President Obama issues personal apology for the problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, while CBS issues its own mea culpa for a 60 Minutes report that relied on a questionable source
Post-traumatic stress disorder is best known for afflicting front-line soldiers in combat. But years of violence in northwestern Pakistan have made PTSD widespread among civilians in a poor and remote region where there are few options for treatment.
By 2014, airlines will introduce an electronic tag system that allows you to track your suitcase's exact location on your smartphone during your travels.
The latest jobs report defied expectations this morning: payrolls grew by 204,000 people in October, contrary to the 120,000-figure forecasted by surveyed economists. Does this mean the labor markets emerged from the government shutdown unscathed?
Julia Coronado, chief economist at BNP Paribas, warns that while the Bureau of Labor Statistics report indicates strength, we should keep in mind that the government shutdown seriously disrupted data collection.
“I think we need to get a couple more months of data under our belts before we draw conclusions about what the trends are,” she says.
Plus, looking at the parallel survey of households, the unemployment rate climbed from 7.2 to 7.3 percent. And participation fell, which Coronado notes is usually a negative sign.
A top U.S. Treasury official is expected to step down today amid reports she’s next in line for a spot on the Federal Reserve Board. Lael Brainard has been undersecretary for international affairs at the Treasury Department since 2010. The Board is facing not one, but three vacancies, setting up another round of lobbying by Wall Street.
When Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen won out over economist Lawrence Summers as nominee to next lead the Federal Reserve, some thought Wall Street lost an ally.
“One of the reasons why he ran into some resistance on Capitol Hill is he had some very close relationships with financial market players,” says Cary Leahey with Decision Economics.
One thing Lael Brainard has going for her, Leahey says: she hasn’t spent much time on Wall Street.
“No matter how talented you are, if your zip code says New York City on it, your chances of being a Fed board member are extremely low,” he says.
Fed governors generally go along with the chair on monetary policy, says Mike Dueker, chief economist with Russell Investments. But governors will have a hand in implementing financial regulations as part of the sweeping Dodd-Frank reforms, he says.
“They want someone, certainly, who would have a relatively light touch in terms of regulatory powers,” Dueker says. “And they would want someone who would understand the impacts of actual written regulations on the banks themselves.”
And if that’s not in the cards this time, there will still be two more seats to fill.
Employers expanded their payrolls by 204,000 jobs in October, about 80,000 more than expected. But the jobless rate still edged up to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent the month before. The unemployment rate appears to have been given a temporary boost by the partial government shutdown.
In other news, a Japanese lawmaker is in trouble for handing the emperor a letter, a taboo in the country where the imperial family's role remains a sensitive one; and a Ghanaian minister is fired for allegedly saying she'll stay in politics until she makes at least $1 million.
With Twitter’s IPO up and out of the gate -- its shares gained more than 70 percent in the first day of trading -- there’s plenty of buzz in the investor world: “What’s the next big thing in the internet startup world?”
One fast-growing firm that comes up in every list of potential IPO-launchers over the coming year is Pinterest, a fast-growing social-media site with tens of millions of users backed by hundreds of millions in venture capital. (Pinterest raised $225 million in October 2013.)
Pinterest spokesman Barry Schnitt said in an email to Marketplace that Pinterest has “no plans at all” to go public at this point, adding “it’s not even on our radar. We’re focused on the core experience for Pinners and building an advertising program (we don’t have revenue yet).”
Still, many technology and investment analysts think Pinterest has plenty of potential, and with so much venture capital on the line, they say the company will be looking for an exit, through an IPO or an acquisition, at some point.
Pinterest lets users ‘pin’ digital pictures into online scrapbooks, grouped under user-generated categories, for instance, “tasty doggy treats,” “DIY kitchens” or "really awesome boots."
“I think there’s interest in Pinterest,” says Brian Blau, technology analyst at Gartner. He says while Pinterest hasn’t yet generated sales, it’s a perfect platform for ecommerce. He says Pinterest will have to figure out how to advertise, and provide ways to sell, the consumer brands of which people collect pictures on the site.
Pinterest users are mostly female: at least 70 percent of them. “If I had a startup that had that percentage of women and was growing that fast, I’d be a super-happy guy,” says technology writer John Battelle at Federated Media. He adds, “Women are seen as a primary driver of the most important household and large-ticket items, including cars.”
CNET senior editor Bridget Carey is a typical Pinner.
“I’m actually using Pinterest a lot right now to plan my wedding with my mom,” says Carey. “It’s a really efficient way of saying ‘Hey, what do you think of this?’”
And her dad? As of yet, he’s not pinning-up online pictures of stuff he likes. So Carey says she has no clue which tools he might want from Sears for Christmas.