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Trump's Fed shake-up could leave US policymakers' hands tied during a recession

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 2:11pm  |  Clusterstock

  • News of President Donald Trump's latest Federal Reserve picks has prompted concerns about political interference in monetary policy.
  • Policymakers have also questioned the reported candidates' qualifications to serve on the board of governors.
  • Economists say that could hinder the central bank's ability to respond to a recession.

President Donald Trump's plan to nominate his political allies Stephen Moore and Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve's board of governors has sparked concerns that the independent central bank could be compromised. And with growth expected to slow in the coming months, economists say the stakes couldn't be higher.

Not only could political interference in monetary policy lead to high levels of inflation or unemployment, but it might also limit the amount of leverage policymakers have in the event of a downturn. Raising interest rates can prevent the economy from overheating, while cutting them is meant to stimulate activity.

"If a recession does occur in the next year or so, we have a little bit more firepower than other central banks," said Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody's Analytics.

While the economy remains solid by almost any measure, the Fed cited signs of slowing activity when it paused its three-year hiking campaign this year. Trump has long been pushing the central bank to pursue stimulus measures, efforts that could be bolstered through his most recent nominations.

Of course, Moore and Cain wouldn't single-handedly dictate monetary policy if confirmed by the Senate, which in itself appears to be a tall order. There are 12 members who vote on the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets interest rates.

But central banks play a crucial role in guiding expectations for the economy, particularly in the face of the uncertainty associated with recessions. A consensus helps send a clear signal to businesses and consumers, said Josh Wright, a former Fed staffer who is now the chief economist at iCIMS.

"A lot of people might not appreciate that it's very different from the Supreme Court, where once the votes are counted, the majority wins and the law is settled," he said. "If a dissenter has credibility with financial markets, she or he could blunt the message of the majority or increase concerns about political interference."

Economists also worry a politicized Fed would face outside pressure to roll back regulatory measures. Following the global financial crisis a decade ago, officials put in place a flurry of regulations meant to minimize risk and protect consumers.

"To avoid a meltdown like we had in 2008, you have to have somebody focused on systemic risk and who has the political courage to do something before it happens," said Alice Rivlin, a former Fed vice chair. "They have the power to raise capital requirements, for example, which is an unpopular thing to do. Politicians would put that to their banking friends and supporters who say not to do it, but it might be necessary."

Partisanship aside, an increasing number of policymakers from both sides of the aisle have expressed doubts about the ability of Trump's selections to guide the most influential central bank.

"It's also the question of whether these nominees know anything about the financial system, monetary policy, or the other key aspects of the Fed job," said Austan Goolsbee, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers in the Obama administration. "People worry about encountering a 2008-type event or even a smaller crisis event … and having people in place that have no familiarity with the issues and botching the response."

SEE ALSO: Economists say the way Trump's latest Fed pick wants to set interest rates is 'fringe' and ‘nuts'

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NOW WATCH: The founder and CIO of $12 billion Ariel Investments breaks down how his top-ranked flagship fund has crushed its peers over the past 10 years

PagerDuty seeks $1.69 billion valuation in its upcoming IPO and raises its price range, even as Lyft falters on the public markets

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 5:59pm  |  Clusterstock

  • On Tuesday, IT unicorn PagerDuty raised the price range for its upcoming IPO to $21 to $23 per share, up $2 from the figures it gave previously. 
  • This throws some cold water on concerns that Lyft's unstable tenure as a public company might bring the whole market down.
  • At the high end of this new range, the company would have a market cap of $1.69 billion at its IPO.
  • PagerDuty is expected to start trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker PD.

IT unicorn PagerDuty raised its IPO price range Tuesday to $21 to $23 per share, up $2 from the figures it had originally reported when it filed to go public. 

This throws some cold water on concerns that Lyft's unstable tenure as a public company may bring the whole IPO market down.

PagerDuty, which is run by CEO Jennifer Tejada, is expected to start trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker PD.

At the high end of this range, the company would have a market cap of $1.69 billion at its IPO. The company was last valued at $1.3 billion after raising $90 million in Series D funding in the fall.

If PagerDuty prices at $23, the company could raise a total of $240 million, assuming the underwriting banks buy their allotments in full.

Read more: Harvard researchers say that Lyft investors will likely come to regret giving the cofounders so much control with so little stock

PagerDuty's listing is expected nearly two weeks after Lyft went public far above its initial price range in the first big tech IPO of the year.

Though its debut was successful, Lyft spent the following week trading below its opening price on the public markets. The ride-hailing company initially priced between $62 and $68, before raising its range and going public at $72 per share. After market close on Tuesday, Lyft traded st $67.37.

Like PagerDuty, IPO candidate Zoom was not deterred by Lyft's crash. On Monday, the video conferencing company priced its IPO at $28 to $32 per share, which could give the company a valuation of $8.25 billion on the high end of its range. Zoom is expected to start trading next week.

Here's what you need to know about Jumia, the Alibaba of Africa that's getting ready to IPO on the New York Stock Exchange

JPMorgan and Credit Suisse will get paid almost equal amounts for helping take Lyft public, and it's part of a growing trend for IPO fees

Pinterest's IPO structure could give CEO Ben Silbermann the right to control the company from beyond the grave

Lyft's bankers are trying to compare the ride-hailing app to Grubhub and luxury retailer Farfetch — here's their pitch to investors

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's why McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sales skyrocket in March

PITCH DECK LIBRARY: Here are the pitch decks that helped hot startups raise millions

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 5:47pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Billions of dollars are invested in startups every year.
  • Whether a startup seeks to raise money from angel investors, venture capital firms or other backers, the presentation, or "pitch," about the business is critical. 
  • The most effective pitch decks deftly weave data, imagination and storytelling into a captivating slide presentation.
  • Business Insider regularly interviews startups about fundraising strategies and collects the pitch decks that helped startups raise funding. You can read them all by subscribing to BI Prime.


Here's a list of some of the recent startup pitch decks published by Business Insider:

SEE ALSO: The first-time founder's ultimate guide to pitching a VC

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NOW WATCH: What's going on with Jeff Bezos and Amazon

JetBlue stock rose in after-hours trading following a report that it seems to be gearing up to launch European flights (JBLU)

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 5:24pm  |  Clusterstock

  • JetBlue appears to be gearing up to launch service across the Atlantic Ocean, CNBC reported on Tuesday. 
  • Invites for the meeting reportedly featured London landmarks and branding reminiscent of the city's Tube. 
  • Sources confirmed to Business Insider that an all-hands meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday. 

JetBlue appears to be gearing up to announce service between Europe and North America, according to a report from CNBC Tuesday afternoon.

Shares of JetBlue rose as much as 4% in after-hours trading following the report, which said the airline has scheduled an all-hands meeting for Wednesday at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. According to CNBC, the meeting invites featured design elements resembling London's subway system and depictions of British landmarks such as Big Ben.

Sources with knowledge of the announcement also confirmed to Business Insider that the meeting has been scheduled for 3 p.m. in New York.

A JetBlue spokesperson told CNBC that routes to Europe could help the airline grow its focus cities of Boston and New York, "as we consider the best use of our aircraft from a margin perspective in those cities." The company declined to confirm the new trans-Atlantic service to Business Insider.

In a statement, JetBlue said:

"As we’ve said previously, we plan to announce our decision on the Long Range version of the A321 in 2019. The transatlantic market — especially in the premium category — suffers from the same lack of competition and high fares that transcon routes in the U.S. saw before JetBlue introduced Mint. Potential routes to Europe could provide us an opportunity to grow our focus cities of Boston and New York as we consider the best use of our aircraft from a margin perspective in those cities."

Flights to London or other European cities wouldn't be JetBlue's first international flights, but they would be some of the carrier's longest. JetBlue serves 87 cities in 17 countries, including the US, Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and other destinations in the Caribbean, according to its website.

Benjamin Zhang contributed to this story

Follow JetBlue's stock price in real-time here.

Do you work at JetBlue? Got a news tip? Get in touch with this reporter at Secure contact methods are available here. 

SEE ALSO: Female JetBlue crew members allege they were raped and drugged by pilots in Puerto Rico

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NOW WATCH: Here's how Tesla's Model Y SUV is different from the Model X and Model 3

Technology Innovation from Eastern #Nigeria - Nzuko Labs

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 5:23pm  |  Timbuktu Chronicles
Nzuko Labs is
An innovation center taking advantage of the uniqueness of the South East region, offering a collaborative space where people can network, share knowledge and implement social economic initiatives...[more]

Technology Innovation from Eastern #Nigeria - Nzuko Labs -

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 5:23pm  |  Timbuktu Chronicles
Nzuko Labs is
An innovation center taking advantage of the uniqueness of the South East region, offering a collaborative space where people can network, share knowledge and implement social economic initiatives...[more]

Goldman Sachs is scrapping a homegrown email app it once touted — and it's a sign the bank is moving away from building tech in house

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 4:51pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Goldman is ditching its homegrown email app Orbit in favor of those offered by Blackberry and Microsoft.
  • The decision shows Goldman distancing itself from software it developed in house to give employees a secure way to send and receive emails, and review documents, from their mobile devices. 
  • It's part of Goldman's plan to focus its engineering resources on technology that's core to its business, such as software developed for trading clients or consumers of its digital bank.  
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

One of the joyful idiosyncrasies of working at Goldman Sachs over the last few years has been the experience of having to use the firm's homegrown mobile-phone app for email. 

Named Orbit, the software was developed by Goldman's engineers several years ago after the bank began asking employees to use their personal devices for work and found other mobile-email applications weren't secure enough for its tastes. Users would often grumble that Orbit could be slow and clunky to use, but at least it was safe. 

Now, word has arrived that Goldman has begun moving users away from the Orbit app and onto a similar application from Blackberry, according to people with knowledge of the change. Though still early, there are now thousands of employees who have migrated away from Orbit to Blackberry, one of the people said.

Later this year or early next, the firm will also begin using Microsoft 365, the Seattle-based software firm's suite of mobile Office applications. Over time, Goldman will pursue a hybrid approach using Blackberry and Microsoft's apps for employee phones. Orbit will be relegated to the scrap bin. 

Goldman’s reversal is an example of how hard it can be for non-tech companies to develop big software projects and invest the time and money to keep it up to date. Excitement and resources are often drawn to new projects, but as the software becomes dated and sucks continued development resources, it can be difficult and expensive to maintain. Paying an outside company a flat fee, on the other hand, means getting a product that's always up-to-date and cheaper.

It's a change that would have been unthinkable just a couple years ago. As corporate America began transitioning away from the ubiquitous Blackberry devices, Goldman developed the tech to give employees a way to access email and documents securely on their mobile phones. The in-house solution became a point of pride among employees who saw Goldman's high standards of security and tech acumen as a differentiator. 

As Blackberry's handsets fell from use, the company began moving into secure software for mobile devices. In 2015, the Canadian company bought Good Technology, whose mobile-email app was being used by others including some of Goldman's Wall Street competitors. 

In 2015, Goldman sold the Orbit software to Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. in return for a minority stake in the joint venture, which was to have sold the software to other companies. At the time, the Wall Street Journal suggested the move was another example of how Goldman the technology firm was spinning out homegrown technology solutions so that they could thrive in the wild. 

Over time, Goldman grew frustrated with Synchronoss's management of the software and what some employees perceived as a lack of resources going into improving the product, according to one of the people. It's unclear what Goldman's decision means for Synchronoss's plans. 

As outside software offerings have improved and gone into widespread use it makes sense for Goldman to consider off-the-shelf solutions, according to Matt Papas, who has oversight of Goldman's workplace productivity tools. More than a year ago, the engineering division shared its preference for buying over building with employees in a company-wide memo. 

One key benefit: it allows Goldman to take advantage of software in use by hundreds of millions of people, as opposed to having the bank's employees be the first to try a product or a software update. 

"We don't want to be in the business of building corporate IT infrastructure for the masses," Papas said. 

Goldman is now focusing its in-house engineering resources on building tech that supports the company's core business, such as the Marquee platform for institutional trading clients; SecDB, the risk management platform credited with steering the firm through the financial crisis; and Marcus, the digital bank. 

Goldman's Twitter account hinted at the changes afoot, when it posted last week a photo of old, boxed up handheld devices and hinted at its love of the mobile app. 


Thanks for the memories, @BlackBerry. While our days of physical smartphone keyboards are #TBT, we still ♥ your mobile work apps

— Goldman Sachs (@GoldmanSachs) April 4, 2019


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Levi Strauss rallies after its first earnings report as a public company in nearly 35 years (LEVI)

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 4:28pm  |  Clusterstock

Levi Strauss shares rallied in after-hours trading on Tuesday after the company released first-quarter results. The report was the company's first since returning to the public market last month.

Here are the important numbers from Levi's report, compared with the same quarter last year, when the company was still private. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg did not release earnings expectations.

  • Earnings per share: $0.37 versus -$0.50.
  • Revenue: $1.44 billion versus $1.34 billion.

"Growth was broad-based across all three regions and all channels, demonstrating that our strategies are working and our investments are paying off," CEO Chip Bergh said in a release, referring to the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

For its 2019 fiscal year, Levi's expects constant-currency net revenue growth in the mid-single digits and adjusted earnings that are "flat-to-slightly up" compared with a year ago.

Levi's also sees around $190 million to $200 million in capital expenditures, and nearly 100 new company-operated store openings in fiscal 2019.

Levi's debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in late March after a an absence of more than three decades from the public market. The San Francisco-based company first went public in 1971, but was taken private in 1985.

At $717 million, Levi's IPO is the third-largest completed debut in the US this year, behind Lyft ($2.34 billion) and and Tradeweb ($1.24 billion). All three were oversubscribed, meaning investor demand exceeded the number of shares issued. 

Levi's was the second-largest clothing and accessories IPO since at least 2001, according to an IHS Markit analysis. It was also the oldest such company to list on a US exchange since that year.

In its prospectus, Levi's said it plans to use capital raised from the public offering to expand more aggressively into China, India and Brazil.

The company's public debut back in March comes amid a flurry of other public offerings expected this year. Uber is expected to file its S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission this month and Pinterest released its S-1 filing last month.

Levi's debuted at $22.22 a share last month, and closed just under $22 a share on Tuesday afternoon. Its market cap was just under $8.4 billion on Tuesday.

Now read more from Markets Insider and Business Insider:

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An unknown buyer just paid $34 million for a condo in the same Billionaires' Row tower as Ken Griffin's record-breaking $238 million penthouse. Here are the other big-name buyers in the building

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 4:14pm  |  Clusterstock

An unknown buyer just paid $34.4 million for a condo at 220 Central Park South, the Billionaires' Row tower in New York City where Ken Griffin bought a $238 million penthouse in January. Griffin's purchase broke the record for the most expensive home ever sold in the US.

But Griffin isn't the only billionaire in the building, which borders the southern end of Central Park and is still under construction. 

Read more: I spent a day on NYC's Billionaires' Row. Here's your ultimate guide to one of the city's glitziest streets, which borders Central Park and is home to the most expensive apartment ever sold in the US.

Here's a rundown of the other ultra-wealthy hedge funders, executives, and heiresses who have bought (and in some cases, already sold) units in 220 Central Park South:

  • Singer Sting and wife Trudie Styler, purchase price and date unknown
  • Hong Kong heiress Karen Lo, purchased Sting's apartment for $50 million in 2018
  • Och-Ziff Capital Management chairman Daniel Ochs, purchase price and date unknown
  • Arel Capital founding partner Richard Leibovitch, purchased a $26.2 million unit in December 2018
  • Brazilian construction billionaire Renata de Camargo Nascimento, purchased a $30.191 million unit in January 2019
  • Cavalry Portfolio Services chairman Andrew Zaro, purchase price and date unknown
  • Paramount Group chairman Albert Behler, purchased a $33.5 million unit in February 2019

Many of the tower's major transactions went into contract in 2015, when the Manhattan real-estate market was stronger than it is today, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The 79-story tower, designed by Robert A.M. Stern, is expected to be completed later in 2019 at a total estimated cost of $1.4 billion.

SEE ALSO: A millionaire couple is tearing through an NYC street to build a $100 million mansion with a 60-foot pool, and neighbors are resorting to wearing $400 headphones and tranquilizing their pets to deal with the noise

DON'T MISS: An $88 million mansion in NYC with a panic room and a Versailles-inspired dining room has gotten a $26 million price chop over 6 years — take a look inside

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4 credit score horror stories that could happen to anyone

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 3:47pm  |  Clusterstock

  • A person's credit score determines the likelihood they'll repay debt.
  • Simple mistakes or oversights can sink a credit score.
  • Getting caught up in life events such as the purchase of a new home or going on vacation can make it easy to overlook seemingly minor financial mistakes.
  • Thankfully, all of the people in these credit score horror stories recovered from their lowered scores, and many of them are financial professionals today.
  • Visit for more stories.

Credit scores determine so much about a person's financial life. It's set to determine how likely an individual is to repay debt, but it might as well act as the report card of adulthood. Many people run into major predicaments with credit score problems, including smart, successful, and financially savvy people (like the ones mentioned here).

As these credit score horror stories show, it's easy to make those crucial digits drop with an honest mistake or simple oversight.

Here's how simple blunders from a moving day or honeymoon can linger on your financial record for months later.

Paying off debt early made my credit score drop 40 to 50 points

When it comes to credit scores, it helps to read the fine print.

"About nine years ago, I was getting close to buying a house, and taking out a mortgage," said Matt Schmidt, CEO of Diabetes Life Solutions. He decided to pay off the balance of his student loan debt ahead of schedule, which seemed like a smart idea at the time.  

This seemingly responsible behavior backfired.

"My student loan was my only type of 'installment' debt. Even though I paid off my debt, FICO penalized me for not having installment debt," said Schmidt.  

This penalty resulted in a rather serious credit score impact.

"My credit score dropped 40-50 points, and took about four months to get it back up to where it previously was," said Schmidt. It delayed the purchase of his home by four to five months.

"Obviously, I never thought that being responsible and paying off debt would negatively impact my credit score."

An oversight on my honeymoon cost me dearly in credit score points

"After I got married, my wife and I took our honeymoon in Argentina," said James Garvey, CEO of Self Lender. "As part of my checklist I set up all my bills on auto-pay — or so I thought." But the newlyweds were in for quite a shock when they returned home.

One of the credit cards that Garvey assumed was on auto-pay turned out to go unpaid for two months.

"As a result, my credit score was damaged for years. After this experience, I founded a company to help people responsibly build credit and save money, Self Lender."

Garvey is another person who turned a rough experience with credit scores into an opportunity to educate others.

Read more: The pros and cons of setting up automatic bill payments 

My credit dropped to the low 500s after one missed payment

"How I got into learning about finance and learning how to build my credit is when my credit dropped to the low 500s after one missed payment on a student loan," said Lisa Fox, financial expert for SproutCents. The full impact of this single missed payment gets more complicated, however.

"Because my student loan provider listed each loan as 19 individual ones, it reported on my credit as 19 missed payments," said Fox. The financial repercussions were serious and long-lasting.

"My score plummeted and it took a few years before it disappeared from my credit report and things balanced out," said Fox. "I learned the hard way to consolidate your loans and pay on time." Now Fox works to help others reach financial stability as well.  

A misplaced box on moving day cost me several credit score points

It's so easy for important things to get lost in the shuffle during a move, and sometimes it can even cause a ding to your financial credit.

"One of my own scores crashed several years ago after we moved," said Liz Weston, NerdWallet's personal finance columnist, CFP, and author of the book, "Your Credit Score."

"A library book got boxed up and put into storage, and the late notices (along with a bunch of other mail, including a 401(k) rollover check) wound up going to the wrong address," said Weston.

Of course, moving is stressful and all-consuming, so this oversight went unnoticed for a bit.

"By the time I figured all this out, I had a collection on my TransUnion credit report and my FICO score there dropped more than 50 points."

Like everyone else on the list, Weston did get out of the credit predicament.

"Paying the collection didn't help, but time (eventually) did," said Weston.  

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More than one-third of millennials earning at least $100,000 a year consider themselves middle class

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 3:15pm  |  Clusterstock

  • About 38% of millennials earning $100,000 or more a year think they're middle class, according to an INSIDER and Morning Consult survey.
  • The majority of these respondents think they're financially faring just as well or better than they thought they'd be 10 years ago and are trying to save.
  • A six-figure salary may no longer be what it once was — wage increases haven't kept up with the growing cost of living, making it harder for millennials to save.
  • Visit for more stories.

About 38% of millennials earning $100,000 a year or more think they're middle class, according to an INSIDER and Morning Consult survey.

The survey polled 4,400 Americans — 1,207 of them identified as millennials, defined by the survey as people ages 22 to 37 (237 respondents did not select a generation).

Of the respondents who answered the question, less than half who earn $100,000 or more consider themselves rich — about 23% of them think they're upper middle class, and nearly 6% think they're affluent. About a quarter of those earning $100,000 a year or more consider themselves below middle class — nearly 7% think they're poor, and almost 20% think they're working class.


The Pew Research Center defines the US middle class as people earning two-thirds to twice the median household income, which was $60,336 in 2017, meaning middle-class Americans were earning about $40,425 to $120,672.

But that number shifts as it's broken down by state and even by city.

Note that out of the 1,207 millennials surveyed, only 125 millennials both earn more than $100,000 and answered the question about which class they identify with, giving us a small sample size to work with.

The 38% of millennials in this income bracket who deem themselves middle class works out to 50 respondents. Of those 50, more than half think they're better off financially than they thought they would be a decade ago, a little more than a quarter find their financial situation to be about the same as they expected, and only 16% think they're worse off financially than they'd thought they would be.

That's a better outlook than the typical millennial respondent in our survey — about 37% of millennials at any income level who responded feel better off financially than they thought they'd be 10 years ago.

Read more: Nearly one-third of millennials are worse off than they thought they'd be 10 years ago

The group's overwhelming mentality that they're faring just as well or better than expected might be traced back to their upbringing: 10% defined it as poor, 32% said they grew up working class, and 48% came from a middle-class background. Just 6% said they were brought up in the upper middle class.

Increased costs of living have made it harder to build wealth

While the pool of respondents for this question is relatively small, their responses do highlight the economic context of millennials' financial situations that we see repeatedly in studies and surveys of all sizes.

In the current economy, a six-figure salary may no longer be what it once was. While millennials have benefited from a 67% rise in wages since 1970, according to research by Student Loan Hero, this increase hasn't kept up with inflating living costs: Renthome prices, and college tuition have all increased faster than incomes in the US.


That's especially true in some of America's most expensive cities. Consider San Francisco, a hub for the millennial tech worker. Nearly 60% of tech workers, who typically make a six-figure salary, can't afford homes in the area, Business Insider reported in 2018.

Ultimately, high costs of living, along with effects of the Great Recession, have made it harder for millennials to save and build wealth. The millennial respondents earning six figures who think they're middle class are trying, though — according to the survey, 40% have a brokerage account, 82% have a retirement account, and 92% have a savings account.

But the cost of living has increased so much that even $1 million doesn't stretch as far as it used to — millennials may need to look at a $2 million target number when it comes to saving for retirement. 

SEE ALSO: The Great Recession split the millennial generation down the middle, creating 2 groups with very different financial habits

DON'T MISS: Millennials are delusional about the future, but they aren't the only ones

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12 famous people who died on the Titanic — and 11 who survived

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 3:14pm  |  Clusterstock

  • The Titanic — billed as an unsinkable ship — hit an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912.
  • Over 1,500 people died in the maritime disaster, while 705 individuals survived.
  • A number of the victims and survivors were famous people.
  • Visit for more stories.

The Titanic is one of the most famous tragedies in maritime history.

And a number of its victims and survivors were quite famous too.

The ocean liner, which sank off the coast of Newfoundland on its maiden voyage to New York City, was billed as the paragon of luxury travel. As a result, many prominent individuals decided to book a trip on the doomed ship.

Some of the ship's most famous passengers included a top fashion designer, one of the wealthiest men in the world, and a famous British countess.

For the most part, most of the well-known people on board were first-class passengers. Researcher Chuck Anesi crunched the numbers, breaking down the demographics of the survivors. He found that 97.22% of the 144 female first-class passengers were rescued, while only 32.57% of their 175 male counterparts were saved.

Ultimately, he found that male second-class passengers fared the worse in terms of survival, with only 14 out of 168 making it out alive. The total survival rate for women was 74%, while the male survival rate was 20%.

Here are 12 of the most famous victims of the Titanic disaster— and 11 prominent people who survived:

SEE ALSO: 5 wild conspiracy theories surrounding the sinking of the Titanic

DON'T MISS: The 'Irish little boy' from 'Titanic' reveals how much he still makes from the film 20 years later

SEE ALSO: 17 historical photos that show how the wealthy traveled in the early 20th century

DIED: John Jacob Astor, millionaire

Millionaire John Jacob Astor was a member of the prominent Astor family and helped build the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. He was also an inventor, a science fiction novelist, and served in the Spanish-American War.

Astor was traveling with his wife Madeleine in Europe when she became pregnant. To ensure the child would be born in the US, the couple booked a trip home on the Titanic.

He was last seen clinging to the side of a raft. His wife survived the disaster.

Astor was worth nearly $87,000,000 at the time — $2.21 billion in today's dollars. He was the richest passenger onboard the Titanic.

SURVIVED: Archibald Gracie IV, historian and author

Gracie achieved prominence in the wake of the Titanic disaster due to his meticulous and detailed account of the tragedy.

The historian and Alabama native, who'd written a book on the American Civil War's Battle of Chickamauga, was returning from a European vacation on the Titanic.

He was woken up when the ship crashed into an iceberg. After escorting a number of women to the lifeboats, Gracie helped other passengers evacuate the ship.

When the ship sank, Gracie surfaced beside an overturned lifeboat. He managed to climb on top with a number of other men, and they spent much of the night balanced there.

The historian was one of the first Titanic survivors to die after being rescued, passing away on December 4, 1912 at the age of 54. Gracie's final words reportedly were "we must get them all in the boats."

DIED: W. T. Stead, investigative journalist

Stead was a highly influential editor who, in an uncanny twist, may have foreseen his death on the Titanic.

As the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, the newspaperman published an explosive and controversial investigative series about child prostitution. He is credited with helping to invent investigative journalism.

A devoted spiritualist, Stead also established a magazine dedicated to the supernatural and a psychic service known as Julia's Bureau.

He also penned a fictional story in 1886 that bore an unsettling resemblance to the real-life events of the Titanic.

"How the Mail Steamer Went Down in Mid Atlantic, by a Survivor" tells a story of an ocean liner that sinks in the Atlantic. In the story, only 200 passengers and crew members of the original 700 people on board survive the disaster, due to a lifeboat shortage.

According to, Stead didn't hang around on deck as the Titanic sank. He spent his final hours reading in his cabin.

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A financial planner says for people with credit-card debt, the first step toward saving for retirement is clear

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 3:06pm  |  Clusterstock

  • It's never too early to start saving for retirement, unless you're also carrying high-interest debt.
  • A financial planner says that if you have debt that costs you more than 9% a month in interest and fees, it's smarter to pay down that debt before putting your money toward retirement.
  • That's because the debt is so expensive that it's costing you more than you could earn elsewhere, such as in a savings account or in a retirement account.
  • The exception to this advice is if your employer matches retirement contributions. Then, contribute just enough to get the full match and concentrate the rest of your money on your debt.
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The sooner you start saving for retirement, the better — unless you have high-interest debt, such as credit-card debt.

"I see many clients with high-interest debt who simply don't realize how much they're paying in finance charges," Ryan Cole, a certified financial planner and private wealth adviser at Citrine Capital in San Francisco, told Business Insider.

Finance charges are the costs of borrowing money, including the interest rate and any fees. While fees can add up, Cole said, it's really the interest rates you want to focus on.

If you're paying anything more than a 9% interest rate, Cole said, you should press pause on your retirement savings and focus on paying off your high-interest debt.

Paying down your high-interest debt can give you a guaranteed return because you'll be cutting your interest payments, Cole said. In most cases, he continued, this return is more than you'd earn in a savings account or in the stock market.

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Citrine Capital provides a free credit-card interest calculator that can make it clear how much interest rates can cost you over time. "You'll likely be surprised at how much money you're paying," Cole said.

There is an exception to the postpone-retirement-saving-until-you've-paid-your-debt rule, Cole said: If your debt isn't that expensive and your employer provides a 401(k) match.

A 401(k) match is when your employer agrees to "match" a portion of your contributions to an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Experts largely recommend taking advantage if your employer offers one because that match can be considered free money — all you have to do to get it is save money for retirement, money you'd hopefully set aside anyway and that you'll ultimately get to use.

"In the event you find that you're paying less than a 9% interest rate and have access to an employer retirement account with a company match," Cole said. "You may want to put in the minimum to get the company match and allocate the rest of your extra money toward your debt."

If you know you'd like to save for retirement but are buried in high-interest debt, the biggest mistake you can make is prioritizing saving money for retirement over paying off your debt, he said. 

Once you've taken care of your debt, you can begin to prioritize retirement savings. "While it may be tempting to save for retirement while you have high-interest debt, doing so can often do more harm than good," Cole said.

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A new Intuit survey says 68% of SMBs use an average of four apps to run their businesses — here's how they're choosing payment providers

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 3:06pm  |  Clusterstock

In an increasingly digitized world, brick-and-mortar retailers are facing immense pressure to understand and accommodate their customers’ changing needs, including at the point of sale (POS). 

More than two years after the EMV liability shift in October 2015, most large merchants globally have upgraded their payment systems. And beyond upgrading to meet new standards, many major retailers are adopting full-feature, “smart” devices — and supplementing them with valuable tools and services — to help them better engage customers and build loyalty.

But POS solutions aren’t “one size fits all.” Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don't usually have the same capabilities as larger merchants, which often have the resources and funds to adopt robust solutions or develop them in-house. That's where app marketplaces come in: POS app marketplaces are platforms, typically deployed by POS providers, where developers can host third-party business apps that offer back-office services, like accounting and inventory, and customer-retention tools, like loyalty programs and coupons.

SMBs' growing needs present a huge opportunity for POS terminal providers, software providers, and resellers. The US counts roughly 8 million SMBs, or 99.7% of all businesses. Until now, constraints such as time and budget have made it difficult for SMBs to implement value-added services that meet their unique needs. But app marketplaces enable providers to cater to SMBs with specialized solutions. 

App marketplaces also alleviate some of the issues associated with the overcrowded payments space. Relatively new players that have effectively leveraged the rise of the digital economy, like mPOS firm Square, are increasingly encroaching on the payments industry, putting pricing pressure on payment hardware and service giants. This has diminished client loyalty as merchants seek out the most affordable solution, and it's resulted in lost revenue for providers. However, app marketplaces can be used as tools not only to build client loyalty, but also as a revenue booster — Verifone, for instance, charges developers 30% of net revenue for each installed app and a distribution fee for each free app.

In this report, Business Insider Intelligence looks at the drivers of POS app marketplaces and the legacy and challenger firms that are supplying them. The report also highlights the strategies these providers are employing, and the ways that they can capitalize on the emergence of this new market. Finally, it looks to the future of POS app marketplaces, and how they may evolve moving forward.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • SMBs are a massive force in the US, which makes understanding their needs a necessity for POS terminal providers, software providers, and resellers — the US counts roughly 8 million SMBs, or 99.7% of all businesses.
  • The entrance of new challengers into the payment space has put pricing pressure on the entire industry, forcing all of the players in the industry to find new solutions to keep customers loyal while also gaining a new revenue source.
  • Major firms in the industry, like Verifone and Ingenico, have turned to value-added services, specifically app marketplaces, to not only build loyalty but also giving them a new revenue source — Verifone charges developers 30% of net revenue for each installed app and a distribution fee for each free app.
  • According to a recent survey by Intuit, 68% of SMBs stated that they use an average of four apps to run their businesses. As developers flock to the space to grab a piece of the pie, it's likely that increased competition will lead to robust, revenue-generating marketplaces.
  • And there are plenty of opportunities to build out app marketplace capabilities, such as in-person training, to further engage with users — 66% of app users would hire someone to train and educate them on which apps are right for their businesses. 

In full, the report:

  • Identifies the factors that have changed how SMBs are choosing payment providers.  
  • Discusses why firms in the payments industry have started to introduce app marketplaces over the last four years.
  • Analyzes some of the most popular app marketplaces in the industry and identifies the strengths of each.
  • Breaks down the concerns merchants have relating to app marketplaces, and discusses how providers can solve these issues.
  • Explores what app marketplace providers will have to do going forward in order to avoid being outperformed in an industry that's becoming increasingly saturated. 
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The doctor who was dragged off a United flight 2 years ago is breaking his silence — and he says he's glad the viral incident ended in a positive way (UAL)

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 2:31pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Two years ago, Dr. David Dao made headlines when he was dragged off a United Airlines flight in Chicago. He suffered a concussion and other injuries in the process. 
  • In his first interview since the incident, Dao said he's not angry at the officers or the airline: "They had a job to do," he told ABC's "Good Morning America."
  • "The most important thing is that accident turned out in a positive way," he said. 

It's been two years since Dr. David Dao, a pulmonologist from Vietnam, was the subject of an internationally infamous viral video.

United Airlines eventually settled with Dao for an undisclosed sum after the incident sparked outcry from consumers around the world and even reached as high as the federal government. Daniel Elwell, the Federal Aviation Administration's acting administrator, also poked fun at the settlement.

On Tuesday, the second anniversary of the doctor's forced removal from United Flight 3411 by Chicago air-safety officers, Dao gave his first interview about what happened that spring day with ABC's "Good Morning America."

He doesn't remember much of the incident after he hit his head on the plane's bulkhead and suffered a concussion, he told the morning show. But after watching the video of the incident, he said, "I just cried."

"I had to hide," Dao said of his unwanted fame. "I stayed for months and months in the house."

The two officers who dragged Dao by his limbs down the plane's aisle as alarmed passengers looked on were eventually fired from the Chicago Department of Aviation, but Dao said he isn't angry with them.

"They have a job to do," Dao said. "If they don't do it they might lose their job, so I'm not angry with them."

No United Airlines employees were fired because of the incident, though the company did eventually change its policies for crew booking and compensated all passengers on the flight.

In a statement to ABC, the airline said, "Flight 3411 was a defining moment for United Airlines and it is our responsibility to make sure we as a company … continue to learn from that experience."

Dao, for his part, is glad the situation eventually led to change at United. 

"The most important thing is that accident turned out in a positive way," he said.

SEE ALSO: The FAA's acting administrator joked about United's infamous dragging incident in newly public emails

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This is the trick airlines use to make more flights appear on time

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 2:23pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Flights around the world are taking longer. 
  • According to a study from the Singapore Management University, the average time of flights has increased by as much as 9.8 minutes between 1986 and 2016.
  • This is caused by airlines padding their flight schedules with extra time so few flights arrive late. It's a practice called schedule creep, the BBC wrote. 
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If you're feeling like flights are becoming longer these days, you're not crazy. They are indeed taking longer. While delays and runway congestion have certainly not helped the situation, even on-time flights are taking longer.

And it's by design. 

The longer flight times can be attributed to something called "schedule creep." Simply put, it's where airlines pad their flight times to reduce the number of late flights. 

"Padding is the extra time airlines allow themselves to fly from A to B. Because these flights were consistently late, airlines have now baked delays experienced for decades into their schedules instead of improving operations," Kathryn Creedy wrote on the BBC

For airlines being late usually means a flight has an arrived at the gate 15 minutes or more after the scheduled time of arrival. However, even that buffer isn't enough many times. 

Read more: Lufthansa CEO reveals the biggest change in the airline industry caused by the Boeing 737 Max scandal.

According to a study published in March by Singapore Management University, the average length of a flight even after filtering out the effects of airport congestion, flight delays, and increased crude oil prices has increased by 6.2 to 9.8 minutes between 1986 and 2016.

The padding of flight schedules might make the airline performance look better on paper, but it's doesn't solve any of the problems that plague the industry. 

"This global trend poses multiple problems: not only does your journey take longer but creating the illusion of punctuality means there’s no pressure on airlines to become more efficient, meaning congestion and carbon emissions will keep rising," Creedy wrote. 

SEE ALSO: A timeline of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 shows its pilots fighting desperately to save their doomed Boeing 737 Max jet

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Here's exactly what millennials should be doing every five years to become rich, according to a financial planner

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 2:23pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Becoming a rich millennial isn't impossible.
  • A financial planner shared the key steps people should take at milestone millennial ages — 25, 30, 35, and 40 — to build wealth.
  • Millennials should be all about financial goals: identifying and prioritizing them, carrying out both short-term and long-term goals, and reassessing them as they enter a different life stage.
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There's really no one way to define "rich" — everyone measures wealth in different ways.

"I know many people who make less than $50,000 but consider themselves wealthy because of their health, family, and friends," Douglas A. Boneparth, CFP and president of Bone Fide Wealth, which offers financial planning and advice to high-net-worth millennials, told Business Insider.

But when talking pure dollars, it helps to understand what the top 1% of the country earns and has in terms of their net worth. "From an income standpoint, the top 1% of households earn around $430,000," Boneparth said. "From a net worth perspective, it's north of $10 million."

Whether you define rich as $50,000, $100,000, $1 million, or $10 million — or as quality of life in general — it's never too early to start building wealth. We talked to Boneparth about the key steps millennials should take at their generation's milestone ages to build wealth.

25: Get goal-oriented

Now is the time to focus on identifying, quantifying, and prioritizing your goals, according to Boneparth.

"Build a strong foundation for savings by mastering cash flow. This means diving into the data," Boneparth said. "What did you spend your money on over the past six to 12 months? What can you consistently save? Define a comfortable and realistic lifestyle."

Consider the NFL player Brandon Copeland: At age 27, he saves nearly all of his salary. He previously told Business Insider that saving isn't about how much you earn — it's about how much you spend. Saving money starts with tracking your expenses, which will help you figure out where to cut spending, he said.

In fact, your mid-20s is when you'll have the least amount of expenses, Alicia Butera, CFP at Planning Within Reach, previously told Business Insider. It's a time when you start making real money but are still living the college lifestyle, making for good discretionary income, she said: "Saving when you're young is crucial and most important for compounding — the longer duration you have will reap you the largest benefit."

Read more: 5 things rich millennials do differently with their money than the rest of their generation

30: Continue to build your foundation

"If you haven’t built your foundation at this point, don't delay," Boneparth said. "You should focus on satisfying your short-term goals such as cash reserves, making the standard payment amounts on your student loans, and/or saving for just about anything that you're looking to accomplish in the next four years or less (i.e. a house)."

Business Insider previously looked at the monthly savings needed to buy a home by age 35. If you start saving at age 30 for a 10% down payment on a $250,000 home, you'll need to save $400 a month — a 20% down payment would double that to $800 a month. If you started earlier, at age 25, you should continue socking away $192 for a 10% down payment or $284 for a 20% down payment on the same house.

You should also be saving cash in a high-yield savings account or money-market fund and taking advantage of any matching retirement contributions, according to Boneparth.

35: Focus on the long-term vision

"Start to make greater and greater contributions towards retirement and long-term goals if you've tackled short-term goals or have greater capacity to save," Boneparth said, adding that you should automate all savings. "Out of sight out of mind. It makes increasing savings that much easier."

Automating your finances is "the most important" first step to take in building wealth, according to David Bach, author of "The Automatic Millionaire." 

He calls it the "pay-yourself-first plan" — automating your accounts so that a portion of your paycheck moves into your 401(k) plan or savings account before you even see it, he told Business Insider in a Facebook Live interview: "When that money is moved before you can touch it, that's how real wealth is built."

Business Insider's Tanza Loudenback doubled her savings in 2018 by automating her savings in a high-yield savings account with Ally Bank, a different bank from where she keeps her checking account.

Read more: What to do in your 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s to retire with $1 million, according to financial planners

40: Revisit your goals

"Return to fundamentals and analyze cash flow again," Boneparth said. "Continue to be disciplined in spending and savings. See if your goals shifted at all and if any changes need to be made."

Your financial goals may shift as you enter the decade considered to be mid-career. This is the time when you're most likely to be earning the top tier of your income, so you should focus on outsourcing things — such as hiring an accountant to do your taxes — so you can focus on your career and extending your income and benefits, Butera previously told Business Insider.

Another thing you should be revisiting? Your net worth, and you should be doing so twice a year, according to CFP Sophia Bera in her book, "What You Should Have Learned About Money, But Never Did." Seeing how you're progressing toward your target net worth will help you stay on track with your goals.

SEE ALSO: 7 ways rich millennials spend and display their money differently than rich baby boomers

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Trump's latest Fed picks have experts worried about central bank independence. Here's what that means and why it matters.

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 2:20pm  |  Clusterstock

  • President Donald Trump has nominated two political allies to the Federal Reserve Board, raising concerns about independence at what's seen as the most powerful central bank in the world.
  • To keep employment and price levels steady, central banks need to be free from political influence.
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President Richard Nixon handily won re-election after pressuring Federal Reserve chairman Arthur Burns to keep interest rates low in the early 1970s. There was just one catch: the American economy entered a decade of turbulence, plagued by instances of double-digit inflation.

That has since served as a cautionary tale against allowing political motives to guide monetary policy. And it highlights why there has been so much concern over President Donald Trump's latest Fed Board nominations, Stephen Moore and Herman Cain.

Politicians like lower interest rates because they can give the economy a short-term boost and shore up support among voters. But not increasing them at the appropriate time can destabilize the economy with high levels of inflation.

"Richard Nixon and Arthur Burns demonstrated how real that concern was," Alan Blinder, a former Fed vice chairman, said in an email. "Letting Mr. Moore and Mr. Cain get on the Federal Reserve Board would be a step back in that (wrong) direction."

Both staunch allies of Trump, the nominees' roles in Republican politics have long been apparent.

Moore, a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, recently said Fed policymakers should be fired for raising interest rates — comments he's now apologized for. He also wrote a book praising Trump's fiscal policies and co-founded the Club for Growth, a lobbying group focused on cutting taxes.

Cain is a former restaurant executive known for his failed bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, where he pitched a plan to overhaul the tax system. A series of sexual harassment accusations surfaced during his campaign, however, and he now runs a political action committee that aims to address misinformation about Trump.

Economists stress that independent monetary policy is crucial for central banks around the world. Political influence on interest rates in other countries has led not only to high levels of inflation, but also to reputational damage that can worry investors and creditors. 

"It's easy to look both around the world and in US history to see how disastrous a lack of central bank independence can be," said Adam Ozimek, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. "Monetary policy requires credibility to take actions that may not be popular, and may entail short-run pain for the long-run benefit of all."

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Trump firing Fed Chairman Jerome Powell would send shockwaves through the markets

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Markets Live: Tuesday, 9th April 2019

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 6:05am  |  FT Alphaville

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