip, and his comfort in using emergency powers to justify it," said Donald Moynihan, the McCourt chair at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. "We have gotten to a point where some Republican members of the Senate have lost trust in Trump when it comes to tariffs."

The president argues that duties will ultimately benefit Americans, making any short-term pain at home worth it. He believes reshaping trade policies will bring jobs back to the US, a signature promise of his that dates back to the 2016 campaign trail.

"The President's tariffs have not come anywhere close to tanking this unprecedented level of economic and job growth but have instead brought our allies and adversaries to the table all for the benefit of the American worker," White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said when asked about the Section 232 reform bills.

While Democrats tend to support a tougher stance toward perceived trade policy imbalances, there is no shortage of disagreement with the president's approach. When asked about legislation that would limit presidential tariff authority, a spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred Business Insider to a comment she had made earlier this year. 

"I really haven't seen that legislation, but I do support reclaiming some of Congress's – it is Congress's prerogative," Pelosi said in February.

Now read more markets coverage on Markets Insider and Business Insider:

Trump's trade war strikes again: Broadcom plummets after cutting its yearly sales forecast, dragging the entire chipmaker industry lower

GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 17 'superstar' stocks, which dominate sales in their industries and have been crushing the market

Beware a 'Trump recession': JPMorgan unloads on the president's role in erasing a full year of market progress — and lays out a scenario that could save the day

SEE ALSO: China says trade pressure from the US 'will absolutely not succeed' as Trump vows to slap tariffs on $300 billion worth of products

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How to open a high-yield savings account online to earn up to 200 times more interest on your money

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 2:14pm

Why should you carve out a quarter of an hour to apply for a new account and move over your money? To make more and save more. Online-only accounts often come with more favorable interest rates and fees.

In a recent look at my own savings, I shared the three high-yield savings accounts I use to hold my own cash. Between my emergency savings and other savings for future real estate investments, I've signed up for my fair share of online accounts.

Compared to some nationwide banks, which can pay as little as .01% interest, some of the best online banks (like Ally) pay more than 200 times more interest, offering 2% or more. And at the same time, they usually charge no recurring monthly fees with no minimum balance requirements. That's a big win for your money.

I recently signed up for a new account at Capital One to take advantage of a big $500 bonus for new accounts. It took me less than 10 minutes of work and I was off and running with my new account. If you follow the simple steps at your favorite bank's online form, you'll be set up in no time.

!function(){function e(){var e=document.createElement("script"),n=document.getElementById("myFinance-widget-script"),a=t+"static/widget/myFinance.js";e.type="text/javascript",e.async=!0,e.src=a,n.parentNode.insertBefore(e,n);var c="myFinance-widget-css";if(!document.getElementById(c)){var d=document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0],i=document.createElement("link");,i.rel="stylesheet",i.type="text/css",i.href=t+"static/widget/myFinance.css","all",d.appendChild(i)}}var t="";document.attachEvent?document.attachEvent("onreadystatechange",function(){"complete"===document.readyState&&e()}):document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",e,!1)}();

Unless you have a job where you get paid in cash, there is no reason you can't go entirely online-only for your banking. But if you just want to start with a high-yield savings account like those offered by Ally, Marcus, or Wealthfront, you can follow these basics steps to get started.

How to get a high-yield savings account 1. Gather your personal information

The first step with any new bank account is getting your personal information together. Banks are required by law to collect customer information. Expect to provide your name, address, phone number, and Social Security number when applying for any new financial account.

Many of the laws regarding providing your information to banks come from the PATRIOT Act introduced after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. In the banking industry, this is known as KYC or Know Your Customer requirements. For us law-abiding customers, that just means we have to provide a little extra information compared to a couple of decades ago.

2. Fill out the application

Most online banking applications take less than 10 minutes to complete. If you are working with a bank that offers a strong customer experience, it may take even less than five minutes.

Most of the application details should be things you already know off of the top of your head. Outside of some employer details, everything in the application is personal.

Online banking may be intimidating if it is new to you, but rest assured that it is safe and simple to use. If you have enough computer skills to make a purchase online or send an email, you can handle the online banking application process and anything you need to do to maintain your account.

3. Fund your account

In many cases, your identity confirmation is instant and you can fund your account right away. If you've ever filled out a direct deposit form for payroll or linked a checking account to pay a mortgage or credit card bill, this will feel very familiar.

My favorite online banks have no minimum balance requirements to avoid monthly fees, though some banks do require a minimum to open a new account. Whether you plan to deposit $1, $100, or $1,000 in your new account, the process is almost always the same.

!function(){function e(){var e=document.createElement("script"),n=document.getElementById("myFinance-widget-script"),a=t+"static/widget/myFinance.js";e.type="text/javascript",e.async=!0,e.src=a,n.parentNode.insertBefore(e,n);var c="myFinance-widget-css";if(!document.getElementById(c)){var d=document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0],i=document.createElement("link");,i.rel="stylesheet",i.type="text/css",i.href=t+"static/widget/myFinance.css","all",d.appendChild(i)}}var t="";document.attachEvent?document.attachEvent("onreadystatechange",function(){"complete"===document.readyState&&e()}):document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",e,!1)}();

You may also have the option to mail in a check, deposit a check using your new bank's mobile app, or make a transfer with a bank wire. Outside of wire transfers, there are typically no fees or costs with transferring funds to or from an online savings account.

4. Bonus: Set up your online banking and bill pay

If you add a new checking account at the same time, which is easy to do at most banks and credit unions, you shouldn't stop when you fund your account. Taking a few extra minutes up front can help you get moving on an automatic financial plan.

One of the biggest benefits of online banking is the ability to manage your finances from one central hub. If you connect all of your account including other banks, investments, credit cards, and bills, you'll be able to save a lot of time in the future.

If your account is linked, it makes it really easy to transfer funds. Whether you need to pay for an emergency, want to add to your savings balance, or pay a utility bill, you can do it in a few clicks from your online banking dashboard.

Considering a high-yield savings account? Take a look at these offers from our partners:

Related coverage from How to Do Everything: Money

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I wasn't sure of the $450-a-year Chase Sapphire Reserve, so I opted for its $95 cousin — and now I'm convinced it's one of the best starter cards to earn points and miles

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 1:56pm

Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network if you apply for a credit card, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

  • While the Chase Sapphire Reserve ($450 a year) is superior in many ways, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card's lower annual fee ($95 a year) makes it a great entry-level card for people new to booking with points and miles.
  • It earns flexible points that are inherently more valuable than points or miles earned by similarly priced co-branded credit cards.
  • Because Chase allows account holders to pool points, the Chase Sapphire Preferred pairs well with other cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards.

It may seem odd to attach the title of "best" to a card that is outperformed in virtually every meaningful way by product in the same family. But here I am, telling you that the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is the best travel credit card for people new to points and miles.

Yes, its 2x points on travel and restaurant spend is dwarfed by the $450-a-year Chase Sapphire Reserve's 3x. Yes, its 1.25 cents per point of uplift when booking travel through Chase's Ultimate Rewards portal, now powered by Expedia, can't match the Reserve's powerful 1.5 cents per point of uplift. But the Chase Sapphire Preferred has one major thing going for it: It's cheap. At $95 a year, the Sapphire Preferred is a premium card packed with tons of potential at an entry-level price.

That small fee grants access to a bevy of impressive perks for such an inexpensive card which includes, but is certainly not limited to, primary rental car collision coverage, trip cancellation insurance, and trip delay reimbursement.

Additionally, the card earns Ultimate Rewards points, which are one of the top currencies in the points and miles world. Their value, like most other bank points, are enhanced because of their flexibility — you can transfer the Ultimate Rewards points in your Chase Sapphire Preferred account to a number of travel partner loyalty programs. Or, as mentioned earlier, you can use those points to book travel reservations through Chase's native booking portal. When doing so, your points are worth 1.25 cents per point, which provides a hefty discount compared to booking directly with cash.

The Sapphire Preferred provides flexible points, which can be hugely valuable

If you're new to booking travel reservations with points and miles, you should know that flexible currencies like Chase Ultimate Rewards points are great because they are so fungible. Many newcomers to the points and miles world start their journey by identifying an airline or hotel program they frequently use, then applying for that specific airline or hotel's co-branded credit card, thinking those cards would provide significant value. They're not wrong, necessarily, but points earned through co-branded cards are generally less valuable than flexible points (although, as with most things to do with credit rewards, that measure is somewhat subjective).

Flexible points are more valuable because once you earn points and they are deposited into a specific program, like Southwest Rapid Rewards, for example, they typically can not be moved or redeemed elsewhere. There are, of course, a few exceptions to this. However, bank points, like those earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, offer much more flexibility, which makes them more valuable by nature.

For example, let's say I earn 60,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points by signing up and using their credit card. I may find some great deals, redeeming those points for fares that would have otherwise costs quite a bit in cash. But, if I'm determined to only keep a few credit cards in my portfolio, those points can come at moderately high opportunity cost.

To contrast, let's say I earn a similarly robust 60,000 points using the Chase Sapphire Preferred. If I need to fly on a route serviced by Southwest that costs, say, 15,000 Rapid Rewards points, I can transfer my points from Chase directly to Southwest to cover the cost. Now, I have 45,000 points left over to use as I wish. I could use my remaining points for different airline or hotel program transfers or bookings, depending on where my travels take me.

This is how I typically use my points, transferring between various travel partners as the need arises.

The Sapphire Preferred is easy to combine with other Chase cards

Another reason I like the Sapphire Preferred is because it plays along nicely with other Chase Ultimate Rewards point-earning cards. In addition to the Sapphire Preferred, I also have the Chase Freedom card, which offers 5% cash back (5x points) on quarterly rotated categories, up to $1,500 each quarter you activate, as well as the Chase Freedom Unlimited, which earns me 1.5% cash back (1.5x points) on all purchases. Chase allows cardholders to combine points from their accounts. So, when my points post to each of my accounts each month, I transfer them to my Sapphire Preferred account.

I'll use my Sapphire Preferred for dining and travel purchases, my Freedom card for those specific, rotating categories, and my Freedom Unlimited for everything else. This ensure that, at minimum, I'll always be earning 1.5x points on every purchase, sometimes more, and those points will be put to good use when they are finally moved to my Sapphire Preferred account.

One day, I'll probably end up getting the Reserve

I will likely upgrade to the Reserve at some point in the future. Because Chase currently requires four years to pass before a cardholder is eligible for another Sapphire product sign-on bonus, I will simply upgrade to the Reserve instead of fully closing my Sapphire Preferred account.

Because of my travel habits, the Reserve would have likely given me more value than the Sapphire Preferred. But I didn't know at the time. I didn't know if I would figure out how to easily navigate points transfers and other loyalty intricacies. I didn't know if I would travel enough to take full advantage of all of the Reserve perks. I know now that I have a decent handle on the broad strokes of the points and miles world.

I also know that because I opted to start with Sapphire Preferred, it was an inexpensive education. I'll get the Chase Sapphire Preferred's premium sibling soon, cardholders have to wait at least 12 months to upgrade, but for now, I'll enjoy and continue to get great value out of my Preferred card.

Learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred from our partner The Points Guy »

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NOW WATCH: New York City is getting even more infested with rats. Here's why cities can't get rid of them.

The woman who founded $1 billion biotech Gossamer told us about the 3 jobs that prepared her to be a first-time CEO

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 1:36pm

  • Gossamer Bio is a $1.2 billion biotech developing drugs for asthma, chronic hives, hypertension, and more. 
  • CEO and cofounder Dr. Sheila Gujrathi told us about how she founded the company and what it was like taking on the CEO job for the first time. 
  • Three key jobs in particular prepared her for the role, Gujrathi said, including time at McKinsey, being a biotech's chief medical officer, and training as a physician.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

In 2015, when the biotech where she had been the chief medical officer for four years got scooped up by Celgene for about $7 billion, Dr. Sheila Gujrathi took a step back and thought about her next move. 

A Stanford- and Harvard-trained physician, Gujrathi had also worked at healthcare companies for more than 15 years, including at big names like Genentech and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Gujrathi knew she wasn't done with her career. She also realized two things. She wanted to start her own company, and she wanted to run it herself.

Today that is Gossamer Bio, a $1.2 billion biotech in San Diego focused on the science of the immune system, the human body's defense against disease, and diseases of inflammation and cancer.

The company is named after the thin, delicate "gossamer" threads that tie different people together, in honor of the company's relationships with everyone from its employees to patients.  

It's developing treatments for a severe subtype of asthma, long-term sinus inflammation, chronic hives, a type of high blood pressure, inflammatory bowel disease, and more. 

"What drew me to this was really building this from the ground up," Gujrathi, the cofounder and CEO of Gossamer Bio, told Business Insider.

Preparing to be a CEO with 3 key jobs

When Gujrathi founded Gossamer Bio, which was launched last year, she was taking on the job of CEO for the first time.

That meant assuming a wide variety of responsibilities, from overseeing different parts of the company, to financing, expenses, operations, and administration.

Not to mention, "how to work well with the board, how to really have a highly functioning executive team, and that's really integrated across all the organizations," she said. 

Asked what the experience was like, Gujrathi pointed to three previous roles that were especially good training.

First, a stint as a management consultant at McKinsey early in her career. There, Gujrathi said she got a good deal of business training on subjects like project management and communications. 

"I came in with that type of mindset, really understanding how to be a business consultant, thinking analytically about the business and types of problems that needed to be solved," she said.

Then there was her time at Receptos as its chief medical officer for four years.

That role, like being CEO, means overseeing a major part of a company's operations. It's a high-pressure, high-stress position, overseeing things that can make or break a biotech, like designing research trials and ensuring data is high quality.

"I think it's a great step to being a CEO, with so much content and importance to what a clinical biotech company does," she said.

"Obviously now I'm working on financing strategy, business development, investor relations" and more, but her skills have served her well as CEO, she added.

And, of course, Gujrathi's medical background comes in handy every day, as does a drive for making medicines that can better serve patients, she said.

"So it's a great mix, a great marriage, if you will, being CEO of a biotech company," Gujrathi said.

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'This is not a novel concept': FEC chair brings the hammer down on foreign influence after Trump's widely panned interview on the same topic

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 9:03pm

  • Federal Election Commission chair Ellen Weintraub, a Democrat, issued a scathing statement for "anyone running for public office."
  • Her statement comes one day after an interview, in which President Donald Trump suggested he may not alert the FBI if a foreign power handed him damaging information about a political opponent.
  • "Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a US election," she said in a statement.
  • Weintraub previously served as counsel to the House Ethics Committee and focuses on the "potential for corporate and 'dark-money' spending to become a vehicle for foreign influence in our elections," according to her biography.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The chair of the Federal Election Commission issued a scathing statement for "anyone running for public office," following the airing of an interview in which President Donald Trump suggested he may not alert the FBI if a foreign power handed him damaging information against a political opponent.

Ellen Weintraub is a Democrat who has served on the commission since December of 2002 and is serving her third stint as its chair. In a statement on Thursday, she said she would not have believed this "needed" to be reiterated.

"Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a US election," she said in a statement.

"This is not a novel concept," she added. "Electoral intervention from foreign governments has been considered unacceptable since the beginnings of our nation."

Weintraub previously served as counsel to the House Ethics Committee and focuses on the "potential for corporate and 'dark-money' spending to become a vehicle for foreign influence in our elections," according to her biography.

Read more: 'This president is a national security threat': 2020 Democrats sound the alarm after Trump says he would be open to accepting dirt on his political foes from foreign powers

Her statement follows Trump's comments in an ABC News interview that aired on Wednesday. Trump suggested he considered damaging information against a political opponent, including info that come from Russia, as opposition research and not election interference.

"I think maybe you do both — I think you might want to listen," Trump told the ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos. "There's nothing wrong with listening."

"Oh, I think I'd want to hear it," Trump added. "It's not an interference. They have information. I think I'd take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI."

Trump's statement contradicts the advice given by FBI director Christopher Wray during a congressional hearing in May. Wray advised that lawmakers should contact the FBI if they were contacted by a country that intended to influence US elections.

Trump's comments alarmed Democrats running in the 2020 US presidential election: "China is listening. Russia is listening. North Korea is listening," Sen. Kamala Harris of California said in a tweet. "Let's speak the truth: this president is a national security threat."

SEE ALSO: 'This president is a national security threat': 2020 Democrats sound the alarm after Trump says he would be open to accepting dirt on his political foes from foreign powers

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This former Google exec just launched a $175 million fund to invest in startups tackling climate change with clean energy and reusable goods

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 8:43pm

After less than ideal returns in the early '00s, investment in sustainable technology is having a major moment in the sun.

On Thursday, CapitalG cofounder and former partner Scott Tierney announced his firm, Valo Ventures, raised a new $175 million fund that will focus on investing in companies developing technology for clean energy and reusable goods. CapitalG was formerly known as Google Capital, the search giant's later-stage fund, now housed under the corporate umbrella of Alphabet. 

"Being at Google is like being a kid in a candy shop," Tierney told Business Insider. "They have great aspirations and mission and values for the team, but I want to have an impact in the next 20 years, so I wanted to create a new type of fund."

Read More: Al Gore's environmental-sustainability fund has raised $1 billion to pump into new markets focused on health and wealth inequality

Tierney left his role at Nest, Google's smart home device division, in July to start Valo Ventures with Mona ElNaggar and Julia Brady. This fund is the firm's first, and is backed by its first major corporate limited partner, Fortum. The Finland-based energy company is focused on developing clean energy alternatives, and Tierney told Business Insider that several of Valo's portfolio companies have already completed or been approved for pilot programs with Fortum.

"Every company I've admired has had a clear mission and if we could take some of the learnings from my consumer tech product experience at Google and apply that to some of the key social mega-trends that we're interested in, we might have a greater impact," Tierney said. "We want to find out how [clean technology] can be applied proactively and aggressively in the physical world."

Tierney said he was always impressed with Google's environmental sustainability initiatives, especially its project to ensure a close-to-zero carbon footprint for all its data centers. He credits his time at Nest and Google's hardware division with giving him a crash course in the electricity and energy markets.

"I liked themes that have social, economic, and environmental pull," Tierney said. "These are our trends where, in the past, it was just tech trends. We're focused on tech as an investment but adding a layer with these themes."

Tierney says that the new fund will allow Valo Ventures to write checks between $1 million and $10 million across early and growth stage rounds.

"We're really more focused on our risk-adjusted returns, management, and product and that doesn't always correlate to a certain stage," Tierney explained.

Tierney's fund isn't the first to try to tackle climate change and other environmental "mega-trends," as he calls other initiatives like reducing plastic and reusable goods.

Many legacy venture firms, most notably Kleiner Perkins, made large bets on green technology like solar panels in the early 2000s with less than ideal returns. A recent Fortune report blamed Kleiner Perkins's declining status in Silicon Valley in part to its intense focus on environmental sustainability investments that ultimately flopped.

"If anything, we want to attract more capital towards these megatrends," Tierney said when asked about getting out from under the dark cloud hanging over environmental investments.

SEE ALSO: Tech VCs are squabbling over a popular type of funding for startups that one prominent investor calls a 'nightmare' and a 's**t show'

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After a devastating failure, the CEO of the largest health system in New York wants to get back into the health insurance business

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 8:43pm

  • Northwell Health in 2013 launched a health plan for the Affordable Care Act's market in New York.
  • A few years later, the largest health system in New York decided to exit the market, after experiencing major financial losses. 
  • Even so, CEO Michael Dowling hopes to one day operate a health plan again as a way to allow the health system to care for patients in a different way. 
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Michael Dowling has tried his hand at operating an insurance plan.

Dowling is the CEO of Northwell Health, which operates 23 hospitals and 750 other healthcare sites. The health system made $11.5 billion in revenue in 2018, making it the largest by revenue in New York. 

Northwell's insurance plan, called CareConnect, got its start selling plans in 2013 on the health-insurance markets set up under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise called "Obamacare." In 2017, after 3.5 years of operations, Northwell decided to wind down the insurance unit, citing heavy financial losses.

Eventually, though, Dowling said he wants to get back into the health-plan business.

"Would I love to be in the insurance business? Yes. Will I be in it at some point in the future? Yes," he said.

Because Northwell shut down CareConnect, the company will have to wait several years before it can start a new insurance operation.

In the interview, Dowling didn't get into details on how a future insurance effort would differ from the company's failed attempt. In the meantime, Northwell's looking to strike up more contracts with employers to manage the health of their employees, a venture that can be similar to insurance because it requires the health system to take on financial responsibility for caring for big groups of people.

Read more: A failed deal with Boeing taught a $23 billion health system 5 key lessons about how to work with big companies to shake up healthcare

Northwell has blamed ACA regulations for its financial losses and the decision to shut down the insurer. Northwell has said that rules in the ACA that were supposed to stabilize the insurance market and help insurers that signed up the sickest and costliest members ended up putting it at a disadvantage.

"Obamacare had components in it that were ridiculous," Dowling told Business Insider in a recent interview. "Obamacare forced us to lose money we shouldn't have lost." 

Dowling said his experience with running a health plan as the ACA was getting off the ground has led him to oppose single-payer healthcare, or the idea that all of healthcare will be paid for by the US government. The idea has been gaining traction among Democrats ahead of the 2020 presidential election

"Think of anything the government completely runs and tell me if it goes well," Dowling said, pointing to the health system run by the Department of Veteran Affairs, as well as public hospitals. "Any hospital that is completely government paid is underwater, losing its shirt."

Northwell generated 65% of its revenue from the government-funded Medicare and Medicaid programs last year.

Read more: The biggest health system in New York used to make 80% of its revenue from hospitals. A decade later, that's down to half.

Why Dowling wants Northwell to operate a health plan

Northwell currently offers a lot of services that are aimed at keeping patients healthy, such as employing a Michelin-star chef to provide better nutrition for patients and telemedicine appointments. 

Currently, Northwell doesn't benefit financially from keeping patients healthy. Instead, it largely makes its money when patients see a doctor or get an operation. 

Running an insurance company would change that, because insurance companies are more profitable when their patients stay healthy or get care at a lower cost.

In the meantime, Dowling is also working to more directly manage the health of self-insured employers, a move that health systems across the US have been doing as a way to get paid more based on how healthy they can keep employees, rather than how many times those workers go to the doctor.

Employers like Walmart, General Motors, and Boeing have been using the approach, working directly with doctors and health systems rather than having health insurers manage those relationships. 

Right now, Northwell offers injury management programs, preventive services like flu shots, and will run clinics for big companies at their offices or nearby. It's working to contract directly with employers in New York to manage the healthcare of their employees to keep them healthier and out of the hospital. 

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A top White House economic adviser says the ballooning budget deficit 'doesn’t bother' him

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 8:39pm

  • White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow suggested on Thursday that the rapidly growing gap between federal income and spending wasn't a pressing concern.
  • "I don't think we're at a crisis point now," Kudlow said of publicly-held debt as a share of gross domestic product. "That by itself is not a catastrophe. It doesn't bother me right now."
  • As a candidate in 2016, President Donald Trump promised to balance the federal budget within eight years.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow suggested on Thursday that the rapidly growing gap between federal income and spending wasn't a pressing concern.

"I don't think we're at a crisis point now," Kudlow said of the deficit at a Peterson Institute of International Economics event in Washington, DC, estimating that publicly-held debt as a share of gross domestic product was around 90%.

"That by itself is not a catastrophe. It doesn't bother me right now."

Kudlow said that he would be concerned if there were a longer-term trend of mediocre growth and new entitlement programs.

As a candidate in 2016, President Donald Trump promised to balance the federal budget within eight years. But the deficit has climbed steadily since he took office, despite a humming economy.

The White House has projected that growth will come in at or above 3% in throughout Trump's presidency. Kudlow said he believed that would happen even if the US and China fail to resolve a trade war that has cast uncertainty on the world's largest economies. 

"I hope he is right but it seems much more optimistic than private sector forecasters at this point," said Austan Goolsbee, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Obama White House. 

The widening deficit has been in part driven by a sweeping tax-cut bill passed in 2017, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated will add $1.9 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. Republicans had promised the legislation would pay for itself through higher levels of growth, but evidence suggests otherwise. 

On Wednesday, data from the Treasury Department showed the deficit grew 42% from a year earlier to $207.8 billion in May. Since the fiscal year began in October, that gap has increased by about 39%.

Kudlow has downplayed the size of the budget deficit before, even falsely claiming at one point last year that it was "rapidly" declining under Trump. The annual deficit is expected to come in at around $1 trillion by 2022 and remain above that level annually for at least seven years, according to the CBO.

SEE ALSO: The US budget deficit skyrocketed to a record $207.8 billion in May

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Uber, MasterCard, Visa and other big companies have reportedly signed on to Facebook's blockchain efforts (FB)

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 7:44pm

It sounds like Facebook has persuaded a suite of heavyweight companies to get involved in its secretive blockchain project.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Silicon Valley technology giant has enlisted a number of high-profile firms — including Uber, MasterCard, Stripe, Visa, and — to support its new cryptocurrency.

For the last year or so, a team of dozens of Facebook employees have been working on applications for blockchain, the buzzy technology that underpins digital currency bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, to figure out how Facebook could utilize it. According to multiple reports, the company has been creating its own digital currency, and intends to officially announce it next week.

Uber, Stripe, and the others are reportedly investing $10 million each to support a separate organization that will help run the new digital currency, which has been codenamed Project Libra. (The companies named in The Wall Street Journal's report did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.)

A separate report from The Information last week said that Facebook is hoping to enlist as many as 100 organisations to act as "nodes" in the network, which will limit any single organization's control over the digital currency (including Facebook).

Facebook's blockchain effort is being headed up by David Marcus, who previously led the Facebook Messenger business. The move into crypto is considered a key element of Facebook's so-called pivot-to-privacy, a top to bottom overhaul of the social network that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said will resolve many of the criticisms around privacy and misinformation on Facebook.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.

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More than 600 companies including Walmart and Costco sent a letter to Trump begging him not to increase China tariffs

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 7:35pm

  • More than 600 companies and trade groups sent a letter to the Trump Administration warning of catastrophic effects on American consumers from the escalation of tariffs on Chinese goods.
  • "We remain concerned about the escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs," the letter reads. "We know firsthand that the additional tariffs will have a significant, negative and long-term impact on American businesses, farmers, families and the US economy."
  • Companies large and small signed the letter, including Walmart, Target, Macy's, and Costco.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Companies across America are not taking the Trump Administration's tariffs on Chinese goods lying down.

More than 600 companies large and small, including heavyweight nationwide retailers like Walmart, Costco, Target, and Macy's, signed on to a letter addressed to the Trump Administration decrying the tariffs due to their effect on American consumers.

"We encourage the administration to negotiate a strong deal with China that addresses longstanding structural issues, improves U.S. global competitiveness, and eliminates tariffs," the letter reads. "We believe this goal can be achieved without taxing Americans."

Currently, $200 billion in goods like baggage, mattresses, vacuum cleaners, and air conditioners from China are subject to a 25% tax, as of May. Trump has also threatened to apply the same tariff on an additional $300 billion in goods in categories of more everyday items, like toys, clothing, shoes, and TV sets.

"Broadly applied tariffs are not an effective tool to change China's unfair trade practices," the letter reads. "Tariffs are taxes paid directly by US companies, including those listed below— not China."

The letter was organized by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a coalition of concerned business groups that oppose the tarifffs on Chinese goods in the retail, tech, manufacturing, and agriculture, according to CNN.

Read more: These retailers could be worst hit by the trade war with China

Though many retailers are putting on a brave face, many have said in recent weeks and months that the new tariffs would force them to raise prices, resulting in higher costs paid by US consumers for the same items.

SEE ALSO: Jeff Bezos has said that Amazon has had failures worth billions of dollars — here are some of the biggest ones

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Uber's self-driving CEO says the company needs robo-taxis because it can't grow its fleet of human drivers fast enough (UBER)

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 6:10pm

  • Uber is making progress on its goal to launch a fleet of robo-taxis that do not have a human driver at all.
  • Eric Meyhofer, CEO of Uber's self-driving car unit, said the company plans to begin testing the cars without human safety drivers in small trials in 2020.
  • The company hopes these cars will help augment its 3-million strong human driver workforce because, Meyhofer said, the company has trouble attracting and keeping enough drivers to meet the growth of its rideshare service.
  • Visit for more stories.

Will Uber's self-driving robot cars eventually replace its nearly 3 million human drivers? The CEO of the self-driving unit, Eric Meyhofer, won't say.

But Meyhofer, head of Uber's Advanced Technologies Group, did tell CNBC that Uber needs a fleet of robot cars because it has difficulty attracting enough drivers to meet its growth needs.

He was showing off Uber's newest self-driving car from Volvo, which was designed in the factory to work with Uber's self-driving tech. That means that Uber engineers don't have to retrofit the cars after-the-fact.

As Business Insider previously reported, one of the contributing factors to the fatal accident, in which an Uber self-driving car killed a pedestrian in Phoenix last year, was that Uber engineers had forbidden the car from slamming on the brakes, even if it detected "a squishy thing" — Uber's term for a human or an animal, and they had also disabled Volvo's own emergency-braking factory settings, sources told Business Insider.

So such factory integration should be a big step up for safety when the car is on the road without human safety drivers, which Uber plans to begin testing in select areas next year, he said.

Read: Uber self-driving CEO says people are bullying its self-driving cars with rude gestures and road rage

Meyhofer wouldn't say where the human-less tests will take place or how many of these cars might eventually be deployed in order for Uber to make a profitable business out of robo-taxis. He did say that the company has a couple of cities already in mind for the trials.

When asked about the implications of robo-taxis replacing human jobs, he hinted that they wouldn't. Their mission will be to help Uber augment its ridesharing service, allowing it to grow, something he said it is struggling with right now, both in attracting drivers and keeping them.

"One of the challenges Uber faces with its ride business, it's having trouble maintaining its growth. The amount Uber grows is phenomenal, as we've all seen, and we want to keep that growth rate continuing," he said.

"Getting driver partners on the network and getting them to stay on the network, that's a challenging thing for us. With self-driving, we're going to be able to stabilize our growth rate a little bit more and add more of the service that people love so much," he said.

Read: An engineer at Uber's self-driving-car unit warns that it's more like 'a science experiment' than a real car capable of driving itself

The company has told investors, via its quarterly earnings report, that its self-driving cars could very well reduce the need for drivers, and this may cause drivers to grow unhappy with the company in the short term. 

"We are investing in our autonomous vehicle strategy, which may add to Driver dissatisfaction over time, as it may reduce the need for Drivers," the company said in financial documents.


SEE ALSO: Uber insiders describe infighting and questionable decisions before its self-driving car killed a pedestrian

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NOW WATCH: We tested BMW's largest SUV to see if its tech features are helpful or gimmicky — here's the verdict

The largest Medicaid insurer in the US just led a $60 million investment in GV-backed startup Quartet Health

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 6:00pm

  • Behavioral-health startup Quartet Health just raised $60 million in an investment round led by health insurer Centene.
  • In total, Quartet has raised $153 million from investors including GV and Oak HC/FT, and has a valuation of $490 million, according to PitchBook. 
  • Quartet Health uses data to connect a patient's primary care doctor with his or her mental health professionals to get a more full picture of that individual's health. 
  • The investment in a startup is a rare move for Centene, which in March announced plans to acquire the health insurer WellCare in a $17.3 billion deal. 
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

The largest provider of Medicaid health plans in the US just made a big investment in a health technology startup that's working to link mental health to physical health. 

On Thursday, Quartet Health said it has raised $60 million in a funding round led by health insurer Centene. In total, Quartet has raised $153 million from investors including GV, F-Prime Capital, and Oak HC/FT, and has a valuation of $490 million, according to PitchBook. 

Quartet is a behavioral health startup that connects a patient's primary care doctors with his or her mental health professionals to identify co-occurring or related issues. That connection is built by working with health plans like Centene, Highmark in Pennsylvania, and Blue Cross Blue Shield in North Carolina. The hope is that by better connecting mental health to physical health via Quartet's platform, it might keep members healthier. 

Initially, Centene plans to roll out Quartet's platform to Medicaid members in Louisiana and Illinois. 

Centene is holding an investor meeting on Friday

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Quartet board member and Oak HC/FT managing partner Annie Lamont pointed to Centene's presence in the Medicaid market and its spending on mental health services as a reason to turn to Quartet. 

"It's pretty logical that they would come to us," Lamont said. 

Mental healthcare in Medicaid

In March, Centene said it's acquiring rival health insurer WellCare in a $17.3 billion deal.

The two companies have a big presence in the government-funded health-insurance programs Medicaid and Medicare, as well as on the individual exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act. All in, the two companies cover about 22 million Americans, including about 12 million in Medicaid.

Medicaid, the state and federal program that pays for medical care for some low-income Americans, covers 72.6 million people. It's the largest payer for mental health services in the US

Centene hasn't made many venture investments in recent years, though in 2018 it did take a stake in telehealth startup RubiconMD. The company has favored acquiring other health insurers, striking deals for New York's Fidelis Care in 2017 and California-based Health Net in 2015.

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Elon Musk just revealed more video games coming to Tesla cars — here's the full list so far (TSLA)

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 5:47pm

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a big fan of video games, as he's repeatedly discussed.
  • Tesla's cars have Easter Egg homages to games, and you can already play a few classic Atari games directly on the car's main screen. A newer game, "Cuphead," is headed to Tesla's in the future.
  • Musk, alongside Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard, announced yet another game on Thursday as officially coming to Tesla cars: "Fallout Shelter."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Forget about Nintendo and PlayStation — the hottest new video game console is a Tesla. 

Elon Musk's proclivity for the nerdier things in life is notorious, and video games are no exception. When he's not busy building and launching rockets with SpaceX, or creating industry-disrupting car companies, Musk is apparently brokering deals to put video games into Teslas. 

Musk took to a stage in Los Angeles on Thursday, alongside celebrated video game designer Todd Howard of Bethesda Game Studios, to announce a new game for Tesla cars: "Fallout Shelter."

That brings the total list of games in Tesla cars (starting price: $36,000) up to at least nine, ranging from old Atari classics to newer titles with more modern graphics. The games use the steering wheel as a controller, so these are designed for the person in the driver's seat. But don't be alarmed, the car needs to be in Park for the games to work. 

Here's the full list of games now available in a Tesla car:

SEE ALSO: Microsoft says the next Xbox will arrive late next year, and it'll have faster loading times and incredible graphics hardware

9. "Super Breakout"

8. "Cuphead"

7. "Centipede"

6. "Missile Command"

5. "Lunar Lander"

4. "Beach Buggy Racing 2"

3. "Fallout Shelter"

2. "Asteroids"

1. "Tempest"

Check out a clip of the Atari stuff right here:

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And check out both "Cuphead" and "Beach Buggy Racing 2" right here:

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Lululemon is spending more on air shipments before Trump's tariffs clog up ports — and it's a stark warning for companies that import from China

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 4:59pm

  • Ports could become congested this summer as companies bring forward shipments from China in anticipation of higher tariffs.
  • Lululemon plans to dodge the problem by flying in more products instead of shipping them by sea.
  • The athletic-apparel retailer expects tariffs and air-freight costs to weigh on its gross margin this quarter and its full-year earnings.
  • Watch Lululemon Athletica trade live.

Ports could become clogged this summer as US businesses bring forward shipments from China in anticipation of higher import duties. Lululemon, which posted a robust set of first-quarter results this week, plans to dodge the problem by flying in more products instead of shipping them by sea.

"We are committing to higher air-freight usage as the hedge against disruption in ocean shipping lanes as we approach the key dates related to tariff increases," Lululemon CFO Patrick Guido said on the company's earnings call

"We're anticipating port congestion right around that mid-to-late July time frame, and we think it's prudent and important to deliver new product for our guests and protect the sales associated with those goods," he added.

Lululemon may be right to worry about port congestion. The number of shipping containers at two of America's largest US ports, Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, surged after the first round of tariffs on Chinese goods were introduced last year, the Los Angeles Times reported. And a trade expert told the newspaper that because additional tariffs could take effect as early as July, another such surge could tie up California ports again as firms rush to get in front of them.

Lululemon imports only 6% of its total finished goods from China, limiting its direct exposure to tariffs. However, the combined costs of import duties and air cargo are likely to mean its gross margin will be "flat to modestly up" this quarter, compared with 54.8% a year ago, Guido said.

The athletic-apparel retailer also expects higher costs to reduce its diluted earnings per share by $0.04 to $0.05 this fiscal year.

The company may be taking extra precautions to avoid a repeat of 2014, when about 1 million of its products were held up because of port congestion in Los Angeles and Seattle, delaying delivery to stores for up to 10 days and forcing it to lower sales forecasts, according to Reuters.

The US-China trade war is taking a bigger toll on sea trade. The world's biggest shipping company, Maersk, pegged growth in global container trade at 1.7% in the first quarter of this year, a sharp slowdown from the average growth of 3.6% in 2018. It also warned recent escalation — Trump hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China retaliated with tariffs on $60 billion of US goods — could reduce annual growth to the lower end of its 1 to 3% forecast.

SEE ALSO: Lululemon's profits and sales top Wall Street's expectations — again (LULU)

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Bill and Melinda Gates are launching a lobbying group

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 4:58pm

Bill and Melinda Gates have launched a lobbying organization to advocate for issues in health, education, and poverty, The Hill reported on Thursday.

The Gates Policy Initiative, which was announced on Thursday, will work with lawmakers on issues such as global health, global development, moving people from poverty to employment, and education for black, Latino, and rural students. The initiative, which will be a 501(c)(4) organization under the US tax code, is independent from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the billionaire couple's philanthropic organization.

Rob Nabors, the director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the former White House director of legislative affairs during the Obama administration, told The Hill that the Gates Policy Initiative would work in a bipartisan way.

He also said it would avoid political giving or statements that support political candidates. Instead, it will focus on lobbying efforts and legislative outcomes.

Read more: I spent an uplifting day at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and discovered what it's really like to work there

Although the Gates Policy Initiative is independent from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it focuses on some of the same issues. The Foundation is tackling issues such as reducing the effect of infectious diseases in developing countries, improving the delivery of health products and services, and improving high school education.

SEE ALSO: GitHub has a new COO, and she's an open source software expert who just sold her last startup to VMware

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Inside the Alphabet empire: Here are the most important people and teams in Google's vast power structure (GOOG, GOOGL)

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 4:34pm

  • Google-parent company Alphabet dominates businesses from search to online ads.
  • The company has more than 103,000 employees working on high-profile initiatives and secret projects.
  • Business Insider Prime has mapped out some of the key teams and rising stars that comprise the power structure at Alphabet.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Google has come a long way from its days as an internet search engine operating out of a Silicon Valley garage. 

Today, Google is the centerpiece of the Alphabet parent company, a collection of independent companies that generated $137 billion in revenue in 2018. This business empire dominates industries such as online advertising, video streaming, and smartphone software, and it includes some of the leading efforts in cutting-edge technology like self-driving cars, deep learning, and health tech.

With more than 103,000 employees, Alphabet is a patchwork of groups and teams, from high-profile initiatives to secret "skunkworks" projects. Business Insider Prime has charted out the various power centers and power players in the Alphabet hierarchy. Below are the maps and guides to help navigate the Google and Alphabet empires.

Meet the teams, projects and rising stars inside Alphabet:

The 14 top executives who lead Alphabet's 'Other Bets,' helping the company go beyond just Google

The 15 most powerful women at Google

Google is building a media and entertainment empire — here are 10 stars leading the effort

Meet Google's 14 'unsung rockstars' who insiders say are about to blow up

Hear the latest insight from Alphabet's top leaders:

Google's advertising boss says that it won't sacrifice privacy to boost its slowing ads business

Waymo's top scientist and CTO explain why Elon Musk's approach to self-driving cars is 'very risky'

Nest's product boss says it's time to rethink what it means to 'own' a tech product: 'We're not going to allow the owner dictate how our products work'

We talked to the top scientist at Alphabet's life-sciences company about the common thread uniting all its seemingly random health projects — and how she plans to spend $1 billion

The CEO of Waze explains why he's still running the company five years after selling it to Google for $1 billion

The chairman of Google's parent company says that if internet companies don't get their act together, 'bad things will occur'

Dive into the business:

This chart shows how Google is transforming from an ad company into a diversified tech colossus

YouTube is growing like a startup — these two charts show the 12-year-old site's stunning surge


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NOW WATCH: Facebook's scandals weren't enough for people to stop using it. Here's how the company has held up through data hacks, lawsuits, and massive security threats.

Millennials face $1 trillion of debt, and want money management tools to help them manage their way out of it. But mobile-banking apps are lagging.

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 4:27pm

Millennials are in debt. By the end of 2018, they were in over $1 trillion of it, a vast majority of which came from student loans. According to a Deloitte study, the net worth of Americans under 35 has dropped by more than a third since 1996.

As millennials age into homeownership and other mature financial decisions, they're looking for all of the help they can get. A study of over 1,000 mobile banking customers conducted by Business Insider Intelligence found that millennials are more interested in money-management tools in their banking apps than any other generation. The study defined these tools as any feature that help to cut spending and grow savings. These tools could help banks attract economically anxious millennials who are looking to navigate their financial futures.

The most popular feature from those surveyed was the ability to view a credit score in the app, which was rated as extremely valuable by 48% of millennials, but was only offered by slightly more than half of the banks studied.

Read more: 'Who is Finn?': JPMorgan's banking app for millennials seemed destined to fail from the start

Other tools that focused on better understanding money, like the ability to view recurring charges and the option to filter spending by date ranges, were also highly-rated by millennials. 

Six banks offered all three of these features (Bank of America, Citibank, NFCU, SunTrust, USAA, and Wells Fargo) but only one of these banks, Navy Federal Credit Union, also offered the ability to set spending limits on a card. This feature was doubly as important to millennials as it was to Gen X, with 32% of millennials rating it very valuable. NFCU was one of only four banks in the study to offer the ability to set spending limits.

Another highly popular feature, the ability to cancel digital media subscription services, was not offered by any of the banks in the study. This service was rated as extremely valuable by 39% of millennials and was also quite popular among Gen X and Baby Boomers. The closest to offering this service is Wells Fargo, which will identify subscription services and teach the user how to end those subscriptions.

Check to see if you have access to the full report through your company or subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence to get access to reports like this.

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